Worth Fighting About!

Worth Fighting AboutAt one time in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Scripture’s teaching on Holy Communion was taken seriously, and Closed Communion was the order of the day. In the 16th century, Lutherans took their theology a bit more seriously than we do now as well, as the following quote clearly illustrates. At the time, Tileman Hesshus was a professor of theology at the University of Heidelberg, president of the church council, and general superintendent of the churches of the Palatinate. Wilhelm Klebitz was the deacon of Hesshus’s congregation:

Hesshus deposed Klebitz after tussling with him over the chalice in front of the altar of the Holy Spirit church in Heidelberg because he believed it impious for someone who denied Christ’s real presence in the Sacrament to distribute it.1

You won’t see anyone fighting over Christ’s body and blood today. Now, we’re all talk and no tussle. I hope that will change, because it’s worth fighting about.2



  1. Charles P. Arand, Robert Kolb, and James A. Nestingen, The Lutheran Confessions: History and Theology of The Book of Concord, (Minneapolis, Fortress Press, 2012) 237.
  1. If you’d like to hear from someone who’s ready to rumble, read Rev. Dr. Kristian Kincaid’s article titled “This is the Missouri Synod?” in the April Lutheran Clarion, which reads in part “I have heard of the desire to have a harmonious Synodical convention in Milwaukee. Why would they do that? I pray for contention. May unabashed honesty mark our Synod’s convention and not disingenuous harmony.“


Image credit: Adam Schneider on flickr, cropped, via Creative Commons license 2.0

About Scott Diekmann

Scott is a lifelong LCMS layman. Some of his vocations include husband, dad, jet driver, runner, and collector of more books than he can read. Oh, and also chocolate lover. He’s been involved in apologetics for over a decade, is on the Board of Regents at Concordia Portland, and is a column writer for the sometimes operational Around the Word Journal. He’s also written for Higher Things Magazine, The Lutheran Clarion, and has been a guest on Issues Etc. as well as the KFUO program Concord Matters.


Worth Fighting About! — 4 Comments

  1. My undergraduate class motto is “We accept the challenge,” of course written in Latin. That presupposes disharmony. Lets get into it!

  2. This article seems almost disingenuous after the recent plea for pastors to stop their Internet squabbling, some of which (though certainly not all) is over important Law/Gospel matters.

  3. Thanks for your comment Pastor Kornacki. Yes, I considered the relationship between this post and the “Just the Gospel Please” post before I hit the publish button. That post, though I didn’t really want to explicate, was directed towards the pastoral tit for tat war regarding a couple of errant, high profile pastors. Some of that conversation could have gone on off line, although I wouldn’t necessarily say all of it. Also, I saw one pastor’s sermon published online that alluded to that conversation. While I wouldn’t presume to tell a pastor how to write his sermon, and he knows what it is his congregants need to hear, had I been there that day, I would have been distracted from the good Law and Gospel content of the sermon by the intrusion of thoughts about the online war. I suspect none or few of his parishioners would have had that problem. In general, we should be willing to carry on these types of conversations. I do think pastors should be held to a high standard of internet civility, since we layman, for good or ill, look to you for guidance – not to excuse the laymen of course. That’s the background for my previous post. Feedback?

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