Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod : America's Best Kept Secret..

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  • Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod : America's Best Kept Secret..

    When I was growing up, I thought my two choices for a church were either the Baptist Church or the Catholic Church. When I first heard about the Lutherans, my impression about the religion was that it was based on the teachings of Martin Luther and that it was primarily " for" Germans and Scandinavians. Having been involved in two LCMS parishes for the space of three years, I know that it's far more cosmopolitan and a lot more liturgical than I originally thought. You'll find more Lutherans among the peoples of Africa than you will in Europe or the United States.The church also keeps to its Apostolic teaching and adheres quite strongly to the Book of Concord.

    So, why do we have to dig and research to find it? Isn't part of the Great Commission to " go out and make disciples?" Why go all the way to Asia and Africa when there's an enormous mission field right here in the United States? The Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod's Reformation principles, it's Biblical base, liturgical focus and Confessional Lutheran stance offers the perfect place for a Protestant of non- liturgical background that wants to keep Biblical focus and also keep to that great tradition that can be traced back in purified form to the teachings of Jesus and the holy apostles. Lutherans need to get out there and boast, rejoice and make their church visible!

    I would say not only to the Confessional Lutheran Churches such as the LCMS or the WELS, but to the other historically Confessional Protestant churches to go out there and spread the good news!
    Let the American public know that those liberal versions of your denominations don't speak for you and you offer a more faithfully conservative approach consistent with the Biblical faith of your forefathers. Society's a wreck because we've been conditioned to be too timid to say " if you want Truth, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and there is no other way under Heaven to get to the Father except through Him!" Own your heritage! Conservative Christian Churches shouldn't be tucked away behind a hill, or put on the side of a highway stretch leading to strip malls, they should be prominent! People are going to churches that teach error because they think that mainline Protestantism has flatlined. It has, but the mainlines aren't the only churches out there. The Holy Protestant Reformation will be celebrating its 500th anniversary next year. Why not start the party a little early?


  • #2
    Bumping it up for a potential discussion. We'll see if it goes anywhere.
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    • #3
      Regardless, the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod has always retained the standard liturgy, albeit in simplified form and its dedication to Scriptural integrity in light of the Confessions should be more widely known and acknowledged.
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      • #4
        The LCMS was for a long time the "gold standard" of conservative American Lutheranism, and it seems to be heading back that way after a few tough years and inner battles between seminaries etc. It's good to see your enthusiasm!
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        • #5
          Originally posted by RevT View Post
          The LCMS was for a long time the "gold standard" of conservative American Lutheranism, and it seems to be heading back that way after a few tough years and inner battles between seminaries etc. It's good to see your enthusiasm!
          Thank you so much, RevT! :) It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Pastor! :cool:
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          • #6






            A little intro to the LCMS.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by ConfessionalLutheran View Post

              Thank you so much, RevT! :) It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Pastor! :cool:
              Thank you friend, you too.
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              • #8




                One is funny, but insightful and the other is educational.
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                • #9
                  Okay, what on earth is this??? Ordain Women Now in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod LCMS Pastors, Christian News: LCMS is Theologically Divided. I was hoping that the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod, wouldn't have an issue with liberals trying to force their agendas on the denomination. In America, you would think that if people were unhappy with a particular church practice, they'd simply join another church.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ConfessionalLutheran View Post
                    Okay, what on earth is this??? Ordain Women Now in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod LCMS Pastors, Christian News: LCMS is Theologically Divided. I was hoping that the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod, wouldn't have an issue with liberals trying to force their agendas on the denomination. In America, you would think that if people were unhappy with a particular church practice, they'd simply join another church.
                    I read

                    An Argument for Women Pastors and Theologians

                    Rev. Dr. Matthew L. Becker

                    and even as a layman, I was singularly unimpressed with his arguments.
                    As a culture, we have grown beyond the primitive conditions of the First Century so the word of God, which is too confusing to know for sure exactly what he meant, no longer applies to our more egalitarian society.
                    Is that really his argument?
                    Perhaps we have outgrown our need for primitive concepts like SIN as well, and no longer really need a savior?
                    Why stop at gender roles and the will of God in his Church?

                    Like I said, I was unimpressed.
                    He is really going to need to do much better than that.
                    It was nonsense, not even passing the basic smell test.

