The Random Thoughts of a Lutheran Parish Pastor
Nice that Pastor Petersen is brave enough to say that LCMS DistrictPresidents should be called Bishops. In the history of the ChristianChurch this would be the correct nomenclature.
Actually Rev. Petersen stated [at 1:00:13]: "I was sort of imagining a fantasy world where the DPs were bishops and acted as bishops."For a Lutheran within the Missouri Synod, that is indeed a fantasy world!! The Missouri Synod has a congregational polity, so the Missouri Synod needs a Romish episcopal set of titles like a fish needs a bicycle. The Missouri Synod Constitution has no mention of "bishop", and a previous synodical convention resolution made this clear, as noted in June 15, 2000, CCM Opinion 00-2202 (p. 67 of 80), when an errant English District tried to change the title of its district president to "Bishop"Again in an October 26, 2000, Opinion 00-2215 (p. 75 of 80), the CCM had to remind the English District that District Presidents are not to be given the title of Bishop.Yet still again, in its February 18-20, 2011, minutes (27. English District Bylaws (10-2578), p. 151), the CCM, in reviewing district bylaws, reminded the English District of the previous CCM opinions dealing with the use of title of bishop for a DP.And AGAIN, less than five years later, the CCM had to reminded the English District in its Dec. 4-5, 2015 Minutes, in Section 141. English District Policy Manuals (15-2778) (p. 105), against the formal use of the title of bishop for the DP.Three guesses as to which "fantasy world" district Rev. Petersen belongs to.The Stephanite tar pit is warm and inviting... and the mitres and crosiers look so cute.
Too bad all those European and African Lutherans that we are in communion with didn't study the history of American Lutheranism and also fell into the Stephanite tar pit.Also whoever said , "On this matter we have given frequent testimony in the assembly to our deep desire to maintain the church polity and various ranks of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, although they were created by human authority...Thus the cruelty of the bishops is the reason for the abolition of canonical government in some places, despite our earnest desire to keep it...Furthermore, we want at this point to declare our willingness to keep the ecclesiastical and canonical polity, provided that the bishops stop raging against our churches. This willingness will be our defense, both before God and among all nations, present and future, against the charge that we have undermined the authority of the bishops."And it's too bad the CCM wasn't around to tell St. Paul not use the word bishop.
If those European and African countries had constitutions similar to the U.S. Constitution containing the First Amendment, those Lutherans may not have kept their episcopal polity either. Beside, look what a mess in the world, including the U.S., those churches with episcopal polity are in.Also whoever said..."That would be the very same person who wrote: "And by the confession of all, even of the adversaries, it is clear that this power by divine right [to teach the Gospel to remit sins, to administer the Sacraments] is common to all who preside over churches, whether they are called pastors, or elders, or bishops. And accordingly Jerome openly teaches in the apostolic letters that all who preside over churches are both bishops and elders, and cites from Titus 1:5f....But since by divine authority the grades of bishop and pastor are not diverse, it is manifest that ordination administered by a pastor in his own church is valid by divine law.... We have spoken of ordination, which alone, as Jerome says, distinguished bishops from other elders." Thus a called and ordained pastor, even a non-compensated-occasional-preaching-limited-teaching-and-visitation-no-administrative-duties-or-meetings-assistant pastor, could be referred to as a "bishop."But not a District President, exclusively because of his (in some cases, term-limited) elected office as a corporate executive officer. The Missouri Synod and its individual districts are NOT churches. DPs do not have a Divine Call to their corporate office.So, despite your sarcastic venom. Mr. Anony Mous, the CCM's opinions forbidding the formal use of the "Bishop" title for a district elected corporate office has absolutely nothing to do with St. Paul's use of the word bishop.
So, out of an hour long excellent presentation some can but only focus on a term to describe those who are given supervisory (look up the root of the word supervisor!) duties in The LCMS and then a predictably befuddled defense of not using the term in The LCMS.Church polity is a matter of adiaphora. Congregational polity is **no better or worse** than anything else the Lutheran Church has chosen to use over the years since the Reformation. Kudos to Peterson for an excellent presentation.
"Words to stimulate thought. . ."A word was selected and thoughts discussed in comments. Mr. Anony Mous on August 13, 2018, at 1:32 PM does not appreciate the comments focusing on that word, but then proceeds to post his comments related to that word. The incongruity of that is left as an exercise for the reader.
Here is the Biblical Truth: The words "District President" are not used in the Holy Scriptures. It is strictly an American ideawith political overtones. And that is what the LCMS has..........a political office where men campaign behind the scenes to getelected as District President and even Synodical PresidentBishop is a Biblical term and the church would be wise to adjustto it. Bishops should be called to their office by congregationsand not elected by political machines.
