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ALPB => On-line Articles => Topic started by: Russ Saltzman on June 05, 2008, 02:30:41 PM

Title: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Russ Saltzman on June 05, 2008, 02:30:41 PM

Giving Polygamy a Chance
by Russell E Saltzman


Pr. Steve Sabin writes in Forum Online ( http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=1466.msg55127#msg55127):

"In reading [California state supreme court decision allowing gay marriage], the larger issue for the majority was equal standing before the law for relationships consensually contracted by adult citizens, and the equal availability of the obligations and privileges afforded such private contractual relationships by the state."

Hear, hear. I'm all for "relationships consensually contracted by adult citizens." So, heads up everybody: I’m thinking of trying out polygamy, pretty soon now. I could use the extra income a second wife would provide. Retirement is coming in a few years and, well, the 401(k) is sort of sputtering. So, a second wife, and preferably one with a teaching degree and no outstanding student debts. The primary wife recently became an older second-career teacher, but her student debts, whew. By the way, I've learned to emphasize "second career" over "older."

I’ve been playing with budget figures and it would work fine. It’d be okay, too. I think it is reasonably certain that within a few years some state supreme court somewhere will declare it is discriminatory not to issue marriage licenses for plural marriages composed of three persons in a relationship "consensually contracted by adult citizens."

That’s what the Massachusetts supreme court did in November 2003 when it heard Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, brought by several gay couples. A constitutional convention subsequently defeated an amendment to the state constitution forbidding same-sex marriage, so I guess everybody was happy with the original decision.

And in California, the state supreme court just did the very same thing on May 15, ruling for equal marriage rights for all the guys who want guys and all the gals who want gals, despite a 2000 state referendum on the books (Prop. 22) limiting marriage to opposite-sex persons, which, incidentally, was adopted statewide by a 61% margin. But as these were only voters and not judges expressing an opinion, it hardly counts for anything at all.

Couples Only
What? Yeah, yeah, I know. Those decisions were for gay couples, two persons only, any two people but just two per marriage. A silly restriction, in my judgment.

Seems to me, as soon as somebody says marriage can no longer be defined in terms of a woman and a man, it can then be defined by something else, like me and two women. Or the other way ‘round, say one woman and a couple guys, just to keep the equal rights perspective in play. Once we finish overturning, in Thomas Jefferson's phrase, “the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” well, hey, the way is open for my second wife. As long as I still have my looks and haven't become Viraga-dependent, I figure I'm a good catch.

So, with the reasoning of the California and the Massachusetts courts before me, so what if three people wish to join in matrimony, holy or otherwise? Is anybody in a position to say no anymore? Not in my book.

It’s all personal choice, isn’t it? Not all opposite-sex couples bother with marriage these days. Gay couples, really, hardly bother with it at all. But if they want to, though, increasingly marriage is available for them same as for opposite-sex folks — or not, as they like.

M&M's
There are some media images we’ll have to overcome on polygamy. Muslims and Mormons. Call them M&M's for short.

Early Islamic polygamy arose as a way of caring for the widows of slain jihadists, and their children. In that sense, it wasn’t much different than what is described in the Hebrew scriptures as Levitical marriage. Of course, it’s been spiffied up and tricked out and expanded by male Arab societies a bit beyond what the Koran had in mind originally. But we in the West have gripped about Arabists not modernizing things, so it hardly seems fair of us to complain when, in the area of polygamy, they have. I don’t know if I would want to have the widow of a fallen jihadist as my second wife, with or without a teaching degree. If I get really serious about it, I may have to consider it if no other options arise.

The other image is the spectacle of "fundamentalist polygamist Mormon sects,” as the press always refers to them. To believe the press and, alright, DNA tests, they seem to have a propensity for under-aged child marriage. But I don’t think this a real problem in any social sense, merely one of poor marketing in the end. Mormons like these have to get new members some way, and what better way exists than propagating their own as often and as early as possible.

I think the M&M' s can be handled with a couple good reality shows.

Constitutional Restriction
Oh, and I really want to avoid another misunderstanding. Two people are called a marriage. Three people, a plural marriage. But add a third wife and make it four, and the arrangement becomes a “commune” living in a “compound” surrounded by federal agents.

This isn’t what I want at all. So I do think marriage "relationships consensually contracted by adult citizens" legally should be strictly reserved to just three persons. Any more and that’s just too weird. This may take a constitutional amendment but it would be worth the effort.

Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pr. Jerry Kliner on June 05, 2008, 02:44:11 PM
Well you know, Russ, in the words of the Draft Sexuality Statement:
"This church does not favor or give approval to cohabitation arrangements outside of marriage.  It has a special concern when such arrangements are entered into as an end in themselves.  It does, however, acknowledge the social forces at work that encourage such practices.  This church also recognizes the pastoral and familial issues that accompany these contemporary social patterns.  In cases where a decision is made for cohabitation, this church expects its pastors and members to help the couple recognize a special obligation to be clear and candid with each other about their plans, expectations, and levels of mutual commitments." (lines 1072--1079)

So, while I applaud your courage to be a prophetic voice to our culture, if our statement goes through as is, as long as your clear about your plans, expectations, and mutual levels of trust, I must ask the question: Why bother with pursuing marriage (status) at all?  ;D (tongue planted firmly in cheek)

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: buechler on June 05, 2008, 02:54:06 PM
Well you know, Russ, in the words of the Draft Sexuality Statement:
"This church does not favor or give approval to cohabitation arrangements outside of marriage.  It has a special concern when such arrangements are entered into as an end in themselves.  It does, however, acknowledge the social forces at work that encourage such practices.  This church also recognizes the pastoral and familial issues that accompany these contemporary social patterns.  In cases where a decision is made for cohabitation, this church expects its pastors and members to help the couple recognize a special obligation to be clear and candid with each other about their plans, expectations, and levels of mutual commitments." (lines 1072--1079)

So, while I applaud your courage to be a prophetic voice to our culture, if our statement goes through as is, as long as your clear about your plans, expectations, and mutual levels of trust, I must ask the question: Why bother with pursuing marriage (status) at all?  ;D (tongue planted firmly in cheek)

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

What you quoted from that draft study reminds me of a conversation I heard from one of my parents when my brother and I got old enough to get interested in sex. It went something like this: "Well, I would really frown on you boys having sex before marriage, but since you will probably do it anyway make sure you wear a condom." Talk about taking away from what the real message should be.

Peace in the Lord!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: jebutler on June 05, 2008, 03:31:08 PM
There was a great editorial on this question recently on the _Christianity Today_ website.

He argues that, given the decisions of these courts, there really is no reason for the US to ban it any longer. Not that he approves, but that's the direction of things.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/mayweb-only/121-52.0.html

Jim
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Dave_Poedel on June 05, 2008, 04:36:53 PM
Here's another one by R. R. Reno that is also good on the logic of our current state of reasoning.


http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/?p=1088

Kyrie eleison!
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Erme Wolf on June 06, 2008, 11:49:37 AM
      I heard a report on NPR a week or so back regarding the Muslim community in South Philadelphia and polygamy.  It was a very well done piece, explaining the practice as it arose from the Koran, how it is understood to function, and why it was occuring in south Philly.  The first wife is the "legal" one, the other wives are married in religious ceremonies only.   The report had interviews with one family, the husband and both of his wives.  It gave a lot to think about.

     Russell, I think you are on to something.  And there is Biblical precedent, as well.  If that matters, that is.. . .

Erma Wolf 
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Richard Johnson on June 06, 2008, 02:09:40 PM


     Richard, I think you are on to something.  And there is Biblical precedent, as well.  If that matters, that is.. . .

Erma Wolf 

Uh, actually, that was Russell. The used-to-be guy.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Erme Wolf on June 07, 2008, 04:31:27 AM
    Opps.   I've corrected that.

   
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on June 07, 2008, 01:14:38 PM
    Opps.   I've corrected that.
Now if Erme could be changed to Erma.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Erme Wolf on June 07, 2008, 03:03:47 PM
     Working on that.
     Besides, my name gets misspelled so many other places, why not here as well?   :D
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: MSchimmel on June 07, 2008, 03:18:20 PM
Erma,

You can fix that yourself by clicking on the "Profile" button at the top of the page, then under "Modify Profile" (left hand side of the page) click "Account Related Settings" - then change the name in the box right below your user name.

Unless you like being Erme.  ;)

Mark
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 15, 2010, 06:26:52 PM
The question remains, and will be sorely pressed in our lifetimes, "Why just two people?"  So, how will we respond?  Does the church offer a distinct vision for God-pleasing relationship, or an ever-growing table of acceptable acronyms to designate the diversity of relationships we will bless?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 15, 2010, 06:55:19 PM
The question remains, and will be sorely pressed in our lifetimes, "Why just two people?"  So, how will we respond?  Does the church offer a distinct vision for God-pleasing relationship, or an ever-growing table of acceptable acronyms to designate the diversity of relationships we will bless?

