Racially friendly denominations may surprise you

A sociologist tested what denominations were most open to new people from different races.  His team sent e-mails purportedly from whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians to different churches, asking the pastors about attending their church.

Evangelicals overwhelmingly answered the e-mails and encouraged the new people, of whatever race, to attend.   Mainline liberal denominations, on the other hand, for all of their emphasis on social justice, were not nearly so welcoming.  Catholics didn’t do so well either.

Interestingly, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, classified with the “evangelicals,” came in at second place in welcoming people of different races (after Willow Creek).  The much more liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, however, came in third from the bottom.

Why do you think this is?

HT:  tODD

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Jesus walking on the water

We had a great sermon last Sunday on Jesus walking on the water (Mark 6:45-56), bringing in the ups and downs of the spiritual life, Christ’s presence in the ordinary, vocation, the Word, law, gospel. . . . [Read more...]

Boy Scouts will no longer ban gay leaders

The Boy Scouts of America will now allow gay leaders, a decision made by its Executive Board led by former Defense Secretary, now BSA president, Robert Gates.  The action applies to corporate employees.  Local troops, many of which are sponsored by churches, can make their own decisions.  But churches are worried that this just kicks the liabilities and possible discrimination charges down to their level.

Read the news report after the jump.  Then read the Family Policy Institute of Washington post entitled “New Boy Scout Policy Makes Host Churches Liable?”.   The group offers this legal guide: The Legal Ramifications to Churches of BSA’s New Membership Policy.

Some churches are apparently considering dropping their Scouting programs.  Here is a statement from the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, which is convening a meeting in August to consider the issue.  (Hey, maybe this could be the catalyst for a rapprochement between the LCMS and the Wisconsin Synod, which has never approved of Boy Scouts!) [Read more...]

The Future of American Evangelicalism–& Lutheranism

Patheos has put together an online symposium on the Future of American Evangelicalism.  It features lots of different opinions, analyses, and strategies.  Some of it applies to us Lutherans, but not all.  It also suggests opportunities for a distinctly Lutheran response to our times.

Check out the symposium.  Then consider what it suggests for Lutheran Christianity.  Then post in the comments your thoughts on “The Future of American Lutheranism.”

Removing a heterodox pastor

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is getting criticized for expelling a pastor and professor for publicly rejecting what the church believes.  But Aaron D. Wolf of Chronicles Magazine praises the LCMS for being willing to take this kind of action. [Read more...]

The Sacrament and the love of neighbor

Martin Luther, quoted from Bible Studies on Mercy – The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod:

There your heart must go out in love and devotion and learn that this sacrament is a sacrament of love, and that love and service are given you and you again must render love and service to Christ and His needy ones. You must feel with sorrow all the dishonor done to Christ in His holy Word, all the misery of Christendom, all the unjust suffering of the innocent, with which the world is everywhere filled to overflowing: You must fight, work, pray and, if you cannot do more, have heartfelt sympathy. That is bearing in your turn the misfortune and adversity of Christ and His saints. . . . [Read more...]


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