Not Free to Use Our Liberty?
The recent interesting series of comments and the ensuing discussion on adiaphora in the context of the specific issue of a church that has a Marian shrine has caused some to raise interesting questions and suggestions about the Lutheran Confessions, Article X, of the Formula of Concord. I did a post some time ago on what, precisely, the formulators of the Formula had in mind when it came to how the church goes about together deciding what is best in terms of adiaphora. Here is a link to that post. The latest wrinkle on interpreting FC X that I’ve heard is that since the context of the Adiaphoristic controversy was one of persecution, if/when there is no persecution going on, or something either being done, or not done, as a compromise or concession to a demand to compromise doctrine then, if I understand the point correctly, each individual congregation is basically free to do whatever is right in its own eyes. I do not find this a convincing or coherent interpretation of FC X and frankly, it is lifting FC X out of context from the rest of the Book of Concord and what it has to say about worship, liturgy and adiaphora. One chap has recently side-stepped the issue by declaring that "liturgy is not adiaphora" and then from there proceeds to defend the Marian shrine by saying that this is just fine since it is not being done because of any demand that it be used by Roman Catholics. That doesn’t quite get it either, does it?