You Might Be a Lutheran Preacher If

 

an observation by John W. Berg

 

 

 

Being recently accused of one of the following, in my self pity (and pride) I was inspired to produce the following:

 

If you preach the Gospel so beautifully that you are accused of leading the laity to lead lawless lives, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you preach the Gospel so unconditionally that you are accused of being against good works, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you preach the law so forcefully that someone protests, “But aren’t we forgiven?!”, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you preach the law so pointedly that you blush, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you preach about the inestimable blessings of the Sacrament of the Altar so that someone accuses you of denigrating preaching, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

II you present the real presence of Christ’s body and blood so clearly so that some go “eeuuww” and accuse you of cannibalism, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you treat the consecrated elements and the reliquiae so reverently that you are accused of being a transubstantiationalist, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you preach about the completeness of Baptism so that someone spouts “So you’re saying all one needs is baptism!?”, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you so protect the sanctity of the Confessional that someone accuses you of harboring child molesters (or being one), you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you so unfold the Scriptural texts (ok, borrow from the Church Fathers) that you are accused of allegorizing, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you recognize the existence of the Holy Church in other communions so that you are accused of being a unionist and are beset upon by rabid conservatives, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you so honor the Confessions that someone says “Yeah, but what does the Bible say?”, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you speak so highly of the Office of the Holy Ministry so that you are accused of having a God complex, you just might be a Lutheran preacher (and/or have a God complex).

 

If you capitalize the word “ministry,” you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you speak about the necessity of being ritely called in order to publicly preach and administer the Sacraments so that you are accused of saying that only you can tell others about Jesus, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you so clearly distinguish between the roles of Kingdom of the right and that of the left that you are accused of being a card carrying member of the ACLU, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you preach about Christian liberty in such a way that you are accused of being a libertine, you just might be a Lutheran preacher.

 

If you live in such a way that you are accused of being a libertine, you undoubtedly are a Lutheran preacher (and probably should see your Father Confessor).

 

If you patiently catechize your congregation to see the above so that your parishioners either are converted, leave in a huff or stay and plot your demise, then chances are, you are a Lutheran preacher, but don’t brag about it. §

 

 

The Reverend John Berg is the pastor of Hope Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Fremont, California.