Listen More to what President Kieschnick Does than what He Says, by Pr. Rossow

As I write this President Kieschnick is presenting his report to the convention. He is doing the same thing that he did in the district conventions. He is reciting his adherence to the basics of Lutheranism and he is chiding those who assert that he is not confessional. As we predicted yesterday he is also backing off from his statement from years ago that “this is not your grandfathers church.”

I encourage people to listen more carefully to what President Kieschnick does than to what he says. He says that he is confessional and I believe that he really means this and that he truly believes his summary confession of Lutheran doctrine. But I am also thoroughly convinced that he does not properly translate this doctrine into true practice. Let me turn a favorite phrase of President Kieschnick upside down. He just said that the LCMS has a problem getting its head knowledge into its hearts. I assert that President Kieschnick has a problem getting the head knowledge that he professes into godly practice. Contrary to what President Kieschnick asserts, confessionals have no problems of the heart. We passionately embrace the Gospel and whole-heartedly proclaim it. President Kieschnick on the other hand has some problems getting his Confessional head knowledge into practice. Here are some examples

Let’s start with the worship service last night at President Kieschnick’s convention. As I mentioned last night, the service included a song that caused a couple of hundred people in the convention hall to sway and some to even wave their hands like charismatics. President Kieschnick did not directly cause this movement but his approach to worship is one of tolerance and openness that the writers of the Confessions rejected. They denounce again and again this informal schwarmer worship (worship rooted in emotion and subjective feeling). In his presentation today President Kieschnick clearly stated his support for informal “coffee-house worship where the pastor is informally dressed.” He used that very term. This informal style leads to the type of schwarmer/Pentecostal worship that we witnessed at the convention divine service. Luther and Walther spoke vociferously against such worship styles because they focus on the individual and not on the objective gifts of God in Christ.

Another example of President Kieschnick’s disconnect between confession and practice is his constant beating of the leadership drum. For the last several years President Kieschnick has gone to the expense of inserting into the Reporter a full color, slick folder on leadership. Leaders are great. We need them, but being a pastor does not mean being a leader. President Kieschnick has taken his cue on leadership not from the Confessions or even the Scriptures but from modern evangelicals and sociologists. The Scriptures say little about leadership and what they do say is that we ought not to be leaders but servants. Rather than training leaders, Jesus would have us train shepherds who are servants faithful to His word.

Other examples of President Kieschnick’s failure to connect his confessional head knowledge to his heart and practice include his failure to clearly and quickly rebuke Pastor David Behnke’s unionistic worship with Catholics, Jews, Sikhs and others at Yankee Stadium a few years ago. We could list more but it time to get back to the convention.

As the delegates are listening to what President Kieschnick says this week they would do well to listen even more carefully to what he does.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.

Comments

Listen More to what President Kieschnick Does than what He Says, by Pr. Rossow — 38 Comments

  1. Because someone sways and lifts up their hands  they are “emotional and subjective?”  I was one of those you described. I assure you my heart & mind was filled with the Word of God. I was caught up in a picture like this: “therefore with angels & archangels and with the whole company of heaven we laud & magnify …” Also I was inspired by the picture from Revelation: “worthy is the Lamb.” I find great connection to this scene from 2 Samuel 6:”David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might,  while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.” 2 Samuel 6:14-15. 

  2. @Fred #1

    > sways and lifts up their hands

    It upsets some of us. We can’t be getting unduly upset in worship; it distracts from the service of God’s Word.

    We are going to have to worship some place where we don’t have to watch you.

    Just that simple.

  3. “Because someone sways and lifts up their hands they are “emotional and subjective?” ”
    Yes Fred, this isn’t wrong or bad by nature, but it is a lower form of worship (according to Scripture and the Confessions). As with the 2 Samuel quote, David is NOT doing this in the Old Testament Divine Service. Not space or time to go further on this here.

