I’m a lay person who has been constantly being educated in what it truly means to be a confessional Lutheran. I love it! It’s been a slow learning, growing process over more than a decade now. I have always been a Lutheran, born and bred. Baptized into the Lord’s family at three weeks of age, I have always just believed. I felt awe, fear, and respect for our great God, and knew he loved me so much He sent His only Son to save me from my sins. John 3:16 was my confirmation verse, and I had to do my pre-confirmation speech on it.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I started having a lot more contact in my life with people of other Christian persuasions. It came as a surprise to me that you had to ask Jesus to live in your heart! I had learned as a Lutheran that He was always with me, and I could pray to Him whenever, wherever I wanted. Life had always been lived with worship on Sunday, but most of the rest of the week was spent doing ordinary family things, like kids home work, cooking, cleaning, working outside the home, etc. I attended Bible Studies sometimes when offered. I was involved in the LWML, helped with VBS in the kitchen or crafts, and started reading my Bible.
I started listening regularly to Christian radio, and I have to admit, I think it was helpful in making me feel closer to God and growing in my faith, but I kept hearing things on there, like, “Are you sure you are saved? Have you been born again? Have you ever asked Jesus in your heart?” I had never felt a rush of emotion like some people would talk about. I never had the spirit just make me soar. I started to wonder a bit if I really was “born again”. One day I stopped by my church, and my pastor was there and I asked how I could know if I was really “born again”? He gave me such comfort. He brought me back to my Baptism. He asked me if I had been baptized. I said yes, of course. Then he asked if I had been confirmed, believed that Jesus died for my sins, and said it did not matter how I felt. Our emotions don’t matter for our salvation. It was all that God did that mattered, not what we do. What comfort I felt! I left his office feeling so much better. He also told me that even my wondering about it meant I had faith, because someone without faith wouldn’t even think about it.
I’ve gotten to realize through the years how precious our Lutheran faith and heritage are. That is why I became involved in the CLCC (Confessional Lutherans for Christ’s Commission) I feel the Lutheran faith is being attacked on all fronts. It is attacked by other faiths, because we won’t just unite to get along. Yet, the main threat to our faith in this day and age is coming from within. Many of our own people do not realize how special our given faith is, and they want us to be more like everyone else. The other churches have more “fun” in worship. They “show “their faith better by trying to live perfect lives. Somehow, that’s going to earn them brownie points with God. The problem is they don’t realize what is at stake to lose. The Sacraments are the first thing that would need to go in such a false approach to the faith, since they are the big dividers. They haven’t thought through how really precious they are. The CLCC seeks to help Lutheran lay people to learn to appreciate being Lutheran again, and when they understand that, they can be confident in defending it. With joy! Then other people will want the freedom that we have in Christ!
I’ve been able to become much more discerning now over the years. I am saddened when I find that some people are trying so hard to take that freedom away.
“I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him. But the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me up and all the dead and will give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true.”
This part of Luther’s Small Catechism stuck with me while I went through what I did. I never realized it till years later, when these words kept coming to my mind, and I knew I had learned it somewhere, but where? Then I searched a catechism I found when at my Bible camp, and there were the words that meant so much to me. He does it all! For me!
Getting people to remember the catechism they memorized in their youth, and to appreciate the truths it taught them is a very important step to appreciating the true faith. I think our history can also be important to know. The CLCC hopes to get seminars going in different parts of the country so we can get together to learn more about our history, the Lutheran confessions, and many other topics. Please check out our web site, THECLCC.org. We would be happy to answer any questions you have about the mission of the CLCC, planning a seminar in your area of the country, your becoming involved personally in the CLCC. We are looking for more new members. We also want to sign up congregations for membership.
We started a new group on the Wittenberg Trail for the CLCC. We hope you will check us out. Confessional Lutherans have to all work together to teach people what the true Christian faith is. It is too precious to not nurture.
Kari Anderson- PR for the CLCC