Friday, December 7, 2007

The True Lutheran Church

Topic:

What are the marks of a confessional Lutheran church?

1) The pure preaching of the Word and right administration of the Sacraments are a mark of a confessional Lutheran church.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's only one mark of the Lutheran church: offering communion in every single worship service. That's the only one--there aren't any others. That alone determines whether a church is godly and Lutheran and Confessional or a crew of hardened unbelievers.

Anonymous said...

Is that the Wisconsin Synod position?

Anonymous said...

"...or a crew of hardened unbelievers."

Do you mean hardened sinners?

Anonymous said...

"There's only one mark of the Lutheran church: offering communion in every single worship service. That's the only one--there aren't any others. That alone determines whether a church is godly and Lutheran and Confessional or a crew of hardened unbelievers."

Wow. Some people must really hate the Lord's Supper for them to make a caricature like this of what others have said.

Anonymous said...

"Wow. Some people must really hate the Lord's Supper for them to make a caricature like this of what others have said."

Actually it isn't a caricature at all. Reread previous posts. This very point has actually been made--that churches who don't offer communion at every service are "ungodly, unlutheran, and unconfessional".

Priscilla said...

Wow, do you mean this...

"The WS practice of allowing voters to deny the sacrament to soul's desiring is ungodly and unLutheran :)"

That is quite a bit different that what you wrote, Now is that fair and honest? You really did paint a caricature of that position. You hurt your argument by your dishonesty, bitterness and anger. I thought all Christians loved the Lord's Supper.

Priscilla, a new Lutheran

Anonymous said...

That's an example of it, but there have been far bolder and harsher statements than that.

Priscilla said...

But what makes that harsh, if it is true? I was taught that the Lord's Supper was a wonderful gift to the church, why would someone want to deny people it? (Though where I was taught they don't have the Lord's Supper but once a month!)

Thank you.

Priscilla, a new Lutheran

P said...

Let's compare statements:

First you say:

"There's only one mark of the Lutheran church: offering communion in every single worship service. That's the only one--there aren't any others. That alone determines whether a church is godly and Lutheran and Confessional or a crew of hardened unbelievers."

Then when someone points out that it is a caricature of what others have said you reply:

"Actually it isn't a caricature at all. This very point has actually been made--that churches who don't offer communion at every service are 'ungodly, unlutheran, and unconfessional'."

But this second statment is far different from your first. In fact, some might say the first statement is a caricature of the second. Are you sure that you meant to say "Actually it isn't a caricature at all" becuase it sure looks like one.

P

Anonymous said...

If it's not available weekly, where else and when can those who want it get it? If it's offered weekly, those who don't want to take it except for once a month have that option.

"For the true unity of the Church it is enough to agree about the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments." AC VII

This obviously is an important mark and there is much division about the Lord's Supper: frequency, age appropriateness, moment of presence, distinction and separation from the Word, etc. What does that say about the unity of the Church?

Rob

Priscilla said...

Dear Rob,

Are we not bear one another's burdens? If someone is burdened and desires the Lord's Supper, should not others help that person with that burden. My new pastor communes our church every Sunday and on weekday services, and he will always come and give us the Lord's Supper in the hospital or when we ask for it. He says that is his job!

Priscilla

Anonymous said...

You are very blessed to have it weekly. Is that a WELS church? From what I can tell, it's far from the norm.

Rob

Priscilla said...

Dear Rob,

No, it is not. I was at a WELS synod church and that is where they had it once a month.

Priscilla

Anonymous said...

Sorry to call you out. Some of the bloggers, but not the facilitator, don't like non-WELS commenting on here, especially if they are negative. You can find this by reading some of the previous blogs. A lot of the others, though, are just seeking confessional Lutheranism regardless of synod affiliation.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Not that you're negative. I meant critical of WELS practices.

Rob

RTMM said...

If the Lord's Supper "offends visitors" as the practice of not having it every Sunday is defended and if it just plain doesn't fit in and only fits in at some predetermined time, then one wonders whether there is a right preaching of the Gospel in that church. There is a connection. The Sacrament is pure Gospel, it locates our salvation in the concrete body and blood of Christ. You can't get much more incarnational than that. Read Herman Sasse on this in his "We Confess the Sacraments."

RTMM

John said...

What does that say about the unity of the Church?

I believe that doctrine should unite the church. That is why the pure preaching of the Word is vital. We see the fruits of doctrine in the practice of the church. It seems in the WELS the practice of worship and communion is not united.

As you say Rob there is much division about the Lord's Supper: frequency, age appropriateness, moment of presence, distinction and separation from the Word,

Why doesn't the WELS have unity in frequency? What I have heard from one side is that it is because we don't have too. Each pastor has the freedom of choice. The choice to have it 4 times a year or 1 time a month.

The other side says our Christian freedom allows us the privilege to offer the sacrament each week.

Anonymous said...

"Each pastor has the freedom of choice. The choice to have it 4 times a year or 1 time a month."

See that is where you are missing something. I have never been part of a church where the "pastor" made the decision on this. The CHURCH made the decision on how often they wanted communion.