Given that the Political Correctness Police have replaced the word "homosexual" with "GLBT" in ELCA-speak, how can they possibly expect those in the "B" category to be content with only one partner?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 15, 2010, 07:20:25 PM
The question remains, and will be sorely pressed in our lifetimes, "Why just two people?"  So, how will we respond?  Does the church offer a distinct vision for God-pleasing relationship, or an ever-growing table of acceptable acronyms to designate the diversity of relationships we will bless?

Given that the Political Correctness Police have replaced the word "homosexual" with "GLBT" in ELCA-speak, how can they possibly expect those in the "B" category to be content with only one partner?
That's been answered numerous times before.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 15, 2010, 07:31:33 PM
"polygamy" literally: poly = many or often + gamos = marriage in contrast to mono-gamos = once married. When we redefined "monogamy" from "once married" to married to one at a time, we changed the meaning. I know some "traditionalists" who are literally "polygamist" -- that is, they have been married more than once.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 15, 2010, 11:44:18 PM
The question remains, and will be sorely pressed in our lifetimes, "Why just two people?"  So, how will we respond?  Does the church offer a distinct vision for God-pleasing relationship, or an ever-growing table of acceptable acronyms to designate the diversity of relationships we will bless?

Given that the Political Correctness Police have replaced the word "homosexual" with "GLBT" in ELCA-speak, how can they possibly expect those in the "B" category to be content with only one partner?
That's been answered numerous times before.

Yes, but the answers don't ring true.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 15, 2010, 11:49:44 PM
"polygamy" literally: poly = many or often + gamos = marriage in contrast to mono-gamos = once married. When we redefined "monogamy" from "once married" to married to one at a time, we changed the meaning. I know some "traditionalists" who are literally "polygamist" -- that is, they have been married more than once.

From Dictionary.com:  -gamy

a combining form with the meanings “marriage,” “union,” “fertilization, pollination,” of the kind specified by the initial element: exogamy; plastogamy; allogamy;

also forming nouns corresponding to adjectives ending in -gamous: heterogamy.

Origin:  comb. form repr. Gk -gamía act of marrying


What's fascinating about this definition is the idea that it involves reproduction.  Here we've relegated reproduction to one of many possible reasons for a marriage.  Another departure from biblical intent.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 15, 2010, 11:57:01 PM
And why stop at same gender relationships between two men or two women.  Isn't that kind of limiting, really rather narrow minded toward the potential in a loving relationship?  Why only two people in a publicly accountable relationship?  Why not three?  Or seven?  Seven's a nice biblical number.  So is three.  Doesn't a man with sixteen wives love them all and they him?  What about the woman who wants five husbands (all the better to keep her in the manner she is accustomed to)?  And along with the polygamists will come the neo-pederasts and the zoophiles (I hear dolphins, dogs, and sheep have feelings).  Push the logic of the social statement and you can just keep going and going until you fling yourself off the proverbial cultural cliff.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 16, 2010, 12:04:29 AM
When we redefined "monogamy" from "once married" to married to one at a time, we changed the meaning. I know some "traditionalists" who are literally "polygamist" -- that is, they have been married more than once.

The idea of being "faithful" to one person for a time, and then another, and then another, usw. has a name:  adultery.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 17, 2010, 07:43:05 AM
The question remains, and will be sorely pressed in our lifetimes, "Why just two people?"  So, how will we respond?  Does the church offer a distinct vision for God-pleasing relationship, or an ever-growing table of acceptable acronyms to designate the diversity of relationships we will bless?

Given that the Political Correctness Police have replaced the word "homosexual" with "GLBT" in ELCA-speak, how can they possibly expect those in the "B" category to be content with only one partner?
That's been answered numerous times before.

But I was hoping for an answer that made sense.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 17, 2010, 09:55:49 AM
The question remains, and will be sorely pressed in our lifetimes, "Why just two people?"  So, how will we respond?  Does the church offer a distinct vision for God-pleasing relationship, or an ever-growing table of acceptable acronyms to designate the diversity of relationships we will bless?

Given that the Political Correctness Police have replaced the word "homosexual" with "GLBT" in ELCA-speak, how can they possibly expect those in the "B" category to be content with only one partner?
That's been answered numerous times before.

But I was hoping for an answer that made sense.

The answer makes perfect sense to me. I'm pretty sure that you are living the answer that has been given -- regardless of how many people you might be sexually attracted to, you've limited your sexual behaviors to the one women to whom you are married.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 17, 2010, 10:04:11 AM
The question remains, and will be sorely pressed in our lifetimes, "Why just two people?"  So, how will we respond?  Does the church offer a distinct vision for God-pleasing relationship, or an ever-growing table of acceptable acronyms to designate the diversity of relationships we will bless?

Given that the Political Correctness Police have replaced the word "homosexual" with "GLBT" in ELCA-speak, how can they possibly expect those in the "B" category to be content with only one partner?
That's been answered numerous times before.



But I was hoping for an answer that made sense.

The answer makes perfect sense to me. I'm pretty sure that you are living the answer that has been given -- regardless of how many people you might be sexually attracted to, you've limited your sexual behaviors to the one women to whom you are married.

That is the answer that makes no sense. I am not saying it is wrong or that I disagree with it. I am saying that it makes no sense.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: wildiris on January 17, 2010, 10:40:55 AM
Just to give you a little more to think about, how would you deal pastorally with this three-way-of-a-sort relationship?

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_14200855?source=most_viewed

There is no point in arguing hypotheticals when the Brave New World is already here.  And as a bonus question, how would posters here try to explain this to a Sunday School Class of kids?

Please have some patience with a guest commentor like myself.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 17, 2010, 12:52:56 PM
Should such issues arise, I would - as I always do - explain the church's teaching on marriage and note that not everyone practices what the church teaches about marriage.
The Bible, however, doesn't offer too much guidance on what to do with custody issues involving sperm donors, same-sex couples, or adoptive parents.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 17, 2010, 01:37:52 PM
No, it doesn't direct us in those places where we push the boundaries of technology and play god without really having worked through the likely consequences.  I suppose that is where - after the fact - humility and a generous dose of mercy come into play.  Before the fact the second commandment comes in handy.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 17, 2010, 01:43:41 PM
Just to give you a little more to think about, how would you deal pastorally with this three-way-of-a-sort relationship?

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_14200855?source=most_viewed

There is no point in arguing hypotheticals when the Brave New World is already here.  And as a bonus question, how would posters here try to explain this to a Sunday School Class of kids?

Please have some patience with a guest commentor like myself.

From the article:

SANTA CRUZ - In a case that arguably has far-reaching implications for gay rights, a Santa Cruz woman is seeking to maintain joint custody of 10-month-old twins that she and her former partner, the biological mother of the children, had agreed to raise.

As court battles over the rights of non-biological gay parents garner national attention, the Santa Cruz case contains a complicated wrinkle: The biological mother is now involved in a romantic relationship with the sperm donor, who has joined her in seeking full custody of their two boys.

The messiness that is real life, the kind of real life Jesus put on flesh to be in the middle of.  As an adopted child myself, I say the kid stays with the adoptive mothers even though I don't agree with homosexual adoption in general.  Most everyone can procreate; not everyone is gifted with parenting ability.  The biological parents have no claim IMHO.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Lutheranistic on January 17, 2010, 04:32:49 PM
Quote
As an adopted child myself, I say the kid stays with the adoptive mothers even though I don't agree with homosexual adoption in general.  Most everyone can procreate; not everyone is gifted with parenting ability.  The biological parents have no claim IMHO.

Except that, as I read it, one of the gay adoptive mothers is one of the biological parents, and now involved in a heterosexual relationship. I'm an adopted child too, but while the relationship between my biological parents was complicated back in the '50's, it wasn't this complicated.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 17, 2010, 05:10:43 PM
To make it even more complicated there was no legal adoption made.

Dan
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 17, 2010, 06:15:46 PM
The answer makes perfect sense to me. I'm pretty sure that you are living the answer that has been given -- regardless of how many people you might be sexually attracted to, you've limited your sexual behaviors to the one women to whom you are married.

That is the answer that makes no sense. I am not saying it is wrong or that I disagree with it. I am saying that it makes no sense.

