Just a reminder that I'm now doing my blogging and interacting with social media through the Wittenberg Door Campus Ministry site at www.WittenbergCoMo.com. The blog over there is starting to come to life - head over there and comment!
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Thursday, February 5, 2015
After so long on the long voyage blog I'm really moving to our new site WittenbergCoMo.com and trying to stay in communication at facebook.com/wittenbergcomo and by Twitter @wittenbergcomo. The "CoMo" part stands for "Columbia Missouri." I'll keep this blog up and at least a little bit active because there are quite a few posts summarizing things I've read in the past. They could be useful! But I'm putting new posts at my blog over at Wittenberg Door - "Throwing Inkwells."
Friday, January 30, 2015
Chapter 50, “The Decision About a Call” (pp. 274-280)
Should a pastor be willing to leave a congregation for another call? Walther advises against a pastor seeking another call for a higher salary or because of conflict in the current situation. Good reasons include seeing a benefit to the whole church through the pastor’s ability to use his gifts.
The pastor is not bound forever to his first call but should also not be in a hurry to leave. Walther cites Luther in encouraging pastors to stay in calls where there is opposition until they overcome the opposition or are forced out. In cases of particular persecution the pastor should stay but if there is a general persecution the whole church may flee (p. 276). A pastor should never accept a call to a congregation where the former pastor was unjustly forced out (p. 277).
The pastor, as servant of the church, treats the services of the church as first priority, filling his own pulpit regularly. It is hard work, but the pastor perseveres (p. 279). Walther does not consider that a pastor will simply retire, but may step aside when health no longer permits the rigor of the office.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Chapter 49, “The Pastor’s Synodical Membership” (pp. 270-273)
A minister should be in fellowship with other pastors and should gather with them frequently. This is for the good of the church and the spread of the gospel. Walther sees this cooperation among pastors and churches, as well as pastors and their school teachers, as very important in building unity of the faith. Though the local church is sovereign the association of churches is very important for fellowship, encouragement, and faith.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Chapter 48, “The Personal Life of the Pastor” (pp. 266-269)
It is important that the pastor care for his personal life as an example to others. This does not mean the pastor lives a perfect life. It does mean that he lives in an upright way, though a sinner. Walther draws quotes from Luther and Gerhard about caring for doctrine and life.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Chapter 47, “The Constitution of the Congregation” (pp. 264-265)
Walther advises simplicity, with a governing document which can be altered as time goes on. He considers it positive to state that in case of division the congregation is the highest authority and that property would be retained in case of division by the group which retains Lutheran practice.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Chapter 46, “The Admission of New Members” (pp. 261-263)
Admission of members to the congregation is important, just as exclusion is. It belongs to the pastor and the congregation together. Walther requires the following.
1 - The person has been baptized.
2 - If an adult, he must confess the Scripture as well as the Small Catechism and Augsburg Confession.
3 - Desire to join the church
4 - A Christian life without offense
5 - Not under excommunication
It is best to receive the new member with the pastor and an elder who will investigate the candidate. The new member will sign his name on the church constitution.
When the person is coming from a different faith tradition examination and instruction are very important.