As we stated in an earlier article, “The only book we use is the Bible.” That statement is made with the insinuation that to use any other book other than the Bible would make a church less Christian. That statement is also made by those who, more than likely, do read other materials, devotional materials and the like. That statement also shows a misunderstanding of other books such as our Catechisms (Large and Small) as well as our confessional writings contained in the Book of Concord.
What we call our confessional writings, those writings which detail what we believe, teach and confess according to the Word of God is what they describe, writings that confess what we believe, teach and confess according to the Word of God. Our confessional writings are what we call a systematic approach to understanding the Bible.
The Book of Concord contains the chief doctrines (teachings) of what we believe in the Lutheran Church. It is the unaltered Augsburg Confession in this book of doctrines to which we subscribe or agree. This book of teachings systematically, in a well-ordered way, like our Small Catechism, spells out what we believe, teach and confess according to the Word of God. These writings also tell of those beliefs that we condemn and this negative statement is important as well, because there are times when, in order to fully understand what one believes, it is important to also make note of what one does not believe.
The churches and pastors as well as all church workers in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod must subscribe, agree with these confessional documents in the Book of Concord, otherwise they would not be a member of this Lutheran Church body. Herein we can relate this understanding to the fact that our churches and our pastors are in essence interchangeable so that no matter the church or the pastor we hear the same teachings. If you want to know what we believe as Lutheran Christians, it’s in the Book of Concord.