Full Text for Ordination: Human Rite or Divine Ordinance (Text)

-DAVID P. SCAER ····ORDINATION: HUMAN RITE or DIVINE ORDINANCE Concordia Theological Seminary Press Fort Wayne, Indiana ORDINATION: HUMAN RITE OR DIVINE ORDINANCE· In the Knubel-Miller Lectures of 1956 Conrad Bergendoff began his second lecture, "The Doctrine of the Ministry," witp what now appears to be an overly cautious remark and understatement,l "In no area of doctrine has the Lutneran church in America had greater difficulty than in the matter of the ministry." Nearly two decades after these words have been spoken within the context of a historical judgment, they took on near prophetic character when a movement within the Missouri Synod began ordaining without the proper synodical authority. Though such questions as the inspiration and the iner­rancy of the Bible, the use of the historical critical method, and the place of Lutheranism within the modern ecumenical movement were the real matters at the heart of the division, it was the question of ordination --who could dispense it and who could receive it --that led to the termination of several synod officers and what seems now to have been an inevitable split. For those who are acquainted with the tabloid publications of this newer move­ment within the Missouri Synod, it seems self-evident that there is an obses­sion not only in taking photographs of ordinations but also trying to get as many people as possible into one photog~aph. We cannot unravel the dispute about these contemporary ordinations at this time, but only remark that if ordination is on the level of an adiaphoronla then any censure against them seems a little too harsh and the prominence given them through newspaper pictures seems a trifle exaggerated. Even those who are committed to a strong congregationalism and to firm anti-sacerdotalistic feelings seem to find more intrinsic value in an ordination administered by a synod president or vice-president than an ordinary pastor. Frequently great funds of money are spent in transporting the right person to convey the ordination to the candi-.. 2-date. Within the Missouri Synod there are those pastors who are proud, perhaps rightfully so, that they can trace their ordination directly back to C.F.W. Walther --an apostolic succession of a different kind. In such thinking Perry County has only replaced Rome and Jerusalem. A. ~!!E!. 2! Ordination .!-!l ~ pastoral Epistles One New Testament scholar recognizes that the Pastoral Epistles repre­sent a more highly developed theology and church organization and have dubbed these developments as FrUhkatholiz isi:;us. "early catholicisD." Since it is claimed that such a highly developed theology, e.g., verbal inspiration and organization, e.g., a system of a bishop and elders would have been unknown by St. Paul, who allegedly favored a more charismatic attitude to the church, he obviously cannot be considered the author.2 We will not debate the author­ship of the pastoral Epistles but answer the question of whether or not ordin­ation was known and practiced in that part of the early church to which the pastoral Epistles are directed. It is recognized that the pastoral Epistles came from one soUrce. For the sa~e of convenience Paul will be identified as the author. There are three passages which speak to this question: 1 Timothy 4: 14; 5: 22; and 2 Timothy l: .6. Though the laying on of hands is not infrequently mentioned throughout the Scriptures,3 these three passages are specifically connected with receiving an office or the transferring of the office to someone else. Also for the sake of convenience the hand laying ceremony shall be designated as ordination.3a (1) 1 Timothy 4:14 The first reference to this particular ceremony is 1 Tm. 4:14. "Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance '>Then the elders laid their hands upon you." (RSV)4 There are several con­cepts which lose their essential vigor in English translation. The word gift is charisma. Charisma is something ~Ihich is concrete and is for its meaning dependent on eharis, the 't-lord for ~race. Though charis is most frequently used of Godls gracious attitude ~lhereby He justifies tile sinner for Christls sa~e, Paul also uses the £~ of his apostolic office.5 This charis may manifest itself in various charismata at God's pleasure. In 1 Tm. 4:14 Paul is not speaking of a variety of charismata6 ~mich have been given to Timothy, but only one charisma. Since Paulin other places speaks about his apostolic office as a charis 't-1hich has been ~iven to him,7 it might not be 't-1rong to suggest that charisma that Timothy has is a continuation or at least a con-tinuation of the charis of Paul's o'tm apostolic office. The charisma, possessed by Timothy, is further described as e::isting "in you," .!m!.Q!.. The gift or endO'i'1t1lei.lt t1hich has been transmitted to Timothy involves function, an obligation even a sacred duty. fIhat he possesses, he is obligated to use. t'Ihile there is no surmestion Timothy has undergone any type of internal transsubstantiation, the pericope certai"nly indicates that ., a type of consubstantiation has taken place. U There is in a real sense 0 .. 