What is a theological order

Barmer Theological Declaration

theses

  1. Jesus Christ says: I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me. (Joh. 14, 6)

    Truly, truly, I say to you: Anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the door but climbs in elsewhere is a thief and a robber. I am the door; if anyone enters through me, he will be saved. (Joh 10.1.9)

Jesus Christ, as he is testified to in the Holy Scriptures, is the one word of God that we hear, that we have to trust and obey in life and in death.

We reject the false doctrine that the church can and must recognize other events and powers, figures and truths as God's revelation as the source of its proclamation in addition to and alongside this one word of God.

  1. Through God you are in Christ Jesus, who was made for us by God for wisdom and righteousness and for sanctification and redemption. (1 Cor 1:30)

Just as Jesus Christ is God's promise of the forgiveness of all our sins, so and with the same seriousness he is also God's powerful claim to our whole life; through him we experience joyful liberation from the godless ties of this world to free, grateful service to his creatures.

We reject false doctrine that there are areas of our life in which we are not owned by Jesus Christ but by other masters, areas in which we do not need justification and sanctification through him.

  1. But let us be truthful in love and grow in every part towards Him who is the Head, Christ, from whom the whole body is put together. (Eph 4, l5.16)

The Christian Church is the community of brothers in which Jesus Christ acts in word and sacrament through the Holy Spirit as the Lord present. With her faith as with her obedience, with her message as with her order in the midst of the world of sin, as the Church of the pardoned sinners, she has to testify that she alone is his property, only of his consolation and of his instruction in expectation of him Appearance lives and wants to live.

We reject the wrong doctrine, as if the church were allowed to leave the form of its message and its order to its discretion or to the change of prevailing ideological and political convictions.

  1. Jesus Christ says: You know that the rulers hold down their peoples and the mighty do them violence. It should not be so among you; but whoever wants to be great among you, let him be your servant. (Mt 20, 25.26)

The various offices in the Church do not establish the rule of one over the other, but the exercise of the ministry entrusted and commanded to the whole community.

We reject the false doctrine that apart from this service the church can and may be given and allowed to be given special leaders who are empowered to rule.

  1. Fear God, honor the king. (1. Petr 2,17)

Scripture tells us that the state, according to divine ordinance, has the task of ensuring justice and peace in the not yet redeemed world, in which the church also stands, according to the measure of human understanding and human ability under the threat and exercise of force. The Church, in thanks and in awe of God, recognizes the benefits of this ordinance of his. It reminds of God's kingdom, of God's commandment and justice and thus of the responsibility of those who rule and govern. She trusts and obeys the power of the Word through which God sustains all things.

We reject the false doctrine that the state should and can, beyond its special mandate, become the only and total order of human life and thus also fulfill the purpose of the church. We reject the false doctrine that the church should and can, in addition to its special mandate, acquire the nature of the state, state tasks and state dignity and thus become an organ of the state itself.

  1. Jesus Christ says: Behold, I am with you all days until the end of the world. (Mt 28:20) God's word is not bound. (2 Tim 2.9)

The mission of the church, on which her freedom is based, consists in directing the message of the free grace of God to all people in the stead of Christ and therefore in the service of his own word and work through preaching and sacrament. We reject the false doctrine that the Church can, in human self-glory, place the word and work of the Lord at the service of any arbitrarily chosen desires, purposes and plans.

The Confessional Synod of the German Evangelical Church declares that it sees the inevitable theological basis of the German Evangelical Church as a federation of the confessional churches in the recognition of these truths and in the rejection of these errors. She calls on all who can subscribe to her declaration to be mindful of this theological knowledge when making decisions about church politics. She asks all who may be concerned to return to the oneness of faith, love and hope.

Verbum dei manet in aeternum.