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Pastor apologizes for role in prayer vigil after Connecticut massacre

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Pastor apologizes for role in prayer vigil after Connecticut massacre

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Connecticut Lutheran pastor has apologized for participating in aninterfaith prayer vigil for the 26 children and adults killed at a Newtown elementary school in December because his church bars its clergy from worshiping with other faiths.

The December prayer vigil was attended by President Barack Obama, leaders from Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, and relatives of the 20 first graders who were gunned down in their classrooms two days earlier after a gunman entered their school.

The December 14 shooting shook the nation and led to calls for improved school security, gun control and better mental health care.

The pastor, Rob Morris of Newtown's Christ the King Lutheran Church, provided the closing benediction at the interfaith event.

Earlier this month, the president of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Pastor Matthew Harrison, wrote a letter to church members saying he had requested an apology from Morris for his participation in "joint worship with other religions."

"There is sometimes a real tension between wanting to bear witness to Christ and at the same time avoiding situations which may give the impression that our differences with respect to who God is, who Jesus is, how he deals with us, and how we get to heaven, really don't matter in the end," Harrison wrote.

"There will be times in this crazy world when, for what we believe are all the right reasons, we may step over the scriptural line," he wrote.

Harrison said he had accepted Morris' apology.

This is not the first time a Lutheran leader has been chastised for participating in a community service in the wake of a local tragedy.

David Benke, a Lutheran pastor in New York, was suspended for praying at an interfaith vigil in 2001, 12 days after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Benke, who had refused to apologize for the incident, was reinstated in 2003.

In his own letter to his church, Morris wrote it was not his intent to endorse "false teaching" and apologized to those who believed he had.

"I did not believe my participation to be an act of joint worship, but one of mercy and care to a community shocked and grieving an unspeakably horrific event," he wrote. "I apologize where I have caused offense by pushing Christian freedom too far, and I request you charitably receive my apology."

by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 6:34 AM
Replies (31-40):
futureshock
by Ruby Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Technically this is true, though, and any other way of looking at it is either hypocritical or wrong.

"There is sometimes a real tension between wanting to bear witness to Christ and at the same time avoiding situations which may give the impression that our differences with respect to who God is, who Jesus is, how he deals with us, and how we get to heaven, really don't matter in the end," Harrison wrote.

pamelax3
by Gold Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:18 AM

how sad

CorpCityGrl
by Bronze Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:27 AM

I think this is a shame!  It's so sad that they can't come together - especially in the wake of a tragedy - to still be divided by such pettiness.

I know when my friend got married, her pastor had refused to do a ceremony with her husband's priest and she was so upset and disappointed that she stopped going to the church.

Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM
1 mom liked this
It sure sounds like you (and I) wouldn't be welcome

Quoting MeAndTommyLee:

I'm assuming that since I am Catholic that I am not welcome to attend one of their services?   That disturbs me.




Quoting Stephanie329:

Yep, and note to self: don't go to a Lutheran church.


Quoting teri4lance:

Cue mega eye rolls.



 

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MeAndTommyLee
by Platinum Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:04 PM

That's exactly what is it.  Petty.  I would think that  leaders of Churches would embrace anyone of the street that desires a spiritual closeness.  As for your friend, I can't blame her.  I would be just as upset and offended.  When the hell are people going to come together and realize that religion is not about excluding anyone for any reason.  I learned this in first grade!


Quoting CorpCityGrl:

I think this is a shame!  It's so sad that they can't come together - especially in the wake of a tragedy - to still be divided by such pettiness.

I know when my friend got married, her pastor had refused to do a ceremony with her husband's priest and she was so upset and disappointed that she stopped going to the church.


 

CorpCityGrl
by Bronze Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:17 PM


I was raised Catholic and honestly, I've never met a priest who did not embrace clergy of other faith like that.  It truly is petty and rather sad that in this day and age so many still think that way. 

Quoting MeAndTommyLee:

That's exactly what is it.  Petty.  I would think that  leaders of Churches would embrace anyone of the street that desires a spiritual closeness.  As for your friend, I can't blame her.  I would be just as upset and offended.  When the hell are people going to come together and realize that religion is not about excluding anyone for any reason.  I learned this in first grade!


Quoting CorpCityGrl:

I think this is a shame!  It's so sad that they can't come together - especially in the wake of a tragedy - to still be divided by such pettiness.

I know when my friend got married, her pastor had refused to do a ceremony with her husband's priest and she was so upset and disappointed that she stopped going to the church.





LilliesValley
by Bronze Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:44 PM
1 mom liked this
Intolerance is ignorance. To have to apologize for praying with others seems limited. Glad that's not my faith. I wouldn't have apologized, I'm glad the pastor that participated in the Sep 11 events didn't. Jmot.
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LilliesValley
by Bronze Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Thought Jesus said, "judge not lest yea be judged." Can't assume what he wants, but he also said to go out in the world to teach others. That doesn't mean staying with those in just your own church. That means making yourself vulnerable to difficult situations and ideas and still holding strong to your faith. To not be able to pray with others of another faith is limiting promoting gods word. Jmot, I don't think god really cares about who we pray with just that we do.


Quoting futureshock:

Technically this is true, though, and any other way of looking at it is either hypocritical or wrong.

"There is sometimes a real
tension between wanting to bear witness to Christ and at the same time
avoiding situations which may give the impression that our differences
with respect to who God is, who Jesus is, how he deals with us, and how
we get to heaven, really don't matter in the end," Harrison wrote.


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kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Wait a minute.  He is apologizing for doing something good and constructive???

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 1:09 PM
1 mom liked this

I remember that he reprimanded his disciples for grumbling about him sitting down to dinner with "sinners".

Quoting LilliesValley:

Thought Jesus said, "judge not lest yea be judged." Can't assume what he wants, but he also said to go out in the world to teach others. That doesn't mean staying with those in just your own church. That means making yourself vulnerable to difficult situations and ideas and still holding strong to your faith. To not be able to pray with others of another faith is limiting promoting gods word. Jmot, I don't think god really cares about who we pray with just that we do.


Quoting futureshock:

Technically this is true, though, and any other way of looking at it is either hypocritical or wrong.

"There is sometimes a real
tension between wanting to bear witness to Christ and at the same time
avoiding situations which may give the impression that our differences
with respect to who God is, who Jesus is, how he deals with us, and how
we get to heaven, really don't matter in the end," Harrison wrote.



babiesbabybaby development

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