Who Divided the Church?

March 16th, 2013 Post by

In four years, we will be celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  For these five centuries, the Reformers have been accused of dividing the Church in 1517.  Not so.

First, the Church is more than the church in the west, see eastern Orthodox Churches,  and so the presumption and assumptions of Rome in that THEY are the Church is patently false and so is the accusation against the Reformers that they divided the Church.

But secondly, immediately following the first reason,  and most importantly:  the Church was divided in 1054 by Rome when the Bishop of Rome asserted supremacy over and above all bishops to decide doctrine and worship in the filioque debate.    The Roman Bishop divided the Church in 1054, and so that is the date of division not 1517.  In the five centuries following they ossified the heresy of supremacy.  In 1054, there was not a Lutheran in sight.  The Reformation made clear the  division by Rome of the Church of and by their false doctrine of supremacy, beginning in 1054,  in The Book of Concord:  The Confessions of the Lutheran Church, especially, The Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope.

Is there hope?  Yes, in Jesus Christ, sola, alone.  No hope in the pope and there is no home in Rome, only in Christ Jesus:

“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (St. John  14:23

The choice is clear:

This:

or this:


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  1. jb
    March 16th, 2013 at 18:42 | #1

    Who divided the Church? Satan (Ephesians 6:12), as he always has done, and still does.

    That was easy.

    The rest of history is the commentary on how his game plan played out. Quite well, as a matter of fact. The “filioque” is but a part of matters. But that really isn’t an issue, and responsible theologians on both sides know that. Both sides had a role in the negatives. Luther was a diviner’s rod – he cut through it all to the truth.

    But he didn’t live nearly long enough to finish the job!

    As the sainted Wally Degner used to ask in class – the operative question – “What shall we do about that, Brethren?

    Why are not we, the most significant Confessional Lutheran Body on planet Earth, as busy petitioning Rome and Constantinople to “pony up” as we say in Texas, and answer matters? We should do so as much as we find an excuse for contemporary worship forms on one hand, or exclusive confessional positions of “we’re confessional” so we’ll stay in Plato’s Cave, thank you.

    Why isn’t the LCMS LEADING the way?. Why doesn’t Francis already have our notice that we will deal with justification on the basis of the Lord’s Word (Prologue to John’s Gospel and Hebrews 1:1-2), and not the medieval nonsense of Trent justifying the unjustifiable?

    Why do we retreat – like grade-B movie vampires retreating from a cross? Instead – why do we not strike out on our own – SURE of the One Holy Faith, and challenge Rome, and Constantinople (yes I know it is Istanbul – I was stationed in Turkey with the USAF) with the serious absolutes OF the One Holy Faith. Why are we always “reacting to matters?”

    I know – “talks” are delicate. We need to be “oh so gentle” as we gently progress. If I trained my dogs along such lines they would still poop in the living room.

    Where is our boldness before the world if we have it right?

    jb

  2. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    March 16th, 2013 at 19:17 | #2

    @jb #1

    “Why isn’t the LCMS LEADING the way?”

    The answer is simple. Fear

    In Christ, Clint

  3. jb
    March 16th, 2013 at 19:50 | #3

    Fr. Poppe -

    I am most afraid you are spot-on with your answer.

    But I have to ask “why?” I mean, Synodical and District conventions are ubiquitous, or at least, every three years, but the unity of the Una Sancta?

    I was raised in the Roman Church, so better than most, I get that part of it. What I didn’t get early on, my Confessions Classes certainly nailed without question. But the question has always nagged at me. If we of Missouri are so strong in our Confessional stance on matters (hopefully mimicking Luther, who truly did so at threat of life and limb), then why isn’t AP and Reuters and MSN and the alphabet soup of ABCNBCCBSFOX talking about how those crazy Lutherans down near the banks of the Mighty Mississippi are taking on the supposed Tiger of the Tiber, or the Big Boys East of the Bosporous.

    Clint – I hate, with every fiber within me, and knowing the quality of theologians we have, to admit “fear” into the equation. Yet, I “fear” you are right.

