I've been thinking about addressing the current push by the Federal Government to force everyone to bow to the latest fruit of the sexual revolution -- transgender issues. Then today The Federalist posted a fantastic article by a fellow LCMS pastor, Hans Fiene. It is well worth your time to read. It is to the point and pastoral. Here's the closing paragraph:
“So stop flailing around in the darkness trying to escape the sins that Christ has already struck dead and to unlock the doors of the kingdom that Christ has already opened for you. Righteousness doesn’t come ex opere operato. It comes extra nos, from outside of us, from the bloody cross and empty tomb of Jesus Christ that become yours through faith in his promises. Because of Christ, God has declared you righteous. You can stop saying stuff you don’t believe now.”
Read the rest here.
There's a lot of confusion in our day as to what the duties of the pastor are. More and more the pastor is seen as everything from a CEO, motivational speaker, entertainer, and even psychologist. The pastor is none of these things and in fact these wrong expectations often distract the pastor from doing that which God has placed him in the congregation to do. Johann Gerhard lists seven duties of the pastor (taken from On the Ministry: Part Two by Johann Gerhard, pages 100-101):
1.Therefore the first and foremost duty of ministers of the church is the preaching of the Word, through which the Holy Spirit is efficacious in providing inner illumination of the heart.
2. The administration of the Sacraments.
3.To pray diligently for the flock entrusted to them.
4. Should lead their hearers with the example of an excellent life – honorable management of their life and behavior.
5. The administration of church discipline.
6. Preservation of ecclesiastical (liturgical) rites.
7. Care of the poor and visitation of the sick.
This list is a wonderful summary of what you should expect from your pastor and also gives you a good list things you can pray for when you pray for your pastor.
A place for Pastor Packer to post articles, links, and his own thoughts.