Some Quotes for Discussion of AC XIV

July 23rd, 2013 Post by

BOCcoverHere are some quotes when considering AC XIV:

XIV Of Ecclesiastical Order they teach that no one should publicly teach in the Church or administer the Sacraments unless he be regularly called.



“…it is with those who are legitimately chosen and called by God through the church, therefore with the ministers to whom the use or administration of the ministry of the Word and the sacraments has been committed.”
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent: Volume II, p.97


…[I]t is the response of the Lutheran theologians to the charge that John Eck made in his 404 Propositions that the Lutherans denied the existence of the sacrament of orders, called it a figment of human invention, and asserted that any layman at all can consecrate churches, confirm children, and so on (Wilhelm Gussmann, D. Johann Ecks Vierhundertvier Artikel zum Reichstag von Augsburg 1530 [Kassel:Edmund Pillardy, 1930], nos.267 to 268, pp.134 and 177-78). The Lutheran response is that laymen are not admitted to the really crucial tasks of publicly and responsibly proclaiming the Gospel and of administering the sacraments.
Arthur Carl Piepkorn. “The Sacred Ministry and Holy Ordination in the Symbolical Books of the Lutheran Church.” in Michael P. Plekon and William S. Wiecher. The Church: Selected Writings of Arthur Carl Piepkorn. (Delhi, NY: American Lutheran Publicity Bureau Books, 1993); p.62

…the word rite in rite vocatus implies in the normal terminology of the 16th century a formal ordination as something over and above a mere calling. Both vocatio (“calling”) and ordinatio (“ordination”) are extensively used in this period to describe the whole process of election and ordination. […] [T]he Confutatio pontifica accepted Article 14 in principle. It would not have done so if it had understood the article as suggesting that ordination was not necessary. The particular point on which the Confutatio insisted was that a bishop perform the ordination. This is clear from the Apology on Article 14. […] The Apology makes it clear that it has no quarrel with ordination or even with episcopacy, but that Episcopal ordination is not available to the proponents of the Augsburg Confession. The implication is that they may have no alternative but to avail themselves of ordination by clergymen in presbyter’s orders.
Arthur Carl Piepkorn. “The Sacred Ministry and Holy Ordination in the Symbolical Books of the Lutheran Church.” in Michael P. Plekon and William S. Wiecher. The Church: Selected Writings of Arthur Carl Piepkorn. (Delhi, NY: American Lutheran Publicity Bureau Books, 1993); pp.62,63

Since the meaning of the public office is lost, ministry is limited to the private sphere. Willy-nilly Christianity becomes simply a private cult and the rationale for ordained ministry in Lutheranism threatens to disappear altogether. Here I expect is a major reason for the erosion of the understanding of ordained ministry among us. When the church becomes merely a private cult it is difficult to say why just any Christian cannot perform most if not all the functions ordinarily assigned to the ordained. It appears presumptuous in a democratic society to suppose that some are raised to a different level by ecclesiastical monkey business. And since it is, after all, only a “private” matter, what difference does ordination make? Furthermore when members of the clergy themselves capitulate and no longer do what can be called public preaching, teaching, or absolving but rather just make a public display of private emotions and experiences or invest most of their effort in private counseling, what does one need ordained clergy for? What matters is not the public exercise of the office but what “personal skills” or what kind of a (private) person the leader is. There is no way that ordination automatically imparts any skills or makes a person nice. So what is it for? Cannot properly sensitized or trained lay persons do just as well, or better?
Gerhard O. Forde. “The Ordained Ministry” in Todd Nichol & Marc Kolden (ed.) Called and Ordained: Lutheran Perspectives on the Office of the Ministry. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990); p.126

