Article XIV And LCMS Lay Deacons

There's a reason why God gave each one of us a conscience, and there's a reason why Acts 24:16 says what it says, and there's a reason why Martin Luther himself said what he said so famously.


Acts 24:16 (ESV) So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.

"Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason…my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."
*- Martin Luther

Well, I did what needed to be done this week.

First, there was a job offer I had to turn down.

Next, there was a congregational meeting where I needed to lovingly remind my brothers and sisters in Christ of the importance of remembering our identity in Christ (that we are a church, not a business; that our Pastor is not a CEO).

This is the third and final account of the week I've dubbed When A Conscience Calls... due to the unprecedented amount of situations I found myself in that demanded I follow my conscience on certain matters even if it meant doing the "unpopular" thing (Acts 24:16).


Now, I'm just waiting to see how my beloved brethren respond to my letter. I've heard from some already and it hasn't been pretty. To be blunt, the responses have been more than a little disturbing, heartbreaking, and surprising to say the least.

Letter? Yes, a letter. What? People still write letters these days. Even a 34-year-old guy like me who is tech savvy writes letters when it's needed. There's just something more formal and more personal about letters I think.

Of course, I opened each letter with my stated desire to meet with each individual I sent it to for coffee, breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or to even talk to them by phone, since I preferred to discuss things in person.

However, I'm also a realist and I know that many of them will probably just feel too uncomfortable to do anything of the sort, and so I reasoned that if this was my one and only shot to explain myself fully and completely, and to confess the truth in the process, then I needed to take full advantage of it with the Lord's gracious help.

So, what follows below is the letter I sent to our "Interim Pastor," our Board of Deacons, and our Call Committee in its entirety, which ended up being a full 7 pages long.

I know, that's way too long, right? People don't have that kind of attention span anymore. Truthfully, I could've said what I needed to say in just a single page or two probably. But this is the way that the Lord wired me in my mother's womb and so I just go with it.

Besides, I'm always hoping to confess the whole truth in the process (in the hopes that God will use it for His glory) though the challenge is to clearly explain where I'm coming from without sounding "self-righteous" one bit. Anyway, I pray that I was successful in that regard and will simply trust what I read in Isaiah 55:11.


Again, my intention was to broach the subject with a letter and to, hopefully, follow-up over the next few days with each person one-on-one in case they have any godly counsel, wisdom, or questions to share with me after reading it.



October 23, 2013

Board of Deacons,

Grace and peace to you and yours! I know we haven’t had many opportunities to catch-up and chat in recent months beyond small talk here and there so I pray this letter finds you and your family well. By the way, I know I need to make more of an effort to get to know you than I have to this point since meeting you so I hope you can forgive me for that.

You may be wondering why I am writing you this letter in the first place. In short, my conscience is convicting me right now about some things, and it has been for several months, which is why I have decided to remove myself from certain roles and from performing certain kinds of “service” at Trinity while continuing to be a humble servant for Him and His people in other ways as needed and as often as I can. It is important to me that you are aware of the specific reasons why since it affects you personally when it comes to your role as a Deacon. Please know that I am more than happy to discuss things with you and/or anyone else in greater detail either in-person over coffee some time, or one-on-one by phone, upon request. Just say the word!

I want to start by making sure you know that this is nothing personal whatsoever. You are not the only one who I have decided to share this with either. We are all members of the same family at Trinity and so I am writing to you primarily as a concerned brother in Christ in the hopes that this might lead to more in-depth conversations, closer examination, and prayerful consideration within our family at Trinity Lutheran Church (Ephesians 4:11-15). I apologize for the length of this letter too, and I thank you in advance for taking the time to read it, and for taking the content to the Lord in prayer.

As mentioned, I actually reached this decision several months ago, but did not think it was right to share it with you or anyone else in the midst of Pastor Habedank’s retirement. However, I think now is as good a time as any to share my sincere concerns, and to reveal where my heart and mind are as they are informed by His holy Word and our Confessions of faith. At the end of the day, I hope it will be clear that this isn’t about being “pious” or “self-righteous” either, but about being “faithful,” “obedient,” and “true” and consistent with what we Lutherans proclaim to believe and teach. Ultimately, it’s for His glory, His honor, and His praise since it’s always about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and never about me or anyone else but Him for that matter (Acts 24:16; Galatians 1:10).