    If we have the truth, Matthew 16:33 should be our shibboleth, and we should strike “fear” from our lectionaries.

    Peace, My Friend -

    Rev Jeff Baxter (jb)

  4. March 16th, 2013 at 20:15 | #4

    Right on jb!

  5. March 16th, 2013 at 20:17 | #5

    jb,

    Don’t get all mad and stuff but it is the same fear that screwed up the resolution of the Newtown fiasco.

  6. helen
    March 16th, 2013 at 20:30 | #6

    Careful about those “motives”, boys!

    Good night, now. Church tomorrow.

  7. jb
    March 16th, 2013 at 21:10 | #7

    Fr. Tim -

    I don’t go get all mad and stuff (I really do try not to do so!) for the record, because then my Bride REALLY gets all mad and stuff when I do (’cause I am usually talking out loud at my computer), and I DO “fear” HER reaction! I might be half-deaf, but I am not “dumb.”

    Heheh!

    Your point re: Newtown – is most duly noted, and not without my agreeing, at least in part. My point was and remains – Fr. Matt has put himself out on the limb – he could have hunkered down and said nothing. In my lifetime we have had SP’s who did exactly that! He did not. Whether anyone thinks him to be right or wrong is immaterial to the discussion. Whether any of us is right or wrong – likewise. He stepped up, wrongly or rightly. I commend him for that. It is easy, Tim, to be a critic – we both know that in and from our flocks. It is quite easy to be a critic – and quite another matter to put oil on the waters, or calm the seas. Lacking the Almighty’s powers Jesus had that time on the boat in the storm, we often spend a lot time and oil on those waters.

    The Gospel is the toughest business there is. The Law is easy – it’s a piece of cake. Being a “minister” of the Gospel? . . . I don’t envy my own self being so, nor the work of stalwarts like yourself or others whose words I read on this site. I, like you, read between the lines of many of the Pastors’ postings. We both know the hurt and pain, and likewise the joy that is written between those lines. Were the devil not such a bastard of his own making and habitat, the Gospel would be a relatively easy matter to deliver.

    But it comes amidst sin and tribulation and “tumult of our wars” and even we who preach it sometimes wonder if we ourselves get it, or if it is worth it.

    And yet, the Gospel is triumphant every time. It means falling to one’s knee and confessing Jesus, not something we proud humans are wont to do. But somehow, on bended knee, the Cross of Jesus pierces our hearts. We get it! I got it! I want to tell everyone!

    So we should all – that is the heart of the Great Commission. Yet still, the devil, the world, and even our own flesh conspire against us. We are so lost.

    But Christ is not – it is He that “leadeth us beside still waters.”

    Let us “let Him.” Amen . . .

    Pax – Jeff

  8. March 16th, 2013 at 21:24 | #8

    jb,

    Ditto the pax.

  9. March 16th, 2013 at 23:39 | #9

    The Big Schism of 1054 was indeed a big deal, but it was not the first. I am not sure of all the early history, but I know the Bishop of Alexandria was tossed out by the other Bishops, actually by a council (Chalcedon), in 451 and hence we have the Coptic Christians. Were there others?

    Besides the controversy over the two natures of Christ there was also the idea on one website that another issue was the Bishop of Alexandria was proposing the separation of Church and State. You can imagine how badly that when over in some quarters.

  10. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    March 17th, 2013 at 06:58 | #10

    @jb #3

    Why all the fear? I can only share what I know based on my experience in the LCMS. For some it is a fear regarding the institution. Everything is conditioned by what may or may not happen to the institution be it synod, district, circuit, or congregation. For some it is the fear of personal loss, be it reputation or income or election or pension (“goods, fame child or wife”). What is most often lacking in these cases is the fear that God desires, “We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” As one of my brother pastors likes to say, “Where in the world is the fear of God today?”

    One of the central messages of the Holy Scriptures is God telling sinners like us to “Fear Not!” Christ has set us free from sinful fear and if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed (John 8). Christ is perfect love, and perfect love drives away all fear (1 John 4).

