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A Lutheran seminarian eagerly awaiting the return of Our Lord. Soli Deo Gloria!

Monday, November 06, 2006

A House Divided Amongst Itself Cannot Stand

"We are unjustly accused of having abolished the Mass."-AC XXIV German
"Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose, they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away."- St. Matthew 13:5-6 ESV

Number of times the word sacrament is mentioned in the LCMS's "Start up to Ablaze)tm)!: Igniting the World with Christ's Love"----ZERO!

We are commanded by Christ to make disciples of all nations. He instructed that we must baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son (+), and of the Holy Spirit. The sacrament of Holy Baptism forgives sins, bestows the Holy Spirit, and brings people into the body of Christ by their washing of rebirth and renewal. All a gift from God by the power of His Grace! Even Holy Baptism is mentioned in this document only three times....and never discusses its meaning to the life of the individual believer or in the community of saints!

I bring this up because of a sad fact: The LCMS is in a silent schism. The movement by the leadership to emulate the non-denominational worship style and church growth methods have demeaned the message of truth and purity of doctrine that have been the mainstay for much of the LCMS's history. Such a movement downplays the sacraments and the liturgical life that connects us in practice to methods of the ancient church by the power of the Holy Spirit! I know many who have left our synod for the older and more ancient churches (Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox)....and I know of very few who have left the LCMS to join a non-denominational church.

I'm not saying Christ cannot be present in the non-denominational churches, just that the roots don't seem to be as deep as the ancient churches. Similarly, by the LCMS becoming more like them, the more we ourselves become them. Hence, soon the LCMS will blend into a non-denominational-esque "denomination" with only a passing reference to the Lutheran Confessions. If this happens, I will leave the synod...but it isn't too late. We can pray that the truth returns to leadership.

Even now much that is ancient is considered taboo. I use a rosary at times much like the early Lutheran church......many see this as closet Catholocism. I cross myself as the Eastern Orthodox do, and I tend to cross myself whenever I get the chance.......many see this as closet Catholocism, even though Luther instructed us to train our children to make the sign of the cross! I revere icons and celebrate saints' days......many see this as closet Catholocism. I lilke to treat the Holy Scriptures with reverence rather than a casual book which can be tossed around.....many see this as closet Catholocism. I listen to what the Bishop of Rome says about topics, because our ultimate goal is to reunite the schismatic Body of Christ.......many see this as closet Catholocism. I NEVER refer to myself as protestant.....many view this as closet Catholocism.

Lutherans.......AREN'T PROTESTANTS.....WE ARE CATHOLIC! We are not Roman Catholic, but Evangelical Catholics. Analyze the title: 1. The word Evangelical rather than Lutheran emphasizes the Gospel and our command to evangelize. Luther wished to not have a church named after him. 2. The word Catholic emphasizes our connection to the universal Body of Christ as it was practiced Apostolically (to some extent) until the Great Schism. We accept the historic and catholic creeds of Christendom!

The way we are moving as a synod, we'll eventually have a "statement of faith" which a few people put together rather than the creeds which have stood the test of time!

We can pray for the Spirit of God to continue to stem the tide of un-confessionalism that threatens to spread the Gospel to the unchurched who will not get good enough roots to grow, and we can pray in all of this that God's will be done!

Pax Christi!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I question Lutheranism's claim to be "Catholic", on doctrinal grounds. I do think Lutheranism could further that claim, by dropping the name Lutheran, and reclaiming the name, "Evangelical" for their Churches. Lutheranism is too sectarian, it kinda defeats the whole idea of "catholicity" in my mind. We don't follow a man (or men), we follow Christ. Christian, Catholic, or Evangelical, are all fine names for a Church, Lutheran is not.

5:01 PM  
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1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm LCMS and I agree that the we are at a crossroads. I have seriously looked into the Catholic Church and if the LCMS continues to follow the non-denom phenomenon I might become Catholic.

10:06 AM  

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