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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Chickenlittle

Absolution by Priest

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Question (1)  Do Lutheran Priests have the authority to forgive sins, like Catholic priests?  If so, what do Lutherns think happens in the case where these pedophile catholic priests have baptised people into Christianity and forgiven sins, when it is obvious they are the worse type of sinners themselves. If a priest is from the devil, and it is apparent these pedophiles are, does the church have the authority to declare baptism and forgiveness by the devil as legal? This may seem a dumb question, but I think it is a legitimate question in regards to what is happening in the Catholic Church. ( I heard on the news today that the Penn. State AG office is lit up with hundreds of calls from new child molestation claims from Catholics.)

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24 minutes ago, Chickenlittle said:

Question (1)  Do Lutheran Priests have the authority to forgive sins, like Catholic priests?  If so, what do Lutherns think happens in the case where these pedophile catholic priests have baptised people into Christianity and forgiven sins, when it is obvious they are the worse type of sinners themselves. If a priest is from the devil, and it is apparent these pedophiles are, does the church have the authority to declare baptism and forgiveness by the devil as legal? This may seem a dumb question, but I think it is a legitimate question in regards to what is happening in the Catholic Church. ( I heard on the news today that the Penn. State AG office is lit up with hundreds of calls from new child molestation claims from Catholics.)

Excellent question, @Chickenlittle and I will try my humble best to give it a decent answer. Lutheran pastors are given the authority to forgive sins " in the Name and stead of Our Lord Jesus Christ " ( so, technically, it isn't the pastor forgiving the sins, but Jesus Christ through the pastor forgiving them). Donatism is an ancient heresy that states that the efficacy of the sacraments are contingent on the personal holiness of the person through whom those sacraments are administered. That heresy is rejected by Confessional Lutheranism. The sacraments aren't dependent on the personal holiness of priest or recipient, but on the very Word of God Himself. 

 

Baptism doesn't lose it's efficacy because Jesus Christ instituted it and we are not baptized by corrupt man, but by the Holy Spirit Himself, present in the Word and the water. Holy Communion does not cease to contain the Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because of the corruption of the man who administers it. The Body and Blood remain impartially in the Bread and the Wine, for the strengthening of faith and the salvation of the believer and the judgment and damnation of the non- believer. Absolution, again, is a gift of God, Who works through the pastor to assure us of the forgiveness of all our sins.

 

Man does nothing. The Lord does everything. That is why those who are in spiritual authority will be judged far more severely than we laity on Judgment Day. " To he whom much is given, much will be required." I'll also say that trying to enter a Concordia ( Lutheran) seminary is no walk in the park. They vet potential seminarians very severely, as I can tell you from personal experience. Some ( like me) get turned away from the Seminary by the Admissions Council for whatever reason, others might get expelled later and still others might not pass their Call Interview. The office of the Holy Ministry is an extremely serious one and not everybody who wants to become a minister will have that dream realized.

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Good answer. I have a friend who was baptised by a preacher in the baptist church, but a few years later the preacher hanged himself. I guess my friend remains baptized just the same.

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I personally do not believe the apostles passed their authority to forgive sins on to other humans. Can anyone show me a Bible verse where the apostles gave this authority to other preachers?

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27 minutes ago, Chickenlittle said:

I personally do not believe the apostles passed their authority to forgive sins on to other humans. Can anyone show me a Bible verse where the apostles gave this authority to other preachers?

Here are some verses that speak of Jesus passing the authority to forgive sins on to His apostles:

John 20:23: If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.

 1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

James 5:16: Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

1 Timothy 2:5: For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

Acts 19:18:  Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.

Matthew 18:18: Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

John 20:21: Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

Matthew 9:8: When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

James 5: 14-15: Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

2 Corinthians 2:10: Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ,

Matthew 9:6: But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.”

2 Corinthians 5:18: All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;

 Here is the website to more verses that pertain to sinful man and our need to have our sins repeatedly confessed and forgiven: https://www.openbible.info/topics/priests_power_to_forgive_sins

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2 hours ago, Chickenlittle said:

Question (1)  Do Lutheran Priests have the authority to forgive sins, like Catholic priests?  If so, what do Lutherns think happens in the case where these pedophile catholic priests have baptised people into Christianity and forgiven sins, when it is obvious they are the worse type of sinners themselves. If a priest is from the devil, and it is apparent these pedophiles are, does the church have the authority to declare baptism and forgiveness by the devil as legal? This may seem a dumb question, but I think it is a legitimate question in regards to what is happening in the Catholic Church. ( I heard on the news today that the Penn. State AG office is lit up with hundreds of calls from new child molestation claims from Catholics.)