    Blessed Lent 5, Clint

  11. John Mundinger
    March 17th, 2013 at 08:45 | #11

    Pastor Schroeder – your blog ends in the right place. But, it could have begun with a better question: “Who has united the Church?” We confess our belief in the holy, catholic and apostolic church. The church already is One. The problem is that we are not one in it.

    So, who has divided the church? jb is correct in pointing a finger at Satan. Doing so points three fingers back at each of us. The disciples were dunderheads and their followers have been arguing amongst themselves about who are the real Christians since the day after Pentecost. In every case, the problem is the same – self-centeredness. There is no “I” in “church”, but each of us insists on inserting ourselves right in the middle of it. Each of us defines unity as everyone doing things my way. None of us is comfortable enough with others who are different from us to really commit ourselves to doing it Christ’s way.

    The clarion call of the Reformation is unity in the Body of Christ. Unity is the unfinished work of the Reformation and we aren’t much closer to that outcome today than we were in 1517. Those of us who wear the mantel of the Evangelical Lutheran Church assumed a measure of responsibility to work toward unity. But, we often are more comfortable with the behaviors that cause division.

  12. Kevin
    March 17th, 2013 at 17:16 | #12

    Why not lead the way? You would lose. Clear enough. Continue to navel gaze, boys. Continue to watch your sect grow smaller and more insignificant over each year. Echo chamber much?

  13. Tom Baxter
    March 17th, 2013 at 19:00 | #13

    Fear. It was the first instinct our first parents experienced after the fall into sin. Anytime a sinful human comes into contact with a holy being the result is fear. But even faithful pastors gravitate toward fear when they anticipate the expectations of their peers, their DP perhaps, or their parishioners who wrongly think that pastors have no inclination towards the flesh, and so they fear to set a poor example for their congregation. Of course, they also fear God knowing His holiness and their sinfulness.
    According to Strong’s Concordance the word fear occurs 404 times in Scripture. According to another internet search the term “Fear Not” occurs 365 times. Once for each day of the year. Today is the day the Lord has made, let us be glad in it, let us fear not because of what the Lord has accomplished by His holy life and innocent death on our behalf. Dear pastors do not be afraid of your Divine call!
    Today I took my wife out for a beer at a local Irish Pub that just opened in time for St. Patrick’s day. We sat down next to a stranger who introduced himself and after about 10 minutes told me that he had lost his wife of 22 years just 4 months ago.
    He was almost near tears. I paused a moment, then told him that I was a Stephen Minister from my congregation and that because of our grief counseling I knew it was perfectly natural for him to grieve and that it would last well over a year and probably never completely end. I told him that when he and his wife were married they became one flesh and when she died he suffered the tearing apart of his flesh.
    I did not know what reaction to expect, but he looked me in the eye and said that I had “hit the nail on the head.” Then I told him of Jesus words concerning marriage as God had created it: one man, one woman, becoming one flesh. I did not sense fear in telling him any of this. My wife and I went home. I thought I would not be involved directly in ministry today, but I was wrong. It never ends on earth.
    Brothers, do not fear to minister and do what you are led to do. As St, Paul says forget the past and press on towards the goal heavenward in Christ Jesus.
    Tom

  14. March 17th, 2013 at 20:00 | #14

    John Mundinger :Pastor Schroeder – your blog ends in the right place. But, it could have begun with a better question: “Who has united the Church?” We confess our belief in the holy, catholic and apostolic church. The church already is One. The problem is that we are not one in it.
    So, who has divided the church? jb is correct in pointing a finger at Satan. Doing so points three fingers back at each of us. The disciples were dunderheads and their followers have been arguing amongst themselves about who are the real Christians since the day after Pentecost. In every case, the problem is the same – self-centeredness. There is no “I” in “church”, but each of us insists on inserting ourselves right in the middle of it. Each of us defines unity as everyone doing things my way. None of us is comfortable enough with others who are different from us to really commit ourselves to doing it Christ’s way.
    The clarion call of the Reformation is unity in the Body of Christ. Unity is the unfinished work of the Reformation and we aren’t much closer to that outcome today than we were in 1517. Those of us who wear the mantel of the Evangelical Lutheran Church assumed a measure of responsibility to work toward unity. But, we often are more comfortable with the behaviors that cause division.