So, you are saying that it makes no sense to you to remain faithful to your wife when you are sexually attracted to other people.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 17, 2010, 06:22:24 PM
To make it even more complicated there was no legal adoption made.
At least in Arizona, the non-biological parent even in a registered domestic same-gender partner relationships is not able to adopt the child.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 17, 2010, 07:16:05 PM
The answer makes perfect sense to me. I'm pretty sure that you are living the answer that has been given -- regardless of how many people you might be sexually attracted to, you've limited your sexual behaviors to the one women to whom you are married.

That is the answer that makes no sense. I am not saying it is wrong or that I disagree with it. I am saying that it makes no sense.

So, you are saying that it makes no sense to you to remain faithful to your wife when you are sexually attracted to other people.

That is not what I said. That is not what I implied. That is not what I meant.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 17, 2010, 10:20:24 PM
The answer makes perfect sense to me. I'm pretty sure that you are living the answer that has been given -- regardless of how many people you might be sexually attracted to, you've limited your sexual behaviors to the one women to whom you are married.

That is the answer that makes no sense. I am not saying it is wrong or that I disagree with it. I am saying that it makes no sense.

So, you are saying that it makes no sense to you to remain faithful to your wife when you are sexually attracted to other people.

That is not what I said. That is not what I implied. That is not what I meant.

That is what the answer I gave -- and others have given -- means. Perhaps now it makes some sense to you when it's put in your own relational context.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 17, 2010, 11:34:18 PM
The answer makes perfect sense to me. I'm pretty sure that you are living the answer that has been given -- regardless of how many people you might be sexually attracted to, you've limited your sexual behaviors to the one women to whom you are married.

That is the answer that makes no sense. I am not saying it is wrong or that I disagree with it. I am saying that it makes no sense.

So, you are saying that it makes no sense to you to remain faithful to your wife when you are sexually attracted to other people.

That is not what I said. That is not what I implied. That is not what I meant.

That is what the answer I gave -- and others have given -- means. Perhaps now it makes some sense to you when it's put in your own relational context.

No, it still does not make sense.

You revisionists threw God's Law in the trash to accommodate homosexuals' desires to wallow in a life of filth and perversion. It makes no sense to throw away God's law so that homosexuals can lead lives of debauchery and surrender to their lusts and perversions and not to give bisexuals the same free pass on following God's Law. It makes no sense to use the crap about partnered, monogamous and all the other antinomian excuses used to justify making the accommodations for homosexuals and not take it the slight step further to accommodate bisexuals as well.

If you revisionists aren't going to take your repealing of God's Laws you disagree with because they stand in the way of the perversions in the third letter of LGBT, then you could at least be honest enough to drop the "B" from the initials. That would make sense.

Or, you could follow the principle of "in for a penny, in for a pound", and re-write God's Law to include the bisexuals along side the homosexuals. And while you're at it, why not include the pedophiles as well? And don't forget the devotees of bestiality.

Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 17, 2010, 11:38:18 PM
The question remains, and will be sorely pressed in our lifetimes, "Why just two people?"  So, how will we respond?  Does the church offer a distinct vision for God-pleasing relationship, or an ever-growing table of acceptable acronyms to designate the diversity of relationships we will bless?

Given that the Political Correctness Police have replaced the word "homosexual" with "GLBT" in ELCA-speak, how can they possibly expect those in the "B" category to be content with only one partner?
That's been answered numerous times before.



But I was hoping for an answer that made sense.

The answer makes perfect sense to me. I'm pretty sure that you are living the answer that has been given -- regardless of how many people you might be sexually attracted to, you've limited your sexual behaviors to the one women to whom you are married.

That is the answer that makes no sense. I am not saying it is wrong or that I disagree with it. I am saying that it makes no sense.

Just because.  Two, just because.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 17, 2010, 11:40:14 PM
That's devotees of zoophilia to you, mister!
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: MSchimmel on January 17, 2010, 11:59:10 PM
That's devotees of zoophilia to you, mister!

I like to go to the zoo - what's the big deal? ;D
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 18, 2010, 08:53:21 AM
Gregory Davidson writes:
I like to go to the zoo - what's the big deal?
I comment:
Depends upon what you do there.
But that theme is another ridiculous obfuscation of what we should be talking about. And so is polygamy, although as usual Russ Saltzman's musings are thoughtful. The issue is not polygamy, but the processes by which conclusions are reached.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 18, 2010, 09:59:39 AM
That is what the answer I gave -- and others have given -- means.
Really? The answer itself-- the text, if you will-- has knowable, objective meaning apart from the reader's interpretation? What if what it means to George is something nonsensical?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 18, 2010, 10:06:33 AM
The answer makes perfect sense to me. I'm pretty sure that you are living the answer that has been given -- regardless of how many people you might be sexually attracted to, you've limited your sexual behaviors to the one women to whom you are married.

That is the answer that makes no sense. I am not saying it is wrong or that I disagree with it. I am saying that it makes no sense.

So, you are saying that it makes no sense to you to remain faithful to your wife when you are sexually attracted to other people.

That is not what I said. That is not what I implied. That is not what I meant.

That is what the answer I gave -- and others have given -- means. Perhaps now it makes some sense to you when it's put in your own relational context.

No, it still does not make sense.

You revisionists threw God's Law in the trash to accommodate homosexuals' desires to wallow in a life of filth and perversion. It makes no sense to throw away God's law so that homosexuals can lead lives of debauchery and surrender to their lusts and perversions and not to give bisexuals the same free pass on following God's Law. It makes no sense to use the crap about partnered, monogamous and all the other antinomian excuses used to justify making the accommodations for homosexuals and not take it the slight step further to accommodate bisexuals as well.

If you revisionists aren't going to take your repealing of God's Laws you disagree with because they stand in the way of the perversions in the third letter of LGBT, then you could at least be honest enough to drop the "B" from the initials. That would make sense.

Or, you could follow the principle of "in for a penny, in for a pound", and re-write God's Law to include the bisexuals along side the homosexuals. And while you're at it, why not include the pedophiles as well? And don't forget the devotees of bestiality.

I have no idea who are you are  talking about. Your statements don't resemble anything that the "revisionists" I know have done. Your comments just don't make any sense.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 18, 2010, 10:09:03 AM
That is what the answer I gave -- and others have given -- means.
Really? The answer itself-- the text, if you will-- has knowable, objective meaning apart from the reader's interpretation? What if what it means to George is something nonsensical?
Then either there is a problem with what I wrote or how George (mis)understands it. Since others find what I wrote to be clear and understandable, that leaves the problem centered in George.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 18, 2010, 10:15:47 AM
That is what the answer I gave -- and others have given -- means.
Really? The answer itself-- the text, if you will-- has knowable, objective meaning apart from the reader's interpretation? What if what it means to George is something nonsensical?
Then either there is a problem with what I wrote or how George (mis)understands it. Since others find what I wrote to be clear and understandable, that leaves the problem centered in George.
The vast, vast majority of Christians across the globe and through history have agreed concerning what the Scriptures say about sodomy. I guess you're saying that leaves the problem centered in the revisionists.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 18, 2010, 10:28:10 AM
That is what the answer I gave -- and others have given -- means.
Really? The answer itself-- the text, if you will-- has knowable, objective meaning apart from the reader's interpretation? What if what it means to George is something nonsensical?
Then either there is a problem with what I wrote or how George (mis)understands it. Since others find what I wrote to be clear and understandable, that leaves the problem centered in George.

There is no misunderstanding. You and the rest of the revisionists have twisted your interpretations of Scripture like a pretzel to deny the reality that God's Law says what it says. We were warned by the Lord about false prophets who would come along after Him. Some of those false prophets have convinced 66.6% of the voters at the CWA to leave God's path.

I do not misunderstand your false, antinomian teachings. I reject them. There's a difference.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pilgrim on January 18, 2010, 10:54:36 AM
Charles Austin wrote: And so is polygamy, although as usual Russ Saltzman's musings are thoughtful. The issue is not polygamy, but the processes by which conclusions are reached.

Pilgrim suggests: I would question whether that the issue is the processes. I would suggest the issue is the foundational assumptions and core values. Russ's musings raise those questions, not process issues.

And the referenced article in California...wow! Am I the only one who finds it utterly astounding the depths and breadths and heights of the evidence of the bondage of the human condition to sin displayed in our age? And in the face of it, we (meaning well-intentioned religious folks) continue advancing the latest "case celebre" that common sense suggests will likely only exacerbate future examples of the same? Pour gas on the fire folks, it's not burning hot enough or fast enough! My goodness, the emperer is walking around in his skivvies right in front of our eyes!
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 18, 2010, 11:00:44 AM
That is what the answer I gave -- and others have given -- means.
Really? The answer itself-- the text, if you will-- has knowable, objective meaning apart from the reader's interpretation? What if what it means to George is something nonsensical?
Then either there is a problem with what I wrote or how George (mis)understands it. Since others find what I wrote to be clear and understandable, that leaves the problem centered in George.

