Not All Branches of The Faith are About Christian Love.

Instead of being about loving their neighbor, some branches are about self absorption.

Today there was a news items about a reprimand of a Missouri Synod pastor whose church is in Newtown, Connecticut.  Newtown is the city where the last big massacre took place killing several school children and teachers.

An interfaith prayer service was held in Newtown involving the variety of faiths represented in the city.  There were Muslims, Jews, Christians and others.

The pastor who received the reprimand participated by giving the benediction.  Missouri Synod has an aversion to “civil religion” and considers interfaith ceremonies a taboo for this reason.

I understand years ago Catholic priests could not participate in mixed faith weddings.  I remember as a boy an elderly pastor in my Swedish evangelical church who made a grand ceremony of walking out of the sanctuary while an invited guest Rabbi spoke to the church men’s club.

This kind of pompousness and inward focus gives fuel to the argument nonbelievers have with the Christian faith:  How can there be a “truth” when branches of the same faith are so at odds with each other?

It’s hard for me to understand use of the word “love” by conservative denominations when they are intolerant of gays, treat women as second class and can’t tolerate interfaith services.  In the Newtown example, Missouri Synod officials were much more concerned about their own internal theology than they were about addressing the tragedy in front of them.

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I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at
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11 Responses to Not All Branches of The Faith are About Christian Love.

  1. entech says:

    The possibility that they are all wrong, is a viable proposition; the possibility that they are all right is not.

    • Profile photo of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      entech 4:09 “The possibility that they are all wrong is a viable proposition; the possibility the ae all right is not.”

      One wishes more could understand this. Every once in a while, someone says, “All these gods people now worship, and have worshipped in antiquity, are the same god.” But, from the vantage point of those who are actually worshipping the various gods, they are different. Our friend, Wanna B Sure, has explained to us the God of Abraham, said to be worshipped by both Christians and Muslims, are different gods.

      As you say, everyone can not be right is saying their god is the only true god and the others are not. Until someone comes up with evidence agreed upon by all, it remains possible there are no gods.

  2. buzz marick says:

    To err is human and we are sure good at erring. Everyone have a good week unless you have other plans.

  3. Morgan Christian says:

    Some day they will be sitting alone in an empty church wondering, “Where did everyone go?”

  4. Michael Ross says:

    “Wanna B Sure, has explained to us the God of Abraham, said to be worshipped by both Christians and Muslims, are different gods”

    I believe WBS is correct but I don’t see how that prohibits joining together to express sorrow at such a terrible loss and in support the grieving families. This is another instance that denominationalism trumps compassion, sound judgment, and good conscience of this pastor and his local congregation.

    • Profile photo of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Michael 4:14 Nice post.

    • entech says:

      Michael I agree that all differences should and could be put to one side to comfort each other at such times, I can’t see why people of no faith can’t be included.

      I remember the discussion, I submitted at the time, being essentially a non believer in either. Still can’t quite see how you can justify Abraham having a different God for different sons.

      The little story that is the subject of this topic makes a mockery of all the “interfaith initiatives” and whatever else they are called, a mass meeting every now and then, and then back to, hatred is perhaps too strong in some – but not all – cases. The correspondence from President Harrison and the response bear witness (sorry can’t resist a joke sometimes) to this fact.
      From a cynical and skeptical position I think such things are a mockery because the international conferences are essentially gatherings of people with contradictory opinions on what is good, who and what is God, who is correct even in some cases who deserves to live and who should die (I mean exit this life now not be eligible for some future promise).
      There is a completely unwarranted idea that is propagated, and that is that a “person of faith” somehow deserves respect simply because they “have faith”. The only reason I can see for these “interfaith dialogues” etc. is to put on a surface show of tolerance and back up the idea of “deserving respect for having faith”.

  5. Jinx says:

    No matter the branch, we still get intolerance, hate and judgment from their followers and so called leaders.

  6. buzz marick says:

    probably time to belong to a denomination of self composed of proper behavior and devoid of all the character defects I can turn loose of today.That I am aware of that is.

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