Orthodox Lutherans and the Catholic Church Today


#1

I had a discussion with my Pastor some weeks ago that has stayed in my mind. His question to me was this:

Is there a point where the doctrinal differences are such that a Lutheran would have a DUTY to return to the Catholic Church? And where would that be?

Unfortunately our discussion was cut short at that time and I haven’t had an opportunity to pursue it further. So I am interested in your thoughts. I have been studying various Lutheran theologians and am much more aware of how our modern Lutheran church has pulled away from our original teachings - as Jon has remarked, Confession and Absolution are good examples of the divergence of doctrine and practice.

Martin Chemnitz on Confession and Absolution:

Because confession and private absolution is a highly necessary thing in the church and through it the benefits of Christ are applied to each individual, the same are thus also to be retained in their correct use in the church. Therefore no one shall go to the sacrament of the altar, unless he has presented himself to the priest and confessed himself a sinner and received private absolution.—Martin Chemnitz, Jacob Andreae, Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel Church Order


#2

My good friend is a LCMS pastor. May I ask what synod you belong to?
I’ll let the experts answser the “duty” part.

I studied the Bible for two years start to finish and they sure looked shocked to have a Catholic visitor to their Church! I learned a lot as I was able to sift out the Catholic doctrinal differences and I was welcomed warmly.

That’s a great question and I look forward to reading the answers.
Peace,
Mary.


#3

Luther wanted to do was not start another church he just wanted to sort the corruption out but it was that the people in the church were corrupt the sinners not the teachings ?


#4

Thanks for starting this thread. I had a question. In another recent thread, I was not sure if the term “Mass” was used by the Lutherans. Brother Jon said that it was.

Now, the term “Mass” to Orientals such as myself is a reference to the Sacrifice of the Mass. It refers to the dismissal right before the Liturgy of the Eucharist for the catechumens. I’ve heard and read Latin Catholics say that the “Mass” refers to the dismissal after the whole Liturgy, though that doesn’t make much sense to me. Is the term “Mass” understood by Lutherans as the Orientals understand it, or is it understood as the Latins understand it? If the former, that’s the basis for my question.

I am only vaguely aware of Lutheran doctrines, but I’ve always had a distinct impression that Lutherans reject the Sacrifice of the Mass. I know I read in the past that there were some important discussions on this topic between the Latin Catholics and Lutherans. May I ask what the result of those colloquies were? Do the Lutherans agree that the Mass is a Sacrifice?

Btw, given my impression of the Lutheran doctrine as mentioned above, I was very surprised when I read the quote from Chemnitz refer to “priests.” Lutherans have priests?:eek: It is a complete surprise to me, though a pleasant surprise, admittedly.

Blessings,
Marduk


#5

I made the transition from LCMS to Roman Catholic. I’m not sure if I ever thought it, or even if I think it was, now, “a duty”.

My love for Catholicism did one thing that even my Lutheran relatives and friends marvel at…it has made me a more devout (and hopefully, better) Christian.

Peace to you.


#6

Hi Don,

I am a member of a very traditional (and historic) LCMS congregation. I also volunteer in a community outreach program supported by a local RC church and love my brothers and sisters in both congregations. Obviously this topic is of intense interest to me.


#7

This article was written by LCMS Pastor William Weedon, who is now Director of Worship and Chaplain of the LCMS Synod International Center.

He wrote this when pastored a congregation in Illinois. His current blog is weedon.blogspot.com/

Pastor Weedon explores a different conception of the meaning of “sacrifice” from what has traditionally been understood by Lutherans. I believe it is this type of thinking on both sides of the Tiber that is resulting from the the Holy Spirit moving among God’s children.


#8

I am beginning to wonder if the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is different outside of Missouri. Our services here are definitely not refered to as mass. We do have a lot of similarities to our Catholic brothers and sisters, but we also have important differences. The core of our beliefs the grace alone, faith alone, and word alone, are rejected by Catholics and deemed heretical. Could there be a unification at some point the future? Anything is possible with God. I just don’t see it happening anytime real soon.


#9

=mardukm;10067358]Thanks for starting this thread. I had a question. In another recent thread, I was not sure if the term “Mass” was used by the Lutherans. Brother Jon said that it was.

Now, the term “Mass” to Orientals such as myself is a reference to the Sacrifice of the Mass. It refers to the dismissal right before the Liturgy of the Eucharist for the catechumens. I’ve heard and read Latin Catholics say that the “Mass” refers to the dismissal after the whole Liturgy, though that doesn’t make much sense to me. Is the term “Mass” understood by Lutherans as the Orientals understand it, or is it understood as the Latins understand it? If the former, that’s the basis for my question.