There is no misunderstanding. You and the rest of the revisionists have twisted your interpretations of Scripture like a pretzel to deny the reality that God's Law says what it says. We were warned by the Lord about false prophets who would come along after Him. Some of those false prophets have convinced 66.6% of the voters at the CWA to leave God's path.

I do not misunderstand your false, antinomian teachings. I reject them. There's a difference.

What you claimed made no sense to you had nothing to do with interpretation of Scriptures, but with the ELCA's position with regards to bisexuals. No one asked you to agree with it -- but you keep claiming that you can't understand it. Many others (even traditionalists) find it understandable -- even though they disagree with it. Thus I continue to maintain that the problem with your understanding is you.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 18, 2010, 02:30:13 PM
That is what the answer I gave -- and others have given -- means.
Really? The answer itself-- the text, if you will-- has knowable, objective meaning apart from the reader's interpretation? What if what it means to George is something nonsensical?
Then either there is a problem with what I wrote or how George (mis)understands it. Since others find what I wrote to be clear and understandable, that leaves the problem centered in George.

There is no misunderstanding. You and the rest of the revisionists have twisted your interpretations of Scripture like a pretzel to deny the reality that God's Law says what it says. We were warned by the Lord about false prophets who would come along after Him. Some of those false prophets have convinced 66.6% of the voters at the CWA to leave God's path.

I do not misunderstand your false, antinomian teachings. I reject them. There's a difference.

What you claimed made no sense to you had nothing to do with interpretation of Scriptures, but with the ELCA's position with regards to bisexuals. No one asked you to agree with it -- but you keep claiming that you can't understand it. Many others (even traditionalists) find it understandable -- even though they disagree with it. Thus I continue to maintain that the problem with your understanding is you.

Once again, what I don't understand is how the revisionists will throw away Scripture to accommodate the homosexuals but they draw the line at throwing it away to accommodate the bisexuals, the pedophiles, or any other perverts. I understand that you revisionists decided to draw an arbitrary line that is inconsistent with the Bible and 2000 years of understanding. I do not understand why you chose to draw it where you did. It makes no sense to me to set the ELCA on a path to destruction over one perversion but to not go the rest of the way and include other perversions as well.

I'd use a metaphor to explain it, but then nitpicking the metaphor would take over the discussion and get twisted beyond all recognition.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 18, 2010, 03:42:40 PM
Once again, what I don't understand is how the revisionists will throw away Scripture to accommodate the homosexuals
We didn't. That's your first misunderstanding.

Quote
but they draw the line at throwing it away to accommodate the bisexuals, the pedophiles, or any other perverts.
The arbitrary line of being married/committed to one person was drawn long before we started our discussion -- even though arguments for polygamy can be made from scriptures. And this arbitrary line was ignored long before our discussion through divorces and remarriages. Monogamy, that is, "one marriage," is close to being the minority state in the U.S. I see the recommendations as seeking to re-establish the long-standing tradition of being committed to and married to one person for a life-time. And requiring monogamy is drawing an arbitrary line.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 18, 2010, 08:15:55 PM
Just to give you a little more to think about, how would you deal pastorally with this three-way-of-a-sort relationship?

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_14200855?source=most_viewed

There is no point in arguing hypotheticals when the Brave New World is already here.  And as a bonus question, how would posters here try to explain this to a Sunday School Class of kids?


Don't know if it's Brave New World.  Reads more like a dystopian cyberpunk sf story.

How would I deal with it pastorally?  Well, my pastoral experience is that my involvement in the dispute -- in the off chance these 4 people have a church relationship -- would have been about the time it hit the paper. 

If the lesbian couple had been parishioners, I likely would have found out about the child when the mother got pregnant.  I can imagine that they might have wanted to talk with their pastor as they discerned whether they should have provided for this child's conception -- but I've never experienced that sort of thing, and my similar experiences are that if medical technology can do something, the couple is going to try it and just assume that their pastor/church would approve since we're not Roman Catholic.  But that's going back in this story nearly 2 years, and this pastor doesn't know how to unwind the clock after a series of actions by this couple that says they clearly never considered the consequences.  But if they'd asked me 2 years ago, I would have told them the Christian thing to do is not conceive a child under such circumstances.

What do they need today?  Confession of sin, repentance, absolution, and lots of it.  I mean, how do you deal pastorally with the betrayal of intimate relationships that never should have been entered into in the first place?  No one here is occupying moral high ground.  And the pastoral thing to do (ala Nathan and King David) is to make that clear.

What is best for the twins is that they are raised by their mother and father in a Christian home conscious of sin, repentance, and absolution.  The mother and sperm donor appear to be making the best of the immoral decisions that brought them to where they are.   The former partner, who has the parental standing of a former child care provider -- none at all -- has to live with the consequences of a string of wrong relationship choices and trusting untrustworthy people.  Which brings us back to confession of sin, repentance, and absolution.

Alas, as an expat Californian, I would not be surprised that the court's ultimate decisions will only make situation this worse for everybody and set the worst possible legal precedent.

Christe eleison, Steven+
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 18, 2010, 09:47:14 PM
Once again, what I don't understand is how the revisionists will throw away Scripture to accommodate the homosexuals
We didn't. That's your first misunderstanding.

Quote
but they draw the line at throwing it away to accommodate the bisexuals, the pedophiles, or any other perverts.
The arbitrary line of being married/committed to one person was drawn long before we started our discussion -- even though arguments for polygamy can be made from scriptures. And this arbitrary line was ignored long before our discussion through divorces and remarriages. Monogamy, that is, "one marriage," is close to being the minority state in the U.S. I see the recommendations as seeking to re-establish the long-standing tradition of being committed to and married to one person for a life-time. And requiring monogamy is drawing an arbitrary line.
If by arbitrary you mean divinely established, fine.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 18, 2010, 10:39:07 PM
Once again, what I don't understand is how the revisionists will throw away Scripture to accommodate the homosexuals
We didn't. That's your first misunderstanding.


This paragraph, especially the sentence in bold amounts to saying that what Scripture says doesn't matter. It says, "Believe whatever you want, it's all good."

In response, this church draws on the foundational Lutheran understanding that the baptized are called to discern God's love in service to the neighbor. In our Christian freedom, we therefore seek responsible actions that serve others and do so with humility and deep respect for the conscience-bound beliefs of others. We understand that, in this discernment about ethics and church practice, faithful people can and will come to different conclusions about the meaning of Scripture25 and about what constitutes responsible action. We further believe that this church, on the basis of "the bound conscience,"26 will include these different understandings and practices within its life as it seeks to live out its mission and ministry in the world.

I understand that just fine.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 18, 2010, 11:03:16 PM
The answer makes perfect sense to me. I'm pretty sure that you are living the answer that has been given -- regardless of how many people you might be sexually attracted to, you've limited your sexual behaviors to the one women to whom you are married.

That is the answer that makes no sense. I am not saying it is wrong or that I disagree with it. I am saying that it makes no sense.

So, you are saying that it makes no sense to you to remain faithful to your wife when you are sexually attracted to other people.

That is not what I said. That is not what I implied. That is not what I meant.

That is what the answer I gave -- and others have given -- means. Perhaps now it makes some sense to you when it's put in your own relational context.

No, it still does not make sense.

You revisionists threw God's Law in the trash to accommodate homosexuals' desires to wallow in a life of filth and perversion. It makes no sense to throw away God's law so that homosexuals can lead lives of debauchery and surrender to their lusts and perversions and not to give bisexuals the same free pass on following God's Law. It makes no sense to use the crap about partnered, monogamous and all the other antinomian excuses used to justify making the accommodations for homosexuals and not take it the slight step further to accommodate bisexuals as well.

If you revisionists aren't going to take your repealing of God's Laws you disagree with because they stand in the way of the perversions in the third letter of LGBT, then you could at least be honest enough to drop the "B" from the initials. That would make sense.

Or, you could follow the principle of "in for a penny, in for a pound", and re-write God's Law to include the bisexuals along side the homosexuals. And while you're at it, why not include the pedophiles as well? And don't forget the devotees of bestiality.

I have no idea who are you are  talking about. Your statements don't resemble anything that the "revisionists" I know have done. Your comments just don't make any sense.

Hey, where is that pot calling the kettle black thread? :D

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 18, 2010, 11:09:53 PM
The answer makes perfect sense to me. I'm pretty sure that you are living the answer that has been given -- regardless of how many people you might be sexually attracted to, you've limited your sexual behaviors to the one women to whom you are married.

That is the answer that makes no sense. I am not saying it is wrong or that I disagree with it. I am saying that it makes no sense.

