Discovering The Reformed Confession: The Real Tony’s Journey To Reformed Theology, Piety, And Practice

All of us have a story, but not all have a “Reformation” story. Here’s mine: I was baptized as an infant and was raised in the American Lutheran Church, which later became a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). This was the more liberal branch, so I had both male and female pastors.

I went through my First Communion and then Confirmation, and what still frustrates me to this day is, I don’t remember ever actually being taught what the gospel was. Admittedly, I did learn about the historical facts (the Apostles and Nicene Creeds), but I never heard about the imputed righteousness of Christ or justification by faith alone. Ironically, in a church named after Martin Luther, I wasn’t taught the two concepts that formed the foundation of his theology!

I remember during a confirmation class, I asked one of the pastors if “good people” in different religions were going to be in heaven. Her reply: “There are many ways to God, but Christianity is the most direct path.” I look back on this as a cataclysmic moment. If all paths ultimately lead to God, why not forge my own path? That’s exactly what I did for the next decade.

…As all of this was happening, I was still a member of the [now LCMS] Lutheran church. I remember asking my pastor if Lutherans believed in the sovereignty of God. He replied, “Sovereignty isn’t in the Bible! It’s a Reformed word!” Hmmm. I also asked if I could lose my salvation. He laughed and said, “Yes, stop believing!” I was feeling increasingly frustrated that the doctrine I was reading in Luther, especially “Bondage of the Will,” wasn’t matching up with what I was being taught in my Lutheran church. Read more»

Anthony Charles | “A Reformation Story | December 11, 2021


Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!