Archive

Posts Tagged ‘The Preaching Office’

Luther on Spiritual Warfare (part 6)

October 20, 2015 Leave a comment

 

And in the might of His strength.

  1. Paul here uses quite emphatic words.

This is certainly unclearly spoken, and it is neither good German, Latin, nor Greek, but instead quite Hebrew. Still we must retain the words, because he had reason to talk this way. He saw and thought farther than we do in the way we are accustomed to talk. We said it with more words according to our way like this: “Stand firm, and hold on, that you do not become lazy and lax, nor become delinquent in that which you intend to do. And each should do and think that this is the teaching of God’s Word, which it has commanded, and is to God well-pleasing, a true service of God, and so on.” But this is said much more strongly and nobly, that he says, “If you do this, then you are strong in the Lord.” And he adds to this further, “In the might of His strength,” that is, in our German, “in His mighty strength,” or “in His great power.”

  1. We have need of two powers: a power for defense and a power for victory.

But for this reason he puts the two parts forward, “be strong” and “in the might of His strength”, to indicate that there are two powers which we must have. The first is that we remain firm in that which we should believe and do, and not desist. That is called “being strong” for yourself. The second is that one not only firm and well keep safe what we already have, and protect himself, rather also that one resist, that we not be taken, and our foes be beat back, so that we afterwards stand. Like a captain in a city—he needs not only to keep the city safe and have everything in his keeping, that the city might not be conquered and overcome. Rather also, he needs to be able himself to strike back against the foe, and rout them, and beat them into flight. The first serves to the end that I might not be overcome; the second, that I overcome the foe and become victorious over him. The first is a power of defense, but the second is called a war-power and a power for victory, which not only for himself stands and is strong, but can also sally forth and undercut the foes. The second requires much greater armament than the first.

  1. Both must come from God.

Therefore he calls it a might of divine strength, or the mighty strength of God. For we have such tremendous, mighty foes against us, namely the spirits in the air (as he will say), which are above us, and we beneath them, and one of them is stronger than all men. And they mean business against us, and set against us with all powers, where they see that we have the faith and want to strengthen ourselves in it. Then they direct all weapons, guns, and arrows against us, in order to overthrow such firmness. Because they do not gladly let us come to the point that we begin to grasp the word and believe, but much less that we remain with it, and that we arm ourselves against them and hide ourselves away, that they should not find us out and destroy us. There are very few such people which bear up until the end under such blows against them, and gallantly win the victory, even if they begin very well. But in the struggle, when the devil presses them hard, and continues without ceasing, they let him make them tired, and do not continue to stand. For it is finally not possible for a man to persist where this mighty strength of God does not come to enable one to withstand these unremitting storms of the foes, and to beat them back.

  1. How a preacher must be armed with these twofold powers.

You may now show examples of this through all manner of stations. For instance: for a pastor and preacher it is not enough that he be certain of his doctrine, and faithfully carry out his office without regarding what would hinder him—poverty, being despised, unthankfulness, and all manner of opposition. But instead it also belongs to his office that he can face the devil, confute and rebut false doctrine and error, as St. Paul requires both parts in Titus 1, that a bishop should not only be so skilled that he holds to the word, both to teach and exhort, but that he also be mighty through the same saving doctrine to punish those who speak against it, and to stop the mouth of the unnecessary washers (Anabaptists?). Because it never fails that as soon as the Word and doctrine will be purely and clearly handled, the devil will send his messengers and sow his tares. There one must fight that they be put down and the error eradicated. Even though it is not possible that one can so stop the mouths of the devil and his rotten-spirits, so that they quit and keep silence, still it is enough that one so drive them, and turn around their thing, that they cannot preserve its appearance, and thus deny them some souls and get back some from out of the error. Because Christ Himself had his Pharisees and Sadducees whom He could not entirely silence nor convert; still He so turned them around and drove them, that they could not muster anything [against His teaching]. Such people Christianity also must have, who can strike down the adversary and the opposition, take from the devil his weapons and armor, that he be put to shame. But strong warriors are required for that, who have the Scriptures in full might, and can turn around their false interpretation, and know how to take their own sword, that is, the same passages of Scripture which they use, and with them to strike them on the head, so that they bounce back. Not all can be so skilled so as to contend for the doctrine and the articles of the faith. Therefore they must have preachers and teachers, which daily study in the Scriptures, and handle them, that they before all others can debate and fight. Nevertheless every Christian should be so armed, that he is certain for himself of his faith and the doctrine, and that he ground himself with passages out of God’s Word, so that he can persist against the devil, and also fight himself when he wants to guide someone else, and so help preserve and contend for the doctrine.

