Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Defrocked for faithfulness

There is no intolerance more strident and more foolish than that of liberalism and its refusal to allow dissent from the party line.  It is ugly in politics, deceitful in culture, but poison in the Church.  Pray for these faithful who have refused to compromise even when threatened with defrocking.

At their meeting on 8 April 2015, the Cathedral Chapter of the Archdiocese of Turku decided to defrock five pastors serving in the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland: Rev Sakari Korpinen, Rev Miika Nieminen, Rev Dr Anssi Simojoki, Rev Markku Sumiala and Rev Dr Martti Vaahtoranta.
Bishop Risto Soramies of the Mission Diocese states that the now-defrocked pastors will nevertheless continue ministering to the congregations of the Mission Diocese.
– They have not lost their Office in our congregations. From our perspective, their call to serve in the Office of the Ministry remains even though they no longer have the right to act as pastors within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.
Rev Miika Nieminen denies breaking his ordination vows, despite such claims by the Cathedral Chapter.
– I surely stand guilty of many transgressions before my Holy God, even as a pastor, but in different matters and in a different way from that which the Cathedral Chapter implies.
– When I wrote my response to the Cathedral Chapter, I did so relying on the word of the Scriptures. That is the supreme authority in the Lutheran Church, and to that I, too, have committed myself in my vows.

Read more from one of those pastors here. . .

What I can do from the safety of my parish, many pastors must do at risk of their own church body refusing them and their offices. . . pray for these brothers and their families and, of course, the cause of faithfulness!


ErnestO said...

To a man of faith the Rev. Dr. Anssi Simojokiand living up to the call and letter of his ordination please continue serving the people as the good shepherd you are. Do not let these political mongers of the Cathedral Chapter rob you "they are not worthy enemies" and need your prayers.

John Joseph Flanagan said...

I look at this issue differently. Life can be unfair, both inside and outside of the church. Charles Spurgeon, a Calvinistic Baptist preacher in England, was asked to leave so many churches that it is a wonder he remained a pastor at all. Church politics, as well as secularization and the introduction of carnal values and false doctrines, has resulted in the removal of preachers of the word across all denominations. We should consider such matters as part of the Christian life, because sin infects all things. The pastor ousted for being faithful in the face of unbiblical ideas advanced in his church, or due to internal politics, is never alone....there has been a long line going back to the Apostolic days. The faithful minister should just move on to another church....because his duty is to preach the word, and if no church wants him, find another occupation while remaining a faithful member of a solid church...where his gifts will be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Such moments are opportunities for witness, are they not? So Pastor Simojoki is giving witness to those who have forsaken the Biblical truth for another authority and another Gospel. That is faithfulness as well.

Unknown said...

How can they continue to minister if the church has defrocked them? Yes, we know they may be right, but what of the converse? What if the LCMS defrocked a pastor who was preaching against beliefs such as the Resurrection and the Incarnation, etc. and he was still his serving his congregation? I know you'd want him removed, but, in his eyes, his own perspective, he will still say that he has a ministry to perform.

Carl Vehse said...

"What if the LCMS defrocked a pastor who was preaching against beliefs such as the Resurrection and the Incarnation, etc. and he was still his serving his congregation?"

The LCMS cannot defrock (depose) a pastor. Only the congregation that called him can do that (for cause!). The LCMS, through its ecclesiastical supervision (back when it was taken seriously), can remove a pastor (for cause!) from the membership roster. The congregation would then have to depose the pastor, or face being removed from synodical membership itself.

Nowadays, of course, it's like a free-for-all in the Missouri Synod.