The importance of AC 14 – A Former Licensed Lay Deacon Speaks Out

deacon 05I believe that the Book of Concord is a right and true exposition of God’s Word. I hold a quia subscription to it, recognizing the importance of our Confessional statements in keeping us true to the Christian Faith. So then, how on earth was I a Licensed Lay Deacon? The answer can be boiled down to one sad word: “Compromise.”

I was raised Lutheran (ALC), and my family came over to the LC-MS during the merger which formed the ELCA. My dad was disgusted that the inerrancy of Scripture was something they were actually debating so we came to where we knew the Bible and the Book of Concord were still held. Sadly, that church imploded and we ended up “adrift” in a sea of Fundamentalism. I ended up going to a Baptist college, and returned to the LC-MS after graduation (my parents have returned as well).
Being married with two children and feeling like I had wasted precious time that could have been spent at Seminary my pastor told me of the Deacon program and Distance Education Leading to Ordination (DELTO). I took the classes for the Licensed Lay Deacon (LLD) program and enrolled in DELTO, being sent up to a remote Tlingit Indian village in SE Alaska to start a mission.
deacon 04
Therein lay the rub. As a DELTO vicar I couldn’t administer the sacraments (or
preach without supervision), but my supervising pastor was over a thousand miles away. What to do? Sadly, and to my shame, compromise of principles was the answer and easy way out. As a “Deacon” in the NW District I was allowed to preach and also administer the sacraments. I was allowed to illicitly play pastor.

When my marriage fell apart there was no protection for the mission, there was no way to ensure that they’d get an actual pastor, no way to keep them in the LC-MS. It was a house of straw built on sand. The mission was successful and looked mighty good, but it was nothing but gilded plaster without a foundation to hold it up. Being a deacon and taking advantage of the allowances made for the position in the NW District gave a false hope to those dear saints – false hope that they had a church that would last where so many had failed before. It also gave a false hope to the churches that supported the mission who thought that they were getting “more bang for the buck” in that they didn’t need to contribute as much for a deacon as they would have for a pastor. It was a compromise – which like so many compromises left everyone feeling used and burned.

I wish I could write this saying that I hadn’t compromised; that I hadn’t compromised my subscription to the Book of Concord and that I hadn’t given a false hope of a church continuing in the village. I wish I could say those dear saints had stayed in the LC-MS after I left, but they had no desire to do so. The compromise of the LLD program made them realize that while we confess orthodoxy we don’t have the accompanying orthopraxy.

AC XIV is protection. It is a protection for deacon 03us laymen and women that our pastors are taking the Sacraments and the Office of Holy Ministry seriously. It is protection for churches to know that the ministry isn’t hanging by a thread and contingent on a layman serving at some district official’s good graces. It is a protection for pastors as well – the call protects them from interpersonal conflicts and grudges. AC XIV is good order without compromise.

There are many “exceptional circumstances” that are given as hypothetical situations to justify the LLD. Let me assure you that my circumstance was no hypothetical. It was the textbook case for justifying LLDs: remote village (4 hours by boat to nearest town), no church, with neither support structure nor clergy. Please listen to me – having been the textbook “exceptional case,” I do not support the program. The exceptional circumstances need the protection that AC XIV gives to people, church, and pastor even more than the standard case does. A difficult situation does not call for giving up our doctrine but for holding fast to the Faith once delivered to the saints.

Editor’s Note – With this post we welcome Mike Borg to our regular author pool here at Steadfast Lutherans.  Stand by for your assimilation.  Resistance is futile. 

 

About Mike Borg

Mike Borg is a poor miserable sinner who rejoices in the grace of God through Jesus Christ. He serves as Kantor and is Fifth and Sixth grade instructor at Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Cheyenne, WY. Mike and his wonderful wife Michelle have three children and enjoy country living in Wyoming with their goats, turkeys, grapes, and hops.

