XXVI. Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacraments

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69 Responses

  1. Reuben,
    Your are still so Evangelical that you associate the “social sins” (that the Bible doesn’t mention at all) as the examples of evil. LOL 🙂

    I said on another thread that the Liturgy is in place to protect the congregation from the pastor. He doesn’t even need to be evil … but it protects against his ego that may want to lead one way, while the spirit is leading another.

  2. But today and through the week end there will be much mischief and evil going on from the pulpit. Today is Maundy Thursday and I am sorry for those whose pastors have chosen to keep the church doors closed and locked.

    Tonight, the celebration of the Lord Jesus Christ instituting His Supper – but what will be preached directly or by innuendo on Easter- not the words nor the intent of Jesus, but something similar to;

    “Take and eat. This is not my body, but a symbolic ordinance of my body, given for you and received through faith. Take this cup. This is the cup of the new testament also which is also not my blood but a symbol of my blood and received through faith, shed for some for the forgiveness of sins.”

    It’s not a symbol and it is not received by faith, but by the act.

    So like the article says, even the wayward or evil pastor cannot stop what God intends.

  3. Nonnie says:

    MLD is correct I believe. The liturgy and Eucharist are holy to the church and sinful man cannot corrupt it. That was my take on it as I read the article.

  4. Chile says:

    “Nevertheless, it appertaineth to the discipline of the Church, that inquiry be made of evil Ministers, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences; and finally, being found guilty, by just judgment be deposed.”

    So much is right about this!

    “… that inquiry be made of evil Ministers …” This, alone, would solve so many issues one way or another.

  5. Reuben says:

    MLD just wants a fight. Of course the Liturgy protects the congregation. That would be a good 50% of the reason why I am swinging Anglican. I don’t think that is the point of the Article. The point is that an evil man can administer the sacraments, and its all good. However, the people can have the evil man removed.

    That’d be nice, except I question the need to frame the article in such a way that a provision is made for an evil man in cloth…

  6. The “evil man” back at this time were non christians who were given pastor positions as political favors. So you had political scoundrels running the church.

  7. Papias says:

    If a minister is “evil” does that negate or somehow invalidate the ministry or the ordinances themselves? This Article is saying that it does not matter what state the minister is in in regards to the sacraments, works, effectual ministry – these things are not invalidated by an “evil” minister.

    The early church had problems with pastors and others who had fallen during persecution, and then had come back to the faith(Novatian and Donatists). It was argued that these administered sacraments, such as baptism, were invalid. If you pastor had fallen and then come back to the faith, (if they were readmitted to the faith), if they performed ministry – it would be invalid due to their “lasping”.

    Does the sin of a minister invalidate the ministry? No, it does not.

    But the last sentence is here to protect the church from evil ministers. The church can despose of those ministers that inquiriy of evil is made and is found to be true. Its a matter of church discipline, which goes both ways – for the conregation and for the minister.

  8. Nonnie says:

    Paps nailed it!! Excellent.

  9. Lutheran says:

    What Papias said.

  10. MrTundraMan says:

    A group of Christians is not a church if there is not proper administration of discipline in the church and that discipline includes discipline of the ministers. Any group of Christians which doesn’t have a means of disciplining minister isn’t a church.

    This is why I say most Calvary Chapels are not legitimate churches.

  11. MrTundraMan says:

    Let’s try this one a different way. Contrary to perceptions a church is not a “Calvary Chapel”. There is only one “Calvary Chapel”, which is “Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa”. Local churches which call themselves “Calvary Chapel” do so because their Senior Pastor is aligned personally with Calvary Chapel. The proof is that if the pastor leaves and another pastor comes who is not aligned with Calvary Chapel that church ceases to be a Calvary Chapel. And alignment with Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa is with Chuck Smith (or at least it was until the recent changes).

    In Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa there is no way to discipline Chuck Smith. Hence, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa does not have legitimate church discipline. Sure, they’ll kick out attendees, but Chuck Smith can’t be disciplined. My conclusion about CCCM and CS is that it is not a legitimate church.

