Seminex: Final Thoughts

Final ThoughtsHistorically, when the church gathers together in a council or synod, each congregation receives a vote through the pastor. This is not to say that the laity are not important. The pastor is the one who spends his days and years laboring for the church full time. He is most likely to understand the issues, and to be able to respond appropriately.
However, over time Rome’s teaching evolved so that the clergy were the representatives of the bishop, who represented the pope, who was the source and life of the church. The laity were a part of the church, not by virtue of Christ’s work, but by virtue of their obedience to the pope.
In recognition of their rediscovery of Christ as the source of the church, given to each person in Holy Baptism, and as a corrective to the false teaching of Rome, the Lutherans included the laity in church governance.
After the Stephan debacle, the Saxon Lutherans not only included laity in church governance, but insisted that congregations be represented in synod meetings by a pastor and lay-member. This would prove to be both far-sighted and wise.
No precise statistics are kept, but among those who were there and active politically, it is said that at New Orleans (1973), the percentage of faithful delegates to Seminex sympathizers was about 60/40. But among clergy, there was a majority sympathetic to Seminex. This means that, had we followed the historic practice of the church, which at one point gave us the Nicene Creed, we would now be the ELCA. God gives the type of governance we need at various points in history so that His Word is preserved. In this case, thanks to the efforts of faithful laity, and thanks to their bold confession, our synod was saved.
All of which is to say, “Thank you to the laity of the LCMS for saving us from ourselves in 1974. Keep up the good work.”
And that’s all I have to say about that.

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