To Affirm Synod’s Official Position on Church and Ministry

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Resolution 7-17A

Overture 7-39 (CW, p. 251)

WHEREAS, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) has experienced during its history confusion with regard to the doctrine of church and ministry; and

WHEREAS, Dr. C. F. W. Walther addressed this confusion in 1851 through his Theses on Church and Ministry which were subsequently declared to be the position of the LCMS in 1851; and

WHEREAS, The book, The Voice of Our Church on the Question of Church and Ministry, by Dr. C. F. W. Walther was published in 1852. The LCMS in convention declared this book to be the pure doctrine (reine Lehre) of Church and Ministry; therefore be it

Resolved, That The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod meeting in convention in the year of our Lord 2001 affirm the above referenced writings of C. F. W. Walther as the definitive statement under Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions of the Synod’s understanding on the subject of Church and Ministry; and be it further Resolved, That the LCMS in convention re-affirm the decision of the 1852 convention in recognizing C. F. W. Walther’s book, The Voice of Our church on the Question of Church and Ministry, as the official position of the LCMS; and be it further

Resolved, That all pastors, professors, teachers of the Church and congregations honor and uphold the resolutions of the Synod as regards the official position of our Synod on Church and Ministry and teach in accordance with them; and be it finally

Resolved, That all action taken in this resolution shall be used to help carry out “The Great Commission” and shall not in any way detract or distract from the primary mission of God’s Kingdom here on Earth. We will remember 1-02!

Action: Adopted as amended (8)

(By request of the committee, the chair invoked Special Standing Rule 6 for the discussion of this resolution when it was introduced during session 7. In response to a motion from the floor during session 5 requesting that the committee provide a brief presentation regarding church and ministry including key points from Walther’s book prior to discussion of this resolution, the committee chairman used the standing rule’s 15-minute allotment of committee presentation time for this purpose. During the final segment of discussion time the resolution was amended by adding the words under Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions after the word statement in the first resolve. A motion to include at the end of the first resolve the reference from the Apology as quoted in Ov. 3-16 failed. The following substitute resolution was offered but did not receive the necessary majority vote to be considered: WHEREAS, Many delegates, members of the congregations and members of Synod have not read C.F.W. Walther’s “Die Stimme unserer Kirche in der Frage von Kirche und Amt” called in English “Church and Ministry”; and WHEREAS, Critical questions have been raised concerning the available English translations of “Church and Ministry”; and WHEREAS, There appears to be much confusion concerning the questions of the Church and the Office of the Holy Ministry; therefore be it Resolved, That the two seminaries develop a document including a new translation of “Kirche un Amt” that answers our present questions on what we believe, teach and confess according to the Scriptures and the Confessions concerning the teachings on Church and the Office of the Holy Ministry; and be it further Resolved, That this document be studied by the Winkels, circuit forums and District conventions during the next triennium; and be it finally Resolved, That this document be brought before this body at the next synodical convention for approval as our position on the teachings on Church and Ministry. Another substitute motion to delete the third whereas, to replace the word writings with the word theses and the second occurrence of the word the with the word a in the first resolve, and to replace the second resolve with the words Resolved, That the historical facts surrounding previous LCMS convention actions with respect to the book, The Voice of Our Church on the Question of Church and Ministry by C.F.W. Walther and impact of modifications to this work be studied by the Commission on Structure and that the Commission on Structure report their finds to the 2004 convention of the Synod also failed to obtain the necessary majority vote to be considered. When the allowed time for discussion had expired, the resolution was adopted [yes: 791; no: 291]. The final resolve is added as required by Res. 1-02, adopted by the convention in an earlier session.)

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