Comments

The importance of AC 14 – A Former Licensed Lay Deacon Speaks Out — 42 Comments

  1. Thanks for your article but I have several questions. First, what does the breakup of your marriage have to do with getting a pastor or another LLD to serve the mission. Second, do you really think article XIV is protection for pastors against “interpersonal conflicts” and grudges? You must be kidding or you are not aware of what goes on in many LCMS congregations. Third, why would you accept an assignment with a supervising pastor so far away when you must have known the requirements of supervision?

  2. @PETER GRUND #1

    Peter,
    A pastor serving the mission would have had a call and the mission would have been able to call a replacement pastor. The breakup of the marriage is deeply involved in the death of the mission, but that would not be best explained on the internet.

    I am aware of the problems that go on in many congregations, and can only imagine how much worse they would be if the churches, the people, and the pastors didn’t have the protection (little that it may be) of an ordered call in place.

    Thirdly, there is that sad word “compromise.” There was no problem placing me there, the distance was not an issue except to the doctrine I compromised. There was no issue as far as the regulations for LLD’s or DELTO went.

  3. For good and bad, being ordained and on the roster of the LCMS is a big deal. Too often clericalism rears its head, ironically from many of the liberals who support deacon ministry. In my congregation being commissioned means just about squat, only difference in ‘forcing’ my pastor to include me in the communion assistant rotation (with another deacon, three choir members, elder, usher and some random guy). While the two deacons (one recently passed) who predate him have preached once in a while, I never will. I am grateful to not be put into a compromised situation, I am disappointed for the reason why: more so a power play (pastor gets to make the rules).

    But I cannot argue when my pastor says I am not called to preach at my congregation. He may be a liberal Seminex grad, but he is right on that one. So I check my entitlement at the front door.

    So the clericalism has been good in my particular case. But I have been looked down upon way too often. Lay people can and have been involved with boards, committees and ministry. But many times if I get too big of an idea, and sometimes have even been and elected/appointed leader of a group, I have gotten stink eye from pastors. Even from DCE’s Sometimes it feels like a good-old-boys network, so I can totally see being ordained/rostered can bring a much greater and secure position, with lots of stability. It’s like the roster gets automatic tenure, something deacons do not get when they have to re-certify every year or two.

    Great article, Mike!

  4. Maybe the lay deacon program is not the answer but there are too many congregations that have difficulty with consistent pastoral leadership. I do not believe my congregation is an exception when I can say we have been vacant more than 20% of the time over the last 30 years. Once a pastor retires or takes another call it can take years, not months to fill the vacancy. We need more pastors! The disruption of being vacant puts a huge burden on the lay leaders and the congregation suffers.

  5. @PETER GRUND #1

    “Third, why would you accept an assignment with a supervising pastor so far away when you must have known the requirements of supervision?”

    Because all calls go through the office of the District President and you take what you are given for an assignment, unless you want to be without a call for a long time. Not sure if this would constitute a call but that’s another discussion for another time. (=> Is an ‘assignment’ a valid call?)

  6. Bill, yes that vacancy problem is there all too often. Perhaps a properly trained deacon who is willing and able to serve would help in some of those situations. However, if the “Brothers” get their way and the deacon program is disbanded that will no longer be available.

  7. The proposals as I read them would have little effect on the ability to meet the needs of congregations. Those who currently serve as deacons would receive training through some version of the SMP program to bring them to ordination. I believe there is even supposed to be provision for financial assistance, since so many of these men would require such.

    In new situations where a deacon would be trained and placed under our current system, the same man would be prepared through the SMP program and become a pastor.

    Unless I’m missing something (which is always possible), the argument that congregations would not be served is a red herring — or worse, an untruth.

  8. @Bill Cramer #4 There are several solutions to this problem, and they are within reach. We have several hundred men on candidate status, many scraping by without a regular income. The Synod could redirect funds to send these men to congregations in need, even if it is a rotational fly-in-fly-out arrangement. We do not hesitate to spend large amounts on international missions and some questionable national projects, but the Synod seems to have a blind spot to having qualified pastors attend congregations in the 50 states. How many pastors would the Wittenberg project have paid for, as an example?

