Reformation Day Remembrance and a Call to Laymen for Study, by Kari Anderson of the CLCC

(The Confessional Lutherans for Christ’s Commission is one of the many confessional groups that regularly posts on this website. Like BJS they seek to equip laymen to know and support Confessional Lutheranism. CLCC posts are archived on the Regular Columns page of this website.)

 


 

 

As Reformation Day is quickly approaching, I am reminded again that Martin Luther pounded the 95 Theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg 493 years ago.  Sometimes I think it’s time for a new Reformation today.

I see the church today, being aided by many of her pastors, as attempting to dumb down the teaching of her lay people. They think the less we know the better, because then it is easier for us to be compliant to anything we’re told and accept any change there is in practice without questions or complaining. As lay people we can’t let that happen, as Scripture teaches us in Ephesians 4:14 “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” It seems at times when laity begin to learn or are eager to learn something, it can be seen as an assault against some pastors today. It’s so much easier for them when we are not in the Word, and when we’re not reading the Lutheran Confessions. Many lay people have allowed themselves to be lulled into a lack of knowledge, because to our sinful flesh that way is much easier. That is somewhat similar to what it was like at the time of the Reformation. People only knew what was taught to them by the priests. They were being led astray. Yet, they had an excuse. There were no Bibles written in their language. We don’t have that excuse today. Bibles and the Book of Concord are readily available if we’d just open them.

I’d like to encourage all lay people to get into the Word daily, to search the Scriptures, to read their catechisms again, and start reading the Book of Concord, which contains all the Lutheran Confessions. We need to know what truth is. We need to know what we, as Lutherans, believe, teach, and confess. Check what you are taught against the Word of God. Are you still practicing in the way that will keep you Lutheran, which is the true Apostolic faith? Remember, the Lutheran Confessions have stood the test of time, because they teach us clearly what the Scriptures say. They also teach us what the Scriptures condemn. There are beliefs which have become accepted in our synod today which were not accepted in our grandfather’s church. For example:  what is true worship in doctrine and practice. Did you know that there are practices among us that will ultimately change what we believe?

I’m thankful that Martin Luther discovered the full truth of the Word of God in 1517. I know he struggled and went through difficult times for standing for the truth so that Christ and Him crucified and risen could be clearly proclaimed. Remember, it’s grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone! Thanks be to God for Luther and the Lutheran Reformation! Let’s return to the Word of God for true doctrine and practice!

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, unto Thy church Thy Holy Spirit and the wisdom which cometh down from above, that Thy Word, as becometh it, may not be bound, but have free course and be preached to the joy and edifying of Christ’s holy people, that in steadfast faith we may serve Thee and in the confession of Thy name abide unto the end; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. (The Collect for the Church, TLH pg 14)

Kari Anderson
Confessional Lutherans for Christ’s Commission

 

Visit theCLCC.org for more on this organization.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

Reformation Day Remembrance and a Call to Laymen for Study, by Kari Anderson of the CLCC — 106 Comments

  1. As one of the people involved in the formation of the CLCC, and also as someone who has been specifically named in this thread, I would like to respond to some of the comments that have been expressed here. I apologize for not responding sooner but I just read the thread. Pr. Kirchner has asked a simple question. Although I don’t have the first quote, it seems Pr. Kirchner has asked the same question several times. Does the CLCC have the call to do what it is doing? I don’t believe the question has been directly answered. I will do that now.

    Pr. Kirchner has a call to serve the congregation at Trinity Lutheran in Lake George MN. Through that congregation of God’s baptized people, the Lord called him to serve His people there as his instrument, to deliver His Word and administer the sacraments. The call is an amazing gift both to the pastor and to the congregation–an undeserved privilege to the pastor, an inestimable gift to the congregation. This call is exclusive to the pastoral office. By this observation, I am answering the question Pr. Kirchner has asked. Now I will state it even more directly: No, the CLCC does not have a call like this to do what it is doing.

    As others have already realized and then stated on this thread, however, demanding an organization to have a call like this eliminates any kind of activity outside of the congregation. They just don’t have that call. BJS doesn’t. Issues Etc. doesn’t. MNNFaithful or any other district chat list does not. Our district offices don’t even. Neither do any authors of any books that purport to teach people who are under the care of a different pastor. According to the demand for a call like this, that which started this whole discussion, the observation of Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses, should not have happened. Martin Luther posted these 95 statements on the door of the church when many people had come to Wittenberg for the relics collected there. They were written in Latin, so therefore the general population wouldn’t understand the theses, but he intended to reach scholars so he could discuss the abuse of indulgences–clergy, yes–but also laymen who were surely not under his pastoral care. According to the logic that an organization or individual must have a divine call as a pastor to presume to teach anyone as Augsburg XIV has been so narrowly applied, Luther had no such authority. This is the argument taken to its end. Is this what is intended by the question?

