Asked a prominent (VERY prominent) Evangelical leader what he thought of us Lutherans.  I’d share his name, but I didn’t get permission when we were talking.

I asked him for his opinions about the future of Lutheranism (he is not, for the record, a Lutheran).

He said:

The problem is not with the Churchwide Assembly vote; the problems run way deeper than that.

I said:

The authority of Scripure?

He said:

Nope.  You guys use that as a smokescreen for what you really want to talk about.

I asked:

Then what?

He answered (and this is the good part):

You have two big problems which will ruin you in a generation:

1)  You Lutherans always have one foot firmly planted in the past. It makes it impossible for you to walk. You have a hard time living in the present. You think that your confessions are important, but they were way more important to those who wrote them in “their present,” because they addressed real, contemporary issues of the 16th century. You are all “confessional” and not at all “missional.” In fact, your confessions are silent about mission. Mission is a tack-on for you. Your core theology does not speak to it. Mission keeps us in the present and you can’t go there without somehow compromising your confessional identity. All good theology is really good missiology, and Lutherans can’t do missiology well; nor can you craft a compelling eschatology that anyone pays any attention to.

2) You Lutherans prefer a closed system. Even your breakaway groups create new closed systems. You are obsessed with who is in and who is out. You insist on a Lutheran year for your seminarians; you won’t even accept a Fuller or Asbury degree, good Lord! You guard your tribal boundaries and fight more about rostering than anyone else. You kick people off your roster who are doing anything creative and out of the box. You don’t play well with others and would rather preserve a Euro-centric Midwestern-vibe subculture than do any mission or have any real partnerships with the rest of us.

Just let than lean against your mind for a while…