I see that the titles or terms used for the men which hold a particular office in question are being used rather loosely. One should probably distinguish between a Priest and Minister of the Word. On authority, a key point here is our understanding that church authorities are to act "ministerially" and based always on the Word of God. They cannot make laws in addition to God's revealed Word, but must labor to understand that Word properly and then declare it to the church and base their governing and disciplining actions upon it. We do not claim for any merely human governors of the church a magisterial authority. From this fundamental difference in regard to authority and to the relative roles of the Bible, tradition, decrees of councils, and edicts of popes, flow the other differences. For example, why do Reformed/Presbyterians not pray to Mary and the saints? Because the Bible nowhere tells us to do so; it is an invention by gradual accretion in the tradition of the church. And because, on the other hand, the Bible tells us that "there is one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus," who is our Great High Priest, through whom we have boldness to come to God's throne of grace 1 Tim.2:5, Heb. 4:14-16. Christ is all the intercessor we need Heb.7:23-28.

 

Regarding "authority" being passed, I think this too is an area that we should proceed in with caution. The usurpation of Christ's authority for church rulers to presume to have authority is not only arrogant but rightfully questionable when they add to His word rules and commands. For example, where does the Bible require ministers in Christ's church to be celibate? It doesn't, but rather teaches the opposite 1 Tim. 3:2-5,12, see 1 Cor. 9:5. But Catholic authority requires Catholic priests to take vows of celibacy, which are contrary to human nature and create terrible stumbling blocks leading to sin (which is now being plastered shamefully all over the public media).

 

(Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 1, "Of the Holy Scripture")

 

4. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof; and therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God....

6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture, unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit or traditions of men....

7. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other that not only the learned but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them....

9. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

10. The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.

 

1 hour ago, Chickenlittle said:

I personally do not believe the apostles passed their authority to forgive sins on to other humans. Can anyone show me a Bible verse where the apostles gave this authority to other preachers?

Interesting question, if the Apostles were able to give the gift given to them from God, could anyone of us also give our gifts to another? And more so where does the Scriptures teach for anyone to refrain from or to give abundantly to another? Exactly who is the gift giver? I think, to say anyone other than God, actually stands stark against Solus Christos and Soli Deo Gloria.

 

God bless,

William

 

 

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38 minutes ago, ConfessionalLutheran said:

Here are some verses that speak of Jesus passing the authority to forgive sins on to His apostles:

John 20:23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.

 1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

James 5:16: Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

1 Timothy 2:5For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

Acts 19:18:  Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.

Matthew 18:18: Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

John 20:21: Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

Matthew 9:8: When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

James 5: 14-15: Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

2 Corinthians 2:10: Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ,

Matthew 9:6: But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.”

2 Corinthians 5:18: All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;

 Here is the website to more verses that pertain to sinful man and our need to have our sins repeatedly confessed and forgiven: https://www.openbible.info/topics/priests_power_to_forgive_sins

Just pointing out that Absolution has a reference to baptism. Absolution is not a stand-alone sacrament. It is a renewal of one’s baptism. Penance, on the other hand, is one of Rome’s “new helps devised by themselves”. Absolution rather than penance — looses us from our sins. It regularly reminds us of and reapplies to us the baptismal promise of forgiveness.

* Note: John Calvin indicates that toppling penance is a key to the success of the Reformation, since when it falls, indulgences and purgatory must be done away with as well. Rome still holds the same basic position today (though variations exist). Paragraph 1446 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Christ institutes the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as ‘the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.”

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7 minutes ago, William said:

Just pointing out that Absolution has a reference to baptism. Absolution is not a stand-alone sacrament. It is a renewal of one’s baptism. Penance, on the other hand, is one of Rome’s “new helps devised by themselves”. Absolution rather than penance — looses us from our sins. It regularly reminds us of and reapplies to us the baptismal promise of forgiveness.

* Note: John Calvin indicates that toppling penance is a key to the success of the Reformation, since when it falls, indulgences and purgatory must be done away with as well. Rome still holds the same basic position today (though variations exist). Paragraph 1446 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Christ institutes the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as ‘the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.”

