A Little Yeast, a Little Hole, a Little Pregnant

What do yeast, holes, and pregnancy have in common?  There really is no such thing as a “little” of any of these, and if nothing is done they will only get bigger.  Sane people want the mother to grow bigger and bakers depend on the yeast growing, but everyone knows the Little Dutch Boy was right. His quick reaction stops the hole in the levee from getting bigger. We didn’t act in time to stop syncretism. May we act in time to stop gay marriage. Though even if we’re able to save the Second Table of Commandments after we’ve sacrificed the First all we’re left with is Noble Paganism.  That is better than ignoble paganism, but it’s still paganism.

The LCMS never would have gotten to the point of embracing syncretism in the name of patriotism if we hadn’t first embraced unionism under that same flag.  It started with World War II and it started with the chaplaincy.  Look up the “Story of the Four Chaplains.”  Anecdotes are the most powerful way to make a point today because while modern people avoid thinking they love feeling.  When the LCMS embraced the chaplaincy she embraced unionism and was on the road to syncretism.  Military memorial services are considered functions of command, so shoulder to shoulder with as many chaplains as there are “faith” groups our chaplains pray, praise, and give thanks but not in the name of the true God. I know because as an Army Reserve chaplain I did this.

We are on a similar trajectory with gay marriage.  Having embraced living together, i.e. cohabiting with marriage sometime down the road (maybe), there are few waypoints between where we are now and pronouncing people husband and husband. If marriage isn’t a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman but an as-long-as-we-both-shall-love commitment, why can’t it be commitment between any two loving adults?

The 1990 Concordia Publishing House book Pastoral Theology appears to be the first step toward embracing long term fornicating. It quotes Luther’ essay “On Marriage Matters.”  “’This lying together in secret in anticipation of betrothal cannot be reckoned as whoredom, for it takes place in the name and with the intention of marriage, which spirit, intention, or name whoredom does not have. Therefore there is a great difference between whoredom and lying together in secret with the intention of betrothed marriage’” (227).

Correct, living together is not whoredom, but it is still fornication. The book does not say this and appears not to want to.  But there is more to the Luther quote than the CPH book cites.  Twice Luther speaks of couples “lying together in secret.”  Living together today is not “secret” but public.  It’s Facebook pages; it’s hosting dinner parties; it’s being regarded as husband and wife except there has been no public commitment to lifelong faithfulness. The couple doesn’t want that; that is why they are living together, for now.

If you go back to Luther’s Works, 46, 261ff, and read this for yourself, you will come away with a different impression than Pastoral Theology gives. The helpful introduction says Luther is writing in light of prevailing German customs.  He is writing to explain why a secret betrothal with sex takes precedence over public betrothal without sex. He is writing in light of the German custom at the time which regarded an agreement to marry in the future followed by intercourse as a marriage (262).  The essay is written from a background that has a very different understanding of marriage and sex.

Really the only sin of our society that we have successfully stood up against for any length of time is abortion.  But have we even done that?  Remember Pro-Choice, LCMS member, Senator Paul Simon? Remember Thrivent Financial’s new position about funding Pro-Life causes? If we don’t see the little leaven for what it is we won’t rush to the levee. Then the open fornicating we’re allowing to gestate in our midst is going to give birth to homosexual marriage. Then will have fully blossomed the debased mind which God gives men up to who exchange the truth for a lie.


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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