“There is no confession without confessors.”

Confessor“Amid the dissolution and decadence of our church, the Lutheran Confession remains a lively truth that cannot be hidden by mass demonstrations, anniversary celebrations, theology of glory in books and church newspapers, sermons and festival speeches. How is that, really? A confession is nothing when it only stands written in books and remains on paper de jure in authority. A confession must be confessed. There is no confession without confessors. Even if the number of these confessors is small, so small that it sometimes appears that they no longer exist, from this minority “in this gathering which is called church,” (compare the Apology to CA 7/8, 10f., BSLK 236, 7f.) there proceeds effects that no one can explain. The real history of the church is always a history of the minorities. That should be remembered in an age of mass movements. That goes for the history of the ancient church from the days of the apostles onward as much as it does for the history of the Reformation and for that which plays out in global church history. The minority of those in the Lutheran churches of the world that have preserved the faith of the catechism and the Augustana in the heart and that pray for the church is the hope of our church. The power, however, that the confession holds lies alone in its contents, that is nothing other than the Word of God that it confesses and of which it testifies before the world. By the fact that the confession testifies to the Word of God, it participates in the liveliness and sturdiness of this Word (Hebrews 4:12).”

Sasse, Letters to Lutheran Pastors 60 (1967)

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