In honour of St. Patrick's Day today, I am proudly wearing Green. This has drawn some heat from some of my schoolmates. You see, I am a conservative, confessional Lutheran, and I attend a school populated solely by conservative, confessional Lutherans. And a fair number of them insist upon wearing orange today because, "We are Protestants!" But in my mind, that is no reason to be fostering division. Although doctrinally speaking I am what most would call a "protestant," from a political aspect I am much more Catholic. I would also say that since most Irish Protestants are not Lutherans, it is neither necessary nor appropriate for we Lutherans to wear "Protestant" colours on this day.
First of all, Christ Himself, as well as the Holy Apostle Paul, exhorts us to keep the Church united. We are divided enough on account of doctrinal issues already, and I am sure God does not look happily upon the divided state of His Holy Church in our time. Why then should we further disregard His command by fostering more division than is already necessary? Wearing orange on St. Patrick's day serves no positive purpose. At best it is a reminder of the division in the church. At worst, it is outright provacative to our Catholic brethren in the Faith.
Secondly, green is the colour of Ireland, not of the Catholic Church. The fact that Irish Protestants feel the need for a new colour, in my opinion, is ridiculous. If anything, it is a denial of their Irish culture, not of their former Catholicism. Orange is not the colour of Ireland. This defiance is just another jab. Reformers such as Hus and Luther were not interested in hostilities with the Catholic Church, but in the reformation of teachings which they considered counter to Scripture. This is why I reject the label of Protestant, myself, though just about everybody applies it to me. The name Protestant comes from the verb "to protest." Protests, even if not always violent, are always defiant. They are always divisive in nature. Since I seek Christian unity, not division, I reject this label. Where I have my disagreements with His Holiness on matters of doctrine I will certainly stand my ground based upon the Scriptures, but that is no cause for me to be hateful towards either the Pope himself nor towards my Catholic brothers and sisters. I have the utmost respect for Catholics and for Roman Catholicism. Indeed, in my heart I greatly yearn for reconciliation with the Catholic Church, and only aforementioned doctrinal differences preclude this.
Finally, green is a colour associated with St. Patrick himself. To wear orange in defiance on this day is to defy St. Patrick himself and his mission. And what was his mission? Why, the very mission which Christ gave to all Christians: to go forth unto the nations and baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. St. Patrick brought the gospel to thousands of souls yearning for their Saviour. To defy this is to defy the Great Commission itself! This is most certainly not the act of a Christian, but of a pagan! Whether they realize it or not, Protestants who wear orange on St. Patrick's Day are in effect defying the very command of Christ to preach the gospel!
Therefore, for the sake of Christian unity, out of respect for Ireland, and in honour of St. Patrick and the Great Commission, I proudly wear green on this Feast Day of St. Patrick. God be praised for the work He did through this great saint. And may God's blessings follow all who read this message. Pax tecum!