1 e::change of attributes bet't'1een the gift and Timot~lY. This is a genus idio-maticum .. of-a different type. Paul says that TiI:lOthy has a gift 't-1:1ich e::ists 't1ithin him. The "in you" cannot be overemphasized. It is repeated in 2 To. 1:6. Something divine and not human has been ~iven Timothy. It also has a certain objective character in that it has been given to him from the outside. l\. rather strong 't-1arning io ~iven by Paul concerning the charisea given 3 Timothy. "Do not neglect the gift." li. similar t10rning is given by the .... Iriter to the Hebre't'1s, "if vIe disre~ard so great a salvation (2:3)." If the te::t from Hebre't'1o is at all informative for our purposes, it 't1ould suggest that the charisma possessed by Timothy is a permanent possession vIhich may be used or 17hich may be neglected, but 't-1hich nevertheless in some sense remains. The l:_ charisma as an intensely personal possession of Timothy is further reinforced by the lol0rd order. The B.SV translates this section lithe gift you have. II This translation not only lacks precision, but it fails to catch Paul's meaning. Timothy does not only have the gift as a possession, as one might his olom money or goods, but he has the gift t-1ithin himself. A "'10rd for ,(-1ordtranslation uould be rendered "the in you gift.n9 The charisma which Timothy has nO,(-1 within him was given to him at one time and not several times and it ,(-1as given him by God. The use of the aorist "uas given" can only imply that Paul is referring to a specific past act of uhich Timothy lolas the recipient. There is no mention that Timothy had undergone this ordination more than once or that it should be repeated, though net'7 duties are conferred upon him. This one past act continues to remain valid and obligatory for him. The use of the aorist passive at this point has ot:ler far reaching theological siJnificances. It is quite common to use the passive in Hebreu theology as a .circumlocution for God as the subject. Though God is not mentioned, it is God '('lho has given Timothy his charisma. /;. lIord of Scripture and the laying on of the hands ,(1ere accompal.lying factors or means through '('1hich the gift had been besto't'led. The use of the t',0rd'give' in the passive aorist is used in the l{e17 Testa­ae~t to suggest the giving of a particular divine authority for carrying out a designated task.12 /;. feH instances may be cited. Jesus at the end of Natthelol claies, "All mthrl.ty has been given to ae." Here again the use of the passive points to God as the one '(-lho has given Jesus this authority. The Hatthean ending certainly should be read in connection t'lith Mt. 10:1 t'1here .T;,;SUS transfers authority to His disciples. nl~i.ldhe called to i.1io :li8 t~'lelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, ••• " The remarkable sameness of the l'7ords "healing every disease and infonnity" bett'7een Ht. 9: 35, describing t:le activity of Jesus, and Ht. 10:1, describillg the activity of the 5 disciples indeed suggest that there has been a transference of authority from Jesus to the disc:tples. In Ht. 10:1 the passive tense of 'give' is not used as in Ht. 28:19 and 1 !m. l~:14, hotvever the aori'st is used indicating that such authority vlas transferred to the disciples at one specific time. T.le use of the active voice instead of the passive ill Ht. 10:1 can be e~:plained. Here is an editorial remark of the Evangelist and not the verbatim "lords of Jesus. The Evangelist is reporting t'lhat Jesus gave and l-lhat the disciples received. Parallels to the besto~'lal of authority are found in 2 Cor.13:l0, "in order that t'lhen I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority ~'1hich the Lord has given me," and 2 Peter 3:15 t-lhere Peter says of Paul that he has t-lisdom given by God for handling certain doctrinal matters in his epistles, "So also our beloved brother Paul urote to you accordina to the ", t-1isdom given him." The transference of authority froe God to Jesus and then from Jesus to the apostles is then paralleled in the bestowal of the charisma 13 to Timothy through the instrucentality of hands. 1:.ccordin~ to t:1C r.SV translation the actual bestot'lal of the charisma is said to have taken place "by prophetic utterance t-lhen the elders laid t~leir hands upon you." The 1mB presellt another vieu tlith its translation: liDo not neGlect the spiritual endot'1ment you possess, t'1ilich uas given you, under the I auidance of prophecy." At first glance it ~1Ould appear that t~le RSV is to be preferred since it e~~resses better the thought contained in the genitive of means, dia propheteias. It ';'lould also support a vieu acceptable to Lutherans that the office or the gift t'las besto'tved on Timothy througll the instrumentality of ti,le t'1ord, i.e., propheteia, rather than through the 11ands. Eduard Lohse ill atteopting to avoid a contradiction bettveen 1 To. l:ll~ and 2 Tm. 1:6 t'1here the ~lands are clearly the instruments through t-mich the gift is bestol'led taken dia propheteias as an accusative. On the basis of prophetic utterances Timothy was initiated into his office. Thus God's activity in ordination is tn",-, direct. Parallel to this uould be Acts 20:23 uhere the Holy Spirit is said 14 to have appointed the elders as overseers over the flock. This is not a neu thought since in ordination it is God and God alone t·,ho besto't"1s the Cift. The translatioll of presbyterion as "elders If here is also equally unfelici-tous. Paul does have a l'10rd for elders, presbyteroi, but it is not the one uoed in this pericope. Used here is presbyterion, a l-lord stressing the unity of the elders as an offical group. 