Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Toast to the Milwaukee Reinstatement of Augsburg Confession Article XIV

The 2016 Milwaukee Convention of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod will likely be remembered as the convention that restored this august church body to its moorings in the Augsburg Confession, to wit, our churches confess that "no one should publicly teach or administer the sacraments without a regular call" (Article XIV). Such a simple confession, yet trampled underfoot by 27 years of misguided so-called 'emergencies' and other unscriptural reasons for pretending men are pastors who are actually not pastors, and expecting them to do what pastors do without the calling and ordination to do it (Baptists may get away with this kind of thing, but among Lutherans it certainly should not be so). Since the 1989 Wichita Convention that enacted this de facto amendment to the Augsburg Confession, we have had to endure life in a church that was at fundamental odds with itself in word and deed. No longer, deo gracias. Now the Synod has provided a way for these men to be trained, examined, and ordained. Now there is a deadline in 2018 after which all pastors will be pastors.

I had the opportunity to speak briefly with Synodical President Matthew Harrison, and to commend him for his work, and for his patience over the past several years, which has, as I put it to him, "paid off in spades."

Rightly should we all sing our Te Deums and celebrate this day!

6 comments:

  1. As Grandma would have said, "This ought not to have happened 27 years ago!"

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    1. Yes, but the key thing is, it happened!

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    2. To put things into sharp focus, the people of God once wandered here and there in a wilderness for forty years.

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    3. Of course, we shouldn't splish-splash too happily in the study of comparative cluelessness, lest we ourselves drown. The sons of Israel saw something coming from the very hand of God, quite early on in their epic sojourn (cf. Ex 16:35), and queried earnestly "What is it?" on their initial encounter with the "it." They were not always fully appreciative of "it," yes, but it's clear that Moses' charges immediately hit upon the food's significant Origin, and its worth for elementary comfort and survival.

      In contrast, the sons of Missouri received something more mundane from the raised hands of Wichita, and it took us an agonizingly long interval to determine that what was masquerading before us as "is" (with respect to the Holy Office), in reality was Concord's "wasn't."

      To answer the Israelites' prime question in an updated context, that's almost thirty years of dust accumulated on a Book cover.

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  2. Well, we DID sing the Te Deum...proleptically in celebration!

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