It’s funny because our school’s Memory Verse for last week was Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” I also heard that the Wednesday Chapel Lesson involved a puppet show about David’s obedience and bravery. It is in the spirit of both that I am writing this to you today. In addition, October is also “Pastor Appreciation Month” and when we celebrate Reformation Day. Plus, after reading the Congregational Survey Results compiled by our Call Committee that we all received at church a couple of weeks ago, and knowing that we’re in the midst of Pastor Belasic’s “Creating Our Future” meetings, it seemed as good a time as any to come to you and a few others with my heartfelt concerns for our beloved church since the general theme is the same.

So, again, the purpose of this letter is to merely explain to you why my conscience is convicting me at the moment, to explain where I’m coming from in regards to the decision I’ve made, and to perhaps even start a dialogue between us (let alone within Trinity Lutheran Church itself) on the subject without being argumentative, confrontational, and divisive. Please understand that my intention is not to cause any problems within Trinity whatsoever let alone “attack” our church either. You have been a member there a lot longer than I have and so I pray that my concerns will be viewed as being “helpful” rather than “hurtful” to you and others. Besides, I know fully well what Romans 16:17 says, which is why it’s only out of a sincere desire to speak “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) that I have made this decision, and that I am bringing this topic up for discussion at this time, from one Christian who loves the Lord, His Word, His Church, and His people to another. I pray that 1 Corinthians 1:10 will be our guide for the remainder of this letter: “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

On December 11th, 2013, my family and I will be celebrating our 2-year anniversary as members of Trinity Lutheran Church! I can’t believe it’s going to be 2 years already and we thank God regularly for our church family at Trinity, which includes you and yours. You should know that for those last 2 years (and especially during the past several months), I have been using any spare time graciously given to me by God to learn more about our cherished and shared faith in Christ, and about the Lutheran Church’s beliefs, confessions, heritage, history, and tradition with a particular emphasis on studying my role of becoming a “Lay Deacon” at Trinity, and what the Lord says about such men, and such a position in His Church. As I’m sure you know, the Bible is absolutely crystal clear in 1 Timothy 3:2-3, James 3:1, Acts 6, and Titus 1:9. It’s that last one (Titus 1:9) that has been at the forefront of my mind for months now, especially once I learned more about what it means to be a Lutheran.

I have learned that, as an LCMS Church, we proclaim to subscribe to the Augsburg Confessions, which is central to our historic Lutheran Confessions as found in the Book of Concord. Contrary to popular belief in many LCMS congregations throughout the country today, subscription to the Confessions is not “optional” or “voluntary” since they communicate our true confession of faith (like the Creeds), and basically help to clarify and summarize what the Bible already tells us. More importantly, they help to strengthen our faith by reinforcing our understanding of who we Lutherans are as a local body of believers at Trinity in Christ Jesus so that we can have unity not just in love, but unity in “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3; Ephesians 4:11-13). The beauty of the Lutheran Confessions is that they authentically communicate what is, what always has been, and what always will be the teachings of Holy Scripture as well as the distinctly Lutheran practices and teachings of our church (His church) with an emphasis on the Word and Sacraments, of course.

Earlier, I mentioned that October is “Pastor Appreciation Month” and I think it’s worth noting that I also learned that one of the questions asked during a Pastor’s Ordination Vows concerning the Office of the Holy Ministry is, “Do you promise that you will perform the duties of your office in accordance with these Confessions, and that all your preaching and teaching and your administration of the Sacraments will be in conformity with Holy Scripture and these Confessions?” Obviously, the Confessions are essential. Sadly, we seem to have lost all remembrance of them, and I fear that we are moving farther and farther away from the very unique things that make us Lutheran (and an LCMS Church) in the first place. I only point this out to help explain where I’m coming from. My heart is heavy, and the more I’ve learned, the more I’ve realized that I cannot continue to serve my dear brothers and sisters in Christ at Trinity in the specific ways that I would be asked to as a Lay Deacon/Reader, without violating my conscience, given what I now know to be true (there’s Titus 1:9 popping up again!).

