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Thread: Are Lay Ministers "Only Playing Church"?

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    Are Lay Ministers "Only Playing Church"?

    If a layman should perform all the outward functions of a priest, celebrating Mass, confirming, absolving, administering the sacraments, dedicating altars, churches, vestments, vessels, etc., it is certain that these actions in all respects would be similar to those of a true priest, in fact, they might be performed more reverently and properly than the real ones. But because he has not been consecrated and ordained and sanctified, he performs nothing at all, but is only playing church and deceiving himself and his followers. Younger Luther
    We firmly maintain there is no other Word of God than the one all Christians are told to preach; there is no other Baptism than the one all Christians may administer; there is no other remembrance of the Lord's Supper than the one any Christian may celebrate; also there is no other sin than the one every Christian may bind or loose; again, there is no other sacrifice than the body of every Christian; also, no one can, or may, pray but only a Christian; moreover, no one should judge of the doctrine but the Christian. Older Luther
    Which Luther (if either) is correct?

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    Re: Are Lay Ministers "Only Playing Church"?

    I'm not sure that there is a conflict between these two statements. They appear to be dealing with two slightly different issues.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: Are Lay Ministers "Only Playing Church"?

    Possibly. However, it is my impression that the first citation is in direct opposition to the second citation and that younger Luther denies an unqualified efficacy of the word and promise of Christ that the older Luther upholds. If "playing church" means that the Mass and Absolution are only efficacious when administered by a "consecrated and ordained and sanctified" priest, how is that consistent with "there is no other remembrance of the Lord's Supper than the one any Christian may celebrate; also there is no other sin than the one every Christian may bind or loose."

    Confirmation and the dedication of "altars, churches, vestments, vessels, etc." are manmade institutions. If the younger Luther wants to deny their efficacy when performed by a layman, I have no objection. However, no man may deny the efficacy of Christ's almighty word and promises.

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    Re: Are Lay Ministers "Only Playing Church"?

    Quote Originally Posted by gerhard View Post
    Possibly. However, it is my impression that the first citation is in direct opposition to the second citation and that younger Luther denies an unqualified efficacy of the word and promise of Christ that the older Luther upholds. If "playing church" means that the Mass and Absolution are only efficacious when administered by a "consecrated and ordained and sanctified" priest, how is that consistent with "there is no other remembrance of the Lord's Supper than the one any Christian may celebrate; also there is no other sin than the one every Christian may bind or loose."

    Confirmation and the dedication of "altars, churches, vestments, vessels, etc." are manmade institutions. If the younger Luther wants to deny their efficacy when performed by a layman, I have no objection. However, no man may deny the efficacy of Christ's almighty word and promises.
    I would agree, the older Luther got, it is only natural that as a new creation he would continue to grow. Dicipline and correction part of that as well. There are several other statements here I agree with, but I'm not sure I've asked in the past.......Do you believe in water baptismal regeneration, and the Eucharist to be of Con-substantiation? I ask this because both you and Chuck are Lutherans, maybe of different conferences though? Anyway, get back to me when you can Dan.
    Jn 14:23-24, (NASB)
    Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, BUT The Father's Who sent Me.

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    Re: Are Lay Ministers "Only Playing Church"?

    As to the question and title of this thread "Are Lay Ministers "Only Playing Church"? To me this statement has no relevency at all!

    Since I do not believe the scriptures teach a "caste" ie. Clergy/Laity system/distinction.

    Either a true Christian is a minister (albiet with different callings and offices), or he is not. And if a true Christian is not a minister of Christ, then he is no minister at all. And if no minister at all, can he really claim to be a true Christian? Think about it!

    This topic would be better served and argued on a Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Anglican, and or whatever churchy ecumenical group who holds to this unblical clergy/laity distinction forum. However on this forum, topics such as these do not add to the truth and implications of the true Gospel, but rather are fruitless and down right stupid traditions and arrogancy.

    Written by,

    Right Reverend, Divine, Archbishop of Bishop of Bishops, Reverend Father,
    Seminary Ordained, Pastor Teacher, Doctor of Divinity, Rector Father, Priest, Confessor, and Pardoner of your sins by the power and office of the Keys, Cleric of Souls, Your Grace, Patriarch of the East, Your Beatitude, Your All- Holiness, Your Eminence,

    Nicholas of New Castle





    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand..........John 10:27,28

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    Re: Are Lay Ministers "Only Playing Church"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint Nicholas View Post
    As to the question and title of this thread "Are Lay Ministers "Only Playing Church"? To me this statement has no relevency at all!

