Pastor or Sneaker?

Pentecost 13 Monday

Jeremiah 23:21

“I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.”

A pastor can boast that he holds the preaching office, baptism, communion, and pastoral care publicly and by right. These have been entrusted to him. We are to seek and look for them with him. Yet the strange sneakers and deceivers cannot boast in this way and must confess that they come as strangers and interfere with someone else’s office. This cannot be the Holy Spirit but must be the evil devil…Therefore, this is how it should be: Either prove your call and command to preach or just be quiet and be forbidden to preach. For it is called an office, a preaching office. Yet no one can have an office without command and call. This is also why Christ says in the parable, Luke 19:13, that the master of house did not give his servants the talents to trade with them until he called them and commanded them to trade: He called his servants, says Jesus, and commanded them to do business with his money. Let the sneaker also bring such a call and order or leave the Lord’s money in peace if he does not want to be found to be a thief and rogue. In the same way, the workers in Matthew 20 also did not go into the vineyard of the master until the master hired them and told them to go, but stood idle prior to the command and call, even the whole day. Accordingly, the Lord says of such sneakers in Jeremiah 23:21: “They run but I did not send them; they preach, but I did not command them.” It takes great effort and labor that those who have a certain call and command–either from God himself or from people acting in God’s stead–preach rightly and abide with the true doctrine. What is to come of those who preach without God’s command–in fact, contrary to God’s command and prohibition–only based on the driving and inciting of the devil? No sermon but one suggested by the evil spirit will do here; it must be utter devilish doctrine, no matter how fine it appears.

St. Louis ed., 20:1667, 1669-1670.

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