It has elicited the most remarkable declaration from our good Lutheran correspondent, Pastor Weedon. To wit:
This Lutheran has NO intention of becoming Roman or Orthodox; I believe that the Lutheran Symbols express exactly the same faith articulated in the Sacred Scriptures. I know the comments are meant kindly “not far from the kingdom” or whatever, but know that they are really an insult to all of us who believe that the Church lives from the receiving end of God in the means of grace. When the Church is put at spot #1, it become an idol, and that’s what I fear has happened to many who convert from Lutheranism to the Roman or Orthodox jurisdictions. I have no intention of doing so and I wish that folks would stop implying that that’s where I’m headed. No way, no how. If I once thought along those lines, I no longer do and I’m rather glad that neither Rome nor the East hold any enticement to me in the least. I’ll take the poverty of the Lutheran Church with her pure confession anyday.
Ah well. I can’t say I ever set out with the intention to become Roman or Orthodox myself. I don’t believe it works that way. Pastor Weedon is to be thanked for such a clear statement, but one would remind him of his own Catechism:
I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith…
That’s the way it works, old boy, and when it happens, God doesn’t take your own intentions much into account. But of course, you must protest your innocence of any such nefarious intention on your part. Otherwise, how could you continue in your ministry?