A myHT Fortress

Friday, January 26, 2007

Defending Life

The week of the 2006 national elections, I wrote a letter to the editor which was published in both local papers for our county, The Corydon Democrat and The Capitol News. With this past Monday being the anniversary of the beginning of the U.S.A.'s holocaust against the pre-born, it is still timely. The article follows.

“What happens in Missouri stays in Missouri!” … We Hope

Perhaps the most important battle for Indiana’s most innocent residents occurred last Tuesday; and it happened in another state. It was a vote that did not involve a candidate at all. Whether one was Democrat or Republican, Libertarian or Socialist, was irrelevant. What was at stake was protecting the lives of those incapable of defending themselves.

Missouri had an amendment on its ballot – one that used the euphemism “early stem cell research.” This was to approve the procedure of cloning human embryos for the purpose of harvesting stem cells. It also specifically prohibited implanting these embryos into a human womb.

In other words, the production of new human life was endorsed, so long as it would be destroyed. Missouri voters by a razor thin margin have approved for human life to be manufactured in a lab, with the accompanying promise to kill that life when it is no longer useful for the lab’s experiments. To the Christian ear, this is hideously contrary to God’s sacred gift of life.

Shouldn’t we just leave this to politicians to sort out? Actually, no! The truth is this is not a political issue; it is a biblical, moral one. For some 33 years, life has become cheap in this country, and that attitude manifests itself in our entertainment. We live in a culture that sees school shootings in the news, extreme “shoot-em-up” video games, humorous murders in sit-coms, and abortion and euthanasia praised by some of our favorite hospital drama series.

Indeed, life has become cheap. On Tuesday, November 7, 2006, it just became cheaper – except for research facilities in Missouri which will now “make a killing” off of the funds spent in grants for what we used to call “mad scientist” laboratories. Now, we pray that this infection does not spread across our great land! We pray that, to spin off of the popular television commercial, “What happens in Missouri stays in Missouri!”

Yes, we just witnessed the most important battle for Indiana’s most innocent residents. So now what? Teach. Teach your family your spiritual virtues. Teach them the sanctity and respect of life. Teach them love. And teach them to speak up to defend the innocent who cannot speak for themselves.

In their defense,
The Rev. Richard A. Heinz

Thursday, January 25, 2007

LSB: A Decade in the Making, and Worth the Wait

We dedicated our copies of Lutheran Service Book at the conclusion of last Sunday's Divine Service. In three days we will use them for our first Sunday!

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the change has been the swiftness of the process. Now, I have spent over seven years of teaching toward LSB at Saint John's. But it was not until the November voters' meeting that we approved collecting funds for the books. Our altar guild got behind it and encouraged gifts toward the hymnals rather than poinsettias for the altar this year. That, along with several other generous gifts made for a fast collection -- less than two months -- that exceeded our need!

We will obviously begin with the familiar: Divine Service, Setting Three ("Page 15" revision.) Our members are just glad to be rid of the "juggling" of TLH, HS98, and various bulletin inserts. It was never my intention to use that "juggling" as a tool to encourage the switch, but it ended up a serendipitous side-effect.

Hymns will also stick with the familiar in the early weeks. The very first hymn we will sing is 790, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty. The Divine Service will close with 656, A Mighty Fortress.

Praise to the Lord, indeed! I look forward to using LSB as a steward of the mysteries, for many years to come!