continued

Prayer of a Preacher for Himself and His Hearers

Prayer of a Preacher for Himself and his Hearers

J. Deucer

Eternal, almighty God, I heartily beseech You on behalf of all whom You have committed to my care of souls and intercession. Lend them Your grace and Holy Spirit, that they might savingly know You and Your beloved Son, daily increase in true faith, fear, and love, and in firm hope with a Christian, repentant life remain constantly in Your will and obedience until their blessed end. Grant also to me, O most holy God, that I may fruitfully light the way before them with pure doctrine, a good and edifying life, and befitting faithfulness in office. Grant that we all guard against false religion and an ungodly walk that we might attain eternal blessedness, through Jesus Christ, our only Mediator and Redeemer. Amen.

Clergy have highest job satisfaction in UK

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/mar/21/vicars-greatest-job-satisfaction-publicans-least-happy

FILE: Tax Increase On Tobacco & Alcohol Announced In Government's 2012 Budget

Vicars report greatest job satisfaction while publicans are least happy

Overall job satisfaction has little to do with salary, figures drawn from Office for National Statistics data show

Although publicans earn almost £5,000 a year more than vicars on average they are the least happy in their work. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Want to be happy in your work? Go to theological college and avoid a career pulling pints. That would seem to be one conclusion to draw from a new study into wellbeing and public policy, which found that employees reporting greatest job satisfaction were vicars, while publicans – who on average earn almost £5,000 a year more – were the least happy in their work.

Overall job satisfaction, in fact, has little to do with salary, according to the figures drawn from Office for National Statistics data. While company chief executives, earning £117,700 a year on average, were found to be the second happiest employees (mean clergy income by contrast is a mere £20,568), company secretaries, fitness instructors and school secretaries, all earning less than £19,000 a year, emerged among the top 20 most satisfying careers.

Slumped with pub landlords at the bottom of the list of 274 occupations were construction workers, debt collectors, telephone sales workers and care workers, all earning significantly below the national average salary of £26,500. But chemical scientists, earning almost £10,000 more, only scraped into the top 200, while quantity surveyors, on £38,855, could do no better than 234th place.

The data has been used to help inform a report, published on Friday by the Legatum Institute, an independent thinktank that examines wellbeing as a core part of national prosperity, alongside wealth.

“Not only does GDP fail to reflect the distribution of income, it omits intangibles, or feelings, that are not easily reducible to monetary values,” note its authors, who were chaired by Lord O’Donnell, formerly the head of the civil service. “There is a growing recognition that the measures of a country’s progress need to include the wellbeing of its citizens.”

The government has taken some steps towards measuring and incorporating the nation’s happiness into policymaking – the ONS was asked to include four questions in its annual population study relating to life satisfaction, while David Cameron has said: “If you know … that prosperity alone can’t deliver a better life, then you’ve got to take practical steps to make sure government is properly focused on our quality of life as well as economic growth.”

The director of communications at the Legatum Institute, Shazia Ejaz, said: “A lot of careers advisers will tell you, ‘If you become a doctor you will earn this much, as a teacher you’ll earn this much. But perhaps people should also know what different careers can do in terms of their life satisfaction.”

 

 

Top 10

1. Clergy

2. Chief executives and senior officials

3. Managers and proprietors in agriculture and horticulture

4. Company secretaries

5. Quality assurance and regulatory professionals

6. Healthcare practice managers

7. Medical practitioners

8. Farmers

9. Hotel and accommodation managers and proprietors

10. Skilled metal, electrical and electronic trades supervisors

 

Bottom 10

265. Plastics process operatives

266. Bar staff

267. Care escorts

268. Sports and leisure assistants

269. Telephone salespersons

270. Floorers and wall tilers

271. Industrial cleaning process occupations

272. Debt, rent and other cash collectors

273. Elementary construction occupations

274. Publicans and managers of licensed premises

The Glory of the Office Of the Preaching of the Gospel–Trinity 12 (Walther)

August 18, 2013 2 comments

walther3Trinity 12

St. Peter Lutheran Church

2 Corinthians 3:4-11

August 18, 2013 (Rally Day, Installation of Teachers)

“The Glory of the Office of the Preaching of the Gospel”

(abridged and adapted from C. F. W. Walther, “Sermon on the 12th Sunday after the Festival of the Holy Trinity”, Brosamen, Concordia: St. Louis, 1876.  Pp. 172-183)

 

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

This morning we consider the Epistle taken from 2nd Corinthians.  In it Paul praises his office, the office of the preaching of the Gospel.  Oftentimes when a pastor has someone else preach for him, he will ask the guest preacher to preach on a topic that his congregation needs to hear about but will be better able to hear from someone else.   Because of this I decided to borrow from a sermon preached on this text by Carl Friedrich Walther, the founding father of our synod.   Today he will be our guest preacher.

 

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus!  he begins.

 

In the Epistle, the Apostle Paul praises his office as one of overflowing glory.  He does this because false teachers had come into the midst of the Corinthians, who tried to belittle Paul’s office.  They intended to hinder the blessing that comes through the office of preaching the Gospel by doing this.

 

Now in our day too, especially here in America, the office of the preaching of the Gospel is nearly everywhere an object of scorn.  Because of this the blessing of the Word of God both inside and outside the Church is hindered more than one can imagine.  Permit me today to follow in the footsteps of the apostle and praise my office before you.  I speak to you today

 

Concerning the exaltation and glory of the office of the preaching of the Gospel,

In particular

 

  1. 1.        Of its exalted purpose and goal, and
  2. 2.       Of the glorious means which have been given to it in order to accomplish this goal.

  Read more…

Judge not–unless you’re a parent, ruler, or pastor. Luther.

June 21, 2013 2 comments

lady in a preaching gown as his ambassador.

FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.

LUKE 6:36-42.

from Martin Luther’s Church Postil.

 

Luke 6:36f.

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom…

3. Hence it is not meant, that by such works as are here enumerated they should first obtain forgiveness of sins and the righteousness that avails before God; but Christ speaks plainly and simply to his disciples whom he had chosen and called Apostles, as St. Luke shows preceding this Gospel. Christ teaches them how they shall conduct themselves when they preach, as though he would say: You dear disciples, I send you as sheep among wolves, and commend this office unto you to preach, and others shall hear your preaching, accept and believe it. And you will be so received that the world will be offended at you and regard you as enemies, and you will find just as much friendship and love in it, as sheep among wolves. For it will become wholly mad and foolish at your preaching, and will by no means tolerate it. Therefore see to it that you lead a better life and conversation than your enemies, who will practice upon you all kinds of unmerciful deeds by judging and condemning you. Moreover they will not only not forgive you any sin, but will proclaim your best works and deeds of mercy as the greatest sins. Again, they will not only not give you anything, but they will also hunt down that which is your own, and will take and keep it by violence. Thus they will treat you. But beware, that you be not like them; on the other hand where they judge, judge not; where they condemn, bless; where they take revenge, forgive; when they take, give. For immediately before, the Lord teaches the very same when he says: Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.

….

15. To this friendly admonition of Christ our Lord we Christians and especially we ministers should diligently give due heed, for we also have at the present day adversaries of our faith and doctrine, who are great and powerful, ‘kings, princes, lords, Pope and bishops. To these our enemies according to this doctrine of Christ we show all mercy, and are not willing that a hair of their heads should be injured, or that they should be robbed of a cent. But this we wish them from our heart, that they may learn to know their errors and sins, and c

Rebukes wealthy member of congregation for sexual immorality, calls rest of congregation children of the devil

Rebukes wealthy member of congregation for sexual immorality, calls rest of congregation children of the devil.

ommit themselves to the grace of God and believe the Gospel. On this account they judge, condemn and persecute us, rob us of honor, goods, body and life, as though we were the worst rogues that tread the earth. Such things we do not to them in return, God be praised! but show them all love and kindness, and would willingly help them, if they would only permit it.

