Sunday, October 31, 2004

In Honor of this Reformation Day

This is my husband's fifth anniversary as a Lutheran. How appropriate that it should be on Reformation Day!

For those who are unaware of the significance of Reformation Day, it signifies the day when Martin Luther (note: not Martin Luther King) posted 95 theses, or statements for dispute, on the door of the Castle Church (Catholic) in Germany.

He noticed that there were a number of situations occurring within the Catholic Church that deviated from the Bible, and he intended to bring these things to light and try to fix them. It was never his intention to divide the church or to bring about another denomination, let alone an entire movement.

The Catholic church was teaching works righteousness and turned the Lord's Supper, which was God's gift to us, into our merit-earning offering to God.

In our bulletin this morning was a background for (Luther's) order of service. It was printed, "What was needed was a standard order for Communion on which churches and pastors involved in the Reformation could agree. Others determined that none could unite the churches better in this way than Luther, and so he published an essay outlining how the service should be done. His emphasis fell on retaining as much of the tradition as possible while modifying or eliminating objectionable parts."

In other terms, Lutherans (especially the LCMS, since I'm biased) have all of the good parts of Catholicism without any of the bad parts, like praying to Mary and the Saints, the unbiblical belief in purgatory, the selling of indulgences in order to "buy" forgiveness for sins, praying for the deceased, etc. The more traditional, confessional Lutheran churches resemble Catholicism in a number of ways, but the above elements are always eliminated.

I'm what you'd call a "cradle Lutheran," which just means that I've been a Lutheran my entire life. I was born, baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and it is here I'll stay, lest the contemporary church-growth enthusiasts engulf this denomination entirely. It would be only then that I would consider leaving.

Sorry if that offends some people, but there are just certain things that I believe should not be changed, and compromising a system of beliefs just to make others feel more welcome or to be nice and open-minded is not a practice I or my husband, nor many others we know, would be willing to accept or participate in. Period. There are many who've fallen victim to this line of thinking, and they've been so open-minded that their brains fell out, so they can't consult them for reason anymore.

Anyway, to get back to Reformation Day: This is a day that a large number of Lutherans commemorate by participating in celebratory worship services, eating brauts with saurkraut and/or bierocks, singing and dancing. It's a lot of fun, and a cool way to learn about history and heritage that stems back to the 1500s.

If you want more information, check out some of the Lutheran links on the right-hand side of this screen.


TKls2myhrt said...

"so open-minded that their brains fell out"

I'm going to remember that one! It's a perfect description.

The Terrible Swede said...

Yes, Mrs. Kiihn, it is one of my wife's favorite expressions.

disgruntled world citizen said...

i'm all about 5 & 15 myself. how i miss those services. the few times i am able to participate in that type of service i am grateful and live on that spiritual high for weeks.

loofrin (that's how they say lutheran in new orleans... lol)