A young Lutheran pastor didn’t expect the rage at the article he wrote about Sunday’s church massacre. But the knives were out for him on Tuesday.
Hans Fiene, a pastor in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, published an article for The Federalist entitled “When the Saints of First Baptist Church Were Murdered, God Was Answering Their Prayers.” It’s a provocative title, to be sure, but in it Fiene expressed basic Christian beliefs about God and evil, especially in response to the knee-jerk social media crowd who ridiculed Christians for praying for. . . other Christians.
Focusing on the words “deliver us from evil” in the Lord’s Prayer, Fiene said this:
When we pray these words, we are certainly praying that God would deliver us from evil temporally—that is, in this earthly life. Through these words, we are asking God to send his holy angels to guard us from those who would seek to destroy us with knives and bombs and bullets. . . .But we are also praying that God would deliver us from evil eternally. Through these same words, we are asking God to deliver us out of this evil world and into his heavenly glory, where no violence, persecution, cruelty, or hatred will ever afflict us again.
That’s pretty basic stuff for Christians. And, as a lifelong Missouri Synod Lutheran myself, I recognized the tenets I learned in parochial school and catechesis.
Pastor Fiene no doubt wanted to promote reflection upon what it means to be a Christian living amidst evil. Instead he got a shitstorm from the Left.
A writer at the “nonreligious” page at Patheos wrote an article called, “Praising God for Mass Murder.” In it he wrote:
It’s all nonsense. They pretend to believe it because it makes them feel better and it inoculates them from the scourge of ever questioning their beliefs.
Slate went even further and linked Fiene’s article with those of other Christian conservatives such as Erick Erickson, David French, and Matt Walsh. Slate’s title claimed, “The Texas Shooting Victims Were Praying to Be Killed.” No, they weren’t, and none of those writers said so, either.
But Raw Story threw out the biggest hunk of red meat with an article called, “God was ‘answering prayers’ of Texas victims by letting them get shot.”
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