16. Yes, they say, you revile us nevertheless, both in writing and preaching, and condemn us as heretics, and will not permit us to be the Christian Church. Is such reproof and condemnation mercy? We answer: This is quite a different matter. Christ in this Gospel speaks of those who shall suffer injustice. And it would not be right to apply this to those who by virtue of their office are required to reprove what is wrong. For those who have the office to judge and condemn, do no wrong thereby, in so doing. For as little as it agrees or is valid for a child to say to its father when he would punish it; father, be merciful, and God will then also be merciful to thee; so little is it valid against those who have the office of reproof. For it would be very inappropriate for a thief or evil doer to say to the officer of the law: Dear sir, forgive and do not judge me, and then our Lord God will again forgive thee. No, my dear fellow, the officer of the law by virtue of his office will thus answer and say: It is not necessary that I should forgive you. I do what is right, and doing right needs no forgiveness, but is praiseworthy. Thus also when father and mother punish their children, they do right, for this is called true punishment, when the office requires it. But beware, that you do not revenge yourself against him who must punish you, even if at times he treats you unjustly.

17. Wherefore it is not appropriate to twist this text, as though the Lord speaks of those who have the authority to punish the wrong, as ministers and all persons in authority, fathers, mothers, princes, lords, and finally also the executioner, who should not say to the evil doer, to whom he must administer justice, as however they are accustomed to do: “Dear Sir, forgive me, what I do to you today,” for why should he say this? As he does right, he needs no forgiveness, which pertains alone to sin and wrong; for. his office is to punish wrong. Just as it would be wrong if a father would say to his son when he would punish him: Dear son, forgive me, that I punish you. No, he does right, therefore the son should bear it, for thus God will have it. Read more…

The Reason So Many Lutheran Pastors are Too Rigid, Bad with People, and Lazy

March 21, 2013 1 comment
Pastor, we'd like to help you understand the kinds of qualities you need to develop in order not to alienate the younger generation, which we notice are not really coming here anymore.  We think it's because you're not as friendly and positive as you might be.  After all, it's hard to imagine what else in this congregation might need some work.

Ahem. Pastor, we’d like to help you understand the kinds of qualities you need to develop in order not to alienate the younger generation, which we notice are not really coming here anymore. We think it’s because you’re not as friendly and positive as you might be. After all, it’s hard to imagine what else in this congregation might need some work.

http://surburg.blogspot.com/2013/03/brother-pastor-ive-got-your-back.html

Brother pastor, I want you to know that I’ve got your back.  My first move will always be to believe you and to believe in you.  When I hear accusations against you, my first assumption will be that they are not true.  I will not speak publicly about accusations as if they were true.
I say this because I know what it is like out there in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.  It’s open season on pastors, and especially on pastors who want to practice what the Scriptures say and what the Book of Concord confesses.

….When you were ordained and installed…you believed what the Scriptures say about the Office and its responsibilities. You knew that Paul had

Now this pastor, Bob, could maybe use a little work in the area of appropriate clergy attire.  A little less color would be better; preferably a nice black academic gown.  On the other hand, Pastor Bob really seems to understand the proper way in which to make God's people feel welcome.  Notice how he announces himself to parishioners like a waiter, evidencing a real servant's heart.  Also, he is aware that his ministry depends on the ongoing satisfaction of his client base, which is why he says "I'll be your pastor today" and not "I'm your pastor."  He gets that he serves as our pastor as long as we are pleased with his service and appears to be successful.  This kind of attitude of service will carry him far if he can also produce pleasing, entertaining, not too long sermons in about 20 minutes and make sure that he spends the rest of the week visiting the hospital and homebound members without saying anything that irritates them.  Also if he can work confirmation around the 3 catechumens' busy schedules, make sure that the parents are happy and don't feel that they have to work too hard, but also satisfy our consciences that we aren't simply rubber-stamping kids in order to keep their parents from leaving--well, if he can do all that he has a bright career ahead of him.

