NEWS FROM THE CENTER FRIDAY DIGEST - October 21, 2022 - A Unique Public Voice of Blessing for All: Part 5



Thus, God has a spiritual rule in the hearts and lives of Christians; He also has a secular rule that extends throughout His creation and in every culture. God reigns in the Church through the Gospel, the proclamation of forgiveness in the Cross of Jesus Christ, a message which kindles faith and an inward transformation in the believer. He reigns in the world through His Law, which calls human societies to justice and righteousness.[1]


[1] Gene Edward Veith Jr., “Two Kingdoms under One King: Toward a Lutheran Approach to Culture,” in Christ and Culture in Dialogue, ed. Angus J.L. Menuge (St. Louis: Concordia Academic Press, 1999), 137. See Schumacher, “Civic Participation,” 165–66, where he adds another dynamic insight with regard to God’s Two-Kingdom reign in the world. Because of this view of “two, differentiated realms,” God’s involvement in His world is through two different kinds of righteousness. “The passive righteousness of faith depends entirely on the person and work of Christ; this alone establishes and determines our identity and righteousness before God. On the other hand, and at the same time, our righteousness in the world (coram hominibus) is active and not passive; it depends on the activities by which we fulfill our vocation and serve our neighbor. Luther’s right understanding of justification involved the insight that our own activity and works have no place in deciding our standing before God. Similarly, the preaching of the Gospel does not govern nations, feed children, build houses, punish criminals, etc. Both kinds of righteousness are God’s will, and both kinds are necessary for us to live in the world as fully human creatures restored in Christ.” For the purposes of this paper humankind’s depraved anthropology must be understood in the promotion of the potential, active, civic righteousness of public society in which God still somehow rules and creates humane society despite our sinfulness.

Preserving work is always in service to God’s saving work. God’s 2KG engagement of the world clearly differentiates His preserving and saving work. As such, God’s preserving work, though vital, is always in service to His ultimate work of saving the world through the work of Jesus Christ. 2KG Christians, then, need to be knowledgeable of the outward, curbing, preserving power of God’s Law for the sake of a culture’s temporal civility, justice, and peace. 2KG believers also need to understand the distinction of the Gospel—the ultimate saving message of God freely offered to all without coercion in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone—from that preserving work. People rightly speak of an “apolitical” Jesus because Jesus didn’t come into this world to merely make a sinful world a better world. But that doesn’t mean that the Bible is indifferent to a moral perspective for “godly” civic engagement.

God’s Law preserves AND calls all to repentance. Preaching and teaching God’s “ordering of the world,” the moral structure of the world—reflected or rooted in the Ten Commandments—is not only necessary for a civil world, it’s a necessary pre-condition for evangelism too. So, while Jesus wasn’t sent to re-order God the Father’s preserving work—He fulfilled it and called all people to honor it as well. And, while the Gospel has no political policy component, the preserving Law of God surely does. The biblical, moral worldview has distinct notions concerning parental authority, governmental authority, the sanctity of life, just laws and unjust laws. The moral code of the Bible isn’t indifferent to a society’s definition of marriage, chastity, civility, thievery, false witness, and the like. There is a moral worldview that is clear in the Bible and it emanates from the very character of the God who freely created and redeemed us. 2KG citizens are called to represent God’s moral ordering and His gracious saving activity in the world for the sake of every human being on the planet.

The Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz is the executive director of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty. This is the fifth in a series regarding the two ways in which God is at work in the world and how we as Lutherans are given to embody that message anew for the world in which we live.










Be Informed

Listen to a recent Issues, Etc. podcast with Rev. Michael Salemink regarding MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough’s assertion that Jesus approves of abortion.


Be Equipped

Discover how Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., went from having abortions to speaking out against them.


Be Encouraged

“God has both a proper, right-hand reign and a hidden, left-hand reign, and He does not allow His followers to opt out of either.” –Rev. Dr. Jonathan Shaw, director, LCMS Church Relations

Help support our efforts to contend for the freedom to proclaim the faith. Click here to learn more or to donate.

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.