I read an article by a Lutheran Pastor (about Christians who treasure Christian history vs. those who see no value in it or just ignore it for various reasons).
Anyway, the blog is titled something to the tune of “[words from a] Confessional Lutheran” and one of the commentors also mentioned something about “coming home to Confessional Lutheranism”.
So, my question is, what is “Confessional Lutheran”, as opposed to regular ol’ “Lutheran” or “Lutheran Church Missouri Synod”?
Are these varying components of the same Faith…kinda like within Catholicism we see the “Novus Ordo” (English/vernacular Mass…post Vatican II), Latin Mass Catholics (who typically prefer the Tridentine Mass in Latin), the Eastern Rite Catholics, etc…?
A confessional Lutheran, briefly, is one who adheres to the Lutheran Confessions. From my viewpoint, those of us who claim this would support the traditional Lutheran mass, look to the confessions as the lens with which we read scripture, etc.
Some Lutherans might view the confessions as a guide to faith and practice, but not completely necessary. For example, some Lutherans ordain women. I would claim this is not in keeping with the historical Church or the Lutheran Confessions. As another, without attacking other synods specifically, it seems in opposition to the confessions, and again the historic Church, to share the sacrament with those who do not hold to Lutheran doctrine, most notably the real presence in the Eucharist.
As an aside on Lutherans genuflecting, I read somewhere about a Lutheran pastor who started genuflecting at the altar after the consecration to drive home the point to his parish that on the altar was Christ! - the real and substantial body and blood of Christ.
And more of us - laity and pastors - should. While many Lutherans receive on their knees, if a pastor genuflects, ISTM that it reminds us that His real presence is on the altar. Sometimes, I think, Lutherans forget this. Sometimes we forget this, somehow, when thinking about Sacramental Union - “in, with and under”, when the reality is that bread and wine ARE His body and blood. If Christ were standing there, we would all bow or genuflect. Well, He is there!
Confessional Lutheran is a broader term referring to anyone who believes in the Lutheran Confessions, regardless of denomination. Lutheran Church Missouri Synod also contains most of those types of Lutherans.
I think that Jon made a great point. People who call themselves “Lutheran” vary greatly on what they believe. As such, those that wish to abide by the historic teaching of the Christian Church, as codified for Lutheranism in the Lutheran Confessions, make a point of identifying themselves by that Confession. Why? So they don’t get confused with people like this: herchurch.org/
seriously, I think the difference may be that Lutherans, traditionally, may put more emphasis on doctrine than Anglicans, who it appears to me seemto be more liturgically-centered. But then, when this would assume a lack of motley-ness on both our parts. :whacky: