Friday, December 14, 2007

Article V - Means of Grace - OHM

Anonymous said... December 17, 2007 6:55 PM

I would like to hear someone actually respond to the statement that "to interpret AC V as a reference to the public ministry rather than to the means of grace" is to read more into the article than is there. The LCMS editors of "Concordia- the Lutheran Confessions" include the note "While the most direct concern of Article V is to confess the Holy Spirit's work through the means of grace, there is also in view, indirectly, the Office of the Ministry".

http://www.bookofconcord.org/augsburgconfession.html#article5

http://www.wlsessays.net/authors/B/BartlingArtV/BartlingArtV.pdf


http://www.wlsessays.net/authors/B/BrugPredigtamt.pdf

http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/djw/lutherantheology.brugreview.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AC V --

Anon said:
"If you believe that AC V actually refers to the OHM and not the means of grace..."

I don't see anyone saying this. But in any case, the following comes from a recent WELS Q&A response:

"The small groups that have left the LCMS, like the other CLC (Concordia Lutheran Conference) and LCR, insist on a doctrine of the ministry that does not agree with Article V of the Augsburg Confession."

Maybe you should alert the Sem that one of their Q&A answering profs is a heretic, because he also seems to think that AC V pertains to the ministry.

http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?process&procID=1518&cuQA_qaID=1&cuTopic_topicID=14&cuItem_itemID=20197

130 comments:

mav said...

The Means of Grace don't float around by themselves. They come to us through the OHM. Jesus sent out the Apostles to preach and administer the Sacraments (John 20)(Apology VIII).

Here's the whole introdcution to Article V from the Reader's Edition: "Note: How can what Christ did for us two thousand years ago-through His life, death, and resurrection-become effective in our lives today? During the Reformation, as also today, some imagined they would experience the Holy Spirit through their own reflections, by enjoying nature, or by ecstatic religious experiences. The comforting truth is that the Holy Spirit works through objective, external, sure, and certain means of grace, through which we receive justification by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone. While the most direct concern of Article V is to confess the Holy Spirit's work through the means of grace, there is also in view, indirectly, the Office of the Ministry, which the German version of the Augsburg Confession calls 'the Preaching Office' (das Predigtamt). The Preaching Office is not instituted by man, but is established by God Himself. Article XIV discusses the necessity of the Church call. (See also SA III VII and X; Treatise.)"

And because no one subscribes unconditionally to the editor's notes, here's the text of Article V: "So that we may obtain this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. Through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Spirit is given (John 20:22). He works faith, when and where it pleases God (John 3:8), in those who hear the good news that God justifies those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ's sake. This happens not through our own merits, but for Christ's sake.

Our churches condemn the Anabaptists and others who think that through their own preparations and works the Holy Spirit comes to them without the external Word."

mav

RTMM said...

The office is instituted. The focus of the article is of course the preaching and administering, but these things don't happen in a vacuum, but an office is insituted for their going on. AC XIV speaks about how this office is filled. See AC VII and VIII which speak of this office as well.

The last poster caricatured the note in the McCain edition of the Confessions. Of course the main, direct focus, is the means of grace, that is what the ministry is all about and why "it was insituted." It is erecting yet another straw man to suggest that some are saying that the article is only about the office and not what the office is about. The institution of said office is not in question, either in McCain's note or in the article itself, and it is disingenuous to suggest otherwise. As Dr. David Scaer, who convincingly shows that AC V's predidtamt is not just an activity but an office writes "The activity of the means of grace rather than an office is the primary focus." By the way if you can get your hands on it, this excellent article is found in the Lutheran Quarterly VI 4 92).

I would ask the Welsians, where is the instituting word for the "means of grace" if that is all AC V is about? And where is the instituting word for the office of the Holy Ministry? The Welsian view of the Ministry is "formless and void" and so there is nothing to prohibit lay baptisms (i.e. do it yourself) and celebrations of the Sacrament by any Christian. Additionally what in the world are the words of 1 Tim and Titus 1 about and to whom are they spoken (you must feel they are time bound for the form of the ministry that Paul was addressing "elder" "bishop" and not to all, as I heard one WS pastor say).

These questions have been asked and not answered on this forum before.

RTMM

mav said...

RTMM,

Which last poster?

mav

Anonymous said...

Whoever said that the Means of Grace float around?? Where was this written? Can you show me where anyone said that?

The Anabaptists were denying the Means of Grace, denying that the Holy Spirit works faith through Gospel in Word and Sacrament alone.

I agree that it is making a bit of a jump (look at where V is located between Justification and Sanc (New Obedience) and not later under Church Order XIV) to get from Means of Grace to the institution of the Office here.

mav said...

"the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted"

This is about things that happen in the church.

"He works faith, when and where it pleases God (John 3:8), in those who hear the good news "

This good news is usually heard through the preaching in the church.

As RTMM wrote, the institution of the Office is not the issue in Article V, but it is conected. How will they hear unless there is someone preaching to them?

"Word and Sacrament alone": what exaclty do you mean by this?

mav

RTMM said...

mav,

Not you, (you posted at the same time I did).

RTMM

RTMM said...

Anon.

Fair question. The "floating about" is in reference to a voiceless Gospel and a handsless Sacrament, ergo.

Indeed, as you said, the Anabaptists spoke of the Spirit floating about unmediated, either by the word OR by office. Thus an OFFICE OF preaching etc. is instituted. As mav noted, how can they hear without a preacher?

RTMM

Anonymous said...

I am a layman. I understand that we call qualified men to congregations to properly preach the Word and rightly administer the Sacraments (the Means of Grace). I also understand that I do not attain eternal life by my works. My question is: Is anyone here stating that one can only come to faith by hearing the word preached by an ordained pastor?

Paul T. McCain said...

I find myself agreeing with the note in the McCain edition. Thanks to whomever it was who quoted it in its entirety.

mav said...

Rev. McCain,

You're welcome. And thank you for your work. My family has benefited from the Reader's Edition of the BOC immensely.

Anonymous @ 1:52 am,

No. No one here is saying that one can only come to faith by hearing the preaching of an ordained pastor. Look at AC V and following. These articles are about the Church. Do individual Christians share their faith with their friends, family, and neighbors? Yes, of course, but AC V is not speaking to that. "True Christian perfection is to fear God from the heart, to have great faith, and to trust that for Christ's sake we have a God who has been reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). It means to ask for and expect from God His help in all things with confident assurance that we are to live according to our calling in life, being diligent in outward good works, serving in our calling. This is where true perfection and true service of God is to be found." AC XXVII

mav

Anonymous said...

Paul T. McCain? Is this real or a hoax?

This post just proves this has become an LC-MS blog site. John, I think it's time you remove all references to the WELS.

Anonymous said...

"While the most direct concern of Article V is to confess the Holy Spirit's work through the means of grace, there is also in view, indirectly, the Office of the Ministry"

Huh?

1. The articles of the Confessions mean what they say they mean. (And based on that quote it seems pretty clear that even the LCMS has to admit that AC V is really about means of grace.) It's not up to us to read other indirect things into them. What good is having a clear confession if we can attribute hidden, indirect other meanings to it? There's no room for "yes, but..." in the Confessions.

2. I'm not so sure that I would base my doctrine of church and ministry on an article that sorta, indirectly, kinda talks about church and ministry. The LCMS takes one brief "indirect" reference in the Confessions and then reads that back into Scripture. That's just terrible theology.

Anonymous said...

3. The premise of that sentence doesn't even make sense anyway. The means of grace are given to the church, not to pastors. So if anything is indirectly referred to, it would be the church, not pastors. Really, the sentence would have to say this to make any sense:

"While the most direct concern of Article V is to confess the Holy Spirit's work through the means of grace, there is also in view, indirectly, the Church, since the means of grace are given to the Church, and then indirectly in view of that is the ministry, since the Church entrusts the means to the pastors."

So really the ministry is referred to in a doubly indirect fashion. You really want a doubly indirect reference as your sedes? I don't.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please clarify the difference in views of OHM between LCMS and WELS in layman's terms?

Thanks.

Rob

mav said...

A @ 9:02,

Are you the same anonymous who took that part of a sentence out of context the first time?

I don't think the editor's notes in the BOC are the sedes for any LCMS doctrine.

Look at the text of AC V. "So that we may obtain this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted." Yes, the Confessions mean what they say they mean. There is a preaching office, instituted by Christ to give out the Gospel in Word and Sacrament (John 20). The Means of Grace are given to us, the Church, through the "ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments". Yes, as far as I know, the LCMS does say, as in the McCain intro, that Article V is about the means of grace. How do those means of grace get to us? "So that we may obtain this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. Through the Word and Sacraments, as through instrumencts, the Holy Spirit is given." The means of grace are given to the Church through the preaching office or pastors. The editor's note and the text of AC V do not say what you said that the means of grace are given "to pastors". The Word is preached and the Sacraments are administered in the Church to the Church through the preaching office. This does not elevate the pastors above the rest of the Church, nor does it mean that there is any special power in the man himself who is preaching, absolving, baptizing, or communing, but AC V says that this office was instituted by God as the way through which we receive the means of grace.

mav

mav said...

If someone is going to take Paul McCain's words out of context and argue against something he isn't saying, doesn't he have a right to chime in with his thoughts?

(and no, I don't know him and didn't alert him to this blog and have no idea how he came across it) As has been pointed out before, why would LCMS people be banned from BW?

mav

Anonymous said...

If you believe that AC V actually refers to the OHM and not the means of grace, then you have to buy that Melanchthon, when writing the AC, went through this thought process:

"I think I'll arrange these articles according to the order of salvation (ordo salutis). OK, Article 1, we should start with God of course. Then, Article 2, original sin. Good. Then Article 3, Jesus, and 4, Justification. Hmm, what comes next in logical order? How about an article about how God offers that justification through the means of grace? Nah, I'll just put in an article about how the pastoral ministry is the only divinely instituted office in the church. Good. OK, now where was I? Oh yeah, back to the order of salvation."

It's just an absurd jump in logic. I think that's why the LCMS has to admit that AC V is really about the means of grace, and then try to sneak ministry in there by claiming some "indirect" reference.

mav said...

Rob,

Very briefly: I'll only deal with the official positions on the ministry in WELS and LCMS. Both synods have wide discrepancies in practice.

WELS says that the Gospel creates its own forms, so it ends up meaning that anything done for the church is the OHM. For example, pastors, teachers, Sunday School teachers, staff ministers, church janitors, VBS volunteers are all considered in the OHM. (Incidentally, this is very, very similar to Seminex)

The LCMS sticks closer to the Lutheran Confessions, though, as above, in practice, it varies widely. Those in the OHM are those who are preaching and administering the Sacraments, so ordained pastors. Teachers, deacons, deaconesses, and other church workers are in useful vocations benefiting the Church, but are different and distinct from the OHM which does what AC V says:"teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments".

I've heard WELS pastors who say that the LCMS position elevates pastors above everyone else. I don't think this is so. There is a distinction in the Office held, but not an elevation, also this relates to the Office not the individual pastors (I'm not a pastor btw, and I've known some who were real horses' rear ends, but they were/are still in the OHM for my and others' benefit, and through whom we receive forgiveness, life, and salvation). It seems to match what AC V says. There is a "ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments". There are also other useful, God-pleasing vocations in the Church, but they are different, not lower, but different. The WELS view ends up making no distinctions and focuses on what we are doing for church. If everyone doing something for church is in the OHM, then no one is in the AC V OHM. There's no distinction between cleaning the church (a useful, wonderful thing to do) and preaching and administering the Sacraments. AC V does not say that to obtain faith, everyone gets their own little ministry to do for the church. It says that "the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted" for us to obtain faith.



Sorry, that wasn't very brief.
mav

mav said...

A@11:07,

"the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted." Direct reference. AC V

"Nah, I'll just put in an article about how the pastoral ministry is the only divinely instituted office in the church"

Doesn't say that. Neither did anyone here.

mav

Anonymous said...

Thank you, mav. What are the ramifications of this difference -- in practical terms? I can think of WELS then allowing anyone to distribute communion and baptize as long as they are part of the broader OHM, right? LCMS would limit these to the narrow interpretation of OHM being the pastor.

What else? Does it minimize the role or need for a pastor if all can do it? Does it "empower" the priesthood of believers within their own ministry?

BTW, I'm reading the links but have been confused by some.

Thanks. I'm not very smart.

Rob

Anonymous said...

"I'll only deal with the official positions on the ministry in WELS and LCMS."

mav, what you said about the WELS position is a complete mischaracterization. How can any discussion go on when such misrepresentations are made? You also reveal your bias by claiming that the LCMS position it truer to the Confessions. That's a judgment statement, not a fact statement.

This just convinces me all the more that you aren't here for honest discussion, you're here for promotion.

Anonymous said...

"WELS says that the Gospel creates its own forms, so it ends up meaning that anything done for the church is the OHM. For example, pastors, teachers, Sunday School teachers, staff ministers, church janitors, VBS volunteers are all considered in the OHM."

That's completely ridiculous. That's not the WELS position at all. mav, you need to do some more research. Or, maybe you were aware that this isn't what the WELS actually teaches but said it anyway to make the WELS look bad.

Anonymous said...

mav said that in the WELS "here's no distinction between cleaning the church (a useful, wonderful thing to do) and preaching and administering the Sacraments."

That's a lie.

No one in the WELS claims that janitors are in the ministry. Only those who preach and teach the Word and administer the Sacraments are in the ministry in the WELS. That's exactly according to AC V.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "Nah, I'll just put in an article about how the pastoral ministry is the only divinely instituted office in the church"

mav said: Doesn't say that. Neither did anyone here.

Well, mav, the LCMS says that:

"our Synod has held that the office of the public ministry (the pastoral office) according to the Scriptures is the one divinely established office in the church"

So yes, it's accurate to say that the LCMS interprets AC V as referring to the pastoral ministry as the "one divinely established office". As was pointed out above, this is just absurd logic.

RTMM said...

Anon.

As a called and ordained man I forgive sins. What is that about, me or Christ? Christ, of course. Directly about Christ, indirectly about me. Is not not about me? Of course. (Re: the above comments as if AC V were not about the ministry because it is not the main thing, but it is about giving out the main thing.)

RE: The logically order of the AC. Anon writes:

"OK, Article 1, we should start with God of course. Then, Article 2, original sin. Good. Then Article 3, Jesus, and 4, Justification. Hmm, what comes next in logical order? How about an article about how God offers that justification through the means of grace? Nah, I'll just put in an article about how the pastoral ministry is the only divinely instituted office in the church. Good. OK, now where was I? Oh yeah, back to the order of salvation."

Ya, nice try, as if the Office were not about proclaiming justification (why do you wish to ignore the words OFFICE OF preaching and administering?) No, the confessors followed this logic, "how then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?"

Do a concordance check on amt/ministerium in the Confessions (and Luther, the prime interpreter of the AC) and you will see what they intend.

The real issue between the so called Missouri position (which is NOT "only the pastor..." blaa, blaa, and if you don't believe it check out their doctrinal statement on this) vs. the so called Wisconsin position (which is NOT that God established a concrete office and that we can manipulate like Play Dough) but that there is no office, but that God only created "order" and so all things must be done in "order." Wisconsin's resistence to ignoring the plain words "predigtamt" and "ministerium" and their periodic use is rooted in their not having an office at all, but, as I noted, just that things be done "decently and in order". As long as everyone agrees on it, you can do it. This is Schaller's view which is the official view of the WS. Those in the WS who advocate a plethora of lay ministries in their churches are on solid Wisconsin Synod ground (though it becomes rather squishy when it comes to the confessions.)

Read Erling Teigens. "The Universal Priesthood in the Lutheran Confessions" Logia 1:1 and he shows they very clearly from the original documents.

RTMM

John said...

anonymous..

Read Pr. Bartling's essay from the WLS library.. note on page four he does say that some in the WELS do speak about "everything being ministry, from pastor to leaf rakers."

So what mav says is not a lie. It highlights the variation in the WELS on the view of ministry.

Anonymous said...

""I'll only deal with the official positions on the ministry in WELS and LCMS."

mav, what you said about the WELS position is a complete mischaracterization. How can any discussion go on when such misrepresentations are made? You also reveal your bias by claiming that the LCMS position it truer to the Confessions. That's a judgment statement, not a fact statement.

This just convinces me all the more that you aren't here for honest discussion, you're here for promotion.

December 15, 2007 11:37 AM"


And the people said AMEN!
This has been the practice here almost from the beginning- pick out some anecdotal "evidence" use it to "prove" that "it" is the official position, or just mischaracterize the position itself and flail away at the windmill.

There are many scholarly, zealous, haters in these discussions but I do not believe we are all honestly seeking the truth.

RTMM said...

Anon wrote,

"So yes, it's accurate to say that the LCMS interprets AC V as referring to the pastoral ministry as the 'one divinely established office'. As was pointed out above, this is just absurd logic."

The ministry IS pastoral. Does this mean that all in it are what you would call a "pastor", he might be a missionary, he might be a theological professor, regardless the ministry means shepherding God's people.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

"Read Pr. Bartling's essay from the WLS library.. note on page four he does say that some in the WELS do speak about "everything being ministry, from pastor to leaf rakers."

So what mav says is not a lie. It highlights the variation in the WELS on the view of ministry."