Lutherans would say that it is indeed a sacrifice of thanks and praise. That’s probably rather vague to the ears of an Eastern Christian, in communion with Rome or not.
As for Mass, the Augsburg Confession:
bookofconcord.org/augsburgconfession.php#article24

I am only vaguely aware of Lutheran doctrines, but I’ve always had a distinct impression that Lutherans reject the Sacrifice of the Mass. I know I read in the past that there were some important discussions on this topic between the Latin Catholics and Lutherans. May I ask what the result of those colloquies were? Do the Lutherans agree that the Mass is a Sacrifice?

Btw, given my impression of the Lutheran doctrine as mentioned above, I was very surprised when I read the quote from Chemnitz refer to “priests.” Lutherans have priests?:eek: It is a complete surprise to me, though a pleasant surprise, admittedly.

Ordinarily, Lutherans refer to them as pastors, but priest is not inappropriate. There may, as well, be different connotations applied to the term by Lutherans.

Jon


#10

Whether or not one is in Missouri, the Augsburg Confession is the baseline standard of our confessiono of faith, and the UAC referrs to it as The Mass. Divine Service, however, is the standard way we in the LCMS speak of it. Just semantics.

Jon


#11

I grew up Lutheran and wondered the same thing. I realized that reunification is possible right *now *for any Lutherans who realize the innovations of their founder and return to the Apostolic faith.


#12

For me, Neithan, if we could just get past that little “innovation” of universal jurisdiction. :wink:

Jon


#13

Yes, I may have to break down and read the Augsburg confession.:blush:


#14

[quote="batman1973, post:13, topic:306420"]
Yes, I may have to break down and read the Augsburg confession.:blush:

[/quote]

bookofconcord.org/ :)

Jon


#15

I think that referring to reunion with Rome as a duty won’t win you many friends in Lutheran circles, at least in the old line Lutheran churches (ELCA, etc.). Personally, I happen to agree with the idea. If one of two scenarios were to play out, I would consider it my duty to rejoin Rome. Scenario 1: Lutheranism becomes wholly apostate. Scenario 2: Rome retracts certain innovations in their theology. Unfortunately, I think that option one is more likely than number 2.


#16

=Stilldreamn;10066952]I had a discussion with my Pastor some weeks ago that has stayed in my mind. His question to me was this:

Is there a point where the doctrinal differences are such that a Lutheran would have a DUTY to return to the Catholic Church? And where would that be?

Unfortunately our discussion was cut short at that time and I haven’t had an opportunity to pursue it further. So I am interested in your thoughts. I have been studying various Lutheran theologians and am much more aware of how our modern Lutheran church has pulled away from our original teachings - as Jon has remarked, Confession and Absolution are good examples of the divergence of doctrine and practice.

Martin Chemnitz on Confession and Absolution:

Because confession and private absolution is a highly necessary thing in the church and through it the benefits of Christ are applied to each individual, the same are thus also to be retained in their correct use in the church. Therefore no one shall go to the sacrament of the altar, unless he has presented himself to the priest and confessed himself a sinner and received private absolution.—Martin Chemnitz, Jacob Andreae, Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel Church Order

IMO

The Primacy of Peter
The Sacraments [especially Eucharist and Confession]
Salvation Issues regarding Justification and “Imputed Righteousness”

Remain the main stumbling blocks. And reunion I think would require acceptace of ALL that the Church on Faith and Morals to be accepted.:signofcross::dts:


#17

[quote="batman1973, post:13, topic:306420"]
Yes, I may have to break down and read the Augsburg confession.:blush:

[/quote]

It would be worthwhile to purchase the Concordia, A Reader Edition of the Book of Concord, The Lutheran Difference, An Explanation & Comparison of Christian Bliefs, and C.F.W. Walther's Law &Gospel, A Reader's Edition.


#18

“Duty” is an uncomfortable word for sure. Yet since we maintain that Martin Luther did not intend for there to be a break in unity, but instead reform, how much needs to be changed before we acknowledge that we need to seriously work on the remaining differences? Sometimes I think we have too much invested in our identity as Lutheran and not as “catholic” (let alone Catholic!)

I imagine we all have our “line in the sand” as far as innovations in our Lutheran synods are concerned, too. What then?


#19

:thumbsup:

I’ve heard it said that a Lutheran has the obligation to awake each morning and determine if remaining in division is justified (pardon the pun). To that end, for me, it is but universal jurisdiction, and perhaps some smaller issues related to it.

Jon


#20

Jon,
What do you mean by universal jurisdiction? I am always interested in what you post, so please expand on this for me.
Thanks.

Stano


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.