A reply to “Amos Love says: 2012/07/17 at 07:01”

I wrote earlier “reply in progress …” 2012/05/01.

At that time I was coming out of a time of enforced inactivity and I was in the process of trying to ‘catch up’ on my many writing tasks.  That period of inactivity and the very slow return to ‘normal’ was unplanned and unavoidable on my part.

Just for a little detail, I am a Baptised Christian, in my early years influenced by the Roman Catholic denomination, as were many early Lutheran writers, then through my contacts with Protestants of the Calvinistic variety, I was considered for ordination.  However, I could not see that their doctrine resonated closely with the Word of God; in Holy Communion etc.  Due to Lutheran Pastors of increasing Confessional opinion, my wife and I became Lutherans.  Further training at the Charles Sturt University’s School of Theology – which has a majority of Anglican [Episcopalian] students – I learned a lot more about Christian Doctrine and the ways people employ to sidestep the Word of God.  Further studies have since made me very wary of those who treat the Word of God lightly, and have their own agenda to suit a particular view on HIS Word.  As a Christian I am involved in the Lutheran Church of Australia, as an appointed and installed Pastor’s Aide and as a lay Hospital Chaplain, I have been a Chaplain for many years, including as Chaplain – now Emeritus – for the Southern half of NSW AU for the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Assoc. Inc whose membership contains many returned and long serving soldiers, many who suffer from Post Trauma Stress Disorder in which I am experienced in ministering to.

Now to start answering your questions:

Re BUT DO NOT … The word “Pastor” is Latin for Shepherd, and the first mortal ‘spiritual Shepherd/Pastor’ was St. Peter when the Risen Christ commanded Peter: “Feed my sheep!” ; c.f. John 21:15-17.

  1. Why, as a Lutheran … ?         I do not fully grasp your phrases “Why do male leaders get a free ride?  And “here are just three qualifications … “ 1 Timothy 3 lists more than 3 requirements; in addition to the ones you quoted there are;
    1. Husband of one wife, NOT spouse of one spouse, NOR partner of one partner, but specifically gender prescribed “Husband of one wife”.  A requirement that is repeated in Titus 1:6.
    2. Able to teach, this implies knowledge of the Word of God and the ability to expound it; the ability to expound requires that the teacher must be a learned person, either by formal religious education, by serious and concentrated self study or a by combination of both.  Now this is not to mean or imply that females cannot learn the Word of God, they can and indeed must; but it does take into account the limitations that apply to those who are able to teach.  After all, females are to teach other females and children, a child learns best in her mother’s lap.
    3. Take care of the Church of God … .  This involves the spiritual care of all under his Episcopacy, under his duty of caring for the souls.  Pastors nowadays are overly involved with the secular running of a Parish, for this they have resources such as Elders, Deacons and other helpers “who serve at tables”.  But their first call is to be the spiritual leader of the Parish.  Others can take care of administration and maintenance.
    4. Not a novice. … This has in cases proven to be to the detriment of Christianity when inexperienced ‘soul carers’ were given too much authority.
    5. Now let us come to the three ‘requirements’ you have isolated from the others; i.e. Blameless, Just and Holy.  Reading 1 Timothy 3:1-7 again, only the first of them appears as a qualification; hence, I will not address the two you introduced.
      1. Verses 6-7 as you quoted agree with Holy Scripture, your quote of verse 8 is questionable.
      2. So let us see what the Lutheran Study Bible says about this: “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach” i.e. “not able to be taken hold of” v2.  The footnotes in this – LC-MS accepted – Lutheran Study Bible have quite a bit to say about this and are too long to repeat here.
      3. “If a Pastor/Leader/Elder/Overseer does NOT meet the [‘tough’] Criteria … “  You write “should they not be honest, and remove themselves?”  This is a problem in many denominations and even in some Lutheran Synods.  If a Pastor promotes any practices that are diametrically opposed the Word of God, then IMHO he should be given the opportunity to repent, and if he does not mend his ways he should be encouraged to join a denomination that resonates with his ideas or if he remains stubborn be defrocked.  This sounds terse and rough, but the Christian Faith has suffered enough under false teachers.
      4. “Are you a “Leader?” An Elder? … I am a layman, an appointed and installed Pastor’s Aide and a lay Hospital Chaplain, I have been a Chaplain for many years, including as Chaplain – now Emeritus – for the Southern half of NSW AU [an area of 440,722 Km2 or 156,264 square miles] for the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers NSW Assoc. Inc. whose membership contains many returned and long serving soldiers, many of whom suffer from Post Trauma Stress Disorder (PTSD) a condition in which I am experienced in ministering to.
      5. Your last question asks “Is your Pastor 1 – Blameless, 2 – Holy, 3 – Just?”  My Pastor is a tested, trained, called and ordained servant of the Word and the Sacraments, he manages his household well, he is not a recent convert, and he is loved by our Parish.  Above all, him being a Christian as I am, he loves God and our Lord Jesus Christ!  However, he is not perfect, nor am I; who is perfect, are you?

In HIS love and service

Barney

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