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Ezekiel 33:1-9 and Faithless Pastors

September 29th, 2007
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In light of the two recent posts, I picked up a post from a Roman Catholic blog site this morning that illustrates a faithless pastor and how he operates. Read these sad words and consider Ezekiel 33:1-9. God grant us faithful shepherds and may He ever bless us through those who declare God’s Law and Gospel faithfully to us. May He preserve such men in their ministry. May He protect us from men who fail in their duties. And may God, in His mercy, protect us from ourselves. If and when we, as Lutherans, can not find it in ourselves to explain and defend why it is that we are Lutherans, and nothing else, then it truly is time to turn off the lights and close the doors of our church. If, and when, a congregation no longer wants a faithful shepherd who will speak the truth in love and explain and defend why we are, and must be, Lutherans in order to be as faithful as possible to God’s Word, then they deserve hirelings who will tell them what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.

The Unfaithful Shepherd

My husband is a convert from Lutheranism. Nominal Lutheranism. His
parents, wanting him to have some appreciation for religion, would take
him to church on Sunday, drop him off at the church steps and then go
do something else for an hour. This is a real head-shaker for me.
Instead of the old Borg slogan of "Resistance is futile," this was more
along the lines of, "Attempts at religiousizing are futile." I
shouldn’t be flippant, maybe these times in church were what gave him
the grounding to one day become Catholic. The more I hear the
conversion stories of others, the more I see that there is no clear
path to look down from this end, only the trail you see in retrospect.

It’s all amazing.

My
husband (back then he was just a friend) went and asked the pastor of
the church he attended once in a blue moon, why Lutheranism and not
Catholicism. The pastor, according to my husband, had little to say. He
seemed to be resigned that one of his sheep was leaving the flock. He
almost acted like he, or the church he belonged to, had been seen for
what it was. The emperor had no clothes. The pastor’s only suggestion
to the kindly barrage of questions of my husband’s, was for my husband
to read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into
Values."

Odd. Even my husband thought it was odd and left his
meeting with the pastor feeling very disappointed and even sorry for
the man. The pastor had had no answers to my husband’s questions.

After
a few meetings with my father, a great apologist, discussing
Catholicism, my "friend" was certain that his leanings toward the
Catholic Church were correct and he was ready for RCIA.

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Categories: Lutheranism
  1. wcwirla
    September 29th, 2007 at 09:48 | #1

    This little episode saddens me more than anything. From this scant narrative, I can hardly pass judgment on the brother in office. He sounds tired and broken, rather than faithless. This is the result of a Lutheranism that has lost its cutting edge. This pastor is more a victim of the Laodicean Lutheranism that is neither hot nor cold and has lost sight of the its distinctives. He has lost his pastoral heart and nerve. I pray for him. I suspect this man has been laboring hard and long, probably in isolation, likely without the fraternity of his brothers in office not to mention a decent confessor or a bishop of his soul. I’m sad for him, and I’m frightened, because each of us is so very close to becoming that sort of pastor.

  2. Matthew
    September 29th, 2007 at 13:49 | #2

    It breaks my heart to hear about fellow Lutheran pastor who had no idea why Lutheranism is so exciting, so fresh, so “evangelical.” Would that I could e-mail him Pastor McCain’s Sept. 2nd (I think)post “I Love Jesus That’s Why I Love Lutheranism.” If that doesn’t get your heart pumping, you must not be alive! He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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