Pride of the Lutheran Church?

You must wonder sometimes what motivates some churches, when they cling to sinners. Case in point: the “Bind, Torture, Kill” mass murderer, one Dennis Rader, who is the lay president of the Christ Lutheran Church (Wichita, Kansas) council. The church’s pastor, Rev. Michael Clark, was shocked, but is standing by his congregant.

From a Washington Post story in today’s Religion section, Rev. Clark speaks this truth:

He is still a part of the body of Christ, and that is something some people will have a hard time hearing.

Yes, Rev. Clark, this is indeed something some people will have a hard time hearing. In a brief news story, perhaps there wasn’t space to go one step further, and note that Rader, assuming he is guilty (seems likely; DNA evidence appears to have nailed him), is just a more notorious version of what each of us is: a sinner in need of God’s saving grace.

I think you can be sure that Christ’s enemies in this world will make much of the fact that Rader was a pillar of his church. One can almost hear the cries of “hypocrite”, as the Devil’s legions here on earth continue to attempt to bring down Christ’s church. No, I don’t mean specifically Christ Lutheran Church. I mean all who confess Jesus Christ as Lord. Rev. Clark has it just right, and as an experienced pastor, he doesn’t strike me as one who could be fooled. He likely knows exactly what Rader is.

This is captured nicely in this statement by Rev. Clark (via Seattle Times):

If Dennis has done what they’ve alleged he did, then he must pay the price. It still does not have any effect on how I minister to him. I still will love him.

This is all we can expect in this world. The evil we do against our fellow man must be accounted for. In the here and now of this world, and in the world to come. The only hope for Rader is a full confession, a full and sincere repentance, and paying whatever price our legal system demands. In full.

Only this will allow this crooked timber, Rader, to be made straight in God’s eyes.

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