That’s not it.

I read a post on facebook by a formerly-Lutheran friend (the formerly is the Lutheran part, not the friend part) who is now (big surprise) Eastern Orthodox.  He said that most Lutherans he talks to have the largest problem with Eastern Ecclesiology.   If only they can get past that, he said, then they have no problem with Eastern teaching.

I must confess that, what little I know of Eastern Ecclesiology doesn’t really bother me.  As far as I can tell, the only problems a Lutheran might have with Eastern Ecclesiology from a Lutheran perspective are much the same as the problems I see with modern Lutheran Ecclesiology from a Lutheran perspective.

My beef with Eastern Theology has very little to with Ecclesiology, except as it may relate to the real problems a Lutheran (or anyone interested in what the Word of God has to say) would find in Eastern theoogy, which are :

1) Original Sin (They don’t have a doctrine of it.  They call something that, and say, “See, here it is”, but they mean something vastly different.  In truth, they don’t really seem to take sin all that seriously.  And since it is going to kill me, I’m definitely going to want it addressed.  Especially since scripture does.  Pretty much everywhere but the first and last two chapters of the book.)

2) Prayers to Saints.  (Don’t do them.  There is absolutely no scriptural evidence that they do any good.  This friend once pointed out that our Lutheran confessions distinguish between two types of prayer to saints, and only condemn one.  True; they only condemn the propitiatory prayers.  The rest they call useless.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement.)

Now, of course, these things will effect their ecclesiology, but the ecclesiology is not the problem.  And, also of course, it’s so hard to pin down the East on Doctrine, that you may as well try and staple jello to a wall.  But ultimately, there are serious doctrinal differences between the justification-based church of the reformation (and the apostles, prophets, saints, etc.) and the becoming like God-based church of the East.(And Rome, the Reformed, etc.)

PS.  Posts like this are a great way to find any EO lurkers.  They can’t resist blasting Lutheranism.  I say blast away.  Those who leave Wittenberg for Constantinople generally misunderstand exactly what the Lutheran confessions teach.  They spend too much time listening to people who are trying to “Reclaim Something” that was never there in the first place, make that the straw man for Lutheranism, and then take pot-shots at some sort of strange Luthero-Evangelical hybrid that gnesio-Lutherans have always fought against anyway.

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2 Responses to “That’s not it.”

  1. The problem I have with EO theology, is that I believe that Augustine was orthodox and Pelagius was a heretic.

    Then there’s that little problem with Justification.

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