I don't like change. But then again, who does? But I really don't like change when there is no reason to change. That is what I am seeing happen in the LC-MS. It is as though the way that the LC-MS has been for the past 50 + years (I can't talk beyond that at the moment because I am not any older than that and don't have the history straight in my mind) isn't good enough or correct and so we have to change what we are doing and how we do it. Where are we looking for these changes? The 17th century. Seriously. That is where we are going to in order to make changes. Practices of the 17th century are being brought back into vogue by the liturgical set of the LC-MS.
Is what they are doing wrong? No it isn't. But then again, what has been going on the LC-MS for the past century hasn't been wrong either. So why change? Why do we need to change Maundy Thursday to Holy Thursday? Because it is more accurate with the 17th century? Who cares? We live today not back then. I am not one who wants to return the liturgy and practice of the LC-MS to the 17th century. Why? Not because I don't like change (which we have established already) but because I feel that it is leading us backward instead of forward. I do not agree that we need to return to the high church of yesteryear. It seems as though we are so enamored with a neo-catholicism that we must embrace and hold fast to all that reeks of the old ways and get rid of all that is used today.
I grew up with Maundy Thursday. I was taught in confirmation class what it meant and why it was celebrated. I was taught at Seminary about Maundy Thursday. And now, after 25 years in the ministry, I am being told it Holy Thursday. What's up with that? What happened to "the new command that I give you," from the Lord Himself. Why do we want to make this change? It has been subtle. Clergy begin to talk of Holy Thursday instead of Maundy Thursday. The LC-MS website has the church calendar listed as it says "Holy (Maundy) Thursday." Does it make any difference? On one level, no. On another level, yes.
I honestly believe that we are at the corner of change. The forces at movement within the leadership of the LC-MS are moving our church into the "way it used to be." And when that is said it is not meaning the way it was in the 20th century. No, that is unacceptable and not true Lutheranism. Instead it talking about the 17th century Lutheranism that it is wanting to return to. I feel that this is unacceptable. It is not where the LC-MS is to be moving. I know, what gives me the right to decide what direction the LC-MS is to be moving? Then again, what gives those behind this movement the right to decide for the rest of us? Because they are in "power." If it was a "liberal" in power (say Pres. Kieschnick, who many felt was too liberal and a true Lutheran and they wanted to get rid of him almost as soon as he was elected, which was wrong!) they would fight tooth and nail and say it isn't his/their right to change things. Now that the power pendulum has swung the other way, it is all right to make changes without any fanfare. Just bring them in. When someone balks at it, tell them that it is a practice from the 17th century Lutheran Church, and that will make it all right.
I disagree. I do not like where our church is heading. I feel that this is just as dangerous as the contemporary, Calvinistic type of worship and theology that some have tried to get into the Lutheran church. Perhaps it is more deadly because while it purports to not be focused on self, works, etc, it seems to be just as focused on what it wants.
Straw men? Am I putting out straw men? Probably. But I am just frustrated and disgusted by the ways things are progressing. What the "true Confessional Lutherans" want is all right and should be accepted without question or reservation. What has been in practice for years and is practiced in many congregations at this time is to be questioned and changed. Why? Because someone tells us? Because that is how it was done in the 17th century? Sorry. I don't agree. And I won't go away. I am that burr under the saddle that is a pain and makes things uncomfortable. I would hope that there would be others like me that feel the same way that would stand up and start to raise their voice. If we don't, we will soon be more Catholic than Lutheran, more 17th century than 21st century.