In the wake of the mass shooting in Colorado where a young Christian girl was shot after making a confession that she believed in Jesus as her "Lord and Savior," it would be good to reflect on how the Convention of the Texas District of the LCMS handled the prospect that our youth may face persecution.
Not many months before this convention in July of 1998, a Witness Reporter had come out from Synod with the news that some of our LCMS Youth were going to Russia to teach the Russian Youth that "Christianity is Fun." Youth gatherings of the LCMS have generally been geared to showing the youth a good time, giving them some "do gooder" chores to perform and entertaining them with so-called Christian Rock bands.
This prompted a woman to suggest to her pastor that we ask our Convention to change the direction of Youth Ministry. The idea was to prepare Youth for the social, job-related and even potentially violent percecution that they will face if they publically witness to Christ in school or at work.
To Better Prepare Our Youth
WHEREAS, more Christians have been martyred for their faith in Christ in this century than in any other, andBethlehem Lutheran Church
WHEREAS, Christian children in sub-Saharan Africa who have been orphaned by Muslim government attacks are being sold into slavery today, and
WHEREAS, our own culture mocks the followers of Christ while reviving paganism in our land, and
WHEREAS, our churches are in danger of being burned and our altars defiled by the enemies of Christ in our own state, and
WHEREAS, the coming century will see the increased persecution of Christians worldwide unless Christ returns; therefore, be it
RESOLVED that this convention encourage the pastors and congregations of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod to be more diligent in preparing the faithful, especially our children, to withstand the coming evil age by strict adherence to our historic practice of thorough instruction of prospective communicants in the doctrines of the Holy Faith as set forth in the Holy Scriptures, thereby building the church with gold that will only be refined by the fire of persecution, rather than with the hay and stubble represented by the "Christianity is Fun" notions that are prevalent, and be it also
RESOLVED that the Synod in convention express regret that it has often lost sight of the challenges and persecutions that face all Christians, especially our youth, in this age, and be it finally
RESOLVED that those responsible for planning future Synodical and DistrictYouth Gatherings strive to better prepare our children for the challenges to their faith they will face in this Post-Christian age, such as various levels of presecution and even death for the sake of Christ, holding out the promise of Jesus that whoever is faithful unto death shall be given a crown of life.
John Turner, President
Michael Murphy, Secretary
This Resolution was brought to the floor of the Texas District convention, but its thrust was blunted by an amendment that suggested that our congregations and Youth Boards and committees were doing exactly what was being asked. When the pastor who had presented it wanted to withdraw it, since the resolution did not express what his member wanted said; the convention refused. It passed the watered down resolution.
The Texas District looks very foolish in the wake of the tragedy in Colorado and the plans of several high schoolers in Wimberly, the heart of Texas, to commit mass murder. Every Youth Leader and pastor needs to ask how his youth would respond if a gun were pointed at them and they were asked if they were Christians. How have the catechetical programs and Bible Studies of your Youth prepared them? Would they do what Cassie Bernall did ... confess her Lord and Savior? Or would they say, "This is not fun. Let's humor this guy, deny Christ and live for the fun of tomorrow"?