Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama each got a letter from ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson recently—suggesting specific policy and priorities, and urging presidential leadership on topics from poverty to energy policy to peace. Read the letter.
Other Lutheran leaders who signed the letter are: Ralston H. Deffenbaugh Jr., president, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service; John A. Nunes, president, Lutheran World Relief ; and Jill A. Schumann, president, Lutheran Services in America.
With an eye on the upcoming election, the ELCA offers “Called to Be a Public Church: 2008 ELCA Voting and Civic Participation Guide.”
Separation of church and state is often regarded as a modern American invention. In reality, separationism is an ancient Western teaching rooted in the Bible.
Christ commanded believers to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s (Matthew 22:21). Paul warned believers they should “not be conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2) but remain “separate,” knowing their true commonwealth lies in heaven (2 Corinthians 6:17; Philippians 3:20). Paul spoke literally of a “wall of separation” between Christians and non-Christians set by the law of God (Ephesians 2:14).
Such passages inspired Martin Luther’s famous doctrine of the “two kingdoms.” God has ordained two kingdoms in which humanity is destined to live, Luther argued, the earthly kingdom and the heavenly kingdom.
The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers