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Re: Church Hierarchy

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  • adam_roe
    Randy, Thank you for your prayers and for the thoughts you shared. The insights are much appreciated. Adam ... Concordia Ft. Wayne. ... Lutheran bodies quite
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 14, 2008
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      Randy,

      Thank you for your prayers and for the thoughts you shared. The
      insights are much appreciated.

      Adam

      --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, randall hay
      <stortford@...> wrote:
      >
      > Greetings!
      >
      > I am an Orthodox subdeacon, formerly LCMS, graduated with MA from
      Concordia Ft. Wayne.
      >
      > One thing American Lutherans have to remember is that historically
      Lutheran bodies quite often have had bishops! In fact, the Swedes
      always have, as far as I recall.
      >
      > When I left seminary for an abortive venture in the Continuing
      Anglican church, that was one professor's main objection, believe it
      or not; not doctrine or liturgy.
      >
      > I asked another prof about this anti-bishop bias, and he said it
      stems from CFW Walther and the political ethos in which he lived...not
      anything inherent in Lutheran theology. (This was a dogmatics prof,
      by the way.) Anti-hierarchy-ism stems in a broader sense from the
      secular currents swirling around in the time of the French
      Revolution....it certainly isn't found anywhere in Scripture.
      >
      > The Lutheran understanding of the office bishops is different from
      the Orthodox; but still, why is it OK for them to have bishops but not
      us?
      >
      > The earliest church in the NT was clearly hierarchical; the apostles
      were over everyone, and they appointed regional overseers to take care
      of local clergy and churches. St. Paul commands Titus, the overseer
      of Crete, to appoint clergy and maintain the apostolic teaching (Titus
      1:5). St. Ignatius, one of the earliest writers we have after the New
      Testament, discusses the three orders of bishops, priests and deacons
      in some length.
      >
      > As someone in this discussion mentioned, too, Christ did not
      institute the diaconate....but the hierarchs (i.e., apostles) didn't
      see this as a problem, since they realized the Church is the body of
      Christ...they went ahead and created the office.
      >
      > One thing I've noticed is that some Lutherans will bandy about the
      term "adiaphoron" quite freely (usually to justify a more pop-style
      worship or remove some aspect of reverence from the liturgy), along
      with the "solas." However, this does not come from Scripture. You
      don't find it in the NT anywhere. It's a made-up thing.
      >
      > But I digress....
      >
      > My prayers will be with you,
      >
      > In Christ,
      >
      > Subdeacon Randy
      >
      >
      >
      > ---- Original Message ----
      >
      > From: adam_roe <adam_roe@...>
      > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Friday, July 11, 2008 4:29:02 PM
      > Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Church Hierarchy
      >
      >
      > Hello to All,
      >
      > I am an LCMS layman who is brand spankin' new to considering
      > Orthodoxy, so please forgive and correct me when I write in a manner
      > that betrays my ignorance of the Orthodox Church and her ways. I
      > suspect that will be happenings lots in the coming months (years???).
      >
      > I have a question about the historical difference between the offices
      > of priest and bishop. I wasn't aware of just how big an issues this
      > was until I mentioned my consideration of Orthodoxy to my pastor. He
      > turned me toward an article which went into great detail in explaining
      > how Christ instituted only one office. The crux of his argument is
      > that The Church (by Lutheran definition) is not bound to recognize the
      > separation between offices; a position that allows him to conclude
      > there is no need for loyalty to a bishop and/or a succession of
      apostles.
      >
      > Do Orthodox Christians believe that the different offices were
      > instituted by Christ or do they believe something else? It occured to
      > me that the author's conclusion still has problems if the apostles saw
      > fit to create a separation in offices. Jesus' reminder that "whatever
      > you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on
      > earth will be loosed in heaven" is a reminder that it isn't necessary
      > for every authoritative thing within The Church to come directly from
      > the mouth of Jesus. I'm not certain, though, that my observation is
      > Orthodox on this issue.
      >
      > Any help via explanation is much appreciated; as is a recommendation
      > of Orthodox resources that address the issue.
      >
      > Thank you,
      > Adam
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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