Tim Townsend is religion writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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Lutherans Find Common with Catholics on Obama Mandate
ST. LOUIS -- Lutherans and Catholics are not historically known for their theological sympathy, but earlier this month the president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod told the U.S. House that he will "stand with our friends in the Catholic Church" in opposition to a recent government ruling on contraception.
History aside, the Rev. Matthew Harrison made it clear that the Missouri Synod now has "large consensus with the Roman Catholic Church on moral issues."
"The Christian church is a billion times beyond the Missouri Synod," Harrison said. "Without the Roman Catholic Church in this country, our way would be infinitely more difficult."
Church Seeks Line Between Interfaith and Intolerance
DES PERES, Mo. — More than 100 Lutherans streamed into the basement classroom at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Des Peres recently for a Bible study called "Islam Through a Lutheran Lens."
It was a better-than-expected showing, and people carefully balanced their Styrofoam coffee cups as they rearranged extra folding chairs into rows to capture the overflow crowd.
"We're going to be looking at (Islam) though the lenses we have been given through God's word, the Scriptures and the Lutheran confessions," the Rev. Glen Thomas told them. The executive director of pastoral education for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod had taught a similar series of classes in the fall called "Mormonism Through a Lutheran Lens."
"How many people here know a Muslim?" Thomas asked.
Three hands went up. Thomas pressed on.