Dear Friend in Christ –
“The Last Full Measure” is a 2019 American war drama film that tells the story of William H. Pitsenbarger, a U. S. Air Force Pararescueman who was killed while aiding and defending a unit of soldiers who were being pinned down by enemy assault. Before his death he helped save over sixty men.
During a rescue mission on April 11, 1966, Pitts (as he was called) willingly chose to leave the relative safety of the rescue chopper to aid people on the ground when he saw how bad the situation was below. While others on his team declined to go, Pitts willingly put himself at risk. After saving many, he was ordered to take an opportunity to escape on the last helicopter out of the combat zone. But he stayed behind in order to defend and save many American lives, before making the ultimate sacrifice in one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam war.
His being willing to come down into a place of great danger reminds me of how Jesus was willing to leave the halls of Heaven in order to come to earth, even though He knew that He would be despised, rejected, and crucified here. Jesus was willing to go through hell for us because He did not want to go to Heaven without us.
But there is also a brief moment of dialogue – which is included in the trailer for the movie – which speaks to me of how I have responded when people have asked me, “Why are you – and other people in Lutheran CORE – still fighting for orthodoxy within the Lutheran church today?” One of the soldiers asked him, “Why are you here?” Pitts responded, “Because you are here.” The battle really was not his. He was a part of the Air Force. The people being attacked were in the Army. He could have stayed in the relative safety of the helicopter. But he willingly came down because of what was happening – because he could offer what was needed.
Many times people have asked me, “Do you really think you can get things to turn around?” I always reply, “It would take a mighty intervention and work of the power of God to get things to turn around. But I am here – and I continue to do the work of Lutheran CORE – because people need to be alerted to what is happening. People need to be warned of how Biblical faith and moral values are being compromised. And we need to be there for people when they do become aware.” “Why are you here?” Pitsenbarger was asked. “Because you are here,” he answered. The rescue work of William H. Pitsenbarger reminds me of the work of Lutheran CORE.
“Why are you here?” “Because you are here.” Among our newest efforts is the work that we are doing to develop a support system for orthodox ELCA students at ELCA seminaries. We have orthodox pastors who are available to talk and pray with orthodox students. We have a list of orthodox pastors and congregations that are willing to serve as internships sites for orthodox students. Please pray that the ELCA seminaries will be willing to allow that to happen. We are developing a list of Biblically and theologically faithful resources – books, newsletters, websites, etc. – to recommend to students. Members of our board are writing responses to various publications from ReconcilingWorks in order to demonstrate in a clear and compelling way that the LGBTQIA+ agenda is in violation of the clear teaching of Scripture. We are very grateful for the seminarians who are giving us help and guidance in knowing how we might be able to make connections and build relationships with other students. Please pray that God will bless these efforts.
Thank you to all who are supporting our partnership with the NEXUS Institute, a program of Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa which is giving high school youth the opportunity to study the Bible and theology, engage in ministry, and consider a church-related vocation.
Your support also enables us to keep on doing the following –
- Provide a system of support for orthodox ELCA pastors
- Offer ministries specifically designed for these days of the COVID-19 pandemic – two new Facebook groups as well as a list of congregations that are livestreaming and/or posting recordings of their worship services
- Through our Congregations in Transition ministry initiative provide (mostly retired) Lutheran pastors who have been trained to be coaches for congregations where the pastor either already has or soon will be retiring or resigning to take another call
- Hold our annual Encuentro – a day of fellowship, inspiration, and resources for pastors, lay leaders, and congregations that are already involved in or are considering becoming involved in Spanish language and/or bi-lingual (English-Spanish) ministry
- Provide on our website daily devotions and worship resources, including prayers and hymn suggestions
The reason we are able to do all of this work is because of your faithful prayer and financial support. Please click on the button below to let us know how we can be praying for you. Your timely gift to Lutheran CORE will help enable us to continue to be a VOICE for Biblical Truth and a NETWORK for Confessing Lutherans.
As a steward with you in the ministry of the Gospel,
Dennis D. Nelson
Executive Director of Lutheran CORE
Visit our website www.lutherancore.org
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