With Great Liberty Comes Great Responsibility

Quoting C.F.W. Walther from the 16th Central District Convention in 1871:

We would emphasize particularly that confession by deed and action is here demanded of every Christian. Many are often of the opinion that they are not responsible for what their pastors do or do not do, or that they have no right to do anything against the majority which depart from the confession. That is, however, a dangerous error! Does not every individual belong to the whole? And ought he not to be responsible for everything he permits to be done? If church discipline languishes, if false doctrine forces its way into the church, if wrong remains unrebuked, then the responsibility rests on every member who does not witness against it. Truly, the great liberty of a Christian also imposes a great responsibility on him!

C.F.W. Walther, Essays for the Church, Vol. 1 (St. Louis: Concordia, 1992) 198.

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