For instance, the Augsburg Confession, Article XIV is definitely something for all of us to be aware of as it relates to each person’s primary function and role within the church. It reads: “Concerning the ecclesiastical order, (our churches) teach that no one in the church should publicly teach or administer sacraments unless he is rightly called.” Supported by Scripture, this “rightly called” part of this Article of our Confessions, convicts my conscience. It means, quite clearly I’m afraid, that only a called and ordained Pastor (and no one else in the church unless under “extreme” and/or “emergency” situations) should read God’s Word or administer the Sacraments during the public Divine Service. So, that means that while there is most definitely a role in the Church for Deacons and the laity that is outlined in the Bible and summarized by our Confessions, those roles do not allow for taking on the exclusive functions of the Pastor – publicly teaching or administering sacraments (a.k.a. reading God’s Word from the pulpit during the Divine Service or administering/distributing Communion). The key is that AC AXIV is referring to what is done during our formal Worship Services (a.k.a. Divine Services/Divine Liturgies) as opposed to a layperson teaching Wednesday Chapel, Sunday School, or a Small Group Bible Study let’s say. It’s an important distinction to make mainly due to the crossroads that Trinity is at right now since we’re in the midst of searching for a new Pastor, because I think we’d all agree that we want to make sure we obey God and not just worship Him in any old manner that is most “practical,” that “makes sense” to us, or simply because “we’ve always done it that way” (Proverbs 14:12; Proverbs 16:25). Sincerity and good intentions do not automatically get God’s approval. Otherwise, we run the risk of sharing in the same judgment as Uzzah who rashly put his hand on God’s Ark, thinking he was doing something “good” in service and worship for Him, and yet he died for his disobedience (2 Samuel 6:6-7). That is where my heart and mind are at right now.

Interestingly, the Synod’s Council of Presidents (COP), of which Eastern District President, Chris Wicher, is a member, met from September 20th to September 24th in St. Louis. On its first full day, the COP spent the heart of the morning continuing to refine a paper on the Office of the Public Ministry and agreed that “not everyone has the vocation of publicly preaching, teaching and administering the sacraments. This is clearly the pastor’s role. There is a pastoral office, and not just anybody can fill it.” (SEE: http://blogs.lcms.org/2013/cop-delves-into-range-of-topics). Furthermore, this was a major topic for discussion during this past summer’s LCMS Convention to the point where the delegates agreed to create a special Task Force to begin developing a unified statement leading up to the next Convention so that the LCMS could begin to use Deacons more Biblically and in accordance with our Confessions and finally do away with the infamous “Wichita Amendment” to the Augsburg Confessions from the LCMS Convention in 1989. Resolution 4-06a was passed overwhelmingly and it directs the LCMS President to meet with a Committee over the next 3 years to figure out how to handle this situation appropriately.

I’ve also found that this isn’t just some “outdated Lutheran tradition” that has since run its course either. There are explicit testimonies from Scripture to back this up too, according to many of our church fathers who wrote on this subject, like C.F.W. Walther, Martin Chemnitz, and Johann Gerhard (Jeremiah 23:21; Jeremiah 23:32; 2 Chronicles 26:19; Numbers 16:32). Sure, our Synod has gotten around this for years, by saying that the Lay Deacon is really just “assisting” the Pastor in his work. Close, but not quite I’m afraid. Forgive me for being “snarky” here, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades, but not when it comes to God’s Word and the Confessions of our faith. If we aren’t willing to confess what we believe and what we have taught since the very beginning, then why do we even call ourselves a Lutheran Church? What would be the point anymore? I’m just asking that we think about that.

