This brings us to the second area pointed out in Pastor Huglens paper (about the AFLC)– our piety. It’s unfortunate that the word piety in the worldly language around us is treated with such disrespect, for it is a critical part of any believer’s life. Our piety is how we worship, how we pray, how we relate to God, how we relate to the world as citizens of God’s Kingdom. One of the things the founders of the AFLC sought to do was to cling to the pietistic roots from which they had come. They wanted to remain steadfast in their worship lives as well as living properly, to live in a godly manner in the world. Too many Christians today have a disconnect between what they say and do on Sunday morning and what they say and do the rest of the week. And I want to make clear, if I am chiding you, I’ also chiding myself, because, my ways are not always God’s ways. I have much for which to be forgiven every day. As do all the people in our association.
Still, our goal is to have an experiential faith–a faith that not only give us a sense of security about our salvation, but a faith that will be lived out and visible. Those who formed the AFLC were afraid that seeking after a living faith would decline or possibly even die if they strayed from their roots. And frankly, they were right in that. Some of the congregations that entered the merger managed to retain their focus on pious living and when the ALC(American Lutheran Church) merged with others to form the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) some of them even came back to their roots and are part of us today. But many were lulled into a false sense of security and failed to focus enough on the life we live as followers of Jesus.
Come back tomorrow for part 4 — Our Theology ……
For more on piety see: