The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Pulled by the promise

The church must speak whenever the values of God's future are at stake

All these wonderful things are part of the future God promises, provided by Jesus' victory. Caring about these things is part of our witness to the full story of God's love for the world.

Therefore, when Christians stand for life by working to end violence in the home, the streets and the world, they announce that God's promised future is everlasting peace for all.

When we work for adequate health care for all people, we witness to the wholeness of life that belongs to the future God promises.

When Christians oppose discrimination of all kinds and work for a more just society, they witness to Jesus' promise that God's reign will bring perfect equality, the end of oppression and dignity for all.

When we speak about personal habits and public policies to preserve the health of the environment, we witness to the promise that God will deliver nature itself from corruption.

When Christians work for these ethical concerns, they proclaim their hope in God's gracious promise. We are called to speak whenever the values of God's promised reign are at stake. The church is always pulled forward by the gravity of God's future.

This view is reflected in the ELCA document The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective: "Faith is active in love; love calls for justice. ... The Gospel does not take the Church out of the world but instead calls it more deeply into the world .... The Church and the world have a common destiny in the Reign of God."

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