Tuesday, August 17, 2010

FW: "Strictly speaking, there is no special teaching of the Lutheran Church." Sasse

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Feed: Mercy Journeys with Pastor Harrison
Posted on: Monday, August 16, 2010 7:55 PM
Author: Rev. Matt Harrison
Subject: "Strictly speaking, there is no special teaching of the Lutheran Church." Sasse


All of this raises the question whether there still remains in Lutheranism a stronghold of resistance against an enthusiasm that is destroying the dogma of the Church. Such resistance can not be offered from within the World Council [of Churches] and the [Lutheran] World Federation. For even if a Church that still stands by the Formula Concord's "We believe, teach and confess" could – in good conscience - belong to these organizations, it would be but a hopeless minority. And even if its witness could amount to a true testimony after having joined, would it not be quickly pushed aside as a mere minority position?. If the Missouri Synod (LC-MS) were to join the [Lutheran] World Federation – something that folks in Geneva have been awaiting for years – nothing would change in the World Federation, but everything would give way in LC-MS. This important church body would cease being a confessional church. Who would benefit? Maybe the players on the stage of global church politics, but no one else: neither congregations nor pastors. The ecumene does not worry about the likely damage: a church fractured , thousands of consciences violated, hearts broken and souls lost. It is quite possible that the lethal illness of ecumenical Schwaermertum takes a hold of this or another church. But with God's help - somewhere and somehow – there must be and will be testimony to the living Lutheran witness of word and deed. It does not all revolve around the word "Lutheran". Maybe one day we confessional Lutherans will have to come up with a new name, if the current trend prevails that every Protestant of German and Northern European provenance continues to use the designation "Lutheran," unless he is of a decidedly Reformed persuasion. Neither should it be a matter of churchly patriotism. The pride that arises from membership in the large "family" of Lutheran Churches which includes in the tally the atheists and sectarians of entire countries, is best left to other folk. It isn't even a matter of the Confessional documents per se. The key lies solely with faith that they confess; the faith of the Apostles and of the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which they attest. Strictly speaking, there is no special teaching of the Lutheran Church. The 'sola gratia,''sola fide' is not Luther's invention; it is the Gospel which has always nourished Christendom, ever since the Lord Jesus Christ called sinners to himself. All of medieval Christendom has lived in this manner. I know of not one single Christian of the medieval era, who died while invoking his own merit, as was later the case of the enlightened illuminati of Protestantism.


Hermann Sasse, Letters to Lutheran Pastors 51

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