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What Luther Says

'The Lutheran Confessions Crank Christianity Up To 11'

I don't know Carey Best other than through Facebook.

What I do know about him is very little, but it's more enough to know that he is a staunch and steadfast Confessional Lutheran who always posts edifying and thoughtful Christian content (even when he's creating hilarious memes too!).

Yesterday, he wrote this in one Confessional Lutheran Group on Facebook that I saw...

"Christian, not Lutheran" is a cop out and an intentional distortion of what we confess as Lutherans. The Lutheran Confessions crank Christianity up to 11. 
"Christian, not Lutheran" fails to confess that Baptism saves. 
"Christian, not Lutheran" fails to confess that Christ is present in body and blood at the Lord's Supper. 
"Christian, not Lutheran" fails to confess comfort in confession and absolution. 
"Christian, not Lutheran" fails to confess Scripture alone. 
"Christian, not Lutheran" fails to confess true and pure Christian doctrine. 
"Christian, not Lutheran" has the spine of a worm and is not prepared to defend the hope that is in us. 
We have no room for the "Christian, not Lutheran" confession in the LCMS. 

Amen! Of course, I've written about this same problem REPEATEDLY here in this space and it was refreshing to see others speak up about it as well.

Apparently, he says that he hears this sort of thing all the time in the LCMS Texas District. Well, I'm sorry to report that the same sentiment is alive and well here in the LCMS Eastern District too.

Sadly, after reading through the many responses to his post, it's also quite clear that this is a common problem throughout the LCMS today, which is why we must reelect Rev. Matthew C. Harrison to the post of LCMS Synod President!

What it all boils down to is precisely what another person pointed out when they wanted to add one more item to Mr. Best's list...

"Christian, not Lutheran" fails to understand the important, clear distinction between Law and Gospel.

This is most certainly true.

The "Christian, not Lutheran" mantra is how a local LCMS church can have no problem hosting a public high school's graduation ceremony who's theme is the popular teachings and quotes of Gandhi.

The "Christian, not Lutheran" mantra is how that same local LCMS church can have no problem letting non-Lutherans lead Bible studies and Chapel services if not also perform house visits to shut-ins to distribute the Lord's Supper to them.

The "Christian, not Lutheran" mantra is how the same local LCMS church's private day school (the 2nd oldest Lutheran school in the country) can allow so many competing Christian faiths vie for attention within its walls without ever attempting to unify the teachers, parents, and students under a common confession of faith consistent with Lutheran doctrine.

Since catechesis for so many Lutherans stopped when they were Confirmed decades ago, they have allowed anything and everything (except the Word of God and our Confessions) to inform their present doctrinal beliefs and practices.

This has led to a loss of a distinct Lutheran identity and this self-inflicted spiritual amnesia is directly responsible for the apostasy, blasphemy, and heresy we see creeping into our church and schools today.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, we need to remember that what sets us apart from other denominations is that "the Lutheran Confessions crank Christianity up to 11" so that we can remain faithful to "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3).

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, Corporate Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as an informal Public Journal of sorts about my own experiences and journey, and if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, 'Praise the Lord!' but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor." To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 3 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/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) 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 I 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 footnotes 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 under-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 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!

About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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