    So if CCCM is not a legitimate church then alignment through the CC organization can’t produce a church since it takes a church to generate a church. My conclusion is that at least with respect to the name, CC, there’s no local CC which is actually a church.

    Add to that the lack of church discipline of pastors from the mothership and you have something that is not a church at all.

    Sounds radical? Maybe, but that’s the way it is.

  12. David sloane says:

    Matthew 18:20
    For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    Is this the true definition of “church” at its core? If we gather not in Jesus name then He is not in the midst of us and we are not church. And if we do gather together in His name He is in our midst and we are church.

    Nothing being said about accountability enters into this picture. CC people gather together in Jesus name, are they not church by definition?

    Just saying…

  13. MrTundraMan says:

    David – There is more to it than just gathering. There is the “in His name” part if it. And unpacking that phrase there’s more than just slapping the name “Jesus” onto something. For instance the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” (Mormons) gather together in his name, but who is the Jesus of the Mormons?

    Proper church discipline has always been considered one of the marks of the church in all traditions as wide as Eastern and Western (both Catholic and Protestant) Churches.

    So let’s flip this around. If a group of people is gathering in HIs name to do His will then proper church discipline will be a part of that gathering since He said it should be that way.

    After all, a group that gathers as AA and serves alcohol isn’t really AA, right? Even if they call themselves AA.

  14. MrTundraMan says:

    Plus, David, that passage you picked is in the middle of a context. Note that the context is Matt 18 which is the chapter about church discipline in the New Testament. You can’t pick out verse 20 and ignore the rest of the words in the chapter:

    In fact, grammatically the “for where” in the verse you quote ties it to the previous verses about church discipline.

  15. MrTundraMan says:

    In fact the purpose of the coming together in verse 20 appears to be for the purpose of binding and loosing, which is particularly related to church discipline. So if you put the context together it’s like “For where two or more of you are together to bind or loose in church discipline, there is am in the midst of the disciplining.

  16. MTM,
    I don’t disagree with you about discipline, but using one of your tactics, can you show me where that applies to the leaders.

    The apostles were given the office of the keys – they were given the authority to bind and loose.
    Can you show me biblically where some other person had the authority to bind or loose the apostles?

  17. MrTundraMan says:

    1Ti 5:19-20
    Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
    Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

  18. MrTundraMan says:

    The Belgic Confession devotes a chapter (Article 29) to the “Marks of the True Church” and lists them as follows:

    “The true church can be recognized if it has the following marks: The church engages in the pure preaching of the gospel; it makes use of the pure administration of the sacraments as Christ instituted them; it practices church discipline for correcting faults. In short, it governs itself according to the pure Word of God, rejecting all things contrary to it and holding Jesus Christ as the only Head. By these marks one can be assured of recognizing the true church– and no one ought to be separated from it.

  19. MrTundraMan says:

    Arguing with MLD is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how good you are at chess, the pigeon is just going to knock over the pieces, crap on the board, and strut around likes it’s victorious.

  20. Reuben says:

    That was funny! Plus, he is a Dodgers fan!

  21. MTM,
    You misunderstood – I said I agree, I just wanted to see if you knew of biblical support. My church has disciplined our pastor twice in the 7 yrs I have been there – we know how to do it,.

    But I do love how you quoted not only a Protestant confession but a Reformed one at that.

    Does the EO have a confession that discusses pastoral discipline? .

  22. David sloane says:

    Good point about the AA Mr T

  23. MrTundraMan says:

    The EOC has the canons of the church.

  24. MrTundraMan says:

    Here’s a good one that applies to Calvary Chapel:

    A bishop must not, out of favour to a brother or a son, or any other relation, ordain whom he will to the episcopal dignity; for it is not right to make heirs of the bishopric, giving the things of God to human affections. Neither is it fitting to subject the Church of God to heirs. But if anyone shall do so let the ordination be void, and the ordainer himself be punished with excommunication.

  25. MTM,
    “Canon II.
    Let a presbyter, deacon, and the rest of the clergy, be ordained by one bishop,

    So much for your rant about CC not letting the congregation select the deacons. 😉

  26. MrTundraMan says:

    Gotta select first then ordain next. How does the selection process work? That’s the question, but glad to see you reading some historical materials before the 1500s. Funny how almost everything we see go wrong in CC is covered in these canons.