Still, I’m not naïve. I realize that every church’s practice is never perfect, but we should at least strive to follow these Biblical mandates (and this Confessional principle) as much as we are able to, and my concern is that good-intentioned Christian men who want to serve the Lord in His church at Trinity (like you and me) are being put in compromising situations (perhaps without even realizing it), and it’s happening even when there is really no real “emergency” situation that forces us as a church body to take what have always been “drastic” measures (i.e., some parishes exist in places where “emergency” measures, like having Lay Deacons do what we’ve been doing for quite some time, must be taken, but only temporarily until they have the ability to call and ordain a Pastor, and do things right).

By now, I hope that I have your ear and I pray that His Words – not mine – have captured your heart and mind as well. At the same time, yes, I realize that there’s a chance that many people at Trinity (maybe even you yourself) might think this is all “no big deal” since it’s “just the way we’ve always done things” and it does not warrant my reaction. I get that’s a possibility. Yes, I realize that there might not be any cause for concern with some since “a lot of LCMS churches do this sort of thing.” Yes, I realize that our current practices during the Divine Service might be said to have been born out of “necessity” too, or that they’re being done in order to “assist” and “help” the Pastor “like Deacons are supposed to.” Perhaps that’s all true to some extent, and please forgive me for being so blunt, but I just worry that pragmatism is replacing pure doctrine and Confessional truths that are pretty straightforward. Besides, if we look at the Bible again, isn’t our understanding of a Deacon’s role, as found in Acts 6, that it was a new office that was created for the sole purpose of taking care of other menial tasks (Acts 6:1-4) so that they could enable the Apostles more time for preaching God’s Word and administering God’s Sacraments, which is what the Pastor is uniquely called to do today according to AC AXIV? Even 1 Timothy 3 doesn’t indicate that Deacons teach the Word or administer the Sacraments in a formal and official capacity though it clearly states that they must be confessional in both doctrine and practice.

What I don’t want to do is just explain to you where I’m coming from without attempting to offer some potential solutions for our church family at Trinity. Ok, so what’s the answer then? First, we should repent and pray for His guidance but recall the abundant forgiveness and grace that is available to us (1 John 1:9; Ephesians 2:8-9), and to each other too “since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). After that? Ideally? Well, for starters, we should return to being distinctly Lutheran again with distinctly Lutheran preaching, teaching, and practices. Second, it probably wouldn’t be popular, but it would be the most Biblical and Confessional in practice if we just had one Pastor (or multiple Pastors) who read God’s Word throughout the Divine Service, and who single-handedly administered the Lord’s Supper by distributing both the Lord’s body and blood by himself (by themselves) with perhaps Lay Deacons only standing nearby holding what is needed, but not actually administering it to the congregation. It might take a few more minutes, but there would be less people involved, and less steps involved. The irony is that it’s the most pragmatic approach, and certainly the most appropriate, and yet, we have a million excuses why we can’t go that route (i.e., “It would take too long!” or “There are too many people in church!” or “The Pastor would feel overwhelmed!”). Yet, once again, based on AC AXIV, having Lay Deacons assist (particularly in the distribution of Communion) is not the ideal practice, and it’s a relatively new practice as far as historical Lutheranism is concerned too. Why couldn’t we have multiple Pastors helping, or just the sole Pastor doing it all? There are certainly more than enough LCMS Pastors stuck on CRM status who are just waiting for a call; any call to serve. But would a majority of the members here a Trinity be willing to preserve our Biblical, Confessional, historical tradition, or would we rather get church over with as soon as possible, and the idea of having just one Pastor (or multiple Pastors without Lay Deacons) administering both the Lord’s body and blood is simply too much? I think these are questions we should not be afraid to ask ourselves honestly and humbly.

The solution? We are actually blessed in that we have two Pastors available to preach the Word and administer the Sacraments to preserve our Confessional integrity and help keep from putting laypersons in compromising situations. Why couldn’t Pastor Habedank assist Pastor Belasic? Why couldn’t one or both assist the new Pastor once we find him? Just a suggestion. This should be our first course of action instead of using Lay Deacons to do what laymen are clearly prohibited from doing and have historically never done until the last couple of decades. Lay Deacons should be doing only the things prescribed by God’s Word (and summarized by our Confessions for good reason).

