> The Constant Temptation Lutherans Face
The Constant Temptation Lutherans Face
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I have observed, for a very long time, that there are Lutherans who wish, very much, to act, talk, walk, and otherwise appear to all to be not too much different from the surrounding Reformed/Evangelical/Non-Denominational church bodies that are all over America. Apparently this is not a new temptation, or problem. Pr. Weedon shared this choice morsel from C.P. Krauth with me:
When the Lutheran Church acts in the spirit of the current denominationalism it abandons its own spirit. It is a house divided against itself. Some even then will stand firm, and with the choosing of new gods on the part of others there will be war in the gates. No seeming success could compensate our church for the forsaking of principles which gave her her being, for the loss of internal peace, for the destruction of her proper dignity, for the lack of self-respect which would follow it. The Lutheran Church can never have real moral dignity, real self-respect, a real claim on the reverence and loyalty of its children while it allows the fear of the denominations around it, or the desire of their approval, in any respect to shape its principles or control its actions. It is a fatal thing to ask not, What is right? What is consistent? but, What will be thought of us? How will the sectarian and secular papers talk about us? How will our neighbors of the different communions regard this or that course? Better to die than to prolong a miserable life by such compromise of all that gives life its value.
–“The Right Relation to Denominations in America,” in Lutheran Confessional Theology in America, 1840-1880, edited by Theodore G. Tappert (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972), p. 135