                    Titus 1:10-16

                    10 For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by atpollard View Post

                      I read

                      An Argument for Women Pastors and Theologians

                      Rev. Dr. Matthew L. Becker

                      and even as a layman, I was singularly unimpressed with his arguments.
                      As a culture, we have grown beyond the primitive conditions of the First Century so the word of God, which is too confusing to know for sure exactly what he meant, no longer applies to our more egalitarian society.
                      Is that really his argument?
                      Perhaps we have outgrown our need for primitive concepts like SIN as well, and no longer really need a savior?
                      Why stop at gender roles and the will of God in his Church?

                      Like I said, I was unimpressed.
                      He is really going to need to do much better than that.
                      It was nonsense, not even passing the basic smell test.

                      Titus 1:10-16

                      10 For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group. 11 They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This saying is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14 and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the merely human commands of those who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
                      Thank you for the Scriptural passage, atpollard. I find it singularly appropriate to the matter at hand. This Becker fellow had been excommunicated from the LCMS last July and here's a post absolutely agreeing and supporting this decision:
                      the lcms calls a post a post

                      View all posts from this blog
                      By:Aaron D. Wolf | July 21, 2015

                      If the role of religion in America today is to teach the faithful to bend over and kiss the ring of postmodernity and beg for forgiveness for actually believing something, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod just failed spectacularly, flubbed its lines, and fell off the stage. I, for one, am elated.

                      Tuesday’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch revealed the grand faux pas with this somewhat ironic lede: “The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod recently carried out what various members consider the equivalent of a modern-day heresy trial.”

                      My enthusiasm is, of course, mixed with sadness. The Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker (the hero/victim of the breathlessly Hawthornean Post-Dispatch piece) has agitated against the church’s plainly worded doctrinal statements, to which he was bound, for many years, and should have been removed from the LCMS’s clergy roster a long time ago. Though he teaches at Valparaiso University, which is not affiliated with the LCMS, he has managed to maintain his status on the clergy roster, despite several previously unsuccessful attempts to remove him. Tuesday’s news is therefore a victory for orthodoxy. Nonetheless it is tragic to witness a man persisting in promoting false and harmful doctrine, and tragic to see him face the consequences. And yes, the rich etymology of tragic traces back to the Greek tragos, which means “goat,” and yes, the sheep needed to be separated from this one.

                      Becker’s heresies stem from two fundamental intellectual commitments, which are related. One is a higher-critical view of Scripture, and the other is a rejection of natural law. These views result in a denial of the authoritative and unified witness of both the Church and creation. Christianity then becomes subject to the whims of the day, and the Church must consistently stick Her finger in the wind to determine whether Her teachings are acceptable in the light of popular morality and popular science.

                      So it predictably follows that Becker has been a promoter of women’s ordination, the ordination of homosexuals, and same-sex marriage. He also denies that the Bible is accurate when it plainly says things that make liberals uncomfortable.

                      One of those things is the teaching, central to Christianity, that God made the world in six evening-and-morning days, and rested on the seventh. Following our Lord’s own example, Lutherans have always taken the creation account of Moses at face value. “For,” says Luther in his Lectures on Genesis, “as [Moses] is not instructing us concerning allegorical creatures and an allegorical world, but concerning essential creatures and a world visible and apprehensive by the senses, he calls, as we say in our trite proverb, ‘a post, a post.’” Luther here is following the tradition of Ss. Basil and Ambrose, who place great emphasis on the miraculous nature of God’s creative work through His Word, as He speaks new realities into existence ex nihilo. These sacred actions run contrary to fallen human reason and experience. Accounts of these sacred actions cause Bill Maher and Stephen Hawking to snicker and postmodern theologians to use words like “mythopoetic.”

                      Lutherans place great emphasis on this aspect of biblical theology. It undergirds the central doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone, in which, according to Saint Paul, God through His Word “quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.”

                      The Missouri Synod, together with other smaller conservative synods, has upheld these doctrines, consistently affirming them in confessional documents and public statements. Yet Becker has fought for years to maintain his status on the LCMS clergy roster, playing the martyr and enjoying support from his liberal colleagues in the ELCA. He has cultivated the kind of prestige that is only possible among those who have reinterpreted Christianity as an antinomian religion of peace with no sword. In place of the Lutheran conviction that the Law shatters us to prepare us for the Gospel, he has embraced a Zeitgeist theology which insists that the Gospel shatters the Law. Thus, the Church’s public condemnation of sins that are widely embraced by degraded American society, including gross violations of the natural law, is ridiculed as a kind of puritanical special pleading: Everybody sins, so why mention those in particular?

                      At the same time, Becker, following the trajectory of moral relativism, insists that these transgressions are not really sins at all, because the “Gospel” frees us all to “set aside apostolic commands if they have become outdated and are no longer applicable in one’s cultural setting.”

