Saturday, August 22, 2009
Having read through news accounts and the blogosphere of reactions to the actions of the ELCA it occurs to me that it might be helpful to consider the different fights within different church bodies.
In the ELCA the fight was and is about the replacement of one confession for another. Clearly the ELCA knows this because even in the words of the very social statement itself was the acknowledgement that this was a departure from what the Church has understood from Scripture and taught as truth for 2000 years. That is the danger in all of this -- it is the replacement of one confession (the one listed in the constitution's standard of faith article) with another confession that allows diversity of opinion about what Scripture teaches and the use of gospel as a principle to undo those clear words of Scripture.
In the LCMS the fight was and is about living up to what is a faithful confession. Everyone in the LCMS acknowledges our confessional standard and there is more unanimity about what is believed, taught and confessed than is generally the case in other church bodies. However, where we fail most of all is in allowing that confession to inform and shape our practice (about such things as worship, the frequency of the Lord's Supper, the center of our piety, the methods used to build and grow the Church, etc.).
They are different fights and, I regret to say, that harder one is in the ELCA. Though I wish those who will stay all the strength and might of the Lord to fight to replace the errant confession now reigning in that body, I know it is a nearly impossible battle. The easier one, though not easy by any stretch, is in Missouri where we fight so that how we live out our confession is as faithfulness as is our commitment to that confession.
Something to think about...