    BUT, I just saw the video of the Consecration, the last clip on the Opening Service archive, using the oversized vessels. The celebrant ‘fractured’ the Host! DO NOT DO THIS. This is not Lutheran practice, the Reformed did this expressly to mock the Lutherans and to deny Christ is present. This is not a re-enactment either!

    BUT, another grave, great concern- they are not distribution the bread and wine from the altar! Only a small portion of the wine/bread is on the altar (which doesn’t go off in the distribution?). The sacrament is in the room within sound of the Words of Christ and not on the altar! Thanks for more unorthodox, uncatholic, foreign, unLutheran practice! Higher Things Youth Conferences served the Sacrament to 1100 kids (Twice at 2 conferences) and were easily able to put the Sacrament on the altar. Lord have mercy upon us!

  4. Fred & mbw,
    This is not the time or the place to argue. You both have more pressing things to do…as do we all.

  5. Dutch :
    Fred & mbw,
    This is not the time or the place to argue. You both have more pressing things to do…as do we all.

    Well said, Dutch. We don’t need any picking at nits.

    Johannes (too nervous to watch)

  6. Johannes,
    I did, the last two or so hours today. Er….even my better half left the golf game & Remember the Titians, to say, “did they just say what I thought they said?”
    Ah…yep, it would appear so.
    Only watching Q & A for 8. There isn’t enough Pepcid in this house…
    or Walgreens for that matter.

  7. In defense of both Fred and MBW, I think this is as good as place as any to “pick nits.” Indeed, these tiny “nits” are the effects of doctrinal division amongst us. There is no true Godly unity outside of agreement on all articles of doctrine. So, please, by all means pick the nits and lets examine how they found their way in our hair to begin with.

  8. Jim,
    Normally, I’d agree, but today, not so much.
    Did you listen to the Q & A for 8 today?
    If so, what were your thoughts?
    (my first…thank you I’m not there & dear Father, please be with my friends from BJS)

  9. You have given a few excellent reasons why communion should not be “celebrated” at a mob scene. There are more.

  10. (OOPS!) but I’m not sure it’s worth telling the world about just now.
    Shouldn’t we try to be as “cool, calm and collected” here as we begged the delegates to be.
    There is still the possibility of comments being cherry picked out of context to make us look bad.

    Groan in private e-mail, if you must.
    Or in your own closet.

    Where, BTW, it might be more constructive to pray:

    Kyrie Eleison!
    Christi Eleison!
    Kyrie Eleison!

  11. @Father Robert #3 I’m a little confused, isn’t the historic understanding of a sacrament God’s word connected to a visible element with the promise of the forgiveness of sins? In this case isn’t the visible element still connected with God’s word for the forgiveness of sins? Is the sacrament only valid if is is first placed on the altar? Each of the District Presidents who were distributing the elements were standing behind the altar and lifted the elements as the words of institution were spoken. How is that different than each week when the Pastor lifts the elements as he speaks the words? Is a giant communion service like this the ideal way to distribute the sacrament….probably not.

    I don’t intend these questions to be written in a spirit of provocation or insult, I am genuinely curious. I am completely in agreement that one can’t compromise on even the smallest things without eventually compromising on larger things, however I would be hard pressed to make a solid case against the way the elements were consecrated in this instance.

  12. @Tom #12

    Tom, I am thinking that Pr. Robert is concerned with what theology, or lack of theological teaching, is being expressed by the practice. For example, the breaking of the host in two has been practiced by some to symbolize the teaching that the doctrine of the real presence is false. The host is broken to “show” Christ is not truly present. When I was a Pentecostal we had communion once a year. The saltine crackers and grape juice where wheeled out in trays on a cart and then distributed by the ushers. The so-called “Lord’s Supper”, in this case, was purely symbolic and had nothing to do with the forgiveness of sins, or the presence of Christ.

  13. @Fred #1

    Fred, I was probably behind you and I found your actions completely distracting! The focus is Christ, not you or your feelings.

