Did you ever stop to think about that?
I know we've tried to answer that question by coming at it from different angles in the past. Namely, we tried to explain in as many different ways as possible that we are drawn to the Lutheran church because it is the Lord who draws us to it (John 6:44), and, as a result, we truly believe that it is the most faithful confession of "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3).
But what happens when you start to see cracks in the foundation of the Lutheran church? Sure, we realize that there is no "perfect" church, no "perfect" denomination, but what happens when Christ's Church shows evidence of leaving and ignoring her First Love? What happens when your non-Lutheran family members and friends begin to bombard you with question after question about why you're now a Lutheran?
Let's face it -- the Lutheran church is a mess!
So, all that being said, is it all worth it? Being a Christian in this day and age is difficult enough, so why stay a Lutheran with all of that going on in the background?
I found this lecture online over a year ago, but never revisited the page I bookmarked until this week. Call it sheer laziness or God's providence, but whatever the case may be, I'm so glad I just took the time to finally sit down and watch this lecture.
Rev. William Weedon presented a 2-part, 2-hour lecture titled "Why You Should Stay Lutheran: It's All About Conscience" delivered at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana (www.redeemer-fortwayne.org) on January 20th, 2014.
How comforting and reassuring was that, especially at a time when we see such a growing acceptance of American Evangelicalism, of Contemporary Worship, of FiveTwo/Wiki shenanigans, and even of sin within the Lutheran church?
"Toxic situations abound in our congregations, in our schools, and even in higher echelons you will find deep distrust, rooted pride, and a judgmental spirit reigning over all. ... People, why on earth should anyone bother remaining Lutheran? Why put up with the nastiness, the arrogance, the hypocrisy, in the midst of a dying church which we are told over and over again will soon be closing parish after parish for want of children and new members, a church that is so internally focused that it just can't seem to resist every blasted opportunity that comes along to shoot herself in the foot?"
I'm guessing that you may have felt that way. Come to think of it, maybe you still do.
So then, why should you stay a Lutheran? As Pastor Weedon said, "It's all about conscience." As far as I've been able to tell, it's the Lutheran church that most faithfully confesses what the Scriptures teach about how to quiet our consciences that are plagued by our sins.
That's why we have the Sacraments in the Lutheran Church -- to give us a foundation to stand on against the very gates of hell!
In a Lutheran layman's terms, the way the Lutheran church rightly preaches God's Word and the way it rightly administers God's Sacraments is so that our consciences can find assurance and rest just as the Lord always intended through those precious gifts of His, and that's why I will stay a Lutheran.
NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular 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 disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism almost 2 years ago now. 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 repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" 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!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, 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 they are not blasphemous/heretical, 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 both past and present 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 (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha!). 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 "Christian 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 experiencing and/or 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. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!