Full Text for The Office of the Holy Ministry According to the Gospels and the Augsburg Confession (Text)

Volume 702 April 2006 Table of Contents Office of the Holy Mnktxy Joel P. Okamoto .......................................................................... 97 The Office of the Holy Ministry According to the Gospels and the Augsburg Confession ........................................................................... David P. Scaer 113 Augsburg Confession XN: Does It Answer Current Questions on the Holy Ministry? .................................................................... Naomichi Masaki. 123 Fellowship Issues and Missions ................... ................*................. Klaus Detlev Schulz .... 161 Book Review ...-........-..,,,.w.*---............... ............... ,187 The Book of Prmerbs: Chapter5 1 - 15. By Bruce K Waltke ...................................... Andrew Steirimann The mice of the Ministry According to the Gospels and the Augsburg Confession David P. Scaer J. A. 0. Preus is reputed to have remarked that ministry issues among Lutherans will have to wait for heaven to be resolved. Up for discussion is regularizing lay celebration of the sacrament in both the Lutheran Church - Mkauri Synod (LCMS) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), where it is called lay presidency. Earlier related issues are women serving as public readers of the Scriptures and eucharistic assistants. Ordination of homosexuals in CaIifornia not long ago led to an ELCA congregation's expulsion, but despite official policy such ordinations have taken place and may eventually be legalized.' This issue threatens schism in the ELCA and the Anglican communion. Ordination of women is a settled issue in the ELCA. but some, including women clergy, are dissatisfied with the arguments offered for it.' Since the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) sees schoolteachers sharing the same ministry as pastors, it began to ordain its male (why not female?) parochial school teachers, but has since rescinded the practice. The ministry issue has boiled up in the northern European churches when bishops refused ordination to those who oppose the ordination of women ~~hile also removing others for the same reason. This is front-page news. This discussion of the ministry is divided into four parts with an appendix. Material in part one is taken over from an article arguing that CA V addresses the establishment of the office of the ministry and anticipates CA XIV, which speaks on how it is filled. Part two looks at the biblical arguments offered in the Augsburg Confession and the Treatise. A third part looks at the Gospels for specific mandates for the ministry not 1 Martin Heinecken, "Why the Ordinations Were Invalid," Luti1~1an Forum 24 (Pentecost 1990). ' "Open Lettec Turning Down 'Stirrislg Cp, '" Ludman Forum 24 (May 14r90): 8-9. Here fourteen ELCA women pastors state in an open letter that they are dismayed that hardly any "scripturally sound, conlessional1~- faithful, theological rationale in the defense of the ordination of women" has been found. - - - - - - - Dhd P. Scaer i the Datid P. Scaer Profesor of Biblical and Systematic Theology and Chairman qf fhe Department qf Systematic Theology at Concordin l7leological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. 114 Cmordia Theological QuutZerly 70 (2006) necessarily cited in the Confessions. Creation of faith apart from the minktry in the Gospels is ciiscussed in part four. An appendix looks at 1 Peter 51-2a. I. The Ministry in the Augsburg Confession The Augsburg Confession is arranged so that artides after CA XI explicate what precedes it. Melanchthon's intentions are evident in their ordering of the articles. CA MV on church order extends and depends on CA V in which the minktry is established and entrusted with the word and sacraments so that sinners can be jded (CA N).~ CA XXVm on the power of bishops and the Treatise (1536/7) elucidates these two articles on the ministry. Whereas the Augsburg Confession moves from the office of the ministry (CA V) to how this office is filled (CA MV) and then to its tasks in the article on the bishops (CA XXVm), the Treatise, which is the appendage to the Augsburg Confession, begins its argument from the opposite pole with the pope. He may be entitled to higher honor, but his authority is the same as any other bishop. In turn bishops have no more divine authority than pastors. Differences are iure humno. What is said of bishops in the Augsburg Confession (XXWI,8) in exercising the keys, the Treatise applies to pastors." 11. The Biblical Basis for the lMinistry in the Confessions CA XXWI ates John 20:21-23, Jesus' Easter we appearance to the disciples, to demonstrate that bishops are authorized to administer the keys, which is defined as forgiving and retaking sins and also administering the sacraments. In giving them the Holy Spirit, Christ gave them the ministry. The passage again appears in the Treatise (Tr 9).5 'In, with, and under' the apostolate, Christ aIso established the ministry. Later Lutheran theologians used Matthew 28:16-20.