Fear of being “too catholic”

Pastor Peters has a fantastic article, which you may read here:
http://pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com/2011/07/what-are-we-afraid-of.html

The most insightful part of this article was this great quote from C.F.W. Walther, the first president of the LCMS:

It is true that of all the church bodies which have left the papacy, it is precisely the Lutheran Church which is accused of retaining many papal abuses and of having been the least successful in cleansing itself. It is pointed out, for example, that in our church priestly clothing, church ornamentation, pictures, altar, crucifixes, candles, confession, the sign of the cross, and the like are still  apparent. But, my friends, whoever regards these innocent things as vestiges of the papacy knows neither what the papacy is, nor what the Bible teaches. The very fact that the Lutheran Reformation was not aimed at
indifferent adiaphora, but retained those things which were in harmony with God’s Word, shows that it was not a disorderly revolution, but a Biblical reformation; for whatever did not agree with God’s Word was unrelentingly cleansed from the church by the Lutheran Reformation even though it seemed to glow with angelic holiness.

All too often our sense of what is “too Catholic” comes out of an ignorance of who we are as Lutherans.  This is why a mentor of mine told me once, “it is much better to define things by what they are rather than only by what they are not.”  In other words, if we define ourselves as “not Catholic” we often end up throwing Christianity out as well.

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