Unionism and Worship

Why is it that the LCMS seems more concerned with “joint worship” and “serial prayer” with other ministers than with the forms of worship? I mean, some congregations’ worship is identical to worship at any number of protestant churches down the street from them and there are no “rules” or CTCR statements regarding this. What sends a bigger message of false unity? My saying a prayer next to a Methodist at some community event or me leading worship just like him every single Sunday? (I don’t do either by the way).

It’s a rhetorical question, but in all honesty I fail to see how there is much of a distinction. Worship is Confession. Lex ordani, lex credendi. The way of worship is the way of belief.


9 comments on “Unionism and Worship

  1. Well, if any and all forms of worship are adiaphora, it matters little their provenance. In such a case, it’s only doctrine, joint prayer and communion that matter.

  2. I agree with you. It makes more sense to me to participate in a reverent, Christ centered Service with a serious confessional Episcopalian priest than to lead a clown show worship experience in an LCMS big box worship venue that is purposely designed to be irreverent and man centered (Neither of which I do). The former is forbidden while the latter is encouraged. But whose doctrine and practice are out of whack?

    1. Not even that extreme, Steve. It’s not just a “worship” or the Eucharistic we’re talking about. It is forbidden to give a prayer at a Thanksgiving Prayer service with an Episcopalian or a Baptist, yet they tell us to ape the baptist’s ministry everyday of the week.

      1. It’s really forbidden to give a prayer at a Thanksgiving prayer service with non-Lutheran Christians? I can understand not participating in “altar and pulpit” fellowship with non-Lutheran denominations. But a LCMS pastor can’t offer a prayer at a civic event if, for example, a baptist minister will also pray?

        As one raised LCMS, it’s getting difficult to find a church which simply follows the liturgies in the Lutheran hymal. How basic is that. I feel more comfortable visiting a local break away Anglican parish (Anglican Province of America). I am not very optimistic about the future of conservative Lutheranism in the United States.

        1. Generally, yes, James. There are some elaborate, near byzantine distinctions that abound, but in general, if an LCMS pastor is not the only one on the agenda, these days its

        2. verbotten
        3. . All this is a result of having an ambiguous theology of ministry, in part from the ambiguous definitions found in the confessions. We have not real distinction of when and where and what constitutes “worship” in an official capacity, nor where and when and what the limits of the office of the ministry are.

          These leads to much confusion, to say the least.

  3. I’d say follow the money. Joint services aren’t really money raisers, so we are free to harp on them. However, if you put up the big screens and more people give… well, best to keep quiet about that. Often I think it boils down to money.

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