Believe It Your Way

The June/July issue’s focus on “Believe It Your Way,” the notion of one being “spiritual, but not religious,” was of particular interest to me as a 25-year veteran marriage and family life educator in college classrooms. Such cafeteria-style belief systems are indeed common–especially among today’s young adults. Their attitude is being summed up as “So what?” This tells me that while supporting our international mission ventures is highly important, we must recognize the enormous mission field in our own ommunities–perhaps in our own families!

Janette C. Borst
Emporia, Kan.

I just finished reading the June/July issue and was just blown away by every article. I have personally had these very same conversations about do-it-yourself religion and have come to the same conclusions as these authors. I have to say that writing such as this makes me very proud to be a Lutheran.

Deborah Sabatino
Bourbon, Mo.

While I agree with many of the points made in the latest Lutheran Witness about “self-made cafeteria spirituality,” I think William Cwirla’s line, “There is nothing more dangerous than an isolated individual with a Bible” goes way too far. I thought one of the three tenets of the Reformation was “Scripture Alone.” The Bible is our ultimate authority. Not man, not the church, not pastors.

Lindsey Pfanstiel
Red Bud, Ill.

Author note: While the Reformation certainly taught the authority of Scripture alone, it never taught the “believer alone.” The danger of the isolated individual with a Bible is adequately demonstrated by countless sects and cults that began with one person and his or her personal interpretation of the Bible. The Ethiopian eunuch had Spirit-sent Philip to help him understand what he was reading from the Bible (Acts 8). Faith in Christ brings us into communion with Christ and our fellow believers in the “communion of saints,” and so the believer is never alone, whether in life or death.  We confess not only “I believe” but also “We believe” as in the original wording of the Nicene Creed.

–The Rev. William M. Cwirla

August 2012

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