Excellent, @William and you're absolutely right! Luther in his Large Catechism states: 

And here you see that Baptism, both in its power and signification, comprehends also the third Sacrament, which has been called repentance, 75] as it is really nothing else than Baptism. For what else is repentance but an earnest attack upon the old man [that his lusts be restrained] and entering upon a new life? Therefore, if you live in repentance, you walk in Baptism, which not only signifies such a new life, but also produces, begins, and exercises it. 76] For therein are given grace, the Spirit, and power to suppress the old man, so that the new man may come forth and become strong.

77] Therefore our Baptism abides forever; and even though some one should fall from it and sin, nevertheless we always have access thereto, that we may again subdue the old man. 78] But we need not again be sprinkled with water; for though we were put under the water a hundred times, it would nevertheless be only one Baptism, although the operation and signification continue and remain. 79] Repentance, therefore, is nothing else than a return and approach to Baptism, that we repeat and practise what we began before, but abandoned. 

 

I thank you very much for that reminder, by the way. I can forget that Absolution is really nothing more than an extension of one's baptism ( I'm also a human with feet of clay) and gentle reminders like that help me in my own walk.

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I believe in prayer. I also believe in confessing sins to each other. I just don’t see where another human being has the authority to wipe the slate. I agree the apostles had that power. But, if by confessing to each other is a slate wiper, then I don’t need Jesus.

  I do not trust organized religion. The Pharisees, saducees, scribes etc were the organized religion of Jesus’s time. I go to a small baptist church. I am not a member. I agree with most of their beliefs, but when a preacher stands in that pulpit and condones homosexual marriage, I will walk out the door.

    I “caucus” with Protestants. I can disagree with them and still love them. The problem I am now having is with Catholics. How can a loving catholic mother trust any priest? It happened in 2002 and look what happened again when mothers trusted their priests again.

   Each of these pedophile priests was a pillow of their community. Now, for the most important question? Why is the Lutheran Church not having trouble with their priests? Nobody has asked that question in the media. The Catholic Church is a magnet for pedophillia, but not the Lutheran. Why not? Lutherns have priests that forgive sins, that baptize infants, and I assume have some sort of alter boys. I do not believe that priest celibacy has anything to do with it. Pedophiles are drawn to small kids like flys to honey, drawn to catholic priests but not Lutherns. What is the answer? And by the way, there is absolutely no cure for pedophiles, other than drug them like a zombie, yet catholic mothers keep forgiving these priests. Am I out of order by saying, “BLAME THE MOTHERS ALSO, not the victims now, but the mothers?

    

 

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30 minutes ago, Chickenlittle said:

I also believe in confessing sins to each other. I just don’t see where another human being has the authority to wipe the slate.

 

1 John 1:9; James 5:16 doesn't suggests that it's us that forgives sins. We can however forgive those that sin against us, when man sins against God it is between them and God, however, our prayers as these verses suggests are powerful in making intercession on behalf of the person etc. In other words we ought to make atonement with our fellow man while time allows us to upon the earth. This is not to be mistaken for the atonement of Jesus between God and His Elect.

 

30 minutes ago, Chickenlittle said:

I do not trust organized religion. The Pharisees, saducees, scribes etc were the organized religion of Jesus’s time.

 

It is easy to fall into mistrust if we group or sum together all of religion. Organization, in contrast to what? Disorganization? Religion itself wasn't to be blamed, it was the twisting of Scripture by those men that are to blame. Christianity is a religion, a religion that Jesus brought into fruition. Even in Scripture, "organized" religion had its problems, but being part of the body you are supposed to be there in their struggles, as each member is not only relied upon but also part of the problem. How can a body function and simply walk with Christ if the leg doesn't trust its foot etc? That is, what you bring into the church may be a real issue and needs to be addressed by the body under the headship of Christ. If you're referring to the corruption of church government wherever sinful man is present then there are a handful of forms of government which attempt to follow a biblical model that checks and balances the authority of offices in the church.

 

30 minutes ago, Chickenlittle said:

I go to a small baptist church. I am not a member. I agree with most of their beliefs, but when a preacher stands in that pulpit and condones homosexual marriage, I will walk out the door.

In other words you are not held accountable in both life and doctrine. What that conveys to me is that you will not submit as a member of the body under the headship of Christ.

 

On the topic of homosexuality, I think you're conveying a deeper issue. It appears that no Scripture can be preached from the pulpit in your presence without first having your approval.