  9. Besides the Wittenberg Project, the LCMS could take the $455,000 it wastes on LIaRS, and use it to help men on candidate status serve some isolated Lutheran congregations.

  10. #4 from Bill Cramer
    Once a pastor retires or takes another call it can take years, not months to fill the vacancy. Often times this is because the DP is dragging his feet and making the process unnecessarily long and drawn out. Also many DP are in love with the latest trend of “interim ministry”. The DP should already have a pool of men who are open to a call. A suggested call list could be presented quickly. Even better if the congregation does some searching of their own and finds a pastor who is open to a call and by pass the DP.

  11. @Bill Cramer #4

    …there are too many congregations that have difficulty with consistent pastoral leadership. I do not believe my congregation is an exception when I can say we have been vacant more than 20% of the time over the last 30 years. Once a pastor retires or takes another call it can take years, not months to fill the vacancy. We need more pastors! …

    20% is less time than I have seen occur in some situations.
    But are you expecting the district to spoon feed you? (You’ll get the pablum of makeshift arrangements many places.)

    Is your congregation viable in the opinion of the district, or are they waiting for you to close?
    [I know one congregation that was being pressured to close in the 1960’s; it’s active, with an ordained sem. grad. Pastor in 2016.]

    Are you conservative, in a liberal district? Better do your own searching for a pastor; the DP will not hurry! Ask the Pastors who are also conservative to check the grapevine.
    Do consider the pastor who is currently CA, having been unjustly removed from a call. He was probably conservative and that was his sin!

    Are you willing to pay a living wage?
    [It always amazes me how congregations will expect a pastor’s family to rank with the poorest; my childhood church took pride in providing the Pastor the best it had.]
    (If you absolutely can’t, is there another small congregation willing to share fairly in a dual arrangement?)

    Our problem is not lack of ordained seminary graduates!
    It’s the numbers of them who are on CA, after 5, 10, even 20+ years of faithful service!

    [And I promised myself I wouldn’t waste energy repeating this!]

  12. @Tim Wood #8
    …How many pastors would the Wittenberg project have paid for, as an example?

    Oh, but the Wittenberg project generates publicity!
    Pictures in LW, and tours to Germany….
    Although it would seem that the primary beneficiary is the state (non Lutheran) church in Germany, and the state itself from tourism $$.

  13. After 16 years of pastoral ministry I went on CRM status voluntarily. I remained such for 6 years. The time was good for me. I still provided pulpit supply to a number of congregations (preaching almost every Sunday). When I was ready to receive a call and return to full time pastoral ministry my district president was very helpful and within a couple of months I received a call, which I accepted and have been here for almost 7 years now. I was one of the lucky ones. While CRM can be a very good thing, many men find themselves trapped there and receive little help from their DP. I will be a delegate to the convention and am hoping that the plight of these men will be taken seriously. We can do better at putting these men back to work and at the same time meeting the needs of congregations in need of a faithful shepherd.

  14. I was wondering if this site is planning to get testimonies from the other 248 deacons across the nation that have brought Christ to people in places where pastors are not available and cannot be afforded and it seems that the people in their congregations should also be heard. Posting one story of discontent does not make a program bad, if that were true the seminaries would also need to be shut down as many a congregation has “imploded” for a variety of reasons – some of which I am sure were not shared above and some of which are the result of a pastor who fails also. A fair approach to this issue would be asking for stories from any deacon across the nation – has this site seeked out stories from all deacons nationwide?

    I would bet if this site approached this issue objectively and asked all of the deacons across the nation to share their stories – there would be at least 200 stories (or more since there are an estimated 331 delivering the Word of God) of success – where the Word is spoken and faith comes from hearing the word of God. If we confess to walk together we should be willing to listen to one another and hear all the stories, not just one. I am very disappointed by my church of 60 years, and this site which seeks to present only one side of the issue and cannot accept the possibility that ministry is happening nationwide because of God’s blessing, rather than because of an institution. Bringing Christ to the nations as Jesus commanded should be our goal and we should be able to love each other enough to see that this program is working in many places and walk together for the sake of people meeting Jesus.

