Rev. Rob Morris of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Newtown, Connecticut, recently apologized for being part of a vigil for the Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 16, 2012, because his church does not allow worshiping with other faiths (video below).
According to the Religion News Service, Rev. Morris was reprimanded by church president Matthew Harrison for “joint worship with other religions."
King Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, which bans ministers from praying alongside Muslims, Jews or even other Christians (which would contradict the bible).
However, Harrison's written reprimand of Morris even admits that the Missouri Synod does not unanimously agree on what joint worship is and is still attempting to define it.
In a letter of apology, Rev. Morris wrote:
There is sometimes a real tension between wanting to bear witness to Christ and at the same time avoiding situations which may give the impression that our differences with respect to who God is, who Jesus is, how he deals with us, and how we get to heaven, really don’t matter in the end. There will be times in this crazy world when, for what we believe are all the right reasons, we may step over the scriptural line.
I made my own decision. I believed my participation to be, not an act of joint worship, but an act of community chaplaincy.
This is not the first time that this has happened in this particular faith. Rev. David H. Benke was suspended for two years after he participated in an interfaith service with a Muslim imam, a rabbi, a Catholic cardinal and others after the 9/11 attack.
Even though Rev. Benke had the approval of then president Gerald Kieshnick, the Synod’s Dispute Resolution Panel suspended Benke. Rev. Benke was reinstated in 2003 by Kieshnick.
Source: Religion News Service