 

Something to think about!

 

God bless,

William

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William, I depend on Jesus to get me to heaven, not a church.  I am a bible believer. Nothing in my bible says I have to be a member of a church to be the bride of Christ. If so, which church will Jesus approve of to get me inducted into his brideship? How about the Catholic?

 Also, this is off topic, but homosexuality is abomination according to Paul, so I feel that is worse than a son having sex with his stepmother. See 1cor. 5: 1 thru 13. Paul is startled that this sin goes unmourned, and tells the believers to remove them from the church. It would do Catholics some good to read this, instead of forgiving these priests over and over and leaving them in the pulpit. When I hear a message in the pulpit that is strictly against my bible, I will remove myself, not the preacher. That solution belongs to the church, not me. No one has to get my permission to preach, even heresy, but I will not listen to it. 

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16 minutes ago, Chickenlittle said:

William, I depend on Jesus to get me to heaven, not a church.  I am a bible believer. Nothing in my bible says I have to be a member of a church to be the bride of Christ. If so, which church will Jesus approve of to get me inducted into his brideship?

That's a straw man argument.

 

I suggest not leaving church the days those Scriptures are addressed.

 

There's only one church. I suggest reading our Statement of Faith, read the Nicene Creed and go to the Scriptures from which they convey.

 

Feel free to start a topic on the subject, sure some would love to chime in.

 

God bless,

William

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One might also suggest that we are admonished not to " keep away from the gathering of the Brethren, as is the custom of some"  Hebrews 10:25. Where else can we get baptized, or partake of Holy Communion, or fellowship with our fellow Christians outside of Church? Belonging to a Christian Church increases your opportunities to contribute your time, talents and treasures to the ministries of your local Church and yes, you will be held accountable to loving admonishment by your fellow Christians. Who's perfect? Who doesn't stumble? We need the support of our fellow Christians, as they need ours. I ask you to read and consider St. Peter's words in Acts 2:38-47 and see how they apply in your case.

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@Chickenlittle. Child molestation happens in all walks of life. It is not a RCC alone problem.  

There is reason these Scriptures are Scriptures I read above 

2 hours ago, Chickenlittle said:

I am a bible believer.

Eph 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 
Eph 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 


IF you have no need of a pastor are you telling me you are perfected? 

 

 

1Pe 5:5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 
1Pe 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 
 

 

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    I do need a pastor for counseling, but I do not need a pastor to forgive my sins. Human beings, including myself, and pastors, are a miserable lot. Sin is not just an act. Sin is a “condition” of the heart, inherited, and has been so since the fall. Why should I go to another human being, just as sinful as myself, and has inherited sin just like me, and ask for absolution. 

   If other Christians want to ask a pastor for forgiveness, I respect that belief. But, Jesus was perfect. He had no sin. The Bible says He is my mediator. That is good enough for me. Forgiveness of sins is important. Forgiveness of sin has everything to do with my salvation. I will not condemn others if they place their salvation in the hands of pastors who inherited sin.

    It is ironic to me that, in the days of Jesus, salvation was so simple that a child could understand it. Now, salvation is so complicated that the greatest of our theologians cannot agree on it. What has happened?

   The greatest ever betrayal was the Judas kiss. The Bible says that only one, Judas, was of the devil. That means that the other apostles, though sinners, were saved, and not of the devil. I have no problems with those 11 forgiving my sins. 

But, these child predator priests cannot possibly forgive my sins, and for sure, they cannot counsel or lead me anywhere, 

for they have committed a betrayal, not unlike Judas, by betraying the utter most sacred trust of the children who go to them for counsel. Can there be a greater betrayal? Now, which Luthern, Methodist, Baptist pastor do I trust with my salvation? No, thank you. I trust Jesus.

     This molestation problem will get worse. Why? Because the Catholic Church refuses to remove (1 Cor: 5: 1-13) these vermin. Instead, the Catholic leadership wants forgiveness, not justice.

Also, Catholic mothers claim they trust their own priests, but not others. Isn’t that why they are in this predicament to begin with??? Which Catholic priest do you trust your children with?

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9 minutes ago, Chickenlittle said:

I do need a pastor for counseling, but I do not need a pastor to forgive my sins.

 

Here, lets address the orthodox meaning of the verse in question rather than argue against someone that isn't even here (Catholic priest). 

 

John 20:23 "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld."