John, give me a break. Since when is anecdotal evidence the basis for deciding what a synod officially teaches? Based on that logic, the LCMS believes that Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists believe in the same God. But I would never come here and claim that's LCMS's official teaching. Obviously it's an aberration. All I'm asking is that LCMS people have the same respect and deal with offical doctrinal statements, not something that they heard once somewhere. And yes, what mav said was a lie, since he/she claimed that the WELS taught something that it doesn't actually teach.

Anonymous said...

"The ministry IS pastoral. Does this mean that all in it are what you would call a "pastor", he might be a missionary, he might be a theological professor, regardless the ministry means shepherding God's people."

It's ironic that you would say that RTMM, since until very recently the LCMS taught that missionaries and professors weren't pastors. This created absurdities like instead of the seminaries calling professors, they would have a local congregation in town call the person as a pastor, and then the pastor would be assigned to teach as a professor at the seminary. This leads to absurdities like Francis Pieper claiming that missionaries weren't pastors since there weren't any local congregations in the bush that they could serve.

Ironically, what you said was basically what the WELS teaches--that there's one gospel ministry, but that it takes various forms, like missionary, professor, etc. That's basically all the WELS position actually says (when it isn't completely mischaracterized.)

RTMM said...

Anon. (and that means all of the Anon's who if they do not separate themselves are all considered one)
wrote:

"mav said that in the WELS 'here's no distinction between cleaning the church (a useful, wonderful thing to do) and preaching and administering the Sacraments.'

That's a lie.

No one in the WELS claims that janitors are in the ministry. Only those who preach and teach the Word and administer the Sacraments are in the ministry in the WELS. That's exactly according to AC V."

"No one in the WELS). Is Professor Tom Nass at MLC in the WELS?

Let me break it to you easy, Mav tells the truth and you do not know the WS, which is understandable, most don't. What you need to do is to read WS literature. Tom Nass (the WS point man on the issue) writes in the Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly (and you can't get any more of an official explanation of the WS view than what is in here)

"What is most interesting is simply to notice the sizalbe and well orgainised PUBLIC MINISTRY (emphasis added) which existed in Wittenberg, and the variety of different offices. It reminds me a little of the congregation I presently serve which has three pastors and twelve Christian day school teachers, plus secretaries and JANITORS (emphasis added), who are all ministering in some sense." (WLQ Vol 91, no 4, p. 251.

Anon, you had better get Armin Schuetze's book "Church - Mission - Ministry" in which he explains the WS position, the ministry is equal to the priesthood, there is a public and private variety, and anything done with consent (orderly!) in the church, even janitoring is public, that done by yourself, even baptizing and communing, is private.

Mav is not lieing. However, what the average WS person sees is more how the Office of the Holy Ministry is done in the rest of Lutheranism and so sees little difference, except that the WS put teachers in the Office. The reality is that ALL who do things with the churches consent, as Tom Nass correcty writes (that is correctly according to the WS view) is in.

Your quarrel, then Anon, is not with Mav, but with your own Synod. (and so you owe mav an apology for calling him a liar).

RTMM

RTMM said...

Anon writes,

"It's ironic that you would say that RTMM, since until very recently the LCMS taught that missionaries and professors weren't pastors."

I might believe you if you have some documentation for that. However, you need to note that the term "pastor" and "pastoral ministry" are not to be equated (as I noted above). This difference is one that results in many in the LCMS and the WS/ELS talking past one another. I would find it hard to believe that official Missouri (and you can throw Francis in there) would ever say that a missionary, or even a professor, is not in the AC V office. If I can be shown that, fine (though I doubt it). That is not the LCMS position as stated in here offical documents.

Just an aside, and the problem with a blog, these terms all need proper definition (and that means the historical context) and too often that information is assumed or misunderstood, thus causing all the confusion. FWIW.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

RTMM,

I think that the key words in understanding what Nass wrote would be "in some sense". All he says is that janitors minister (serve) in some sense.

Perhaps you should read more of what Nass wrote. This is an excellent article:

http://www.wlsessays.net/authors/N/NassMinistry/
NassMinistry.PDF

Note especially this sentence: "the WELS thinks of the public ministry only in terms of those who minister directly with the means of grace."

That would not include janitors.

Everyone, take a break from posting and go read the article I cited. It directly addresses pretty much every single issue raised in this thread.

mav said...

Sheesh! Leave for a few hours and my pseudonym gets trashed. That's ok. I'll explain further.

First, I'm writing from what I learned at the WELS College of Ministry, however, since mav is not authoritative, nor should I be, here's from the WELS doctrinal statement on the ministry: "This public ministry is not generically different from that of the common priesthood of all Christians. It constitutes a special God-ordained way of practicing the one ministry of the Gospel." and "There is, however, no direct word of institution for any particular form of the public ministry. The one public ministry of the Gospel may assume various forms, as circumstances demand. Ac 6:1-6. The specific forms in which Christians establish the public ministry have not been prescribed by the Lord to His New Testament Church. It is the Holy Spirit who through the gift of their common faith leads the believers to establish the adequate and wholesome forms which fit every circumstance, situation, and need. Various functions are mentioned in Scripture: 1 Ti 4:13; Eph 4:11; 1 Co 12:28; Ro 12:6-8; 2 Ti 2:2; Jn 21:15-17 (feeding); Ac 20:28 (watching); 1 Ti 3:2; 4:11; 6:2 (teaching); 1 Ti 3:5; 5:17 (ruling). In spite of the great diversity in the external forms of the ministerial work, the ministry is essentially one. The various offices for the public preaching of the Gospel, not only those enumerated above, e.g., in Eph 4:11 and 1 Co 12:28, but also those developed in our day, are all gifts of the exalted Christ to His Church which the Church receives gratefully and with due regard for love and order employs under
the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit for the upbuilding of the spiritual body of Christ; and all of them are comprehended under the general commission to preach the Gospel given to all believers."

From John Schaller "The Origin and Development of the New Testament Ministry" found in Vol. 3 of the Wauwautosa Theology: "the ministry, that is, the commission to preach the gospel, is given to every Christian; that at conversion not only the ability but also the impetus for this preaching is implanted in him"(81) "Christians are not only de jure preachers of the gospel, but also carry on this ministry de facto in many ways."(81) "That this (mutual confession and edification) takes place is essential; how it takes place is incidental and depends on the circumstances of the congregation and on the opportunity."(93) "Not only has the Old Testament form been set aside as something fulfilled, but there is nothing, indeed, absolutely nothing, that has taken its place."(94)

Note Schaller's "the ministry, that is, the commission to preach the gospel". This is different from the AC V ministry. AC V speaks of "the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments" so that this faith may be obtained.

Schaller and the WELS doctrinal statements are at best unclear, as is Nass. It can be understood that each individual Christian shares Christ in the world through his/her vocation and witness to Christ, but the confusion comes in when this is all called ministry or preaching. Incidentally, Schaller does not write of the administration of the Sacraments at all in his essay on the New Testament ministry. This too is different from AC V. If feeding, watching, teaching, and ruling are all part of the one ministry, then arguably, as Nass said, janitors could be in the ministry too. Does the church use janitors, leaf rakers, singing children(called preacher in the Schaller article), teachers, nurses, etc.? Sure. Are they all in the AC V ministry? Not if they are not preaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments.

Yes, AC V is about the means of grace. However, the confessors did not write that we may obtain this faith the means of grace were instituted. Rather, they were very specific about how the means of grace come to us: "So that we may obtain this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted"

For those on the LCMS side of the fence, here's their doctrinal statement on the ministry:"31. By the public ministry we mean the office by which the Word of God is preached and the Sacraments are administered by order and in the name of a Christian congregation. Concerning this office we teach that it is a divine ordinance; that is, the Christians of a certain locality must apply the means of grace not only privately and within the circle of their families nor merely in their common intercourse with fellow-Christians, John 5:39; Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:16, but they are also required, by the divine order, to make provision that the Word of God be publicly preached in their midst, and the Sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, by persons qualified for such work, whose qualifications and official functions are exactly defined in Scripture, Titus 1:5; Acts 14:23; 20:28; 2 Tim. 2:2.

32. Although the office of the ministry is a divine ordinance, it possesses no other power than the power of the Word of God, 1 Pet. 4:11; that is to say, it is the duty of Christians to yield unconditional obedience to the office of the ministry whenever, and as long as, the minister proclaims to them the Word of God, Heb. 13:17, Luke 10:16. If, however, 6:30-8:30 the minister, in his teachings and injunctions, were to go beyond the Word of God, it would be the duty of Christians not to obey, but to disobey him, so as to remain faithful to Christ, Matt. 23:8. Accordingly, we reject the false doctrine ascribing to the office of the ministry the right to demand obedience and submission in matters which Christ has not commanded.

33. Regarding ordination we teach that it is not a divine, but a commendable ecclesiastical ordinance. (Smalcald Articles. Triglot, p. 525, paragraph 70; M., p. 342.)"

I think RTMM is right. There is a lot of confusion because we aren't all dealing with the same definitions of terms.

And don't get bent out of shape because the LCMS doctrinal statement says "Christian congregation" and "certain locality". Check the doctrinal statements from the LCMS on the Church. They do not say that the local congregation is the only divinely instituted form of the church. I would copy them here, but this is too long already.

Rob, you seem pretty smart.

Why is it that anyone questioning the WELS here, even a WELS member, is accused of lying and not being interested in the truth?

mav

Paul T. McCain said...

Thanks for the interesting discussion. I've reading these kinds of debates amongst WELS and ELS folks for as long as I've been a pastor, now going on 22 years. They never really change either. It is the same debate over and over again.

Is AC V an article dealing directly and most immediately with the office of the ministry? No, clearly not. If so, it would sound more like Article XXVIII or Acticle XIV sound.

Does AC V have in view a concrete office of ministry? Of course it does. The very word "preaching office" assumes there is a prediger for the Predigtamt.

The precursor to the AC, written by Luther himself, makes it clear that this is the case.

The articles that deal more with a concrete office are found in AC XIV and AC XXVIII. Even more light is shed on this whole subject in the BOC in the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, where the authority and functions of the office of the ministry are described.

Do the Lutheran Confessions assume that any person in the church doing any sort of function of the ministry described in AC V is actually in the Preaching Office? No, of course not.

It does however assume that even the most simple parish pastor, of the smallest congregation, is equal in office to a Bishop.

Unfortunately, it is difficulty to pull out of the Book of Concord each and every last detail of an answer to our 21st century American congregationally based ministry context; and I suspect this has led to this long standing disagreement amongst the old synodical conference members over the issue of the precise definition and understanding of the office of the ministry, a disagreement in emphasis that goes way, way, way back in time.

I'm glad the WELS has stopped the practice of "ordaining" male teachers. That alone indicates that in spite of the attempt to consistently apply the present form of the WELS theory of the minsistry it did not work in practice. Why? Because people do recognize there is a unique difference and distinction between the office of pastor and the office of parochial day school teacher.

I for one, after studying these issues very carefully for more years than I care to admit, still find that Walther's solution to many of these questions in his magisterial "Church and Ministry" is still very good and, in the end, correct.

A blessed Advent III to you all.

Pastor Paul McCain
General Editor
Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions


Publisher and Executive Director, Editorial
Concordia Publishing House
Saint Louis, Missouri

Author of the Cyberbrethren blog site:
http://www.typepad.com/t/app/weblog/manage?blog_id=264502

E-mail address:
boc1580@aol.com

Paul T. McCain said...

Several other things.

Are the means of grace given by Christ to the office of the ministry which in turn gives them to the Church?

Absolutely not. This is not the teaching of the Lutheran Confessions, nor the Lutheran fathers.

Is the office of the ministry given by Christ directly to the Church for the sake of the public/regular administration of the means of grace?

Absolutely yes. This is the teaching of the Lutheran Confessions and our Lutheran fathers.

Eph. 2!

Anonymous said...

Most certainly father and mother are apostles, bishops and priests to their children, for it is they who make them acquainted with the gospel.~Martin Luther~

The above quote is to me what is most important. That the church supports the family. Dickering over all this little nuances--which in the end truly aren't that important keeps us from focusing on the Gospel.

mav said...

"The above quote is to me what is most important. That the church supports the family. "

That brings up an interesting question. What is the purpose of the Church? Supporting families is great, but that is not the primary purpose of the Church. The primary purpose of the Church is the teaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments.

The quote from Luther above is not about what is going on in the Church. Mothers and fathers as part of their vocations are responsible to bring their children up in the Christian faith, but the children are brought into the Christian faith through Baptism, nourished in that faith through preaching, Absolution, and the Lord's Supper. There is a distinction between what parents do in the home and what the children receive in the Church, and it's an important one. These are not "little nuances". As Rev. McCain pointed out, these arguments have been going on for some time and church bodies have thought them important enough to discuss at great length. Our vocation as parents, while noble, is different from the OHM. Again, the confessors were very clear about how the means of grace come to us. "So that we may obtain this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted." AC V Yes, parents play a huge role in their child's development and should teach them the Christian faith as well, but that is distinct from the Preaching Office.

John: Christian vocation might be a good topic for discussion here.

mav

Paul T. McCain said...

Let me put up a couple more things here.

It is absolutely false to say or suggest that the Gospel in the mouth of somebody other than a called and ordained pastor is anything less than Gospel.

This is the clear teaching of Luther and our Confessions as well.

The Gospel is always the forgiving, absolving, good news of Jesus Christ the One who atoned for our sins. It is never less than that.

Anonymous said...

I hate to stereotype WS pastors by mine, but I think this view of OHM combined with Wauwatosa training and a lack of offering a weekly Sacrament leaves me wanting. There is something to be said for a pastor who can mine the depths of truth from Scripture as opposed to a generic law, superficial Gospel message geared towards new Christians to the detriment of the members desiring real food.

All of these threads seem to tie together. I like my pastor. He's a nice guy. I have no problem with him personally. He is trained to be what he is and does what he was trained to do. What do you do if you're in a Lutheran-poor area?

Rob

Anonymous said...

Rob,

I still think that you need to read more about Wauwatosa. You said that you didn't like your pastor's Wauwatosa training, saying that you want a "pastor who can mine the depths of truth from Scripture". But those two statements are directly contradictory. Wauwatosa specifically trains people to mine Scripture rather than relying on superficial formulations.

I think your problem is with your specific pastor, not with his training or his synod.

Anonymous said...

Rob,

You hit the nail on the head! Instead of reading more about Wauwautosa, read Wauwautosa. It will confirm your suspicions.

A Lutheran-poor area is frustrating. We know from experience. I pray things improve.

X said...

Anon said:
"If you believe that AC V actually refers to the OHM and not the means of grace..."

I don't see anyone saying this. But in any case, the following comes from a recent WELS Q&A response:

"The small groups that have left the LCMS, like the other CLC (Concordia Lutheran Conference) and LCR, insist on a doctrine of the ministry that does not agree with Article V of the Augsburg Confession."

Maybe you should alert the Sem that one of their Q&A answering profs is a heretic, because he also seems to think that AC V pertains to the ministry.

Or maybe you should just be silent because you don't know what you are talking about.

Your comments have been pretty obnoxious so far, so I prefer the second choice. But I wouldn't want anyone to accuse me of making a law of our Gospel freedom to say silly things on blogs, so please, do what your conscience tells you is right.

X

X said...

Here is the address for the WELS Q&A cited above:

http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?process&procID=1518&cuQA_qaID=1&cuTopic_topicID=14&cuItem_itemID=20197

I'm sorry Dan. I know this html stuff is supposed to be easy, but I can't figure it out.

X

Anonymous said...

I nominated 'Bailing Water' as the 2007 blog of the year. I said that you generated many comments and that you must be read by many persons.

Cheers,

Norman Teigen
ELS layman
(I am not Mr. Anonymous)

Anonymous said...

X,

While you were writing your ridiculous post and congratulating yourself for how well you thought you were insulting me, did you ever once consider that the CLC and LCR might be incorrect in the area of ministry specifically BECAUSE they thought that AC V dealt with the ministry? If you go back and reread the Q&A answer with even a shred of reading comprehension you'll see that the answer never says that AC V is about the ministry, but that the position of those church bodies doesn't agree with the fact that AC V isn't about the ministry.

Hmm, maybe it's you that doesn't know what he is talking about.

Anonymous said...

John, you can't be serious. You actually put what X said up on the main page? Give me a break. Obviously your zealous hatred of the WELS and your eagerness to find anything to complain about has done serious damage to your reading comprehension.

Let me put this very simply. The CLC and the LCR claim that AC V is about the ministry. That's why the sem professor said that their position on the ministry is at odds with AC V--because AC V clearly isn't about the ministry.

Let me give you an example. Let's say that Mike believes in reincarnation. I say to Mike, "Your position on reincarnation doesn't agree with Scripture." Does that mean that Scripture is about reincarnation? No, obviously not. Mike's position is at odds with Scripture specifically because Scripture isn't about reincarnation.

Do you see?

If you can't understand this, you are either willingly distorting the facts to suit your bias, or you don't have the mental acuity to be discussing these issues in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Anon said: "because AC V clearly isn't about the ministry."

It may be clear to you, but I think others with some degree of mental acuity have argued that it does.

"So that we may obtain this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted."

That doesn't have anything to do with ministry?

Rob

Anonymous said...

Rob,

You completely misunderstood what I said. I wasn't claiming it took mental acuity to interpret AC V (though it does). I said it took mental acuity (and intellectual honesty) to realize that the sem prof wasn't saying what X and John claim he was saying in that answer.

Anonymous said...

I knew what you were saying, I was just using your words that some intelligent people do disagree with your position that AC V is not about ministry. It may be very clear to you that it isn't.

