The Random Thoughts of a Lutheran Parish Pastor
I am sorry that this post turned into another occasion for conflict and dispute. I simply meant to remember the day when I was ordained into the Holy Office of the Ministry. I thank those who posted comments of support and who acknowledged my ordination anniversary with good wishes. Your kindness in reading my humble blog and encouraging the content has been very uplifting and yet it reminds me that I have a responsibility not simply to rant but to address issues in a fair and reasoned manner. I would hope that commenters would also act responsibly before they hit the post button.I decided to remove all the comments to say that while comments on my blog have always been open and unmoderated, posters have a duty to be civil and polite. It is one more case of all suffering when a few abuse the forum. You may not realize that I am held responsible for the comments as well as the blog content and I receive regular notices from the so-called guardians of political correctness when comments are deemed to be offensive. I have not shut down comments nor have I bowed to the pressure to make all comments moderated or edited. So, please, respect the privilege and act responsibly. I think you know to whom my words are directed.
Well, back to the point...congratulations Pastor Peters and may God continue to be with and bless you in your ministry!
God bless you with many more years of service.
Rev. Peters, Congratulations on the anniversary of the day you received in an ecclesiastical rite [Ordnung] of ordination a public and solemn confirmation of your Divine Call into the Holy Office of the Ministry, which was conferred [übertragen] by God and which God Himself has prescribed.
God Bless the Preacher.I do take great comfort in your excellent blog.
Carl Vehse, in spite of Pastor Peters most gentlemanly warnings, you still felt a pathaological need to interject your bullshit comment. You really need to go seek pastoral counseling. Oh, wait, you are a member of a dying congregation in Austin, TX whose pastor, Paul Harris, had repeatedly declared himself and his congregation in a state of confessional protest against The LCMS.I really truly wish Pastor Peters would forever delete every comment you ever make on his blog.The only place you belong in on LutherQuest with all the other psychotics who post there.For shame sir, for shame. Your father would be so embarassed of you.
Brothers in Christ, Pastor Peters has made it very clear that he wants people who comment on his blog site to "mind their manners" ... could we all strive to honor and respect that request?Just my .02Rev. Paul T. McCain
I wonder why it is impossible to disagree or debate without being mean spirited or nasty? If this happens on a religious comments forum after a warning from the blog's author, why are we shocked with happens around us in the secular world. A simple "congratulations" is all that is needed. The good pastor has been more than patient and too many commenters have taken advantage of his kindness.
Perhaps this incessant clamor is the Lord telling us to use our remaining days more wisely than perched before a screen.
No bishop? No ordination.
Lutherans hold that the ecclesiastical rite [Ordnung] of ordination is valid, even when administered by a pastor in his own church, according to the SA.III.X and Treatise.65.
Article XIII of the Defense of the Augsburg Confession asserts:if ordination be understood as applying to the ministry of the Word, we are not unwilling to call ordination a sacrament. For the ministry of the Word has God's command and glorious promises, Rom. 1:16: The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Likewise, Is. 55:11: So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please. 12] If ordination be understood in this way, neither will we refuse to call the imposition of hands a sacrament. 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]. 13] 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.
"Since the church consists of hearers and preachers together-not one set without the other-hearers and preachers act together in calling a qualified man into the office. Since the office is divine, putting a man into it is part of the divine institution.... In this sense [both thus being able to be considered divine? ed.] "call" and "ordination" are synonyms. And to underscore the divinity of the Gospel-preaching office-as opposed to the humanly invented order of mass-sacrificers-Apology XIII is prepared to call ordination into that holy office a "sacrament." But there is no divinely prescribed ritual by which such entry into the ministry is accomplished. The laying on of hands is an apostolic custom with rich Old Testament background, and should on no account be omitted; but it is not as such a divine institution or a sacrament. (For the Life of the World. October, 1999. The Gospel Ministry - In the Lutheran Confessions.)
Ap.XIII.16. Lastly, if among the Sacraments all things ought to be numbered which have God's command, and to which promises have been added, why do we not add prayer, which most truly can be called a sacrament? For it has both God's command and very many promises; and if placed among the Sacraments, as though in a more eminent place, it would invite men to pray. 17] Alms could also be reckoned here, and likewise afflictions, which are, even themselves signs, to which God has added promises. But let us omit these things. For no prudent man will strive greatly concerning the number or the term, if only those objects still be retained which have God's command and promises.
