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Willing submission to proper restraint, control, or command. God demands (1) perfect obedience to His Law (Dt 27:26; Mi 6:8; Lk 10:28); (2) obedience of children to their parents (Eph 6:1–3); (3) submission of servants to their masters (Eph 6:5–8; Cl 3:22–24); (4) respect for, and obedience to civil authority (Ro 13:1–7; 1 Ptr 2:13–16). Cf. Gn 6:22; 12:1–4; Jos 11:15; 2 K 18:6; Lk 2:39; Acts 26:19; Heb 5:8.

Obendiek, Harmannus

(1894–1954). Ref. theol. of Ostfriesland, Ger.; instructor Elberfeld 1932–41; co-founder of Church Coll., Wuppertal, 1945; prof. practical theol. Works include Satanismus und Dämonie in Geschichte und Gegenwart; Der Teujel bei Luther; Glauben oder Schauen; Die Obrigkeit nach dem Bekenntnis der reformierten Kirche.


Village in the Bavarian Alps; famous for performance, every 10 yrs., of a passion play by residents of the community, where it originated as result of a vow made in gratitude for cessation of a plague 1633. See also Religious Drama, 5.

Oberlin, Jean Frédéric

(Johann Friedrich; 1740–1826). Pastor in the Steintal, a barren valley in the Vosges Mts. Through preaching, educ., soc. work, and economic endeavors he improved the Christian life of people and transformed the villages of the valleys into flourishing communities. His influence continues in the Oberlinhaus.*


Founded 1874 at Nowawes (Potsdam-Babelsberg), Ger., as a diaconate institution. Originally a school for small children, it became a deaconess motherhouse to which an institution for crippled, deaf, dumb, and blind was added.

Oberlin Theology.

Doctrine of Christian perfection taught at Oberlin (Ohio) Coll. by C. G. Finney,* A. Mahan,* and assocs. Did not claim that a Christian could be absolutely perfect, but only that he could grow toward perfection. Held that all responsible character pertains to the will in its voluntary attitude and action and that each individual determines for himself, in exercise of his own freedom, under motives that gather about him, whatever is morally good or bad in his character and life; that sin is a voluntary failure to meet obligation; that righteousness is a voluntary conforming to obligation; that neither sin nor holiness can be transmitted, inherited, or imputed. Atonement cannot involve transfer of our guilt to Christ or of His righteousness or merit to us. The repentance required as a condition of salvation is the renunciation of sin, an obligation that rests on every sinner and that is always in his power. The power to sin involves the power to renounce sin, and this voluntary renunciation is the change required of every sinner in order for him to obtain acceptance with God. The work of the Holy Spirit in a sinner's conversion is a moral work, wrought by the presentation of motives that induce repentance; the subsequent work of sanctification and preservation in faith is essentially of the same nature and is wrought by the Holy Spirit through the truth. The sovereignty of God always works in harmony with the freedom and responsibility of the creature, so that one factor in man's salvation must always be his own voluntary cooperation. See also Perfectionism, 4.

H. S. Smith, R. T. Handy, and L. A. Loetscher, American Christianity: An Historical Interpretation with Representative Documents, II, 1820–1960 (New York, 1963). LJM


Philos. formulated by A. Rand.* Endorses selfishness (not greed) over against altruism* and teaches the perfectibility of man; denies faith and revelation; deifies reason; rejects Christianity and belief in the existence of God.

Oblate Fathers

(Oblates of Mary Immaculate). Soc. of priests and laymen leading a common life, formed 1816 by Charles Joseph Eugène de Mazenod (1782–1861) to repair the havoc of the Fr. Revolution. Tries to influence rural and industrial populations through missions and retreats that inculcate devotion to the Sacred Heart and to Mary as a supernatural means of regeneration. Fosters young men's assocs., Cath. clubs, etc., and has many institutions of learning, including industrial and reform schools.


Offerings; the term is used to designate bread and wine offered for consecration in the Eucharist and gifts presented at the Eucharist for the clergy, sick, and poor.

Obookiah, Henry

(Obookaiah; ca. 1792–1818). B. Kau, Owhyhee (one of the Hawaiian Is.); parents slain when he was ca. 10 yrs. old; lived for a time with an uncle, a pagan priest; to Am. with a ship captain from New Haven, Connecticut; with S. J. Mills* at Andover Sem.; converted and joined Cong. Ch.; studied at ABCFM school for Am. Indians, Pacific Islanders, and Orientals at Cornwall, Connecticut Inspired zeal for work on Hawaiian Is.

Obrecht, Jakob

(ca. 1450–1505). Flemish composer of the Neth. School; priest 1480; master of polyphony. See also Passion, The.


Opposition to intellectual enlightenment.


(Observantines). Franciscans* who observed the strict rule; existed as a separate body 15th–19th c.; inc. into the Order of Friars Minor 1897.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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