It appears this controversy has been around for awhile and probably will continue. New to the debate, I didn't know much about it.

Rob

X said...

"If you go back and reread the Q&A answer with even a shred of reading comprehension you'll see that the answer never says that AC V is about the ministry, but that the position of those church bodies doesn't agree with the fact that AC V isn't about the ministry."

You are wrong Anon. That isn't what it says at all. Also, please look at the CLC's various essays and doctrinal statements on the church and ministry. The debate isn't about whether AC V is about the ministry. To use your own phrase, anyone with "even a shred of reading comprehension" can see that.

Take it easy.

X

Anonymous said...

"Also, please look at the CLC's various essays and doctrinal statements on the church and ministry."

Umm, you realize we're talking about the OTHER CLC, right, X?

X said...

"Umm, you realize we're talking about the OTHER CLC, right, X?"

Yes, I do. The following sentence was the give away: "The small groups that have left the LCMS, like the other CLC (Concordia Lutheran Conference)...."

After reading that, I went to this website:

http://www.concordialutheranconf.com

Then I read the various essays and doctrinal statements on that website. They do say that the WELS teaches false doctrine on the church and ministry, but not because WELS denies that AC V is about the ministry while they say it is. Again, anyone with "even a shred of reading comprehension" can see that.

X

John said...

Obviously your zealous hatred of the WELS and your eagerness to find anything to complain about has done serious damage to your reading comprehension.

Mr. Anonymous you sure aren't open to discussion are you?

Did you read this statement above?
Does AC V have in view a concrete office of ministry? Of course it does. The very word "preaching office" assumes there is a prediger for the Predigtamt.

RandomDan said...

If I can figure out how to create a link, so can you.

All commands must be enclosed by the "carrots" <>. If I were to put, say, a href inside the carrots, that makes a link. "a href=www.wels.net" inside the carrot would make a link to the WELS website.

You have ti close out the command now. To do that, you create another set of carrots and put "/a" inside of it. If you type something between the two sets of carrots, that will show up as the text to your link.

That may be clear as mud.

Other Lutherans Conservative Lutheran Denominations

Concordia Lutheran Conference

X said...

The other CLC

Did that work?

X

RandomDan said...

No.

RTMM said...

Rev. McCain,

You noted

"I'm glad the WELS has stopped the practice of 'ordaining' male teachers. That alone indicates that in spite of the attempt to consistently apply the present form of the WELS theory of the minsistry it did not work in practice."

Indeed, you are absolutely correct. But don't read more into what happened than was there, not that you have. (But I have heard a number of Missourians who thought that the WS reversed its doctrinal view, which it didn't.)

The WS insisted that there were no doctrinal reasons for that action and the main reason stated was that people (such as their "overseas brethren" and those outside of the church) did not understand, people "traditionally" understood the term in reference to the pastoral office. They insisted, however, that there is no essential difference in these respective vocations but only that of scope; the pastor v. the teacher, or for that matter, the church council member, the VBS assistant, the gym teacher are all in the same "public ministry."

One of the real reasons was that, since there is no essential differnce between male teachers and female teachers, there were no doctrinal obstacles from preventing the ordination of women, which would have brought in a whole set of egg on the face problems, including potential ones with the IRS.

It was a practical solution that got them out of a jam that their doctrine put them in as you noted. To those who hold to the traditional (and confessional) view of such matters it looked better than it was. It was clever.

RTMM

X said...

Anon,

So are you convinced of your error yet?

I miss your condescension. In its absence, my self esteem has started to blossom. I think it is time for you to take me down a few pegs by telling me that I don't know how to read invisible words and spot imaginary disputes.

Take care,

X

X said...

"Let me give you an example. Let's say that Mike believes in reincarnation. I say to Mike, "Your position on reincarnation doesn't agree with Scripture." Does that mean that Scripture is about reincarnation? No, obviously not. Mike's position is at odds with Scripture specifically because Scripture isn't about reincarnation."

I see the problem now, Anon. You don't understand what the word "about" means. Moreover, your example above isn't apt. Let me give you a better one. If my pastor says, "You're sins are forgiven," what is he talking about?

You would say, He is talking about forgiveness. I would say, yes, he is, but he is also talking about me (the word "you") and sin (the word "sins"). See, that sentence is "about" three things: Me, my sins, and forgiveness. Do you understand now how AC V can be "about" the means of grace and the ministry and how the two are related?

Enough for now. I have to get to work.

X

Anonymous said...

Ah, X, now I understand. Your claim is that AC V is about three things. That would match McCain's view that AC V is really about the means of grace, but that it kinda also is about the Church, and thus is also sorta related to pastors too.

Like I said before, that's way too many "kinda, sortas" for me to base my doctrine on. Melanchthon was a pretty good writer (at the time of the AC, anyways). If he wanted to say that the pastoral ministry is the only form that the ministry of the gospel can take, he could have done it easily with one, short, clear sentence. The fact that you have to read the "kinda, sortas" into AC V reveals that you're trying to make AC V mean far more than Melanchthon ever meant it to.

Anonymous said...

"If he wanted to say that the pastoral ministry is the only form that the ministry of the gospel can take,"

And you claim others can't read?! Why do you keep saying this?

Are you from Seminex?

Anonymous said...

"And you claim others can't read?! Why do you keep saying this?"

Because that's that the LCMS teaches.

This is from lcms.org:

"our Synod has held that...the pastoral office...according to the Scriptures is the one divinely established office in the church"

RTMM said...

Anon at 11:15.

The office is pastoral. If it is not pastoral it is not of Christ, for he is our Shepherd. He shepherds us with preaching and administering the Sacraments. If one is qualified to do that and is called to do that and is doing that he is a shepherd, a pastor.

There is one office in which all incumbents are equal, none with authority over another and this is where the WS position on women in the Office begins to break down.

Additionally, if a person is not qualified to do what a pastor does, then is he in the Office? So ask all the ministers in the WS, "are you qualified to be a pastor, and are you called to do the pastor things and do you do the pastor things?" If they are, they are a pastor, for the ministry is pastoral.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

"There is one office in which all incumbents are equal, none with authority over another"

Would you like to substantiate that with Scripture?

Also, are you saying that all those in the ministry must always do all of the things that ministers are appointed to do in order to be ministers?

Anonymous said...

A@11:15,

Why are you so against the LCMS? (little inferiority complex?) And please put in a link so we can all read what you took out. Also see the LCMS doctrinal statement on the ministry which mav put in above. It doesn't say what your quote does.

Here's more from the LCMS about pastors. This doesn't seem bad either.

Anonymous said...

"Also, are you saying that all those in the ministry must always do all of the things that ministers are appointed to do in order to be ministers?"

You mean like preaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments like AC V says?

Anonymous said...

"You mean like preaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments like AC V says?"

Yes, that's exactly what I mean. Must someone regularly do all of those things to be in the ministry?

Anonymous said...

What would you have your ministers doing?

Anonymous said...

I see that people are avoiding the question. That's because the answer to it reveals the flaw with the LCMS's position on the ministry.

Obviously one doesn't need to regularly do all of the above listed things to be in the ministry.

First, if that were true, then Christ himself wouldn't be in ministry since he did not baptize and only offered the Lord's Supper once in his 3 year ministry. The Apostle Paul wouldn't be in the ministry either since he made a point of not baptizing.

Second, if that were true, then missionaries and professors wouldn't be in the ministry either since missionaries may go months or years without a congregation to whom to offer the Lord's Supper and professors don't regularly offer the Sacraments.

So it becomes clear that one doesn't need to regularly perform all of the acts considered ministerial to be in the ministry.

With that in mind, then consider what the difference is between an LCMS seminary professor and a WELS school teacher. Do they do anything fundamentally different from each other? Both stand in front of a classroom and proclaim God's Word. Why would one be considered in the office of the holy ministry while the other wouldn't be? Simply because one has the title of pastor while the other doesn't, even though they both do basically the same thing?

The only difference is that the LCMS simply relies on the historical understanding of what is ministerial and what isn't. Missionaries and professors are in because they've traditionally been considered "pastoral". Grade school teachers are out simply because they've traditionally just not been thought of that way.

That's what the Wauwatosa men saw too. They took a step back and said, "Let's not just define the ministerial office based simply on what things have traditionally been considered ministerial."

Anonymous said...

A@11:15,
Still waiting for the link to the LCMS quote.

"the difference is between an LCMS seminary professor and a WELS school teacher. Do they do anything fundamentally different from each other? "

LCMS sem profs preach and administer the Sacrament of the Altar in Chapel. WELS school teachers do not.

Again, what would you have your "ministers" doing if not preaching the Word and administering the Sacraments?

And why the push to get teachers into the OHM? Are you a teacher who has been treated badly by pastors?

