What is NOT adiaphora

As I was re-reading FC X the other day I came across this little snippet on the issue of adiaphora that serves as a good reminder that the Lutheran Reformers, while recognizing evangelical freedom in liturgical matters, did not tolerate frivolity:

Likewise, when there are useless, foolish displays that are not profitable for good order, Christian discipline, or evangelical practice in the Church, these also are not genuine adiaphora, or matters of indifference (Formula of Concord, Art. X p. 626).

I’m sure we have all seen our share of “useless, foolish displays” when it comes to Lutheran worship.


About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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4 Responses to What is NOT adiaphora

  1. revalkorn says:

    That is a great snippet, Paul. Unfortunately, what you/we think fits that definition and what certain others would think fits that definition is, sadly, tremendously different.

  2. Jeffrey G says:

    The children’s message.

  3. Rev. Shane R. Cota, SSP says:

    Lutherans have become so immersed in useless and foolish displays that they couldn’t recognize them for what they are. Many of them are so steeped in sappy, frivolous, cutesy, corn-pone pointless drivel, that when they finally see reverent, Christ-centered worship, they run away shrieking with horror.

    But it’s all adiaphora to me!

  4. Rev. Paul Beisel says:

    Shane, What more can we say but, “Amen!” (Thanks Ozzie Hoffman)

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