LC Missouri Synod & the CC


#1

Hi everyone. I am a member of a LCMS church. Long story, short… I have been looking at the CC for a long time but I still have quesitons. The LCMS website lists five main differences between Lutheranism and the CC. To look at it in detail go to
www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2968

Basically the differences they list are:

  1. The authority of Scripture
  2. The doctrine of justification
  3. the authority of the pope
  4. Differences remain about both the number and the nature of the sacrements
  5. Differences remain about the role of Mary and the saints

I have read a lot and looked at this forum quite a bit too, but I still have hang ups about #3 and #5. It’s hard for me to accept praying to someone other than God. It’s also hard to accept teachings like " no meat on Friday" because I don’t understand where it comes from.

I would appreciate any help in understanding these things. Thank you in advance.


#2

Hi, Kim, and welcome to the forum.

I’ll start with #5. :slight_smile:

In Revelation we see two examples of the intercession of the Saints. Two such examples: In Rev. 5:8 (also Rev. 8:3-4) the elders stand before the throne of the Lamb, before the altar in the heavenly sanctuary. They sing hymns of praise and offer up the prayers of the saints on earth, prayer which rises like billowing clouds of incense. In Rev. 6:9-10 the martyred saints are praying imprecatory prayers against their murderers, urging the Lord to avenge their deaths.

This demonstrates that their life in Glory is not one of stasis or passivity, but that they are actively engaged in the life of Glory and all that pertains to it. If they are calling for vengeance (according to the Will of God, since they will not pray against His Will) how much more so will they be active by His Grace in praying that God’s Holy Will be accomplished in the lives of His people who yet remain on earth? Divine charity is not lessened, but increased in Heaven. (And what kind of child ignores his siblings who have fathered in the house of their father for the Family Banquet? :slight_smile: - especially when the Father is not a miser hoarding His gifts to Himself. The greatness and munificence of the Father is glorified by the greatness and munificence of His children, dispensing all from HIS Treasury.)

It is because of their (the Saints) incorporation into the Person of Jesus Christ that they (and the saints on earth) are able to participate in His righteous prayer. (It’s important to have a deep sense of Christ’s indwelling in His Body, the Church, and in each member of that Body; without that sense it’s difficult, then, to “see” the interconnectedness of all the members with the Head and with each member no matter if they are on earth or in Heaven.)

Further, we also know from Scripture that the angels watch over man (including the Son of Man: Mt. 4:11 & Lk. 22:43); therefore they are aware of man’s needs (not on their own power, of course, but by the power they are given by God). Since the angels are to be subject to us, why would the power of men and women now in glory be less than that of these angelic servants of God?

The experience of Catholics in our Communion in Christ which we enjoy with our Blessed Mother and our brothers and sisters, the Saints, testifies to an ever-deepening awareness and love of God. Far from distracting us from love of the Most Holy Trinity, our unity within the Communion of Saints only fosters greater attentiveness to living faithfully in His Light. “I reassure anyone who cares: Devotion to Mary brings us closer to Christ and does the job more quickly than ignoring her does,” (Fr. Mateo, “Refuting the Attack on Mary”, Catholic Answers).

Intercession while living on earth depends on being IN Christ, in a state of grace which sanctifies the soul, thus allowing the person to ask God something for someone else (we participate in the One Mediatorship of Christ. But in Heaven, the person has the Beatific Vision of God and is united to Him “face to Face” and “knows as he is known,” and in a greater position to ask for someone else (since he does not need anything for himself). Therefore, to ask in Christ one of the Blessed to intercede for us is simply communicated to that someone by Christ since there is no other way that person could know what is going on “down here” than by being shown by Christ.

In the Beatific Vision Christ, within Whom the Blessed are more, not less, in union, shows the Blessed the petitions of the brethren on earth, as in God all things are seen. This is not difficult for God to do. Thus we can know with absolute certainty that the Saints know the petitions addressed to them in Christ.