You don't know why Missouri does things. You are giving us your own characterizations of the LCMS and Wauwautosa, without reading them (at least without reading them with any comprehension).

"'Let's not just define the ministerial office based simply on what things have traditionally been considered ministerial.'"

Like preaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments.

X said...

"Ah, X, now I understand. Your claim is that AC V is about three things."

Nope. Read again. I was just explaining what the word "about" means. The three things was an illustration of that point.


"That would match McCain's view that AC V is really about the means of grace, but that it kinda also is about the Church, and thus is also sorta related to pastors too."

>sigh< BW readers, this is what happens when you try to reason with a philistine. I don't care, much, if you mistrepresent what I say--I'm just a letter. But don't misrepresent Pastor McCain. He's a real person, and those that don't know any better might actually beleive what you are saying.

Keep on keeping on,

X

I guess you're done trying to distinguish the Q&A comment because you know you are wrong.

Anonymous said...

So that we may obtain this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments and teaching grade school and directing a daycare and cleaning the building and raking leaves and serving on committees and going to meetings and being in the kids' Christmas program and being a parish administrator and teaching high school pys. ed. was instituted.

Anonymous said...

"Still waiting for the link to the LCMS quote."

Here ya go: http://www.lcms.org/pages/
internal.asp?NavID=2149

Dan, you can lecture all you want, but I'm not gonna create a link for you. Deal with it.

"LCMS sem profs preach and administer the Sacrament of the Altar in Chapel."

That may be true, but that's incidental to their call. They're called to teach. Unless you want to claim that primarily they are called to preach in chapel once in a while, and they only teach as a side duty. I guess that would be a little better than what they used to do: have a local congregation call the professor for you so he's still technically the pastor of a local congregation. Anything to escape the reality that professors, at the core, are called to teach, not preach from the pulpit or administer the sacraments.

"Again, what would you have your "ministers" doing if not preaching the Word and administering the Sacraments?"

I guess you could ask the LCMS seminary profs, since they are called to teach (which is really a form of preaching) not to administer the sacraments. How many baptisms do you think sem profs administer every year, anyways?

"Like preaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments."

But we already demonstrated that a minister doesn't need to do all of these things on a regular basis to be considered in the ministerial office. Although, I noticed that you conveniently avoided that question. I wonder why that is.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1:24,

You should call the professors at St. Louis and Ft. Wayne and tell them that they are no longer pastors then since they are called to teach and not to administer the sacraments. (Or were they given the indelible character through ordination, hmm? But that's another can of worms.)

X said...

"Like I said before, that's way too many "kinda, sortas" for me to base my doctrine on."

I've looked at AC V over and over again. I can't find the words "kinda, sorta" in there. Mind-reading, invisible-word-seeing theologians aren't enough for me to base my doctrine on. But then again, it isn't really MY doctrine in the first place.

So please, explain one more time, how the sentence in Article V (which in my Book of Concord is titled "Of the Ministry")that says, "That we may obtain this faith, the Ministry of Teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted." isn't ABOUT the ministry. I'm stupid, you see and don't read good, so sometimes when I see words like those quoted above I think they mean what they say. I don't know how to read the invisible words that aren't there to see the true meaning.

Thank you for your patient, focused teaching on intellectual honesty.

X

Anonymous said...

X,

The "kinda, sorta" is derived from McCain's explanation that "while the most direct concern of Article V is to confess the Holy Spirit's work through the means of grace, there is also in view, indirectly, the Office of the Ministry". When someone says that something means one thing but that it means another thing "indirectly" that counts as an equivocating sort of statement in my book. And if you read the earlier comments you'll see that really, since the means of grace are given to the church, not directly to pastors, the reference to pastors here is really doubly "indirect".

"Mind-reading, invisible-word-seeing theologians aren't enough for me to base my doctrine on."

You should tell that to McCain since he seems to see several "invisible" meanings in AC V.

"I'm stupid, you see and don't read good, so sometimes when I see words like those quoted above I think they mean what they say."

Well, I wouldn't call you stupid, but I would say that you're ignorant of the historical use of the word "minister". To most people (including you, it seems) the word minister is a synonym of the word pastor. Recent generations, in fact, regularly called their pastors "minister". Thus, when reading AC V and seeing the word "ministry", many people simply equate that with pastors.

But, like I said before, that specific use of the word is relatively new. For centuries, ministry and minister were broader terms, simply meaning any sort of service or servant. For example, government offices in Britain are still called the Ministry of Defense, Health, etc...

This same usage in found in AC V. When Melanchthon writes that God has established the ministry of the gospel, it simply means that he serves us with the Word and Sacrament to create faith.

So, no, to look at the word "ministry" in AC V and then claim that it's talking about pastoral ministry is simplistic and incorrect.

X said...

"When Melanchthon writes that God has established the ministry of the gospel, it simply means that he serves us with the Word and Sacrament to create faith."

So AC V is about the ministry?

"To most people (including you, it seems) the word minister is a synonym of the word pastor."

Nope. Read again. I've never said anything about what the word minister means. Rather, you said AC V is not about the ministry. I am saying you are wrong. Are the means of grace and the ministry really so unrelated to you?

By your logic John 3:16 isn't about Christ because it is really about how God so loved the world. Or maybe it is the other way around. I don't know. I can not read minds.

X

Anonymous said...

"How many baptisms do you think sem profs administer every year, anyways?"

At least a few. Sem students' children are sometimes baptized in the chapels.

Anonymous said...

"Dan, you can lecture all you want, but I'm not gonna create a link for you. Deal with it."

Why not? That's not very kind or Christian.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. Here's the whole quotation:

"With respect to the doctrine of the ministry, since the days of C. F. W. Walther our Synod has held that the office of the public ministry (the pastoral office) according to the Scriptures is the one divinely established office in the church, while the church possesses the freedom to create other offices, by human institution, from time to time to assist in the carrying out of the functions of the pastoral ministry. The WELS' Theses on Church and Ministry, however, expressly deny that the pastoral ministry is specifically instituted by the Lord in contrast to other forms of public ministry (see Doctrinal Statements, pp. 9-11; cf. the Commission on Theology and Church Relations' 1981 report on The Ministry: Office, Procedures, and Nomenclature."

Sounds a lot like AC V and AC XIV. I think you are reading "pastoral ministry" and instantly assuming "pastor of a local congregation". That's not what it says.

RTMM said...

Anon at 11:38,

There was a lot of chatter between you asking me this and now (so I don't know if others jumped in, but I would like to answer for myself. And it would be helpful if you somehow "marked" yourself).

You wrote (first quoting me)

"'Therere is one office in which all incumbents are equal, none with authority over another'

Would you like to substantiate that with Scripture?

Also, are you saying that all those in the ministry must always do all of the things that ministers are appointed to do in order to be ministers?"

First of all the Scripture support for that statement, John 20:21 and 1 Cor. 3:6 should suffice. (So again the WS which has ranks has trouble here).

Secondly. Not all those in the pastoral ministry are given the opportunity to be doing all the AC V things all the time (i.e. a theological professor who may not be regularly administering the Sacraments or a fellow like Paul who didn't do a lot of baptizing, at least he didn't recall many baptisms) but they have been called into the office that handles those things when necessary and they have been determinted to be apt to do so.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

"First of all the Scripture support for that statement, John 20:21 and 1 Cor. 3:6 should suffice. (So again the WS which has ranks has trouble here)."

1. WELS doesn't have "ranks". I'm not sure what you're even getting at there. I'd be curious though, what the rankings are. I'm assuming that you're referring to more than simply having DPs.

2. I will let everyone here read the passages you cited and let them decide for themselves whether or not they have anything at all to do with the idea that there is one ministerial office in which all people are equal. As for myself, I see nothing even remotely close to that. You're suggesting that one pastor having authority over another or a pastor having authority over a teacher automatically violates Christ's command to be at peace? I can honestly say I've never heard that one before.

3. If none in the OHM can ever have authority over others, then how exactly does discipline in the church work? Or might that explain why the LCMS has no discipline in the church and pastors pray with Buddhists with no disciplinary action? It seems a bit like living in the days of the judges--everyone does what seems best in his own eyes.

Anonymous said...

"I think you are reading "pastoral ministry" and instantly assuming "pastor of a local congregation". That's not what it says."

Sure it does. At the end of the statement, pastoral ministry is specifically contrasted with other forms of ministry. Thus, it can't be talking about the pastoral nature of ministry in general, but pastors in specific.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12:47 had it right. Here's what it boils down to:

A seminary professor is called to stand in front of a classroom of 20 students and proclaim the truth of God's Word. He's clearly in the OHM.

A grade school teacher is called to stand in front of a classroom of 20 students and proclaim the truth of God's Word. He's clearly not in the OHM.

That makes total sense to me. No, really, it does.

X said...

"When Melanchthon writes that God has established the ministry of the gospel, it simply means that he serves us with the Word and Sacrament to create faith."

