Pastor's Notebook


Dear Friends in Christ,


On the evening of May 2, I read via my news feed that the Supreme Court had voted to overturn Roe v Wade, the law that allows for the killing of unborn children these last almost 50 years. Now, as you may know that was a leaked draft of an opinion, and nothing is definite yet. June may be the month when an official ruling is made.  If “Roe” is overturned we should all praise God! I mentioned to a few people that if “Roe” is overturned it may be a time to peal the church bells!  And, even if “Roe” is overturned it doesn't mean the end to the political fighting in our country over this great moral evil. It doesn't mean the end for Christians and the Church to be working for the protection of all life and for giving what the world cannot give: LIFE and SALVATION by the forgiveness of sins.

            I immediately wrote to a few pastor friends upon receiving the news feed. You'll notice I call abortion “human sacrifice.” That is shocking to some, as well it should be. Abortion is a euphemism to hide what really happens. “Human sacrifice” conjures up images from what we think were lesser societies and cultures that practiced human sacrifice. Yet, it is appropriate. A human is sacrificed for some reason, whatever it might be. Here is an excerpt of that email:

            “Wow! This would be momentous and possibly salvific for a nation hell bent on calling for God’s wrath. What is more egregious than human sacrifice? (See those who protest the end of “Roe” by calling human sacrifice“health care.”) The LORD will not let it go on forever. Would that those who call themselves Christian of this country stop voting for any politician that condones a person’s right to human sacrifice.There are very few so crystal clear law issues for the Christian. No justification or excuse is morally. Murder is unlike other sins/crimes in that the LORD has attached His own remedy. Life for life. In this case, it is a nation’s life. (Individual cases are different, but repentance is still needed). Christians have forgotten how nations are judged by God. Nations must repent. We must repent. Leaders must repent.Jeremiah 18:7-10: 7at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I willup and break down and destroy it,if that nation, concerning which I have spoken,from its evil,will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I willand plant it,if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.

            “God NOT destroying a nation which deserves it, does not mean it is “saved.” It means it has stopped acting unjustly. I used “salvific” in the title in that sense.”I went on and made other comments to my pastor friends. But my overall sense upon hearing the news was “I pray this is so!” The Sunday following this news was “Good Shepherd Sunday,” and I prayed this prayer in church, incorporating some images from Psalm 23. You'll notice I did not reference the leaked Supreme Court decision, as nothing is definite yet.

          “Lord of Life, continue to lead our nation away from a culture of death, to one of Life. Be merciful to us and lead us to repentance for our support of unjust laws. Uphold and strengthen those who support Life, and your church and Christian people to continue to fight against evil laws and institutions and the harm they do to people. Bless your church to be the Place of Refuge, of green pastures and still waters, for all those seeking healing, washing and renewal. Lord, in Your mercy,our prayer.”

                Finally, I'm using extra space to excerpt an article written by LCMS Pastor and a vice-president of the Synod, Scott Murray. It was titled “Great Sinners” and appeared in “The Lutheran Witness” in January 2017.  “Let us repent of our complicity in abortion.    When a woman who has had an abortion comes to me and confesses her sin, she is not only confessing her sin, but my own. Her repentance rips at her heart. It tears at my ears. For her voice is my voice. Her sin is my sin, because I am complicit. Silence is complicity. As Senator Mike Lee said on the floor of the US Senate some days ago, "In the case of the Planned Parenthood undercover videos in the court of public opinion (as they taught me in law school),tacit consentire videtur: the media's silence indicates their consent." But what is good for the media is good for me too! I need to repent of my complicity, because I have been silent.

                God will not remain silent while we do. He has continued to deliver theof the cross. It gets sin out in the open. What rips our ears and tears our hearts, open His veins. There can be no moral cover-up. God uncovers our sin and places it on the Messiah-King who is crucified for sinners.

                Many people say, but pastor, what can I do? I feel so helpless! What can you do? Show love and compassion to those who are suffering over their abortion or their part in one. With the count of the dead now at 57 million there are plenty of people to comfort!

                I believe that many who have had abortions, performed abortions, aided and abetted the abortion industry, or encouraged another to have an abortion, bear aload of guilt. Many feel cornered into supporting this practice as a religious good because they don't know of the God who sends His Son to suffer on a cross to pay even for the sin of abortion. Christ pays for the sin of abortionists, those who helped a woman decide to abort, those who sort through the mangled body parts for useful pieces, those who carry the trays of the remains, those who run the abortion mills, those who write the talking points covering genocide, for those who have believed the lies told about their beautiful children and have submitted to abortion, and those who have been silently complicit. Jesus has died for all sins, and not just for ours only, but even for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).

                You can embrace a sobbing friend who is still grieving over the loss of her child even years later and comfort her with the loving forgiveness of Jesus. Tell her that Jesus died for her. Tell her that her sin cannot overcome the mercy of a God who came into our slaughter-darkened world to be slaughtered for her. Christ calls and embraces with blood-bought forgiveness great sinners; great sinners like us.

May we peal the church bells!

Blessings in Christ, our Lord of Life!                                                         

Pastor Engler











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