The President of the United States has commented on an area of education where the LCMS has served and should continue to serve:
Saying that the country's inner-city faith-based schools are closing "at an alarming rate," U.S. President George W. Bush called on Congress and elected officials at the state and local levels to help preserve such schools and to extend "lifelines of learning" to the children they serve.
At the White House Summit on Inner-City Children and Faith-Based Schools, the president said religious schools are "a glorious part" of the nation's history. "We have an interest in the health of these centers of excellence; it's in the country's interest to get beyond the debate of public/private, to recognize this is a critical national asset that provides a critical part of our nation's fabric in making sure we're a hopeful place."
The president said that between 2000 and 2006, nearly 1,200 faith-based schools closed in America's inner cities, affecting nearly 400,000 students and placing an added burden on public schools.
"In neighborhoods where some people say children simply can't learn, the faith-based schools are proving the nay-sayers wrong. These schools provide a good, solid academic foundation for children. They also help children understand the importance of discipline and character," Bush said.
Now, for the Ablaze! part:
I think you will find, gentle reader, that Ablaze! funds are not being used to help "dimly smoking wicks" (“A bruised reed He will not break, And a dimly burning wick He will not quench.” Isaiah 42:3).
Ablaze! does not have a history of helping the poor, embattled congregations in the inner city. Instead, Ablaze! gives to megachurches and congregations with novel ideas like handing out free diapers so that people who come to church for the Pampers might stay after they realize how loving the members are who give away these disposables. (I'm not making this up.)
The President of the United States recognizes an urgent need for which the President of The Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod senses no urgency. Let me rephrase. I'm not saying that the President of The LCMS isn't compassionate -- or that he is unloving or uncaring. His letters exude love. They are dripping with compassion while his actions show that the places which get attention and funds are those places which show the most promise for growth.
And, heartbreaking as it may be, the inner city just isn't where growth is happening.
So, sorry folks. We hate to cut and run on you. Here's a few computers for your community program. We hope that makes things a little better for you. Good luck and God bless!