What’s Wrong with Lutheranism, Part Twenty(?)

Well. Read this. One of the funniest bloggers I know of and a Lutheran to boot on what is wrong with my denomination. Seriously. You’ve read it here for years, but he says it better and more eloquently than I can: the indictment of the LCMS Confessional Movement and the fruitless faith we preach. Seriously. Read this essay when you have ten or twenty minutes of quiet to digest it.

Here’s a sample:

Here is what filtered down to many of us young Lutherans: we are both sinners and justified, yes? So it’s Jesus’s job to justify, and our job to . . . sin. If we say we have no sin, then we are liars! If we say there is anything we can do about our sin, well, then we’re really lost. Don’t get me wrong: there were standards of “conduct,” which amounted to growing into a middle-of-the-road middle-class respectable and productive tax-paying citizen who kept his (or her) head down and, above all, respected authority. But that really wasn’t about our life in Christ. That was more about our life in the world. Christ dealt with the next life. Old-fashioned patriotic American “values” dealt with this one.

2 comments on “What’s Wrong with Lutheranism, Part Twenty(?)

  1. Thanks for the kind words. One thing, though: I don’t want my posts to be seen as a rap against the LCMS, per se. That’s the denomination I’m most familiar with, and so I guess it can’t help but be seen as that. But I think the questions I’m asking can be asked by Lutherans in other synods — and even by non-Lutherans in the broader Reformation tradition who are curious about how stark the distinction between justification and sanctification is — and what growth in the Christian life means, if anything.

  2. I read that post yesterday or the day before – and it’s been sticking in my brain ever since. I’m 2 years out of the seminary and I’m quite often wondering if my preaching is just perpetuating what Mr. Sacramone points out. Unfortunately – we don’t really have any peer-review sort of set-up (that I know of) that could help in this. My first homiletics class taught the basic: Law-Gospel-Sanctification progression – “you’re a sinner, but Christ died for you, now here’s your response.” Second year hom was about “special” sermons (weddings, funerals, etc). And fourth year hom was “how to try different formats to keep your default style from becoming boring.” And the end result – I mostly fall back on my usual formats – and try to balance Law/Gospel and hope that maybe I can shoe-horn some sanctification so long as I don’t give the impression that it has ANYTHING to do with justification – so even in sanctification, I almost feel like apologetically backtracking by saying, “and don’t worry if you fail at that good fruit stuff, because FORGIVENESS!”

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