Thursday, May 24, 2012

What Is the Sign of Authority for Ministers Today?

Quoting from an article written by the joint Departments of Systematic Theology of Concordia Seminary and Concordia Theological Seminary titled “The Office of the Holy Ministry” in the July 2007 Concordia Journal:
..."Call and ordination” are essential for conduct of the ministry. Ministers do things in the place of Christ. They forgive and retain sins. They judge doctrine. They administer the signs of God’s favor. They warn and admonish against sin and error. They exclude and include particular persons. In all these things they stand over against others, and so the question follows naturally: “By what right? On whose authority?” When Moses went to Pharaoh, he had his staff. When Elijah stood off against the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, he could call down fire from the heavens. When Jesus was challenged for a sign, He gave them the sign of Jonah. These indicated their God-given authority. What is the sign of authority for ministers today? It is their call and ordination, which assure that they act by divine right and on the authority of Christ. This truth makes such ideas as “lay ministers” invitations for difficulties and troubles to ministers whose authority is doubtful and to laypersons whose assurance of God’s grace may be questioned.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've had my fill of "Lay Ministry". It denigrates the Office of the Ministry, introduces inappropriate familiarity with the Pastor, and confuses the laity.
In short, the Church suffers. Look around you, and you'll see what I mean. Oscar Feucht ("Everyone a Minister") has a lot to answer for.

Joe Strieter

p.s. Scott, you need another category of "Identity." None of them apply to me.

Scott Diekmann said...

Rather than identity categories, maybe a better way to look at it is in terms of vocation. What vocations do we have?

Anonymous said...

That will be a long list. How about just adding "other?"

jim the lutheran said...

I think Joe is talking about choosing an identity to post his comment (facebook, twitter, etc)

Scott Diekmann said...

Oh, yeah, I think you're right Jim. They don't have a Curmudgeon category, which is Joe's self-chosen category. I'll have to talk to the Blogger team about that!

Anonymous said...

If the seminaries believe what they are saying here, why are they continuing to cooperate in the
"legalization" of half trained
men for Word & Sacrament ministry?
It's not because we need them!
We've got more confessional CRM's than vacancies, I'd venture.

[The DP "finds them hard to work with"? Get a new DP!]