Sunday, December 18, 2016

Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should

The next time you want to tweak your worship service, consider some input from godly men of the Reformation.  Give greatest thought and care to ensure what you add or change does not actually distract or detract from the Gospel.

When there are useless, foolish displays, that are profitable neither for good order nor Christian discipline, nor evangelical propriety in the Church, these also are not genuine adiaphora, or matters of indifference.

But as regards genuine adiaphora, or matters of indifference, we believe, teach, and confess that such ceremonies, in and of themselves, are no worship of God, nor any part of it, but must be properly distinguished from such as are, as it is written: “In vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9).

Therefore we believe, teach, and confess that the congregation of God of every place and every time has, according to its circumstances, the good right, power, and authority (in matters truly adiaphora) to change, to diminish, and to increase them, without thoughtlessness and offense, in an orderly and appropriate way, whenever it is considered most profitable, most beneficial, and best for good order, Christian discipline, and the edification of the Church.  Moreover, how we can yield and give way with a good conscience to the weak in faith in such external adiaphora, Paul teaches (Rom. 14) and proves it by his example (Acts 16:3; 21:26; 1 Cor. 9:19).

Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration X.7–9

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