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WELS Q&A
WELS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Search the Q&A archive to find answers from WELS seminary professors. Can't find your question in the archive? Submit your own.
Faith Related Q and A

» I am wondering what the duties are for a staff minister. Also, can that position be held by a woman? Thanking you!
Through the staff ministry program at Martin Luther College, individuals can receive training in the areas of outreach and assimilation, leadership, member care, parish education, administration, youth and family ministry, and parish music. Current position titles include the following: Minister of Music and Education, Minister of Family and Youth, Minister of Discipleship, Director of Christian Education, Family Minister, Director of Discipleship, Program Director, Minister of Music, Minister of Evangelism, Church Administrator, Minister of Administration, Deaconess, and Parish Nurse. Calling bodies define the scope of ministry for staff ministers. Women do serve as staff ministers. Calling bodies outline their responsibilities in keeping with the scriptural roles of men and women. This link will provide you with additional information on the program.

» What’s your position on whether Luther ever said the "Here I stand“ phrase at Worms, and whether he really nailed the 95 Theses to the Schlosskirche door on 31 October 1517? Thanks.
When Martin Luther made his courageous stand on God’s word at the Diet of Worms on April 18, 1521, he spoke in German and in Latin. Eyewitness accounts and transcripts of the proceedings vary. Some accounts include “Here I stand…” Others do not. All the accounts are in agreement with the substance of Luther’s words—that he upheld the authority of Scripture and that his conscience was captive to Scripture. Personally, as I think of that dramatic scene, I am happy to include that phrase in Luther’s speech. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, accompanied by Johann Schneider, nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. He also sent a copy of the Theses to Archbishop Albert of Mainz. Twentieth-century historians questioned whether Luther actually posted the Theses. There is a good treatment of this topic in a 2018 companion volume to Luther’s Works: “Sixteenth-Century Biographies of Martin Luther.”

» I am confused about Judgement Day. So, when we die, our souls go to heaven and we are reunited with all of our loved ones. But we don't have our bodies yet? And we are judged at that time? Then, when Christ returns, the graves open and our bodies are then reunited with our souls in heaven? So, meantime we are spirits with no bodies? Then will we have to go to the the judgment all over again, or are only those left on earth judged because we have been judged when we die to enter heaven? I have heard many sermons and I am still confused. I can understand why the Roman Catholic Church developed the purgatory teaching, which I know is not true. Did that come out of the same confusion I have?
Let me try to respond to your questions in the order in which you asked them. When death takes place, the body and soul separate, and judgment also takes place (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Hebrews 9:27). While their bodies remain on earth, the souls of Christians go to heaven (Luke 23:43; Acts 7:59; Revelation 6:9), while the souls of unbelievers go to hell (Luke 16:23; 1 Peter 3:19-20). When Jesus returns visibly to this world on the Last Day, he will raise the bodies of all who have died and reunite their souls with their bodies (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29). Jesus will then pronounce judgment on all people (Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Timothy 4:1). The judgments that took place at people’s deaths will be made known to all. Additionally, the Lord will render judgment on those who are alive on the earth at his coming. Unbelievers will experience eternal suffering—body and soul—in hell (Matthew 25:41-46), while believers—body and soul—will enjoy a perfect and glorious eternity in the new heaven and new earth (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1). The Roman Catholic Church developed the concept of purgatory in the 15th and 16th centuries with the false idea that people who die with a debt of temporal punishment for their sins must atone for those sins in purgatory. That teaching denies the full and free forgiveness Christians enjoy through Spirit-worked faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 10:43; Romans 8:1; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14). When you and I have God’s sure promises about what will happen at death and on the Last Day, we have every reason to join in the prayer: “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).