Two Kingdoms
July 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,

Our nation is experiencing many challenges. And as the people of God, called by baptism and adopted into the Kingdom of God by grace, Christians have the responsibility to be citizens both of the nation where they live and of the Kingdom of God, simultaneously.

God has established two governing authorities on earth. These are the earthly authorities, beginning with parents, the family, school and nation; and spiritual authorities under the authority of Christ and His Word in the Church. Each of these authorities have been established by God for different purposes. Earthly authority, the Kingdom of the Left, has been established to preserve God’s creation by guarding against evil and guiding for the purpose into provide for our neighbor. The Kingdom of the Right, the Church, has been established by God to proclaim God’s Word, calling people to repentance and faith in the Gospel of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit and under the authority of God’s Word.

Although earthly authorities are sinners, and will at times fail, Romans 13 teaches God calls Christians to honor those in earthly authority over us and pray for them. Just as God holds all people accountable, our leaders are accountable for their actions that they do not misuse their authority. For all people are accountable before God.

Peter Marshall said, “May we think of Freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” As Christians living in this world we continue to worship and obey the one true God our Creator and Redeemer, honor and pray for our governing authorities, and love and serve our neighbor. Ultimately, as Christians, we hold fast in faith to the hope that “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

Pastor James L. Kroonblawd
From God's Word

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.

Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. 

Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed." Romans 13:1-7
Two Kingdoms
by Rev. Jay DeBeir

As Christians, we live in two kingdoms with one King. This is to say that we live in God’s earthly kingdom where He provides secular authority for us in this world that includes daily provision and His created order. 

God also rules the Church. Christ reigns in this kingdom by His Gospel and acts in this kingdom through His means of grace. 

How does Jesus distinguish between these two kingdoms? Does Jesus instruct us to submit to the secular order that He has created?

Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod

Of Church and State
Although both Church and State are ordinances of God, yet they must not be commingled. Church and State have entirely different aims. By the Church, God would save men, for which reason the Church is called the "mother" of believers, Gal. 4:26. By the State, God would maintain external order among men, "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty," 1 Tim. 2:2. It follows that the means which the Church and State employ to gain their ends are entirely different. The Church may not employ any other means than the preaching of the Word of God, John 18:11, 36; 2 Cor. 10:4. The State, on the other hand, makes laws bearing on civil matters and is empowered to employ for their execution also the sword and other corporal punishments, Rom. 13:4.
Accordingly we condemn the policy of those who would have the power of the State employed "in the interest of the Church" and who thus turn the Church into a secular dominion; as also of those who, aiming to govern the State by the Word of God, seek to turn the State into a Church.

From the Declaration of Independence

"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all [persons] are created equal and endowed with the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
The Importance of Social Responsibility
 From Focus on the Family
We believe that God has ordained the social institutions of family, church, and government for the benefit of mankind and as a reflection of His divine nature. Therefore, Christians are called to support these institutions, according to God’s design and purpose, and to protect them against destructive social influences. Such involvement is in obedience to Christ’s lordship over all creation and is required by His command to care for the well-being of all people.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh .” Genesis 2:24
And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body .” Ephesians 1:22-23a
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God .” Romans 13:1

American Restoration: How Faith, Family, and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation
By LCMS member and Author Tim Goeglien
This is no time to run and hide. America seems to be crumbling from within. Having abandoned the Judeo-Christian values that are the foundation of its culture, our nation, in the eyes of many, is going the way of the great civilizations of the past.
Goeglein writes, “America is at a crossroads. Neighbor is pitted against neighbor. The growth of social media has inflamed the worst instincts in people. As Jesus, and later Lincoln quoting Jesus, said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” If America is to continue to be a beacon of freedom, we must find ways to build to, rather than burn bridges with, those who disagree with us. Read more about this book
A Report of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR)
In 1983 the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod,in Convention, asked the CTCR (Commission on Theology and Church Relations) to carry out a basic study of the various aspects of the relationship between church and state.This report surveys each of the ways Christians have related to their culture, but focuses primarily on Lutheranism and especially on the LCMS.
If you have ever wondered why some denominations seem to be issuing politically charged statements all the time while the LCMS seems so reluctant to issue such mandates to the culture and government, then you will find this a fascinating read. Download it here. (scroll to 1995)
From Abraham Lincoln

“…that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the  people , by the  people , for the  people , shall not perish from the earth.” Gettysburg Address
Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, President of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, leads us in a prayer for Peace in our Nation.

Two kingdom in Washington, D.C.
The Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, executive director of the  Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty , joins KFUO Radio host Kip Allen to discuss the center’s role in Washington, D.C. The LCRL speaks for people of faith to those who make our laws and set opinion, and the center focuses on issues relating to life, family and religious liberty.
Seltz reminds us that: "While the resurrection freedom of Good Friday and Easter Sunday is the only enduring, eternal freedom in the world, it is a precious thing to have the temporal freedoms of America as well." Happy Independence Day from the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty! 
The Two Kingdoms
Reformation 500
Author unknown; Concordia University
True story: a boy gets in trouble. When his mother starts to discipline him, the boy responds, “But mom, you should forgive me, because Jesus took my sins away”—to which his mother replies that there are still consequences for his actions. Both mother and child are right, but they are talking about two different things. They are talking about the right-hand and left-hand kingdoms of God. Read more
Written on the Statue of Liberty

“… "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 
Christians can with good conscience “bear civil office, sit as judges, judge matters by the Imperial and other existing laws, award just punishments, engage in just wars, serve as soldiers, make legal contracts, hold property, make oaths when required by the magistrates, marry a wife.” [Augsburg Confession XVI 2]. 22], CPH.
2020 National Prayer for America

A powerful and moving prayer, the 2020 National Prayer for America is available by clicking here.
CUNE has dedicated The Two Kingdoms Network website to better understand the Lutheran distinctions and how they inform higher education, our practices, and our instruction. Check out the Two Kingdoms Network
Click for insights from Dr. Michael Middendorf, Professor at Concordia University, Irvine on the words of Romans 13 that commands “Be subject to authorities” and “Obey God rather than men” 
The impact of the Reformation can be found in American history. James Madison, the father of the Constitution, credits reformer Martin Luther and his doctrine of the 2 Kingdoms for his ideas on “church and state." This video is part of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis series “500: The Impact of the Reformation Today.” Learn more at .
“Thus the two governments, the spiritual and the secular, should not be confused and mixed together. For the spiritual power has its command to preach the Gospel and administer the Sacraments. It should not become an office foreign and contrary to its nature. It should not enthrone and remove kings; should not do away with secular law and obedience; should not prescribe laws for secular power and secular affairs, as Christ said: ‘My Kingdom is not of this world.’”
[Augsburg Confession XXVIII 12-14, quoting John 18:36], CPH
From Frederick Douglass ,
a freed slave, and anti- slavery advocate. 

“The life of a nation, is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.”             
We the People: Citizens of Two Kingdoms
By: Dr. Dale Meyer
Though government and those who govern are often criticized by press and citizen alike, it is through government that God works His designs in this world. In  We the People: Citizens of Two Kingdoms , Dr. Meyer surveys the emergence of the United States' governmental system by considering the religious and philosophic thinking that shaped its early development.
Watch the videos:
Session 1 – Birth of a Nation  
Session 3 – Now What?
Christ’s command to love remains in full effect. Every act of private revenge and violence is thus forbidden. “Public redress, which is made through the office of the magistrate, is not advised against, but is commanded, and is a work of God, according to Paul [Rom. 13:1 ff]. Now the different kinds of public redress are legal decisions, capital punishment, wars, military service.” 
[Apology of the Augsburg Confession XVI 7 (59)]
Wholly Citizens: God’s Two Realms and Christian Engagement With the World
Book by Joel Bierman
Luther’s framework of the two realms is often misunderstood and misrepresented. Bierman examines Luther’s later interpreters and how the two kingdoms doctrine has been bungled. Both the corporate church and the Christian are God’s left-hand kingdom, and both are called to be engaged .   Read more about this book
They are condemned because they have a false understanding of the Gospel. For the Gospel “does not destroy the State or the family, but very much requires that they be preserved as ordinances of God, and that charity be practiced in such ordinances.” 
[Augsburg Confession XVI 4-5]. 24, CPH
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Soli Deo gloria
Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran
2950   Highway  55
Eagan,  MN   55 121