  27. PP Vet says:

    “Arguing with MLD is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how good you are at chess, the pigeon is just going to knock over the pieces, crap on the board, and strut around likes it’s victorious.”

    Not bad. Although I have seen him once or twice, when facing a clearly lost position, simply fly away.

  28. Your canons are no less “the writings of man” than the documents that come out of the reformation.

    Except the fact that 700 – 800 yrs of review opened them up for proper correction … which the reformation did.

    EO faults on justification are no less man centered than RCC man centered faults … and we know what a slippery slope those are.

  29. MrTundraMan says:

    Martin Luther’s Pigeon struts around….

    As to “proper correction” by the Reformation, I am not sure how the canons are all that much different than Michael’s quote on this page or the ethical standards of any respectable denomination.. Oh, there are specifics there that are different. Changes in focus over time. We don’t worry about pastors castrating themselves as much now as they worried in the day. We worry more about them abusing children today.

    The canons are not my canons. They are the canons of the shared church, Eastern and Western church. They are our canons. However, if Luther rejected some of them it says more about Luther than anything else.

    As far as being wrong on justification it’s possible that the church was wrong for 1500 hundred years and then some guy came along and got a different read than what the historical church took on justification. It’s possible, I just don’t put my trust in Luther.

  30. MrTundraMan says:

    It’s really no longer necessary to debate about justification since Wright has delivered the decisive blow to the other side. Martin Luther’s Pigeon – please read Wright – and not just some webpage summary of Wright, then we can talk.

  31. MTM,
    I have read Wright (even his entire 800 pager on the resurrection)… so?? I guess you are a follower of man – I stated hear several years ago, NT Wright is working with Tony Blair to unite the Church of England with Rome. Blair has taken on the political issues with the Vatican and NT Wright is working on the theological end – this is no secret..

    Look, if you agree with Rome and think Luther was wrong, go ahead and keep selling indulgences so people can get out of purgatory.

  32. Anoncoward says:

    Me thinks MrTundraman and Alex could be twins. Same great wit. Same battles. Would love to see both of them debate in the public square. My money would be on Alex but the odds are somewhat sketchy. I could possibly lose.

  33. mrtundraman says:

    Alex would win. We both stand on the side of victims of abuse, he’s just smarter than me. Not sure what we’d debate about though since we seem to agree on the really important things.

  34. mrtundraman says:

    “NT Wright is working with Tony Blair to unite the Church of England with Rome. Blair has taken on the political issues with the Vatican and NT Wright is working on the theological end – this is no secret.”

    Been reading LHT too much lately? Seeing a Catholic under every tree…

  35. Well, he did become a Catholic after leaving office. Before leaving office he changed the law that said no Catholic could be the Ambassador to the Vatican.

    NT Wright is actually only aiming his NPP towards the Church of England because the a a soft form of Calvinists..

    The Reformed get all upset because they think he is talking to them – which he is not. The Lutherans pay no attention to Wright. For all the book written on the NPP, I don’t think any are by Lutherans.

    Wright is a fad.

  36. mrtundraman says:

    “Well, he did become a Catholic after leaving office. Before leaving office he changed the law that said no Catholic could be the Ambassador to the Vatican.”

    Wow. that is such convincing evidence that Blair and Wright are in cahoots to convert England to Catholicism. LOL.

    “NT Wright is actually only aiming his NPP towards the Church of England because the a a soft form of Calvinists.”

    Odd since Wright himself said that his following is mostly in America and he is much less well known in Britain than here.

    Geneva and Wittenburg aren’t the only places reformation happened. It happened in England too, just in a different form.

  37. mrtundraman says:

    “Wright is a fad.”

    Like Luther…

  38. mrtundraman says:

    “Well, he did become a Catholic after leaving office. Before leaving office he changed the law that said no Catholic could be the Ambassador to the Vatican.”

    As an American I believe that “no religious tests” is a proper position for the government to take. Do you believe that no Roman Catholic should be allowed to be the US Ambassador to the Holy See?

