Too often Lutherans alarm people by pointing out warning signs.
When people are upset, they begin reading the Scriptures and old-fashioned books. I am not against that, but it puts them in the wrong mood. They start looking at problems and terms.
Once that happens, anything can break loose.
Warning signs must have a calming effect instead. For instance, these are proven to be reliable and sound, yet they accomplish the goal of this modest yet influential writer:
1. Don't rock the boat.
2. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.
3. If you can find one perfect church, you better quit, because it will be imperfect the moment you join. (That is a little nasty, but it works sometimes.)
4. Are you calling him a false prophet? (Look anxious and seething with righteous anger. This will calm down the other person, who has to say, "No.")
5. Are you questioning the Holy Spirit, who placed that godly man in that office? (This is my favorite, because who wants to debate God?)
6. Do you know who my father is?
7. Synod says. (Do not say "The Synod" because Synod says is very much like Mama says. It brings up people short, and reminds them of their obligations to Holy Mother Synod.