February Pastor’s letter

On January 24, the Doomsday Clock was set to 90 seconds to midnight, the closest to midnight it has ever been set.  The escalation of the war in Ukraine possibly giving rise to the use of nuclear weapons was given as the primary reason for the advance of the clock.

The Doomsday Clock was the invention of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists after World War II to make the public aware of the danger of the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  It was arbitrarily set to 7 minutes before midnight.  In 2007, the atomic scientists began to factor in the effects of Climate Change.  The farthest it ever got from midnight was 17 minutes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine is an attempt to regain territory lost when the Soviet Union was dissolved.

The Doomsday Clock fits the timetable of Christian scriptures.  Armageddon is always right around the corner. 

The big question for Christians is why does God have to let the world be savagely destroyed in order to save it.  The answer is, “That’s not what it says.”  The Armageddon passages can all be explained by political events of the day – in the first case, the impending Roman destruction of Jerusalem and in the second, the vengeful, hoped for, consequence of Roman persecution.  Nevertheless, events like World War II and the holocaust let us know that an Armageddon is a very real possibility.  Just how close did we come in WW II? 

So, since World War II, people of good will, Christians included, have been working to eliminate the causes of war and genocide.  Of course one can argue that there have been notable deviations from this course and less than impressive motivation.  Nevertheless, eliminating the causes of war and genocide is a worthwhile goal.

With this in mind, I am looking for Synod Assembly delegates who would be interested in helping me formulate a resolution for the World Council of Churches (WCC) to convene an emergency meeting to expel the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC).  The ROC has consistently supported, without reservation, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.  Certain members of the WCC attempted to expel the ROC in the last assembly, which was held last summer, but the vote was derailed in a premeeting which consisted of representatives who felt ecumenical cohesiveness was a more important goal of the WCC than challenging member churches who support unjust wars.

I realize this is a wild hair idea, but resolutions focus the issues and local resolutions can be memorialized for national consideration. The ELCA is a member of the WCC.

Members, even if you do not want to get involved in such a wild hair idea, we need Synod delegates and since we postponed our Annual Meeting to February 26, we will need your names before that. The Synod Assembly is scheduled for Saturday, April 29, at Lord of Life in Ramsey. Call the church office if you are interested in serving as a delegate.

                                                Peace….                      Pastor Dale


About olafpastordale

Pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, North Minneapolis

Posted on February 6, 2023, in St. Olaf Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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