Now this pastor, Bob, could maybe use a little work in the area of appropriate clergy attire. A little less color would be better; preferably a nice black academic gown. On the other hand, Pastor Bob really seems to understand the proper way in which to make God’s people feel welcome. Notice how he announces himself to parishioners like a waiter, evidencing a real servant’s heart. Also, he is aware that his ministry depends on the ongoing satisfaction of his client base, which is why he says “I’ll be your pastor today” and not “I’m your pastor.” He gets that he serves as our pastor as long as we are pleased with his service and appears to be successful. This kind of attitude of service will carry him far if he can also produce pleasing, entertaining, not too long sermons in about 20 minutes and make sure that he spends the rest of the week visiting the hospital and homebound members without saying anything that irritates them. Also if he can work confirmation around the 3 catechumens’ busy schedules, make sure that the parents are happy and don’t feel that they have to work too hard, but also satisfy our consciences that we aren’t simply rubber-stamping kids in order to keep their parents from leaving–well, if he can do all that he has a bright career ahead of him.

said, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood (Acts 20:28). You knew that that Peter wrote, “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock (1 Peter 5:1-3).  And so you knew that God had placed you to care for that congregation.  God had placed you, and therefore you were keeping watch over those for whom you “will have to give an account” before him (Heb 13:17).

You believed what your ordination vows say: that the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God and the only infallible rule of faith and practice; that the Ecumenical Creeds are faithful testimonies to the truth of the Holy Scriptures; that the Book of Concord is a true exposition of Holy Scripture and a correct exhibition of the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Lutheran Service Book Agenda, 166-167).

Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” It is found the Small Catechism’s Table of Duties and in the installation rite of a pastor (Lutheran Service Book Agenda, 180).

And so you believed the congregation when it answered “We will, with the help of God,” to the question, “Will you receive him, show him that love, honor and obedience in the Lord that you owe to the shepherd and teacher placed over you by your Lord Jesus Christ, and will you support him by your gifts and pray for him always that in his labors he may retain a cheerful spirit, and that his ministry among you may be abundantly blessed” (Lutheran Service Book Agenda, 180).

But I also know the reality.  There are congregations that don’t believe Lutheran theology all that deeply.  Some congregations would rather operate in the way of American evangelicalism….. Some congregations don’t want to practice closed communion, even though it is the biblical and the official stance of our synod – especially when it involves their ELCA family member.  Some congregations don’t want to practice pastoral discipline towards those who are living together outside of marriage – especially when it involves their son or daughter. Some congregations have powerful forces who know it is their church.  Pastors come and pastors go but the congregational leaders are really in charge and they don’t need to follow anyone. There are alligators in the water.

Awhile back under the previous synodical administration there were a series of conferences about the ministry entitled “Who’s in charge.”  You had already learned the answer to that question for the LCMS.  The congregation is in charge.  In a congregational polity, they write your pay check and therefore they are in charge.  They are in charge because you learn very quickly that from the district president’s perspective the pastor is expendable.  You can always get another one.  Congregations can’t be replaced.  Therefore the congregation can do almost anything because no one is going to remove it from synod.And so here’s how it works.  Influential congregation members decide for any number of reasons that they don’t want you as pastor.  The reasons are not legitimate. But that doesn’t matter.  They begin to work in the congregation to stir up criticism and resentment.  They look for any opportunity to take offense at you.  They make life uncomfortable by refusing to give you a raise and by lowering your health care coverage.

Now this man really looks like he has the stuff of a great preacher.  Notice, pastor: he doesn't need to wear a funny dress to preach.  A white suit is just fine, just like it was for Pat Boone and Billy Sunday and the apostles.  I remember when I was a kid in West Virginia, all the preachers had floppy bibles and combed their hair just like this.  And you know what?  Churches were full of young people!  You know when the Missouri Synod churches started shrinking?  When they started wearing different colored stoles and having communion more than once a month and chanting.  That's what you need, pastor--a floppy bible and a white suit.  That will help you with your rigidity.  If you want to be successful as a pastor, you've really got to lose the rigidity about worship and teaching and instead get a floppy bible and start putting Brylcreem in your hair, so that you look like a real preacher who knows the bible instead of a catholic priest who just listens to whatever his authorities tell him.

Now this man really looks like he has the stuff of a great preacher. Notice, pastor: he doesn’t need to wear a funny dress to preach. A white suit is just fine, just like it was for Pat Boone and Billy Sunday and the apostles. I remember when I was a kid in West Virginia, all the preachers had floppy bibles and combed their hair just like this. And you know what? Churches were full of young people! You know when the Missouri Synod churches started shrinking? When they started wearing different colored stoles and having communion more than once a month and chanting. That’s what you need, pastor–a floppy bible and a white suit. That will help you with your rigidity. If you want to be successful as a pastor, you’ve really got to lose the rigidity about worship and teaching and instead get a floppy bible and start putting Brylcreem in your hair.  Rigid hair is okay.  Insisting that we keep every other thing in the church exactly the same as we think it was in the 1950s, when God still walked in the garden with us–that’s the right kind of rigidity.  But in doctrine you have to be flexible.  Times change.  You gotta love people.

