I met with a Lutheran (LCMS) Pastor friend of mine today, and we discussed a variety of things. It was an excellent time and I really appreciate good dialogue!
One thing I am struggling with, is the Lutheran view of ordination. I understand the Catholic objections to this, and I don’t want to start a debate about it. All I am asking is if a Lutheran LCMS could explain a bit to me.
Basically, does your denomination believe in Presbyter Apostolic Succession? In other words, can you trace a succession of Pastors back to the Apostles? Do you believe that only one who has been ordained can administer valid sacraments, or is it possible for a lay person to consecrate the Eucharist?
The Lutheran Pastor I met with brought up this quote from The Book of Concord: “For wherever the Church is, there is the authority [command] to administer the Gospel. Therefore it is necessary for the Church to retain the authority to call, elect, and ordain ministers. And this authority is a gift which in reality is given to the Church, which no human power can wrest from the Church, as Paul also testifies to the Ephesians when he says, Eph 4:8: He ascended, He gave gifts to men. And he enumerates among the gifts specially belonging to the Church pastors and teachers, and adds that such are given for the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Hence, wherever there is a true church, the right to elect and ordain ministers necessarily exists. Just as in a case of necessity even a layman absolves, and becomes the minister and pastor of another; as Augustine narrates the story of two Christians in a ship, one of whom baptized the catechumen, who after Baptism then absolved the baptizer.”
Does anyone know if this allusion to Augustine is correct? And, Lutherans, can anyone be a pastor in your view, even if he hasn’t been ordained?