Fightings and fears within, without, is a pretty good description of life in the church. Lutheran theology to my mind is nuanced. Imagine growing up when removal of prayer was going on in the schools and people, Christian people, demanded it. My pastor was against it because he wanted to know who would lead the prayer and “to whom would they be praying”? Certain feuds began with attempts to get churches to do community services because we “all believe the same thing anyway”. The riposte that if that is so, “why don’t you board up your church and join ours?” was received with a kind of goofy tongue half out stare. It became clear to me early in my ministry that many people the church was no different than the Kiwanis or Rotary. Even service work and mercy work was a kind of nebulous “thing” that was done as part of the community. Theological implications of things were not discussed because there was no theology. Our churches were kind out out there on the edge in so many ways. This is a summary of the things we were accused of because the nuance of our doctrine. You might to get a dictionary. This is from President C.F.W. Walther, a summary of one of his speeches.
“Because we taught the Lutheran Church is the true visible Church of God on earth, we were called papists; because we insisted that the Lutheran Confessions teach the divine truth and that Lutheran ministers would have to adhere to them, we were accused of putting human writings on the same level as the Scriptures; because we acknowledged Luther as the divinely sent Reformer, we were accused of hero-worship; because we protested against the view of those Lutherans who identified the Lutheran Church with the holy Christian Church to which everyone must belong to be saved, it was said that we were unionists; because we warned against espousal of any and every doctrinal error and refused to endorse syncretistic, unionistic tendencies, we were accused of intolerant Pharisaism; because we taught the universal priesthood of believers, people said that we lacked due appreciation of the holy ministry and permitted all things to be decided by majority vote; because we taught that ministers should be permanently called, that there should be registration for Holy Communion, and that church discipline should not be neglected, we were accused of fostering a papistic spirit and the government of the Church, by priests; because we in matters of organization and in other adiaphora stood for freedom, people called us enemies of propriety and order and liberalistic innovators; because we retained many of the good old ceremonies, we were said to be on the way to Rome; because we defended the sovereignty of congrgation, we were suspected of being separatistic independents; because we formed a synod with boards and Visitors, we were accused of advocating hierarchical principles; because we put the doctrine of justification by grace, through faith, without the works of the law, into the center of our teaching and kept away from the new measures of the enthusiasts, people called us proponents of dead orthodoxy; because we insisted on true, heartfelt reoentance, we were accused of being pietists; because we refused to endorse an ultra-free attitude toward the government, we were termed friends of tyranny and oppression; because we opposed the tendency which sponsors a development and evolution of doctrine, we were accused of being conceited enemies of theological learning and of introducing a mechanical repristination of old views.”