"The Reformed conception of an evangelical church embracing both Lutherans and Reformed has come to have considerable importance in the history of the church. It has determined the ecclesiastical policy which the Reformed Church has adopted in its dealings with Lutherans from the days of Zwingli and Calvin down to the present. This explains the persistent struggle of Calvin and his followers for recognition, in the Religious Peace of 1555, as adherents of the Augsburg Confession. This explains the opposition of the "Great Elector"to the distinction between the "Reformed" and the "adherents of the Augsburg Confession" in the Peace of Westphalia, and his advocacy of the term "Evangelical" as a common designation for both Lutheran and Reformed. This explains too, why none of the German Reformed princes had any conscientious scruples at all about converting, or merging, the Lutheran Church of their territory into a Calvinistic church...for every genuine Calvinist, the Lutherans do not form another church, but only a backward part of the one evangelical, refomed church, which needs help to finish what is still wanting to make it completely reformed."
Hermann Sasse, Here We Stand (trans T. Tappert), Augsburg Publishing House, 1946, rights later assigned to Lutheran Publishing House, Adelaide.
Continuing Sasse's complaint, we might add today that this further explains why Reformed folk assume they can take communion in a Lutheran church, become members without receiving instruction in the Lutheran faith, and even hold office in a Lutheran congregation without being Lutheran. And watch out for the offence that is taken if it is carefully and pastorally explained that this is not how we Lutherans operate - we are then deemed not only to be "insufficiently reformed", but perhaps not even Christian!
I mean no offence to any of my readers who may be Reformed. In fact, I take it that your reading of this blog suggests a sincere interest in the faith of the Lutheran Church and a respect for it, which in turn adds to my respect for you. But the prevalence of that other type of Reformed churchman, with the accompanying arrogance and ignorance, causes no end of headaches to this Lutheran pastor, and I assume, to others as well. Sasse puts his finger on the reason why, we are viewed by them merely as "a backward part of the one, evangelical reformed church". And boy, ain't we recalcitrant!
Pic: VDMA = the motto of the Lutheran Reformation: Verbum Dei Manet in Aeternum - The Word of God Endures Forever