    This all sounds so very righteous, but it’s just another version of “Did God really say…?” Those of us who claim to “wear the mantel of the Evangelical Lutheran Church” include those who believe the Word of God is in the Bible — and so is some other stuff (in the Bible) that is just plain wrong.

    Only the Word can unite the Church and it is those who stray from the Word, denying it by adding to it or taking away from it, who divide the Church. It is not those who cry foul when another leads away from the cross the very ones for whom Christ died.

  15. jb
    March 17th, 2013 at 22:04 | #15

    Fr. Crandall -

    I rarely, if ever, have anything to criticize about your words.

    But on your last comment to John Mundinger – best construction and all – I think you had something to say that should have been said independent of what John said.

    His last sentences sums up many of my comments on this site and my own, and most certainly, my very close observations of Missouri over the last 40 years.

    As I said in another comment around BJS somewhere – Ole Mo is the single largest confessional Lutheran body in the world. Why, instead of these perpetual internecine battles we engender among ourselves, all of which seem to have little purpose but to prove “who” is the “more orthodox” – aren’t we challenging the RCC and the EOC and making our voice loud on the theological stage?

    Read BJS – John’s last sentence is not far from spot on. The real question is – who really wins in all of that? I addressed that individual in the first little paragraph in the first comment here.

    Screw that bastard. He gets enough of our hides. I won’t feed his hellishness. And we really do need to learn how to talk with one another before we go reaching across any “theological aisles.”

    Fr. Clint -

    I can only add John 16:33.

    A blessed Passiontide to you, and all!

    Rev. Jeff Baxter (jb)

  16. John Mundinger
    March 17th, 2013 at 23:09 | #16

    Pastor Ted Crandall :Only the Word can unite the Church and it is those who stray from the Word, denying it by adding to it or taking away from it, who divide the Church. It is not those who cry foul when another leads away from the cross the very ones for whom Christ died.

    With a couple of corrections, Pastor Crandall, I agree. The first is that the Word – the Incarnate Word – already has declared the Church to be one.

    Yet, as Pastor Baxter noted, it is much easier to preach the Law than it is to preach the Gospel. Thus, we all work to thwart Christ’s prayer that we be one as He and the Father are one. Why is that? Because, as I said above, we all are self-centered sinners. Which leads to the second correction. Those who stray from the Word, denying it by adding to or taking away from it do divide the Church. However, that is not a matter that many do and the few who don’t are compelled to hold them accountable. We all have strayed. We all are clay pots, incapable of holding God’s Inspired Word without denying it or adding to it.

    The solution is really pretty simple. All we have to do is look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Easy to say, difficult to do. Our natural inclination is to turn to easy stuff over to the Lord. But, the tough stuff is just too important so we have to tend to that ourselves.

  17. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    March 18th, 2013 at 10:13 | #17

    @jb #15

    A hearty Amen! to John 16:33…

    Clint

  18. jim davis
    March 18th, 2013 at 18:27 | #18

    If you are serious about trying to bring the church on earth back to one social unit, start with the ELCA and WELS.
    The RCC and EOC have been working since 1965 on some form of connection. These two are theologically almost identical, but culturally different. My personal opinion is that it will take at least another 100 years before you see any significant progress towards a common umbrella structure for the RCC and EOC.

    Christ forgives all Christians of our bickering among ourselves.

    Let us spend our energy where Christ wants us to: bringing the knowledge of Christ’s saving grace to our neighbors. Too many of them are not experiencing Christ’s love for them.

  19. John Mundinger
    March 18th, 2013 at 18:41 | #19

    jim davis :
    Let us spend our energy where Christ wants us to: bringing the knowledge of Christ’s saving grace to our neighbors. Too many of them are not experiencing Christ’s love for them.

