Pastors of the Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod are not allowed to participate in joint worship services, not with other denominations we are not in fellowship with and certainly not interfaith services with other religions and where other gods are worshiped. After 9/11, a pastor led a prayer in the interfaith service in Yankee Stadium organized by Oprah Winfrey and the LCMS was torn with controversy that lasted for years.
Now another emotional national tragedy, the shootings at Newtown, has sparked an interfaith service at which an LCMS pastor led the benediction. This time the president of the LCMS, Rev. Matthew Harrison, reprimanded the pastor and asked him to apologize, which he did. But now the media is seizing on the act of church discipline and people who do not understand or care anything about the LCMS theology of worship are attacking the church body for one of the few things that our culture considers absolute evil: intolerance.