 

John Calvin: To all whose sins you shall remit. Here, unquestionably, our Lord has embraced, in a few words, the sum of the Gospel; for we must not separate this power of forgiving sins from the office of teaching, with which it is closely connected in this passage. Christ had said a little before, As the living Father hath sent me, so I also send you (207) He now makes a declaration of what is intended and what is meant by this embassy, only he interwove with that declaration what was necessary, that he gave to them his Holy Spirit, in order that they might have nothing from themselves.


The principal design of preaching the Gospel is, that men may be reconciled to God, and this is accomplished by the unconditional pardon of sins; as Paul also informs us, when he calls the Gospel, on this account, the ministry of reconciliation, (2Co 5:18.) Many other things, undoubtedly, are contained in the Gospel, but the principal object which God intends to accomplish by it is, to receive men into favor by not imputing their sins. If, therefore, we wish to show that we are faithful ministers of the Gospel, we must give our most earnest attention to this subject; for the chief point of difference between the Gospel and heathen philosophy lies in this, that the Gospel makes the salvation of men to consist in the forgiveness of sins through free grace. This is the source of the other blessings which God bestows, such as, that God enlightens and regenerates us by his Spirit, that he forms us anew to his image, that he arms us with unshaken firmness against the world and Satan. Thus the whole doctrine of godliness, and the spiritual building of the Church, rests on this foundation, that God, having acquitted us from all sins, adopts us to be his children by free grace.


While Christ enjoins the Apostles to forgive sins, he does not convey to them what is peculiar to himself. It belongs to him to forgive sins. This honor, so far as it belongs peculiarly to himself, he does not surrender to the Apostles, but enjoins them, in his name, to proclaim the forgiveness of sins, that through their agency he may reconcile men to God. In short, properly speaking, it is he alone who forgives sins through his apostles and ministers. (208)


But it may be asked, Since he appoints them to be only the witnesses or heralds of this blessing, and not the authors of it, why does he extol their power in such lofty terms? I reply, he did so in order to confirm their faith. Nothing is of more importance to us, than to be able to believe firmly, that our sins do not come into remembrance before God. Zacharias, in his song, calls it the knowledge of salvation, (Luk 1:77;) and, since God employs the testimony of men to prove it, consciences will never yield to it, unless they perceive God himself speaking in their person. Paul accordingly says, We exhort you to be reconciled to God, as if Christ besought you by us, (2Co 5:20.)


We now see the reason why Christ employs such magnificent terms, to commend and adorn that ministry which he bestows and enjoins on the Apostles. It is, that believers may be fully convinced, that what they hear concerning the forgiveness of sins is ratified, and may not less highly value the reconciliation which is offered by the voice of men, than if God himself stretched out his hand from heaven. And the Church daily receives the most abundant benefit from this doctrine, when it perceives that her pastors are divinely ordained to be sureties for eternal salvation, and that it must not go to a distance to seek the forgiveness of sins, which is committed to their trust.


Nor ought we to esteem less highly this invaluable treasure, because it is exhibited in earthen vessels; but we have ground of thanksgiving to God, who hath conferred on men so high an honor, as to make them the ambassadors and deputies of God, and of his Son, in declaring the forgiveness of sins. There are fanatics who despise this embassy; but let us know, that, by doing so, they trample under foot the blood of Christ.


Most absurdly do the Papists, on the other hand, torture this passage, to support their magical absolutions. If any person do not confess his sins in the ear of the priest, he has no right, in their opinion, to expect forgiveness; for Christ intended that sins should be forgiven through the Apostles, and they cannot absolve without having examined the matter; therefore, confession is necessary. Such is their beautiful argument. (209) But they fall into a strange blunder, when they pass by the most important point of the matter; namely, that this right was granted to the Apostles, in order to maintain the credit of the Gospel, which they had been commissioned to preach. For Christ does not here appoint confessors, to inquire minutely into each sin by means of low mutterings, but preachers of his Gospel, who shall cause their voice to be heard, and who shall seal on the hearts of believers the grace of the atonement obtained through Christ. We ought, therefore, to keep by the manner of forgiving sins, so as to know what is that power which has been granted to the apostles.


