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1 Timothy 3:1–7
From the Confessions: Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope
The bishops who are devoted to the pope defend godless doctrines and services. They do not ordain godly teachers, and even assist the pope’s cruelty. They have seized jurisdiction from pastors, and only oppressively exercise it. Lastly, they observe many unjust laws in matrimonial cases. These reasons therefore, being sufficiently numerous, make it necessary that the churches should not recognize them as bishops.
Pulling It Together
Those who oversee the affairs of the church are not to be loathed because of their office, whether it be called overseer, bishop, president, or otherwise. Nor should the office itself be considered bad because there have been problems with individuals in the past. Clearly, God wants people to manage his church but they must be the right people. There are qualifications, and the church must see to it that they first, qualify, and then, live up to those qualifications. If not, the example of the Lutheran Reformers is appropriate: do not recognize those persons as fitting to fill the office.
Prayer: Raise up qualified leaders for your church, Lord. Amen.
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