  39. In case you hadn’t realized, England is not in the US.

    It doesn’t matter what I think – it’s what he changed and why.

  40. mrtundraman says:

    “NT Wright is working with Tony Blair to unite the Church of England with Rome. Blair has taken on the political issues with the Vatican and NT Wright is working on the theological end – this is no secret..”

    May be no secret, but it is pretty funny. Blair has supported gay marriage and abortion. So how has he taken on the political issue with the Vatican?

    Your response is that now a Catholic and be Ambassador to the Holy See. LOL. Pretty funny response. Did you mean to be serious?

    Blair was right, it was a ridiculous prohibition. And you want say whether or not you agree that it was ridiculous.

  41. mrtundraman says:

    “now a Catholic and be” – now a Catholic can be

    “you want say” – you won’t say

    Gotta read my own writing…

  42. mrtundraman says:

    “It doesn’t matter what I think – it’s what he changed and why.”

    Blair’s conversion to Catholicism seems to be pretty straightforward. He’s been married to the same woman since 1980 and she is Catholic. They raised their children as Catholics. He has long attended mass and is said to have taken communion for some time until he was told that he couldn’t not being a Catholic. Not a real strong reason to convert but that’s what he gives as his reasons. Other than the act of removing the ridiculous prohibition against having a Catholic Ambassador to the UN, what has he done to promote unity with Rome? His own politics are not Catholic.

    Or is it some Jesuit conspiracy to take over the world?

  43. “Blair was right, it was a ridiculous prohibition. ”

    Well, a state church is ridiculous according to American standards also, but Blair didn’t attempt to do anything in that areas. He doesn’t want to inflame the CoE.

    If you don’t know the political side of the Vatican, what can I say.

  44. MTM,
    This is in response to your #2 on the Christ is Risen thread – I didn’t want to defile that thread.

    “I know my grandmother used to beg me to go to church with them when they’d visit. I couldn’t since I didn’t believe in it.”

    I went last Friday to with my mother to temple,even though I don’t believe in Judaism. So, even though you don’t believe in Christianity you could still go with your mom to her church.

    Oh wait, you can’t go back because you lied in confirmation – giving the right answers even though you were an atheist. (per your own words).

  45. mrtundraman says:

    “I went last Friday to with my mother to temple,even though I don’t believe in Judaism. So, even though you don’t believe in Christianity you could still go with your mom to her church.”

    Chess pieces knocked over… The pigeon struts…

  46. Another ad hominem fired across my bow. The weapon of choice for the weak minded.

  47. mrtundraman says:

    “Another ad hominem fired across my bow. The weapon of choice for the weak minded.”

    I love irony as much as the next guy but Martin Luther’s Pigeon takes it t a new level..

  48. Well, I don’t call you names because that is not my weapon of choice – good answers are.

    But in the Easter spirit, I will just say “you win”

    Oh wait, the EO doesn’t have the Easter spirit until 6 weeks after the Passover.

  49. mrtundraman says:

    Unlike the Protestants, the Orthodox Church doesn’t follow the Catholic Church for the date of Easter.

  50. I don’t know – it should be somewhere around the Passover shouldn’t? The story of the Lord’s institution of Communion at the Passover… and then 6 weeks later he faces crucifixion? … I don’t know.

    You should check it out, the RCC believes in the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, the Deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement and other vital parts of the Christian faith. The EO shouldn’t have thrown all of Rome out.

  51. mrtundraman says:

    One of characteristics of Anti-Christ is that he changes the dates of sacred times:

    “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

    According to the Gregorian calendar, Easter falls on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25 from 1753 to 2400. In the Julian calendar, used by some eastern or Orthodox churches, Easter also falls on a Sunday from March 22 to April 25, which in the Gregorian calendar are from April 3 to May 10 from 1753 to 2400.

    This “reform” of “changing times” was led by the Catholics and later followed the the Protestants. The Orthodox don’t follow the Gregorian calendar for their church times preferring to follow ancient precedence – even when it is not convenient.

    This is why changing the date for Easter is difficult for the Orthodox. They prefer not to follow Anti-Christ.

