Full Text for Dogmatics 4- Volume 67 - So if a pastor speaks to me, whose voice am I hearing, his, the members or Christ's? (Video)

No. 67. >> So if a pastor speaks to me, whose voice am I hearing, his, the members or Christ's? Whose voice will I be speaking? It looks as if it's a bit of all three, doesn't it? >>DR. KLAUS DETLEV SCHULZ: Yes, Eric, indeed, it looks as if the pastor embraces all three voices. His own. We make very clear at school here at the seminary that a pastor needs to train his voice so that when he sings the matins or he sings the ***introitus, which still many congregations do, he needs to be well trained in order to do this. So if a pastor is endowed with the wonderful gift of singing, a beautiful voice, that is certainly a gift that we appreciate in the ministry. Also, he needs to learn how to preach clearly. Enunciate his words. So that people who have difficulty in hearing may hear him clearly. And that his words shall be well spoken of, mainly in terms of pronunciation. These are concerns that obviously show that we are looking at the voice of a human being. At the same time, I have already said that Jesus Christ also wishes to speak through the office of the ministry because whenever the Gospel is being preached, obviously we hear the words of Jesus Christ. So the pastor himself functions as a vessel, so to speak, as a human vessel through which God works and through whom then the voice of Jesus Christ comes to the people. It's part of the incarnation of God's Word, isn't it? First Jesus Christ comes to this world. Before God had spoken through all of the prophets, they used many signs, as well, to underscore the message that they had made. And then later on, individuals we have spoken of already were placed as elders, that is as pastors, into the congregations to continue the speaking of Jesus' voice. And finally then, I think that the pastor also in many ways represents the congregations and its members. He, too, needs to speak the voice of had his people. That means he must not speak against them constantly. But he must serve them with God's Word. It is a true spiritual concern here that needs to be voiced. Namely, that if pastors don't properly discern God's Word into law and Gospel, they can create confusion, turmoil. And those conscious that are very weak may be confused and not understand clearly what it means to be soothed and forgiven by the Gospel. I have another thing that I would like to speak of here in closing. And that is that the ministry that the pastor has clearly needs to be understood in the context of the Missouri Synod. There are many models that are being proposed about what a pastor is to be. Many speak of them maybe just as somebody who functions as an overseer. Somebody says he should just be a supervisor. In the past there have been models which said, well, the pastor is the true and only voice of God in the congregation. And there were also conflicts between the Missouri Synod and other denominations about the office of the ministry. When, for example, somebody by the name of ***Graffel of the Buffalo Synod stood up and said: Well, any baptism performed by a layperson is not valid, Walther had to make the point that, indeed, God's Word is valid when administered by a layperson. However, as Walther rightly pointed out in saying that it does not mean that we, thereby, abolish the ministry of Word and sacrament. Indeed, it is all the more reason to support it and encourage it. It finally comes down to understand the ministry of Word and sacrament as one of institution and of function. Both together work very well. That is, we preserve it in the church. But at the same time, we are interested, also, that those in the office also actually pursue the duties for which they have been assigned and called to. And for that we can go to Augsburg Confession Article XXVIII and clearly speak to the pastor and tell him that it is necessary for him to preach God's Word, to administer it and the sacraments, to forgive sins and to absolve them of his members. I think once we come to these basics, our ministry will last in the Missouri Synod.