“[A]ccording to the Gospel or, as they say, by divine right, there belongs to the bishops as bishops, that is, to those to whom has been committed the ministry of the Word and the Sacraments, no jurisdiction except to forgive sins, to judge doctrine, to reject doctrines contrary to the Gospel, and to exclude from the communion of the Church wicked men, whose wickedness is known, and this without human force, simply by the Word. Herein the congregations of necessity and by divine right must obey them, according to Luke 10, 16: ‘He that heareth you heareth Me.’ But when they teach or ordain anything against the Gospel, then the congregations have a commandment of God prohibiting obedience, Matt. 7, 15: ‘Beware of false prophets’; Gal. 1, 8: ‘Though an angel from heaven preach any other gospel, let him be accursed’; 2 Cor. 13, 8: ‘We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.’ Also: ‘The power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.’ So, also, the Canonical Laws command (II. Q. VII. Cap., Sacerdotes, and Cap. Oves). And Augustine (Contra Petiliani Epistolam): ‘Neither must we submit to Catholic bishops if they chance to err, or hold anything contrary to the Canonical Scriptures of God.’”

~ Augsburg Confession, Article XXVIII: “Of Ecclesiastical Power”; 20-28

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