Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Letters to a Young Lutheran Teacher... U

The first letter I'd like to share with new Lutheran teachers is U... as in  

Understand the privilege and responsibility that has been given to you, a called Lutheran teacher.  At your installation you will or you did take a vow that you... 




  • believe in the canonical books of the Old and New Testament to be the inspired Word of God and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. 
  • accept the three Ecumenical Creeds, namely, the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian Creeds, as faithful testimonies to the truth of the Holy Scriptures, and that you reject all the errors with they condemn. 
  • believe that the Unaltered Augsburg Confession is a true exposition of the Word of God and a correct exhibition of the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church; that the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Small and Large Catechisms of Martin Luther, the Smalcald Articles, the Treatise on the Authority and Primacy of the Pope, and the Formula of Concord - as these are contained in the Book of Concord - are also in agreement with this one scriptural faith. 
  • solemnly promise to faithfully serve God's people in the teaching ministry in accordance with the Word of God, the Ecumenical Creeds, and the Confessions, or Symbols of the Church. 
  • trusting in God's care, seek to grow in love for those you serve, strive for excellence in your skills, and adorn the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a Godly life. 

Understand the importance of these beliefs and your vow to uphold them.  You have been hired to educate the youngsters at your feet.  They need your expertise to help them understand chemistry, the quadratic formula, the Constitution, quarter notes and Shakespearean couplets.  They will also need you to help them understand God's Word in all its truth and purity. They may have questions about baptism, infant baptism, decision theology, taking the Lord's Supper at a non-LCMS church.  Understand what God's Word says about these, and many other, issues.  
Ephesians 4:11-16  And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. 
You may come across devotions, songs and chapel messages that do not faithfully align with scripture.  Understand the dangers of false teaching and teach the children entrusted to your care about those dangers.  
Romans 16:17-18  I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
As Lutheran teachers we took a vow to "reject all the errors" condemned in God's Word and the Lutheran Confessions.  Unsure about what we believe and why? Take the advice we give our students and seek wisdom and counsel from faithful pastors and colleagues.  Continue reading, rereading, studying and abiding in God's Words and the Lutheran Confessions. 
Understand the blessing, privilege and responsibility of being a called Lutheran teacher in the schools of our Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

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