And to those whose sins you retain. Christ adds this second clause, in order to terrify the despisers of his Gospel, that they may know that they will not escape punishment for this pride. As the embassy of salvation and of eternal life has been committed to the apostles, so, on the other hand, they have been armed with vengeance against all the ungodly, who reject the salvation offered to them, as Paul teaches, (2Co_10:6.) But this is placed last in order, because it was proper that the true and real design of preaching the Gospel should be first exhibited. That we are reconciled to God belongs to the nature of the Gospel; that believers are ad-judged to eternal life may be said to be accidentally connected with it. (210) For this reason, Paul, in the passage which I lately quoted, when he threatens vengeance against unbelievers, immediately adds, after that your obedience shall have been fulfilled, (2Co 10:6;) for he means, that it belongs peculiarly to the Gospel to invite all to salvation, but that it is accidental to it that it brings destruction to any.


It ought to be observed, however, that every one who hears the voice of the Gospel, if he do not embrace the forgiveness of sins which is there promised to him, is liable to eternal damnation; for, as it is a living savior to the children of God, so to those who perish it is the savour of death to death, (2Co 2:16.) Not that the preaching of the Gospel is necessary for condemning the reprobate, for by nature we are all lost, and, in addition to the hereditary curse, every one draws down on himself additional causes of death, but because the obstinacy of those who knowingly and willingly despise the Son of God deserves much severer punishment.


(207) Our Author appears here to mingle two passages, Joh 6:57,
As the Living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father
and Joh_20:21, As the Father hath sent me, so I also send you. —Ed.
(208) “Par ses apostres et ministres.”
(209) “Voila leur bel argument.”
(210) “Cela luy est comme un accident.”

 

If you have any questions about the above or would like more from some credible "teachers" just say so.

 

God bless,

William

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Again child molestation is not  isolated to the RCC.

 

Mat_6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 
Mat_6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 
I too believe in justice . Those involved should be held accountable here on earth . Then again before the Father,.

The trust of mothers is not the why of this problem the si in the hearts of the men doing the crime is the problem. 

Who here is argueing you must trust your salvation to a pastor?  This is a Protestant Reformed Site .. The belief and understanding  of this place is Salvation by GRACE,. Dropping that one sided argument woudl most likely be a good idea. 

 

 

Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone")

Sola fide ("by faith alone")

Sola gratia ("by grace alone")

Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone")

Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone")

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On 8/24/2018 at 11:50 AM, ConfessionalLutheran said:

Excellent, @William and you're absolutely right! Luther in his Large Catechism states: 

And here you see that Baptism, both in its power and signification, comprehends also the third Sacrament, which has been called repentance, 75] as it is really nothing else than Baptism. For what else is repentance but an earnest attack upon the old man [that his lusts be restrained] and entering upon a new life? Therefore, if you live in repentance, you walk in Baptism, which not only signifies such a new life, but also produces, begins, and exercises it. 76] For therein are given grace, the Spirit, and power to suppress the old man, so that the new man may come forth and become strong.

77] Therefore our Baptism abides forever; and even though some one should fall from it and sin, nevertheless we always have access thereto, that we may again subdue the old man. 78] But we need not again be sprinkled with water; for though we were put under the water a hundred times, it would nevertheless be only one Baptism, although the operation and signification continue and remain. 79] Repentance, therefore, is nothing else than a return and approach to Baptism, that we repeat and practise what we began before, but abandoned. 

 

I thank you very much for that reminder, by the way. I can forget that Absolution is really nothing more than an extension of one's baptism ( I'm also a human with feet of clay) and gentle reminders like that help me in my own walk.

Very pertinent. In the same way Jesus enjoins these men in His name to Forgive Sins, this very same principle can be read from the Scriptures which deal with the administration of baptism.

 

For example, note in John 3 an interesting or seemingly contradicting description of the events surrounding baptism:

 

22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. 23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized 24 (for John had not yet been put in prison).

 

Notice v 22 says Jesus was baptizing. But notice in the next chapter 4 what is stated about Jesus:

 

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee.

 

Obviously, Jesus baptized by His disciples, and Jesus is named as the Author of the baptism without mentioning His ministers who baptized in His name and by His command.

 

Therefore, the forgiveness of sins does indeed instrumentally flow from Christ through His ministers administering baptism, as the very forgiveness associated in baptism is reminded us from various offices which God appointed over us such as the office of "teacher". Teachers convey the forgiveness of sin through the Gospel. I wouldn't limit the forgiveness of sins in this aspect only to "pastors", but also other offices such as teacher. What I also find interesting, is that these that were enjoined to Him in these tasks were at that time "disciples".