~ Melanchthon may have preferred John 20 with its specific reference to the authority to remit and retain sins, which for Lutherans was the chief article. In the Treatise Melanchthon uses Matthew 16:18 and John 21:17, pericopes where Jesus 3 Materials in CA through CA XXWi explicates We first eleven Thus the articles on the Sacraments (XIIQ is built upon the articles on the church (W; WE), Baptism (LX), the Lord's Supper (X), and Confession and Repentance @<; X). 4 John F. Brug, "The Meaning of Predigfamt in Augsburg Confession V," Msconsin Synod QuartPrly 103 (Winter 2006): 2943. This essay is a cMcal presentation of the WELS functional view of the ministrJ.. For example, " . . . the Predigfmnf is the gospel" (31). Chemnitz cited John 20 in the same way. Eramination of tlw Council of Trent, tr. Fred Krarner (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1978), II:559. 6 Ckmnitz, Examination, II:468,680,695. The Lutheran Confessions use this passage for their position on Baptism espcdy infants but not for the minkby. Scaer: The Office of the Ministry According to the Gospels 115 speaks to Peter to "show that the keys were entrusted equally to all the apostles and that all the apostles were commissioned in like manner'' (Tr 22-23). Matthew 18:19-20 shows that Jesus "grants the power of the keys principally and without mediation to the whole church (Tr 24). Twice it is said that words spoken to Peter apply to all the apostles (Tr 22-23). Melanchthon identifies the rock in Matthew 16:18 on which the church is built as "the ministry of that confession" (Tr 25).' Passages ated by Melanchthon for the ministry are spoken by Jesus both before and after the resurrection and in different places, an issue scholars have addressed. J. A. T. Robinson follows C. H. Dodd in seeing a parallel between the commissioning of the apostles in John 20:21-23 (Jerusalem) and the commission to Peter in Matthew 1623-24 (near Galilee) and not 2836-20 (~alilee).' Ra-mond E. Brown recognizes a parallel between John 20 and both Matthean citations, the one to Peter and then all the apostles, both in or near ~alilee.~ It is hardly incidental that Matthew and John alone, who are among the original Twelve, and not Mark and Luke, have commissioning of the apostles to show that Jesus intended the ministry for them. As will be seen, Luke expands the ministry to include others. A few exegetical obsenrations may be helpful. First, though John places the post- resurrection commissioning of the apostles in Jerusalem (2ff:21-23), and not Galilee as does Matthew, the special commissioning of Peter takes place in Galilee (John 21:15-19). This corresponds to Matthew's commissioning of Peter in Caesarea Philippi (16:23-24), an area bordering Galilee. Both the pre-Easter cornmissioning of Peter in Matthew 1623-24 and his post-resurrection commissioning in John 21:15-19 are done within the company of the other apostles, as the Treatise points out. Second, in Matthew 28 the apostles are entrusted with making disciples by teaching and baptizing which establishes the church. John fomses on how the disciples who have been given the Spirit shall remit sins, thus establishing and confirming the church. Third, John's explicit reference to forgive sins is implied in Matthew's command to baptize, since for him baptism involves confession of sins and repentance (31-6).1° Fourth, apostolic 7 Melanchthon cites Ephskns 431 to classify ministers as "aposdes, prophets, pastors, teachers." In the Sew. Testament context the word apostles is the usual term for missionaries and pmptl~fs for preachers (Matt 1&41). Pastors may be resident clergy and teachers those entrusted with the rile, that is the teaching or ttte dactiim. ". A. T. Robuson, The Priority of {dm, ed. J. F. Coakley (Oak Park E Meyerstone Books, 1987),316-317. Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel Accordrng to John XIIT-XXI, Anchor Bible 2% (Garden Citv, Kew York Doubleday, 1987),1010-1042. '0 Matt 36, "And they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, ceg their sins." 116 Concordia Thwlogisal Quarterly 70 (2006) commissioning in both Matthew and John involves trinitarian revelations. Matthew's ecclesiastical Pturgical) "Father-Son-Holy Spirit" (28:19) is replaced by John's conception of God in action whereby the Son ascends to his Father and gives the spirit." A complete doctrine of the Trinity must incorporate both realities of what God is in himself (the ontological Trinity; Matthew) and of how he relates to the world (the economic Trinity; John). Fih, the dixrepanq between Matthew's eleven disciples (28:16) and John's ten disciples is resolved by the appearance to Thomas, which raises the apostolic cadre to eleven (John 20:26-28). Both evangelists see the Twelve (Eleven) as a unique witnesses to the resurrection entrusted with Jesus' teachings. Sixth, whereas the Matthean citation obligates the Eleven to speak all the words of Jesus, the ]ohamtine citation designates the apostles as those given the Holy Spirit and, thus, represent Christ in forgiving and remitting sins as he represented his a at her." Though Melanchthon does not use Matthew 2826-20 to establish the &try, note well the Latin edition of CA XVm. After citmg