So, you are saying that it makes no sense to you to remain faithful to your wife when you are sexually attracted to other people.

That is not what I said. That is not what I implied. That is not what I meant.

That is what the answer I gave -- and others have given -- means. Perhaps now it makes some sense to you when it's put in your own relational context.

No, it still does not make sense.

You revisionists threw God's Law in the trash to accommodate homosexuals' desires to wallow in a life of filth and perversion. It makes no sense to throw away God's law so that homosexuals can lead lives of debauchery and surrender to their lusts and perversions and not to give bisexuals the same free pass on following God's Law. It makes no sense to use the crap about partnered, monogamous and all the other antinomian excuses used to justify making the accommodations for homosexuals and not take it the slight step further to accommodate bisexuals as well.

If you revisionists aren't going to take your repealing of God's Laws you disagree with because they stand in the way of the perversions in the third letter of LGBT, then you could at least be honest enough to drop the "B" from the initials. That would make sense.

Or, you could follow the principle of "in for a penny, in for a pound", and re-write God's Law to include the bisexuals along side the homosexuals. And while you're at it, why not include the pedophiles as well? And don't forget the devotees of bestiality.

I have no idea who are you are  talking about. Your statements don't resemble anything that the "revisionists" I know have done. Your comments just don't make any sense.

Hey, where is that pot calling the kettle black thread? :D

Sometimes the kettle is black; and what's wrong in saying so?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 18, 2010, 11:27:37 PM
The answer makes perfect sense to me. I'm pretty sure that you are living the answer that has been given -- regardless of how many people you might be sexually attracted to, you've limited your sexual behaviors to the one women to whom you are married.

That is the answer that makes no sense. I am not saying it is wrong or that I disagree with it. I am saying that it makes no sense.

So, you are saying that it makes no sense to you to remain faithful to your wife when you are sexually attracted to other people.

That is not what I said. That is not what I implied. That is not what I meant.

That is what the answer I gave -- and others have given -- means. Perhaps now it makes some sense to you when it's put in your own relational context.

No, it still does not make sense.

You revisionists threw God's Law in the trash to accommodate homosexuals' desires to wallow in a life of filth and perversion. It makes no sense to throw away God's law so that homosexuals can lead lives of debauchery and surrender to their lusts and perversions and not to give bisexuals the same free pass on following God's Law. It makes no sense to use the crap about partnered, monogamous and all the other antinomian excuses used to justify making the accommodations for homosexuals and not take it the slight step further to accommodate bisexuals as well.

If you revisionists aren't going to take your repealing of God's Laws you disagree with because they stand in the way of the perversions in the third letter of LGBT, then you could at least be honest enough to drop the "B" from the initials. That would make sense.

Or, you could follow the principle of "in for a penny, in for a pound", and re-write God's Law to include the bisexuals along side the homosexuals. And while you're at it, why not include the pedophiles as well? And don't forget the devotees of bestiality.

I have no idea who are you are  talking about. Your statements don't resemble anything that the "revisionists" I know have done. Your comments just don't make any sense.

Hey, where is that pot calling the kettle black thread? :D

Sometimes the kettle is black; and what's wrong in saying so?

What I find funny Brian is that you stand in a position where you really have nothing to say. Why? You stand in a church where bound conscience is not bound to Scripture but bound to anything one happens to feel about Scripture or anything else for that matter. Therefore how can you with a straight face speak to any comment anyone makes and say anything definitive. Because of your church's social statements on the matter? Because of your constitution? Because your "scholarly" mind comes up with something and you can find a few other "scholars" who agree with you? Big deal! You have your understanding of things, another has his or hers and you have no ground to speak of right or wrong, good or bad, correct or incorrect, holy or unholy. You are now simply a reed in the wind that bends at any breeze (I am speaking now of your church's ability to speak definitively about anything). So have fun telling others that they don't make sense, or that they are wrong, or anything else. You're a pot that doesn't hold any water because the bottom is out.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 19, 2010, 04:50:01 AM
Wow. I didn't know that the ELCA, Pastor Stoffregen's exegesis or the views of ELCA theologians or the decisions of our denomination were such a threat to Pastor Buechler's faith or the faith of his congregation! Are these things (or - oh, horrors! - even the theologians or pastors or deacons or lay people themselves) reaching his members, luring them out from under his pastoral care or so clouding their minds that they do not hear his sermons?
Presumably he has inoculated his members against the "sickness" of the ELCA. Does he fear that his medicine is inadequate?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 19, 2010, 08:47:27 AM
Wow. I didn't know that the ELCA, Pastor Stoffregen's exegesis or the views of ELCA theologians or the decisions of our denomination were such a threat to Pastor Buechler's faith or the faith of his congregation! Are these things (or - oh, horrors! - even the theologians or pastors or deacons or lay people themselves) reaching his members, luring them out from under his pastoral care or so clouding their minds that they do not hear his sermons?
Presumably he has inoculated his members against the "sickness" of the ELCA. Does he fear that his medicine is inadequate?

An example of a post twisting things to be about Pastor Buechler rather than the topic. It would have been really easy, Charles, to state your disagreement without stuff about anyone's fears or feeble faith.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 19, 2010, 09:17:29 AM
Sorry, Peter, it just seems to me that when people speak more often and with more vigor about things that they are against, rather than things they are for, I have to wonder whether they are afraid that what they are for cannot stand up to what they are against.
And you know my other position. When you emigrate to another country, you lose your right to meddle in the internal affairs of the country you abandoned.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 19, 2010, 09:41:51 AM
Sorry, Peter, it just seems to me that when people speak more often and with more vigor about things that they are against, rather than things they are for, I have to wonder whether they are afraid that what they are for cannot stand up to what they are against.
And you know my other position. When you emigrate to another country, you lose your right to meddle in the internal affairs of the country you abandoned.

Charles,

Pastor Buechler was, in a polemical way, making a similar argument:

1.  When one has abandoned realism for radical skepticism, one should refrain from telling someone else that they "misunderstand" something.  For a radical skeptic, all perceptions are personal and subjective.  So what right does Brian, have to tell someone he misunderstands.

2.  When one has abandoned any sense of moral truth for relativism, one should refrain from telling another person that they are wrong.  Wrong implies that there is a moral standard against which actions can be measured, but a moral relativist has abandoned this belief.

Again it's a pot and kettle situation.

David
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 19, 2010, 09:46:34 AM
And you know my other position. When you emigrate to another country, you lose your right to meddle in the internal affairs of the country you abandoned.

And of course, its corollary of when you are a citizen of that country you are obligated to financially support that country no matter what its evil deeds. You can object to those deeds, but you need to continue financing them.

I am supposing that while Werner Von Braun had every right to object to German aggression since that was an international issue, he lost any right to obect to internal German incarceration and extermination of Jews since he emigrated to the US.

(And yes, I know that the first person who brings up Nazis in an argument automatically loses. So be it. The point remains made.)

Mike

I don't think he emigrated until after the defeat of Nazi Germany.  The victorious Americans wanted his knowledge of rocket propulsion and so brought him to the U.S. 

David
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Kurt Weinelt on January 19, 2010, 10:09:34 AM
Sorry, Peter, it just seems to me that when people speak more often and with more vigor about things that they are against, rather than things they are for, I have to wonder whether they are afraid that what they are for cannot stand up to what they are against.
And you know my other position. When you emigrate to another country, you lose your right to meddle in the internal affairs of the country you abandoned.

So you are saying we should have ignored Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn and Natan Sharansky once they were free of the Soviet Union?  They had no right to decry the human rights abuses from which they escaped? ::)  Yakov Smirnoff  ;D too?
Kurt
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 19, 2010, 10:13:56 AM
What I find funny Brian is that you stand in a position where you really have nothing to say. Why? You stand in a church where bound conscience is not bound to Scripture but bound to anything one happens to feel about Scripture or anything else for that matter.

What I find sad is that you seem incapable of understanding that our bound consciences are bound to Scripture -- but not bound to one interpretation of the text.

Quote
You are now simply a reed in the wind that bends at any breeze (I am speaking now of your church's ability to speak definitively about anything). So have fun telling others that they don't make sense, or that they are wrong, or anything else. You're a pot that doesn't hold any water because the bottom is out.

I have stated from the beginning of the ELCA -- and continue to state most firmly: we stand on the rock of justification by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Those whose Christianity means taking a particular position on moral issues will be disappointed.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 19, 2010, 10:18:51 AM
Once again, what I don't understand is how the revisionists will throw away Scripture to accommodate the homosexuals
We didn't. That's your first misunderstanding.

