Statues of Mary holding Jesus.
Okay, so I'm busy blogging, just not at my place, but I need to post on my site before the 'Vark boots me off his blogroll. : ) I managed to get into something I know about over at Father Hollywood regarding civil / criminal law and enforcement. It wasn't exactly Lutheran in context, but we did touch on several principals. Thanks to Fr Hollywood and Lawrence for the good conversation.
Of coarse while I was doing that I almost missed the hottest Lutheran blog debate since Fr. Hogg went Greek. Over at Pr McCains site, Cyberbrethren he asked the question regarding the use of Marian statues in Lutheran churches. There have been loads of commentary piling up and it looks like the discussion will keep going for a while. The above is a picture of the statue that started the conversation. Because McCain didn't provide any links to the church it's at, I won't either. The discussion isn't about any single church in the LCMS, rather its about our liberal use of adiaphora to justify worship styles and the divisions it is causing.
I know that Pr. McCain and others are right about this being a High Church style of adiaphora abuse. But I almost never hear the case made to add to worship service traditional style of Lutheran worship. It is almost always used to justify a reductionist effort for a more neutral Amero-Evangelical style of worship. Because of this I want to support more non-Baptocostal styles, I see it as a hedge against the constant reduction, and erroneous Roman influence is practically non-existent in our synod, at least from where I can see. The statue of the Infant Jesus and Blessed Mary could cause confusion within the laity, especially if the instructions regarding Lutheran beliefs and worship is typical of many contemporary Missouri churches. Proper instruction would keep this clear though. The church I attend seems to be adverse to any kind of deeper instruction regarding the Lutheran faith. I imagine it is because too many questions would come up regarding our current state of worship practice and beliefs, we fall short of staying Christ centered much of the time now.
I like the statue, I don't even mind the decorative style votive candles, because that's all they are, decoration, there is obviously not enough of them to be truly used by the congregation in prayers. The worst I can say about this is it may be seen as a "bait and switch" tactic on Roman style seekers. But hey, we've made a business out of that, it's usually just called a contemporary service that's more favorable to the local Baptocostal culture though.