Doctrine and Catechesis
Doctrine is often thought of as a negative or intimidating word. Christian doctrine, however, is not meant to be scary. Jesus’ teaching and preaching give us Christian doctrine. God’s Word, from Genesis to Revelation, gives us Christian doctrine. Far from dull or dreary, Christian doctrine is God’s life-giving, living and active Word. Christian doctrine, therefore, is the most practical thing a Christian can have. As we read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest God’s Word, we are receiving doctrine just as Jesus taught and gave his disciples his doctrine. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
The word Catechesis comes from the Greek (and also Latin) word for “Oral Instruction” which involves repetition and dialogue. The teachings imparted in Catechesis are those foundational to Christianity as Lutherans understand them to have existed all the way back to Christ and His Apostles.
If you are not already a member of another Missouri Synod congregation, we invite you to go through a period of catechesis and discernment. Even those transferring in from another LCMS congregation (or congregation of a Lutheran church body with whom we are in fellowship) are encouraged to participate in catechesis as a way of becoming familiar with our pastor and with the doctrinal life of our congregation.
At Beautiful Savior, we offer a regular Back to the Basics or Lutheranism 101 style course. Here we gather together as those new to Lutheranism or interested to learn more, as well as life-long Lutherans who simply want to continue to grow in their understanding of the faith. For those unable to attend regularly scheduled classes, our pastor is open to finding alternative times for this teaching to occur. No one who attends this class is required to become Lutheran or to join Beautiful Savior. No pressure will be applied to anyone who simply wants to attend and learn more about what we believe. Your questions, and even your doubts, are welcome!
The class explores and unpacks the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, Luther’s Small Catechism, and the Lutheran Liturgy. Long time members of Beautiful Savior are always encouraged to attend as well.
Psalm 1 reminds us that they are truly blessed whose life revolves around the Word of God. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 admonishes us to make God’s Word the foundation and center of our lives, to the point of influencing our thoughts, speech, and actions. Let Christian Catechesis become another avenue in this endeavor, along with regular Sunday morning church and Bible class attendance.
With work, school, homework, sports, arts, house-work, and family activities, we often struggle to have enough time for catechesis, Sunday School, or even daily devotions and study of God’s Word. Life today keeps us very busy. And there are many necessary work, school, and family related activities. There are also many beneficial, and enjoyable extra-curricular activities (sports and music for example) available to us. And yet, Jesus teaches us, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Matt 24:35) While we have a responsibility to fulfill our daily callings in life, and even take time to benefit from fun and physically or mentally beneficial activities, none of these things should take precedence over our foundation in Christ and His Word. Jesus would have us place our primary focus on “The one thing needful” (Luke 10:38-42), and not focus upon our treasures (including time, etc.) on earth which are perishable, but the imperishable and everlasting treasure we have in heaven (Mt 6:19-21).