Gottesdienst
Gottesblog Revision2.jpg

Gottesblog

A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

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!