    What is going on at the convention is extremely concerning. These past two days have been filled with liberal propoganda masked as confessional. The words do not match the actions; there is a blending of traditional, ortho, and contemporary, hetero, which takes the focus of the service off Christ. Case in point: this afternoons service featured a praiseband being the focus on the big screens, with a very attractive female singer. Where is my mind, not on Christ but on the attractive female. My sin, yes, and I confess. Service should not be like this!

    I need more Scotch!

    kiley
    frustrated delegate

  14. Kiley,

    Come and look me up. I am in the back right of the convention hall. I won’t be there until mid afternoon tomorrow. You need scotch and I need some golf.

    I’ll be leaving Tuesday night so I hope we can get together before then. I will be there all day on Tuesday.

    TR

  15. Fred #1,

    In addition to all the other fine comments recorded above let me add the following.

    I do not question the sincerity of your swaying. What I want to discuss is what that sort of emotional expression symbolizes. As Father Robert rightly stated above it is not a sinful style; but it is a lower style and one that commonly is found in congregations that teach that emotional expression is necessary to prove that you are truly filled with the Holy Spirit. I had several people come up to me today and tell me that they left churches where this is practiced and became Lutheran because we teach and practice the true Christian faith that is rooted in the objective truth of the forgiveness of sins and not subjective expression. They thanked me for my column and scratched their heads wondering why thier new denomination would want to leave its worship foundation.

    So I hope you can see that your swaying has much broader implications than just your own sincerity. I am glad that your emotional expression is a sign of your meditation on the Word of God. Typically when worship devolves into such emotional expressions, a false theology of the Word and Spirit are not far behind and actaully have inspired the devolution. Lutherans just do not worship like that and for good reason. The changes that President Kieschnick has inspired in the synod and in some case even wrought with his own voice nad hands, are causing us to lose our Scriptural Lutheranism. Worship in Scriptural Lutheranism intentionally checks lots of outward emotional expressions because time and time again in history they have led parishes and whole denominations away from the objective truth of God’s word.

    Thanks for posting your comment. We do not question your sincerity but are warning you and others of the theological implicatons of this approach to worship.

    TR

  16. For that matter, I hope all our readers and members will come look me up in the back of the hall tomorrow afternoon or Tuesday. I would love to meet you all.

    TR

  17. @Tom #12
    Thank you Tom for your concerns. Please be sure, I am no way calling into question the validity of the Sacrament that was served. Quite simply, the meal should have been on the table. Many places, especially for larger services, altar guilds placed additional bread and wine at a credence table. If not consecrated, it goes back in storage. If needed, it goes to the altar and the Words of Christ are spoken again to consecrate it. The practice of the convention would indicate that it has been consecrated because it was in the chancel area. The convention is promoting a confusing, unhistorical practice.

  18. @Fred #1

    The problem I see with swaying and hand lifting is that it calls attention to the swayer-hand-lifter. Even someone sitting in the pew nodding vigorously at the pastor’s words is creating a distractoin. I have had the same thoughts and mental pictures as you have, and have to confess that it’s tempting to translate my feelings into body-language. But, at least our of respect to the other worshippers, why not refrain. It’s the same with clapping in rhythm during a praise song. When several people begin the swaying bit, it becomes a major distraction to the whole congregation of worshippers. If those who do this realized that they are disturbing the others, would they do it?

    @Jim Pierce #7

    The picking of nits is not the issue–I can pick with the best of y’all. But the big issues are (1) election of Harrison, and (2) defeating BRTF stuff in toto. I’d rather see the nit-picking directed at those two priorities. If you’re speaking to the BRTF, I hope you have a great time pickin’ and grinnin’.

    Johannes (nit-meister)

  19. In President Kieschnick’s report to the convention, he sought to clarify what he had meant by “This is not your grandfather’s church”, including “this is not your grandfather’s world.” He repeatedly stated that while we should allow pastors and church-workers some flexibility to try new ideas and approaches to reach the lost, “to be all things to all people”, he regularly reinforced that this was not to be done at the expence of doctrine. And yet in his fine litany of doctrines which he “believes, teaches and confesses”, he seems to have left out opposition to unionism. Did he merely forget this one?