If this doesn’t get rid of you fast enough, they start to contact your circuit counselor and district president.  They are still operating in the church and so they couch

This guy went to Fort Wayne, I bet.Anyway, this is an example of the very kinds of things you don't want to do if you want to be a successful pastor. First of all, the guy clearly thinks he's better than everyone else. Secondly, his preaching is far too sharp.   People want to come to church and feel good, not have some preacher staring us down from the pulpit and calling us sinners to repent. Plus, clearly he needs to consider his work ethic.  He obviously is arrogant and thinks his books are more important than loving the people.Why is he sitting down with a book?  That's not what he's getting paid to do. On top of all this, why is he wearing a robe all day?  That's just weird. This is 2013.  He seems to think he's somehow different or set apart, that he's got to wear a white robe all the time.

This guy went to Fort Wayne, I bet.
Anyway, this is an example of the very kinds of things you don’t want to do if you want to be a successful pastor.
First of all, the guy clearly thinks he’s better than everyone else.
Secondly, his preaching is far too sharp.
People want to come to church and feel good, not have some preacher glowering at us from the pulpit with flaming eyes and calling us sinners to repent.  I heard part of this guy’s sermon on You Tube and he was talking about vomiting the congregation out of his mouth.  What about “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so?” 
Plus, clearly he needs to consider his work ethic. He obviously is arrogant and thinks his books are more important than loving the people.Why is he sitting down with a book? That’s not what he’s getting paid to do.
On top of all this, why is he wearing a robe all day?Why does the chair in his office look like a throne?  Did he get that approved before he bought it, or did he pay for it out of his own pocket?  I know I wouldn’t have approved of buying a throne out of the church budget.  But see, that’s what happens when the congregational leaders don’t keep a close eye on the pastor. 

 

 

 

their accusations in the form of: “He doesn’t have good people skills.”; “He’s lazy.”; “He’s too rigid.”  The circuit counselor and district president may share the same beliefs as the congregation.  They may not want to be biblical and Lutheran in practice, and so they are only too happy to take its side.  There is talk of “syndical reconcilers” and the like, but the die has been cast.

Finally, the congregation just declares that after such and such a date, it will no longer pay you.  Perhaps the leaders have met with the district president and out of “Christian love” they have agreed to give you a six month “severance package.”  You learn that your divine call means nothing because the congregation writes the checks and the district doesn’t want to lose the congregation.

…Because of what the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions say about the Office of the Holy Ministry, there are occasions when you or I may need to be removed.  This is necessary when there is immoral conduct such as

First of all the guy needs to get a haircut.  Secondly, why is he glaring?  Gosh, you'd think pastors would be grateful, considering how much they get paid for doing so little work.  This kind of attitude is not going to work in the ministry.  It doesn't matter if we're sitting in the back of the church doing shots and yelling out insults against Pastor Calov's mother, wife, and deceased infant children.  He's supposed to be joyful and never get the slightest bit upset, even if we cut his family's insurance and ask why he doesn't do what a real Christian would do and do his 5 hours of preaching a week for free.  We have real jobs that are hard that we do.  Well, we used to do them and we often worked more than forty hours a week.  With all the work we do we don't need to come here and look at some lazy pastor who works, what, 5 hours a week? and then makes rude faces at the congregation.  Who does he think he is?  One good thing about this guy though is the nice geneva robe he has on.  Other than that, he really needs to work on his attitude..

