If You Are Not Interested and Passionate About Pure Doctrine You Are Not Really Missional and if You are Not Passionate About Mission and Outreach You are Not Really Doctrinally Faithful
Sadly, we continue to hear and read comments that are basically separating mission and outreach, from doctrine and confession. While these comments may be made with the intention of separating doctrine from practice, or mission from confession, that’s what they lead to. Extremely unwise!
Using the de rigeur terms that have become popular in our circles, let’s be clear on something.
If you are not doctrinally based and confessionally oriented, you are not being truly missional. And if you are not being missional, you are not being faithful to our doctrine and confession.
Let’s have an end to the “Yes, but…” kind of rhetoric on either side of these kinds of comments. Here’s what one of our pastors had to say in response to those who were lamenting an emphasis on doctine.
“It is true, brethren, as you well know, that in our day it is
common for people to say, “Emphasizing doctrine so much only harms and
hinders the kingdom of God, yes, even destroys it.” Many say, “Instead
of disputing over doctrine so much, we should much rather be concerned
with souls and with leading them to Christ.” But all who speak in this
way do not really know what they are saying or what they are doing. As
foolish as it would be to scold a farmer for being concerned about
sowing good seed and to demand of him simply to be concerned about a
good harvest, so foolish it is to scold those who are concerned first
and foremost with the doctrine, and to demand of them that they should
rather seek to rescue souls. For just as the farmer who wants a good
crop must first of all be concerned about good seed, so the church must
above all be concerned about right doctrine if it would save souls.”
(C. F. W. Walther, “Our Common Task: The Saving of Souls” , Essays for the Church [Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1992], Vol. I)