John 20, a favorite citation for discsussing the minktry, he adds Mark 16:15, "Go and preach the gospel to the whole creation." Putting aside the issues of the authenticity of the longer ending, it is similar to Matthew 28:19, as Raymond Brown notes, and in my opinion is dependent upon it." Both the disputed ending of Mark and Matthew 28:16 limit the audience addressed by Jesus to the EIeven. This apostolic minis* accordmg to CA XVIII belongs to the bishops and, as mentioned, according to the Treatise, it is assigned to the ministers who speak in the stead of Christ in remitting sins. This Melanchthon demonstrates by citing Luke 1096, another favorite citation for him in (Ap VII, 28,47)." In the first citation, Melanchthon says in preaching and administering the sacraments "[ministers] represent the person of Christ" and "offer them in the stead and place of Christ." A second use of Luke 10:16 shows that evil men can be ministers because they represent Christ and not themselves. Again, now for a third time, Luke 10:16 is used to demonstrate that a minister's absolution is Christ's " John 2Ck17.22 "'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' . . . And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" " This ministry is from the Holy Spirit and parallels Paul's admonition to Timothy to stir up within himself the gift given him through the laying on of Paul's hands. This gift is identified as the "spirit of power and love and self-control" (2 Tim 16, 7). which 'spirit' is none other than the Holy Spirit. Chemnitz uses this passage plus v. 14 and 2 Cor 35-6 to show that ministry of the gospel was also one of the Spirit. Examirmtion, 11:m. '3 Brown, Jolln XI33-XXI, 1040-1042. " Latin: "quia ministrifirnguntur zlice Uiristi, Twn repre-ntant sunm personam." German: "rienn sie reiclms nn Uzristus staff und niclltfurr ihre Per-wn." Scam The Office of the Ministry According to the Gwpels 117 (1240). Melanchthon's use of Luke la16 to show that Christ instituted the ministry and that the occupants of this office speak in the name of Chist to those who listen (CA XXVIII, 20) is pure genius (CA XMrIII, 22). Like Matthew, Luke speaks of the sending of the Twelve elsewhere (6:12-16), as does Mark (3:13-19). So the sending of the seventy is not substituted for the sending of the Twelve, but exlsts along side it (10:l-20). The third evangelist may be challenging notions current then that only the Twelve (Matt Eleven) spoke for fhrist. The seventy are sent directly by Qzrist, not by the Twelve, and thus accountable to him-the position of the Augsburg Confession, the Apology, and the ~reatise." Melanchthon's inkqmtation obviates the support or need for a historic apostolic succession for the ministry. Unique to the Twelve (Eleven) was their role as witnesses to Jesus' life, death, and fe~urredion,'~ and as the authenticators of his teachings (Matt 10:24; Mark 3:14-19; Luke 6:13-9); however, the seventy share in the preaching which, like that of the original Twelve, will be the standard for the worId judgment.'- Though Melanchthon uses the sending of the seventy to establish the ministry, the majority of his arguments for the ministry are taken from the pre- and post-Easter calls of the apostles. 15 1 Corinthians 155-9 lists the witnesm of the resumdion in the context of those known to be ministers. "And that Oeflls] appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred lmethen at one time, most of whom are stiU &\re, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all Me apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the aposdes, unfit to be called an apostle, kcawe I persffuted the church of God." The Corinthians knew7 Peter, the Twelx-e, James, and Paul as minissters. The apostles are those sent out bych~~~hestoestabLishod\erchurches. Justwho arethe 500isnotdy resolved. Like the se+-w they could be those &aen by Jesus as ministers but who were not included among the Twelve. 1Veter claims to be a witness of Christ's suffering (1 Pet 51) and of the transfiguration (2 Pet 1:16-18). Even if Second Peter is not authentic, it preserves the tradition that Peter was an evewitness of that event '7 There am no pdek in the other Gospels to Luke 103-12 and the sa-en$ are not identified, though later Hippol>-tus nominated each of thern; see The Ante-h'im Fathm: The Etiiting of thp Fathers Dmn to AD 32510 vols, ed. Alexander Roberts and Jams Donddson (Peabody, MA. Hendrickson Publishers, 1994), 525&255. This is, however, strikingly similar but not identical to the commission of the Twelve not only in Luke (91-6) but in .Matthew (10-5-15) and Mark (6:7-13). fttemnih explains how minktes forgive sins without God abdicating this authori5- to do so: "Now tfiis power of forgiving sin must not be understood to have been given to the priests in such a way that (33 had renounced it for Himself and had simply bansferred it to Me priests, with the result that in absolution it is not God SrmeU but the priest who remits sins.'' Examination, E559. 