Discussion of Paragraphs 4-6 of the Preface to the Book of Concord
Satanic Cunning Sowing Seeds of False Doctrine; Concord is to be “regulated” by God’s Word; Diligently Attack these False Doctrine Incursions by being regulated only by God’s Word.
With guests Rev. Robert Zagore of Trinity Lutheran Church in Traverse City, Michigan, and Rev. Tony Sikora of Hope Lutheran Church in DeWitt, Michigan.
Paragraphs 4-6 in the Preface of the Book of Concord
4) But it can be unknown to no one that, immediately after Dr. Martin Luther, that most distinguished hero, endowed with most eminent piety, was removed from human affairs, Germany, our dear fatherland, experienced most perilous times and most severe agitations. In these difficulties, and in the sad distraction of a government before flourishing and well regulated, the enemy of mortals cunningly labored to scatter in the churches and schools the seeds of false doctrine and dissensions, to excite divisions combined with offense, and by these arts of his to corrupt the purity of the heavenly doctrine, to sever the bond of Christian love and godly agreement, and to hinder and retard to a greater degree the course of the most holy Gospel. It, is also known to all in what manner the enemies of the heavenly doctrine seized this opportunity to disparage our churches and schools, to find covering for their errors, to draw alarmed and erring consciences away from the purity of the Gospel-doctrine, in order to render them more compliant in bearing and tolerating the yoke of the papal slavery, and in embracing also other corruptions conflicting with God’s Word.
5) To us, indeed, nothing could happen, either more agreeable, or which, we would judge, should be sought for more earnestly and prayerfully from Almighty God, than that both our churches and our schools should have persevered in the pure doctrine of God’s Word and in that longed-for and godly unanimity of mind, and, as was the case while Luther was still alive, that they should have been regulated according to the rule of the divine Word, and handed down to posterity in a godly and excellent way. We notice, however, that, just as in the times of the Apostles, into those churches in which they themselves had planted the Gospel of Christ corruptions were introduced by false brethren, so, on account of our sins and the looseness of these times, this has been allowed by an angry God against our churches also.
6) Wherefore, mindful of our duty, which, we know, has been divinely enjoined upon us, we think that we ought diligently to apply ourselves to the labor of attacking in our provinces and realms the false teachings which have been disseminated there, and are gradually insinuating themselves, as it were, into the intimate acquaintance and familiarity of men, and that we should see to it that the subjects in our government may persevere in the straight way of godliness and in the truth of the heavenly doctrine, acknowledged and thus far retained and defended, and not be suffered to be led away from it. In this matter, indeed, partly our most worthy predecessors, partly we ourselves, were eagerly at work, when, in the year of Christ 1558, on the occasion of the Diet which was then being held by the Electors at Frankfort on the Main, the resolution was adopted by a unanimous vote that a special, general assembly should be held, where in a thorough, but nevertheless amicable manner there might be a conference among us concerning such matters as are maliciously charged, by our adversaries, against [us and] our churches and schools.