The character of Holy Baptism is presented in the EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN WORSHIP, between pages 225 and 237. From birth to adulthood, Holy Baptism defines the substance of Christian discipleship. Parents, sponsors, confirmands and adults are called to profess their faith and obedience to Christ through voicing and acting upon PROMISES and INTENTIONS in five areas of discipleship. I would imagine implications for gun violence prevention implicit within these PROMISES and INTENTIONS.
1. I PROMISE AND INTEND to live among God’s faithful people. We commit to valuing, protecting, celebrating, comforting, and supporting God’s design and will for comity in community. Gun violence shatters God’s design and will that all of humanity dwell in harmony.
2. I PROMISE AND INTEND to hear the Word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper. The faithful are called to nonviolently worship, to hear, to share in the Lord’s Supper. All classes, abilities and races are welcome as a united family of God in Christ. All are equally graced. Gun violence in worship shatters the harmony of devotion and violates God’s nonviolent Will for a oneness of love implicit within the sacrament.
3. I PROMISE AND INTEND to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed. In the home, in school, in our work places, in acts of responsibility, and in places of recreation, we commit to live and proclaim the loving and nonviolent Christ. The good news of God in Christ shapes our politics to unify in love. Gun violence seeks to divide. Christ does not will gun violence. God’s grace substitutes reconciliation for the tragedy of gun violence. We proclaim peace, love and the community of humanity as opposed to the counter-force of gun violence.
4. I PROMISE AND INTEND to serve all people, following the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Christ’s Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) Gun violence is contradictory to service in Christ’s Spirit. Gun violence negates and destroys, demeaning life.
5. I PROMISE AND INTEND to strive for justice and peace in all the earth. The law of love is superior to the law of gun violence. Peace and justice are love in action, enhancing equality, nurture, care, accountability and opportunity for all. Justice and peace harmonize ideology and shape our politics for the sake of oneness in nonviolent love. Gun violence strives for a power dominance of one against another, demanding peace and justice on the hate-filled gun’s terms. Accountability resides in the baised power of the
The PROMISES and INTENTIONS within the Baptism corpus are confessions of our discipleship. They are oppositional to gun violence. They are our commitment to honoring the sanctity of life as created and intended by God in Christ.
Will we?

Blessings and Peace

Ron Letnes (Rev. Dr.)