One complaint that is raised against Lutherans in terms of things they rejected at the time of the Reformation that were common practice in the Church is as follows:
1 - These things were common practice.
2 - Jesus said the gates of hell wouldn't prevail against the Church.
3 - Are you calling Jesus a liar by saying that the Church was doing vile things?
Let me be clear. My stupidity does not equal the gates of hell. The stupid things that my congregation has done do not equal the gates of hell. The tomfoolery my synod engages in does not equal the gates of hell. Generations of stubborn Germans being stubborn Germans does not equal the gates of hell. A 1000 years of Popes being antichrist does not even equal the gates of hell.
Now, can my stupidity cloud the Gospel? Yes - but it doesn't destroy it, any more than a passing cloud destroys the sun. Can a congregation's or synod's stupidity "hide it under a bushel" as the song goes? Sure - but God's Word still is there.
See, here is what it gets down to. God's Word does what it says. Now, we in our stupidity might ignore it, obscure it for others, dance around it - but God's Word is there, it carries on, and through it God creates faith - even with all sorts of sinful stupidity.
So the Church has been stupid and ignored the Word and added myths on top of it. Doesn't trump the Word. And I am going to lose no sleep (except for the sleep lost in writing this post) wringing my hands about lost traditions of dubious quality. People really don't trust the Word - all over, no one trusts the Word of God to do it's work - and yet the amazing thing - God still calls people to faith by the Gospel, even as we don't appreciate it. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.
(P.S. Your theology is garbage! Listen to my theology! I'm a Man! I'm 30!)
P.S.S. If you don't get that watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VytIZZzee0&NR=1 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QMGPnTNtyA)