118 Concordia nteological Quarterly 70 (2006) ministers now exercise Christ's office in proclaiming forgiwnss in his place, but in such a way that it remains his.Ia 111. The Ministry in the Gospels Melanchthon cites the Gospels to anchor the ministry in the life of Jesus at specific times and places. After his ~wmdon Jesus was not a Gnostic teaching esoteric fhmgs learned beyond the grave but explicated what he taught before his death found in summrtrjr form at the end of the Gospels, for example, Matthew 28:16-20. Things taught before his death were interpreted in Iight of his resurrection (Luke 24:44). What Jesus did before his death was not recorded merely for the sake of having a historical account but also to shape and form the life of the church." Thus, Melanchthon applied Luke 10 to the &try.'O MeMthon cited the pre- and post-Easter commissioning of the Peter and the apostles." The pre- Easter commissioning of Peter, Andrew, James, and John to be fishers of men at the t>egirming of Jesus' ministry (Matt 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20) also belongs to the content of the post-Easter commissioning of the Eleven (28:16-20). [This matches the commissioning of Peter after the resurrection in John 21:l-11 where the once fisherman and now fisher of men agrees to provide for Jesus' sheep, an event which seem to be reflected in 1 Peter I:ZI].'~ Attention should aIso be given to Matthew's second discourse (9:35-11:1), which is folded into the commissioning of the apostles in l-rnnitz condemns the Novatiarts, "who taught that reco~~on and remission of sins are to be sought and aqeded apart from the ministrv of the Gospel." By ministry Cfiemnitz refers not to functions common to all, but to the pastors, as he goes on to say that, "None of the men on our side denies that power to remit and retain sm was given to the ministers of the church by Christ." Emmnnfim, II:559 Chemnitz also cites Luke 10:l. 39 John 2: 22 "Mihen therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken" For example baptism and the Lord's Supper were instituted in one way or another before Jesus' death but were given additional meaning by his resurrection. The complete trinitarian revelation came only after the resurreckion, though the Spirit descended on Jesus at his baptism to which God's voice, i-e., the Father's, gave his approval. Almost inexplicably Matthew has the Johannk thunderbolt that what the Father and the Son know of ach other is given by revelation to believers (1127). A trinitarian expansion with the indus~on of the Spirit comes only at the Gospel's end (28:19). 21 In .Mark 166-7, like Matthew 28.7, the women are instructed by the angel to tell the disciples that the commissioning will happen in Galilee, but the commissioning itself is not recorded. Like John 2, Peter is singled out "'But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.'" Matthew has Jesus repeatmg the message of the angel and no mention of Peter. 3 "For you were straying like sheep, but have now rrturned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls." Scaer: The Office of the Ministry According to the Gospels 119 28:16-20. In the second discourse the diiples are described not as fishers of men, but those entrusted with scatted sheep (cf. again 1 Pet 1:21) and a harvest to be gathered (9%-38). They are to preach the message of John the Baptist and Jesus that the kingdom of the heavens is near (10:7), instructed what to take with them and deserving of fair wages (10:9-11). For what they preach they will be persecuted, but in the hour of persecution the Holy Spirit will speak through them (10:16-20). Refusing to confess Christ releases him from confessing them before his Father (10:32-33). Judgment will come on those who do not accept their message (10:13-15). Those who do will share in the apostles' rewards. In the second discourse Matthew has interwoven pre- and post-Easter circumstances. Only after the resurrection would the disciples, now as apostles, be taken before kings and governors (10:18). Confessing Christ would be required of aIl (10:32-33). Matthew 28%-20, commonly called the Great Commission, is not an isolated imperative, but embodies everything previous in this gospel, including what is said about the minktry in the second discourse." W. The Creation of Faith The right, or should we say, the obligation for all believers to proclaim the gospel is extrinsic to the universal or general priesthood (1 Pet 29). Matthew, which is the most systematically ordered gospel and the one with institutions of Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and the ministry, provides examples of pople believing without direct contact with Jesus or the disciples. Some, indeed all of them, have exemplary faith. I bring this matter up in response to the allegation that some hold that only a word spoken by a minister can convert. Those who believe without an officid deputation are the magi, the centurions, the Canaanite woman, those who bring children to Jesus, and Pilate's wife. Most amazing are the magi. Much of what motivated their journey to search for the Jewish king will remain unknown, but it seems that they interpreted a unique celestial event in light of Numbers 24:17 about a star rising from Jacob and concluded that the messianic figure had come. They know the Pentateuch including 2 