500 years later, and the Pope still wants Lutherans to set aside doctrine for the sake of unity.
According to Fox News, the Pope met with a large group of Lutherans yesterday. The message was that Lutherans and Papists should set aside their doctrinal differences so that we can unite to help the poor and the downtrodden.
It was unclear exactly which doctrines get in the way of such an endeavor. Generally, Lutherans will work with anyone inasmuch as we agree on what it is we’re doing together. So while we would not commune with a Calvinist or pray with a Muslim, we would certainly work with people of any faith to help the poor provided we could all agree on what helping the poor looks like. For example, we couldn’t work with a political liberal who holds the all-too-common view that abortion is a means of helping the poor, but that wouldn’t apply to faithful members of the Church of Rome.
But regardless of the specifics, whenever the call to abandon divisive doctrine is raised (in contradiction to the uniform teaching of the New Testament that sound doctrine is actually kind of important,) keep the following in mind: Whenever you ask someone to set aside their doctrine for the sake of something else (let’s say unity,) you’re really just asking them to adopt your own doctrine that unity is more important than their doctrine. After all, “unity is more important than doctrine” is a doctrine. It masquerades as being doctrinally neutral, but it absentmindedly brings an opposing doctrine in through the back door. And because it’s being done absentmindedly, the opposing doctrine is usually of very poor quality. So the Pope isn’t really putting doctrine aside at all—he’s just being really bad at it.
But hey, any time the Pope would like to set aside his own doctrine by repenting of the Council of Trent, Lutherans would welcome such a move towards unity in Truth.