  15. @Joy Lutheran #15

    Joy, expedience is not a good reason to do anything. Doctrine matters, doctrine is life. As Lutherans we confess:

    Article V: Of the Ministry.

    That we may obtain this faith, the Ministry of Teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. For through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Ghost is given, who works faith; where and when it pleases God, in them that hear the Gospel, to wit, that God, not for our own merits, but for Christ’s sake, justifies those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ’s sake.
    They condemn the Anabaptists and others who think that the Holy Ghost comes to men without the external Word, through their own preparations and works.

    And:
    Article XIV: Of Ecclesiastical Order.

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

    That has to be the final word. Expedience and good or bad experiences or feelings don’t matter – truth matters. Doctrine matters.

    There are churches and church bodies that let experience, expedience, and emotions run their doctrine – but that is not what the Lutheran Church should do.

  16. As I see it
    a call comes from God, not from an institution…our church does not agree on this matter and it’s time to set our differences aside and walk together knowing that some believe differently than you. GOD HAS TO BE THE FINAL WORD.
    Jesus said to the disciples, “follow me”.

    If good or bad experiences don’t matter – why have you posted a story about a bad experience and no stories about good experiences.

    Actually here’s a resource that has depth and is based on the confessions, a theological response to TF 4-06A. Please join us in thinking about the Lutheran confessions and how they inform the discussion about licensed lay deacons: https://licensedlaydeacon.com/2016/06/09/read-rev-michael-von-behrens-celebrating-the-ministry-of-licensed-lay-deacons-a-theological-review/

  17. You are right about the fact that expedience is not a good reason to do something.
    I think this issue needs more discussion in our church and should not be brought to a vote until we can have a crucial conversation that allows GOD to be the final word and helps us to learn to listen to each other lovingly.

  18. Joy, to be honest (and sans rancor and offense), what you and I “see” doesn’t matter. The Book of Concord is what defines Lutheran doctrine. If something is blatantly opposed to true doctrine then it isn’t Lutheran.
    An internal call? Not Lutheran. Sacraments administered without a call? Not Lutheran.

    There are church bodies where those doctrines are accepted, but it isn’t the Lutheran Church.

    You ask why I gave an article about a bad experience? I was showing that I know the arguments and I fell into sin in acting as a LLD. The program is in error because it is contrary to our correct doctrine.

  19. Jesus said
    I am the way, the truth and the life.

    How dare we think that we know it all. HE alone is the truth.

  20. @Joy Lutheran #17 I’m curious to know why you will not set aside your differences and subscribe to the long-standing doctrine and practice of the LCMS in respect of rightly ordered calls?

  21. @Joy Lutheran #20

    😀 you are saying we can’t know it all, but you know the Lutheran Confessions are wrong?

    The Lutheran Confessions don’t “inform” our understanding, they form and mold our understanding.

  22. Hmmm,
    My “two cents”, reading over the lay deacon document, preaching and witnessing are different. I have no problem with a deacon or any lay person witnessing, sharing the Gospel…they simply should not “preach” as this is reserved for the office of pastor.

    We will fix this at convention. I will try.

  23. @Joy Lutheran #17

    A call comes through the Church. Although many want to decry the fact that the Church is an institution, it is an institution of Jesus Christ. Just as Christ instituted Baptism and Holy Communion so He instituted the Church.

    How can people in disagreement set our differences aside and walk together? This is often literally impossible unless we live in a world where words don’t matter and ducks book while people chair.

    Of course, sometimes it is possible to agree to disagree if the issue is considered not to be a big deal (I don’t like liver, but my wife does. We’re not going to divorce over it.), which means that the issue of LLD is kind of a big deal to many for doctrinal reasons already presented.

