LSB, at first glance…

I finally have a copy of LSB, and I am pretty happy with what I have seen so far. Of course, I knew mostly what it would look like after viewing all of the materials ahead of time, but it is nice to have one in hand. I like many features of the book, and used the Suffrages after lunch and Vespers this afternoon, just to familiarize myself with it. There are some weak hymns in it, which I expected, as well as some very strong hymns. I was disappointed to see that there were only two hymns listed in the Ordination/Installation section. I mean, I know these things don’t take place very often in a congregation (some more than others), but LW already cut some of the good ones out, and now we have even fewer.

Should I be surprised by this, though? I think not. It is reflective of the diminished view of the Office of the Holy Ministry by our Synodical pastors and members. Where that Office is not seen as essential to the Church’s Life in Christ, then there will be less emphasis placed on it in our hymnals. “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi,” right? I was hoping that I would not have to pick hymns out of TLH and LW anymore, but that will not be the case. My custom is to pick ordination hymns or hymns dealing with the Office of the Ministry on days when the Gospel deals with the Ministry, such as when Jesus calls Peter, James, and John and says that they will “catch men.” I’m not going to make a big deal out of it. It is, like a said, par for the course. I’m going to use this hymnal to the best of my ability in the congregation, and hope that someday our Synod will regain its high view of the Office which once was held by its founding fathers, including C.F.W. Walther.

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About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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11 Responses to LSB, at first glance…

  1. organshoes says:

    That’s the first concrete statement about the hymns I’ve heard so far, though, of course, it’s early yet.
    Our congregation will buy it and use it, and for years to come. But, other than personal taste being generally offended (and in those cases, I suspect general distrust and resentment of Synod hierarchy at the core), no one has–until you, Pastor–said what precisely it is that offends.
    It’s a shame–a real, live shame–that our Synod displays such disdain for its ministers, not to mention for its faithful congregants.

  2. Carl Vehse says:

    “…hope that someday our Synod will regain its high view of the Office which once was held by its founding fathers, C. F. W. Walther notwithstanding.”

    Which of Walther’s Theses I-X on the Ministry is, in your opinion, “notwithstanding”?

  3. Pastor Beisel says:

    Perhaps I misspoke–I intended to compliment Walther’s high view of the Office of the Ministry, as is evidenced in his theses.

  4. Carl Vehse says:

    “I intended to compliment Walther’s high view of the Office of the Ministry, as is evidenced in his theses.”

    On that I agree, and I am also disturbed by the disdain in the Synod for Office of the Ministry. Particularly disturbing was the substitute resolution offered in the 2001 Convention Proceedings, (p.173):

    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 und 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.

    The first WHEREAS claimed “many… members of the Synod have not read” Walther’s book – what an embarrassment if it were true!

    The second WHEREAS is a lie if it is referring to Marquart’s review (CTQ, 52(4), October, 1988, pp.311-3). Marquart had concluded, “Despite such relatively minor blemishes, the book as a whole is overwhelmingly valuable, and will result in great benefits to the church if taken seriously, especially by our public ministry today.”

    The third WHEREAS claimed confusion, which if true made the reaffirmation of Kirche und Amt even more important, not less.

    As it turned out, the substitution deservedly failed and Resolution 7-17A (To Affirm Synod’s Official Position on Church and Ministry), was approved by a large majority (791-291), though 291 delegates should still hang their miserable heads in shame. The affirming delegates should have requested a public recording of the delegates’ votes.

  5. organshoes says:

    Congregants like to diminish the pastor–and thus the office. they (we) grouse behind his back over his ‘Luther- and/or Lutheranism worship’, or maybe we call it his ‘sticklerism.’ We criticize the length of his sermons, and the content (why all this finger-pointing at my sins? what about the other guy’s?), complain he doesn’t visit us enough, then wonder what the H he wants when he shows up. We’re suspicious when he talks about private confession and absolution, angry that he chooses LW 298 over 297…
    Then, we get a pesky diagnosis and realize our number’s up, just like that last guy’s who died, and we can’t see enough of him, can’t hear enough of his voice, are so grateful to see that white collar come thru the hospital door. ‘Pray, Pastor; communion, Pastor; tell us why, Pastor; hold that cross up for him, Pastor.’
    Then come’s death, and we’re back to grousing again, because he won’t let us sing In the Garden at Dad’s funeral, and didn’t eulogize our good Christian husband and father; wouldn’t let Aunt Sue get up and talk about what a good boy Dad always was…
    It has to be a divine call that puts a man into this office; no man in his right mind would choose it. Not to do it faithfully, that is. Anyone might be a ‘minister of the Gospel’, if, like Osteen, he could spend Christmas in Vail and be invited to talk religion on Larry King.
    God bless all y’all.

  6. BE OFF Ye scurvy dog!! says:

    Yarrrr!!!

    Sincerely
    Uglypastor

  7. Carl Vehse says:

    “Congregants like to diminish the pastor”

    Such a sweeping generalization! Can anything else denigrating be said about congregants?

  8. Pastor Beisel says:

    Ah, the faithful defender of the congregation at his post again!

    Yes, it is a generalization, but one based on a common trend in the Church today. I would submit that there is far more clergy abuse that goes on in the Church today than legitimate sheep abuse. Clergy for the most part preach the Gospel faithfully and administer the sacrament. They are constantly berated by angry parishioners because they refuse to give in to every whim of the parish. You know, like when the congregation “tells” a pastor that he must do a children’s message, and get angry because he does not want to. It’s funny how things that are adiaphora (non-essential) to the service always play into the hands of congregation members, but never into the hands of the minister. If it is adiaphora, then the pastor ought to have the right to say no. Oh well.

  9. organshoes says:

    Hey, I’m just a humble churchgoer, in a very humble church. Faithful as I like to think I am, I have my own notions about the Puppet Pastor from time to time. And when I don’t, my neighbor does. And it’s 99.9% petty stuff in those notions. Faithless and petty.
    I’m just thankful God did not send us the pastor we deserve.
    (But why don’t I just tell him that?)

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am genuinely curious to know what it was about TLH that required a succession of periodic replacements. Nearly as I can see, the answer is “nothing of great consequence.” Any differing opinions?

  11. Pastor Beisel says:

    This is an uninformed opinion, but I would say that it is mainly so that new hymns may be incorporated into the church’s life. Like Bird’s “Infant Priest” hymn. What a fantastic hymn. That should be in our Church’s hymnal. “Now the Silence,” on the other hand, belongs in the trash.

    What we all have to keep in mind is that 150 years ago, there were no good hymnals in America. Many of the resources that came over to America from Germany were filled with Pietistic dribble. It was not until Walther and the Saxons combined some of the best resources from Germany into their Agenda that things began to look up for American Lutheran Worship.

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