on adiaphora

Adiaphora is never done tabula rasa.

Adiaphora is exercised in the context of the Church that has been handed down to us.

"We believe, teach and confess that the community of God in every place and every time has, according to its circumstances, the good right, power and authority to change and decrease or increase ceremonies <that are truly adiaphora>. They should do this thoughtfully and without giving offense, in an orderly and appropriate way, whenever it is considered most profitable, most beneficial, and best for good order, Christian discipline and the Church's edification." (FC SD X 9) 

That is, we have an existing set of practice which reinforces our doctrine, and in view of those existing practices we evaluate new ones against the criteria of which practice is:
  • Most profitable
  • Most beneficial
  • Best for good order
  • Best for Christian discipline
  • Best for the Church's edification
With the underlying assumption that these new practices reflect our Lutheran doctrine.

Getty songs: Less profitable than Lutheran songs as a Calvinist cannot express the full cousel of God.
Screens in our sanctuaries: The presuppositions of digital media and what we know about learning from screens tell us this is a worse media for learning than paper, or a book.
Pre-evangelism: Fails to reflect good doctrine. Does not proceed to the status of adiaphora.
Contemporary worship: Insofar as it pulls in modern songs, it fails profitability. Insofar as it places the musical talent in front of the congregation and displaces the Cross or other liturgical elements, if fails to be more beneficial. Insofar as it tends to be unique to each congregation, it is not good for good order. Insofar as it has a tendency to remove or displace liturgical elements, it is not the best for Christian discipline or the Church's edification.