Ultimately, the problem is that the use of Lay Deacons for Word and Sacrament ministry violates our own history and Confessions. It represents decisions born of pragmatism (or so-called “emergency” settings) that make regular policy for the church (never a good practice). It provides less than the best we can offer to our parish, in my humble opinion. Worse, it places good Christian men like us with good intentions in unfair and compromising situations. It also reminds me of what another Lutheran, Hermann Sasse, once said when he pointed out that our assurance lies not in finding “the perfect church,” but in finding the Word and the Sacraments, purely preached and rightly administered. The Augsburg Confession Article XIV tells us how to do that.

For all of these reasons, this is why I have decided that I can no longer serve on the Board of Deacons at this time (or as a “Deacon in Training” for that matter), or volunteer to read Scripture lessons during the Divine Service like I have in the past, and still maintain a clear conscience, because I now believe both acts would be in violation of both God’s Word and our Lutheran Confessions. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but I hope you understand where I’m coming from even if you don’t agree with me. For me, it’s like Martin Luther said, "Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason…my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."

Again, I’m sorry if such a decision creates an inconvenience since that’s certainly not my intention. I also pray that it does not create any animosity or a wedge between you and me personally. I am still your brother in Christ Jesus and still His servant at Trinity.

Bottom line, I just always want to be mindful of any service I do in His name due to what we read in Matthew 7:15-27 and Revelation 3:14-22. Sincerity and good intentions are noble, but they do not always equal Biblical truth (Proverbs 28:26), or receive God’s approval, which is why I’ve arrived at this decision after learning what I’ve learned, and after prayerfully considering it all in addition to godly counsel from others within the LCMS too. To remain silent about what I’ve learned without attempting to broach the subject with you or anyone else who I care about from my Trinity family would make me an hypocrite of the worst kind, and so I hope that you receive this letter with the same spirit with which it was written (2 Corinthians 13:5; Philippians 2:12; Proverbs 27:17).

I know that Trinity Lutheran Church is hardly any different than other churches in the LCMS when it comes to this topic, but I don’t think that’s ever a good excuse for us. Instead, I see it as something we should all address with regret, repentance, and renewal as we look forward to the future. Together, I believe that we all can do our part to restore the truth and recover our Confessions. Lutheran Doctrine, if it is worth anything, confesses the true faith and nothing less. So, whatever may or may not come from this letter, I know that Lutheran Doctrine will endure throughout the world because it is a faithful, mirror image of the very Word of God itself. In other words, it will endure throughout the world because Lutheran Doctrine is just another name for Biblical Doctrine. Still, that’s no excuse for us to be indifferent or to ignore the present day situation. If there are to be Lutheran churches, their only cause to remain must be more than simply saying "No!" to error, but should be emphatically saying "Yes!" to what is good, right, and true. Lutheran churches like Trinity Lutheran Church must continually confess and continually address what error has crept in, boldly walked in the front door, or been allowed to exist unchallenged for so long that it is deemed to be truth. Why? Galatians 5:9 gives us the answer: “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”

In my humble opinion, when it comes to doctrine (including Ecclesiastical Order and the Office of the Holy Ministry) there is no place for “reasonable compromise” at all. It is my firm belief that Trinity Lutheran Church needs to return to her First Love (Jesus Christ) and to her roots (her Lutheran Confessions) in order to face and overcome the challenges that confront us at this moment in time. Perhaps this letter will be used by the Lord as the first step in that process. Either way, it’s “Thy will be done” and not “My will be done.” Thanks again for taking the time to read this letter and for prayerfully considering its content.

Your Brother In Christ Alone,

Jeffrey K. Radt

For the record, I just want to thank all you faithful Confessional Pastors and laymen out there who have written about this subject a lot over the years.


Not only did your writings in service to Him help solidify my perspective on this, but I will admit that I copied and pasted several salient points from them in constructing this important and urgent letter to my brothers within our congregation, especially during this time of transition.

That decision alone would've made any week "challenging" for me, but as previously mentioned, this was just one reason why I've been referring to this past week as the week When A Conscience Calls... because on three separate occasions I found myself in a situation that demanded I obey my conscience regardless of the personal cost to me and my family (Acts 24:16).

