Daily Archives: February 22, 2008

Yes, LP Cruz, I am still a "Lutheran"

In the combox to a post below, LP Cruz writes:

You confirm my observation of people who convert from one denom to another and btw I am no exception to that.

But really, you may have left Lutheranism but Lutheranism has not left you.

This is exactly what I observe others leaving EO/RCC and becoming Lutheran. They might have left Rome but Rome has not left them.

So since I am also an ex-Penty, I am too aware too that my Pentecostlaism might have not left me yet.

It takes time.

Well, LP, you are right. I do not deny that I remain very Lutheran in my theology and spirituality. I have never denied it, but joyfully confess it! Moreover, I am not really expecting that I will become less Lutheran over time, because I am actually cultivating my appreciation for the spirituality of Martin Luther rather than trying to rid myself of it.

You see, while I am certainly not “Lutheran” in the only sense that Pastor Weedon would allow–ie. full subscription to the doctrines contained in the Book of Concord–I am “Lutheran” in the sense that I am inspired by Luther’s spiritual insights and continue to use some of the paradigms which he laid laid out in my theological thinking.

However, I am also Catholic in the two-fold sense that I am in full communion with the Bishop of Rome and that I fully subscribe to all that the Catholic Church teaches.

In other words, I am living proof that it is possible to be both a faithful and loyal Catholic and still spiritually remain a Lutheran. This is much the same for those who are Catholic, but Augustinian, or Thomist, or Franciscan, or Ignatian, or Carmelite or whatever in their spirituality.

It is also proof that the Catholic Church does not propose a “one size fits all” spirituality. There are as many different ways of being Catholic as there are Catholics.

The point is not so much that I “converted” to Catholicism, as that I sought to be in full communion with the Bishop of Rome (as universal primate of the Church) and accepted the responsibilities that come with that full communion.

And what I say to you, I say to all non-Catholics who visit this blog: Be not afraid! You lose nothing when you enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, but gain everything that is good, true and beautiful. Above all you gain the fullness of the gifts of Christ which now you have only in part.

As Benedict said in his sermon when he was inaugurated as Bishop of Rome:

If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? …Pope [John Paul II] said: No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation. And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything.

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