Monday, March 3, 2014

Article 24 Still Matters!

By Larry Beane

"[N]o novelty has been introduced which did not exist in the church from ancient times... no conspicuous change has been made in the public ceremonies of the Mass..." 

 ~ AC 24:40 (German, Tappert ed. p 60)

The video above (from an ELCA congregation) illustrates the wisdom of our Reformation fathers, a wisdom we seek to carry on in the reverently-celebrated traditional liturgy.  Unfortunately, even in our own LCMS communion, Article 24 is often bent and stressed to its limit - if not outright broken - by both liturgical novelty (such as "contemporary worship") and theological novelty (such as women vesting and serving at the altar during Mass).

The confessors understood that such innovation is playing with fire.

The above video shows liturgical and theological innovation taken to its inevitable end.  Here we have a group of people pretending to be the church, pretending to be Lutheran, led by a man pretending to be a woman (who incidentally prefers neither the pronoun "he" nor "she," but "they"), who is pretending to be a pastor, pretending to sing the Words of Institution over bread and wine, pretending to celebrate the Eucharist, pretending Jesus is present for such a farce.

He is even pretending to sing a Beatles' song.

Thus our Lord's sacrifice on the cross, His atoning blood shed for the forgiveness of sins, and the glorious good news of the resurrection to come, by faith in His name, through His grace, in the proclamation of His marvelous and merciful Word - is reduced to this shallow and rather pathetic perversion.

The Book of Concord is as relevant today as it was in the sixteenth century.  And Lutherans would do well to submit to the Lord's Word as confessed and explicated by the treasury that is our collection of symbolical writings - and to do so in matters both of doctrine and practice.  For doctrine shapes practice and practice shapes doctrine.

Our fathers in the faith understood this.  We need to understand this now more than ever.  The pastor who told me that Article 24 is no longer relevant and is not binding on pastors in our day and age is simply wrong.  Perhaps even more than in 1530, Article 24 still matters!

Come Quickly, Lord Jesus!


  1. I can't believe Paul McCartney would be happy about this either.
    I could not make it all the way through the video. Nausea kicked in early and overpowered me by about 1:30 in.

  2. I had to look this up. "A man pretending to be a woman" is Megan Roher, the first openly transgender pastor in the ELCA. So what we actually have is a man pretending to be a woman pretending to be a man. I couldn't watch the whole thing either,

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  4. Paul McCainMarch 4, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    I could not make it past the "nah, nah, nah, nahna, nah nah" before I clicked out of it.

    "We cannot avoid testifying against these groups publicly before all Christendom. We have no part of fellowship with their errors, be they many or few. We reject and condemn them one an all. They are wrong and heretical, and are contrary to the Scriptures of the prophets and apostles and to our Christian Augsburg Confession, which is well rounded in God's Word."

    Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article XII.8
    Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, p. 616.

  5. About a week after Christmas I was driving through a north Kansas City suburb and noticed a leftover lawn sign advertising the Christmas Eve service at a wanna be mega-church in that area:

    "Let It Be"
    Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
    with All Music from the Beatles

    I'm not a big pop music fan but in addition to the simply bizarre nature of such a "service" for a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service I can't imagine what Beatles' songs could be incorporated—though I suppose "Imagine," actually an anti-religious screed ("Imagine there's no heaven it's easy if you try, No hell below us above us only sky, Imagine all the people living for today"), was one of them!

  6. I think one of the reasons such incompetent musicians trouble the church is that they would never be tolerated elsewhere.


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