    Since I do not believe the scriptures teach a "caste" ie. Clergy/Laity system/distinction.

    Either a true Christian is a minister (albiet with different callings and offices), or he is not. And if a true Christian is not a minister of Christ, then he is no minister at all. And if no minister at all, can he really claim to be a true Christian? Think about it!

    This topic would be better served and argued on a Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Anglican, and or whatever churchy ecumenical group who holds to this unblical clergy/laity distinction forum. However on this forum, topics such as these do not add to the truth and implications of the true Gospel, but rather are fruitless and down right stupid traditions and arrogancy.

    Written by,

    Right Reverend, Divine, Archbishop of Bishop of Bishops, Reverend Father,
    Seminary Ordained, Pastor Teacher, Doctor of Divinity, Rector Father, Priest, Confessor, and Pardoner of your sins by the power and office of the Keys, Cleric of Souls, Your Grace, Patriarch of the East, Your Beatitude, Your All- Holiness, Your Eminence,

    Nicholas of New Castle




    I couldn't agree with Nicholas more here! The whole clergy thing only arises from HUMAN TRADITION and the vain philosophies of 'churchy' people; it has absolutely NO BASIS at all in the Word of God.

    Any candid reading of the New Testament itself will surely show that the whole clergy concept with its 'titles' and 'social positions' is UTTERLY ALIEN to the ethos and intent of Holy Writ.

    In Christ, Craig
    I believe I am ETERNALLY SECURE based on the FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST! My faith is belief In Christ
    apart from works (Romans 4:5).

    "...for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
    (1 John 5:4-5 NRSV)

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    Re: Are Lay Ministers "Only Playing Church"?

    Actually, scripture says a great deal about men holding the office of overseer (1 Tim. 3:1-8; Titus 1:7, Acts 20:28), deacon (1 Tim. 3:10-13), elder (Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5), pastor (Eph. 4:11), steward (1 Cor. 4:1-2), etc.. What's wrong with calling men who don't hold these offices in the church "laymen"?

    Although I disagree with the younger Luther, it is a valid question to ask if a man who has not received a call to an office instituted by Christ is "playing church" when he does things that pertain to an office he does not hold. In opposition to the younger Luther, I say "No." The layman is not "playing church." The layman and his followers are not deceived. The word of God spoken by a layman is always efficacious because it is the word of God.

    However, is the man described by the younger Luther really a layman? The right of calling pertains to all Christians. His regenerate followers have called him to an office instituted by Christ whether they know it or not. The term "layman" is misnomer in his case.

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    Re: Are Lay Ministers "Only Playing Church"?

    Quote Originally Posted by gerhard View Post
    Actually, scripture says a great deal about men holding the office of overseer (1 Tim. 3:1-8; Titus 1:7, Acts 20:28), deacon (1 Tim. 3:10-13), elder (Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5), pastor (Eph. 4:11), steward (1 Cor. 4:1-2), etc..
    Gerhard, No one is denying the above scriptural offices as shown in the above scriptures. But these offices and other callings are not divided into groups and status classes such as clergy (robed/collared) and or laity (unrobed/uncollared).

    I could easily say "Are Clergy Ministers "Only Playing Church"?

    Of course my answer would be yes!

    Quote Originally Posted by gerhard View Post
    What's wrong with calling men who don't hold these offices in the church "laymen"?
    EVERYTHING!!! Since the scriptures do not make or infer this distinction within the body of Christ, what gives "certain men" the right to elevate themselves within the body?

    Where in the Scriptures was Paul, Peter, John, Timothy, referred to as Reverend Paul, or Reverend Timothy by themselves or by others? This "caste" system was invented by wicked men to usurp a peculiar power and control over other Christians not given or intended by Christ. These wicked so-called clergymen even went so far as to make themselves mediators of Grace. They also forbad the reading of scriptures by all of God's people (except the newly created Clergy). Now that is wicked!!!!!!! Can you imagine His Eminence the Reverend Paul the Apostle telling the Bereans they were not allowed to read the scriptures when they were suspicious of Paul?

    There are threads on this forum that discuss the Clergy/Laity system. Please read them.

    Argue this topic on some Papist or Lutheran forum. Our time and discussion would be better served avoiding this kind of vain babbling over man made stupid traditions.


    This thread is therefore closed!

    Nicholas
    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand..........John 10:27,28

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