    Agreed. And, divisions within the Body of Christ are stumbling blocks for those who have not experienced Christ’s love.

  20. Nicholas
    March 18th, 2013 at 19:03 | #20

    jim davis :If you are serious about trying to bring the church on earth back to one social unit, start with the ELCA…

    ROFLMAO!!!!!

  21. jim davis
    March 19th, 2013 at 06:09 | #21

    Nicholas #20: I thought JB in #1 was serious about talking with the RCC. My remarks were directed to him. I am not serious about putting energy into joining disparate social organizations. Just looking at this blog, I see that would be a waste of time.

    John #19: We bring people to Christ by focusing on His love for them. If they stumble, we reach out, grab their arm gently, and help them to walk toward Christ.
    Christ is much more important than the LCMS, ELCA, or RCC. You and I will see people in heaven that are not LCMS members.

  22. John Mundinger
    March 19th, 2013 at 06:45 | #22

    John #19: We bring people to Christ by focusing on His love for them. If they stumble, we reach out, grab their arm gently, and help them to walk toward Christ.
    Christ is much more important than the LCMS, ELCA, or RCC. You and I will see people in heaven that are not LCMS members.

    Jim – on that point, you and I are in complete agreement. As I suggested in #11, this blog should have begun with the question, “Who has united the Church?” Indeed we will see folks in heaven whom we do not expect to see. And, it’s a good thing that we will discover that in heaven because, if we made that discovery on earth, we well might be disappointed, even angry for allowing those unworthy people to get in.

    My comment in #19 was about the people whom we will not see in heaven. Whom will we not see in heaven because, instead of focusing on Christ’s love for them, we are too focused in our love for ourselves in disputes with other Lutherans/other Christians?

    I also suggested in #11 that divisions have been with us already before Christ’s death and resurrection and we will have divisions until Christ comes again. That should cause all of us to get on our knees. That should cause each of us to personally confess, “I do not have all of my theology right, either.” Instead, we gird ourselves for battle with our adversary – fellow members in the Body of Christ.

  23. Rev. Clint K. Poppe
    March 19th, 2013 at 09:10 | #23

    Regarding divisions in the church, let’s remember the Word of God which teaches us that He desires that there be no divisions among us, but rather we be united with the same mind and same judgment (1 Corinthians 1:10) and also His Word which teaches us that there must be divisions among us so that Truth may be recognized (1 Corinthians 11:19).

    In Christ, Clint

  24. March 19th, 2013 at 10:07 | #24

    A dear colleague and mentor, Pr. Lou Smith of blessed memory, said to me that as the Church is the bride of Christ, He only has one bride and the Lord is no polygamist. My post was simply to assert the fallacy of the Roman argument that the blessed Reformers divided the Church. She is undivided:

    “We do not concede to them that they are the Church, and [in truth] they are not [the Church]; nor will we listen to those things which, under the name of Church, they enjoin or forbid. 2] For, thank God, [to-day] a child seven years old knows what the Church is, namely, the holy believers and lambs who hear the voice of their Shepherd. For the children pray thus: I believe in one holy [catholic or] Christian Church. 3] This holiness does not consist in albs, tonsures, long gowns, and other of their ceremonies devised by them beyond Holy Scripture, but in the Word of God and true faith. ” The Smalcald Articles, Part III, Article XII, BoC.
    Also:

    “And to the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and 3] the administration of the Sacraments.” Augsburg Confession, article VII

    And it is true that “the world sees the (Church) sore oppressed with heresies distressed and schisms rent asunder”. It was Hermann Sasse who pointed out that there have always been divisions in the Church and at no time was their a visible unity in some golden time. In the New Testament, Paul and Peter were divided, in Acts, the division about who would service the widows between two parties, the necessity of Council in Jerusalem, the apostles jockeying for positions of authority. Therefore, wrote Sasse, the call to unity is always the Lord’s call to repentance. But never repentance of the sound doctrine of the Scripture and Confessions. All those like lambs who cling to the Good Shepherd are one Church. The LCMS (and the confessional Lutheran Churches in Africa) all preach and teach this. The Lord Himself prayed we be one. We are and we are not united but to collapse the tension to one side or the other brings problems. As has been stated here, as the Lord has given His Church, His vineyard, His Temple, the means of His grace, we look to the pioneer and perfector of our faith, who endured the cross. Peace in His Name alone, Mark

  25. John Mundinger
    March 19th, 2013 at 13:39 | #25

    Rev. Clint K. Poppe :
    Regarding divisions in the church, let’s remember the Word of God which teaches us that He desires that there be no divisions among us, but rather we be united with the same mind and same judgment (1 Corinthians 1:10) and also His Word which teaches us that there must be divisions among us so that Truth may be recognized (1 Corinthians 11:19).
    In Christ, Clint

    While that may be true, it seems to be a little too easy and a little too self-serving to conclude that, given the division, one side necessarily must be wrong so that the other can be the paragon of Truth. We all are humans. We all are sinners.

    It is more likely that there is plenty of error on both sides of the division. Together, the errorists on both sides reveal the Truth that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Together, the errorists on both sides reveal that the Truth is God’s work and that none of us is capable of completely and accurately discerning Truth. Together, the errorists on both sides reveal that the Body of Christ is one because it is just that – Christ’s Body and that, in spite of our failings, short-comings and differences, everyone of us is a member of it. Together, the errorists on both sides reveal the Truth that God is able to accomplish His purpose by working through us poor miserable sinners. Together, the errorists on both sides reveal the Truth that, even though God works through our differences, we ought not to celebrate them and that it is sinful to perpetuate them.

  26. Nicholas
    March 19th, 2013 at 15:16 | #26

    @John Mundinger #25

    It is clear that you do not love “Truth.” If you did, then you would know that there can be no unity with those who reject cardinal doctrines of the “faith once delivered to the saints,” be it Rome or the ELCA.

    You can be a Christian and believe that the Book of Concord is in theological error, but you cannot believe such and be a Lutheran.

    The only thing keeping you from becoming a Romanist is mere preference, not a love for Truth.

  27. John Mundinger
    March 19th, 2013 at 15:37 | #27

    Nicholas – “love for Truth” calls for a measure of humility where as “love for truth” does not. There is salvation in the former, but not in the latter.

  28. March 19th, 2013 at 17:04 | #28

    @John Mundinger #25

    So let’s all join hands and sing Kumbaya together, pretending that the “more moderate Confessional Lutherans” [insert eye-roll] are right, too?

    Such embracing of error is what perpetuates and celebrates division.

  29. March 20th, 2013 at 04:17 | #29

    John Mundinger :
    Together, the errorists on both sides reveal that the Truth is God’s work and that none of us is capable of completely and accurately discerning Truth.

    Are you channeling Johan Bergfest?

    Because, as you say, revealing Truth is God’s work, then doctrine is pure.

  30. March 20th, 2013 at 08:40 | #30

    these days our LCMS leadership is dividing and killing our dear LCMS with their own papacies destroying truth-doctrine-practice as well as faithful members pastors and their families as these papacies ignore our calls of warning as in Ezekiel-but the LCMS 35 papacies are here to be served or else they will divide and destroyus our churches and our faithful members-corrupt as a group——clean our the barn now

  31. March 20th, 2013 at 09:16 | #31

    @John Mundinger #25

    @Pastor Ted Crandall #29

    Amen, Pr. Crandall! Mr. Mundinger, an errorist produces error. An errorist cannot tell the truth. “…the truth shall set you free…” to be the Lord’s and speak and act truthfully. Only truth can reveal truth, an errorist cannot. The definition of that word is clear: errorist produces error, falsehood, lies. The arbiter of truth is Scripture which points truthfully to Jesus Christ, the only cornerstone of the Church, our only and true unity. I would not have rejoined the LCMS if I thought it’s doctrine, which is the Scripture as truthfully taught in the Confessions has a tiniest bit of error. Now, us humans can error and there is plenty of that on both sides, as you put it. We are called to repentance, but not repentance from the pure and sound doctrine. As others have so witnessed in their postings, as Ralph does that the LCMS is also called to repentance from the supremacies of the hierarchies which make the pope look good. Melancthon in The Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope cites Luke 22: 24-27 as an argument against the Bishop of Rome’s primacy and supremacy: this goes for us as well, including pastors jockeying for supremacy and primacy by introducing new worship forms and even doctrines such as decision theology.

