I posted this on the ALPB site in response to some words from Bishop Benke. A friend suggested they might be of value also on the blog, so here they are:
As far as the family squabbling goes, I've tried to suggest that what the squabbling is about is not merely whose turn it is to do the dishes, but precisely caused by those who, from inside or out, would insist that the very things that make the Lutheran Church be the home that it is are the things that need to be dumped: her liturgy, her catechesis, her hymnody. I've tried to point out that I'm not saying that these things have a value in themselves; they don't. Their value is in their deliverance of the Gospel. I've tried to avoid the impression that I'm into preserving the museum pieces of Lutheranism; I'm not. It's a LIVING heritage that continues to grow. But it grows in continuity with what has come before, not by cutting one's self off from it. Let's be concrete: a parish that adopts the liturgy of the Pentecostals, welcomes adults in without instructing them in the Catechism (which is all about how to live from the receiving end of God's rich giving), and is held up by the Synod as the wonder parish we are all to imitate, does not make for accepting Ablaze. It makes for those of us in the house crying out: "There are folks here - from the inside or the outside - who are setting fire to our precious Gospel heritage and if we allow them to burn it up in the spirit of American evangelicalism it is not just a loss for us - but a loss for the whole world. We hold this treasure always and only to offer it to the world as the joyful life of learning to live by the Spirit's power from the great giving of our God."
Hope that's not too blunt. But it's the way this fellow sees it. It's not about little family squabbles; it's about whether burning our house down is a good thing or a bad thing.