And another thing…..

I’ve told most everyone I’ve ever married if in an argument with your spouse you find that you’ve begun a sentence with, “And another thing,” don’t finish it.  It will always end badly.  This may be a good time to take my own advice.

As I said in an earlier post I found much to like in The Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Churches “Fraternal Admonition to Correct the Errors of Our Beloved Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.”  One thing I didn’t like.  They continued the practice of referring to the doctrine of closed communion as a practice.  Point 9 says in part, “Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions expressly teach a practice of Closed Communion.”

No, they expressly teach the doctrine of closed Communion. True, their statement can be understood rightly but a soon to be ex-president of the LCMS thoroughly peed in that pool when in his 2004 Synodical convention report he said that closed Communion and open Communion were merely a difference in practice.  No, they are a difference in doctrine which would be made clear if their Point 9 said, “Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions expressly teach the doctrine of closed Communion.”

Perhaps this will help.  Ask yourself, “Is marrying homosexuals just a matter of a difference in practice from marrying heterosexuals?”  That’s what some are claiming, and that’s the sort of chicken manure for the soul we open ourselves up to if we style a difference in doctrine as one of practice.  “O I believe the doctrine that marriage is a one flesh union, given by God, and for life; I just have a different practice in that I also do same sex marriages.”

The truth is that when we say, “We practice closed Communion,” we really mean, “I practice the doctrine of closed Communion.”  There are different ways of practicing the doctrine of closed Communion, but practicing open Communion is a violation of the doctrine of closed Communion.

And another thing…actually I don’t have another.  In fact, a future post will have Aristotle and me applauding the ACELC.

About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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