Ask-the-Pastor for 6/3/18: Injustice and the Government

Deuteronomy 5:12-15, Psalm 81:1-10, 2 Corinthians 4:5-12, Mark 2:23-3:6

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**** Before you listen to this sermon on injustice and the government, make sure to watch this video on the definition of JUSTICE in the Bible.  Not to be missed and essential framework for to listen.

Sometimes it can seem like the purpose of religion is to make people worse than they are by adding God’s power to our own natural selfishness. And then we end up with the kind of judgments that lead to hate and dehumanization. Non-Sabbath-keepers become law-breakers; law-breakers are dangerous; dangerous people need to be locked up; maybe it would be better for everybody if we remove the danger by removing the bad people. It’s a depressingly familiar path, and it leads very quickly to evil done in the name of good—even in the name of God.
— Bishop Guy Erwin, Southwest CA Synod, ELCA

Upon Further Reflection

I neglected to say something important when I talked about my attitude on our government.  I made a statement that I am generally a hopeful person when it comes to the government. I am not super cynical. And I am thankful for my children's education, my husband's vocation, and the peace and safety I enjoy because of our government.  This probably arises from my travel in other countries where there are no basic services like garbage pickup and safety was not assumed.  I should have said that because of the protections I enjoy, I am compelled to work for the biblical work to fold more people into the dignity I assume and have come to trust. In our country, not everyone enjoys this kind of trust, their inherent dignity will be honored by the state. (See video below) So how can I, an individual, help heal that wound?  Institutions can move, albeit slowly, and we can expand the circle of their care.  That is often and should be one role of Lutheran Christians in the public square.