The link to Pastor Wollenburg’s article is missing from it’s original site, so I’m posting it here. He was a good friend, so I wanted to keep one of his articles available so people can read it. And as an Inauguration Day bonus, here is an Obamicon version of Pastor George.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
I Peter 2:9
The word “priest” may sound a bit peculiar to our ears these days, but the royal priesthood is an office which the Lord God has bestowed upon those who are in Christ. As royal priests in the Kingdom of God, Christians are to offer “spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (I Peter 2:5). Indeed their very lives are to be “living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1).
As disciples, Christ’s priests attend to the drowning of the sinful nature by recalling the Holy Baptism by which they have been cleansed and robed in the righteousness of Christ. These disciples live in the discipline which confesses transgressions to the Lord and then in forgiveness raises up holy hands in faith to God and in love to one’s neighbor.
The Rev. Dr. George F. Wollenburg has composed the following “Priestly Rule of Discipline” founded on the Ten Commandments to call priests to their duties of confession, thanksgiving, and praise. This priestly work overflows with the doxology which resounds in the Revelation of St. John [1:5b-6], “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
My priests know that everything good comes from Me, that I have made them holy. Therefore they will not attach their hearts in love to the good things which I give them, instead of to Me. They will not defile themselves by loving things more than the Creator. Nor will they pollute themselves by seeking righteousness in their own hearts instead of in the Savior I have given them. They will not bring their own broken obedience to Me and offer it to Me as righteousness, instead of trusting in the promise of the forgiveness which I have given them through the blood of Christ. You shall have no other gods.
My priests are holy. They have been cleansed from all defilement, from every pollution of sin. I have put my Holy Name on them. Therefore they will not defile themselves with the words that come out of their mouth, use my Holy Name to curse or to speak oaths which are frivolous and thus to make my Holy Name profane. They will call upon my Name in priestly prayer and glorify Me. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
My priests know that I have sanctified time and made their moments and time holy. Therefore they will not look at the time which I have given them as a commodity to be used for their own pleasure. They will know that I sanctify them and make all their time sacred through my word and the righteousness which I put upon them in my holy sacraments. Therefore they will not so use up all the time I have given them in the pursuit of their self-chosen pleasure and works but they will set a priority in the use of time to worship Me, to give praise and thanksgiving, to open their ears to My Word. Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy.
My priests know that I am the God who creates the orders and forms of government in this world to hold back the powers of chaos and disorder. They will know that disorder, chaos, and anarchy have their root in hell and come from the Evil One. They know that I have given them a family, that I establish my authority within the home, the church, and the community in which they live to hold back the powers of sin. They will not defile themselves by despising the order which I have created in the world by dishonoring father and mother, their family, their church and my pastors, or the rulers I have given them as my servants for their temporal good. You shall honor your father and your mother.
My priests know that life is created by Me and is therefore sacred to Me. They will not defile themselves by the shedding of innocent blood, or by shortening and embittering the life of another. They will not pollute themselves by seeking to destroy with words or actions those to whom I have given life. Instead, My priests will continue to pray for, to intercede for all men, even those who are their enemies, and will do good to those who abuse them, just as I send rain upon the just and the unjust and cause the sun to shine upon the evil and the good. You shall not murder.
My priests know that their bodies are the temple and residence of My Holy Spirit. They know that I made them male and female and have given them the good gift of their sexuality to be used in holy sacrifice to their spouse in marriage. Therefore, my priests will not defile themselves by indulging their sexual desire merely for the sake of their own lustful pleasure, nor will they regard the spouse I have given them with dishonor and put away that spouse because they are not pleased with the spouse I have given them. My priests shall not defile their minds or bodies with any kind of sexual sin. You shall not commit adultery.
My priests know that I have given all that they have as a gift, that I make rich and I make poor. Therefore they will receive what they have from Me with thanks and will not look at that which I have given to another and seek to get for themselves what I have given to another. My priests will do honest work in order to serve their neighbor. They will be faithful in the stewardship of their possessions in order that My name might be great in the sight of the world. You shall not steal.
My priests know that I have given them value and worth as a person, that it is not the result of their own achievement. They will know and understand that I have judged them in mercy and forgiveness and their their value is a gift. Therefore, they will not defile themselves by speaking ill of others, making themselves the judges of the value and worth of another, by calling them names, deceiving them, degrading them or destroying their good name in the eyes of others. Instead, they will seek justice for all who are wrongly judged, for the poor and the needy. They will defend the cause of the innocent and those who are abused. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
IX. & X.
My priests know that I give because I am good. Therefore they will not defile themselves by lusting for that which I have not given them. They will not look with envy at those to whom I have chosen to give more than I have given them. They will not surrender their hearts to the unholy desire to have what others have. Instead, they will rejoice in my goodness to their neighbor. They will offer to me thanksgiving and praise for the good which I give, not only to them, but also to those who live with them. You shall not covet.