  52. mrtundraman says:

    “You should check it out, the RCC believes in the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, the Deity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement and other vital parts of the Christian faith.”

    The EO has all of those things as well. They had them from the beginning.

    “The EO shouldn’t have thrown all of Rome out.”

    I’d say better to not follow Anti-Christ, but YMMV.

  53. mrtundraman says:

    The difference between Protestant/Catholic and the Orthodox is that the Orthodox don’t feel free to change things like the date of Easter without an ecumenical council. However, the split with Rome in 1054 has prevented another council from being held.

    The Catholics felt free to change the date of Easter and the Protestants followed right along after them. When people rail against the Catholics, they rarely realize how much they are already compromised.

  54. mrtundraman says:

    An example of the Protestants following Rome is theories on the Atonement, The most often follow the Roman Catholic lead when it comes to the atonement. The East has a different view, the Christus Victor view.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atonement_%28Christus_Victor_view%29

  55. Just going to point out that the day of the resurrection is figured out by passover, which is in turn figured out by the full moon (You know that pesky hebrew lunar calendar). Last I looked, orthodox easter is on May 5th this year. The full moon is when? Not 3 days before orthodox easter, I can tell that much.
    That is all.

  56. “This is why changing the date for Easter is difficult for the Orthodox. They prefer not to follow Anti-Christ.”

    I prefer to follow the Jewish calendar and have Easter around the passover. Look, if you like a Cinco de Mayo Easter, go for it.

    Besides, I don’t think in fearful Tim LaHaye end times thoughts like you do.

  57. mrtundraman says:

    DT – not exactly. It is much more complicated than that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_of_easter#Controversies

  58. MTM,
    We know that the EO folks can’t believe in the substituinary atonement, because that does not leave any room for you to be God’s helper in your salvation – you know, that 50 / 50 thing?

  59. mrtundraman says:

    “I prefer to follow the Jewish calendar and have Easter around the passover.”

    I don’t make the choice by what I prefer, I make it by what the church has decided.

    But you don’t follow the Jewish calendar anyway, you follow the Catholic’s calendar.

  60. I resent that, I don’t follow the Catholic calendar – I follow a Hallmark calendar 🙂

    Seriously though, if the Church says that Jesus rose from the dead 6 weeks after the passover, you can’t say that’s wrong?

    I don’t always agree when Easter falls on our calendar all the time, but I speak out and say we do it wrong – I follow, because what am I going to do, get the makers of Peeps to change their calendar.

    But you my friend are saying “my church is right even when they are wrong, because they are the church.”

  61. #58 Okay, a whole lot of people argued and fussed about when Easter should be. And somehow, the EO came to celebrate it nowhere close to Passover. Because no matter what you say, May 5 this year falls nowhere close to passover. Nor, does it even fall close to a full moon. But, I did see that full moon that signals passover while driving to work in the wee hours of the morning this week.
    Talk about changing times.

  62. Bob says:

    “I prefer to follow the Jewish calendar and have Easter around the passover.”

    Wow I agree with MLD on something.

    And for those who say the church is right even when its wrong, your wrong.

  63. Reuben says:

    This is sounding a little bit too much like, “We worship on that mountain…”

  64. Papias says:

    I say we go back to being full on Quartodecimans! It would sure make figuring out the date of Easter alot easier. 🙂

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartodecimanism

  65. Reuben, not saying that I care when Easter is celebrated, but MTM sort of said changing times and dates was “antichrist” and it appears to me that besides the EO everyone else is closer to the time. I was mainly sitting back and watching till I read the antichrist comment.
    He can celebrate it when he chooses.

  66. But, I will admit this whole conversation has been a bit like trying to figure out why the Church of Christ doesn’t use instruments. They have a scripture that they think backs them up, but it all boils down to that the fact that some congregations couldn’t afford pianos in the past so they found reasons to support no instruments.
    It is one of those conversations that you are all the more ignorant for having participated in.

  67. Reuben says:

    DT

    That was in no way, shape, or form, directed at you.

  68. Sorry Reuben,
    I just hate it when people use terms like that against other christians.

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