Quote
but they draw the line at throwing it away to accommodate the bisexuals, the pedophiles, or any other perverts.
The arbitrary line of being married/committed to one person was drawn long before we started our discussion -- even though arguments for polygamy can be made from scriptures. And this arbitrary line was ignored long before our discussion through divorces and remarriages. Monogamy, that is, "one marriage," is close to being the minority state in the U.S. I see the recommendations as seeking to re-establish the long-standing tradition of being committed to and married to one person for a life-time. And requiring monogamy is drawing an arbitrary line.
If by arbitrary you mean divinely established, fine.

Can you show me where God intervened and stopped the practice of polygamy (and concubines and slavery and the Levirate law)? It seems to me that your position has little to no backing in Scripture -- even though it is a long-standing opinion among church folks. (It's not a bad opinion, but there are no verses in scriptures that prohibit such sexual relationships -- except for church leaders, who are to be married once -- which is not followed in many denominations.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 19, 2010, 10:23:47 AM
Sorry, Peter, it just seems to me that when people speak more often and with more vigor about things that they are against, rather than things they are for, I have to wonder whether they are afraid that what they are for cannot stand up to what they are against.
And you know my other position. When you emigrate to another country, you lose your right to meddle in the internal affairs of the country you abandoned.

Let's see now . . .

Some people here have argued vehemently and often against:

(1) Anonymous posters
(2) People who leave one church body expressing any opinions about what he terms the "internal affairs" of the body they left behind
(3) People who didn't leave a church body, but have never been part of it, expressing any opinions about what he terms the "internal affairs" of the body they left behind
(4) People who remain in a church body criticizing actions or directions in their church body because, after all, it's been democratically decided and so let's move on

One has to wonder whether what he is for can't stand up to what he is against.  ;D
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 19, 2010, 10:24:04 AM
Indeed, I would think that such strong revulsion would compel one to continue speaking out.

Y'mean like bigots are compelled to speak against a minority-raced president. Does their speaking out indicate any truth about the president -- or reveal the truth about their own warped thinking?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 19, 2010, 10:30:01 AM
Sorry, Peter, it just seems to me that when people speak more often and with more vigor about things that they are against, rather than things they are for, I have to wonder whether they are afraid that what they are for cannot stand up to what they are against.
And you know my other position. When you emigrate to another country, you lose your right to meddle in the internal affairs of the country you abandoned.

So you are saying we should have ignored Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn and Natan Sharansky once they were free of the Soviet Union?  They had no right to decry the human rights abuses from which they escaped? ::)  Yakov Smirnoff  ;D too?

At least their witness could be attested by others -- and went beyond just their personal opinions. On the other hand, there a lady who can't stand a restaurant I really like. She had a bad experience there and so continually speaks against that establishment. Her experience is not at all like mine -- and thus her rants against the poor food and poor service are just her personal opinion that don't match with the experiences I and many others have had at the same place. We just ignore her complaints and conclude that the real problem is not with the restaurant, but with her.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Kurt Weinelt on January 19, 2010, 10:40:41 AM
Indeed, I would think that such strong revulsion would compel one to continue speaking out.
Y'mean like bigots are compelled to speak against a minority-raced president. Does their speaking out indicate any truth about the president -- or reveal the truth about their own warped thinking?

Invoking bigotry is like invoking Naziism. 15 yard penalty. ::)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: SCPO on January 19, 2010, 10:50:44 AM
Indeed, I would think that such strong revulsion would compel one to continue speaking out.
Y'mean like bigots are compelled to speak against a minority-raced president. Does their speaking out indicate any truth about the president -- or reveal the truth about their own warped thinking?

Invoking bigotry is like invoking Naziism. 15 yard penalty. ::)

     Plus a loss of down.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Erme Wolf on January 19, 2010, 11:06:26 AM
And you know my other position. When you emigrate to another country, you lose your right to meddle in the internal affairs of the country you abandoned.

Yes, Rob.  Those of us still in the ELCA know what's best for our kind without any interference from outsiders and scallawags (though some it seems are more equal than others at determining what is best).  So just go back where you came from, you carpetbagger, you!

Erma (who seems to have heard all this before)   ;)   
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: James Gustafson on January 19, 2010, 11:07:09 AM
Indeed, I would think that such strong revulsion would compel one to continue speaking out.

Y'mean like bigots are compelled to speak against a minority-raced president. Does their speaking out indicate any truth about the president -- or reveal the truth about their own warped thinking?

How does John the Baptist not fall under your analogy?  If he doesn't, then apparently your analogy isn't very good.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: James Gustafson on January 19, 2010, 11:09:20 AM
Can you show me where God intervened and stopped the practice of polygamy (and concubines and slavery and the Levirate law)? It seems to me that your position has little to no backing in Scripture -- even though it is a long-standing opinion among church folks. (It's not a bad opinion, but there are no verses in scriptures that prohibit such sexual relationships -- except for church leaders, who are to be married once -- which is not followed in many denominations.

Ephesians 5:23
For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.


How many Churches and Christs are there in a single relationship?  Or should Christ have multiple churches?  Or the Church more than one Christ?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 19, 2010, 11:12:01 AM
Indeed, I would think that such strong revulsion would compel one to continue speaking out.

Y'mean like bigots are compelled to speak against a minority-raced president. Does their speaking out indicate any truth about the president -- or reveal the truth about their own warped thinking?

How does John the Baptist not fall under your analogy?  If he doesn't, then apparently your analogy isn't very good.
No.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 19, 2010, 11:14:26 AM
Can you show me where God intervened and stopped the practice of polygamy (and concubines and slavery and the Levirate law)? It seems to me that your position has little to no backing in Scripture -- even though it is a long-standing opinion among church folks. (It's not a bad opinion, but there are no verses in scriptures that prohibit such sexual relationships -- except for church leaders, who are to be married once -- which is not followed in many denominations.

Ephesians 5:23
For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.


How many Churches and Christs are there in a single relationship?  Or should Christ have multiple churches?  Or the Church more than one Christ?

If Christ is "married" to one church, she certainly has multiple personality disorder. And what does this say about those who seek to form yet another denomination. From all outward appearances, it seems as though Jesus is "married" to many different bodies.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 19, 2010, 11:20:18 AM
From all outward appearances, it seems as though Jesus is "married" to many different bodies.

1 Samuel 16.7
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: James Gustafson on January 19, 2010, 12:03:03 PM
Indeed, I would think that such strong revulsion would compel one to continue speaking out.

Y'mean like bigots are compelled to speak against a minority-raced president. Does their speaking out indicate any truth about the president -- or reveal the truth about their own warped thinking?

How does John the Baptist not fall under your analogy?  If he doesn't, then apparently your analogy isn't very good.
No.

Really?  How does John's example not compare to those who won't shut up about what they see as Sin in the accepted behaviors of the society and rulers around them?  John preached against the sins of Herod and the Priests repeatedly, just like those you made your comment about today.  John didn’t simply mention it once and shut up, he kept on mentioning it, just like the CORE members today.  John did not stop pointing out sin where he saw it, and neither does the CORE members and their ilk, how are they not the same?

As to your comment that Christ seems to have multiple Wives/Churches, Pr.  Johnson already addressed that, I'll just sign on to his statement for that.  But much could be said about you thinking the OHCAC is represented by only the ELCA, and anyone who leaves the ELCA is in danger of leaving the Bride of Christ, but since I don't really think you think that, one has to wonder why you would use it as a debate position?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 19, 2010, 12:13:58 PM
And you know my other position. When you emigrate to another country, you lose your right to meddle in the internal affairs of the country you abandoned.

Yes, Rob.  Those of us still in the ELCA know what's best for our kind without any interference from outsiders and scallawags (though some it seems are more equal than others at determining what is best).  So just go back where you came from, you carpetbagger, you!

Erma (who seems to have heard all this before)   ;)  

Hey now, I'm not a carpetbagger or a scallawag. The ELCA has been splitting into loyalist to the Scriptures and the OHCAC and loyalists to slavery (that is sin). The ELCA is now slave territory. I'm with the Union (of the OHCAC) army and calling the slave minded to surrender to the rightful government of the land...Jesus Christ. So hey, I'm not a carpetbagger or scallawag, because the war ain't over. We have to get to the surrender for that! :D ;) Meanwhile keep up the good fight fellow soldier (although you are planted inside that territory so according to some you have to be worse since you are undermining the internal narrative of things, and keeping everyone from being truly loyal to the direction of the CWA. Good for you. You must be Morgan's Raiders albeit in a modified form and not rebels but loyalists). :D

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: hillwilliam on January 19, 2010, 12:47:39 PM
Polygamy should certainly be rationally considered within the context of our secular culture. Especially that of the intellectual and artistic elitists who are attempting to free our nation of any restraint to sexual expression. The part of our culture that decries the arrest and return to custody of Roman Polanski, a convicted child rapist, because of the loss it represents to the artistic community is only one example. They will not rest until all scriptural teaching about sexuality has been eradicated. Polygamy is easily sold in such a society.