    But back to this issue of allowing pastors some leverage in how we reach out to a lost world that is heading toward an eternity in hell, President Kieschnick stated that it can be okay to use a tambourine in worship with an ethnic community, or to use a more contemporary style of worship in another part of the church building, etc…and he stressed that none of this was to be done at the expense of doctrinal compromise. “We don’t want to give our grandchildren a church any less sound as what we received from our grandparents” is a loose quote of what he said. I have some questions I would like to hear him address:

    1) What happens when congregations are making allowances for variety in practice AND IT DOES EFFECT THEOLOGY? And furthermore, when a District President is unwilling and unintersted in any church discipline for the sake of preserving the doctrine of the church?

    2) Contemporary worship has regularly been defended under the guise that it will cause all the young people to join the church. Is the proper place of the worship service (Divine service) to reach people through evangelism, or is the worship service primarily the place where believers gather to receive God’s gifts in Word and Sacrament? Wouldn’t there be better opportunities for evangelism outside the Gottesdienst (for example, a basic Bible Study at a community nursing home, where a resident is a church member)? Why would the lost (spiritually blind, spiritually dead people) come to a worship service that worship’s a God they don’t believe in (with whom they’re at enmity?)? And as a follow-up question, “Is there a place for reverence in joint worship, and just what is that place–what crosses the line?”

    3) Do you, President Kieschnick, recognise and agree with the principle that how one worships affects what one believes–that is, that praxis (practice) effects belief and doctrine? If songs are not carefully screened, false doctrine can easily infect our congregations. You disagreed that worship services must be in German. Do you also disagree with Walther that it is helpful and necessary that our Lutheran worship services differ in style from how Methodists and others conduct their worship? We do not want our congregations confused with others which teach and practice false teachings, do we?

    4) You spoke about the unprecidented opportunities the LCMS has at this time than ever before (churches from around the world knocking on your door). Should the Missouri synod help them with doctrinal instruction, and providing doctrinal stability and support, or are you willing for Missouri to go the way of social justice and service projects, which may do good things for other people, but doesn’t care where they will spend eternity?

    Thank you!

  20. @Rick #20

    This crowd simply is unable to realize that practice affects doctrine. I have seen it, and so have most of the rest of us, I expect.

    The “evangelical style” and “Lutheran substance” argument is a myth. It is simply untrue.

    I also have about come to the conclusion that those who espouse CW at the expense of liturgical worship (1) do not understand worship, and (2) do not undertand the liturgy and (3) are ashamed of the liturgy and embarrassed by it.

    But that’s a rabbit trail isn’t it? Elect Matt Harrison! Beat the BRTF!

    johannes

  21. I do not question the sincerity of your swaying. What I want to discuss is what that sort of emotional expression symbolizes. As Father Robert rightly stated above it is not a sinful style; but it is a lower style and one that commonly is found in congregations that teach that emotional expression is necessary to prove that you are truly filled with the Holy Spirit. I had several people come up to me today and tell me that they left churches where this is practiced and became Lutheran because we teach and practice the true Christian faith that is rooted in the objective truth of the forgiveness of sins and not subjective expression. They thanked me for my column and scratched their heads wondering why thier new denomination would want to leave its worship foundation.
    So I hope you can see that your swaying has much broader implications than just your own sincerity. I am glad that your emotional expression is a sign of your meditation on the Word of God. Typically when worship devolves into such emotional expressions, a false theology of the Word and Spirit are not far behind and actaully have inspired the devolution. Lutherans just do not worship like that and for good reason. The changes that President Kieschnick has inspired in the synod and in some case even wrought with his own voice nad hands, are causing us to lose our Scriptural Lutheranism. Worship in Scriptural Lutheranism intentionally checks lots of outward emotional expressions because time and time again in history they have led parishes and whole denominations away from the objective truth of God’s word.
    Thanks for posting your comment. We do not question your sincerity but are warning you and others of the theological implicatons of this approach to worship.
    TR

    Is there a middle road between not hindering your emotions in response to the Word on one hand, and using self control on the other hand, as St. Paul asks no one to speak in tongues without an interpreter for proper order in the church? A Baby can cry. Are we going to be so thin-skinned as to complain that inconvenienced our worship-experience, or are we going to praise God our congregation has young parents who care enough to bring their children?

