Great Stuff — a bold confession

Found over on Adriane Dorr’s blog, Let it Stet:


letitstetSome Lutherans love mission work. Others eye it with hesitancy. As Pastor Harrison wrote:

On the witness side of the fault, the primary, laudable, and biblical goal is reaching the lost—now, in today’s world, in a way people today can actually hear it. “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (1 Cor. 9:22). “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

Meanwhile, those who are convinced that the fundamental aspect of the Church’s life in this world is confession—that is, holding forth for the truth of the Gospel and all its articles—rightly and intensely identify with New Testament texts that bid us to stand fast against world, culture, and prevailing trends. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23). “That faith, however, that does not present itself in confession is not firm” (Ap IV 385).

{Read his entire article here.}

Today, Missionary Orientation began at the International Center. During the next two weeks, pastors and staff will teach future missionaries about the faith with a robust confession Lutherans of both varieties should be able to get behind. It’s a thing to behold. These are the Lord’s people, baptized for this moment, afraid and eager all at the same time. They are families from the Midwest, pastors from the inner city. They’re single. They’re married. They’re seasoned. They’re brand new.

For the next two weeks, pastors and lay people, theological educators and the children of missionary candidates will spend time together, in this time and in this space, to learn about what it means to be Lutheran, to discover more about the region of the world to which they’ll be sent, to begin to develop a network of other Lutherans who are experiencing the same fears. Together, they’ll process through leaving their families and congregations, living in a new culture, and bearing witness to Christ in societies they may not yet understand.

And through it all, they’ll hear again and again of Christ crucified, of the One who knows all languages and tongues, whose death gives life to each person on each continent.

They’re learning from Lutheran theologians how to speak and think and articulate the faith like Lutherans. They’re hearing God’s Word preached each day in chapel. They’re sitting in on classes like “Confess Christ Alone” from First Vice-President Herbert Mueller, “Being Lutheran,” from Pastor Matthew Harrison, “Mission from the Cross,” by Dr. Detlev Schultz from CTS, “The Mission of the Church” by Pastor Randy Golter and a Bible study on Matthew 28 by Dr. Albert Collver. They’re being thoroughly entrenched in what it means to confess the faith, to care about the Church overseas as much as the Church here in Chicago or Fort Wayne or Houston, to be bold about Christ and His gifts.

Mission and confession. Confession and mission.

Yeah. We Lutherans can do that.

Truly, we are baptized for this moment.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

Norm has been involved behind the scenes in many of the "go-to" websites for Lutherans going back many years.


Great Stuff — a bold confession — 4 Comments

  1. ‘They’re learning from Lutheran theologians how to speak and think and articulate the faith like Lutherans.’

    I’m so glad to read that our leaders still want us to ‘speak, and think and articulate’ like Lutherans. It seems that when the church growth gurus started infiltrating the Church two decades or more ago, we stopped speaking like Lutherans. It was almost like we were ashamed of our confession. I know of churches and/or missions who don’t even use ‘Lutheran’ in the name of the church/mission for fear of frightening away potential ‘seekers’ who’ve had bad experiences with Lutheran churches. To me this smacks of the bait and switch technique that merchants sometimes use.

    I’ve experienced this antagonism towards the word Lutheran/Lutheranism in Bible classes in Lutheran churches over the years. ‘I just want to be known as a Christian’ they say; not realizing that to be a Lutheran is to be a Christian.

  2. I don’t think I understand how this fits into our framework for the office of public ministry, or even what the concept of lutheran missionaries are in light of globalism and the information age. Couldn’t these things be taught by their own pastors?
    Where are they being sent? What distinctions are there for the female missionaries? I don’t get it.

  3. Good questions, @Quasicelsus #2. They deserve good answers.

    Also, what are Adriane Dorr’s “Lutherans of both varieties“?

    In the referenced December, 2010 Lutheran Witness article, President Harrison refers to “the two major streams of Lutheranism (Loehe and Walther), which were melded into one Synod.” Such a phrase is somewhat misleading. Loehe himself admitted he held a quatenus subscription. Loehe did send a number of Sendlinge (missionaries) to America. However, most of those men joined with Walther in a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions, including the doctrine of church and ministry, and they established the polity of the Missouri Synod, which Loehe had called “amerikanische Poebelherrschaft” [American mob-rule]. So, the Lutheran variety is not there! Actually, the stream of Loehe and his quatenus doctrine eventually spawned the Iowa Synod, one of the predecessors of the Lufauxran, now apostate, XXXA.

    Earlier, President Harrison raises the question, “Shall we be primarily witnesses of the Gospel or confessors of truth? The Synod creaks and groans and undergoes occasional tectonic shifts relative to these issues.” Huh?!?

    Well, through subseqent discussions on this “seismic synodical divide,” President Harrison does indeed conclude that Lutherans are to be confessional witnesses (Matthew 28:19-20). So, here too, there are no “Lutherans of both varieties” evident.

    BTW, throughout the entire LW article on confession and witness, President Harrison never once mentions the word “missional,” the buzzword of a real “fault line” within the Missouri Synod.

  4. Doesn’t the Lutheran doctrine of Vocation more or less deal with this issue in a well-balanced way? Not all are called to be missionaries/evangelists (Ephesians 4:11-12)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.