Ministry and Sacrifice

I often hear that the Ministry or priestly Office must be understood as part of the priesthood of all believers or all baptized. It is sometimes claimed (for example here, in norwegian) that the Church as a whole has been given the Word and the Sacraments, and that this doesn’t entail a separate profession of priests, but the whole Church through the ‘priesthood of all believers.’ But in the Scriptures this priesthood is a sacrificial priesthood, instituted to offer unto God the spiritual sacrifices of the Church (Rom 12:1; 1Pet 2:5-9). But if we mix this with the Sacraments, as is often done, wouldn’t one end up with an Eucharistic Sacrifice, the same thing one is criticizing the Catholic Church of having? The irony is that those who criticize the Catholic view is bringing it back in the back door, just removed from the Office or Ministry.

Thus one ends up with the exact opposite of what was Luther’s point: He wanted to keep the Office, but change its meaning and content. Instead one rejects the Office, but keeps its (often imagined) content.

Why not choose a third part: Keep both the Ministry and its content?


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