    I don’t have a problem really with a little swaying (so long as it’s not done mockingly, or as a chorus line), but holding up cigarette lighters or even cell phones does seem to be crossing a line. At a venue for Christian entertainment, it might be fine, but at a worship service it seems certainly out of place. If swaying to the music is okay, then do I have the Christian freedom to stand for the reading of the Holy Gospel even when no one else will stand up (and such standing was not requested by the pastor)?

  22. @Johannes #22

    I wrote this not to members of BJS, but in hopes that those from a broader perspective might consider my words here. I will not stereotype them as “unable to realize” anything. Some may seem unable, but perhaps others may take these words to heart. If someone is embarassed by the liturgy, or ashamed of it, or simply don’t understand it, they too can learn. I will not build dividing walls between myself and them, but will rather seek to share the little I know, and pray that those who know much more than I will likewise strive to patiently help others to realize the hows and whys of Christian liturgical worship. Some will have ears to hear.

  23. @Dutch #4

    @Pastor Tim Rossow #16

    @Jim Pierce #7

    @johannes #5

    People. I am only stating a fact. I do not have to worry about the sincerity of the swayer. I do not have to convince the swayer. I will not argue with the swayer or hand-waver. I just cannot have this distraction during worship. If I cannot cause such disrupters to be forcibly removed, I will find a different place.

    Nobody has a right to call such attention to themselves during WORSHIP SERVICES. I am not picking nits and I would not feel bad having such a rude person removed, if they would not stop after a warning by an usher.

    There you go!

  24. Jim 21,
    Saw this just now, LOL, hahahahaha.
    It would seem there was a fair bit o’ pickin goin on, mighty late to boot.
    And at least one grin. Great post over at CB.
    Keep grinin’ & a pickin’, nits that is.

  25. Could someone please provide specific references to language in the Confessions that mandates liturgical worship and/or rules out contemporary worship? I was going through the relevant portions over the weekend; it seems like the AC and Apology offer some strong support, but the FC explicitly gives a lot of leeway for changing ceremonies and traditions. Thanks in advance.

  26. I wonder why people assume that standing up, swaying, and lifting hands to the LORD has anything to do with calling attention to themselves? When I read the scriptures I see all kinds of physical expressions to praise the LORD with at our disposal- not just the sitting and standing up we tend to use in our congregations. It shouldn’t matter to us whether or not people stand to worship the LORD or if they fall on the ground to adore Him.

    I would question all of our hearts dear brothers if all we can say after our Synod meets to worship the LORD together as one church for the first time in 3 years are things that are neither prescribed or mandated in scripture. What a cross looks like should make no difference to me how I worship the LORD. Who wrote a song should not matter either. All of you should agree that God is in the business of using messed up sinful people and things to glorify His name and show His love.

    I see more argument in the scriptures for people to express themselves in worship through physical actions than to stand there only having emotions going on inside themselves but never expressing it. God created us all with feelings that we express daily (some of you on the blog express yourself through written word) why should God’s people divorce themselves from those feelings within worship?

    I would argue that there is a greater scriptural basis for the fact that there SHOULD be more hand raising and swaying in church. As well as prostrating, kneeling, clapping, dancing, you name it, being used to praise the LORD- regardless if it is lead by organ, piano, guitar, choir, or drummers from Africa!

    I am appalled and saddened by the way the leaders of our church today express their opinions and preferences about worship with little/no regard for those who do not feel the same way as them. It makes me sad to see such disrespectful comments here on this blog which mock and criticize fellow brothers and sisters worshipping habits, styles, and preferences.

