|The Intrepids were started to support SP Mark Schroeder,|
who has never supported them.
Instead, he supports the Mark/Avoid Jeske gang.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2013
I knew what that is like. I was raised in "Lutheran" congregations (AELC and then AFLC). But I was never really a Lutheran. Thankfully, though, my parents (LCMS/ALC) were fastidious in their regard for Holy Scripture, for its teaching and its authority, so they carefully sought those congregations which overtly relied upon, taught, demonstrated and otherwise reinforced its Divine Inspiration, Inerrancy, Perspicuity and Authority in its every jot and tittle. Whatever else they may have done wrong, the congregations I was raised in got that right. And that's the most important thing, in my opinion. So, when, as an adult, I finally investigated confessional Lutheranism for myself, it was the plain meaning of Scripture – being the ultimate authority – that measured it, validated it, and ultimately confirmed it as my own Confession. Today, I'm very happy and thankful to be a Lutheran. As a result, I cannot help but speak and warn of error, when I plainly hear and observe teaching and practice within Lutheranism that deviates significantly from its confession. But for the laity, as it was for me, it is more than "today's problem" that can be fixed as simply as "correcting" the doctrine and practice. It is a catechetical problem that is over a generation in the making.
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"Catechism class" is thought to satisfy the need for Christian catechesis, but catechism class succeeds at nothing more than indoctrinating children in the naked teachings of Scripture, as Lutherans confess them. It is not full catechesis. Rather catechesis comes from every source of consistent speaking and doing in the congregation, and forms the Christian's thinking and believing. Thought, language and behaviour are all very closely related: but the kingpin is language, for its form determines the way individuals think and the way those within a culture of common language interact with one another. Indeed, it is said that if you want to understand a culture better than any history book can teach you, learn it's language – and this is especially true of ancient and dead languages and cultures. Equally true is the correlation of cultural change with change in its language and change in its fundamental ideas. The same applies to the church, as well. It is interesting to note, then, that, at least in recent times, dramatic change in the Western church, in the American Church, an in American Lutheranism, can be traced to the period of time following WWII, to a period of cultural upheaval in the West and the coinciding disappearance of Classical Learning, emergence of post-Modern philosophy and associated ideologies like Dynamic Equivalence (DE), development Church Growth theories and infatuation with pop-Entertainment forms and its icons of cultural rebellion, the confluence of which resulted in the adoption of the NIV, the wholesale re-writing of catechisms, liturgies and hymnals, the near-complete disappearance of entire categories of language within the church (like long-used and important ecclesiastical terms), and the dramatic rise of leadership that earned fame for themselves by pushing this junk.
The fact is, with reference to the catechesis of Lutheran laity, leaders of the previous generation completely turned their back on the past, other than to pay brief homage to the quaint and passé, and proceeded to march face forward into the future. This is most un-Lutheran. As I explained in the paper I delivered at our 2012 Conference of Intrepid Lutherans (Why is this Happening to Us? How the culture wars become religious wars among us), ours is not a marching face first into the future with our back to the past, but "a backing into the future, with our minds firmly fixed on what we can know with certainty – the foundations of the past – as a basis for living out the present." This, our post-Modern leaders do not do. The resulting fact is that many Lutherans are simply left with a dire need to (re)discover their own Religion, by becoming (re)acquainted with its historic forms, with its former way of speaking and manner of doing. That realization is why I signed on with Intrepid Lutherans in 2010. I think that need continues now, more than ever, and is why I am willing to continue.
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But for Intrepid Lutherans to continue, we will need authors. They can be lay or clergy, but we simply will need to have a consistent flow of quality content. Some, above, have lamented of themselves, "I am not sure if I am up to the task of writing with a level of quality that fits the standards of IL." Well, that should be explained a little. The three standards that I work with are simply stated: (1) write everything as if it is going to be submitted to a journal;(2) write everything as if it will be the basis on which my progeny will judge me; and (3) be as "asocial" as possible. That last point is a requirement made necessary by this forum. Technically, the blog format is "social media" – but, even though quite a bit of "relating to others occurs" on IL, we not trying to engage in or build relationships here. Yes, I know, it happens anyway, but that is because people are involved and that's what people do. And that's fine. But it is not part of our objective or purpose. We absolutely do not want persons or personalities to dominate or become central, but struggle to keep the issues central (and much of our blog moderation serves this necessary goal, as well). Outside of that, a variety of individual writing style is something we've always tried to promote among us. For better or worse, however, over the past three-and-a-half years, Rev. Rydecki and I have been the most frequent authors, and our styles (which are similar, but certainly not identical) have kind-of set the tone, offset most often by Rev. Spencer, who writes with a much different style. And that's just fine, as well. In fact, more variety of this sort on IL would be nice – as long as the standard remains "high," as I've described.
In addition, for Intrepid Lutherans to continue, we will need to have "pastoral" oversight of some sort. That is, it cannot purely be a lay-effort. Such efforts reminds me of the Brethren movements of the late-19th and early-20th Century, where open disdain for the clergy resulted in equalization: i.e., everyone is a minister. One significant difference, of course, is that IL is neither Church nor is it Ministry, so we don't claim to be Ministers of any sort, nor do we claim Ministerial Privilege or Authority in connection with IL. But where the doctrine and practice of the Church is concerned, we still ought to have some accountability – a sounding board, if you will – with recognized credentials of some sort. He could be a Professor, a Pastor or a Theologian, either openly associated with IL or not. More than one such person would be even better. Regardless, the laymen officially involved with IL, especially as authors, will need this kind of resource alongside them.