Lutherans, please


#1

Hi all,

Lutherans agree to a certain extant with the Catholic teaching regarding the Lord’s Supper, or Eucharist. They believe that the Body and Blood of our Lord is present in the bread and wine after consecration by the presiding minister.

My question is, where does a Lutheran minister get his (or her) authority to consecrate the elements? There is nothing in Scripture that tells us that only properly ordained clergy can preside at the Supper/Eucharist. We get this from Tradition. The Church teaches that only a validly ordainted priest or bishop can consecrate the elements but it comes from Holy Tradition not Holy Scripture.

In other words, how do Lutheran get around Apostolic Succession and valid Holy Orders?

Again, we are not told in Scripture that only a validly ordained member of the clergy can preside, yet in Lutheran churches, only an ordained minister can consecrate. (Also, how do you square this with Sola Scriptura?) I’ve been in services where the minister was absent but an elder distributed pre-sanctified elements to the congregation.

I attended a Lutheran congregation (LCMS) for a few years but never thought to ask.

Thanks,
Gene


#2

Great question, I am currently Lutheran and I asked a similar question. I stated once you take the sacrament out of ordination and lower it to little more than adaphoria then you might as well have a Justice of the Peace consecrate the bread and wine. The Apologies of the Lutheran Church actually state that the heirarchy of Bishops should be retained.

Some Lutherans do argue though that the power comes by way of the Calling in that certain people are called to do different jobs by Chirst.

This is one of the major reasons that in my profile you will soon see my releigion comments change from - Converting to Lutheran to Converting to Orthodox.


#3

Maybe they think because Luther was a Catholic Priest he passed this down? Clueless here.


#4

[quote=JackmanUSC]Maybe they think because Luther was a Catholic Priest he passed this down? Clueless here.
[/quote]

yes some argue this fact and when you tell them that he wasn’t a Bishop they will quickly tell you that that is an heirarchy created by man.


#5

You will get more than you ever could want on the issue here:

semperref.homestead.com/files/dogma.html


#6

Hi Ron,

Thanks for the link.

I only read the section of apostolic succession. I think the question still remains…The authority to administer Holy Communion is nowhere granted in Scripture. Therefore, any denomination that insists that only ordained ministers can preside are relying on tradition outside of Scripture, even though they may say it is implicit in Scripture. And these are usually denoms that hold to Sola Scriptura!

Thanks again,
Gene


#7

[quote=Gene C.]Hi Ron,

Thanks for the link.

I only read the section of apostolic succession. I think the question still remains…The authority to administer Holy Communion is nowhere granted in Scripture. Therefore, any denomination that insists that only ordained ministers can preside are relying on tradition outside of Scripture, even though they may say it is implicit in Scripture. And these are usually denoms that hold to Sola Scriptura!

Thanks again,
Gene
[/quote]

I’m no expert, so I do not want to get into a debate about it. But let me say what I understand.

Christ instituted and defind the Office of Holy Ministry. At the Last Supper, he was speaking to his apostles, not as laymen, but as members of the Office of Holy Ministry. So when he said “take and eat… do this… etc.”, he was telling the members of the Office of Holy Ministry to administer it.

Any denomination that recognizes the office can say “we limit administration of the Eucharist to members of the Office of the Holy Ministry just as Jesus did at the Last Supper.”

The power or authroity of that office is one thing. How someone gets into that office is a different issue.


#8

users.aol.com/SemperRef/office.html

users.aol.com/SemperRef/change.html

users.aol.com/SemperRef/#Playing


#9

Well, sure these Protestant denominations are depending on a tradition of man that is outside of what scriptures teach. There are all sorts of obscure Protestant sects that “ordain” their ministers by having an elderly member in the church lay hands on someone who claims to be a preacher of the Word, and then, presto-chango, there is a newly ordained minister in the Two Seed in the Spirit Primitive Baptist Sabbaterian Free Will Church of Mount Zion.

Lutheran “priests” are no more validly ordained than little Jimmy Jo Jeeter the child preacher back up in ‘possum hollow.


#10

Given the choice between Jimmy Jo Jetter the child preacher and so validly ordained Cardinal Law, I’ll take . . . the Lutheran “priest”.


#11

[quote=Gene C.]My question is, where does a Lutheran minister get his (or her) authority to consecrate the elements?
[/quote]

The authority comes not from the minister, but of the Words of consecration themselves. From the Large Catechism:

[font=Arial]16] For here we conclude and say: Even though a knave takes or distributes the Sacrament, he receives the true Sacrament, that is, the true body and blood of Christ, just as truly as he who [receives or] administers it in the most worthy manner. For it is not founded upon the holiness of men, but upon the Word of God. And as no saint upon earth, yea, no angel in heaven, can make bread and wine to be the body and blood of Christ, so also can no one change or alter it, even though it be misused.
[left][/font]Consecration takes place when anyone says the words with the intention of consecrating the bread and wine. It can be misused. Misuse is a grave sin. Therefore we place the responsibility in the hands of the pastor, who we trust to be responsible.[/left]


#12

Do Lutherans believe that children can be ordained priests? Why not? Why is that some Lutheran sects allow women priests and some Lutheran sects do not?