When the Sundance Channel can run a documentary called "Zoo" about bestiality which centers on a man who dies after having sex with a horse, polygamy is pretty mild stuff. This desensitizing of our national conscience will continue to work it's will on us as long as we, Defenders of the Faith, accept anti-scriptural policies without any regard for the teaching of the historic Church, the Scriptures, or the words and actions of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Ken Kimball on January 19, 2010, 02:55:23 PM
And you know my other position. When you emigrate to another country, you lose your right to meddle in the internal affairs of the country you abandoned.
And there are those of us still in the ELCA who still welcome the voices and input of colleagues who have left (or who have never been in the ELCA, e.g. our LCMS brothers and sisters).   So it is your rule and not a universal, even among those of us still in the ELCA. 
Ken
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Mike Bennett on January 19, 2010, 03:18:54 PM

I have stated from the beginning of the ELCA -- and continue to state most firmly: we stand on the rock of justification by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Those whose Christianity means taking a particular position on moral issues will be disappointed.


Yet one whose Christianity doesn't encourage him to take a position on a moral issue on which Holy Scripture is unequivocal adheres to a strange sort of Christianity.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 19, 2010, 04:03:10 PM
Really?  How does John's example not compare to those who won't shut up about what they see as Sin in the accepted behaviors of the society and rulers around them?  John preached against the sins of Herod and the Priests repeatedly, just like those you made your comment about today.  John didn’t simply mention it once and shut up, he kept on mentioning it, just like the CORE members today.  John did not stop pointing out sin where he saw it, and neither does the CORE members and their ilk, how are they not the same?

John was not a bigot.

Quote
As to your comment that Christ seems to have multiple Wives/Churches, Pr.  Johnson already addressed that, I'll just sign on to his statement for that.  But much could be said about you thinking the OHCAC is represented by only the ELCA, and anyone who leaves the ELCA is in danger of leaving the Bride of Christ, but since I don't really think you think that, one has to wonder why you would use it as a debate position?

The LORD looks at the heart. The unbelievers in the world can only see our outward appearances. It is not leaving the ELCA or being in other denominations that I have any problems with; it is the unwillingness of some to speak and act lovingly towards their fellow believers as fellow believers -- to be aware that it is our acts of love for each other than is our witness to the world that we are Jesus' disciples.

Just a few days ago I had a conversation with a retired clergy snow bird worshiping with our congregation about how detrimental it is to a congregation and its witness when there is infighting and turmoil.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pilgrim on January 19, 2010, 04:12:21 PM
Brian Stoffregen wrote in referencing Lutheran CORE: John was not a bigot.

Pilgrim wonders: Clear implication of Brian's remark: Lutheran CORE folks are bigoted. Wow!  :-\  Pretty broad statement. Are you really sure you want to go there, Brian?

Brian further wrote: Just a few days ago I had a conversation with a retired clergy snow bird worshiping with our congregation about how detrimental it is to a congregation and its witness when there is infighting and turmoil.

Pilgrim just mentions: Matthew 10:33-35, Matthew 13:28-30.  ;D
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Mike Bennett on January 19, 2010, 04:17:32 PM
Really?  How does John's example not compare to those who won't shut up about what they see as Sin in the accepted behaviors of the society and rulers around them?  John preached against the sins of Herod and the Priests repeatedly, just like those you made your comment about today.  John didn’t simply mention it once and shut up, he kept on mentioning it, just like the CORE members today.  John did not stop pointing out sin where he saw it, and neither does the CORE members and their ilk, how are they not the same?

John was not a bigot.


The bigot who rants about the President because of his race was your strawman, just introduced.  I expect we all know James was not favorably comparing John the Forerunner to to your straw bigot.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 19, 2010, 04:26:26 PM
The LORD looks at the heart. The unbelievers in the world can only see our outward appearances. It is not leaving the ELCA or being in other denominations that I have any problems with; it is the unwillingness of some to speak and act lovingly towards their fellow believers as fellow believers -- to be aware that it is our acts of love for each other than is our witness to the world that we are Jesus' disciples.

Just a few days ago I had a conversation with a retired clergy snow bird worshiping with our congregation about how detrimental it is to a congregation and its witness when there is infighting and turmoil.

How can you go on about "fellow believers" when your entire argument is based on the fellows not believing the same things? My "fellow believers" are the fellows whose beliefs and my beliefs are the same. That sharing of common beliefs is what makes us "fellow believers". I don't wish bad things to happen to people who beliefs are not congruent with mine, but they are not my "fellow believers".

As for infighting and turmoil, you are right. It is detrimental to a congregation and the congregation's witness. On the other hand, if what is being witnessed is heresy or apostasy, impediments to witness are a good thing.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: James Gustafson on January 19, 2010, 05:25:42 PM
Really?  How does John's example not compare to those who won't shut up about what they see as Sin in the accepted behaviors of the society and rulers around them?  John preached against the sins of Herod and the Priests repeatedly, just like those you made your comment about today.  John didn’t simply mention it once and shut up, he kept on mentioning it, just like the CORE members today.  John did not stop pointing out sin where he saw it, and neither does the CORE members and their ilk, how are they not the same?

John was not a bigot.

Quote
As to your comment that Christ seems to have multiple Wives/Churches, Pr.  Johnson already addressed that, I'll just sign on to his statement for that.  But much could be said about you thinking the OHCAC is represented by only the ELCA, and anyone who leaves the ELCA is in danger of leaving the Bride of Christ, but since I don't really think you think that, one has to wonder why you would use it as a debate position?

The LORD looks at the heart. The unbelievers in the world can only see our outward appearances. It is not leaving the ELCA or being in other denominations that I have any problems with; it is the unwillingness of some to speak and act lovingly towards their fellow believers as fellow believers -- to be aware that it is our acts of love for each other than is our witness to the world that we are Jesus' disciples.

Just a few days ago I had a conversation with a retired clergy snow bird worshiping with our congregation about how detrimental it is to a congregation and its witness when there is infighting and turmoil.

Look at your own two points in one post Pr. Stoffregen, first you make an analogy of fellow Christians comparing their actions to the actions of a fictional bigot you introduced to the conversation yourself, and then continue with the bigot example even after having it pointed out to you that John the Baptist behaved in a similar fashion to the ones you were criticizing, and THEN you complain about Christians who show: unwillingness of some to speak and act lovingly towards their fellow believers as fellow believers, the irony is so thick it could be cut with a 2x4. 
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Scott6 on January 19, 2010, 05:34:13 PM
Really?  How does John's example not compare to those who won't shut up about what they see as Sin in the accepted behaviors of the society and rulers around them?  John preached against the sins of Herod and the Priests repeatedly, just like those you made your comment about today.  John didn’t simply mention it once and shut up, he kept on mentioning it, just like the CORE members today.  John did not stop pointing out sin where he saw it, and neither does the CORE members and their ilk, how are they not the same?

John was not a bigot.

For this comment to have any force, Brian has to be calling CORE members bigots.

Is this the case, Brian?

Or is the comment simply irrelevant?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 19, 2010, 06:58:40 PM

I have stated from the beginning of the ELCA -- and continue to state most firmly: we stand on the rock of justification by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Those whose Christianity means taking a particular position on moral issues will be disappointed.


Yet one whose Christianity doesn't encourage him to take a position on a moral issue on which Holy Scripture is unequivocal adheres to a strange sort of Christianity.

Being moral -- even those in scriptures -- doesn't make one a Christian. In fact, in some ways morality and Christianity can be seen as antitheses -- or at least apples and oranges. Morals are about what is right and wrong. Christianity is about forgiving wrong-doers (sinners). As soon as the two are combined in some way -- both are adulterated.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 19, 2010, 07:05:53 PM
Brian Stoffregen wrote in referencing Lutheran CORE: John was not a bigot.

Pilgrim wonders: Clear implication of Brian's remark: Lutheran CORE folks are bigoted. Wow!  :-\  Pretty broad statement. Are you really sure you want to go there, Brian?

My point is that sometimes what we learn from a vehement complainer is more about the complainer than anything about the object of the criticism.


Quote
Brian further wrote: Just a few days ago I had a conversation with a retired clergy snow bird worshiping with our congregation about how detrimental it is to a congregation and its witness when there is infighting and turmoil.

Pilgrim just mentions: Matthew 10:33-35, Matthew 13:28-30.  ;D

Do you think that those family members who were at odds with one another were in the same church? It seems more likely that "sword" that Jesus brought to the family was the fact that some gave up their old life to follow the Messiah, while others did not.