Lets examine the unique words-meaning translator in Mr/s Anon's brain:

God instituted the Ministry of Teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments = The Word and Sacraments create faith.

So if I say, "David gave me a car" I'm not really saying that David gave me a car but that a car is good way for me to travel great distances in a shorter period of time?

That is just silly.

X

Anonymous said...

X,

Your posts are getting less and less coherent. The etymology and usage of the word "ministry", including it's relatively recent shift in usage, is well-documented. Look it up.

You're arguing against yourself here anyway. Even the LCMS (including Pastor McCain) has to admit that AC V speaks primarily about the Means of Grace. So to call me "silly" would be to call them silly as well.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 3:35:

Is a grade school teacher ordained? Is a grade school teacher apt to administer the sacraments?

Is a Sem prof?

It isn't about what he does but what he is qualified to do.

If you can't understand that, there isn't much of a point in discussing this anymore.

RTMM said...

Anon. (who refuses to distinguish himself from the others) writes,

"1. WELS doesn't have "ranks". I'm not sure what you're even getting at there. I'd be curious though, what the rankings are. I'm assuming that you're referring to more than simply having DPs."

No, as I wrote this is a problem with your "women ministers." They are not equal to men minsiters in that they can have no authority (even by human arrangement) over them, and/or that men ministers have a divinely given authority over the women minister. Indeed, the issue of authority resides in Christologically iconic relationships (why women may not be in the Office, where the WS puts them). The Confessions say there is no divinely granted authority among ministers, all equal.

You write,

"2. I will let everyone here read the passages you cited and let them decide for themselves whether or not they have anything at all to do with the idea that there is one ministerial office in which all people are equal. As for myself, I see nothing even remotely close to that. You're suggesting that one pastor having authority over another or a pastor having authority over a teacher automatically violates Christ's command to be at peace? I can honestly say I've never heard that one before."

Then you should read the Tractatus. For these passages were so used by the Confessors. Tr. 9 "III. John 20:21. Christ sends forth His disciples on an equality, without any distinction [so that no one of them was to have more or less power than other." And later "Hence He grants to no one a perogative or lordship above the rest." Later in 11 we confess "In 1 Cor. 3:6 Paul makes ministers equal, and teaches that the Church is above the ministers. Hence superiority or lordship over the Church or the rest of the ministers is not ascribed to Peter." So no popes in the church, no divinely given authority of one minister over another. Here is where the WS has one of its problems.

You wrote,

"3. If none in the OHM can ever have authority over others, then how exactly does discipline in the church work? Or might that explain why the LCMS has no discipline in the church and pastors pray with Buddhists with no disciplinary action? It seems a bit like living in the days of the judges--everyone does what seems best in his own eyes."

Any authority or ranks in the church is by human arrangement and not by divine fiat. The authority of anyone in authority (given them by human arrangment) is of the Word. When a district president, for example, refuses to answer questions by a pastor, he makes himself pope. If a pastor refuses to be questioned by a 7 year old girl, he makes himself pope. I am sure you agree.

There is doctrinal discipline in all Lutheran synods, the WS and the LCMS included, it just isn't always exercised according to the word. For example, a notable WS pastor, whose church is growing at the fastest pace of any (if we are to believe Charis magazine) rarely preaches the Gospel and has plagiarized sermons. This has been shown to his circuit pastor who defended the pastor by saying, "one doesn't always preach the Gospel, the congregation's needs are known to the pastor." Wow. I am absolutely sure you would not defend that, anymore than any confessional Missourian would defend praying with a Buddist.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

X,

I have no idea what you were saying with that car thing, but it actually brings up a good example of the word usage issue.

In the 1800s, when you said the word "automobile" it simply meant any sort of self-propelled machine. Today, when you say the word "automobile" people will instantly think of one specific, standardized sort of vehicle.

That's quite similar to how the word ministry has gone from the general "any sort of service", to the specific "the pastor of a congregation".

X said...

Anon at 3:45,

How am I arguing against myself? (If you have assumed I am LCMS, you have assumed wrong).

Also, I'm not calling you silly, I'm saying that what you are saying makes no sense. It is non-sense. It is silly. I've also demonstrated that with my analogies. That you admit that you don't understand what I am saying ("Your posts are getting less and less coherent.")only proves that you don't understand what you are saying.

As for this gem: "The etymology and usage of the word "ministry", including it's relatively recent shift in usage, is well-documented." Again, read what I have written. I've never brought up the "etymology and usage of the word" ministry. You did that. Boy, now you're even confusing yourself with me. And I'm incoherent?

X

X said...

Anon at 3:52,

You said: "I have no idea what you were saying with that car thing...."

I'm sure others on here do. But for your benefit, I'll explain again. I assume you know what an analogy is. If you do not, please let me know.

AC V says: "That we may obtain this faith, the Ministry of Teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted."

You say this means that the word and sacraments create faith.

Now the analogy:

"So that I may travel great distances in short periods of time, David gave me a car."

Would you deny that I'm saying David gave me a car here? By your prior logic, as demonstrated above, I'm led to believe you would. You would say, "your not saying David gave you a car, your saying a car is a good way to reavel great distances in short periods of time."

X

X said...

Sorry,

reavel = travel

But to finish my point--when you say "AC V isn't about the ministry, it is about the means of grace" that is the same thing as saying, in the David/car sentence, that it isn't about David giving me something, but it is about the benefits of having a car. Got it?

X

Anonymous said...

X,

They say that every analogy limps. Yours is quadriplegic.

X said...

"They say that every analogy limps. Yours is quadriplegic."

How?

See, when I said you were wrong, I didn't just say, "you are wrong." I also tried to explain why you were wrong. Please give me the same courtesy.

The bottom line is this, and I quote from an article by Pr. Rolf Preus, who says it much better than I: "It is a misunderstanding of the Augsburg Confession to assume that AC V is talking only about the means of grace (without preachers to preach and administer the sacraments)and the office to which the gospel and the sacraments are entrusted doesn’t come into play until AC XIV. Who is preaching the gospel purely and administering the sacraments rightly in AC VII? Who is doing the baptizing of AC IX? Who is administering the Supper of AC X? Is it not the preachers of AC V? Aren’t preachers at least a necessary implication of AC V? Isn’t the pattern of thought of the Augsburg Confession that God wants us to go to church to have our babies baptized and to hear the gospel and to receive the Lord’s Supper? So when we come to AC XIV, we are dealing with the external call into the office that has already been established in AC V and implied throughout the intervening articles."

I've tried to show this to you, by pointing to the words of AC V, by pointing to the WELS Q&A, by explaining what the word "about" means, by explaining that it is possible to talk about more than one thing at a time, and by using analogies. The best you can do is say, "your analogy is bad."

X

X said...

Random Dan,

I think I finally got it. Thanks for your help. I'm sorry Anon was rude to you.

X

LM said...

Anon @ 5:13 p.m.,

"They say that every analogy limps. Yours is quadriplegic."

I find X's analogy to be pretty compelling. You, on the other hand, don't just offend me as a Lutheran but also as a logician.

And who are "they"? Analogies are one of the most effective analytical tools. I use them almost every day in my profession: state the rule of law, explain how the rule is applied by referring to what case it comes from and the facts surrounding that case, then apply the rule by comparing the present facts to those cases where it has previously been applied. I suppose if consistency is your enemy, then you might not like analogies. Otherwise, I'm not sure what "they" have against them.

LM

Anonymous said...

" At the end of the statement, pastoral ministry is specifically contrasted with other forms of ministry."

Yeah. That's where it's stating the WELS position, genius.

X said...

Anon,

You must be working on a masterful response--or you realized you are wrong. I welcome either.

X

Anonymous said...

X,
You sound like a little yappy dog from a cartoon. Go chew a shoe or something.

RTMM said...

X writes,

"Go chew a shoe or something."

Brilliant. You have taken this discourse down to a new level, yours alone, and you have shown yourself for what you are, a fourth grader. I know I have one and she thought your comment simply hilarious.

RTMM

RTMM said...

Excuse, I meant to say Anon wrote to X. X has shown a willingness to discuss matters on an intelligent level.

RTMM

RTMM said...

X,

Sorry about the slip of the pen. I think Anon. has just conceded the argument to you by her/his name calling, by rule in debating that means "uncle."

RTMM

Anonymous said...

"X has shown a willingness to discuss matters on an intelligent level."

Here's an example of X's intelligent discussion:

"you should just be silent because you don't know what you are talking about".

Here's another:

"your comments have been pretty obnoxious so far".

But this one takes the cake:

"this is what happens when you try to reason with a philistine".

Remember that RTMM just said that name-calling is a concession. I guess that means X conceded a long time ago. I'd rather be called a dog (even though that was another anonymous who said that) than a Philistine.

Anonymous said...

