Word from the Center: Friday, November 2, 2018

Welcome to “Word from The Center” FRIDAY, a Two-Kingdom, practical reflection on the
issues of the day from the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s
topic/issue is….

Family, Children, and All Saints Day!

One of the big issues today in people’s lives is whether or not there is “purpose,” real purpose in
life. All the efforts for education, work, careers, and retirement don’t make much sense if there is
no purpose to life in general. When I was working in New York City, we had Bible studies on
Wall Street. And we began to find out, just as we suspected, that just because a person had
financial success, that wasn’t enough. There was still an emptiness in life that only a relationship
with God could fill, a purpose in life that could only be met by striving for meaningful
relationships with others in Him. Our culture used to value these things. Faith in God and the
importance of marriage and family, these used to be basic goals in life for which one was to
strive. No so much today.

Not only are “nones,” people who claim to have no faith in God, or at least no desire for such a
thing a fast-growing group in America, but family is also on the decline. Sadly, more and more
people are eschewing the purpose of family, namely committing oneself to loving another for a
lifetime, as well as raising children together as parents (see the data trend at
https://www.bloombergquint.com/onweb/almost-half-of-u-s-births-happen-outside-marriagesignaling-cultural-shift#gs.FynoYFE).

November 1 is a date that is celebrated by Christians around the world. It is called “All Saints
Day.” It is a time to remember the faith of those who have passed away. It is a time to celebrate
the legacy of faith in our families, from generation to generation. It’s a time to realize that there
is a basic purpose to life. Life is about coming to grips with who you are as one who is created
and redeemed by God. It is also about learning to love and to care for others in His name in
meaningful, committed relationships.

Faith, Family, Children…these are fundamentals to a purposeful life. They are the reason that
one seeks an education, the reason why one works hard, the reason that one occasionally enjoys
leisure too. The legacies of faith, marriage, and family are also fundamental to the growth and
stability of society as well. No policies, no policing, no government-safety-net can ever replace
the importance of faith in God and the importance of marriage and family. In fact, the goal of
one’s marriage relationship was never meant to be just for personal happiness. It was also meant
for the passing on of one’s culture, one’s heritage, and one’s faith as part of the long line of
relationships that came before you.

The LCRL is in Washington D.C. to fight for the freedom to live as Christians in the public
square, as well as to protect a Christian’s right to strive for marriage and family according to
God’s design. With those protections in place, the real key still is living as God created and
redeemed us to live, striving to bless our neighborhoods and communities one family at a time as
a testimony to the power of faith in God lived out in love for our spouses, our children, and our
neighbors.

The trends we see happening in our culture cannot endure long. Faith, marriage, and family are
fundamentals not only for a purposeful life; they are fundamentals of a free, civil, just society.
It’s time to turn those trend lines around, not just for our sakes, but for the sake of our culture as
well. That’s a change that we all can strive for starting today.

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