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Friday, January 8, 2016

The Priesthood of All Believers



The clergy are almost immune to doctrinal and Biblical study. The synods have mastered the art of teaching synod-worship at their seminaries. The thought of Holy Mother Sect being wrong about anything is too horrible for the clergy to contemplate. Besides that, they look around and see where the clergy casualties are:

  • Alcoholism and DUIs - nope.
  • Adultery - nope.
  • Divorcing and marrying the mistress - nope.
  • Homosexual activities - nope.
  • Pedophilia - nope.
  • Laziness and incompetence - nope.
  • Questioning the synod - oh yes, a thousand times yes.
This reminds me that Luther emphasized the priesthood of all believers. The graphic above, which is the most popular post on this blog, is related to this concept. There is no authority above the Word of God, not even among the authors I admire the most or the friends I appreciate the most. No synod, pastor, professor, or authority figure can set aside the norms of the Word and the clarity of the Holy Spirit's teaching.

These phrases from clergy and a few brain-washed lay leaders give me the creeps - 
  1. "In our circles, this has always meant..."
  2. "Our synod teaches that..."
  3. "Synod says..."
  4. "I had him as a professor at seminary and he taught..."
  5. "We don't worship Luther."
  6. "I am a Christ-ian, not a Faith-ian. Your faith is in faith, not in Christ."
The above statements are appeals to authority, a logical fallacy, except for the last two listed #5 and #6, which are Straw Man fallacies. 

No one worships Luther. In fact, few clergy read Luther at all today. The Lutheran pastors and professors today  are golfers who never golf, swimmers who never swim, polo players without a horse.

Luther called himself a Faith-ian, a Solafideist. See the graphic below.

Hope remains among the laity today because they hunger and thirst for righteousness -  and they pursue topics relentlessly. That is the blessing of doctrinal conflict, generating interest in the Scriptures and the Confessions. The more the opponents want to take the truth away, the more valuable the truth becomes in our eyes.

Luther made a crucial distinction in writing about the priesthood of all believers. It is worth considering during this season of Epiphany


3. I will let every man decide for himself the difference between the outward priesthood of dazzling character and the internal, spiritual priesthood. The first is confined to a very few individuals; the second, Christians commonly share. One was ordained of men, independently of the Word of God; the other was established through the Word, irrespective of human devices. In that, the skin is be-smeared with material oil; in this, the heart is internally anointed with the Holy Spirit. That applauds and extols its works; this proclaims and magnifies the grace of God, and his glory.

That does not offer up the body with its lusts, but rather fosters the evil desires of the flesh; this sacrifices the body and mortifies its lusts. The former permits the offering up to itself of gold and property, of honor, of idleness and pleasure, and of all manner of lust on earth; the latter foregoes these things and accepts only the reverse of homage. That again sacrifices Christ in its awful perversions; this, satisfied with the atonement once made by Christ, offers up itself with him and in him, by making similar sacrifices.

In fact, the two priesthoods accord about as well as Christ and Barabbas, as light and darkness, as God and the world. As little as smearing and shaving were factors in Christ’s priesthood, so little will they thus procure for anyone the Christian priesthood. Yet Christ, with all his Christians, is priest. “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” 


 A Straw Man ignites  - "I am a Christ-ian, not a Faith-ian."
Luther called himself a Faith-ian.