Thursday, July 25, 2019

Marriage, Life, and Family.

Dear Christian Advocates,

As a member (and just newly re-elected for a longer term) of the Board for National Mission of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, I have had the privilege to be the leading advocate on our national board for this resolution. We will now (in The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) be investing more than ever in these crucial areas which stream from the Word of Christ and His Holy Church. For all who confess Christ as Savior, please continue to pray with me that these things are protected, defended, nurtured, and expanded in our culture. The resolution passed earlier today in national convention (Thursday, July 25th, 2019). Soli Deo Gloria!

Rev. Dr. Alfonso Espinosa

Here is the resolution as passed:

To Support Marriage, Life, and Family
Overture 1-06 (CW, 387–88)

WHEREAS, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them,” (Gen. 1:27) and brought them together thereby instituting holy marriage between a man and a woman (Gen. 2:21–24; Matt. 19:4–7; Eph. 5:22–33); and

WHEREAS, God’s will for the married man and woman is clearly stated, “Be fruitful and multiply …” (Gen. 1:28), thus perpetuating the gift of life; and

WHEREAS, Marriage and life lead to family for God’s Word to spread: “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul … You shall teach them to your children …” (Deut. 11:18a, 19a); and

WHEREAS, The marriage rite from Lutheran Service Book reminds us:

• Marriage is an honorable estate instituted and blessed by God in Paradise, before humanity’s fall into sin
• In marriage we see a picture of the communion of Christ and His bride the Church
• Marriage and family are to be confessed and taught in the church in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God for the benefit of both church and society
• The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for mutual companionship, help, and support that each person ought to receive from the other, both in prosperity and adversity
• Marriage was also ordained by God so that man and woman may find delight in one another and thus avoid sexual immorality
• God also established marriage for the procreation of children, where and when He wills; and

WHEREAS, Marriage is the foundation for family and the care and nurture of children; and

WHEREAS, Marriage, life, and family are inextricably linked, as Dr. Martin Luther emphasized and taught on the household estate, and the family vocations of husband and wife, father, mother, and child were a key insight of the Reformation; and

WHEREAS, The Synod in the 2016 convention resolved (Res. 16-02A, [Proceedings, 253–54]) to add a seventh Synod mission priority, “Strengthen and support the Lutheran family in living out God’s design,” effectively launching the Office of National Mission’s (ONM) Lutheran Family Initiative; and

WHEREAS, The Synod has commended the essay entitled, “Marriage, Life and Family: Reflecting the Holy Trinity,” by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and the booklet, A Small Catechism on Human Life, by John Pless, as well as other excellent resources further demonstrating these three—marriage, life and family—should be treated and defended together; and

WHEREAS, The Synod’s publishing arm, Concordia Publishing House (CPH), has produced a wealth of materials in this area, e.g.: Your Marriage by God’s Design; Grounded in God’s Word: Commentaries on Life Issues; The Lutheran Difference: Marriage and Family; Five Things You Can Do to Make Your Marriage Stronger; Made for Each Other: Newlywed Resource; Ethics of Sex: From Taboo to Delight; United in Christ: Preparation for Christian Marriage; Devoted to God and Each Other; Together is Better: Marriage Devotions and Activities; Hello My Name is Single; Commitment: God’s Plan for Engagement and Marriage (high school curriculum); Without This Ring: Surviving Divorce; Changing Currents: The Bible and Same-Sex Marriage; Five Things You Can Do to Have a Stronger Family; Family Trees and Olive Branches: Creating a Culture of Grace in Your Family; Renewing the Family Spirit; Blessings and Prayers for Parents; Faithfully Parenting Pre-Schoolers; Faithfully Parenting Tweens; Faithfully Parenting Teens; Sexuality Mentality: Creating a Culture of Biblical Integrity; Learning About Sex (sex education curriculum); Sexual Morality in a Christless World; In the Image of God: Gender and Sexual Identity; and many others; and

WHEREAS, Sin, the world, and Satan are clearly attacking marriage and the family by seeking to sever the bond between husbands and wives, and also between parents and children; and

WHEREAS, Murder is condemned by the Fifth Commandment (including abortion, infanticide, physician-assisted suicide, and euthanasia); and

WHEREAS, There are moral and ethical implications surrounding contraception, assistive reproductive technologies, and related research; and

WHEREAS, There is increased cultural acceptance of gender confusion leading to a denial of one’s own God-given sexuality and ever-new anti-Scriptural categories for “gender identity,” further eroding God’s design for marriage; and

WHEREAS, These assaults against marriage and life are undermining the family and causing harm to society; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Synod rejoice in the truth that the Lord Jesus Christ has promised to be with His Church until the end of the age, not simply to sustain us, but through the means of grace to bless us; as we call on His name to help marriage, life, and the family (John 14:14); and be it further

Resolved, That the ONM implement the seventh mission priority by boldly promoting the biblical and crucial relationship between marriage, life, and family by generating resources and strategies which counter the cultural assaults against these while also encouraging, uplifting and equipping the Body of Christ in all three areas; and be it further

Resolved, That the ONM offer resources to districts for the development and equipping of district marriage, life, and family coordinators; and be it further

Resolved, That the Synod direct the ONM to work diligently with our recognized service organizations, the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty, Lutherans For Life, and other appropriate entities to coordinate in upholding and defending the link between marriage, life, and family; and be it finally

Resolved, That the Synod direct the ONM, CPH, the seminaries and universities, and the Commission on Theology and Church Relations to provide resources that help the families of our Synod and enable the church to confess the biblical teaching on marriage, life, and family.

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