I know it sounds dramatic, but this is no hyperbole. Please refer to recent posts for specifics and please pray for me, my family, my friends, and most of all, for our Lord's Church as it is found at Trinity Lutheran Church here in this little corner of His world.

In a Lutheran Layman's terms, Article XIV is crystal clear when it comes to who can and who can't publicly preach, teach, and administer the Sacraments, and LCMS Lay Deacons should not be doing either unless it's an extremely urgent and "emergency" situation. But even that's supposed to be a "last resort" and only temporary.

[NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is not consistent with Lutheran doctrine -- in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word -- so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray. Thank you in advance for your time and help. Grace and peace to you and yours!]

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3 comments:

  1. Dear brother,

    I recognize your effort in order to be a serious christian-lutheran. Nevertheless, I think sometimes we exagerate in this search for closeness with the tradition (remember that our confessions are tradition) in the same way the Pharisees used to do: making difficult or less easy to people to access God's Grace because of our zeal for the tradition (of men). All the discussion about lay people taking part in the administration of the Lord's Supper is concerned with the Book of Concord or the first Lutheran theologians. The Bible is not often quoted, because it says next to nothing about it. Should we make a war because of a tradition with so weak conection with God's ONLY Word.

    Think about it.

    Cesar (a Lutheran from IELB, a sister church of LCMS in Brazil)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cesar Rios,

    Thanks for stopping by and for commenting!

    I will certainly take all that you've said under prayerful consideration, but I will tell you at the outset that I do respectfully disagree for all the reasons stated in my letter above (as well as all the additional research I've done since that's not included in this post).

    Personally, I do not view these matters as mere "traditions of men" but as practices that are informed by Biblical realities. Thus, I would disagree that "the Bible is not often quoted, because it says next to nothing about it" especially since C.F.W. Walther's "The Church & The Office of The Ministry" clearly demonstrates quite the opposite I'm learning the more I read through it.

    Furthermore, as you know, God's grace is received by us through His means of grace for us -- hearing His Word preached and having His Sacraments administered -- regardless of the persons involved doing both. However, I do not think that pragmatism should rule the day simply because we know this to be the case since we have a responsibility.

    Good discussion nonetheless that has been going on since the very beginning.

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Mr. Radt: In your response to Mr. Rios, you had a wonderful opportunity to share with him the Biblical support for AC XIV's prohibitions, but you did not do so. Was it because AC XIV itself does not supply any Biblical support for its prohibitions?

    A prohibition in the Church which has no Scriptural support cannot be mandated upon the Church, because without Scriptural support it is a human tradition, an example of adiaphora.

    With reference to AC XIV, I'm sure that you are familiar with the practice of retired pastors and CRMs and even guest "active" pastors doing "pulpit supply" preaching for a congregation whose pastor is on vacation, a congregation from which the guest preacher has not received an AC XIV call to publicly administer the Means of Grace. If an AC XIV call is not necessary in such situations, then is it not true that the basis for such public ministry is NOT an AC XIV call but rather the fact that the guest preacher is "rostered" as a "Minister of the Gospel--Ordained" (speaking in LCMS parlance)? What has happened to the necessity of an AC XIV in such cases?

    What in Scripture prevents a congregation from authorizing--"calling," if you wish--its male lay leaders (elders, for example) to administer the Sacrament of the Altar in the absence of the pastor if another pastor is not available? Is the congregation to be deprived of the Sacrament of the Altar simply because a pastor is absent, when AC XIV offers no Scriptural support for its prohibitions? Isn't the Formal Principle of the Lutheran Church Sola Scriptura, that all our doctrine and practice are to be based upon Scripture? Even the LCMS permits laymen to be "licensed" to administer the Sacrament if otherwise the congregation would be deprived of the Sacrament for "a prolonged period of time" (2006 MO District Circuit Counselor Handbook, page 73.)

    I was happy to find your blog because I have been debating these matters with an LCMS pastor friend. --Warren Malach/LCMS pastor 1982-2007, now WELS layman

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with...Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all mature spiritually (myself included) then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!