The great majority of our theologians, Luther in the forefront, believe that the holy Supper should never be administered privately by one who is not in the public preaching office, by a layman. That is partly because no such necessity can occur with the holy Supper, as with Baptism and Absolution, that would justify a departure from God’s ordinance ( I Cor 4:1; Romans 10:15; Heb 5:4); partly because the holy Supper “is a public confession and so should have a public minister”; partly because schisms can easily be brought about by such private Communion…
C.F.W. Walther. Pastoral Theology. Trans. John M. Drickamer. (New Haven: Lutheran News Inc, 1995); p.134

And what must the Christians do who are held captive in Turkey? They cannot receive the sacrament and have to be content with their faith and desire which they have for the sacrament and the ordinance of Christ, just as those who die before baptism are nevertheless saved by their faith and desire for baptism. What did the children of Israel do in Babylon when they were unable to have public worship at Jerusalem except in faith and in sincere desire and longing? Therefore, even if the church would have been robbed completely of the sacrament by the pope, still, because the ordinance of Christ remained in their hearts with faith and desire, it would nevertheless have been preserved thereby, as indeed now in our time there are many who outwardly do without the sacrament for they are not willing to honor and strengthen the pope’s abomination under one kind. For Christ’s ordinance and faith are two works of God which are capable of doing anything.
Martin Luther.  “The Private Mass and the Consecration of Priests” (Luther’s Works, AE:38; p.207)

In the Formula of Concord’s denial that, “No man’s word or work, be it the merit or speaking of the minister,” brings about the real presence is not to deny that the body and blood are, “distributed through our ministry and office”
FC-SD, VII.74-77.


How the congregation organizes itself, for this no prescriptions are given, just as there are none for how the church’s ministry is to be organized. The apostles came to recognize that it would be helpful for their ministry if they were relieved of the work of caring for the poor and attending to money matters. So the office of the deacons was created as an auxiliary office. But the church was the church already before this office was created. So the church can at any time create auxiliary offices to meet the needs of the time. Examples of this in the history of the church are the office of an episcopate, or superintendency, or any other offices, whatever they may be called. But all these offices have their right of existence only insofar as they serve the one great office of the preaching of the Gospel and the administering of the sacraments. A bishop may be entrusted with the task of seeing to the running of a great diocese. But the meaning of such an assignment can only consist in this, that he thereby gives room and support to the church’s ministry. His actual office is the office of pastor, also when he is a pastor for pastors. By human arrangement he may have the work of superintendency. By divine mandate he has solely the office of preaching the forgiveness and justification of sinners for Christ’s sake.
Hermann Sasse. “Ministry and Congregation” (1949) in We Confess the Church. Trans. Norman E. Nagel. (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986); pp 71,72


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  1. Carl Vehse
    July 23rd, 2013 at 15:26 | #1

    So how well are the presidents and the faculties of the Concordia seminaries doing in supporting AC.XIV and taking a firm confessional stand when, or if the Synod establishes a program that violates this article?

    Do they all go along to get along? Do the presidents and the faculties of the Concordia seminaries allow ordination of seminary graduates even when there is no regular call? Do the presidents and the faculties of the Concordia seminaries contribute educational materials that will be used to support such programs that violate AC.XIV? Or do the presidents and the faculties of the Concordia seminaries stretch their understanding, not to mention the potential increase in seminary income, to a more modern interpretation of AC.XIV?

  2. quasicelsus
    July 23rd, 2013 at 16:48 | #2

    @Carl Vehse #1

    please elaborate.

    Also, if anyone can clarify how the Sems and the colleges use host congregations, I’m all ears.

  3. Rev. Weinkauf
    July 24th, 2013 at 09:35 | #3

    We should all be reminded, the LCMS Synod at convention in 1992 suspended AC XIV.

  4. Rev. Robert Mayes
    July 24th, 2013 at 10:29 | #4


    As far as I know, neither St. Louis nor Ft. Wayne allows ordination for students who are not called. For example, men who receive their M.Div but decide to go on for an S.T.M. degree are not put in the pool for candidates to receive calls, neither are they ordained.

    In Christ,
    Rev. Robert Mayes
    Beemer, NE

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