15 Timothy l-18S not given the charisma. in a hap-hazard faohion by clergymen uho happened to be present, but he uas given the 16 charisma througil a predetermined action of the council of pastors. The use of presbyterion indicates that the clergy nere an organized group participating indecisions concerninc ordination. In Acts 15 they also appear as a group to make decisions. In 2 Te. 1:6 Paul claims to have besto't7ed the charisma on Timo6y t·ritn no mention of the presbyterion. This problem must be handled belou. (2) 1 Timothy 5:22 After Paul has urged Timot~lY to treat and underotand his charisma nith special deference, he has special instructions for Timothy ill hO'.:1 the 1ayin!; on of hands should be used. This passage, 1 Tm. 5:22, I~O not be hasty in t~e laying on of hands" comes touards the end of a section in l'1hich Paul has certain instructions for Timothy in the general supervision of the clergy. There are instructions concerning salary arrangements and judicial proceedings acainst elders liho have been charged.17 Then follons the instruction concerning the laying on of hando. ~lese instructions may be summarized as maintaining pastors in their office, removing pastors froe their office, and inducting pastors into t11 :!ir office. There is a natural flot-1 of thou~lt 'lere --hO'tl pastors are to be paid, renoved, and replaced. Paul's admonishment to Timothy about the careful use of the laying on of hands does not apply to the use of the hands in prayers for individuals, for the 7 sick, or even for those t-l~lO may 1>e entrusted uit:l n particu1nr church function other t!lan the clerical office. Ho lIord of caution in usina the laying on of hands 't-1ou1d be appropriate in a:.lY situation l-1here 300d 'tolishes or heavenly blessings in a general T:lay are being given to t11e recipient. The t-10rd of cau-tion, "Do not he hasty in the laying on of hands,1I suggests that Paul is re-ferring to one particular type of action uhose effects hnve such a lasting value that they can be undone if at all only through great difficulty. Paul's T:10rd of caution to T1mothy points' to a period of probation, judgment, and criticism 't°lhich is to oproceed the ordination of the actual laying on of the I hnnds and not everyone uho considers himself a possi:'le candidate for t:lis pnrticu1ar ceremony is to receive it. There might be a question t-nlo the phrase immediately fo1louing IInor participate in another man t s sins" is to be take;:l. The Greek te,ct is punctuated in a '\1ay that it fo110us naturally the p~1rase liDo not be hnsty in the laying on of hands.1I The mede, 'neither' indicates -, that these are connected actions.. Thus the thought 110uld be that if Timot11Y did lay hands upon or ordain t~le ':Trong type of a person, he 't-1ou1d share in the sins connected uith the conduct of that man's oifice. The HEn catches this understanding l'111en it provides t~lis translation: liDo :lot be over-:lasty in laying on hands in ordination o~ you may find yourself responsible for other people's o.isdeeds. II The Greek here, !coinonei hnmartiais, participatioll in sins, is the same type of language used to describe the participntion of the eucharistic bread in Christ's body. 10 and the Holy Spirit's participation in the life of the Christian.19 Tho laying on of hands is not an isolated nct, but an nct through uhich t!le performer of the act has a part in the actions of the one on l7hoe the act is periormed. (3) 2 Timothy 1:-G Paul's second letter to Timothy is recognized as more personal than the fo 20 l.rst. Therefore it is not ourprising thatuhile Pnu1 in the first letter states that Timothy tolas ordained through an act of the council of elders, he states here in the second letter that he himself uas responsible for it. Several aspects of Timothy's life come ~cross PauVs mind -his sincere faith, tae faith of his mother and gra~dmother, and his ordination for which Paul claims responsibility. The faith of his mother and grandmother not'1 dt'1ells in Timothy, but the charisma in Timothy is -_not from his mother or grandmother, but is through PauL ''lIence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is l"it~-li~l you through the laying on of my hands." In the 2 Tm. 1:6 passage the ordination is placed in the middle of Paul's description of Timothy's life as a Christian and not along side of other clerical instructions and admonitions as in the two citations in 1 Tm. Paul's admonition to Timothy about his receiving the laying on of hands or ordination is preceded by referellce to the faith of his mother and grandmother and Ticot~lY' s O't-7n faith. For the sake of this faith, I l'10uld assume in the sense of preserv­ing it. Paul addresses Timothy about his ordination. Faith is not individual­istic but of a shared possession. Timothy is said to share tae same faith as did his mother and grandmother. Faith is not only something shared but it is described as dl'1elling l-lithin the believer. One cannot avoid seeing the parallel betl-Teen the faith thai: duells in the believer and t~le charisma uithin Timothy. Both faith and the charisma exist ~ !2i in Timothy.2l Doth 1 and 2Tm. see the charisma as a quality l'1ithin Timothy. l?ait:l is hOl-lever quite distinguishable front the c1larisca given Timothy. There is no one for one equation betl'leen fait:l and charisma. The charisma e::ists for the sake of faitLl. nle reverse is certainly not suggested. The ordination exists for the benefit of tte church and the church's faith •. The admonition to remember is not simply the act of recallin!h but recall-in::; in such a mly tilat one b.:ings into the present as a reality an act uhich uaa accooplished in the past. The admonition to remind is cognate to Jesus's admonition to celebrate the Lord's Supper in His memory.22 Hhat happened to Timothy in the ordination or the layin~ on of the hands still continued to have validity even though it uas 3iven through a past act. The RSV's use of "rekindle" catches Paul's adm.onition to Timothy to attend to his gift. Divided into parts the 't-lOrd anazopyrein means t to make the fire come alive again.' The UEB provides a vivid tra:'lslation 't-lith: "That is "lhy I remind you to sti:i: into flame the gift of God uhich is "lithin you throu3h the laying on of my hands.,,22a 1:1 the first Epistle of Clement the same 't'lord is used in connection ~'7it~1 revitalizing faith.23 Timothy's ordination is looked upon by Paul as a one time act nhich may take on net'1 