                      The Post-Dispatch paints a picture of an overweening, mustachioed Synodical President (“Matthew Harrison—who is known for his bushy mustache and conservative views . . . ”) on a witch hunt, with a handful of his minions (“certain members of the church”) surrounding Becker, the noble defender of free thought (“He believes stifling discussion weakens the church”), torches and pitchforks raised.

                      The reality is that Becker’s supporters are in the minority, and he has remained rostered for far too many years on account of the complexity of the LCMS bureaucracy and the bewildering patience of those who have abided by its procedural strictures to the letter. Last January, after the penultimate attempt to remove Becker failed, a frustrated President Harrison (who, incidentally, does not have the power to remove an heretical pastor from office, but does possess the authority to remove a District President who, say, refuses to remove a heretic in his district from the pastoral office) denounced Becker on Facebook, indicating his conviction that, “if my Synod does not change its inability to call such a person to repentance, and remove such a teacher where there is not repentance, then we are liars, and our confession is meaningless. I do not want to belong to such a synod, much less lead it.”

                      A mere Facebook post was enough to send Becker's supporters into paroxysmal rage.

                      But it was Montana District President the Rev. Terry Forke who took the necessary step of charging Becker with false doctrine, and backed it up by supporting a resolution against Becker (passed by delegates) at the Montana District’s recent convention. Following the convention, Becker was finally asked by his own District President (Paul Linnemann) to resign. Becker nobly refused (“I thought such a decision would lend credence to the accusations of my accusers in the Synod, namely, that I have indeed acted improperly and taught falsely"), and DP Linnemann responded by filing his own charges and requesting Becker’s expulsion from the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Becker refused to appeal, and is now heading for his true home among thetattooed priestesses on the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (sic) in America.

                      Not exactly a “heresy trial.” But it is a triumph, nonetheless.

                      Liberal onlookers will never understand or accept the public and decisive condemnation of heresy, because they hate Christian doctrine with the zeal of a fundamentalist. It is not enough for them to mock the Bible and its teachings; they cannot fathom the continued existence of a millennia-old religion that, when pressed, refuses to embrace everything it has always opposed. They clutch their pearls and express surprised horror whenever a conservative church body like the Missouri Synod expels someone for repeatedly and openly violating its clearly stated beliefs.

                      If this Rainbow Summer has taught us anything, it is that the liberals are winning in the public square. But they can never win in our churches, so long as faithful clergy and laity stand up to them boldly, decisively—and swiftly, before damage is done.

                      Meanwhile, I’d like to thank the Post-Dispatch for reporting on this little bit of inside baseball. It’s far from an embarrassing exposé. If anything, it says that Christianity is taken seriously in the LCMS.

                      PreviousBlog PostingNextBlog Posting The LCMS Calls a Post a Post | Chronicles Magazine


                      This really is a rather encouraging read. From some of the things I read yesterday, I thought my beloved LCMS was being led down the same garden path that had claimed too many good churches in recent decades.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ConfessionalLutheran View Post
                        In America, you would think that if people were unhappy with a particular church practice, they'd simply join another church.
                        Many people who are unhappy with a church are under Satan's control and he prefers to leave them in a church to promote false teaching and stir up trouble.
                        Clyde Herrin's Blog
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Originally posted by theophilus View Post
                          Many people who are unhappy with a church are under Satan's control and he prefers to leave them in a church to promote false teaching and stir up trouble.
                          This is why I think church discipline is so important. Most churches, especially non-denominational churches haven't the slightest clue about what doctrine congregants actually evangelize with. But it is also important to point out that not everybody is truly genuine and saved in the Visible Church. There are plenty of "Judas Iscariot" that will later denounce the faith. One actually doesn't need to believe to be a Disciple of Jesus, a point that is obvious concerning Judas.

                          God bless,
                          William
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by William View Post

                            This is why I think church discipline is so important. Most churches, especially non-denominational churches haven't the slightest clue about what doctrine congregants actually evangelize with. But it is also important to point out that not everybody is truly genuine and saved in the Visible Church. There are plenty of "Judas Iscariot" that will later denounce the faith. One actually doesn't need to believe to be a Disciple of Jesus, a point that is obvious concerning Judas.