 

God bless,

William

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I agree with everything you and the others are saying. I do understand that there are no Catholics here that I can talk too. I wish there were. Here lies my problem with priest absolution. Is it the priests that are “actually” doing the forgiving, or are the priests relaying the message of forgiveness to Jesus? Maybe I am confused because I see no difference between a catholic priest giving absolution or a Luthern priest giving absolution.

    I do not mean to insult the Lutherns, believe me, I have read Martin luther’s writings, and I agree with almost all of them. I just don’t understand why anyone, Catholic or Luthern, would not go straight to Jesus for forgiveness. I just cannot understand why I need a priest as a go-between.

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48 minutes ago, Chickenlittle said:

I just cannot understand why I need a priest as a go-between.

I wasn't aware that anyone suggested that you do "need" a Priest. If you read the above commentary, the Papist argument is that unless sins are confessed to a priest then they are not forgiven. There's a difference between making absolution available and making it a necessity as if a "priest" put himself between you and God's forgiveness. @ConfessionalLutheran @Diego perhaps you can shine some light on absolution from a Lutheran perspective?

 

And I also do not know what kinda life you have lived or whether you lived a pretty sheltered life. Lemme give this some flesh. Lets say that I struggle with guilt. I have done some very awful things in life while serving my country in the military etc. And others have suffered because of my actions. Now, I turn to you, a brother in Christ and explain to you about my guilty conscience, the convictions which keep me up at night, the nightmares which I relive etc. Will you:

  1. Tell me to turn to the Scripture and be done with it?
  2. Will you teach me about confessing my sins and relay God's forgiveness to me through the Gospel?

If one, so be it. At least you're consistent. If you even suggest that you have stronger faith or that I may have weak faith will you not offer a reason to edify me 1 Peter 3:15? I mean, why wouldn't you lend me an ear as in James 5:16 and pray for me over my sins, and try to explain to me about the Gospel and the forgiveness of Christ strengthening my faith would be beyond me.

 

If two, is this not a form of absolution?

 

God bless,

William

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Here's a Lutheran view of Holy Absolution: 

LUTHERANTHEOLOGY.WORDPRESS.COM

Justification by Faith in Action By John T. Pless Justification is both a problem and solution. Oswald Bayer has described human existence as forensically structured[1]. That is to say, that life demands justification. Listen to the way people respond when confronted with a failure. It is the language of self-defense, rationalization, or blaming. No human…
Read more  

 

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I can lay out the Roman Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Evangelical Lutheran, and Anglican perspectives, as I have some experience with all of them.

 

First, the Roman Catholic and Orthodox, which are essentially the same. It is believed among our Roman Catholic and Orthodox friends that when you sin, you break your relationship with God, and our Holy Mother the Church. Holy Confession and Absolution is considered one of the Seven Sacraments, and it is deemed necessary, based on James 5:16, to confess your sins. The reason it is necessary to confess to an ordained Priest is because he is the one who has been entrusted with the Keys of Absolution. This is based on the idea of Christ appointing his Apostles as his Lieutenants, if you will, who then appointed others, etc, and Apostolic Succession and all that. It is through the ministry of Confession and Absolution that a Penitent is returned to right relationship with God and our Holy Mother the Church.

 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church has a complex history with Confession. Martin Luther considered it the Third Lutheran Sacrament, and he went to Confession every single week until the day that he died. It is included in his Small and Large Catechisms. It should be pointed out that in the Roman Catholic tradition, penances are assigned to remind you of Christ's sacrifice. Usually, it is something along the lines of reciting prayers. The Orthodox do not have this practice. We Lutherans avoid it simply because Christ already forgave you your sins, and the purpose of the Pastor, and Confession itself, is to remind you of that fact.

 

The Church over the years has made it an option, and the rite for it is included in every Service Book and Hymnal (this is one volume) produced by pretty much every Lutheran Church. HOWEVER, that being said, it is considered that the General Confession and Absolution in the Divine Service on Sunday serves the same purpose, so Confession is optional.

 

In the Anglican Church, the principle is "All can, some should, none must." In other words, the practice is made available to everyone, and it is considered a Sacramental Rite, albeit not one of the Two Sacraments of the Gospel. It is also said that if you cannot quiet your conscience by the Rite of General Confession and Absolution in Divine Service, then you should seek out an understanding Priest, and receive the assurance of the forgiveness of God, and our Holy Mother the Church. But no one is obligated to do this. Usually in the Anglican Church, you will be assigned a Scripture reading that has to do with something you and the Priest discussed during his counsel to you in Confession. 

