Just as DPs are chosen in a manner which seems proper even though all in the church may not concur, so also our churches have had a history of liturgical decisions being imposed upon us by others.
Martin Chemnitz was the primary architect of the Formula of Concord and Jacob Andreae the man who through sheer force of will and political savvy negotiated the process behind of production of the Formula. These men produced, in 1569, “The Church Order for Braunschweig Wolfenbuettel.” This was written a mere seven years before the Formula of Concord, the document which advocates liturgical freedom so forcefully:
And while indeed the Christian church is not bound everywhere to one certain form of ceremony, rather Christian freedom has its place in this matter, as the ancients said: Disagreement in rites does not take away agreement in faith; but because it still brings all sorts of benefit that in ceremonies, so much as it is possible, a uniformity be maintained, and that such uniformity serves to maintain unity in doctrine, and that common, simple, weak consciences be all the less troubled, rather strengthened, it is therefore viewed as good, that as much as possible a uniformity in ceremonies with neighboring reformed (that is: Reformation) churches be affected and maintained. And for this reason, henceforth all pastors in the churches of our realm, shall emphatically follow this written church order, and not depart from the same without specific, grave cause.
Two years later, in 1571 Chemnitz authored the “Articles to be subscribed by those received into the ministerium of this church.”
Let him retain the rites in use and received ceremonies of this church, and not presume to change anything by private decision without a common decree.
David Chytraeus, another of the formulators of the Formula of Concord, was responsible for “The Wismar Address of 1572.”
Second, no one, be he who he may, whether superintendent or preacher, shall take it upon himself to change, improve or order a single thing in the church, no matter how necessary it may be considered, without the foreknowledge, consideration and approval of the entire ministerium, nor may any unknown preacher enter the pulpit without the knowledge and consent of the entire pastorate.
The challenge of today is really not whether or not customs should be imposed but who has the right to do so. During the sixteenth century the bishops, the theologians, the superintendents of the churches, or the ministerium (the pastors of a given place) did so. Throughout the history of the LCMS the synod as a whole imposed the customs, ceremonies and practices and there was a high degree of uniformity with the church. What has changed of late is not the idea that worship forms, rites and ceremonies are imposed. They always are to some extent. Today it seems the inalienable right of each congregation and each pastor to do the imposing while refusing, in the name of liberty, any imposition upon themselves. A radical pastoralism and radical congregationalism have begun manifesting themselves in our synod. It is a time when everyone does what is right in his own eyes and anyone who imposes anything is viewed as sinning.
What is needed is not only cautions against imposing forms of worship but the considered words of Martin Luther as he wrote to a situation not dissimilar to ours encouraging people to suffer the imposition of worship forms. But that can wait until next time.
 Die Evangelischen Kirchenordnungen des XVI Jahrhunderts, herausgegeben von Dr. Emil Sehling. Leipzig: O.R. Reisland, 1902, Sehling VI.1, 139-40.
 Sehling VI.1, 471,
 Sehling V, 313.