Search This Blog

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Is it enough? Logia '14 Congress- LC-MS, WELS, ELS (satis est-The Augsburg Confession speaks)

A news item has come to me that bears on my current series of posts...
+  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +

Hermann Sasse spoke much of "church unity" as he attempted to needle conservative Lutherans with an appeal to the Augsburg Confession.  What phrase did Sasse quote to attempt to shame these Lutherans into thinking they were being aloof or "standoff-ish", etc?  It was this [see page 191Scripture and the Church: "Confession (Confessionalism) and Theology In the Missouri Synod (1951)"]:
2] And to the true unity of the Church it is enough (satis est) to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel and 3] the administration of the Sacraments. Augsburg Confession, Article VII,2-3: Of the Church. (emphases are mine)
Well now, if Hermann Sasse can quote the Lutheran Confessions against those in the Missouri Synod who would not join with other Lutherans, then maybe he was right?  But what does the Augsburg Confession mean when it says
It is enough to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel...
Maybe the Augsburg Confession is teaching that all Christian churches should join each other now because they all teach the essential Gospel... don't they?... – "justification by faith alone" or "by grace through faith alone"?  Or at least maybe Sasse was right because he was only referring to those who called themselves "Lutheran"?

Or could it be here that the Augsburg Confession means something much more than Sasse's understanding?  Could the Augsburg Confession be quite serious at this point in emphasizing the pure Gospel?  Could the Augsburg Confession be also saying that a "Gospel" that is not pure is no Gospel at all?  ... and so any agreement on an "impure" Gospel is no spiritual agreement at all, that it is not enough (non satis est)?

= = = = = = = = = = = =

So now news comes of an(other) upcoming meeting (announced by "Logia") between the former members of the Synodical Conference (LC-MS, WELS, ELS) suggesting the possibility of reunification, or at least continuing "discussions".  And since they all call themselves "confessional Lutherans", perhaps they should concentrate "to agree concerning the doctrine of the Gospel" as the Augsburg Confession instructs them.  What?  Do they say they already agree on the Gospel?  If that is so, then the Augsburg Confession states that they should express true unity by joining in church fellowship!  What?  Do some of them say they should maintain separation?  But why?  Is it because they say they should maintain a separation because of other doctrines (e.g. Church and Ministry, etc.)?  Can they not see that this implies a deeper reason to maintain a separation?  ... because the Augsburg Confession implies that any spiritual reason for disunity should have at its heart ("Kernel and Star") the Gospel, or
The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification?
I suggest the participants "Go Back", go back to their roots, to those forefathers who in 1872 (SCR 1872) began a true unity in the Spirit by agreeing that God's grace is Universal, that God's grace is Objective (sola!) — that God is already reconciled to the whole world, yes, before we believe (2 Cor. 5:19).  And that this truth is so important that any equivocation on this doctrine is a step away from the true unity spoken of in the Augsburg Confession and is the real reason for any spiritual disunity!
The Augsburg Confession is mine! – Martin Luther
To that aim, to the restoration of a true spiritual unity in the external churches, this blog continues and is renewed in its efforts.  But if the participating church bodies ignore this teaching of the Augsburg Confession, that does not mean individual Lutherans should ignore it, for it is a matter of spiritual life and death.  Dear reader, you must listen to the message of C.F.W. Walther and the forefathers of the Missouri Synod, Wisconsin Synod, and the Ev. Lutheran Synod.

And so my English translation of C.F.W. Walther's essay/book The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification (LDJ 1859) begins in the next blog post...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments only accepted when directly related to the post.