  24. I don’t think anything will get “fixed” at convention. I believe God wants us to put the mission of going and telling first, and if you want to think that witnessing and preaching are different, I am not sure I can agree – because I have been preached to by many a good Christian that was not behind the pulpit – good luck on finding all of them so you can tell them they also need to get ordained which is an institutional procedure.

    Paul and Barnabas went separate ways because they did not agree and the mission continued and the church grew – because they knew that seriousness of the mission and the need to bring people to Christ. I believe if we really want to walk together, we can – by agreeing that if people are coming to Christ, and the church is growing, we are receiving the blessing of God. This is happening with the LLD program.

  25. @Joy Lutheran #27

    Joy, now you’re being disingenuous. You know as well as I that what you’re describing is not the LLD program. You need to repent of your slandering other Christians in your setting up a straw man argument in order to defend false doctrine.

    No one is decrying Christians sharing their faith and encouraging others. You know this and duplicitly try to make others think that’s what actual Lutherans who actually care about scripture, faith, and doctrine are against.

    If you’re interested in actually discussing the LLD program and the ways that transgresses AC V and XIV I’d be delighted to talk. If you want to deceive and feel like you need to obfuscate to “win” in your mind then no thanks.

  26. @Joy Lutheran #27

    I have been preached to by many a good Christian that was not behind the pulpit

    This quote, in the context of everything you have said so far, means that you are entirely unreasonable to even require someone to be a deacon never mind be licensed. Your position necessarily requires that every man and woman should be free to preach, teach, baptize, commune and absolve as the Lord leads them. Why are you supporting restraints on the “mission”?

  27. AC article XIV From The Triglotta (CPH) “…no one should publicly teach in the Church or administer the Sacraments unless he be regularly called.” and from BOC, Tappert (Fortress)”…without a regular call.” and the Kolb translation is essentially the same. Without trying to be argumentative, my question is, What constitutes a “regular call” or a “public call”? Where is it defined as requiring Ordination or Seminary graduation?

  28. “Joy Luthetan” is making a lot of trouble as an anonymous poster. Perhaps he or she should be identified before being allowed to nuke the conversation.

    I was a new pastor in AK during Mike’s time there. I tried to give him good counsel. He served better than most in his horrible situation.
    I agree with his assessment. I’m sorry things fell apart. As a DELTO vicar, he was on track to being a fantastic pastor. The LLD part was just a District requirement and not a Seminary one.

  29. While the writer of the article below is not Lutheran, I believe He speaks to the LD issue well. Where is Sola Scriptura in all of this? Our approach to this issue should be based on Scripture first, it seems to me that we are putting our confessions first, and I do believe in them as well, but they are secondary to Scripture. We must try to understand that some people interpret the word “call” differently and are doing what they feel is best for the sake of the gospel – therefore we as brothers and sisters might need to “agree to disagree”. A vote on something does not necessarily make it true or right, it only makes one part of the body “winners” when we are called to be reconciled. I know that there are things that must be decided by a vote, but this issue puts real effective LD ministry at risk. We need to drop the “win” mentality and put ourselves into a place of wanting to be reconciled as a body, and trust each other as brothers and sisters to be putting the gospel first and delivering the gospel in ways that reach people and grow our declining church. I have watched our body be famous for fighting well, and I pray that we can become famous for “loving each” other well.

    https://tifwe.org/resource/the-priesthood-of-all-believers/

  30. I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. 1 Corinthians 1:10

  31. @Joy Lutheran #33

    Joy, either our confessions ARE the correct exposition of Holy Scripture, or they aren’t. You are saying that out confessions are not. That is a problem. Instead of trying to subvert the Lutheran Church as guided by Scripture and our confessions, why don’t you find a church that already believes as you do?

    Every pastor in the LCMS has made a sacred vow that are confessions are the correct exposition of Scripture. The confessions and scripture nowhere disagree. Ergo, any pastor that supports the LLD preaching and administering the sacraments sans Call was either sinning by taking their ordination oath and not believing it, or are sinning now by having left the faith they swore to believe and defend.

