The Apology of the Augsburg Confession

Pulling the Plug on Pedagogy

Ignorance and indifference are two of the most pernicious opponents of the Christian. Lutheranism's bulwark against apostasy has traditionally been the quality of education delivered through its worship and schools.

It is lamentable (but not surprising, for we live in an age of anti-intellectualism), then, to see the wholesale rejection of the Lutheran Liturgy and its Hymnody. Even the scholars and Theologians of the Reformation knew the importance of these, as evidenced in the text below:

"They observed these human rites because they were profitable for good order,
because they gave the people a set
time to assemble, because they provided an example of how
all things could be done decently and in order in the
churches, and finally because they helped instruct the common folk.
For different seasons and various rites serve
as reminders for the common folk. For these reasons the Fathers
kept ceremonies, and for the same reasons we also
believe in keeping traditions." (Ap. XV, 20, 21)

Our traditions (from the macro cycle of the Church Year to the Lectionaries, to the Divine Service, to the individual Hymns) are literally dripping with education and instruction, equipping the "common folk" for their lives as God's children.

The Divine Service represents a superlatively economical and dense exposition of Christian Theology. However well-intentioned changes might be, replacing portions of the Service with "mood music" reperesents a lost opportunity to receive God's Word through the pedagogical dimensions of the Service.

The result? Poorly equipped laypeople (and children--the orginal German includes them) lacking the strength to resist the fiery darts of our age (Eph. 6:10). By depriving our congregations of instruction in God's Word, we do them and ourselves a disservice (pun intended).