#13

[quote=Matt16_18]Do Lutherans believe that children can be ordained priests? Why not? Why is that some Lutheran sects allow women priests and some Lutheran sects do not?
[/quote]

I agree but in the same breath why can some Priests be married in the Catholic Church and some cannot?


#14

[quote=Matt16_18]Do Lutherans believe that children can be ordained priests? Why not? Why is that some Lutheran sects allow women priests and some Lutheran sects do not?
[/quote]

Are you trying to ask me if Lutherans think women and children can concecrate the bread and wine by invoking the words?

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod does not ask women and children to take on that resonsibility.


#15

In principle, could sincere little girls become ordained priests of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod? If not, why not?


#16

Whether or not priests can be married is a matter of discipline within the various Rites of the Catholic Church. There have always been married priests within the Catholic Church (in the Eastern Rites), and in principle, the Roman Rite could change her disciplinary rule of celibacy for priests. In fact, there already are now married priests in the Latin Rite that have been given dispensation from the disciplinary practice of celibacy. Some of these priests were married Anglican priests before they converted to the Latin Rite; some of these priests were married men that became ordained when Poland was under communist domination. I know of at least two priests in the Catholic Church that are divorced men. There may be other exceptions that I am not aware of too.


#17

[quote=Matt16_18]In principle, could sincere little girls become ordained priests of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod? If not, why not?
[/quote]

I am not sure what you are getting at. First of all, we do not ordain “priests”.

Secondly, we do not ordain little girls, so I guess your question is wholly theoretical.

Theoretically, we do not have to devote brain cells to pondering your question. We ordain responsible men who have gone through seminary school into the ministry. We trust these ministers to administer the sacrament in a respectful way.

We would be at great risk of being grossly disrespectful if we allowed little girls to administer the sacrament, so we don’t let them.


#18

[quote=Matt16_18]…I know of at least two priests in the Catholic Church that are divorced men…
[/quote]

It should be clarified here that divorced men who are ordained have either had a declaration of nullity for their former marriages, meaning that the Church has investigated the circumstances of these marriages and found some defect such that while a legal marriage may have existed according to the state, a Sacramental marriage never existed, so they are as free as other unmarried men to consider Holy Orders; or their former wives have died, meaning that whether or not these men ever had Sacramental marriages, these men are now de facto widowers, and are as free to consider Holy Orders as other widowers. This freedom, of course takes into account these men’s responsibilities to their former wives and their children, if any. I don’t know these two particular priests so I don’t which circumstances pertain to them.

The only exception I have ever heard to the above were cases in which both spouses voluntarily separated so that both could pursue a religious vocation. I have read of some couples who have chosen this several hundred years ago, but I do not think this is still an option today.


#19

[quote=Matt16_18]Whether or not priests can be married is a matter of discipline within the various Rites of the Catholic Church. There have always been married priests within the Catholic Church (in the Eastern Rites), and in principle, the Roman Rite could change her disciplinary rule of celibacy for priests. In fact, there already are now married priests in the Latin Rite that have been given dispensation from the disciplinary practice of celibacy. Some of these priests were married Anglican priests before they converted to the Latin Rite; some of these priests were married men that became ordained when Poland was under communist domination. I know of at least two priests in the Catholic Church that are divorced men. There may be other exceptions that I am not aware of too.
[/quote]

Same situation with the Lutheran Church in regards to age “prudence“… although a 10 year old my have the calling it just wouldn’t be wise to make him a pastor much less they still have to go through a rigorous seminary education.

The reason that women cannot be ordained in the LCMS and WELLS is because it states in the Bible that women are not to speak in church and has nothing to do with the Apostles being all male.


#20

I am not sure it has “nothing to do” with the Apostles being all male, as such fact supports the orthodox Lutheran position that God calls only males to the Office of Holy Ministry.

Here is how the Smalcald Articles address the matter:

X. Of Ordination and the Call.

1] If the bishops would be true bishops [would rightly discharge their office], and would devote themselves to the Church and the Gospel, it might be granted to them for the sake of love and unity, but not from necessity, to ordain and confirm us and our preachers; omitting, however, all comedies and spectacular display [deceptions, absurdities, and appearances] of unchristian [heathenish] parade and pomp. 2] But because they neither are, nor wish to be, true bishops, but worldly lords and princes, who will neither preach, nor teach, nor baptize, nor administer the Lord’s Supper, nor perform any work or office of the Church, and, moreover, persecute and condemn those who discharge these functions, having been called to do so, the Church ought not on their account to remain without ministers [to be forsaken by or deprived of ministers].

3] Therefore, as the ancient examples of the Church and the Fathers teach us, we ourselves will and ought to ordain suitable persons to this office; and, even according to their own laws, they have not the right to forbid or prevent us. For their laws say that those ordained even by heretics should be declared [truly] ordained and stay ordained [and that such ordination must not be changed], as St. Jerome writes of the Church at Alexandria, that at first it was governed in common by priests and preachers, without bishops.

bookofconcord.org/smalcald.html#ordination


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