meaning in the present. There is no suggestion that it is to be repeated.24 It is assumed that ch.arisma referred to in the 2 'Ir.l. 1:6 passage is of the same type mentioned i1.""l 1 Tm. 4:1/;., but in 2 !m. 1:6 it is specifically called -God's charisma. It uas pointed out in the discussion of 1 !m.4:14 the use oi pasoive aorist certainly indicated that God 't~as the giver of the charisma. T:lio is confirmed in 2 !m. 1: 16 "1here it is called God IS charisma. God is tlle one 't"1ho besto't-1D the charisma and men only serve as instruments in the actual bestou-ing. Of course this is not unlike Baptism and the Lord's Supper in llhich Jesus is aluays the baptizer and the celebrant! Again in this pericope the close and intimate association that Timot:1Y has uith. the charisma may be noted. The charisaa is nOvI in him (£!l soi). Thoug:l 24 the charisma has to be rekindled, it is nevertheless still there, V. 7, "for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control" points to the fact that Timothy :lad t:le charisma but tllat he uas not exercising it to its complete dimensions. The parallel to a 't"1eak fait:l is strildn3.25 The actual uay in 't-lhich the charisma 'Has !)esto"t1ed is handled slightly different in 2 Ta. 1:6 than it is in 1 !m.4:14. In 2 Tru.l:6 it is said that the charisma has cooe "through t:le layinG on of oy hands. II The accompau)ring 10 act of the laying on of the hands by the council of elders has been replaced by the instrumentality of Paul's hands alone. In 1 'rm. 4:14 the emphasis is on a past event and in 2 'tm. 1:6 the emphasis is on a present reality though given in the past. The charisma exists in Timothy now. In 2 Tm. 1:6 there is no mention of the prophetic word as the i118 trument of the bes towa1. His mother and grandmother were the instruments to bril)g faith. but paul is the ins tru­mant for the giving of the charisma.26 The nature of the charisma is decided by v. 7, "for God did not give us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of self-control." V. 7 has language which is also strongly reminiscent of 1 Tm. 4:14. The word 'give' is used in the aorist active, instead of the passive, but God is specifically designated as the giver of the 'spirit.' The word 'us' suggests that Paul is referring only to himself and Timothy and not all Christians in general. The American Translation is correct in offering here 'Spirit' instead of 'spirit' as in the RSV.27 Certain ordination hymns asking for the bestowal of the Holy Spirit on the candidate seem to have firm support in 2 Tm. 1:7.28 If the Pastoral Epistles are from the same source, then 1 Tm. 4:14 and 2 Tm. 1:6 are both referring to the same historical incident in which Timothy received the charisma. The grammar in each case points back to ~ past event and not several. Timothy has not received the charisma twice, but once. In one case from the council of elders and the other time from Paul. The best possible construction from the data is that ordinations were performed by the entire council of elders under the leadership of one of its members who had a supervisory authority over the clergy (lTm. 5:17-22).29 Conclusion The problem presented in the title of this paper "Ordination: Human Rite or Divine Ord~nance" should in some way be resolved. In resolving the question 11 of ordinati.on, the isS"es· of its necessity and aosolute necessity must be avoided. Even though baptism is divinely commanded, it is not absolute:'.y con-30 manded. There is that area of divinely mandated ordinances \'1hich are not to be labeled as adiaphora but uhich also may not be considered absolutely i.'lecessary.3l Thus if it can be si'lo~m that ordination is divinely mandated, it does not follot"l that it is absolutely necessary. The question of necessity is frequently the least helpfUl. At this point the only evidence thus garnered can be laid out. 1. Ordination as a ceremony throu3h 't-1hich persons are admitted into the office of pastor, (indicated as presbyteros ) is mentioned t:lree times in the Pastoral Epistles. 2. In.all three citations t~le laying on of the hands is me.ntioned as part of the rite. 3. Those actively participating in the rite are only those 't'1ho already possess t71e office into t-1hich the recipient is bein3 ushered. 4. Through the activity of t:lis rite, a charism:l~, a gift or endOt'mlent, is 3ivcn to the recipient. 5. T..e 3ift is given at one time and in one act. No repetition of the act is mentioned. 6. The gift eJds ts continually trl. thin the reci¢ent:. 7. The gift may fall into disuse and be revitalized by its possessor. 8. Though the gift is given t~rou3~ the 1ayi11g on of the hands, God is the Giver of the gift. 9. The gift is not available to any Christian for the asking but is to be given to those t-1ho 11ave met certain criteria. 10. Ordination io a rite ullose misapplication ca.:ries a threat. 11. It is a rite through uhich tilose 't-Tho beston it share in the ministry of the one 'lho receives it. 12. The gift given in the rite is identified as the Holy Spirit bestowing certain gifts. 13. It is a rite l'7hich is encompassed l'1ithin an apostolic cotnr.land. 14. It is a rite l'1hich Paul enjoins upon Timothy to continue. 1'aul is not ziving instructio~s for o~e time limited situation. 12 I personally find it very difficult to designate as a human rite or adiaphoron any ceremony in uhich God is the Giver and the Holy Spirit is the recipient, which can only be administered under certain stringent conditions, tlilich carries l'1ith it a threat, l-1hich makes the acting participant in the rite responsibile for the activities of the recipient of the rite, and t-1hich gives t:le recipient a gift which remains. 