As churches try to think through the implications of the gay marriage ruling, many Christians are realizing for the first time that the United States is not, if it ever has been, a Christian nation. Furthermore, that Christianity no longer exerts much moral influence on the culture as a whole. This may prove beneficial, at least, in disentangling the Christian faith from civil religion. At any rate, Christians are re-thinking their relationship to the culture and to the state.
Lutherans doing this are looking for guidance from Hermann Sasse, the anti-Nazi confessional theologian. Not that the United States is equivalent to Nazi Germany, but that how Sasse dealt with an extreme case of national idolatry can help us think through less extreme cases.
So I’m going to be posting some Sasse quotes for our consideration and discussion. First off, Sasse asks churches, what do you expect from the world? And then he gives the answer of what we should expect.“The Lutheran Churches are still sunning themselves in the delusion that they have something to expect from the world other than the dear holy cross, which all those must carry who proclaim God’s Law and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to mankind. But this delusion will soon disappear. Our American brethren in the faith will also learn this through painful experiences.”