|Gregory the Theologian.|
His name day is today, a fact ignored by the sinuflecting McCain.
Someone set off alarm bells in writing me about when UOJ was "established doctrine" because a synodical convention voted on it.
That is as logical as saying abortion is moral because the Supreme Court made it legal. They also legalized sodomy, in a rare reversal, so what does that say about right and wrong in the halls of justice?
The only true, certain doctrine is revealed by the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures. The issue is not agreement with me or with a particular synod, but harmony with the Word of God.
The Book of Concord is not the same as the Word of God, because it is a confession of faith, a response to the Word of God. However, the Lutheran Symbols--as they are sometimes called--are unique in being the standard (a ruled norm) for all Lutherans. Some groups or nations stop with the Augsburg Confession, but that is a minor issue, since the Concordists and Luther himself were "theologians of the Augsburg Confession."
A multi-nation, multi-generational confession is quite powerful in its effect, as we can see in the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds. When people add or distort words to meet their political needs, as WELS did with two creeds, the corruption is obvious, making the original thought shine more brightly. The drunks who approved "fully human" are the professors who graduates that cannot write complete sentences. But that does not change Christian doctrine, which is taught by God, not by self-centered dimwits.
Before someone can start chattering about doctrine, he has to examine whether his opinions can be proven with the Word of God, in harmony with the Confessions. The Book of Concord keeps us from making the same mistakes of the past, repeating the old heresies dressed up in a different set of clothes. Huberism came back as Halle double-justification, which was born-again as Waltherism.
Honoring the Confessions is saying, "I realize many giants of Biblical and patristic learning studied and discussed these issues for years. I honor their learning before I open my mouth to speak." For instance, we know that the fantasy of universal absolution was rebuked by Luther in the Book of Concord and by an editor of the Book of Concord. Anyone who wants to go against Luther and Leyser must show himself more skillful in his exegetical knowledge, with some evidence about how those experts in justification got it so wrong.
Repeating the talking points of a tiny, shrinking Midwestern sect is not the same as teaching sound doctrine. Those who cling to synodical positions are repeating the Roman Catholic error of circular reasoning. "This is true because Holy Mother Synod said it is true. You are a heretic because Holy Mother Synod said you are a heretic."