Enthusiasts Should Be Rebuked

The writers of the Formula of Concord make no bones about what should be done to enthusiasts in the church: “On the other hand, the enthusiasts should be rebuked with great seriousness and zeal. They should not be tolerated in any way in God’s Church. They imagine that God, without any means, without the hearing of the divine Word, and without the use of the holy Sacraments, draws people to Himself, enlightens, justifies, and saves them” (Solid Declaration, Part II:80).

So what does our church do? Rather than rebuke the enthusiasts with great seriousness, we invite them in to lead worship and Bible study for our youth. I never cease to be amazed at the way in which those who take seriously their role as shepherds and watchmen are disowned by our Synod and called “troublemakers” while those who teach contrary to the Scriptures and our Confessional witness are held up as Christian models. What is wrong with this picture? Perhaps it is time to don the sackcloth and ashes.

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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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