To say that it was the pastor who 100% dictated the frequency is absolutely ridiculous.

Most churches cling to their "tradition" of communion "x" amount of times--it's not the pastor.

Anonymous said...

So, the only reason for keeping communion from the people who desire it is to keep a man-made tradition???

You WELS people are worse than the Roman Catholics!

Anonymous said...

Here we go again on the frequency of the Lord's Supper. John, you tried to change the subject, but it always comes back to this. This is crazy (not the Lord's Supper, but this incessant arguing and cutting down the WELS regarding frequency). If we want to talk about confessional Lutheranism, why don't we talk about how the LCMS has totally forgotten about Rom 16:17, and how many WELS congregations simply don't teach it anymore either.

RandomDan said...

The funny thing is the whole topic was brought up by a person who finds the case for weekly communion less than appealing. Don't complain about it being brought up when you are the ones who bring it up originally.

Anonymous said...

Rom. 16:17 is used by all -- even cults who call themselves Christian yet deny the Trinity or require Sabbath keeping. When is it appropriate to question teachings and false doctrine? When would such questioning not cause disagreements?

Using it in context "making people fall away by going against the teaching you learned" would say that everything WELS (or any church) teaches is correct and to avoid disagreements, turn away from those who talk about them?

Rob

John said...

Rom 16:17

So,therefore,is carrying out church discipline another mark of a confessional Lutheran church?

Anonymous said...

"When is it appropriate to question teachings and false doctrine?"

It is always appropriate to question false doctrine--that is, doctrine which contradicts what the Bible says.

"When would such questioning not cause disagreements?"

It will always cause disagreement. But really the disagreement is cause by those who teach false doctrine--since they are the ones who have already separated themselves from truth.

Anonymous said...

John said:

"So,therefore,is carrying out church discipline another mark of a confessional Lutheran church?"

According to the 1932 Brief Statement, Yes. but don't confuse church discipline according to Matt 18 the same as separating from persistent errorists (Rom 16:17). They are two different things.

Anonymous said...

The Brief Statement is not part of the Lutheran Confessions.

Anonymous said...

"The Brief Statement is not part of the Lutheran Confessions."

Ugh. I am so sick of hearing statements like this. The implication is that all doctrinal statements written since the Lutheran Confessions are faulty, or at least unnecessary. New disputes and false doctrines (or at least new spins on old ones) will always surface in every age. The church must always be willing to confess what it believes. Writing new confessions, and referring to them, is not somehow wrong or non-Confessional.

Anonymous said...

Pastors on their ordination day subscribe to the Lutheran Confessions, as contained in the BOC. Until the Brief Statement or the Wauwautosa Theology or anything else are subscribed to, they are not on the same level as the BOC.

Anonymous said...

"they are not on the same level as the BOC."

No one ever said they were on the same level. The point is that they are legitimate documents to refer to and discuss, without someone chiming in and saying "That's not the Confessions!"

Bespoke said...

My, my. Synodical Conference Lutheran rely on the Brief Statement as its most ancient document. The ones that matter are the papers, opinion, even the letters of various unLutheran officials, who excuse everything and condemn only one thing - the doctrine of the Book of Concord.
Wake up and smell the Folger's. We are being given a bad substitute that only resembles Lutheran doctrine.

Anonymous said...

bespoke,

The Brief statement is "a bad substitute that only resembles Lutheran doctrine"? What rock did you crawl out from under?

Bespoke said...

Try to read comments before posting so quickly. The logical antecedent is "the ones that matter." There, do you see that now?

The Brief Statement is just that, of value only where it agrees with the canonical Scriptures and the Book of Concord.

Anonymous said...

I HAVE AN IDEA FOR A NEW DISCUSSION THREAD. "Is there ANYTHING about WELS that is good?"

Anonymous said...

I HAVE AN IDEA FOR A NEW DISCUSSION THREAD. "Is there ANYTHING about WELS that is good?"

They have real nice gyms at their schools.

Anonymous said...

I HAVE AN IDEA FOR A NEW DISCUSSION THREAD. "Is there ANYTHING about WELS that is good?"

They finally allow dancing.

Anonymous said...

Although being primarily German, they are not very good at it.

Anonymous said...

Allowing dancing: uncontrovertible evidence that WELS has moved beyond its Pietist roots.

Anonymous said...

"They have real nice gyms at their schools"

Our WELS school doesn't have a gym.

Okay, now to complain about that!

Anonymous said...

"Is there ANYTHING about WELS that is good?"

The WELS gives women a lot of ways to serve the Lord. They can even be pastors to to other women.

Anonymous said...

"Our WELS school doesn't have a gym."

I say, get some of that Thrivent or Schwann money and build one!

MLS Veteran said...

They allow DANCING now?

I went to a prep school about 30 years ago, and dancing was definitiely a no-no.

At our junior-senior prom the junior/senior class actually rented a hall and had a band and a dance.

That caused so much consternation that the following year it was held back in the school gym...with NO DANCING.

Strange...drinking was actually better tolerated than dancing...