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Christian Homes Strengthen Church and State Print E-mail

Circumstances will have to dictate as to whether this help should be brought through formal schooling or in some other way. We must not despise the manner of the pioneers in this regard. They were largely dependent on the home and on the church services for what education their children could obtain during this period. But what homes! Homes where the Word of God was a household possession and a guide in all things; where piety and prayer walked hand in hand; where the Fourth Commandment taught respect toward parents, elders, superiors, and the government alike. Out from such homes went men and women of high Christian culture, of sound judgment and wisdom, and even of a sort of learning that could pass many a difficult test, though not of the modern adding-machine type. And these succeeded in building a strong nation and a strong church.

Sigurd Christian Ylvisaker, “Why Lutheran High Schools?,” document 3.2 in Telling the Next Generation: The Evangelical Lutheran Synod’s Vision for Christian Education, 1918-2011 and Beyond, edited by Ryan C. MacPherson, Paul G. Meyer, and Peter M. Anthony (Mankato, MN: Lutheran Synod Book Compnay, 2011), 164–73, at 169.

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The Natural Law of the Family Print E-mail

We thus realize our full humanity in conjunction with others. In maturity, a man and woman discover the mystery of themselves by uniting in a potentially procreative manner. As mother and child co-experience gestation, parturition, and lactation, they continually rediscover who they are. As husband provides for and protects the more vulnerable members of his family, he, too, realizes his purpose in life. As father and mother share in childrearing responsibilities, they find out what they were designed for, even as they struggle to conform to that high standard. As children take cues from their progenitors to learn what it means to grow from a boy or a girl into a man or a woman, they prepare to complete the cycle, both by returning a favor to their parents in old age and by coupling with a suitable partner to bear the next generation. Just as two persons became one flesh in the beginning, so also each person has an individual identity that nonetheless cannot be removed from its social foundations, nor escape its social responsibilities.

Ryan C. MacPherson, “The Natural Law of the Family,” chapter 11 in Natural Law: A Lutheran Reappraisal, edited by Robert C. Baker (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011), 201-19, at 207–8.

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A Parent's Willingness to Nurture a Child Print E-mail

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job, which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, 20 Jan. 2009, http://www.america.gov/st/usg-english/2009/January/20090120130302abretnuh0.2991602.html.

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The Family Is the Basic Unit of Society Print E-mail

The family is definitely a divine institution. But rather than viewing the family as a “kingdom” parallel to the church and the state, Luther saw the family as an organizational unit between the church and the state. This does not mean the family is an institution inferior to the state. Quite the opposite. The family is the basic unit of society. Political power does not flow downward from God to the emperor and downward further to the princes/electors and from them to the family. Rather, political power flows from God to the family, from the family to the princes, and from the princes to the emperor. In opposition to medieval Catholic theology, Luther taught that the state’s authority comes not from the church but rather from the home, for the commandment “Honor your father and your mother” is the basis for state authority as well as family authority.

John Eidsmoe, “A Look at Law through Lutheran Lenses,” in Here We Stand: A Confessional Christian Study of Worldviews, edited by Curtis A. Jahn (Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 2010), 79-125, at 86.

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