More Integrity Like This

This is what integrity looks like. If only more pastors/priests could take the same steps.

This has nothing to do with whether the Vatican’s document is right or not. (From what I’ve read, I think it is.) This is about having the guts to remove yourself if you can’t agree to confess what your church confesses. There are far too many pastors in denominations of all stripes who want to hold their personal views but still claim to be faithful members of their denominations. Here’s a hint: if you disagree with every single thing your denomination stands for or puts out, you might be in the wrong place. At least have the integrity to admit it.

Timotheos

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3 thoughts on “More Integrity Like This

  1. The question then comes up, what if what is written in paper is acceptable, but how that document is put into practice (confessed) is not? Is the problem with the body of churches then (be it synod, diocese, or convention), or is it a problem with the individual church that is not violating what is said in the document, but still has an incorrect practice?

    I know this is too vague to be specific, any insight there?

  2. If that individual church tries to straddle the line between the “letter” of any particular document and its “spirit,” they are already in trouble.

    There are, it seems to me, really two options: the individuals (churches, pastors, etc.) can decide not to exercise their freedom in a way that will be detrimental to the rest of those with whom they’ve decided to “synod,” or the document (or whatever) can be written so specifically that it excludes without question a particular teaching/practice. I don’t know which is right in a given circumstance, but I believe the Formula of Concord did the specific thing, e.g., regarding the Lord’s Supper.

    I don’t know. Hard questions–but they need to at least be asked.

    Tim

  3. I believe a combination of problems lead to these disconnects. I’ve seen this kind of thing happen many times in a variety of LCMS congregations, as well as other groups. Whatever crack appears, Satan drives a wedge and the group either removes the wedge or they take sides and widen the crack.

    Sometimes it is a Pastor. Sometimes a lay-leadership issue, or heated group disagreement. And it can quickly split congregations, drive away members, and destroy pastors.

    Point is in NOT staying true to the doctrine, and reaching an opinion where we think we somehow have a higher revelation about God than or elders and our peers. At this point the issue stops being about God and starts being about some selfish worldly issue.

    And, you all are exaclty right, if the Pastor’s personal views are not directly in line with the views of the denomination and congregation then either he changes, or he leaves, or trouble and division will bubble forth.

    The stoic German influence in the LCMS churches I attend lends to a serous resistance in any kind of change, good or bad. Sometimes even a good change can have disastrous effects… ’cause… at heart, we’re all still human.

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