"Here is the Biblical Truth: The words 'District President' are not used in the Holy Scriptures."Thus God, through His Holy Word neither prescribes nor proscribes the human offices and titles within a Synod or District of Lutheran congregations. "And that is what the LCMS has.......... a political office where men campaign behind the scenes to get elected as District President and even Synodical President"Whether true or not, such an unsubstantiated claim about the method of campaigning has no bearing on the titles used for the various elected Synod and District offices.George F. Wollenburg wrote:"It seems significant that the originaI name chosen by the founders of the Synod did not contain the word 'church': 'The Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and other States.' The Synod was not the church. The Synod was a walking together of churches who found themselves united by a common confession. The churchly functions by which the church is identified (i.e., the administration of the means of grace) are not a proper function of a Synod. The Synod is not identified as a church because it does not, as Synod, possess the keys immediately as do the locaI churches. The Synod does not call men to administer the means of grace. The local churches or congregations do this. The temporary meeting of any group of individuals, even though it includes pators and members of local congregations, does not have the character of church. The call and election of the congregation, not ecclesiastical ordination, confers the pastoral office upon a man, and he is appointed through such a call and election to administer the means of grace publicly, i.e., on behalf of the church. Without such a call, even the person who has received ecclesiastical ordination acts only on the basis of his call into the priesthood of all believers, in the same manner as any laymen."Excerpted from "An Assessment of LCMS Polity and Practice on the Basis of the Treatise" (Concordia Theological Quarterly, 49:2/3, April-July 1985, p. 102)."Bishop is a Biblical term and the church would be wise to adjust to it."Although the Lutheran Confessions recognize "Bishop" as another term for pastor, Scripture does not require the title of "Bishop" be used. It is not a suitable title for a President of a corporate organization such as a synod or district.
To some degree this argument seems like semantics.Sure the presbyter/bishop of the NT (pastor) is one by divine right, and any distinction is by human right. No argument there. But we already make such distinctions under different names. If DPs are just corporate suits, why have them at all? If our understanding of the Lutheran view of ecclesiology is so idiosyncratic that using the biblical word bishop at all no longer makes sense, I submit that our ecclesiology has been warped by American Christianity and/or American politics (e.g. "equality", "women's rights" etc). Or that we are doing the very un-Lutheran thing of defining ourselves negatively (we don't have bishops like those papists).Without diminishing the role or importance of the laity, isn't a polity which is preferred by our confessions something we should gradually seek (understanding that our Fathers in the faith had their reasons for setting things up the way they did)? Patriarchy and hierarchy are God-ordained and good. Of course abuse can happen in any form of polity. I find it very hard to believe that the early orthodox Lutherans or Luther would have found the current structure congruent with Scripture or the confessions, just as I have a hard time imagining Luther submit to the voters assembly of laymen and "laywomen" in his congregation.
Carl Vehse is reading the Lutheran Confessions selectively in his effort to suggest that they ONLY way the term "bishop" is used is in reference to a parish/congregational pastor. I sense there is an axe he is grinding here, one I would bet he has been grinding on for a long time. Everyone has to have a hobby, I guess.
Originally the Missouri Synod did not have Districts or DPs, but as the Missouri Synod grew, the Synod President was helped in his duties by creating Districts where the District Presidents could carry out some of the duties on his behalf. As George F. Wollenburg explained ("An Assessment of LCMS Polity and Practice on the Basis of the Treatise," p. 105):"The duties of district presidents as given in the synodical constitution are to 'exercise supervision over the doctrine, life, and administration of office of the pastors and teachers of their district. . .and,according as they see it necessary,hold investigations in the congregations. . .suspend from membership. . . see to it that resolutions af the Synod. . .are carried out. . . perform" or authorize "ecclesiasticaI ordination. . .as well as the installation. . .of all ministers and teachers. . . in their districts.' Not one of these duties is in any way the duty of the pastoral office in the church. The pastoral office is identified with the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments. The duties prescribed for the district president in the constitution are a ministry of the law, not of the Gospel. Perception of the office of district president as a pastoral office confuses law and gospel in the church and destrays both the purpose of the office of district president and the pastoral office in the congregations." Unfortunately, in the last half-century, the DPs have taken more political power and become, to some extend, independent papal entities within the Missouri Synod, and who have resisted attempts to hold them accountable to the Synod President. One DP even showed his contempt for the Synod by praying in a heathan prayer service and participating in unionistic events. Ecclesiological warping is not due to the original polity of congregations and pastors within the Missouri Synod.
