Martin Luther believed that Christians have the responsibility to be part of the struggle against evil, not to withdraw from it. In all that we do, we are God’s partners in the world, promoting love, justice, and the well-being of all God’s creation.
Because we are influenced by the power of evil, which expresses itself both in the world and within ourselves, structures and laws are necessary. As Christians, then, we live out of an ethic of love, while simultaneously living within laws designed to maintain order and curb evil influences. This understanding of law and gospel can place Christians in a great ethical tension. Although Luther understood the need to live under structures and laws for the sake of order, he also believed that the dictates of love require that we actively resist those laws when they support evil and oppression. Christians are involved both in the promotion of good and in the active struggle against evil.
This message is excerpted from “Called to Be Political,” a 2020 Women of the ELCA resource.
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