Yap yap yap yap

X said...

RTMM,

No problem. X can't be slandered. And I agree with you: Ad Hominem = concession.

Anon,

It's been fun, bud. But be careful with those cartoons--we wouldn't want them to inform your logic.

X

Anonymous said...

"Ad Hominem = concession."

This coming from someone calling people Philistines.

X said...

"you should just be silent because you don't know what you are talking about"

"your comments have been pretty obnoxious so far"

"this is what happens when you try to reason with a philistine"

An Ad Hominem argument is an argument that attacks an opponent's character rather than answering his arguments. I answered the arguments. Anon did not.

Also, these are all true, supported by imperical data. Am I really a cartoon dog?

Nonetheless, if anonymous was offended by these comments, I humbly apologize.

X

Anonymous said...

"An Ad Hominem argument is an argument that attacks an opponent's character"

Umm, calling someone a Philistine is an attack on that person's character. You know what that word means, right? It is specifically meant to describe someone's character. You can dance around it all you want, but, as everyone can see, you made it personal long ago.

X said...

Well, I still don't see anyone responding to the substance of what I've said, so I guess that means we're done here.

X

Anonymous said...

"Also, these are all true, supported by imperical data."

Umm, did you mean "empirical"? I highly doubt that you have substantiated scientific evidence that I'm a boorish, brutish, uncultured Philistine.

"I guess that means we're done here."

Well, based on your own assertion that ad hominem attacks are concessions, then you were done a long, long time ago.

Anonymous said...

"Nonetheless, if anonymous was offended by these comments, I humbly apologize."

Ah, the classic non-apology apology. Real apologies never, ever contain the word "if". Either you're sorry for launching an ad hominem attack or you're not. Simple as that.

X said...

Anon @ 6:03,

You left out the last part of the sentence..."rather than answering his arguments." Or is that not what the definition of ad hominem is ABOUT?

X

X said...

I'm sorry for calling you a philistine. I didn't launch an Ad Hominem attack because that bout of name calling was not my only argument.

Thank you for correcting my spelling.

There.

X

Anonymous said...

"You left out the last part of the sentence..."rather than answering his arguments." Or is that not what the definition of ad hominem is ABOUT?"

OK, X, let me get this straight. You're allowed to make all of the ad hominem attacks you want, call anybody any name you want, as long as you also attempt to answer the question too? Sorry. Calling someone a name is calling someone a name, no matter what else you say with it. I left that part out because it isn't relevant to what an ad hominem attack is.

Keep dancing though. Maybe you''l eventually find a way out of your concession.

Anonymous said...

"I didn't launch an Ad Hominem attack because that bout of name calling was not my only argument."

Huh? I've never heard this one before you, X. Calling names is fine as long as you also give another argument too? Even my kids know that calling names is never OK.

Keep dancing.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sorry for calling you a philistine. I didn't launch an Ad Hominem attack because that bout of name calling was not my only argument."

Interesting. He's gone from the "I'm sorry if..." to the "I'm sorry, but...", as in "I'm sorry for attacking you personally, but don't call it an ad hominem."

X said...

Why don't you tell me what appolgy will satisfy you and I'll say it.

"Calling someone a name is calling someone a name, no matter what else you say with it. I left that part out because it isn't relevant to what an ad hominem attack is."

I agree calling someone a name isn't nice. But calling someone a name isn't an ad hominem. Look up ad hominem.

"Calling names is fine as long as you also give another argument too?"

Again, I'm not saying calling names is fine. It just isn't an ad hominem.

X

Anonymous said...

OK, X, I looked it up. Here's what I got:

"marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character"

Sounds exactly like what you did.

Now, you may have made other arguments that weren't ad hominems, but dismissing someone as a Philistine definitely is an ad hominem.

mav said...

Yikes! Back to the whole ministry issue, the Anonymous or Anonymi hasn't or haven't defended his/her/their position well at all against X. Inults aside, state and defend your position or move on. X made some good points and questions have been asked here that you haven't answered. Go look back before this last little argument started, calm down, and pick it up there. And please pick a pseudonym.

If you can't do this, it sure looks like X is right that you don't have anything to say.

mav

X said...

Anon @ 6:44,

"marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character"

Did you get that from Miriam Webster?

The rest of the definition is "...rather than by an answer to the contentions made."

I'm not saying it was nice or a good way to argue. Again, I apologize. And I don't expect anyone to appologize to me. I'm just a letter.

Do you have any criticism of my argument other than that it is paripalegic or that I sound like cartoon dog?

Thank you,

X

Anonymous said...

"Huh? I've never heard this one before you, X. Calling names is fine as long as you also give another argument too?"

Tell that to the anonymous that has insulted X's ability to read and called him a cartoon dog.

X apologized. That's more than Anonymous did. And if you want to talk about who "conceeded first" look back and see who made the first insult. It wasn't X.

X said...

Thanks Mav,

I'd like to get back to that too. It just bugs me that people keep quoting only part of a definition. However, it is similar to the way that Anon has insisted "AC V clearly isn't about the ministry" even though it specifically refers to the ministry. Anon, what is your response?

X

Anonymous said...

"However, it is similar to the way that Anon has insisted "AC V clearly isn't about the ministry" even though it specifically refers to the ministry. Anon, what is your response?"

X, I think this is exactly the reason that a previous anonymous tried to explain to you how the definition of ministry has changed over time (even though you completely ridiculed that point).

See, when people say that AC V isn't about the ministry even though it uses the word ministry, this is what they're saying: AC V isn't about the specific pastoral ministry as we define it today, it's about the general ministry of the gospel given to the entire church.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 11:52 says,

"X, I think this is exactly the reason that a previous anonymous tried to explain to you how the definition of ministry has changed over time (even though you completely ridiculed that point)."

The definition of ministry (predigtamt, especially) is governed by its use in the Confessions. For example AP XIII, 11 "But if ordination be understood as applying to the ministry (Predigtamt, ministerium) of the Word, we are not unwilling to call ordination a sacrament." The other major discussion is in the Tractatus in which Predigtamt is again used not for some general activity that all Christians carry out but the amt, or office of preaching.

X is correct.

What has happened is that the WS in order to support its view that the royal priesthood is equivalent to predigtamt is that the WS must translate into the world "public" or "private" depending on what they say the words mean at that particular moment (or as Anon says "specific" v. "general"). In other words the WS has changed the meaning of the word to suit its doctrine.

A related question, if you will Anon at 11:52, what do you point to as the instituting word for what you would call the public ministry? Thank you.

X said...

Anon @ 11:52,

Thanks for helping get this back on topic. You said: "X, I think this is exactly the reason that a previous anonymous tried to explain to you how the definition of ministry has changed over time (even though you completely ridiculed that point)."

I didn't ridicule that point. I said that the meaning of "ministry" wasn't the issue we were debating. Whatever you *think* ministry means when it is used in the Confessions, it is a misunderstanding to say that "AC V clearly isn't about the ministry." It is like quoting only half of phrase because the part you didn't quote undermines your argument.

As for this: "AC V isn't about the specific pastoral ministry as we define it today, it's about the general ministry of the gospel given to the entire church."

Anon did not say this. But even if s/he had, I disagree with that too. I defer to Anon @ 9:07 on that point.

X

Anonymous said...

"AC V clearly isn't about the ministry"

What a peculiar thing for a WELS person to say. Even our doctrinal statement on the Ministry cites article V. I hope you'll take the time to talk to your pastor about this.

Anonymous said...

"What a peculiar thing for a WELS person to say. Even our doctrinal statement on the Ministry cites article V. I hope you'll take the time to talk to your pastor about this."

Can no one read?!? Seriously people, go back and reread the posts about how the word "ministry" can mean different things. AC V is about the ministry of the gospel. AC V is not about the pastoral ministry as we know it today. Why is this so difficult for people to understand?!?

Anonymous said...

"Why is this so difficult for people to understand?!?"

It isn't difficult to understand, but it isn't what that person was saying. They were basically saying that if you don't think AC V is only about the means of grace, then you don't know how to read. Look at all their posts about "indirect" and doubly indirect." "Clearly" AC V is about the ministry, even if the WELS says ministry means something different than other Lutheran synods. You aknowledge this when you say, "AC V is about the ministry of the gospel." That is not what the anonymous that started this whole discussion was saying, so calm down with the exclamation points.

Anonymous said...

Anon. at 11:59,

Perhaps you missed this,

The definition of ministry (predigtamt, especially) is governed by its use in the Confessions. For example AP XIII, 11 "But if ordination be understood as applying to the ministry (Predigtamt, ministerium) of the Word, we are not unwilling to call ordination a sacrament." The other major discussion is in the Tractatus in which Predigtamt is again used not for some general activity that all Christians carry out but the amt, or office of preaching.

This from the confessions shows the WS interpretation of AC V is wrong.

Merry Xmas!