[only for those whose feelings are not easily hurt]
Some "confessing" Lutherites are allergic to this term. Some do not want this label pinned at them. They even protest at being called Protestant, which is kinda peculiar. Because standing from my former days as an RC young man living in a dominated RC country, we thought anyone who was pro-Bible and allergic to the Pope was a Protestant. Well, like it or not, that was the term they were called and they did not deny that.
For my case, I do not mind. In fact my synod uses that term in telling the public who we are, see here. In this particular issue, I can not tell you how I so much respect my synod for not engaging in controversy over words like these. I thank them that in this instance, they did not go the route of historic revisionism.
Let me tell you my thoughts why I do not protest and infact I identify myself as one, Protestant. Sure you may say you are not that sort of protestant over there like - Presbyterians, Baptists or Methodists, but Lutherans are confessing something and most of what it confesses came from the historical period of the Church called the Reformation. The fact that it confesses contrary teaching with the RCC, stands to reason that they are "in protest" already. See wikipaedia definition of the term Protestant here. To deny this is to be like an ostrich who hides its head in the sand, or a boy being spoken to who plugs his ears with his fingers saying "la la la la la, I am not listening".
Here are my reasons:
1. Some of these "confessional" ones reason that it is not society who has the right to dictate the labeling. For example one said "I don't see why I *should* use a word that others use to describe us ". I smiled when I read this. In a civilized society, you are not free to call yourself by whatever label you may wish to call yourself! Let me give you an example, say I tell you - I want you to call me "Attorney L P Cruz". So you asked, do you have a license from the bar association, do you have an L.L.B. from a university, can you show them please? Well I do not have such documents to show you. So you reply "You are not an Attorney Lito"! What then if I turn around and say ---" I refuse let you describe what I am"! I say to you --- I want to be identified as an Attorney! - Why, you would call the white men to take me away, wouldn't you?
BTW, do you know where you can find a corner in the world where people there call themselves by whatever title they wish to be called? Only in Christian ministry! In some sectors of it, it is easy to call yourself a "Pastor", but wait; some even call themselves "Fathers" too. For another Lutheran who is buggered by this, look here.
2. The word "Protestant" is a historico-religious appellation. So I do not mind it because in that sense, it is more honest to agree that I am. True, today it is by population dominated by Arminians and Calvinists but saying you are not one is rather evasive and dishonest unless you want to start a controversial discussion. It is more accurate to identify why you are different, but at the same time admit it because there are some aspects of it you happen to agree with.
3. Some do not like it because they could not find the term in the BoC. In my field this is called argument from silence with special pleading too! Of course, it is not found there in the Formula of Concord but the very fact that the term is not found there how can it be refuted by the BoC then? And here is the kicker, if you are only going to use the term if it is found in the BoC, you ought to drop as well the use of “universal objective justification” or “voter’s assembly” because they are not found in the BoC too. Can you see how silly that reasoning happens to be?
4. Some want to be identified as Evangelical(Reformed) Catholic, like this minister here. Fair enough. So ok but I find that amazing. Why fight the word Protestant too? No disrespect, but isn’t it true that the Protestants that these ones do not want to be identified with identify themselves as Evangelicals? Let me explain, so you do not like to be associated with these Protestants who identify themselves as Evangelicals but you like to be identified as an Evangelical – Catholic. Why even use the word “Evangelical” at all, why not go all the way and drop it since it has Protestant associations which are hazy and undesirable, but then again maybe that is the transition that this leads up to.
BTW, it is really interesting because the RCC calls Protestants to which these people do not like to be associated with as "separated brethren". Yes Virginia, the term applies to your Fundamental Baptists, non-denominational Charismatic groups, Seventh Day Adventists etc etc and a swag of the so called (but mythical) 30,000 denominations.
Let me get back now and be my cynical self. I imagine this scenario which I hope may be proven wrong...
First stop being identified as a Protestant, (big P), then stop even being identified as a protestant (small p). Since that is dropped you are left with small c – catholic. Keep on speaking that you are small c catholic but not Protestant, pretty soon, the small c becomes big C. So you speak of yourself as Catholic (as Roman Catholics speak of themselves). Keep on doing that saying that you are Catholic (no longer small c but big C). Then there you go, heck since you speak of yourself as Catholic like RCs do, you might as well be one, (change your C to RC). Then when you are done, say what J. Pelikan said (when he went to EO) , this time with an RC version– say it was the completion of your Lutheranism, after all.