A Sense Of The Holy
I greatly enjoyed your articles about the Lutheran churches in the United States [“America’s Lutherans: Here They Stand,” Nov. 3]. They caused me to reflect on my personal reasons for finding more spiritual strength and power in mainstream churches than in any form of “evangelicalism.”
First, the Lutherans, Reformed, Episcopalians, and Roman Catholics have something “evangelicals” have lost—or most likely never had: a sense of the holy. It seems to me that means the worshiper approaches God not as a pal or friendly grandpa, but as the wholly Other, the One we can never completely grasp with our minds or hearts. It is my perception that “evangelicals” have remade God in their own image.
Second, as a result of the loss of the sense of the holy, “evangelicalism” has sunk into the thing Charles Colson points out as the sign of the coming new dark age: radical individualism and selfish personal piety. The God of the evangelicals seems too small to be God. When the current “evangelical” fad has faded, the church of Jesus Christ—the body of Christ—will still be worshiping the Holy One.
Del Norte, Colo.
I grew up in the Lutheran church, but then I met a Christian with the right theology. After reading your articles I have concluded Lutherans are ignorant of the truth. Acts 2:38 clearly teaches repentance comes before immersion. The Bible does not know a “proxy faith.” Faith is always an individual and personal decision.
You mention the divisiveness that continues among the different denominations of the Lutheran church. I find it interesting that Richard Dishno (an instructor at the ELCA’s Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago) mentions a “relatively small schism in the Missouri ...1