Does the Lutheran Church have a position on "private revelations?" I am thinking of Lourdes, Fatima, etc., in Roman Catholicism. As I understand from researching various websites, even when the Roman Catholic Church "approves" an occurrence, it only means it (the revelation or event) contains nothing contrary to the faith. But no one is required to believe the particulars of the occurrence. Does the Lutheran Church hold out the possibility of any private revelations or have any process for investigating?
The Lutheran Confessions address the subject of divine revelations apart from the Word. Here are a couple of examples: “For the Church has the command to appoint ministers, which should be most pleasing to us, because we know that God approves this ministry, and is present in the ministry [that God will preach and work through men and those who have been chosen by men]. And it is of advantage, so far as can be done, to adorn the ministry of the Word with every kind of praise against fanatical men, who dream that the Holy Ghost is given not through the Word, but because of certain preparations of their own, if they sit unoccupied and silent in obscure places, waiting for illumination, as the Enthusiasts formerly taught, and the Anabaptists now teach.” (Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XIII)
Also, “And in those things which concern the spoken, outward Word, we must firmly hold that God grants His Spirit or grace to no one, except through or with the preceding outward Word, in order that we may [thus] be protected against the enthusiasts, i.e., spirits who boast that they have the Spirit without and before the Word, and accordingly judge Scripture or the spoken Word, and explain and stretch it at their pleasure, as Muenzer did, and many still do at the present day, who wish to be acute judges between the Spirit and the letter, and yet know not what they say or declare.” (The Smalcald Articles, Part III, Article VIII)
The quotations above are in the context of speaking against people who minimized the important work of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.
This We Believe, a statement of belief of our church body, states: “We believe that the Bible is fully sufficient, clearly teaching people all they need to know to get to heaven. It makes them ‘wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus’ (2 Timothy 3:15), and it equips them for ‘every good work’ (2 Timothy 3:17). Since God’s plan of salvation has been fully revealed in the canonical books of the Bible, we need and expect no other revelations (Hebrews 1:1,2). The church is built on the teachings of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20).”
The key phrase is “we need and expect no other revelations.” While God can certainly do anything, the Word he has given us is entirely sufficient.