The fairy tale which has circulated within the Missouri Synod that Walther's original church polity was influenced by American democracy is not based on the actual history of the Missouri Synod. In his Government in the Missouri Synod (CPH, St. Louis, 1947, p. 209), Carl S. Mundinger wrote: "Any democratic political theories which the founders of the Missouri Synod might have entertained, they did not get from America, but from the same source from which they derived their theory and church polity, viz., from the writings of Martin Luther. Walther's political democracy was not that of John Locke nor of Jean Jacques Rousseau."And Walther himself stated (The Congregation's Right To Choose Its Pastor, trans. by Fred Kramer, The Office of Development, Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne, IN: CTS, 1987, pp. 40-41):"We read among other things in the Evangelienharmonie of Martin Chemnitz, Polykarp Leyser, and John Gerhard: 'Christ bequeathed the keys of the kingdom of heaven to the church, Matt. 18:18.. Outside of a case of necessity such a thing is granted to no one if he is not a rightfully called and installed minister of the church.... Nevertheless, the right of every believer, even of the least of them remains inviolate, that he has the keys conferred by Christ....' (Harm. ev. c. 85, p.1687)"If we had been the first to write this [the quote from Chemnitz, et. al.], our opponents would cry 'murder' against us. They would exclaim: 'There you see how the Missourians introduce their American democratic ideas into the church's doctrine.' However, it is well known that neither Chemnitz, nor Leyser, nor Gerhard were Americans or democrats. Nevertheless, the church is here likened to a free republic, in which all power of state, all office and titles originally, so far as their root is concerned, rest in all citizens, none of whom can, however, make himself president, or mayor or senator, but whom the citizens through free election clothe with these powers, offices and titles which originally rest in them. Thus, the Evangelienharmonie wants to say, it is also with the church."
The notion of women voters in the congregational polity is not from the polity of the Missouri Synod established by Walther, but from liberals in the Synod (including ordained clergy in the CTCR and as Synod convention delegates) who promoted women suffrage because of brainwashing by American demonicrats since 1920. Again, an episcopal polity is not God-ordained, nor is it mandated by the Lutheran Confessions.
Anonymous at August 14, 2018 at 1:35 PM is a liar and fits Luther's Large Catechism description of swine who "roll themselves in their feces and root in it with their snout." As usual his evidence is only what he pulls out of his own keister.
I never said that episcopal polity is God-ordained or mandated by the LC. I said that patriarchy and hierarchy are God-ordained and good.I also agree that congregational polity, in theory, is acceptable. I think that as currently practiced it is not in line with Scripture. I realize episcopal polity is also subject to abuse. But refusing to call someone a bishop (overseer) who oversees seems to be done only out of dislike of papists in light of the fact that is has been done for the vast majority of church history.Walther is a great man, theologian, and father of our church, and we are greatly indebted to him, but he is not the sole lense through which our confessions and Scripture should be interpreted. Otherwise he becomes a pope as well. One would be hard pressed to make his views on church polity the final say on the basis of the Scriptures, our norma normans.Polykarp Leyser. What a great Christian name. Polykarp. "But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna" if you believe Irenaeus. Ignatius of Antioch wrote in a letter to that first Polycarp "Give ye heed to the bishop, that God also may give heed to you. I am devoted to those who are subject to the bishop, the presbyters, the deacons. May it be granted me to have my portion with them in the presence of God. Toil together one with another, struggle together, run together, suffer together, lie down together, rise up together, as God's stewards and assessors and ministers."DPs, CTCR, CCM, bylaws, blah blah blah. I want my church to sound like the church and not a business or bureaucracy.
Anonymous on August 14, 2018 at 5:06 PM: "I also agree that congregational polity, in theory, is acceptable. I think that as currently practiced it is not in line with Scripture."Not only in theory, but a congregational polity is acceptable in practice. And that goes for the congregational polity that was established in the Missouri Synod. Some within the Synod today may be abusing or perverting the congregational polity, either out of ignorance or for political power, selfish ends, or a desire to convert the Missouri Synod to an episcopal corporation. However that does not make the congregational polity established in the Missouri Synod not in line with Scripture. "One would be hard pressed to make his [Walther's] views on church polity the final say on the basis of the Scriptures, our norma normans."It's not just Walther's views. Regarding the congregational polity, Prof. Carl Mundinger rhetorically asked (Government in the Missouri Synod, p. 125): "Just how did the principles which [Carl Eduard] Vehse and Walther derived from the writings of Luther work out in the day-to-day life of a Lutheran congregation? Was the Vehse-Walther-Luther principle, that laymen have the power by majority vote to regulate financial and spiritual matters, practicable? Did the theory of the 'supremacy' of the congregation work?" Mundinger then answers: "Nowhere is the working of this principle better revealed than in the minutes of Trinity Lutheran Church, St. Louis, one of the mother churches of the Missouri Synod... [I]t can be said that by and large the principle of congregational supremacy was applied in the early years of 'Old Trinity' and that it worked." And since a specific form of church polity is neither prescribed or proscribed by Scripture, no one can claim that the congregational polity or episcopal polity is mandated on the basis of Scripture."DPs, CTCR, CCM, bylaws, blah blah blah. I want my church to sound like the church and not a business or bureaucracy."Your comments display a disparaging attitude aboiut the Synod and its responsibilitie. Such an attitude contributes to the problems we see in the Missouri Synod today. And again, a Synod or District is not a church. The corporate office of Synod President or District President is not the Office of the Ministry. Your local congregation is the church. The congregations' called and ordained pastor(s) occupy the Office of the Ministry.
