[I posted substantially what follows on a list I'm on; I offer here for further discussion in a wider audience if any care to comment.]
The Church Catholic is not the Missouri Synod and the Missouri Synod is not the Church Catholic; that is true. But the Missouri Synod (for good or ill) is my current jurisdiction within the Church Catholic.
"Submit to one another" the Apostle enjoined. He did not enjoin this merely for those we are always in agreement with (for then there is no submission in the strict sense of the word), but precisely to those we might disagree with. I'm not speaking of doctrinal disagreement, but of those areas that are truly in the realm of adiaphora (I use that word in its proper sense - not as it is bandied about today). We haven't bishops to submit to, but if I had a bishop and he mandated what I thought was a silly practice, I'd be sure to tell him so, but would also do it. We don't have bishops, but we do have a committee that struggled with the charge given it to produce a hymnal and
liturgy that was truly catholic and truly evangelical. This resulted in some compromises; indeed some practices that in my opinion leave much to be desired.
I'm glad there's stuff in the book that *I* am not in favor of; it helps me to die to myself. So what if I don't like X and happen to know that X is not the best of the catholic tradition? A more important part of the catholic
tradition which we Lutherans are in desperate need of recapturing is the humility that submits to someone besides ourselves. I'm not talking about submission in false teaching or in heterodox practice; I mean submission in what I - as a liturgical scholar (to give myself those airs) - know to be "inferior." It's downright healthy for that prideful "expert" to be crucified and to accept for the sake of unity in the Synod the shape of the liturgy we have been given. Is it perfect as Weedon would have it? By no means. But all the better.
My confidence is that the committee that worked to put it together finally did not compromise the Lutheran Confession at any point, and thus even when I don't like, I will silently endure without offering my critique of how it could be so much better. At least when I'm having a good day... ;)