                            God bless,
                            William
                            I heartily agree with you. When it comes to the point that we are only accountable to ourselves, that opens the gates to all kinds of heresy and even a self- idolization. A Church is a member of the Body of Christ, true, and we are all members of a community, which has every right to set its Biblical and Confessional standards and expect its members to abide by them. We all slip, no doubt. We all slip. That is why we need to be held accountable by those in authority, so we can admit our sin, accept whatever kind of discipline is put to us and be reconciled to the church. I'm glad you mentioned Judas because he makes a pretty good counterexample to the apostle Peter. Peter denied his Lord, too, just like Jesus said he would. Peter also reaffirmed his love for the Lord when he was confronted by Him. He repented of his sin. he repented almost as soon as he denied Jesus those three times, weeping bitterly. Of course, Judas couldn't have that. He simply begged the priests to let Jesus off and when they refused and challenged Judas to " see to it yourself" because they couldn't care less, Judas committed suicide. He damned himself. He couldn't have humbled himself before God and begged his Heavenly Father for forgiveness ( bearing in mind that when the Jewish priests refused to counsel Judas, they betrayed their own calling as well as one of their charges), but his Pride told him that forgiveness was impossible. So, " listening to his heart" led him to hang himself. Judas was truly a tragic figure, for all that we remember him as an evil traitor, which he was, without question.

                            He " listened" to that same insidious voice that promised Eve wisdom and the ability to " become like God" in the Garden of Eden.. all she had to do was disobey God and eat of the forbidden fruit. Satan leads one to death and damnation, but he puts pretty frills on that wide road and makes it as alluring and as seductive as he can. THAT is another reason why we need these standards, church discipline and curbs on thoughts and behavior.
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                            • #15
                              The ordination of women will never happen in the LCMS.

                              At the moment, all eyes are on the Lutheran Church of Australia, which is fighting the same battle and losing. This is a shame, as the LCA and the LCMS are quite similar in almost every respect of doctrine. However, Satan has carefully placed clever arguments for the ordination of women into the church. These include "the ordination of men only is an obstacle for the Gospel" and "there is no scriptural prohibition against the ordination of both genders" etc etc etc.

                              With overly accommodating leadership across the board, the last Synod voted (yet again) on the matter and the buzz is that out of the 450+ delegates the vote fell only 13 or 14 votes shy of the 2/3 majority needed to change the church's theology on this, allowing the theological novelty of the ordination of women to be accepted. The response of the Church was to draft up documents in preparation of this. For those interested in theological car crashes- read this. It's deeply distressing.

                              However, what we learn from this will hopefully serve as warnings for the LCMS or any other church debating this compromise with worldly doctrine.

                              First of all, there is the crazy idea that theology is decided by democracy. Sure, the church has always appeared on the surface to be democratic. Ancient councils, the Confessions etc all had democratic consensus. However, who had the right to vote in such matters was always based on what that person had assented to. In other words, only orthodox, qualified and faithful people could contribute to a council. Not people with innovative beliefs and unschooled credentials. Now, when it's easy to be a "member" of a church and hold any old opinion and still get nominated or elected to be a delegate in a Synod because they are popular around the church we have no standard other than personal preferences. So, a Synod can be stacked by the unqualified these days. Of course they will claim that membership requires certain beliefs, but how thorough are the membership criterion, really? I don't think a person with a Bible and a catechism has enough authority to change the theology of the 2000yo church.

                              Secondly, when 64% of the Synod want to change doctrine, then you have a genuine material schism. The myth that there is no division or that this doctrine is not divisive is almost silly. If there is no unanimity, then there is division. (Sure, we can have many diverse opinions on adiaphora). This flies in the face of everything Lutheran, a Confession that has pretty clear positions on Church fellowship and unity. A material schism is a real schism even if it hasn't become a formal schism. Therefore the LCA is a unionist church.

                              Thirdly, there is a lesson to be learned here about surrendering to the world. The idea that the Gospel is somehow stunted by a male-only pastorate because people outside need to see women in the pastorate to feel included or welcomed is insane. It takes salvation out of God's hands and authority and places it in ours. Only God saves and only through His word. No accommodation to the world will change that and the evidence actually supports a male-only ministry anyway- every church that has gone the way of women pastors has shrunk. And their theology, having now set itself a precedent of innovation, continues to become more and more worldly. Soon they will ordain pets to make a statement "for all god's marginalized creation"

                              Because I think these lessons are so blatantly obvious, I doubt the LCMS will let the rot remain. There is an argument that there is a material schism in the LCMS over this and a few other matters but it's about how those diverse opinions will be dealt with that will determine whether or not the LCMS is a unionist church or not. I'm quietly confident they will be handled well.

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