13 B. Ordination in the Lutheran Confessions In the Lutheran Confessions ordination receives consideration in the Apology XIII, 7-13, in the Treatise, 60-73, the major portion of "The Power and Jurisdiction of Bishvps," and in The Smalcald Articles III, X. 1. The Apo logy In the Apology ordination is discussed in the article of the sacraments. Even though l-1elanchthon set forth a definition for what constitutes a saCIament in this article, i.e., "rites 't-lhich have the command of God and to which the promise of grace has been added," Lutherans have not considered themselves bound or restricted by this definition.32 Thus while the Apology lists the sacrament of penance or absolution as genuine sacraments, most Lutherans would limit themselves to tlvO sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper.33 In handling the traditional seven sacraments of the church, Melanchthon gives top listing to Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and Penance and puts confirmation and extreme unction on the lowest shelf. Marriage is one step higher than extreme unction and confirmation. It does have God's command, but has meaning within the sphere of creation and not redemption. In this hierarchy of the seven sacraments, Melanchthon places ordination in what appears to us to be the middle. It is preceded by Baptism, Penance, and the Lord's Supper and folloued by marriage, confirmation, and extreme unction.34 * The Lutherans objected to the Roman Catholic ordination through which the priest is empowered to offer the unbloody sacrifice of the mass. Mclanchtholl1l rightly calls attention to the denial of the atonement involved in such a con­cept.35 However, given a nel-l definition ordination may be consiaereda sacra-ment. "If ordination is interpreted in relation to the ministry of the Hord, l-lC havc no objection to call ordination a sacrament. The ministry of the ~.]ord has God's command and gracious promises:" "If ordination is interpreted this llay, we shall not object either to calling the laying on of hands a sacrament."36 14 The command of God and promises, the two elements comprising a sacrament according to Nelanchthon' s O't'ln definition, are both associated with the ministry. 37 By extension, he is willing to apply the term sacrament to the 33 actual laying on of the hands. The discussion of ordination at this point in the Apology is not that extensive. Perhaps someone will argue that the imposition of the hands is not really the important clement, but the command of God with the gracious promises connected with that command. True enough! However that same argument could be turned on Baptism and say that it is not the uater that is important but the command and promise of God. Such a thought is even suggested by Luther in the Small Catechism: "It is not the water that does them, but the ~10rd of God in and with the water and faith that trusts such word of God in the water.,,39 Hhile the Treatise !ill the PO't1er and lli Primacy of the Pope spoke to the question of the equality of bishops over against the Roman claim to Petrine supremacy, the supplemental and companion ''Treatise on the Po,~er and Juris-diction of Bishops" speaks to the equality of all clergy, bishops and pastors, alike. The question of equality surfaced in the matter of ordination. Accord-ing to Roman Catholic tradition, priests could administer only five of the seven sacraments, with confirmation and ordination reserved for the bishops. For confirmation the Lutherans had little use.40 But ordination was connected with the pastoral office and ip this matter the Lutherans had a firm invest-ment in seeing that it ''las continued. The success of the Reformation depended in supplying recognized pastors for the congregations. Though Luther,fins "Tere '-lilling to accept the ordination from the Roman Catholic bishops, they ''lere bei.ng deprived of such ordinations as a form of punishment. The refusal of the bishops to ordain was an attempt to confine Lutheranism. development the Lutherans ordained their own pastors.41 In the l~ake of this ~, One statement in the Treatise seems to consign ordination to a mere rite, 15 i.e., an adiaphoron: "Afterwards a bishop either of that church or of a neighboring church, was brought in to confirm the election with the laying on of hands; nor l'ms ordination more than such a confirmation." Such a statement would at face value speak finally and determinatively to the divine and human nature of ordi~ation. The German translation of the original Latin however is very informative at this point. The German translation which according to confessional principles is the binding interpretation of the original, informs us that the matter being discussed is the ordination of a bishop into his position. "Darzu kam der Bischof, am selben Ort oder in der NHhe gesessen, (der) und bestHtiget den gewHhlten Bishof durch Auflegen der RHnde, und ist dazumal die Ordinatio nichts anderst geweszt dann solche BestHtigung."42 Ordi-nation of the bishop by another bishop would then be that ceremony or rite of confirmation '-1hich established the bishop in his place of authority. Ordination is treated very highly in the Treatise. In several places it is said that the church retains the necessary rigbt of calling, electing, and ordaining pastors. "Quare necesse est ecclesiam retinere·jus vocandi, eligendi et ordinandi minstro~." It would be an anachm1,l ism to suggest that ~ ,(-1e are looking upon a certain congregational activity. The issue here is not one of polity, but the right of Christians to have pastors. The jus vocandi, the right of calling, refers to the process whereby a person is prepared for the office. The jus eligendi, is the process of choosing and does not neces-sarily refer to a democratic type procedure like an election by all quali-fied adults, male or female in a congregation. In the sense of a congregationQl election neither Luther nor Helanchthon '-Tere ever elected. The jus ordinandi refers to the rite or ceremony in '-lhich the office \-las conferred. 