Sad to see the utter confusion that results from being disconnected from the Church and her one, Holy Tradition.
Thesis I. The one holy Christian Church on earth, or the Church in the proper sense of the word, outside of which there is no salvation, is, according to God's Word, the total of all that truly believe in Christ and are sanctified through this faith.Thesis II. Though the one holy Christian Church, as a spiritual temple, cannot be seen but only believed, yet there are infallible outward marks by which its presence is known; which marks are the pure preaching of God's Word and the unadulterated administration of the holy Sacraments.Thesis III. Scripture in an improper sense calls churches also all visible congregations which have hypocrites and wicked among the believers but preach the Gospel right and administer the Sacraments according to the Gospel.Thesis XXV. The Ev. Lutheran Church has thus all the essential marks of the true visible Church of God on earth as they are found in no other known communion, and therefore it needs no reformation in doctrine.Excerpted from "The Evangelical Lutheran Church the True Visible Church of God on Earth" by C.F.W. Walther, translated by Wm. Dallmann.
"To the Theotokos, let us run now most fervently,As sinners and lowly ones,Let us fall down in repentance,Crying from the depths of our soul:Lady, come and help us,Have compassion upon us;Hasten now for we are lostIn the host of our errors;Do not turn your servants away,For you alone are a hope to us.O Theotokos, we shall never be silent.Of your mighty acts, all we the unworthy;Had you not stood to intercede for usWho would have delivered us,From the numerous perils?Who would have preserved us allUntil now with our freedom?O Lady, we shall not depart from you;For you always save your servants,From all tribulation.""You [Mary] alone are a hope to us" they say. Sola Maria. Guess they have their solas too.I'll stick with the one holy Apostolic tradition of Christ and Him crucified. Happy feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Who is Carl Vehse? Is he ok?
Two separate issues being conflated when convenient, separated when convenient. Nomenclature and polity.First, polity. The existing polity in the church at the time the Apology was written is known, and is it is clearly stated that it is the preferred polity of the church of the AC (while not required). Why would advocating for the preferred polity of our confessions be an abuse (assuming it's done in a prudential, peaceful manner)? Second, nomenclature. Use of the word bishop. You could call any man in the office a bishop in the sense that he oversees those in his care. Or you could call him overseer. Or episcopos. Doesn't really matter. Pastor is also a biblical term. Why not use a term that our confessions use and that the church has used since the beginning?
Anonymous, these comments should ALL considered null and void. It is the same as a drive by shooter, shot and run with no reprisals.
Cliff, including your's, right? :) I've just noticed that the odd looking person who goes by "Carl Vehse" seems a bit, well, not well. He seems so angry and upset and nearly unhinged. FWIW.
Still sad to see the utter confusion that results from being disconnected from the Church and her one, Holy Tradition. It just gets worse and worse as people go back and forth based on I am of Luther, or I am of Walther, or I am of Paul, or this commission or that commission or synod or paper, or I have the right interpretation of the Bible, etc. Very sad, indeed.
Anonymous on August 15, 2018 at 6:14 PM,I'm fine and healthy and not at all unhinged. But you would have known that if your skill at mental telepathy, like your skill at being snarky, was not zilch.In the meantime, if you have a specific question on what I have wqritten about the use of the "bishop" title for a district president, or the polity of the Missouri Synod, or the various quotes and links I have provided to support my statements, please feel free to ask it in a respectful, Christian manner.
Joseph Bragg, Yes, it is not surprising that someone like you, who is not a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, would see confusion in a discussion about the polity of a Lutheran church body. And, of course, the real sadness is that you are not part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Cliff,Would you provide your expertise, basis, or substantiation for why you claim "these comments should ALL considered null and void"?
It is pretty rich to read Carl Vehse directing people to communicate in a "respectful, Christian manner."
Anonymous on August 16, 2018 at 8:43 AMMy request was directed to Anonymous on August 15, 2018 at 6:14 PM, following his less-than-respectful and less-than-Christian snark. My request would also apply to you with your whiny snark.
