A Jagged Contention: Civil Affairs


“Of Civil Affairs they teach that lawful civil ordinances are good works of God, and that it is right for Christians to bear civil office, to sit as judges, to judge matters by the Imperial and other existing laws, to award just punishments, to engage in just wars, to serve as soldiers, to make legal contracts, to hold property, to make oath when required by the magistrates, to marry a wife, to be given in marriage.

They condemn the Anabaptists who forbid these civil offices to Christians.

They condemn also those who do not place evangelical perfection in the fear of God and in faith, but in forsaking civil offices, for the Gospel teaches an eternal righteousness of the heart. Meanwhile, it does not destroy the State or the family, but very much requires that they be preserved as ordinances of God, and that charity be practiced in such ordinances. Therefore, Christians are necessarily bound to obey their own magistrates and laws save only when commanded to sin; for then they ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29.”

– Augsburg Confession Article XVI: Of Civil Affairs.


The Lutheran Confessions are very clear in saying that, not only is it good for Christians to be politically active, but that we also condemn quietism.  Given the recent decisions made by SCOTUS concerning gay marriage, how should the church respond?  In other words, what is the role of the church as an institution in confronting this matter?  What responsibilities do you have individually toward your neighbor in all of this?  And, how does the church get involved without devolving into the current political rhetoric of our day?

Share your thoughts in the comments below