Samuel but not the prophets because they have no knowledge of Bethlehem. Unlike the Palm Sunday crowds who can acknowledge Jesus as no more than the Son of David (Matt 21:9, 15). the magi actuallv recognize him as God (Matt 2211). The healing of the centurion's servant (son) is recorded in Matthew &5-13, but Luke provides the additional information that the centurion did not actually converse with Jesus (7:l- 10). We are not told how he heard about Jesus, but it was not face to face. 5 For more see my Dirsolrrses in Matthew (Saint Louis. Concordia Publishing House, ZOM), 265-286. Since the disciples did not want to have anything to do with the Canaanite woman, it seems that neither they nor Jesus had directly preached to her. She is held up as a great believer, because she understood that in the discourse on bread and the falling crumbs Jesus was speaking about him& and not table mmmrs (Matt 1521-28; Mark 724-30). This the disciples could not figure out, though they had participated in the miraculous feeding as distributors of the bread. Children are brought to Jesus by others (19:13,14). Pilate's wife, who because of a dream, asks her husband to let nothing stand between him and Jesus (27:19). Like Joseph, the magi, and the Genesis Joseph, she is favored by God with a dreaa She may have known of Jesus, but in the dream she learns that he is "the Righteous One," the same confession made by Luke's centurion (~-47):~ The clue on how these came to faith is provided in Matthew 4Zk "The hearing (rumor) of him went throughout all Syria." The cross centurion hears Jesus, but he is not specifically addressed by him. People to whom the gospel was not proclaimed in a formal way or for whom it was not first intended heard it and believed. Though the Twelve and the Seventy are authorized as Jesus' ministers, faith is created in unexpected ways, often in spite of those given the obligation. Appendix: "In, With, and Among" A major presentation at the LCM5 convocation held in Phoenix in August 2006 on how a congregation governs itself centered on the significance of Exodus 19:6 which 1 Peter 29 cites, a historically foundational passage for the universal priesthood. Another citation in this epistle shows how congregations and ministers relate to one another. "So I exhort the elders amintg you, as a feZZow elder and a witness of the Wenenngs of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. Tend (shepherd) the flock of God [KJV: which is among you (omitted in RSV)] that is your charge."(5:1-2a). Both the vocabulary and grarrunar are significant. This passage is addressed to the elders (irp@6~c~~) a term carried over from the Greek into Latin version of the Treatise where it used together with pastors of ministers (49). It is used of John and Peter (Tr. 62). With the 24 En&h translations offer the word innocent in place of righteous or just. There is no other place in this Gospel where the Greek word means merely innocent. Matthew intends that Pilate's wife is among those Gentiles who recognize Jesus for who he reaUy is, a reality that eludes the Jews. Scaer. The Office of the Ministry According to the Gospels 121 first use of the phrase "among vou," Peter's words to the elders are intended to be heard by all the members of congregations, as are the Pastoral Epistles. By calling himself a uw;r&fir~poi, he shares a ministry with other elders, that is, pastors, but as an apostle he reserves for himself the title of a "witness of the sufferings of Christ." Elders (ministers) are a distinct group but their place is among and not above or beneath the congregations." In the first case of the "among you," the pastors are among the people and in the second case the people are among the pastors. So pastors are among and not above or beneath the congregations. Apart from his apostleship and minisin, Peter shares with all the letter's recipients a common glory. Siarly ~elanchthon separates a minister's office from his faith. Apart from the question of an earlier or later dating of the gospels, Judas remains listed among the apostles and at the same time defined bv his betrayal of Jesus (Matt 1355; Mark 3:19; Luke 6:16 [traitor]; John 6:ilf 12:4; 132, 21-26). These are warnings to the earliest Christians that even those who preached the gospel to them could fall from the salvation for which God had chosen them to prodaim. The office is not dependent upon the faith of those who hold it. A final note: 1 Peter is addressed not to individual churches but "to the elect in the diaspora" in northwest Asia Minor (1 Pet 1:1).% From this one could argue for the hTL5 position that all members within one fellowship constitute the churd Christians in these congregations constituted a fellotvship or church among themselves. 3 Peter uses the word eldm and not phr, but this concept is implied in their feeding "the flock of God," a back reference to Christ's commission to Peter to feed h lambs and sheep (John 21:15-13. God in the phrase "the flock of God" refers to the church as belongjng to Jesus. See 2.25: "For you were sging lrke sheep, but hare now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls." See Scaer, Drxourr;lz: in Mattkc, 147.