Areas of significant concern:
- 19.5 indicated they think all religions are pretty much alike and 54.1 percent think all Christians should be able to worship together.
- 45.2 percent of poll participants said that they agree with the LCMS position on women’s ordination, with 22.8 percent calling for more study, and 12.2 percent supporting women’s ordination
I work with the youth of the congregation quite a bit (I’m not a “Youth Pastor”, but my duties certainly fall heavily into that sort of role). Pastor Peters also highlights quite a few statistics that are quite good. And some of the statistics serve as an excellent illustration that even Christian youth are tempted, and can give into the temptations, that all youth their age face.
The two items of concern that Pastor Peters specifically highlighted are what I want to discuss here. It seems to me that these are indicative of the chief issues that we in the Lutheran Church must battle today (and for the forseeable future): Lutheran Identity, and The Role of Women.
Much ink has been spilled and processor cycles consumed over both of these issues already, both online and offline. I’m not writing this to rehash those arguments. For more on that, you can start here or here. Instead, I want to raise this question: Are these two issues solely found amongst the younger generations (say 30 and younger) in the LCMS, or not?
My thesis is towards the negative. In my experience, discussion, reading, and observation, I’ve found a lackadaisical attitude towards these two issues is prevalent throughout the generations. Many of our aged members have children or grandchildren who have abandoned Lutheranism, if not Christianity. Does this trouble them? Yes! Yet, in order to “feel better” they’ve given up on correction or conversion. Instead, they are just going to love them, warts and all. So too even the 40 and 50 year old members with youth.
There is an extremely complex interaction of culture and Christianity going on here, truly. But perhaps we need to refocus on the teaching of Truth, the concrete consistency of the Word, and how to articulate that in our conversations and daily lives?