Monday, April 13, 2009

Walther on Synod Polity

Quoting C.F.W. Walther from John C. Wohlrabe, Jr.’s essay “The Americanization of Walther’s Doctrine of the Church.”

I must confess that I have a kind of horror of a real representative constitution. I do not find it in Holy Scripture. Now, it is true that we Christians may exercise our liberty as regards our constitution, but I cannot rid myself of this opinion: The more freedom a church government in a free state like ours affords, the more efficient it will be, provided that the Word is preached in all its power in the congregations. On the other hand, everything coercive that does not flow immediately from the Word easily causes opposition by refusal to comply and lays the foundation for frequent separations. Hitherto I have not viewed a synodical organization as a concentration of ecclesiastical power. I thought that it was only to exhibit the ecclesiastical union of the separate congregations, unite its resources and forces in a war upon the oncoming ruin in doctrine and life, and for carrying on operations for the common welfare of the church, for preserving and advancing unity in faith and love, for aiming by way of commendation for the greatest uniformity possible...I was not of the opinion that all matters pertaining to the internal administration of individual congregations should be subject to the disposing and judicial power of the synod.

Wohlrabe, Jr., John C. “The Americanization of Walther’s Doctrine of the Church.” Concordia Theological Quarterly 52.1 (1988): 1-27.


Rt. Rev. Jack Bauer said...

Wohlrabe is good at finding those pithy quotes from Walther et al.

Anonymous said...

It's a pity that Kieschnick and cronies haven't brushed up on their history...