Warning Signs that a Lutheran Pastor or Layperson is Headed Toward Rome
When a Lutheran pastor or layperson starts singing the praises of the Tridentine Latin Mass, quoting the Pope or Roman Catholic “saints” frequently, and downplaying the deep differences between Lutheranism and Rome on Justification, or trying to mitigate them, these are “warning signs” of a possible impending swim across the Tiber River. If a Lutheran pastor is heard to be talking more about the saints and putting forward the view that quite possibly one can, and maybe even should, be offering prayers to them, or to St. Mary, this is a warning sign. One chap who abandoned his call and his ordination, spent quite some time overly-fascinated with Roman Catholic doctrines, and finally ended up rejecting the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ, alone.
As I once said to those Lutheran pastors and layman dabbling with Eastern Orthodoxy: if you are not going to stay and remain among us, taking your post on Zion’s wall, then what you must do, do quickly. Stop confusing yourself and your hearers. It is tempting for Lutherans whose church bodies are experiencing serious difficulties to look fondly toward Rome, but it is simply not an option for anyone who wishes to be, and remain, faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Are there devout Christians who are Roman Catholics? Of that I have no doubt, at all. That is not the point.
There is a reason why there was a Reformation in the Western Church. And that reason remains today, both within and without, the Lutheran Church. “Going Rome” is not a good alternative.