AC XIV, again
Curiouser and curiouser. . .the CTCR has a new (now that new, I don't get over to their website that often, I'm afraid) document out responding to a couple of questions from the South Wisconsin District. The latter asked if it was appropriate under AC XIV for lay men to "regularly carrying out the duties of the pastoral ministry, viz., the public proclamation of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments." The answer was "not appropriate."
BUT! A Footnote! "It is clear from background information in the District President’s correspondence that this request does not pertain to questions about the service of “licensed lay deacons,” but about lay men “commissioned” by the congregation to carry out certain functions of pastoral ministry, such as public preaching and regular sacramental administration."
So the CTCR has at least said that it's not right, excuse me, "appropriate," for some laymen to pretend they are pastors. This is a step in the right direction. Dare we read into this carefully parsed statement a general tendency on the current CTCR to look afoul of the "licensed lay deacons" as well? After all, they Synod is only a collection of congregations. If a congregation can't "commission" somebody to pretend to be a pastor, then why can a bunch of congregations "license" a guy to do so?
Perhaps this fine statement from the systematics faculties is finally having its effect.
The upcoming District conventions will see several memorials to the Synod to get rid of lay ministry. The time to restore the Augsburg Confession in the Missouri Synod is now. Will the current leadership step forth boldly to do this? Oremus.