I notice you had no response to the innovation and deviation from the Apostolic deposit of faith by placing the Theotokos in the place of Christ (our only hope).Can't defend it without gainsaying the Scriptures, can't downplay it without making the one holy tradition into human opinion.And what of the Papists, Miaphysites, and Nestorians? All claim the one Holy tradition and apostolicity...I am of Cyril of Alexandria, I am of Leo, I am of Chalcedon, I am of Michael I Cerularius, or this council or that council, or I have the right interpretation of holy tradition.Yes, all division is sad. Lord, have mercy.The bride of Christ doesn't look at herself in the mirror narcissistically. She looks to the heavenly Bridegroom and eagerly awaits the Marriage Feast.
In addition to "fantasy world" imagined by some where Missouri Synod Lutherans have a hierarchy of bishops, despite the statements in the Lutheran Confessions and the congregational polity of the Missouri Synod, here's another disturbing publicly taught statement from at least one Missouri Synod pastor who is also on the LCMS Commission on Constitutional Matters (that's even more disturbing): "Where does the call come from? The congregation only? The church (through superintendent, bishop, district president, whatever)? Luther and nobody in their right mind until the American experience knew call as the vote of a congregation. Walther and others who try to fit the mold of present day upon the Confessions and the first several hundred years are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I have no problem with the 'call' but I do have a problem with the congregation as the exclusive calling agency."This pastor's statement clearly rejects the Missouri Synod's doctrinal position expressed in The Voice of Our Church on the Question of Church and Ministry, by Dr. C. F. W. Walther which the LCMS in convention declared to be the pure doctrine (reine Lehre) of church and ministry, and which the LCMS iat the 2001 convention, reaffirmed as the definitive statement under Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions of the Synod’s understanding on the subject of church and ministry and the official position of the LCMS. Furthermore, the LCMS in convention resolved that all pastors, professors, teachers of the church, and congregations honor and uphold the resolutions of the Synod as regards the official position of our Synod on church and ministry and teach in accordance with them. That includes specifically Thesis VI, on the Ministry.
LCMS Bylaw 1.8.1 states: "While retaining the right of brotherly dissent, members of the Synod are expected as part of the life together within the fellowship of the Synod to honor and uphold the resolutions of the Synod." Bylaw 1.8.2 states: "The discussion among the fellowship of peers is to be conducted privately and confidentially among those who are competent rather than in a public forum."Bylaw 1.8.3 states: This right of brotherly dissent does not allow a member of the Synod publicly to teach or practice contrary to the established doctrinal position of the Synod. Any such public teaching shall place in jeopardy membership in the Synod. This LCMS member of the CCM has now publicly taught in dissent of the official doctrinal position of the Missouri Synod and has now placed his synodical membership in jeopardy.I call upon this CCM member to publicly repent of his statement, or to resign from the CCM and his membership in the Missouri Synod.
Pastor Peters is simply correct. Vehse will need to bring Father Luther up on charges for not insisting on having calls issued by local congregational voters' assemblies! LOL.The Lutheran Confessions nowhere teach that a "call" to the ministry comes only through a "local congregation" and certainly knows nothing about a "voter's assembly," etc.There is zero evidence from the age of Luther himself and through the age of Orthodoxy we can point to support any such practice as Vehse is ranting about. Walther wrote a document that was useful for the situation the early LCMS congregations faced when they lost their bishop and the European polity that they were used to.But it is absurd to try to use Walther's Church and Ministry to make the Confessions and Scripture, for that matter, say things they are either silent about or say nothing of at all.Vehse may need to take some blood pressure medication before he blows out a heart valve over this.I call on Vehse to put a cork in it.
Anonymous on August 16, 2018 at 10:36 AM appears to be either not a Missouri Synod Lutheran or ignorant about Walther's Church and Ministry or both. In any case, Anonymous relies on snarky ad hominems in an effort to substantiate his delusions.
And so it came to pass, that Carl (Eduard, with a u) Vehse (Society of St. C.F.W. Walther [SSCFWW]), expert in canon law of the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States, acting as the successor to St. Peter and holder by divine right of the Power of the Keys as a member of the Voter's Assembly, sought to excommunicate that errant priest who dared question settled canon law.May it serve as a warning to any who looks to Scripture and earlier traditions of the church to question current practice.
Carl, I was once a Lutheran Pastor, Missouri Synod, but came to see how disconnected I was from the Church and how the "Invisible Church" was a late creation of the Reformation.
Anonymous on August 16, 2018 at 11:26 AM,Keep the snarks up, because it helps those on the worldwide web know the character of the person behind your posts.
It is so painfully obvious that Carl does not have the requisite historical and theological education and knowledge required to see his way through his self-imposed confusion (delusion?) on these matters.Walther never claimed for his CHURCH AND MINISTRY was a complete discussion, and attempting to make it so, in fact, ascribing to it a nearly canonical status is just wrong.If we want to understand Walther we should do what *Walther* said to do:In Walther’s preface to CHURCH AND MINISTRY he writes:“It was, of course, not our intention to present the doctrines of our church regarding church and office in their completeness. Whoever desires this will find such a presentation in the larger dogmatic works of the teachers of our church, among others especially in the master works of Chemnitz and Gerhard.”And those volumes of Gerhard and Chemnitz to which Walther directs us are all easily and completely available in English.So, Carl has no excuse for remaining ignorant, and willfully so. Do some reading Carl.
It is just a joke, and I think the interwebs people can see that. I thought you would find it hunorous as well, and I'm sorry if I was offensive. I consider you a brother in Christ. Have a good one.
Joseph, I have a friend who, years ago, could not resist the inviting warmth of the Tiber and decided to cross over. I sorrow him and for you and pray for him and for you: • having studied in much detail the Scriptural doctrine exposited in the Lutheran Confessions;• having stood before God and a congregation at your ordination as you promised that "you will perform the duties of your office in accordance with these Confessions, and that all your preaching and teaching and your administration of the Sacraments will be in conformity with Holy Scripture and with these Confessions"; and • having earlier stood before God and a congregation and been asked, "Do you intend to continue steadfast in this confession and Church to suffer all even death, rather than fall away from it?", as you answered "I do by the grace of God";• then to turn around and renounced those promises and abandoned the confession of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Anonymous on August 16, 2018 at 12:24 PM,Your claims about Walther's Church and Ministry are not material to what I have stated, quoted, or provide links to regarding the Missouri Synod polity, the doctinal position of the Missouri Synod on the doctrine of church and ministry. Furthermore, Walther's Church and Ministry was not present merely for adoption by the convention of one particular Lutheran church body, or in response to one particular extremist pastor in New York state.Walther presented his book as the definitive statement on the doctrine on church and ministry under Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions for the entire Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Again, Carl, you simply are displaying your abysmal ignorance and lack of historical and theological knowledge.Your argument is with Walther, not me.In Walther’s preface to CHURCH AND MINISTRY he writes:“It was, of course, not our intention to present the doctrines of our church regarding church and office in their completeness. Whoever desires this will find such a presentation in the larger dogmatic works of the teachers of our church, among others especially in the master works of Chemnitz and Gerhard.”
"Walther presented his book as the definitive statement on the doctrine on church and ministry under Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions for the entire Evangelical Lutheran Church."The truth isn't a function of time and space. If that document is definitive for the entire Evangelical Lutheran Church as you say, then it is impossible for us to subscribe to it with that understanding and be in communion with those who do not. If we do hold to it with that understanding, we do not hold the catholic faith for it must also apply retroactively.Honest question, why are you not in WELS?
"Carl Vehse" is a Lutheran layman by the name of Richard Strickert, the son of Lutheran pastor who graduated from the seminary in what Rick considers the absolute halcyon days of the Missouri Synod, the 1930s. Rick is a septuagenarian who chooses to spend a good bit of his time trolling various Lutheran discussion sites with his odd theories, warped view of Lutheran theology, distorted conspiracy theories, and what-not. Pastor Peters is very kind to allow him to comment on his blog site. Rick has been kicked off of nearly every other Lutheran site most read by folks.As his hero, Donald Trump, would say: SAD.
Anonymous on August 16, 2018 at 10:36 AM and Anonymous on August 16, 2018 at 3:07 PM posted various pontifications unsupported by any evidence other than their own verbiage. Anonymous on August 16, 2018 at 12:24 PM provided an excerpt from Walther's Preface to show Walther never claimed CHURCH AND MINISTRY was a complete discussion. Of course neither I nor the Missouri Synod in its 2001 resolution ever claimed it was. What Anonymous didn't do is quote what Walther stated immediately after the excerpt (Church and Ministry, trans. J.T. Mueller 1987, p. 9): "It was our purpose to stress only those points concerning which there prevails a difference and to embody only so much uncontested material as is demanded by the context. We hope, therefore that on account of this intentional incompleteness we shall not be charged with one-sidedness in our interpretation and presentation. In order to avoid misunderstanding, we declare expressly that in this monograph we not so much concerned about how the church is to be constituted as rather about its essence and the principles according to which its manifestations [Erscheinungen] are to be judged and on which its polity [Verfassung] is to rest."Perhaps some things in this book at first glance may appear doubtful and subject to misunderstanding and misuse. But whoever wants to be fair and go to the trouble to consider the individual matters [das Einzelne] in their context and according to the intention with which they have been incorporated into the whole will soon, as we hope, have his doubts disappear if he is at all favorable to our church. But whoever will not be fair but intends to remain attached to his preconceived notions of what is supposed to be truly Lutheran cannot be satisfied even with all sorts of cautions by which in our preface we might try to guard against misunderstandings."
Regarding the claim that Americanization influenced Walther's Kirche und Amt (a claim that started with Wilhelm Loehe's "amerikanische Poebelherrschaft" descrption of the Missouri Synod), Walther stated this: "[W]e definitely repudiate the charge made against us that we twisted and patterned them [the doctrines of the church and the ministry] to favor our conditions. Since here we do not live under inherited church conditions but must rather first lay the foundation and lay it unhindered by anything already existing, the circumstances rather compelled us most earnestly to search for the principles on which, according to God's Word and the Confessions of our church, the polity of a truly Lutheran church may rest and according to which it may be constituted."And Walther (along with the Missouri Synod) did not consider his book and the basis of Missouri Synod's polity as a new development or addition to the Lutheran Confessions, but rather the book was a congruent repetition of Lutheran Confessions confirmed by Lutheran fathers:"We did not pattern the doctrine of our church after the conditions prevaililng here, but we established the church according to the doctrine of our church. Whoever doubts this we confidently invite: "Come and see!" And whoever is astonished at the principles and doctrines of the Lutheran church presented here, which so far he may have rejected as enthusiastic, we can trustfully refer to the proofs with which we supported them, leaving him the choice either to concede to us the honor of being orthodox or to deny this honor to a whole cloud of witnesses from Luther down to Baier and Hollaz." (Preface, Church and Ministry, trans. J.T. Mueller 1987, p. 10)
Anonymous on August 16, 2018 at 6:45 PM,As you yourself demonstrate, it's Lufauxrans or ignorant Lutherans who most often describe my posts, which I substantiatw with excerpts or links to Lutheran sources, as "odd theories, warped view of Lutheran theology, [and] distorted conspiracy theories". And you substantiate your claims (some of which are erroneous) by resorting to ad hominems and scrappings from the bottom of a septic tank. I doubt your mother would be proud of your blog behavior.BTW, why don't you identify yourself?
No substantiation in the form of lengthy quotes from only American era Lutheranism are required for this simple argument.Here are your premises as best as I can understand them:1. Kirche und Amt is definitive doctrine for the entire Evangelical Lutheran Church.2. Kirche und Amt, as pure doctrine, compels us to maintain the current congregational polity.If both of these premises are true, here are the logical conclusions:1. The LCMS is erroneously in communion (altar and pulpit fellowship) with any church body that does not recognize the doctrinal authority of Kirche und Amt and reorganize their polity accordingly.2. Kirche und Amt is a higher authority than the BOC, because it requires something that the BOC does not, and is pure doctrine.3. That which was once acceptable in the church, namely episcopal polity and the minimal role of the congregation in the call, both in the ancient church and in the 16th and 17th centuries in the church of the AC, is no longer acceptable.Since the truth cannot change, and doctrine cannot change, it must ALWAYS be acceptable to return to the polity "we seek to retain", or the synod is binding consciences on a free matter, and is no better than the papacy.If that which was once doctrinally acceptable is no longer doctrinally acceptable, we have changed our doctrine and do not hold the catholic faith.You have demanded that the author of this blog recant his views or resign, by citing synodal bylaws that a member of synod cannot publicly disagree with that which has been accepted by synod. And yet you stated here publicly that women's suffrage is an error. Women's suffrage has also been accepted by the synod. You would no doubt say that you are not a member of synod to avoid the obvious hypocrisy. Since you will assuredly have the last word, and would continue quoting, in saecula saeculorum, long excerpts of a very few pronvincial writers from a 100 year period (neither the age of the Apostolic fathers nor the period of Lutheran orthodoxy) to support your opinions, I will make this my final post. I know that you will summarily dismiss it, but I'm mostly writing it for anyone that may read this on the fence of confessional Lutheranism. For the record, we are not a hyper-American sect with a new dispensation, with Walther as the prophet. We depart is no article of faith from the church catholic. Our faith is that of the apostles, as recorded in the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures, and exposited in the Lutheran Confessions. Wish you well. Have a beer.
My postion is stated in the 2001 Synod Resolution 7-17A, that Kirche und Amt is "the definitive statement under Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions of the Synod’s understanding on the subject of church and ministry and the official position of the LCMS."I made no claim that Kirche und Amt, as pure doctrine, compels us to maintain the current congregational polity. I do maintain that a congregational polity is acceptable in theory and practice, and that it is not proscribed by Scripture or the Lutheran Confessions. Your interpretation in the second premise is erroneous. Thus, your conclusions, drawn from your interpretations do not logically follow.And no one has claimed Walther was a prophet. Like Martin Luther, not all Walther wrote has been recognized by the Synod as reine Lehre.My advice to Lutherans and those interested in understanding the doctrine of church and ministry, especially as it was carried out in the founding of the Missouri Synod is to read Walther's book, Church and Ministry. As a start, one can read the Theses on Church and Ministry. In addition one might also read The Proper Form of an Evangelical Lutheran Congregation Independent of the State and the theses on The Evangelical Lutheran Church the True Visible Church of God on Earth.These writings will be more informative than the ramblings on this blog of Anonymous.
Since you responded quite cordially, I will as well."My postion is stated in the 2001 Synod Resolution 7-17A, that Kirche und Amt is 'the definitive statement under Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions of the Synod’s understanding on the subject of church and ministry and the official position of the LCMS.' "Then my first premise was not an accurate representation of your position since it is for the synod and not the entire Evangelical Lutheran Church.I find that I actually agree with almost everything you said here, including the last statement :) Psalm 133. Have a nice weekend.
Richard Strickert aka "Carl Vehse" is an angry, embittered older man who has chosen to spend his retirement years tilting a Windmills of his own making about the history of The LCMS and CFW Walther, etc. He evidences no indication that he has actually read any of Walther's works, or, what is worth, any of Luther, Chemnitz or Gerhard.Indulge him. Pat him on the head. Tell him, "It will be ok, Rick."But ignore him otherwise.
Anonymous on August 18, 2018 at 2:19 PM, keep pulling those lies and ad hominems out of your keister and let that hate and rage flow in your comments so that all the readers can see the rot of your soul.
And we see how Rick Strickert responds to criticism. The real Richard Strickert shows himself. His dead mom and dad must be so proud.He is a sad, sad man. Reduced to spending his golden years spewing venom, spreading his conspiracy theories, and spreading nonsensical interpretations of LCMS history and theology.He is a man filled with hate and bitterness. Sad.The really sad thing is that he thinks he has any credibility on any forum in which he participates.He is a laughing stock among all Lutherans.But, hey...like I said...everyone has to have a hobby.Keep it up Richard Strickert, you provide cheap entertainment!
You can do worse than that, Anonymous on August 18, 2018 at 4:36 PM. Come on, Anonymous; show the readers how you really can vomit out your hate. Since your previous comments reveal that you are not a Lutheran, or even a Christian, you have no moral restrictions on the kind of comments you can excrete.
Reading through this thread I would observe that Carl Vehse appears to be one of those types of people who can surely dish out the vitriol, but can not handle any directed right back at him.
Anonymous August 20, 2018 at 11:17 AM, you need to check with an optometrist, since your blurred vision missed many of my responses that included supporting documentation and references, and were certainly not like the vitriolic ad hominems hurled by various posters, like yourself, using the pseudonym of "Anonymous."
It is a shame Richard Strickert does not have a confessional Lutheran pastor who would be able to help him overcome all his doctrinal errors, not to mention his horrendous violation of the Eighth Commandment. He is a sick, mentally and emotionally disturbed old man. It is sad and pathetic both. All he can do is repeat the same old garbage he has been posting for decades. Fortunately he has been thrown off of nearly any responsible Lutheran website that exists. Rick...give up. It's over. You have no idea what you are talking about. You have no genuine courage or you would have actually gone to a convention of your district and Synod and spoken up.Find another retirement hobby. Theology is not for you.Your father would be ashamed of you. So disgusting.
Anonymous on August 21, 2018 at 7:55 PM,Well, Anonymous, you're starting to throw some larger ad hominem chunks, in addition to outright lies, against my confessional Lutheran pastor as well as against me. Of course, if I were as "sick, mentally and emotionally disturbed" and had "no idea what [I was] talking about" it would be easy to provide evidence refuting the documents and references I have provided as substantiation of what I have previously stated. But you have done nothing except to display your feces-hurling proclivity for readers to see.Perhaps like the meltdown antics of liberal snowflakes are signs of their Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), your behavior, Anonymous, could be considered as an unhinged mental disorder, which could be called "Vehse Derangement Syndrome" (VDS). If you don't mind answering, during your posted outbursts do you experience trouble focusing, frothing at the mouth, or loss of bladder control? (Readers have already seen your loss of bowel control.)
Dear Anonymous, there is no point in continuing to respond to or communicate with Carl Vehse. Feeding trolls like him is what they live for.
Dear Anonymous on August 22, 2018 at 10:25 AM, Continuing to hurl ad hominems only displays your unhinged VDS behavior. My discussion about Rev. Petersen's "fantasy world" of a Missouri Synod episcopacy is supported by excerpts from or links to various Lutheran sources provided in a dozen or more of my posts.
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