First of all the guy needs to get a haircut. Secondly, why is he glaring? Gosh, you’d think pastors would be grateful, considering how much they get paid for doing so little work.
This kind of attitude is not going to work in the ministry. It doesn’t matter if we’re sitting in the back of the church doing shots and yelling out insults against Pastor Calov’s mother, wife, and deceased infant children. He’s supposed to be joyful and never get the slightest bit upset, even if we cut his family’s insurance and ask why he doesn’t do what the apostle Paul did and do his pastoring for free after he gets done with his day job. We have real jobs where we have to work forty hours a week–sometimes more.  We don’t need to come to church to get scowled at.  And what’s with the foreign language on his picture?  Isn’t that Latin?  I thought Martin Luther got rid of that, along with private confession and absolution, the Virgin Mary, and the idea that pastors are allowed to say anything besides what we already know and agree with.  Clearly this guy is a closet Catholic and thinks he’s better than us.  About the only thing this guy has going for him is the black graduation robe.  That’s what real preachers wear, if you ask me.

fornication, adultery, sexual abuse or theft.  It must happen when there is false doctrine and a refusal to admit this and repent.  It will be necessary if you or I abandon the responsibilities for which we have been called (and the standard of proof on this must be exceptionally high – this is not to be a tool for removing faithful pastors). Where there is clear and unambiguous evidence this must happen.

What I won’t do is speak publicly about accusations as if they were true when there is no such evidence.  I won’t do it because the greatest threat to the ministry of the LCMS is not lazy pastors or pastors with bad people skills or pastors who make mistakes.  The greatest threat is a general denial of the Office of the Holy Ministry and what it means for the way God deals with the congregation and the way congregations need to relate to their pastor.  I won’t speak in a way that supports this denial.  Brother pastor, I’ve got your back.

 

 

 

Kierkegaard on Militant Pastors

March 16, 2013 1 comment
Soren Kierkegaard studying

Soren Kierkegaard studying (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kierkegaard on Militant Pastors 

Pastor Ronald Marshall

In his little book, The Gospel of Sufferings (1847), Kierkegaard also discusses pastors. They are the ones who are supposed to walk in the steps of the first followers of Christ, the apostles, as they are called in the New Testament. They are the ones who are supposed to inspire and lead the rest of us to follow Christ as the first apostles did. On them, Kierkegaard writes this: “And now an apostle! He had seen the Holy One crucified. He had seen the evil and corruption of the world disclosed when the Lord and Master was scorned — with this impression the apostle went out into the world. If you possibly can, try to imagine it any other way than that this man had to wish that this same world would treat him in the same way, that this man, disheartened and deeply troubled, would have had to blame himself if he was not persecuted, whereas he could fear only one thing, whether it still would not be too great an honor to be crucified! Try it, imagine that he who was to proclaim to the world this message about the Holy One’s being crucified as a criminal between two robbers, that this man was dressed in purple and glory, that this man possessed all the world’s goods, this man who was to proclaim a crucified one’s teaching that his kingdom was not of this world [John 18:36] — try it, if you can bear the attempt….

Or imagine that the apostolic proclamation of Christianity had quickly triumphed, as they say. Imagine that an apostle could have experienced the danger in which later generations were tried, that power and glory and dominion were offered to them — not in order to stop proclaiming Christ but in order to proclaim him. I really wonder if an apostle actually could have persuaded himself to understand this. I wonder if he would not have found it inconceivable that the Lord and Master would be treated as a criminal and the pupil, ‘who is indeed not above the teacher’ [Matthew 10:24], would attain honor and high position! I wonder if an apostle would ever have changed so much that instead of affirming a militant view of life and Christianity he would have affirmed a triumphant view?

The triumphant view assumes that on the average most people, the majority of people, are of the truth; for that very reason the possession of power and honor is a sign that one is eminently good. But the militant view teaches that the good must get the worst of it [see, for instance, John 15:18-19 and Luther’s Works 24:277; 25:177; 31:227], and therefore its servants are persecuted, insulted, treated as criminals or as fools [Luther called the pastor a vir rixorum or ‘man of strife,’ LW 2:20] — alas, and by this they are known, and for that very reason they do not wish power and honor, because that implies a false admission with regard to their view. The only person who with bold confidence can possess honor and power is the one who is convinced that on the average the human race is good” (KW 15:337-339).

So what’s up with all these American Lutheran pastors belonging to the Rotary Club or to some sort of organization like it? Why do they do that? Here’s an idea — Why not use this Kierkegaard passage to discuss this with one of them? Go on, don’t be bashful, give it a try — if you dare.

HT: http://www.myspace.com/bondageofthewill/blog

 

%d bloggers like this: