A letter to the Lutheran Church
October 1, 2012 11 Comments
It’s time to talk to my fellow Lutherans. Have you noticed lately that there is no cachet to being an Lutheran. Just another protestant looking for a social club, they say. That, in itself, is unimportant, the important thing is to be a good Christian. But being a good Christian has its own cachet, and it is never mentioned in regard to us anymore. Why is that?
But maybe we need a definition of a good Christian.
- First and foremost a good Christian follows the Christ, and him crucified. That is the mark. Do we? Do we even know what Christ taught anymore? And even more to the point, do we care? And still more to the point, Are we ready to emulate Him? It’s not something we have to go looking for but, it is part of our faith. At Augsburg, Martin Luther believed he would be burned at the stake, probably within two weeks. He was in far more danger here than he was later, at Worms. That my friends, is the standard, not whether we have a modern service, or how good the coffee is at the coffee hour. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with those things, although I have a lot of doubts concerning modern services following a proper liturgy i.e. Worshiping God. Worship is not a membership tool, although I suspect if we went back to the traditional Lutheranism, we would gain members even as the traditionalists in the Catholic church are. We need to remember that we are there to worship God. It’s not about us.
If you take a glance at the category in my blogroll called “The Christians” you will find two Catholic sites and two Anglican sites and not a single Lutheran site. (I need to update soon but, there won’t be Lutheran site afterwords, either.) Why is that? All of these sites are run by serious Christians, who understand that the faith requires things from us, of great sacrifice. At all of these sites, I am active, and I believe, respected, not because I am a Lutheran but because I am trying to be a Christian, and because I know something of Lutheran history and theology. These are serous sites, they are not feel good Christianity, at them you will learn the history and theology that binds us, as well as how to be Christian in these times.
A couple of points to remember. We are schismatics, we broke away from the Catholic church. Actually, if you ask an Orthodox Christian, we did twice, once when we went with Rome and then again at the Reformation. And here is something to think about, our forbearers cared so much about shepherding the church that they not only founded a church that became the established church for about half of Europe, and fought the Thirty Years War for those beliefs, but we caused the Counter-reformation that purged many of the corruptions from the Catholic church as well.
We are the senior Protestant church, second in membership only to the Catholic Church but, it seems we have lost our way. Where are the statements from our bishops on the HHS mandate? Our doctrine on abortions is nearly word for word with the Roman Catholic doctrine (my home ELCA does permit contraception but not abortions, which is maybe defensible). Again, where are the Bishops, where are the Pastors? Why are we leaving this battle to the Roman Catholic Church? Don’t we care about the murder of children?
I’m a proud Lutheran, proud of my church, and proud of its history. I should not have to get spiritual guidance from the Catholic Church. But that is the situation I’m in. Apparently the Lutheran hierarchy is so afraid of offending their political friends that they are willing to let us all literally go to hell for a little comfort from the government, or tax-exempt status, or something.
Membership is, I will admit, important, but define a member. Is it someone who shows up when they haven’t anything better to do and likes to sing, and drink coffee, or is it someone who is serious about saving their immortal soul. Again, I look at the Catholic Church, which parts are gaining membership the fastest? The conservative ones, the ones who preach the hard gospel, not the liberals who go along to get along, they are dying, just like us and the Episcopalians. For an example, look at the diocese of Lincoln, it is thriving because it is conservative. Others, that are not, like our church, are dying of hypocrisy.
I have said many times that there are many paths to the foot of the Cross, and it is true, but none of them are the easy path of going along to get along. Christianity is a religion of the oppressed, always has been, always will be, we have gotten complacent, and have recognized not threats to us. But there are, they are real and they are formidable. What will you do?
Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’s side? let him come to me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.
Is my church on the Lord’s side, or is it a sycophant of Caesar? Because, in truth, much as I love the Lutheran Church and have since I joined 25 or so years ago, the time is coming when I will likely as not be a Catholic, because my church has lost sight of its mission.
Right now the Lutheran Church in America is little more than a coffee shop full of do-gooders, and that is not what Christianity is.
- From Africa To Asia, ‘Offended Muslims’ Vent Anger At Christian Churches (midnightwatcher.wordpress.com)
- Lutheran Basics (celclibrary.wordpress.com)
- United We (Should) Stand (nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com)
- Deck Chairs and Bishops (nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com)
- Lutheran Handbook (celclibrary.wordpress.com)