43 The Treatise in the discussion of ordination begins by stQting that those \Jho preside over the churches 't-lhether they are pastors or elders or bishops have a coomand to engage in the various churchly rites.44 The one difference 17 further adorned with placing of stoles and chasubles on the shoulders of the candidate and the reception of chalice and Bible and baptismal shell. These ceremonies might just be ecclesiastical substitutions for orb, scepter and crown. Perhaps it is because of t!"1C uncertainty of the divinity of the office and the rite that it is being adorned uith earthly ornament. l1y own observations are that the marriages and ordinations of graduated seminarians seem to becoming ghastly long near t,;V'o hour trials of endurance. There is also a desire to col­lect the highest and widest selection of church officials. Like child dedica­tion ceremonies in Baptist type churches, I can only conclude what they profess to be only a human ceremony may in fact be a divine ordinance. I was ordained in the regular 10 :45 service back in my father's church in Brooklyn and we had to scrounge around to find tl:vO footloose Hissouri Synod pastors. The service was simple and confined to the 60 minute limit. I have no certificate of my ordina­tion, but if I did I l:vould be proud to display it on my 't'Ulll as many do. For if my baptismal certificate reminds me that I have been chosen by Christ for eternity, then my ordination certificate 't'lould remind me that I l'las chosen by Christ for service in His church and to share with Him and apostles and all pastors of the rlord that one office of caring for Christ's Church. As long as I have life I ';vi11 never be able to escape or disregard the words of Paul, "I now remind you to stir into flame the gift of God which is 'tV'ithin you through the laying on of my hands." (NEB) FOOTNOTES 1. The Doctrine of the Church in American Lutheranism (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1956), p. 19. la. Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics III. Trans. Halter l-l. F. Albrecht. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953), p. 454. 2. Donald J. Selby, Introduction to the New Testament. (New York: Macmillan Company, 1971), pp. 410-2. Herner Georg KUmmel, Introduction to the Ne,,, Testament. Trans. A. J. Mattill, Jr. 14th Revised Edition. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1966), pp. 258-71. Willi Marxsen, Introduction to the New Testament. Trans. G. Buswell. (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1968), pp. 169-216. KUmmel provides an historical overview of the research done on the Pastoral Epistles. All three are agreed in placing the writings in the post-apostolic period. 3. The laying on of hands is mentioned in Acts, but there are noticeable dissimilarities between these citations and those from 1 and 2 Tm. In Acts 6:6 hands are laid on the seven chosen for the work of charity. This action is accompanied by prayer and there is no mention of a charisma being bestowed. In Acts 13:3 Paul and Barnabas are sent out by their fello,,, "prophets and teachers" with the laying of the hands and with prayer. In these citations from Acts a particul~r tt.:;;!: is a3Di~;!l(!(t tIl\:.! recipients. and the hand laying is accompanied by prayer. This position is supported by Lud,,,ig Ott, l'Das Vleihesakrament", Handbuch der Dogmengeschichte, IV, 5 (Freiburg; Herder, 1969), p. 4. Ott identifies the hand laying ceremony il;1 Acts 13: 2 as a "Segensges te II through ,,,hich Godls grace is implored upon the missionaries and their work. Acts 14:26 and 15 :40 are rega,rded as IIAusendungszeremonie II • The differences between the citations in Acts and the Pastoral Epistles have been carefully delineated by Eduard Lohse, Die Ordination im Spatjudentum (Berlin: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 1951), p. 71-9. This scholar does not see the consecration of Barnabas and Saul as an ordination act (p. 73). Lohse also lists the use of hands in the healing miracles of Jesus and the Apostles (pp. 69-71). It should be pointed out that the use of the hands L: more than symbolical in the healing. liEs wird damit nicht nur eine symbolische Handlung vollzogen, sondern es handelt sich um ein Geheilten der Gelleiltcn and an der Geistbegabung dere, denen die RHnde aurfgelegt ,,,orden (p. 71)." The use of prayer is not mentioned in 1 and 2 Tm. T er.,. L; ~l::;) no mention of particular assignment to ,,,hich Timothy has been consecrated. 3a. Both the NEB in its footnote translation of 1 Tm. 4:11 and its preferred translation of 1 Tm. 5:22 use the ,,,ord "ordination" for the laying on of hands. The Amet'ican Translation (Beck) also understands the hand laying ceremony as ordination. "Donlt be in a hurry to ordain anyone." Lohse (22. cit., p. 31) understands the hand laying ceremony as ordination. 2. 4. Various translations of 1 Tm. 4:14 sho'tlT noticeably different understandings. The KJV is not that different from the RSV. "Neglect not the gift that is thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery." KJV does catch the concept of the elders as an organized unit 'tlThich is required by presbyterion. Phillips presents a departure. "Do not neglect the gift that 'tITas given to you in the proclaiming of God's rJord \<-lhen the assembled cIders laid their hands upon you." The phrase "In the proclaiming of God '·s Herd" seems to be inexact and is capable of several interpretations." The NEB provides an interesting interpretation of charisma, but not a completely clear vie'tlT of propheteia. "Do not neglect the spiritual endowment you possess, which uas given you, under the guidance of prophecy, through the laying on of the hands of the elders as body." A footnote to the passage offers this substitution "through your ordination as an elder." (All citations are from the RSV, unless othenlTise indicated.) 