After all, aren't we guilty of doing the very same thing that we criticize the Catholic Church for doing? That is, aren't we guilty of "elevating man's word over God's Word" or at least putting it on par with the holy Word of God whenever we speak so highly of the Lutheran Confessions?
Hardly. Please hear me out.
Look, I get it. I thought much the same thing at one time myself, and while there's so much I could share about the Lutheran Confessions to help address this concern that many people have, here's a brief but "meaty" bit that should suffice and help get you started in your journey to answer this concern to your own satisfaction.
What Is The Main Point of The Lutheran Confessions?
The Lutheran Reformation was not a “revolt,” but rather began as a sincere expression of concern with the false and misleading teachings, which, unfortunately, even to this very day, obscure the glory and merit of Jesus Christ. What motivated Luther was a zealous concern about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here is how the Lutheran Confessions explain what the Gospel is all about:
“Human beings have not kept the law of God but have transgressed it. Their corrupted human nature, thoughts, words, and deeds battle againsf the law. For this reason they are subject to God’s wrath, to death and all temporal afflictions, and to the punishment of the fires of hell. As a result, the Gospel, in its strict sense, teaches what people should believe, namely, that they receive from God the forgiveness of sins; that is, that the Son of God, our Lord Christ, has taken upon Himself the curse of the law and borne it, atoned and paid for all our sins; that through‘ Him alone we are restored to Gods grace, obtain the forgiveness of sins through faith and are delivered from death and all the punishments of our sins and are saved eternally… It is good news, joyous news, that God does not want to punish sin but to forgive it for Christ’s sake” (FC SD,V, 20).
The Lutheran Confessions, therefore, are a collection of all the historical writings that helped the very first Lutherans clearly express not only WHAT they believed, taught, and confessed, but WHY they believed, taught, and confessed it based on what the Bible already says.
In that sense, the Lutheran Confessions are sort of like our "public rebuttal" to all the false teachers and their apostasies, blasphemies, and heresies that threaten to damage Christ's Church.
In a Lutheran layman's terms, the Lutheran Confessions are the "basis, rule, and norm indicating how all doctrines should be judged in conformity with the Word of God" (FC SD RN), and because the Confessions are in complete doctrinal agreement with the written Word of God, they serve as the standard in the Lutheran Church to determine what is faithful Biblical teaching, insofar as that teaching is addressed in the Confessions.
NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!