    Pr. Kirchner does a great job of forcing people to scrutinize their own actions. But sometimes the logic becomes self-defeating. I think we have seen that in this thread

  2. Sorry I have not responded to this discussion sooner. Life of a pastor!!! As Gene White noted in a previous post, he is not an official spokesperson for CLCC. I am. My name is Pastor Eric Lange. I am the chairman of the board of directors for Confessional Lutherans for Christ’s Commission. I would like to begin by thanking Pastor Kirchner for his concerns and for reminding us of Luther’s words in his commentary on Psalm 82, where Luther speaks out against “sneak preachers.” Pastor Kirchner’s concerns are valid and he is to be commended for bringing them forth. However, I believe that there is a section in Luther’s commentary on Psalm 82 that speaks to not only the existence of CLCC, but also to other organizations and individuals such as BJS and Issues, Etc. Luther writes, “And even if I were not a Doctor, I am, nevertheless, a regularly called preacher and may teach my own people with writings. If others have desired these writings of mine and have asked for them, it is my duty to accede to their request [German: bin ich es schuldig gewesen zu thun]. For I have never pushed myself in or desired or asked that anyone should read these writings, but have acted just like other pious pastors and preachers. They write books and neither prevent people from reading them nor drive them to do so; thus they teach throughout the world.” (AE, 13:66; St.L. V:723)
    CLCC was started because several pastors, myself included, were asked by other pastors and lay people for help on various topics. In Luther’s words, “it is my duty to accede to their request.” Please note that Luther says this is the duty of any regularly called pastor!!! Of course, Gene White is not a regularly called pastor, but I am. That we have lay individuals helping do some of the instruction, I believe is no different than having Sunday School teachers helping in a local congregation. I must confess that like Luther I can genuinely say I was forced into this by the request of others. Trust me I have plenty to do in my own congregation. I am truly grieved, however, that some statements made by individuals connected with CLCC have created rancor among brothers in the faith and on this blog. I do not believe that this was their intent. But it happened. I would also ask that we recognize that sometimes people make statements in the heat of the moment. Unfortunately, blog sites tend to by their very nature accommodate that. Also, I would ask that we remember that all of us tend to universalize our own experiences. Gene and Kari may actually have run into instances where clergy were intimidated by laity with questions. To ignore their experiences, however, is just as wrong as to universalize them. I believe that there are many factors involved in the lack of understanding among our people. However, clergy are not exempt from criticism in this vein as a reading of the preface to Luther’s Large Catechism ought to make plain. “[U]nfortunately many preachers and pastors are very negligent … and thus despise … their office” I too need to be reminded of my duties in this area. I also apologize for any statements that led people to believe that we somehow desire to circumvent the called pastor. These statements will be removed or clarified. Again I apologize that these statements have caused consternation among brothers in the faith. I take full responsibility for them, not that they represent my own opinion, but as chairman I should have caught them. I therefore ask your forgiveness. And I ask that any errors in what we say and write be brought to our attention. Be assured we take them seriously. And also be assured that like Luther CLCC will continue to provide resources for people as long as people still ask for our writings!!! Blessings, Pastor Eric Lange

  3. Thank you, Pr. Jarvis. I appreciate your comments. But, you did not answer the question. Simply stating in response to “By what authority do you do X?” that “If we can’t do X then we wouldn’t be able to do Y and Z!” is not only an illogical slippery slope fallacy. It doesn’t answer the question.

    Let us address the CLCC teaching of members of LCMS congregations, particularly those who are invited in ways that circumvent their pastor and who would come to their seminar without their pastor even knowing much less with his blessing. You purport to confess:

    “Concerning church order they teach that no one should teach publicly in the church or administer the sacraments unless properly called.?” [AC XIV]

    Where is their call to do so? By what authority do they teach?

    BTW, Luther answered your questiion about how he could go out and teach others. Unfortunately, the cites have been removerd. But that’s okay. Let’s stick to the specific, basic question.

    Thanks,

    Pr. Don Kirchner

  4. @Rev. Don Kirchner #100
    you needn’t have held up the party for ‘mrs jensen’, rev.
    as we’ve descussed elsewhere, she doesn’t do blogs
    [that’s your own ‘cheap shot’ so we should be square]

    [but why is a point of pride on lq ‘a cheap shot’ here?
    to me, it explains your prosecutor’s style, that’s all.
    i missed all the deleted stuff; no sorrow here]

    it would appear that clcc is organizing seminars
    at the invitation of a local congregation or circuit to discuss boc lutheranism.
    the real question is, ‘why isn’t the rev. kirchner on board?’
    if his congregation already knows it all, perhaps he could help teach?

  5. Pr. lange,

    Thank you for your gracious response that answers the simple question that I’ve asked.

    I just saw your response, and I would like to respond. But I have a play practice and won’t be home until 10 pm or so. So, I will do so thereafter.

    Thanks again, and I appreciate your and Mr. White’s resolve to rectify a view, which he further articulated hereon, that manifested an intent to circumvent some “non-confessional” pastors, i.e., “the pitfall of having non-confessional pastors or secretaries toss the seminar announcement in the trash can because they are not interested in it, or don’t want their people to be exposed to such education.” So, thanks for taking a look at that.

    Pax,

    Pr. Don Kirchner

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