It is important in subscribing to Ap.XIII along with SA.III.X and the Treatise to distinguish the different broad and narrow definitions of "sacrament" and of "ordination." A Lutheran cannot hold a quia subscription to doctrine in one part of the Lutheran Confessions while holding a quatenus subscription to doctrine in another.Using the broad definition of sacrament, Ap.XIII goes on in paras 16-17 to consider including many other things as sacraments. With the narrow definition of sacrament (such as the SC/LC use) Lutherans recognize two sacraments. Some add a third sacrament (absolution) by claiming the pastor, in his public office, is the visible element to those being absolved. The broad definition of ordination includes the examination, call, and the narrow sense of ordination, that is, the confirming of the call. The Romanists regarded the broad ordination of a Lutheran pastor to the Office of the Ministry as invalid, because the pastor did not have a canonical ordination performed by Roman episcopal bishops.It is the narrow definition of ordination that is used when the Treatise states that the Church "retain[s] the authority to call, elect, and ordain ministers." SA.III.X also uses the narrow definition when it condemns the Roman bishops who not only refuse to ordain, but also "persecute and condemn those [pastors] who discharge these functions [preaching the word and administering the sacraments], having been called to do so."Certainly, Lutherans do not consider the rite of ordination (broad or narrow) (with or without the tactile fingertips) to bestow the forgiveness of sins upon the pastor himself being ordained.All of this is explained in more detail in C.F.W. Walther's Church and Ministry (trans. J.T. Mueller, CPH, 1987), which includes witnesses of the church in its public confessions and the writings of Martin Luther and other Lutheran theologians, also in Christian Dogmatics (J.T. Mueller, CPH, 1934, 574-6), and other Lutheran documents. Details of the history behind what is the official position and understanding of the Missouri Synod, under the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, is discussed in "Call and Ordination in the Thought and Practice of C. F. W. Walther and in the Early Missouri Synod," Cameron A. MacKenzie (in The Pieper Lectures, Volume 10, 2005, Call and Ordination in the Lutheran Church, John A. Maxfield, Editor).
Here is a much better translation and edition of Walther's Church and Ministry. https://www.cph.org/p-20881-the-church-and-the-office-of-the-ministry.aspxOverviewMatthew Harrison’s new edition of this seminal writing by the first president of the LCMS restores Walther’s precise language on the doctrines of church and ministry. As the subtitle of the original German edition states, The Church and The Office of The Ministry is “a collection of testimonies . . . from the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and from the private writings of orthodox teachers of the same.” Professional church workers and interested lay members will find a wealth of insights from the Bible, the Confessions, ancient church fathers, Luther, the orthodox Lutheran fathers, and more on the key questions of what or who is the Church, what is and who holds the Office of the Ministry, and what are the powers and duties of each.During the 20th century, the ecumenical movement made the doctrine of the church one of the most discussed issues of its day. Today, this controversy still exists with congregations exploring the boundaries of what it means to define the church. C.F.W. Walther's classic study of The Church and The Office of The Ministry provides biblically-based answers to these questions facing congregations today.This new study edition includes: New reader-friendly updated translation Footnotes explaining terms and history Side notes highlighting texts from the Bible, Lutheran Confessions and Martin Luther Marginal references to Johann Gerhard Glossary of key German and Latin terms Appendices including supporting documents Scriptural index Topical index Free downloadable data charts Editorial introductions from Rev. Dr. Matthew HarrisonAbout C.F.W. WaltherOne of the most significant Lutheran theologians in North America, C. F. W. Walther (1811–87) dominated the theological landscape of the mid-1800s. A leader in the Saxon immigration to Missouri in 1839, Walther helped to found the college that would become Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, as well as to organize The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. In addition to serving as a pastor, Walther was the synod’s first president and the president of the seminary and its leading teacher. A prolific author, Walther wrote on a variety of topics, corresponded with numerous religious leaders, edited the theological journal Der Lutheraner, and helped start Concordia Publishing House.
Here are the Kirche und Amt German Theses and Six Translations from Walther, Graebner, Dau, Mueller, Tappert, Drickamer, and Harrison.The German text can be seen in Die Stimme unserer Kirche in der Frage von Kirche und Amt.
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