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For the Article: Every Sunday Communion - Part Two

10/22/2009 10:58 AM | Paul wrote:

You have great articles and are always right on the money. Thank you.

10/22/2009 5:32 PM | Pastor wrote:

Thanks Paul. It was great to hear from someone in Iowa. Glad to hear that you are joining an LCMS congregation. Blessings, Pastor Lange

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For the Article: Congregational Governance - Part Two

8/21/2009 8:00 AM | Mark Robinson wrote:

What if the groups on both sides of an issue claim they are adhering in "confession and practice to Article III of this constitution."? Let's say the two sides are the Pastor and a majority of the congregation. Who arbitrates this?
Thanks.

8/22/2009 9:57 PM | Pastor wrote:

I assume that the "issue" you are referring to is doctrinal and not merely in the realm of adiaphora. If it were in the realm of adiaphora, the minority must acquiesce to the majority, even if the pastor is part of the minority. Of course, love remains queen and there will be instances when the majority ought to acquiesce to the minority. No one can enforce those instances. The majority must decide to acquiesce out of love.
However, in the instance of an "issue" involving doctrine and practice, it is one thing to claim to be adhering to the confessional standard, it is another thing to prove it.
In such a situation it would be hoped that Christian people would desire to be honest and fair. That they would actually search the Lutheran Confessions for a proper understanding and thereby determine which group is remaining faithful to our confessional standard. After such a study it should become clear which group is adhering to the confessional standard, unless language has absolutely no meaning.
The pastor's office does not give him the authority to decide anything contrary to the confessional standard. However, it does give him the authority to raise the issues and to lead the discussion on the issues. But the authority is the CONFESSIONAL STANDARD, not the pastor. Neither does the fact that a majority want something give them the authority to decide anything contrary to the confessional standard. Certainly, one could ask for Synod's advice regarding a particular issue, however, Synod cannot be the ultimate determining factor either for Synod's can err. Indeed, Synod is not our confessional standard, the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions are. Likewise, because the Synod is only advisory, it cannot force the congregation to do anything. The most the Synod can do is remove a congregation or a pastor from Synod. This makes us different than the ELCA where the denomination owns the congregational property. And it is important to notice that this article of the constitution deals with the property. Our congregation's property does not belong to Synod. It belongs to the congregation and those who adhere to the confessional standard.
So penultimately, since this deals with property, if two sides in a congregation cannot decide who should stay and who should go, the answer to who will arbitrate will be "Caesar." The constitution is a legal document, thus, Caesar, i.e. the State, will have to determine who is remaining faithful to the confessional standard and thereby adhering to our constitution. Ultimately, of course, the Lord will decide the correctness of each position.

8/23/2009 12:14 PM | Mark Robinson wrote:

Thanks

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For the Article: Being Lutheran in a Protestant World - Part Five

8/21/2009 8:29 AM | Mark Robinson wrote:

Great series! It looks like I'm a little late in seeing it, but since the website is here, I can catch up!

8/22/2009 10:00 PM | Pastor wrote:

Thanks, Mark. I think that this series will help people see how Lutherans are different than their Protestant neighbors.

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