12 May 2008

From Albert, an Anglican Brother

This comment from Albert, an Anglican, deserves to be elevated to a full-fledged post. Let the one who has ears to hear, or eyes to read (as the case may be in the blogosphere ;-) hear, or read ... and learn ... and inwardly digest ... :
I think it is time for my faithful brethren in the LCMS to realize that their church is in the process of selling itself out to the world. Yes, they may not follow the quasi-Marxist agenda of the ELCA, but then they are selling themselves out at a different time. Marx is so 1970s and all that - this is the age of unbridled consumerism and debt. The new motto of the LCMS should be "let's sin so the grace may abound". Unlike the radicals of a generation ago, they don't deny that Jesus is God and capable of saving us, they just don't think they are much in need of saving in the classical sense of blood atonement and hanging on crosses and that gory stuff. Their Jesus is a crossless risen Christ (who apparently rose from a bad self-image) who seeks to empower the faithful to where "WWJD" bracelets, have their daughters make chastity vows to their fathers (and how creepy is that?), and sing "praise songs" where Jesus is made to sound like the object of a schoolgirls crush. They are "second half of the Psalm" Christians, who like all the praising but skip the part where God saves his people from despair and gives them a reason to praise Him in the first place. The result is that without the reason why God is worthy to be praised, the Gospel is all law.

Think about it - the flaws in your innermost being that become obvious when you try to lead your new "victorious life in Christ" now has no recourse to the cross because you don't have a clue why Christ ended up there! Instead of freeing you and filling your soul with joy, you are reduced to despair.

I'm not a Lutheran but I am part of a similar enough tradition (traditional Anglican - another vanishing breed) to see what's going on there. Any church with roots in the historic liturgy that has as it's new catchphrase "This is not your grandfather's church" is at most one generation away from apostasy. Trust me- I've been there, done that.

3 comments:

Orianna Laun said...

Our Anglican Brother has a very strong point. We are clearly wandering down a road we should not be wandering. We need to be aware of this, we need to make others aware of this, and we need to work together to fix the problem. One thing which is imperative is to begin at the grass roots level. Encourage our pastors to be faithful to scripture, doctrine, and our Lutheran teaching. How can we expect our people to not sell themselves out if their pastors are the ones selling them out to WWJD, 40 days of whatever, meanwhile encouraging them all to be prayer warriors? We need to encourage each other to be on the same page, and we should learn as much as we can about what we believe so we can speak intelligently and winsomely and persuasively enough to counter the negative influences.

Susan said...

Well said Orriana.

Ken Jones (WHI) said something similar awhile back and it has stuck with me when I think of the churches wandering off into La-La land.

"As the shepherd goes, so go the sheep."

Thank-you for posting Albert the Anglican's commentary on the LCMS, Pastor Asburry. He is one of many from outside the synod who've been through the process we are in and clearly see the problem and what is ahead for us. May the LORD have mercy on us.

Jay said...

I am also a traditional Anglican, who didn't want my "grandfather's church" but just my childhood church; today that can be found in the occasional "28 Prayerbook" parish, which are few and far between.

For lack of a suitable Anglican church, I attended a LCMS church and from that became a big Issues Etc fan. I saw LCMS as a denomination that avoided the ELCA/PECUSA heresies, preserving traditional theology and liturgy. But five years ago, the pastor (call him Pastor Bob) predicted that the LCMS would fissure within the next decade. The work of Mollie Z and the blogosphere (on Issues Etc. and the underlying issues) has made it clear that Pastor Bob was right.

One lesson from the Anglican woes is not to surrender the seminary. The PECUSA seminaries have been propagandizing a generation of clergy who are agents of "change" to overturn the church and its traditions.

Even more important, if there is a lesson you can take from the Anglicans, it is this: do not approve anything to strengthen the Synod president's power. Just look at how liberals Bishop Jefferts Schori (and her aide, David Booth Beers) have used their power to punish dissenters and scare the middle.

The split is inevitable, so when the time comes, districts and parishes should vote their conscience and go in either direction. Perhaps some day there will be an alliance (e.g. for Bible translations) of confessional protestants, including LCMS and Anglican survivors, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in America.