    If you see a disagreement between the two then perhaps the problem is neither with Scripture nor the Confessions, but with you.

  32. And if one pastor says, I am living by the confession, as I interpret the word “call” to be divine and given by God, does that make the person against the confessions? – because he interprets that word differently? I see a problem with our inability to ask the question “could we be wrong, OR could we accept an understanding that is different, and live in harmony? I believe in the confessions, but that does not mean that I may interpret them exactly as you – I’m not saying yay or nay. I am saying that when scripture says we should live in harmony with one another, “harmony” means different parts of song, doing things differently, but achieving one blessed song in the end and I believe we could do that if were willing to converse rather than say it’s black and white.

    Perhaps the problem is with me, I’m not a pastor, I’m not highly educated, I’m not real proud of what this church has become famous for. I’ve been told for 60 years by this body, what I am not. Praise be to Christ Jesus, I can claim I am a child of God – and part of the priesthood of all believers.

  33. @Joy Lutheran #36
    Hello Joy
    let me interject, and as a Synodical Rep., I am pondering this too.

    First of all, I understand your desire to be part of the mission. You spread the Word, you share the Word, you do what the Lord desires, love your neighbor. Great. And that is part and parcel of a right relationship with Jesus. You are a “missionary” in essence.

    Second, the Bible and I agree, the Confessions highlight a special office, the pastor that is the one that leads the Church in all its efforts of mission work, as well as care for the souls entrusted, by doing pastoral work, with which we say is Word and Sacrament ministry.

    Now, to be a pastor, we have all agreed, ordination is the key, and we do wrestle with the term call. Are you called at ordination? Or called at installation as pastor of a congregation (which is Church).

    As for a Deacon, our Church has one, but he cannot consecrate the elements, or preach, which is reserved for the pastor. Now if he wants to, we have plenty of routes available to the ordained ministry. And yes, we do wrestle with that. Yet, he has plenty of work to do in the Church, assisting me.

    As for me, I see no need for LLD’s, be Deacons, fine, but if you want to be a pastor, then commit to the office of pastor and work toward it. This is Biblical, this is what the early Church has done, this is what we do…nothing new here.

  34. @Pastor Prentice #37

    Now, to be a pastor, we have all agreed, ordination is the key, and we do wrestle with the term call. Are you called at ordination? Or called at installation as pastor of a congregation (which is Church).

    Why make it difficult? You are called and ordained in your first congregation. After that, if you take another call, you are “installed” (or as Prof. Marquart would prefer) invested; you are not ordained again.
    BTW, as Matt Mills has repeated, “ritely called” means with the ceremonies of the church. The congregation calls; the Pastors of the area ordain/(install)/invest to signify that you are a qualified pastor.
    Lutherans do not call any person who picks up a Bible a pastor, nor do they/should they let the unqualified preside over the Sacrament. That some methodist leaning supervisors allow/require it does not make it appropriate Lutheran practice.

    Sorry, Joy LLD/LLM or whatever!

  35. @helen #38
    Oh Helen, Helen, Helen,
    Negative. we do have some discussions on this. Yes, ordained once, but installed to preach, we do wrestle.
    And this comes from confessional sources too.

    I am “pastor” because I am installed to Faith congregation, of course, ordained first. So ordained makes me reverend? Or the ordination??

    I have a regular call because Faith granted me that. I preach because of that.

    Trust me, I know all this.

    But what difficult part are you thinking about??? I never said Deacons are ordained, can preach. They can be called in essence, but the Church, but not ordained to preach.

    I understand these are some tough issues.

  36. @Joy Lutheran #17

    Hey all. Joy, others, I saw the thread and thought I would come out of lurk mode and interject.

    I read Michael Von Behrens’ article earlier in May, and skimmed over it again. He raises some points that seem to support the promotion of lay preaching, sacramenting, LLDs, etc. However, there are also some key foundational assumptions Von Behrens makes that cast a whole different light on the issue when studied. In fact, I would posit that there are many assumptions in his article that do not rest on solid proof.

