Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Confessional Crusaders

Recently I stumbled across a group of people in the WELS that are intriging and amusing. I credit them with luring me into the blogosphere in the first place. I call them the "Confessional Crusaders". I'm quite certain I can't describe them in a succinct way. I have been trying to observe them and see what makes them tick and why they believe what they believe but it has been difficult. As I mentioned in my "Who Am I" post I like to get the details about why people believe what they believe and this is a hard group to figure out. I have tried baiting them, dropped in buzz words I knew would stir them up, played some devil's advocate and see what answers I would get, but where their fundemental motivation for such fervent opposition comes from is still unknown. They are a very upset group of people that I never knew existed until a few weeks ago.

Here are the traits I've noticed so far

1.) The Confessional Crusaders are a group who seem to adamantly oppose anything not specified in the Lutheran Confessions. I mean if it didn't exist in the 1500's its no good.

2.) They tend to oppose anything outside the original Liturgy. They oppose anything contemporary or even remotely different in worship. There are varying extremes to this behavior but I have seen the arguments get down to the use of pronouns in a creed or using the NIV compared to KJV. Worshipping only has one acceptable form before God and anything else is despised by God is probably the feeling you would walk away with.

3.)They have an interesting view about Kingdom work. Everything done outside the original 1500's Lutheran church is pretty much lumped together and called "Church Growth" or CG. Anything a non-denominational, evangelical or reformed church does is called Church Growth. Anything labeled as contemporary is Church Growth. There is no regard for looking at each thing one of these churches does as valid or not valid or possibly valid if the doctrine was cleaned up. This goes for a WELS church that tries something of a similar nature using pure doctrine.

4.) I think their sensibilities are easily offended. I believe they think if you stray in any way from Luther's original design whether it was worship style, music, outreach, evangelism, etc. you will lose the core of Luther's reformation. I think to them the important part of the reformation was not the return of the truth of scripture to the world but the actual Lutheran identity as established by the Lutheran Confessions and Luther himself. Its not Luther worship but its a belief that all there is to say about scripture derived from Luther and died with Luther.

5.) They are very legalistic. Crusaders seem to take it to the next level and use the confessions and Luther as a legalistic rule book where its almost as if they have found themselves a new canon law. Everything you ever needed for the Lutheran Church was written in the 1500's so why try harder? For this group it is more important to read your confessions than scripture. As if Scripture had nothing more to offer than what the Cofessions say about them.

6.) They themselves feel as if they are reformers. They are a voice of one calling in the desert to repent. If you are outside the bounds of their rule book you are involved in heresy and apostacy. They often do not speak in love. Maybe we'll call it a mini Christ complex and they feel they are clearing the temple of sin.

7.) Christian Freedom does not exist for a crusader.

Anyways thats the basics of the group I am studying at the moment. Definately more interesting than the political races but contains nearly as much pre-packaged, over-generalized, taken out of context material and hearsay. A fascinating diversion.

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