This summer, I promised myself that I would read The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology by Charles Porterfield Krauth (1823-1883). This volume intends to demonstrate that Luther and the Evangelical Lutheran Church were not revolutionaries who sought the overthrow of the Roman Catholic Church. Instead, the were reformers. And they were not radical reformers who sought to jettison everything that looked, sounded, and smelled Roman Catholic. They sought to conserve what the church catholic had always taught and practiced, unless it violated the teachings of Scripture (and sadly, plenty did).
So, here is a snippet from Krauth regarding the Church and her struggles.
"The life of a Church may be largely read in its controversies. As the glory or shame of a nation is read upon its battle-fields which tells for what it periled the lives of its sons, so may the glory or shame of a Church be determined when we know what it fought for and what it fought against; how much it valued what it believed to be truth; what was the truth it valued; how much it did, and how much it suffered to maintain that truth, and what was the issue of its struggles and sacrifices.
"A Church which contends for nothing, either has lost the truth, or has ceased to love it." (p 147)