5. Karl-Heinrich Rcngstorf, Apostolate and Ministry. Trans. Paul Pahl. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1966), p. 31 6. The classical pericope on the charismata is 1 Cor. 12. The vast variety of charismata in 1 Cor. 12 is not duplicated in the Pastoral Epistles. If I Cor. 12 is read in the light of the Pastoral Epistles, one could possibly conclude that the charismatic problem in the Corinthian church 'tlTas essentially clerical and not lay oriented. 7. Rm. 1:5; 15:15; 1 Cor. 15:9-11. 3. In eucharistic theology the term transubstantiation is used to indicate that there has been an essential change by llhich the bread looses its substance as bread and becomes the body of Christ 't'1ithout loosing the out­ward appearances of bread. Such is the official position of the Church of Rome. Consubstantiation is the opinion that the body and bread exist side by side 'tvithout any substantial change in either. This position is erroneously identified as the Lutheran position. The indelible character given the priest in ordination, according to Roman Catholic theology, docs involve a substantive change or addition 't'lithin the priest knO'tvn as the character inde1ibis. This organic or substantive change may be seen as parallel to the transubstantion doctrine in the eucharist. Paul's ordination concept might very well be parallel to uhat is knov1n as consubstantiation. 9. The NEB translation of charisma as "endovnnent" does suggest the quality of permanency 'tvhich the 'tI1ord IIgift" fails to convey in' its entirety. An endowment is a gift given to a person or institution which continues to give even after the initial act of giving. 10. Lohse, Q.D.. cit., ,po 34. 11. In Lutheran theology 'tvhat Timothy has received is designated as a mediate call since it was directly given by God. A call directly given by God is called the imm~diate call. For a discussion of this matter see Heinrich Schmid, Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Trans. Charles A. Hay and Henry E. Jacobs. (Minneapolis; Augsburg Publishing House; Third Revised Edition, 1899, 1961), pp. 606-7. 3. 12. trillian F. Aradt and F. Hilbur Gingrich, ! Greek-English Le,dcon of ;the Ne~1 Testament and other Early Christian Literature (Chica~o: UniverGity of Chicago Press, 1957), !). H2. Hereafter this uork is designated Bl\.G. 13. Greel: grar.lUlar identifies meta l1ith honds a::: genitive of attendant circumstances, BAG, p. 510. 14. Ory. cit., p. 81-2. 15. Lohse points out that a "Kollequim" uao u:::ed in the hand laying ceremonie::: in Act::: G and 13. QQ. cit., p. 79. 16. In 1 Tm. 5:2 a::: Hell a::: in 1 Pt. 5:5 elder::: i::: used in the plural. Presbyterion, an official council of elder:::, should be distingui:::hed, from ryre:::byteroi, simply more than one elder "ithout suggesting any official group. Presbyterian is used of an official meeting of the Sanhedrin in Ll~. 22 :GG and Acts 22:5. The :CJV io u:::ing the uord n::,reobytcry" and the NED i::: uGing the phrase "elders a!l a body" ~rovidc acceptable tranolations. In Ht. 23:12 the Sanhedrin in called presbyterian symboulion. 17. 1 Tm. 5:17-20. ··-\·:·l~. 1 Cor. 10: 16. l~. 2 Cor. 13:14. 20. Selby, Introduction, £2. cit., p. 416. Cf. Lohse, £2. cit., p. 32. 21. 2 Tm. 1:4-6. CL Lohse, pp. 34-5. 22. Dl\.G, p. 22. 22a. The Anerican Tran:::1ation (BecIe) is also nc1equatc here. "That is ''1hy I remind you to stir into a flame God's gift thet i::: in you through the laying on of ny harido." 23. A::: cited in BAG, p. 53. "Let faith in him be rel:indled." 1 Clement 27:3. 24. The concept that ordination is only the fir:::t installation service and that ell installation Gervice::: ere equal to ordination certainly hac no support in the Pastoral E:,istles. Equation betueen installation ie common in the lli::::::ouri Syn::>d. John H. C. Fritz, Pastoral Theolo:,;y. (St. Louis: Concordia Publi:::hing House, 1932), ? 02. Installation serviceG i.lay have their parallel in Acts 13: 1-2 ''1here the clergy at Antioch de:::ignate Paul and Barnabe::: for mis:::ionary uorl: in Ania Hinor. ?r. T~e diociplcG arc called men of little faith, Ht. ~:30; 3:26; 16:3. Feith uaG present :but not in itc fullest po:::sible :;::)t'r.l. There seems to be no ~roviGion for then in the pcstoral E!,'listle:::. 25. In 1 Tm. 4:14 the honda of the council of eldera are not ~a siGnific~nt as Paul's hnnds in 2 Tn. 1:6. In 1 Tm. l~:14 they :_,ny be described a::; attendant circumatances and in 2 Tm. 1:6 the hands are the actual means. Thie might very ~'1ell indicate that the right of the ordination at thia time ua::: already asaigned to junt one of the elders, uho later uas recognized as the bishop. The other elders participated in the action, hotlever. Arndt and Gingrich lint early church citatione l:h::;re the bishor is part of the preobyterion. ,tbn. Trans. Theodor 1. Jensen. (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1%7), p. 534. "By the layin3 on of hands t03ether uith prayer that Gift over God alone is sovereiGn Lord ia handed on, namely, hia o\m Spirit ~'1hich ha5 been [lured out upon hie entire church, cnd thia is expressed in the Pentecost eequence uaed at ordination: Veni sancte Spiritua." Luther'e "Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord", The Lutheran Hymnal is booed on thia medieval sequence. 2~. Lt,d~:ig Ott offere the aane colution. 0;>. cit., :).7." zuaarr.ocn r.lit den Apoatel auch dat lJrtliche Presbyterl~ol1egiur.l die HHnde auflegte." Lohse 0'1. cit., '). C2. 