This Does Not Bode Well

This past week, the LC-MS’s esteemed president sent out a notice about HSS’s new mandate that all health plans cover contraceptives.  Upon doing some digging on the internet, I did find that the mandate is not quite as dire as I thought since churches still aren’t forced to provide that coverage.  However, it does seem like our country has taken its first steps towards trampling over our valued religious freedom by demanding that faith-based organizations behave in a certain way (the way the government sees fit).

But it’s not just this recent news; its other murmurs and protests rippling through the population.  The recent Planned Parenthood/Susan G. Komen Foundation issue thrust forward what many people feel that Planned Parenthood is providing despite its pro-choice stance.  Gay marriage is becoming widely accepted, with real concerns about what those laws mean for the church.  To make matters worse, many denominations are forsaking Biblical truths for the sake social popularity, making those who still believe that God meant what He said look like idiots.  It saddens me that my beloved denomination is facing such cruel attacks for following God’s commands.  It also frightens me.  Today the consequences for ignoring the law and the will of the majority are fines and harsh words, but what will happen if the consequences become harsher?  And in a very selfish way, I wonder what will happen to our pastors (and our future pastors)?

There is still comfort despite the uncertainty.  While we live in this world and pray for those around us (including our government!), our lives are not defined by what hardships the world throws at us.  We can still rejoice in God’s love for us, for the forgiveness that Christ has won for us.  What difficulties we face as Christians is nothing compared to the joy we have in Christ.  Oddly enough, I’ve had “The Church’s One Foundation” stuck in my head for the past several days.  One verse I find particularly comforting in relation to the social turmoil of the past weeks and reads as follows:

Through with a scornful wonder
The world sees her oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder, 
By heresies distressed,
Yet saints their watch are keeping;
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song.   

No, it doesn’t look like our lives as Christians will be getting any easier (but when did God ever promise that life would be easy?).  But take heart, this too shall pass–either in this life or the next!

Another article for reading:
http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/obama-contraception-mandate-outrages-churches-religious-groups-article-1.1016636

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