The importance of the Catechism

Luther's seal

Following recent events with regards to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Churchwide Assembly, it is all the more important now to be in God’s Word faithfully.

Martin Luther, in his preface to the Large Catechism, writes the following with regards to the need of being in the Catechims:

14 If these reasons were not enough to move us to read the catechism daily, we should feel bound well enough by God’s command alone. He solemnly commands in Deuteronomy 6:6–8 that we should always meditate on His precepts, sitting, walking, standing, lying down, and rising. We should have them before our eyes and in our hands as a constant mark and sign. Clearly He did not solemnly require and command this without a purpose. For He knows our danger and need, as well as the constant and furious assaults and temptations of devils. He wants to warn, equip, and preserve us against them, as with a good armor against their fiery darts [Ephesians 6:10–17] and with good medicine against their evil infection and temptation.

15 Oh, what mad, senseless fools are we! While we must ever live and dwell among such mighty enemies as the devils, we still despise our weapons and defense [2 Corinthians 10:4], and we are too lazy to look at or think of them!

16 What else are such proud, arrogant saints doing who are unwilling to read and study the catechism daily? They think they are much more learned than God Himself with all His saints, angels, prophets, apostles, and all Christians. God Himself is not ashamed to teach these things daily. He knows nothing better to teach. He always keeps teaching the same thing and does not take up anything new or different. All the saints know nothing better or different to learn and cannot finish learning this. Are we not the finest of all fellows to imagine that if we have once read or heard the catechism, we know it all and have no further need to read and learn? Can we finish learning in one hour what God Himself cannot finish teaching? He is engaged in teaching this from the beginning to the end of the world. All prophets, together with all saints, have been busy learning it, have ever remained students, and must continue to be students.†

Concordia : The Lutheran Confessions. 2005 (Edited by Paul Timothy McCain) (354). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.

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2 thoughts on “The importance of the Catechism

  1. Pastor Tucher,

    Amen and amen. Luther said it so well and we can see that this lack of interest in studying God’s word is not a recent issue. In surfing, I’ve noticed how some self-proclaimed “Christians” are even using misinterpreted scripture to defend the ELCA decision — along with some rather foul words.

    Sometimes I think all this downward trend in the church is connected to Revelation 13:7, where it says, “And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.”

    Since God is in control of all things and has prophesied some sort of evil overcoming the saints, all this corruption within the church seems to be leading to a fulfillment of God’s word. As disturbing as this may be, those who love the Lord for the salvation He has given us, need to be trusting God to carry us through these times while praising His name, as the first martyrs did.

    Thank you for sharing Luther’s words.


  2. Margaret, thank you for the kind words. As Christians, we are bound to Scripture. As Lutherans, we are bound to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. Unfortunately, the ELCA has moved away from both. It is my fervent prayer that the ELCA would return to Scripture, repent of their ways and ask for forgiveness.

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