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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Church Practice &... Dance? (Pieper, "men of St. Louis")

In my last post, Franz Pieper spoke at length on the matter of Church Fellowship.  But he added a footnote.  Footnotes can have less importance than what is said in the body of the text.  But not for Franz Pieper.  For he spoke on the issue of Church Practice and Discipline within the old (German) Missouri Synod.  This footnote was added to his point that false doctrine was rectified in an orthodox fellowship.  Here is his footnote:
1) The same has its application with church practice.  So a notice has made the rounds recently in the journals hostily reflected towards us that a new congregation of the Missouri-Synod in Portland, Oregon had arranged an execursion with dance.  The journals note in part that Missouri doesn't permit such a thing.  But this incident with malicious remarks on the [Missouri] Synod is set to account.  A journal notices:  "Here your scourge swings, you men of St. Louis!"  The remark comes too late.  The investigation of this case has been ordered for a long time.  Thus our opponents are those which charge, against all divine and human laws, the sins of individuals to the fellowship.
So not only was false doctrine put down, but also church practice was disciplined in cases of un-Christian situations in the old (German) Missouri Synod.

What prudes and nerds these "men of St. Louis" were.  Who ever heard of disciplining for a church excursion with dancing?  Who ever heard of a church body that doesn't permit such a thing?!  Maybe the Amish or other "old order" church bodies?  It was the old (German) Missouri Synod... but certainly not today's LC-MS.  And it was C.F.W. Walther (and Luther) who warned against modern Dance.

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