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1 Corinthians 16:13-14
From the Confessions: The Augsburg Confession
Our churches do not object to any article of the faith in the Church catholic. We have only eliminated some abuses that are new, and which have been mistakenly accepted by the corruption of the times. These are counter to the intent of the Canons, and so, we pray that Your Imperial Majesty would graciously hear both what has been changed, and the reasons why the people were not compelled to observe those abuses against their conscience. Your Imperial Majesty should not believe those who have spread slander among the people in order to stir up hatred against us. Having already provoked the minds of good people, they now strive to cause disorder. Your Imperial Majesty will undoubtedly find that our doctrine and ceremonies are not so intolerable as these ungodly and malicious men represent. Besides, the truth cannot be gathered from common rumors or the insults of enemies. Still, it may readily be determined that nothing would better maintain the dignity of ceremonies, nor nurture reverence and pious devotion among the people more than if the ceremonies were observed rightly in the churches.
Pulling It Together
Melancthon was ready to list the abuses that had crept into the Church over the years. But first, he emphasized again that Lutherans were part of that great communion of saints of the Church catholic since apostolic times. But corruptions had begun to creep into the Church. Reform was badly needed so that people's hearts could again be comforted by the mercy of God in Christ. As these reforms began, they were met with the harshest criticism: that the reformers were heretics. Hatred based on rumor and slander was stirred up against the Lutherans. Even still, facing great power of both religion and government, the Lutherans made their stand. Exercising virtues of Christian maturity, they remained strong in the face of great power, ready to state with conviction the articles that lie ahead.
Prayer: Help me stand your ground, Lord, so that your name will be glorified in all the earth. Amen.
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