There has been quite a bit of response and criticism from LCMS pastors who took
objection to the article titled "The Gospel and Sacraments Are
Validated by the Voters Not by the Pastor."
If the Voters' Assemblies are adiaphora and not supreme in the LCMS then none of the
LCMS pastors have legitimate calls because the Voters had no authority to issue them
calls. In the sixties, I had to hear all the libs tell me ad nauseam how the Bible was not
inspired, infallible, and inerrant. Now at the millennium, I have to hear from LCMS
Pastors and Professors who reject Voter Supremacy as the only basis for issuing a call and
end up arguing against the validity of their own calls. First, the devil attacks the Word
of God and then he attacks congregations who witness to the Word of God, using LCMS clergy
as his operatives.
The definition of the word "validate," in my "Merriam-Webster New
Collegiate Dictionary" says, 1. To make valid; to give legal force to. 2. To test or
prove the validity of; to confirm."
Some pastors have incorrectly applied the first definition of the word
"invalidate" in my reference to the Voters' Assembly. I am using the second
definition of the word in reference to the Voters' Assembly. Only God can give forensic
force to the Means of Grace in the first definition of the word.
There is no other English word that will suffice to explain my intended meaning except
the second definition of the word "Validate." "Confirm" in this
context will lead people to think of "confirmation." Of course, forensic and
non-forensic meanings make all the difference between heaven and hell. God makes a
sacrament efficacious and the Voters confirm, give witness to, and confess its presence.
If the Voters aren't in charge of this, I have no certainty that I am in a visible true
church, unless of course, the congregation is an extension of the pastoral office. If the
Voters' don't confirm the real presence of the Sacrament, it is not there.
The Voters validate the real presence, that is, confirm, confess, witness, and testify
to the presence of the Means of Grace in all LCMS congregations by voting for, adopting,
and maintaining their agreement with their church constitution. Without their agreement,
the congregation is not a true visible church. It's not possible to have a true, visible
church, without at least two or three people to agree on the Means of Grace. In fact, the
Congregation can't send out a valid call if they are not a church and I would not be a
The congregation only exists where two or three come together in Christ's name, namely,
the Means of Grace.
The confession of the Voters is the only way to prove that a congregation is a true,
visible church. Even if the pastor were secretly an atheist the baptisms he performs are
still valid based on the correct confession of the congregation.
The loss of Voter Supremacy in the LCMS must inevitably lead to the loss of the Gospel
and Sacraments in the LCMS.
I like this quote: "Now the fanatics believe that nothing but bread and wine are
present, hence it is surely so. They have as they believe, and so they eat nothing but
bread and wine, and partake of the Lord's body neither spiritually nor physically."
(Luther's Works Word and Sacrament III, "This is My Body,...against the
fanatics" 1527 edited by Robert H. Fisher Muhlenberg Press, Philadelphia , Volume 37,
1961 page 131-132 )
Luther did not have a Voters' Assembly in his congregation. If there was an
excommunication Luther had to clear it with the Duke. We have letters to this effect.
Luther only wrote about the possibility of congregational polity and advised Christians in
other cities about the importance of what we would call "Voters' Assemblies." He
never had a chance to practice congregational polity even though he wrote about it. One of
his classic writings is "That A Christian Assembly or Congregation Has the Right and
Power to Judge All Teaching and To Call, Appoint, And Dismiss Teachers, Established and
Proven by Scripture" (LW Vol. 37: Pages 303 to 314.)
When the Consistories became as oppressive as the Pope, near the end of his life,
Luther preached against the Consistories. It was Walther who was first able to practice
Luther's views on Church and Ministry because he was outside of Europe, in a free county.
This is why Walther could write about, "Concerning the Rights of an Evangelical
Lutheran Local Congregation Independent of the State." Luther never saw this kind of
The following are few quotations from Pieper and Walther for your observation:
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics CPH, St. Louis, MO 1953 Vol. III "The Reformed
doctrine is an actual disavowal and renunciation of Christ's words of institution. Hence
they have no word of God for their Supper. He did not institute a Supper in which bread
and wine are distributed and received as symbols of the absent body and blood of
Christ." page 371
C.F.W. Walther, Pastoral Theology, Translated from 5th Ed. 1906, by John Drickamer,
Lutheran News, 1995, New Haven, MO "The administration of the holy Supper is not made
invalid and powerless by the unworthiness, unbelief, or false intention of the
administrant (see the Augsburg Confession, Article VIII). But those false teachers who,
with the agreement of their congregation, publicly pervert the Words of Institution and
give them a meaning according to which the body and blood of Christ are not really present
in the holy Supper and are not distributed nor received--those who therefore retain the
sound of the words but take away what makes them God's Word, namely the divine meaning,
and so deny and suspend the essence of the holy Supper, such as the Zwinglians and
Calvinists--they do not celebrate the Lord's Supper, even if they ostensibly retain the
consecration. They distribute only bread and wine." page 139
"For it [the real presence] does not rest on human faith or unbelief but rather on
God's Word and ordinance." page 139
"Luther states: "Whoever knows of his pastor [Seelsorger] that he teaches in
a Zwinglian way, he should avoid him and rather do without the Sacrament his whole life
long than to receive it from him, indeed, [he should] rather also die and suffer
everything for this point" (XVII, 2440)." page 140
"Compare Luther's Table Talk, Chapter 19, No. 26 (XXII, 906.f.), where Luther
says: "If the Words of Institution of the Supper are publicly heard by the church,
then the danger lies on the neck of the godless preacher, not on the church, which
believes the words and receives what they say, and faith holds it to be that and believes
it. But one should pay attention that he does not publicly preach and teach against the
Supper" page 140
"So where the public confession of the Word is, no matter that the rascal may be
as he wants, then nothing is taken away from the Sacrament. And this is the reason: if a
rogue also swears by the name of the Lord, it is still the true name of the Lord; he would
not be sinning if it were not the true name of God by which he was swearing. . . . But the
Sacramentarians take the substance totally away; therefore they also have nothing in the
Supper except bread and wine." page 140