    I enjoy all forms of worship and appreciate them all for what they bring to my soul and spirit. I love Matins, all Divine Services, and even Contemporary worship- not because I get to worship the LORD how I want to- but because the LORD is worthy to be praised at all times and in all places. He is worthy of our worship not because we feel comfortable doing it one way, or think that one way is most accurately what God wants- but because simply He is the LORD and worthy to be praised.

    There are arguments on both sides as to which way is the ‘right’ way to worship the LORD- but I think if we put all of our differences aside we would all see that there is not just ‘ONE WAY.’ The LORD meets us all in different ways. We have freedom in Christ. There are sinners on both sides trying to worship the LORD and create ways in which our congregations can worship Him as well. The problem is when we as prideful men get in the way of the freedoms in which Christ gives us.

    To say that there are lower forms of worship is very insulting and degrading to a lot of people in our Synod- and it shows a problem of pride in our hearts. I would urge all of us to be reminded of 1 Corinthians 8:1 when Paul was talking to the Corinthians about a preference as well:

    Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.

    There is no building up of our brothers in our replies and posts, but there is plenty of pride being tossed around through degrading opinions and all of our earthly/sinful knowledge.

    President Kieschnick was correct to preach to us about forgiveness in our opening service because we need it now these days more than ever. Knowledge should never be used to ‘Lord over’ people but rather to build each other up in love. You can not claim to love your fellow brothers if you continue to degrade them and treat them like they are ‘lesser’ just because they have differing opinions.

    I would encourage all of us who haven’t yet to read Dr. Mike Middendorf’s CTCR document on ‘Freedom In Christ…Even In Worship?’ And to begin to take physical action toward restoring the unity of our Synod through love- first dying to ourselves, then taking up the cross and speaking to each other with respect and love.

    We cannot hide behind our prideful and degrading comments through the excuse that we are sinful beings. This is not a good enough excuse. It is simple laziness and a half-hearted dedication to our brothers. Christ calls us to a greater unity then that and through His Spirit we can rise above all of the pettiness on both sides to achieve unity.

    I would like to see this blog site take the first steps toward that. And our pastors as the leaders of our Synod to be the first people to stand and live that way through our actions and words.

    May Christ be with us all.

  27. We must, as Matthew said, assess the sin in our own hearts.

    If I see someone raising their hands and choose to dwell on the fact that THEIR actions are distracting ME, why am I not convicted of acting as judge, assuming that my actions are that much holier than theirs? Is it not the motives of the heart that are valued more than the physical actions we choose to make?

    It seems as though the parable Jesus tells concerning the Pharisees about cleaning the “outside of one’s cup” while neglecting to clean the “inside of one’s cup” in Luke 11 (verses 37-53) comes in to play here.

    If I choose not to lift my hands, because this is a higher form of worship, but judge others in my heart because they are worshiping in a lesser way, how have I not fallen into the same trap as the pharisees?

    When I am physically worshiping in a “holier” way, yet harboring judgment in my heart, is my worship truly worthy of offering to the King of all Kings?

    I understand the theological implications of actions, and do find them both valid and vital. But, I do not understand how we can justify our sinful actions in the name of upholding theology. If we have a problem with the actions of a brother or sister and are sincerely worried that they might be falling away from truth, should we not confront them personally? Let us learn to follow Jesus’ advice in Matthew 18.

    A small side note: It is my own responsibility to focus during service. A wise friend once gave me this advice: If you are bored at church, it is not the church’s fault, but your own. I think the same applies to distractions. If I cannot keep focus in church, it is not the fault of people around me, but my own fault.

    Pastor Tim Rossow,
    It is apparent that you feel that President Kieschnick is wronging the synod and inadvertently wronging you. I must ask if you have approached him directly? And if not, why do you feel that it is productive or Christ-like to bash him and his efforts in a blog?

  28. @Kiley Campbell #14

    Kiley,

    Your words:

    “…a very attractive female singer. Where is my mind, not on Christ but on the attractive female. My sin, yes, and I confess. Service should not be like this!”

    What do you propose should be done for female parishioners that find their pastors attractive? I don’t think the problem you identify is limited to men in “contemporary” worship services that include female singers.