 

It is not hard for me to admit to you all that I rely on Confession and Holy Absolution. I confess to my Pastor virtually every week. I am well aware that the General Confession is sufficient, but I like having the knowledge that Holy Mother Church, in the person of the Pastor, has formally absolved me of my sin, before the Church and God himself. It means a great deal to me. I shall depend on it until the day that I die. In my view, Confession is a very healing process. It is a coming clean to the Church, and to God, and putting the sins that disturb your conscience into words, organizing your thoughts, can be helpful in making you understand the situation better. And the Pastor can offer words of comfort and advice that you cannot get from the General Confession in Church, or from just private prayer to God.

 

It should also be noted that Confession in the Evangelical Lutheran Church generally involves only those sins that particularly trouble you, and others that you may remember. Luther was very much against the idea of trying to remember every sin we ever committed. Since we commit sins every day, how would that even be possible? Luther also eliminated the Penances of Prayers that the Roman Catholic Church had, and still has. He felt that such was unnecessary, as that Penance had already been performed on the Cross. Plus, in his day, that system was being abused, to the point where people were encouraged to go on pilgrimage to far-distant places, or go on Crusade, or what-have-you, to obtain forgiveness for sins committed and sins YET TO BE committed. Even Rome admits today that that system was absurd, and it is no longer practiced by Roman Catholics. But in Luther's day it was deemed necessary to correct a very real problem. 

 

For me, being reminded by my Pastor of the fact that Christ HAS forgiven me, that I am truly a child of God and our Holy Mother the Church, is integral to my spiritual life. I could not live without it.

Edited by Diego
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9 hours ago, Chickenlittle said:

Question (1)  Do Lutheran Priests have the authority to forgive sins, like Catholic priests?  If so, what do Lutherns think happens in the case where these pedophile catholic priests have baptised people into Christianity and forgiven sins, when it is obvious they are the worse type of sinners themselves. If a priest is from the devil, and it is apparent these pedophiles are, does the church have the authority to declare baptism and forgiveness by the devil as legal? This may seem a dumb question, but I think it is a legitimate question in regards to what is happening in the Catholic Church. ( I heard on the news today that the Penn. State AG office is lit up with hundreds of calls from new child molestation claims from Catholics.)

To answer your question, in the Early History of the Church, there was a man named Donatus who taught that if a Presbyter himself is unworthy, than any act he performs for the Church is invalid. The Heresy of Donatism was rightly condemned by one of the Ecumenical Councils (I cannot remember which). If a Priest or Pastor is personally an evil man, but STILL INTENDS TO DO WHAT THE CHURCH DOES when he performs his pastoral duty, than what he is doing is done, not in HIS name, but in the name of our Holy Mother the Church. Ergo, whatever his own personal sins may be, the Sacraments or Sacramental Rites that he celebrates, whether it be Holy Communion, Baptism, Confession, or anything else, are still valid. And yes, Lutheran Pastors (and Priests, that term is used in the Scandinavian countries to refer to Lutheran clergy) have the authority to forgive sins in the Sacrament of Holy Confession and Absolution.

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I would, of course, enjoy participating in this conversation more thoroughly. However, tonight and tomorrow will not do. So I shall be back online Sunday in order to see where the conversation has gone in my absence. I must do some graduate school style reading tonight, and tomorrow I must spend time with my Beloved Wife. So I shan't be back to the computer for chatting for a time. But do keep up the chat, and I shall check in on Sunday to see where I might be able to contribute my thoughts. I hope what I have said so far shines some light on the issue. Peace. Pray for me, a sinner.

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3 minutes ago, Diego said:

I would, of course, enjoy participating in this conversation more thoroughly. However, tonight and tomorrow will not do. So I shall be back online Sunday in order to see where the conversation has gone in my absence. I must do some graduate school style reading tonight, and tomorrow I must spend time with my Beloved Wife. So I shan't be back to the computer for chatting for a time. But do keep up the chat, and I shall check in on Sunday to see where I might be able to contribute my thoughts. I hope what I have said so far shines some light on the issue. Peace. Pray for me, a sinner.

Prayers ascending, brother. Thank you so much for your insights!

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