If one denies the lived reality of the Communion of the Saints, then one is denying the power of Christ, for what power we (on earth or in Heaven) have is HIS power in which we participate by virtue of our incorporation into His Body; we, if counted among the blessed, will not be allowed, then, “to share my throne,” Rev. 4:21. Then, St. Stephen, “filled with grace and power” withstanding the Sanhedrin, was divested of that power upon his martyrdom; then St. Peter and St. Paul, who cured people of their spiritual blindness and physical illnesses by virtue of the power of the Lord, lost their power upon their martyrdoms.

If faith gave them (and us) the power to perform such prodigies, what more must sight give? In and through our union with God we are drawn into a deeper union with all who are in Him; we don’t go to Him alone, but in a communion of Divine Love.


#3

I know also that Lutherans believe in the Creed and the “Communion of Saints.” Obviously they see the Communion fo Saints differently than the CC sees it. If anyone is Lutheran and could explain what the Lutheran Church says about the Communion of Saints I would appreciate it. I’d would of course like to learn what the CC says about it too.


#4

Most Protestants have the same reservations, Lutheran or otherwise. The supremacy of the Pope is a big one, as well as the dogma that the Church is inerrant in matters of faith and morals. As for the Marian doctrines, most of us have problems with the Immaculate Conception (for me, especially, the corollary that Mary was without sin). The Assumption doesn’t seem to pose as big as a problem for many Protestants, although I’ve yet to meet one who believes it to be true. (Now that I said that, we’ll be swamped by comments from Protestants who believe that Mary was bodily assumed into heaven… :wink: ).


#5

My husband was LCMS too. Number 5 was a problem for him too at first. Until he looked into M.L.'s writings and found that he was very devoted to Mary even after the split. It was after his time that Protestants started backing away lest anyone think they were too “Catholic.”

I know my dh enjoyed a book called Catholicism for Dummies. It might explain things a little better for you.


#6

Hi Kim. I won’t go into any detail with regard to the questions you’ve posed, as others here are more qualified to do that than I am. Let me just say, welcome! I’m a convert, too. Probably from a much more conservative brand of Protestantism than the LCMS. If things seem strange, it is only because you’ve been steeped in doctrines that are essentially anti-Christian. Catholicism is the Whole Enchilada! Sometimes things will seem alien to you… you just devour these things in devotion and prayer. In time, you will see the beauty and glory of the entire presentation. But, don’t expect to have all your questions answered overnight… that most likely will not happen. If you’ve been a Protestant all your life, then coming Home will take you some time. Be patient.


#7

Hubris, as well as offensive.


#8

Sure, I’m proud to be a Catholic. And self-confident, too. Exaggeratedly so? Maybe in the eyes some Protestants who are not as sure of themselves as they could be.

Still, it is not my goal to offend, and so I apologize to anyone who was offended by my hubris. I might’ve chosen more discreet words of encouragement for the OP.

Reversing years of religious indoctrination is not easy, to which many here are able to testify. Protestants are protesting something, and that something is usually Catholicism; more precisely, those few things that the OP mentioned as causing particular trouble. I offered the opinion, based upon my own experience of deprogramming, that the journey probably wouldn’t be easy or brief. My advice for one considering such a trip is not to take lightly the effects of the indoctrination. All the beautiful things of Christianity that have been excised by the so-called Reformers, and even called sinful by them, will take time and patience to absorb. That’s all I meant by it.


#9

Yes, for sure, most Protestants have “reservations” about these essential Christian dogmas that you mention. Those “reservations” are why they’re called Protestants. I’d be very surprised to find a man claiming to be a Protestant who believed in Immaculate Conception, or the Assumption, or Papal authority, though I might wonder about a Protestant who didn’t consider the “Church” to be infallible, in view of the promise of Jesus to protect it from the gates of Hell. Unfortunately for Protestants, it is the rejection of Papal authority that makes them disunified, a scandal before the world. It is the rejection of Immaculate Conception, along with any Marian devotion whatever, that allows most of them to toss Mary aside, demeaning the humanity of Jesus and making Him hard for people to grasp. The Assumption of Mary? Wouldn’t make a bit of sense to a Protestant for whom Mary was nothing more than a convenient incubator for the Savior.

This evening’s Mass for Mary’s Immaculate Conception was magnificent. Protestants miss so much!


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