  32. John Mundinger
    March 21st, 2013 at 06:21 | #32

    Pr. Mark Schroeder :
    @John Mundinger #25
    @Pastor Ted Crandall #29
    Amen, Pr. Crandall! Mr. Mundinger, an errorist produces error. An errorist cannot tell the truth. “…the truth shall set you free…” to be the Lord’s and speak and act truthfully. Only truth can reveal truth, an errorist cannot.

    Pastors Schroeder and Crandall – either I didn’t say things clearly enough or you did not read what I posted clearly enough. Truth is God’s and God’s to reveal. It is a mistake to assume that any of us is capable of holding it. I did not say that errorists reveal truth. Rather, the Truth is there to be discovered somewhere in the controversy between conflicting errors. But, for us to grasp that truth, we all have to “let go and let God”.

    Pastor Ted Crandall :
    @John Mundinger #25
    So let’s all join hands and sing Kumbaya together, pretending that the “more moderate Confessional Lutherans”

    No. Let’s all join hands and sing Kumbaya together, confessing the Truth that we all are sinners and, therefore, none of us is right. But, thanks be to God, He shows His love for us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

  33. March 21st, 2013 at 09:55 | #33

    @John Mundinger #32

    Maybe Zwingli was as right and wrong as Luther? Maybe Schulz was as right and wrong as Benke? Maybe Joseph Smith and Mohammed…

    How can you be sure of anything at all?

    How can you even dare to use the word “Truth”?

  34. John Mundinger
    March 21st, 2013 at 10:35 | #34

    Pastor Crandall – I have reference one Truth of which I am quite certain a couple of times in this conversation. God shows his love for us in this. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. I also believe that, through Baptism, God has made me, and you, His own. A third Truth, which is relevant to this conversation, Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. A fourth, the just shall live by faith. And, a fifth that God’s foolishness is wiser than our wisdom.

    None of us is capable of holding God’s Truth. The behavior in which one side assumes that it holds truth and the other side is therefore wrong is a formula for causing and perpetuating division in the Body of Christ. Putting too much confidence in your own ability to discern truth is a formula for putting your own faith at risk.

  35. John Rixe
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:16 | #35

    @Pr. Mark Schroeder #31

    “I would not have rejoined the LCMS if I thought it’s doctrine, which is the Scripture as truthfully taught in the Confessions has a tiniest bit of error.”

    What does inerrant LCMS doctrine include?

    1.  All CTCR documents?

    2.  All convention passed doctrinal resolutions?

    3.  There are even robust conflicting BOC interpretations on this forum.  Which are  inerrant?

    I don’t mean to be snarky – just requesting a clarification.

  36. helen
    March 21st, 2013 at 11:32 | #36

    @John Mundinger #32
    No. Let’s all join hands and sing Kumbaya together…

    Let’s not sing “Kumbaya”!
    My black LCMS friends resent that ditty as an insinuation that they don’t know or use English. [They were raised on TLH and sang pg. 15 beautifully, last time I shared their service.]

  37. March 21st, 2013 at 12:33 | #37

    @John Rixe #35
    I will be clearer: the LCMS adheres to the Scriptures and the Confession, they, that is the Scriptures and the Confession do not have error. The LCMS does err, if it it did not, then the day of judgment would have come and gone, and we would not be blogging but rejoicing.

  38. John Rixe
    March 21st, 2013 at 13:36 | #38

    Thanks, Pastor – this makes sense.

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