THE LUTHERAN CHURCH AND LOYALTY August 29, 1918
Lutheranism is a synonym for loyalty. When, during the Middle
Ages, the Turk made war upon Western Europe.
Luther too, was called upon to support his government by paying the heavy taxes
levied upon his property, "I am glad," he said,
"to be in the army against the Turk with my little penny. Were I not too
old and feeble, I should like to be a trooper myself." Luther was no
slacker. Neither were his sons.
The Lutheran Church has a great interest in America. That of gratitude is
exceedingly great. But more, she cherishes the free institutions of America as the
offspring of her teachings. They are of her flesh and blood. Luther clearly saw
the course of the coming events. "You must hold fast to the chief thing, spiritual
liberty; then the other thing, civil liberty will without doubt follow."
Bancroft records the fulfillment of the prophecy: "The principle of
justification by faith alone brought with it the freedom of individual thought
and conscience against authority." And Daniel Webster: "Reformation
of Luther introduced the principle of civil liberty into the wilderness of North America."
Under the free institution of this country our Church has prospered beyond
measure. She owes our country a debt of gratitude. And this debt she is
repaying by her support of the government in the present crisis.
Loyalty to the government is, however, also a Christian duty in our Sunday
Schools, in our parochial schools every child is taught to be obedient to its
government. They are taught to look upon our President and our Governor as
ministers of God; to be obedient to them for conscience's sake. The fear of God
is the most potent force back of loyalty. As she teaches so she has lived; her
entire history in the Revolutionary War, in the Civil War, her conduct in this
war shows her loyalty to the government.
A letter from the Treasury Department at Washington, under the date of May 25,
1918, states: "We desire to express to you and the members of Evangelical
Lutheran Zion's Church at Manning our highest appreciation of your very liberal
support of the Third Liberty Loan. This is an irrefutable proof of patriotism,
and loyalty a wise act of thrift, and indeed an example, well worthy to be
followed by all organized bodies throughout the land."
Pastor Johann Ansorge - Zion Lutheran Church, Manning