Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Please Pray for this Faithful Lutheran Bishop

Bishop Thor Henrik With of Norway (left) and Archbishop Walter Obare of Kenya

[Note: This is an urgent request for prayers for a faithful Lutheran bishop in Norway, the Rt Rev. Thor Henrik With, who is being persecuted by his own church (sic) body for being faithful to Scripture.  Bishop Thor Henrik is asking for our prayers via our brother in Christ, Dr. Chris Barnekov, a Missouri Synod Lutheran, who translated the bishop's plea. Sed libera nos + a malo! - Ed.]

I just received an email prayer request from Bishop Thor Henrik With of the Evangelical-Lutheran Diocese of Norway (a recently formed Confessional Lutheran body associated with the Mission Province in Sweden and the Mission Diocese inFinland).  My quick translation is below.

Chris Barnekov 

Dear Friends,

Will you pray for me and for a discussion tomorrow, Thursday, May 16?

I am summoned to a meeting with the bishop of Tunsberg at 10:00 am [4:00 am US Eastern Daylight Time], because I have allowed myself to be consecrated bishop of the Evangelical-Lutheran Diocese in Norway. Apparently the bishop of Tunsberg wants to inform me of the decision that my authorization to serve as a pastor in the Church of Norway will be revoked, what is called being defrocked.

After The Church of Norway made the heresy that God blesses gay relationships into a doctrine that bishops and priests can advocate in their dioceses and parishes, the loss of pastoral authorization is sad, but no disaster. What is heavy to bear is that the church’s members will be deceived in this way, and that brother pastors with whom I have previously fought alongside for the good of the faith have become opponents. The church that took me into pastoral ministry in my ordination on 16 December 1979 is also suffering in other serious ways in severe conflict with the only Word that can give life and eternal salvation.

Will you pray that I receive wisdom and love express to bring concern and good counsel to the bishop of Tunsberg, and to bear witness clearly about what God's Word commits us to?

What is first and foremost at stake is the bishops’ and priests’ faithfulness to Scripture and the Lutheran confessions, the allegiance which they solemnly vowed at their ordinations – and thus their correct guidance and care for all God's people, on the path to the Judgment and the resurrection of life.

Thank you, friends, that I can count on you!

Yours in Christ,
+ Thor Henrik

Thor Henrik With
Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of Norway
Laval√łkka 9, 3442 Hyggen

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