Is He a Churchill?

A while back I opined that the President of the LCMS is not a Lincoln, but is he perhaps a Churchill?

When Churchill became prime minister in 1940, many of those who had supported him in his effort to rearm England wanted him to sweep out the appeasers who had opposed him for 10 or more years.  These men had turned a deaf ear and even made fun of his dire warnings of Germany rearming.  Rather than turn them out, Churchill even gave them offices in his government.  He justified this by saying that if the present makes war with the past, it loses the future (The Last Lion, 3, 58).

This is sage political wisdom but it is not sound theological advice.  It does help me to understand why David weeps for Saul and Abner and why Solomon doesn’t summarily execute three nemeses standing in the way of establishing his reign.  These men were heads of state.  This is how one behaves for political reasons.

In the realm of theology God reigns not men; Scripture not sagacity; the cross not the crown.  What is politically correct may not be theologically so and vise versa.  One could be wrong in one area and right in the other, but only one area counts before God.  While men can tear down the church with poor politics, they neither can tear down nor build up the Church with politics.

A character in The West Wing has this soliloquy.  “Max Weber said that politics is the slow boring of hard boards.  Any who seeks to do it must risk his own soul.  It means that change comes in excruciating increments to those who want it.  You’re trying to move mountains.  It takes lifetimes.”

I don’t want to risk my soul for any political reason whatsoever.  The only true change that lasts is literally excruciating.  It can only come “out of the cross” of Christ, out of His blood, sweat, toil, and tears. And the only mountains I want to move are the mountains the Lord promised me I could.  With a Word I can move the mountains of sin, death, and the devil and they will obey me and it won’t take lifetimes or even a lifetime to do it.  No, with a Word it’s done right now.  Because the mountains of sin, death or devil were moved by Jesus for all time in His lifetime.

The moving of these three mountains is meaningless politically, and the greatest politician of his age, Churchill, cared nothing about them.  Theologically these mountains moving are our joy, our hope, our victory.

Is he a Churchill?  Look at what mountains he seeks to move and whether he has his eyes on the future of the LCMS or the Faith proclaimed by us.


About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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