    A) Eph. 4:11-12: Earlier this year, I wrote an article in Logia challenging the “lay ministry” understanding of these verses, and arguing that they in fact speak against it. You can find the whole article at https://www.academia.edu/22760323/_Equipping_the_Saints_Why_Ephesians_4_11_12_Opposes_the_Theology_and_Practice_of_Lay_Ministry. (A favorable review was also posted on this site at //steadfastlutherans.org/2015/11/taking-the-lay-out-of-ministry/)

    B) Luther. Often, when Luther is cited in this debate, certain quotes are preferred to others which present a more balanced view. Walther’s C&M tends to cite 1523 writings of Luther or earlier, before he really saw and wrote against the threat of the enthusiasts’ theology. That is to say, Luther has often been cherry-picked to make it sound as if he was a proponent of the LLD programs in the LCMS.
    However, when reading Luther in other places, it is clear this was not the case. Such examples include “The Private Mass and the Consecration of Priests” (1533), in which Luther claimed that “consecration should not and cannot be anything other (if it is carried out rightly) than a call or a conferring of the office of the ministry or the office of preaching” (AE 38:186). Or the time in 1531 when Luther advised a called but non-ordained preacher to refrain from consecrating and celebrating the Lord’s Supper until he was ordained, when he would “receive [power and authority] from the other pastors with prayer and laying on of hands” (WA BR 6, 44, 15-20). So Luther could also say, “by the apostolic rite, the laying on of hands, we have declared (our witness concerning it) and we have entrusted to him the ministry of teaching the gospel and administering the sacraments” (WA Br. 11, 156, 23ff.). See also Lowell C. Green, “Change in Luther’s Doctrine of the Ministry” The Lutheran Quarterly 18 (1966):173-83.

    C) Walther – First, it’s telling that the Mueller translation of C&M was used throughout Von Behrens’ paper instead of Harrison’s. The Mueller translation is a leading translation in my opinion, and Harrison’s does try to give a more accurate textual picture of what the original edition says.
    Second, Walther wasn’t a fan of “lay ministry” and LLDs either. For example, at the 1866 Missouri-Buffalo Colloquy, for example, Walther and everyone else in attendance agreed that preaching and the celebration or consecration of sacraments by an uncalled person was sinful, on the basis of Heb. 5:4. Some things are being left out of Walther’s understanding if he is being cited as a proponent of LLDs…

    D) The priesthood of all believers. An O.T. priest was not the same as an O.T. prophet. Priests sacrifice. That’s what they do. The priesthood of all believers, therefore, relates to the doctrine of vocation and not public proclamation. The question becomes, what of 1 Pet. 2:9? Certainly, the priesthood of all believers “declare the praises of God” – but it is an assumption to assume that this declaration means public teaching, evangelism, teaching of Bible study, or so on. Nothing there in the text says this. I understand the “declaring of the praises of God” as the laity’s God-given role in the responses of the liturgy. That is truly where you are declaring God’s praise.
    Several articles teach about the priesthood of all believers in depth, and I encourage them. See Nagel, Norman. “Luther and the Priesthood of All Believers,” CTQ vol. 61, No. 4, October 1997, pg. 277; see also Drevlow, Arthur. “The Priesthood of All Believers,” Logia vol. VII, No. 1, Epiphany 1998 – “Luther and the Fathers,” pg. 33.

    That’s a good enough start for now. Lots more could be written. It would be helpful for someone to engage Pastor Von Behren on his article. There are some good things he brings out, and does offer a proper basis in the teachings of the Confessions and Lutheran fathers. There are also some assumptions he makes that steers his writing into this area, however…

    In Christ,
    Rev. Robert Mayes
    Beemer, NE

  37. @Rev. Robert Mayes #40

    Hey all. Joy, others, I saw the thread and thought I would come out of lurk mode and interject….

    Thanks, Pr. Mayes, for a much better explanation!

    [I made a hash of it] 🙁

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