Full Text for Dogmatics 4- Volume 62 - What advice would the Confessions give a pastor in view of what do and may not forsake? (Video)

No. 62. >> If I were a pastor or I suppose I should say when I am a pastor, what advice would the Confessions give me in view of what I am told to do and may not forsake? >>DR. KLAUS DETLEV SCHULZ: Eric, I would advise you to read the Article XXVIII in the Augsburg Confession. There it speaks about the church's power. Let me explain to you what this means. It basically tells us that a pastor is given a certain form of power that distinguishes itself from the power that is, for example, exerted in this world by a politician. Those pastors that find themselves in the ministry of Word and sacrament, therefore, have a certain power of jurisdiction, which we understand as one that is spiritual power. Power that is allowing them to act on behalf of Christ. To speak the law, to reprimand people of their sin. And also, to forgive them through the Gospel. This kind of power cannot be handed over to a politician or to the kingdom on the left. It is very much one that resides in the church and needs to be seen as their -- as a very important act to have the church continue its life. The church cannot dispense of that power. At the same time, the pastor is, so to speak, confined to these duties. He has to listen carefully here what this article says about such duties and functions. Let me quote to you a passage there, Paragraph 5 and 6 of Augsburg Confession XXVIII. They believe that -- this is those confessors who wrote this article. They believe that according to the Gospel, the power of the keys or the power of the bishops, potestas they call it, the power, is the power of God's mandate to preach the Gospel to forgive and retain sins and to administer the sacraments. For Christ sent out the apostles with his command in John 20 Verse 211: As the Father has sent me, so I send you. This power is exercised only by teaching or preaching the Gospel and by administering the sacraments. Either to many or to individuals, depending on one's calling. And then Melanchthon goes on and adds this: Consequently, the powers of church and civil government must not be mixed. The power of the church possesses its own command to preach the Gospel and administer the sacraments. It should not usurp the other's duties, transfer earthly kingdoms, abrogate the laws of magistrates. You see, there was a time -- during Luther's time in the Protestant Era in the 16th Century, there was a Bishop of Mainz called Albrecht. And Albrecht was a king, a ruler. But also was able to purchase the power of a bishop. On other occasions, the Pope was known to grant pieces of land to those who were his underbishops or his cardinals as a gift. And so it became evident that the church yielded both sides of the sword. That is, the sword over the church and its members, the spiritual one we have just spoken about. And on the other side, they also yielded the power over the kingdom, the political realm. They could call for crusades. They had armies to dispense of. And this made Luther weary of the scriptural evidence that spoke that Jesus Christ, such as the text that Melanchthon quotes here in John 20, speaks about the forgiveness of sins being handed over through Word and sacrament. And that is to be administered by pastors, those in the office. So in other words, this Article XXVIII I think clearly lays out the boundaries, if you will, of a pastoral duty. It confines it to the realm of the church. It calls it the power of the church or the power of jurisdiction. And now, if a pastor personally wishes to become more political, to become engaged in issues on the kingdom on the left and the political and social realm, he needs to be very careful and ask himself two or three times whether that is proper to engage in such activities where it becomes not very clear as to what these issues and to how they relate to had his ministry. I, therefore, caution every pastor not to become too political in terms of engaging himself in issues that pertain to society. Unless, of course, there exists a situation, such as spoken of in Acts 5 Verse 29 where the apostle Paul was forbidden -- or it was Peter actually was forbidden to preach God's Word in Jerusalem by the authorities. On such occasion where the rules of the government encroached onto the church, then the ministry has to stand up and continue. And those incumbents of that ministry will have to ensure that this Word of God continues to be preached. Even if it may be going against the laws of the government. For Acts 5 Verse 29, the famous clause of Peter, says we shall obey the Word of God rather than that of man. Eric, we have basically covered now the Article XXVIII. And it speaks there of the power of the bishops. And you might recall that I have said that although we speak here about the bishop power that was, you know, prevalent in the 16th Century and that we are criticizing the political aspect of such bishop powers, we need to also point to this article in terms of what it applies to the ministry of us who are pastors. I think I have said enough about the fact that the bishops power should be nothing else than that what pastors have. In fact, the pastors are those that are to retain sins, to forgive sins, to administer Word and sacrament. So ultimately anything that a bishop does that's beyond that what a pastor does is one that is delegated by human rights. This article, I believe, however, is of great assistance of describing the authority and the powers of a pastor. And should be revisited again and again. We have heard, therefore, in Article V about a ministry that is instituted. I would say that Article V begins this whole discussion by saying there is something like an office that is instituted. And then we move on to Augsburg Confession Article XIV. And there we are told that this office is handed over to somebody. And that the church has a duty to call somebody so that whenever the Word and sacrament is being administered, that it is done by somebody duly called. And you remember we used the word ***rita verkitos, properly called. And we finally now have come to Article XXVIII, which then explains what exactly the duties of that pastor will be.