  29. This group and these forums just make me sad. It seems that being a Lutheran is much more important to this group than being a Christian. To run a campaign against a leader like this is just sad. No matter what we think of our leadership (government, church, etc.) we are commanded to respect them. Why can’t you all be as concerned about Scripture as you are about Luther’s words? I live my life for Christ, not for Martin Luther.

    As for worship, Jesus speaks to us all in unique ways. Who are we to judge a form of worship that may be powerful to someone else’s walk with Christ? If you don’t like it, don’t go. This blaming, accusing, judging mentality is ridiculous. This is why Lutheranism is declining. People know when they are being judged and looked down on. I am much more proud to be a Christian than a Lutheran. Especially after learning about this group and reading what you all have to say and how you treat each other, especially as brothers in Christ.

    A personal relationship with Christ and sharing that with others is much more important than fighting about theology. It is seriously ridiculous. I am ashamed to say I am Lutheran after encountering all of this.

  30. sad,

    No one on this blog puts Lutheranism above Christianity. When we speak of Lutheranism we are speaking of Scripture. They are one in the same. Have you ever read the Lutheran Confessions in the Book of Concord? They are the purest teaching of Scripture ever written.

    You speak of a “personal relationship” with Christ. Could you teach me where that is spoken of in the Bible?

    TR

  31. @sad #32
    Your final comment is worth noting. I would venture that a non-denom is just down the street or around the corner. If you are ashamed to be Lutheran then you really aren’t.
    Snark intended.

  32. sad,

    Jesus speaks to us through the Bible, it is one of the few means of grace, not in unique ways. It is more important to share a proper understanding of theology, Law and Gospel, with someone than my personal relationship with Christ. What matters is Christ and His death and resurrection, not me.

  33. Seriously?
    Arguments about worship style? Is a 500 year old liturgy any better than a two year old one? If that is the case, are Lutherans wrong from deviating from the established 2000 year old liturgy? What makes a 300 year old hymn more worthy than a 10 year old one? If a hymn/song is correct theologically, does it matter how it is performed?

    I am not a swayer or a hand raiser because it is not me. If my neighbor does it fine by me. Is swaying and arms raised different than someone crying at the beauty of the words of a hymn?

  34. @Pastor Tim Rossow #33
    @sad #32

    sad,

    No one on this blog puts Lutheranism above Christianity. When we speak of Lutheranism we are speaking of Scripture. They are one in the same. Have you ever read the Lutheran Confessions in the Book of Concord? They are the purest teaching of Scripture ever written.

    You speak of a “personal relationship” with Christ. Could you teach me where that is spoken of in the Bible?

    TR

    Yes, by your statement here you are. Scripture the Bible is the inspired word from God. Lutheranism, Lutheran Confessions in the Book of Concord are not. Yes I have read them and I will agree that they are the best man made teaching of scripture and I believe that the God had a direct hand in writing it, however they are not above the Bible or even on par. If we think they are is that not the same reason that Luther differed from the Catholic church because they put other teachings on par with God’s Word?

    Christ is my personal Savior by faith and because of his birth, life, death, resurection and assention to heaven to be with his father and his promise that I will be there also. The Bible is telling me that I have the best “personal relationship” with him.

    And because of that the Great Commission commands me (to say thank you to Jesus because of what he has done for me) to share that Saving Grace with everyone I can and where ever they are. In worship together we should be building up our faith to be able to go talk with the fallen away and the unbeliever.

    We as Christians and also as Lutherans need to be outward focused in ministry and not be inward focused by saying a person can’t raise their arms to God if we do then it is all about us and has taken the focus away from God.

    We live in a lost world and who need to know Jesus as their personal Savior and we need to really allow the Holy Spirit do his work and if we won’t help at least get out of His Way.

    My prayer is that our newly elected President Rev Matt Harrison will be able to help bring harmony to the LCMS, however if we as fellow workers in the kingdom focus on the splinter in others eye we will miss the log in ours.

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