30. Luther held ordination aa necessary. This 0l.nn~on uas offered in the ca::;e of a certain Johonn Sutel uho hod assum.ed the roaition of preacher at St. Uicolai Church in GUttin,:en.. Luther uas aa!~ed the que::;tion \Jhether Sutel coul~ celebrate the Eucharist uithout prieatly ordination, priesterliche tTeihe. His reply uas no. Sutel should refrain from the celebration till he lIas ordained. Hellmut Lieber::;, Amt. und Ordinntion bei Luther und Hclanchthon (Gottingen: Vnndenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1%1), pp. 183-4. Francis Pie~cr !Jlaces ordination ar.long the adiaphorous :)ractices (.Q.2. cit., [:.54). Eduard Lohsc, honcver, comes to another conclusion. Ordinntion cannot be reGarded ns the hunnn connection bet~'leen the teacher and his student (P. 97) and cannot be listed as an adiaphoron (~. 101). 31. Frnncis Pieper, Christian D0~atic::; III. Trans. l'!altcr H. F. Albrecht. (St. Louis: Concoi."dia Publi::;hing House., 1953),.!? 280. "Baptism ia not a matter of choice (nn adinrhoron), but a divine ordinance; still no one nay assert an abaolute necessity or say thnt no one cnn obtain renis::;ion ef sin::; and be saved 'tlithout it." 32. Holr;ten Fagerocr3 outliner; the differences oct,;een Luther and Helanchtl10n in their understnnding of the sacraments" Both reformers held that the sacranents hnd materia nnd £:)1:'on. Hhile Luther sau nateria as actual r.tatter, e.g., Helanchthon em; acts as bein3 included in the materia. A NOv7 Look at the Lutheran C~nfessions. Trans. Gene J. Lund. (St. Louis: Concordia Publshing House, 1972), p. lG3. 5. Herman Sasse's opinion on the sacraments is uorth repeatin3. "The Lutheran Church has no dOZOLl 'de sacramentis.' In the Augsburg Confession an article on the use (or purpose) of the sacraments fo11o\1s the articles on baptism, the Lord's Supper, Confession, and Penance. At any rate, the attempts to understand the Sacrament of the Altar from a general concept of a sacrament should be abandoned." This is !:!y Body (Hinneapolis: Augsburg. Publishing House, g5~), 1? 26. The same caveat might also be applied to ordination. In so far as the Lutheran Church has no dogoa on the sacraments, including or excluding ordination 'lithin a sacramental frame''1ork is not ~rofitable. 33. Thou3h it is recognized that the Lutheran Confessions have a sacramental understandinG that does not limit the sacr.aments to Baptism and the Lord's Supper, in actual ?ractice and teaching Lutherans do in fact have only these tuo sacraments. Cf. Arthur E.Neitzel, "The Sacraments", The Abidin~ l~ord, II, Ed. Theodore Laetsch. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1947), 367-393. 34. A;)olo~y XIII. 35. 3J. 37. A"olof.tv XIII, 10. "Our opponents • • • • interpret the priesthood . •• in reference to sacrifice, as though the neu covenant needed a ~riesthood 111,e the Levitical to ofiqr oacrifices and merit the forgiveness of sin::: for the people." Translaqion taken from The Bool, of Concord. Trans. and Ed. Theodore G. Tappert (~hiladel~hia: Fortress P~ss, 1959), p. 212. i Ibid. I Francis Pieper uho uses duch terms as adiaphorouo, I.!hu .. :ch custom or ceremony I to describe ordination (~. ~it., p. ~454) ?uts preaching before Baptism and the Lord's Supper in the ~ierarchy of nece:::sity (QQ. cit., p. 253 and p. 290). . ; I 30. Apology, XIII, 12. 3$. This [,oint is so inportand that Herman Sasse's observation is vital. "Even in the most 'sacrar.lenta1 ~hurches the Hord is ahmys regarded as that uhich constitutes the Sacr.:lment.1 . The element of 'materia II is alunys inferior to the Hord as the 'forma.' lIt is a general conviction of all churches that Luther expresses in his '19rds on ba!Jtism: 'Hithout the Hord of God the l1ater i::: simply l1ater and lnot baptism. But ,·lith the Hord of God it is baptism. '" This is By Body. (Hinneapolis: Au::;sburg Publishing House, lS5~), p. 373. . 40. Apology, XIII, ~. , , [~l. Soalkald Artic~eG, III, ;L ~ v. l~2. Die nekenntnisschriften der evangelisch-Luthc;:ischen Kirche, 6., durchgesehene Auflage (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1967), p. 492. The English translation r>rovided by Tappert, 22.. cit., pp. 331-2, 'lhich cooeo from Helanchthon I::; Latin te!:t, seems to put the ordination of paDtors and bishops tor;cth~r. "The most common cuotom of the church bears '!tlitness to thio, for there uas a time uhen the ;::>eople elected paDtors and bish0r>s. Afteu1ards a bishop, either of that church or of a neighboring church, uaa brought in to confirm the election ,·lith the layin::; on of hand::; nor ua::; ordination anything more than such a confirmation." The German transiation quoted in the body of the paper hm"1ever gives the impression that the last sentence is referring to the ordination of the bishop. IIy oun translation of the controverted sentence is here provided. "After that the bishop came, from the same place or from a nearby place, and confiroed (estublished) the elected biohop through the laying on of hands, and that tiDe ordination uas nothin::; other than ouch a confirmation (eotablishoent)." (Eophasis mine.) The reference seems to be to an elected bishop and not pastor. l!·3. Fagerberg sees all the calling, electing, and ordaining as part of one process. He honover contends that the reformers, Luther and Helanchthon, did not recognize ordination as necessary. (Q2. cit., p. 249) This ~osition houever is contradicted by Liebel'r; (0.,. cit., 229-32). 4l~. Bekenntisschiften,:? 4C9. "Evangelic eniD tribuit his, qui praesun::; ecclesiis, mandatum docendi evanr;elium, remittendi peccata, administrandi sacraoenta, praeterea jurisdictionem, videlicet mandatum excommunicandi cos, quorur.l nota sunt criII\ina, et resipiscentes rurus absolvendi." ! l~5. QQ.. cit., p. 490 Trcotisg, 05. i