The second text is wonderful -- the servants, but trying to remove the weeds -- did more damage to the whole crop than if they would have left them alone. It seems to me, to be a parable about patiently living in peace with others -- and let the harvesters at the end time deal with dividing the weeds from the wheat.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 19, 2010, 07:11:36 PM
Really?  How does John's example not compare to those who won't shut up about what they see as Sin in the accepted behaviors of the society and rulers around them?  John preached against the sins of Herod and the Priests repeatedly, just like those you made your comment about today.  John didn’t simply mention it once and shut up, he kept on mentioning it, just like the CORE members today.  John did not stop pointing out sin where he saw it, and neither does the CORE members and their ilk, how are they not the same?

John was not a bigot.

For this comment to have any force, Brian has to be calling CORE members bigots.

Is this the case, Brian?

Or is the comment simply irrelevant?

The (defensive) anger expressed by some opponents tells me more about them than anything that they are complaining about.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 19, 2010, 07:13:15 PM
The LORD looks at the heart. The unbelievers in the world can only see our outward appearances. It is not leaving the ELCA or being in other denominations that I have any problems with; it is the unwillingness of some to speak and act lovingly towards their fellow believers as fellow believers -- to be aware that it is our acts of love for each other than is our witness to the world that we are Jesus' disciples.

Just a few days ago I had a conversation with a retired clergy snow bird worshiping with our congregation about how detrimental it is to a congregation and its witness when there is infighting and turmoil.

How can you go on about "fellow believers" when your entire argument is based on the fellows not believing the same things?

Christians are folks who are saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. "Fellow believers" share that common faith. They don't have to share the same beliefs about all the other stuff we tend to argue about.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Scott6 on January 19, 2010, 07:14:34 PM
Really?  How does John's example not compare to those who won't shut up about what they see as Sin in the accepted behaviors of the society and rulers around them?  John preached against the sins of Herod and the Priests repeatedly, just like those you made your comment about today.  John didn’t simply mention it once and shut up, he kept on mentioning it, just like the CORE members today.  John did not stop pointing out sin where he saw it, and neither does the CORE members and their ilk, how are they not the same?

John was not a bigot.

For this comment to have any force, Brian has to be calling CORE members bigots.

Is this the case, Brian?

Or is the comment simply irrelevant?

The (defensive) anger expressed by some opponents tells me more about them than anything that they are complaining about.

So the answer is yes?  You're calling CORE members bigots?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 19, 2010, 07:16:04 PM
Really?  How does John's example not compare to those who won't shut up about what they see as Sin in the accepted behaviors of the society and rulers around them?  John preached against the sins of Herod and the Priests repeatedly, just like those you made your comment about today.  John didn’t simply mention it once and shut up, he kept on mentioning it, just like the CORE members today.  John did not stop pointing out sin where he saw it, and neither does the CORE members and their ilk, how are they not the same?

John was not a bigot.

For this comment to have any force, Brian has to be calling CORE members bigots.

Is this the case, Brian?

Or is the comment simply irrelevant?

The (defensive) anger expressed by some opponents tells me more about them than anything that they are complaining about.

So the answer is yes?  You're calling CORE members bigots?

Some might be -- and some revisionists might be. Actions have been reported by folks on both sides that indicate a "reptilian brain" reaction rather than from rational thinking.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Voelker on January 19, 2010, 07:34:19 PM
Really?  How does John's example not compare to those who won't shut up about what they see as Sin in the accepted behaviors of the society and rulers around them?  John preached against the sins of Herod and the Priests repeatedly, just like those you made your comment about today.  John didn’t simply mention it once and shut up, he kept on mentioning it, just like the CORE members today.  John did not stop pointing out sin where he saw it, and neither does the CORE members and their ilk, how are they not the same?

John was not a bigot.

For this comment to have any force, Brian has to be calling CORE members bigots.

Is this the case, Brian?

Or is the comment simply irrelevant?

The (defensive) anger expressed by some opponents tells me more about them than anything that they are complaining about.

So the answer is yes?  You're calling CORE members bigots?

Some might be -- and some revisionists might be. Actions have been reported by folks on both sides that indicate a "reptilian brain" reaction rather than from rational thinking.

Some of them might be dancing pandas, too. You never know.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Scott6 on January 19, 2010, 07:45:36 PM
Really?  How does John's example not compare to those who won't shut up about what they see as Sin in the accepted behaviors of the society and rulers around them?  John preached against the sins of Herod and the Priests repeatedly, just like those you made your comment about today.  John didn’t simply mention it once and shut up, he kept on mentioning it, just like the CORE members today.  John did not stop pointing out sin where he saw it, and neither does the CORE members and their ilk, how are they not the same?

John was not a bigot.

For this comment to have any force, Brian has to be calling CORE members bigots.

Is this the case, Brian?

Or is the comment simply irrelevant?

The (defensive) anger expressed by some opponents tells me more about them than anything that they are complaining about.

So the answer is yes?  You're calling CORE members bigots?

Some might be -- and some revisionists might be. Actions have been reported by folks on both sides that indicate a "reptilian brain" reaction rather than from rational thinking.

Some of them might be dancing pandas, too. You never know.

Or at least scaly dancing pandas who have issues with mammals who have colors...
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 19, 2010, 07:47:25 PM
The LORD looks at the heart. The unbelievers in the world can only see our outward appearances. It is not leaving the ELCA or being in other denominations that I have any problems with; it is the unwillingness of some to speak and act lovingly towards their fellow believers as fellow believers -- to be aware that it is our acts of love for each other than is our witness to the world that we are Jesus' disciples.

Just a few days ago I had a conversation with a retired clergy snow bird worshiping with our congregation about how detrimental it is to a congregation and its witness when there is infighting and turmoil.

How can you go on about "fellow believers" when your entire argument is based on the fellows not believing the same things?

Christians are folks who are saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. "Fellow believers" share that common faith. They don't have to share the same beliefs about all the other stuff we tend to argue about.

No, they don't have to share the same beliefs about the other stuff to both be Christians. But they should share all of the important beliefs to be able to call themselves Lutheran Christians.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pilgrim on January 19, 2010, 07:47:59 PM
Brian Stoffregen wrote: My point is that sometimes what we learn from a vehement complainer is more about the complainer than anything about the object of the criticism.

Pilgrim wonders: Your point was simple: John was not a bigot. Implied Lutheran CORE are bigots. Whatever rabbit hole you're pursuing in the aforementioned is simply a Brian S. ALPB forum example of the song from "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas", where the Govenor "...did a little sidestep."  ;D  You're really something, Brian, you know that?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 19, 2010, 07:59:00 PM
Really?  How does John's example not compare to those who won't shut up about what they see as Sin in the accepted behaviors of the society and rulers around them?  John preached against the sins of Herod and the Priests repeatedly, just like those you made your comment about today.  John didn’t simply mention it once and shut up, he kept on mentioning it, just like the CORE members today.  John did not stop pointing out sin where he saw it, and neither does the CORE members and their ilk, how are they not the same?

John was not a bigot.

For this comment to have any force, Brian has to be calling CORE members bigots.

Is this the case, Brian?

Or is the comment simply irrelevant?

The (defensive) anger expressed by some opponents tells me more about them than anything that they are complaining about.

So we can never know for sure what a Bilblical text is saying, although it is equally accesible to all, but Brian can know the motivation of and psychological state of those with whom he disagrees?  The plain meaning of Scripture is unclear, but my inner thoughts are laid bare before Brians eye?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 19, 2010, 10:30:51 PM
...I have to wonder whether they are afraid that what they are for cannot stand up to what they are against.


Ah, yes.  Our Presiding Bishop's "intersection of hope and fear" strikes again.  I suppose it works okay to accuse reasserters as living in fear.  But what I appreciated most at our last Bishop's Colloquy was a committed reappraiser who defends the actions of the CWA requesting of our Bishop that someone, please, quickly get around to preparing a biblical/theological defense for them, for the Social Statement doesn't do that and the uncertainty it is tearing his congregation apart.  Is he "just "afraid?"

spt+
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 20, 2010, 02:51:13 AM
Really?  How does John's example not compare to those who won't shut up about what they see as Sin in the accepted behaviors of the society and rulers around them?  John preached against the sins of Herod and the Priests repeatedly, just like those you made your comment about today.  John didn’t simply mention it once and shut up, he kept on mentioning it, just like the CORE members today.  John did not stop pointing out sin where he saw it, and neither does the CORE members and their ilk, how are they not the same?

John was not a bigot.

For this comment to have any force, Brian has to be calling CORE members bigots.

Is this the case, Brian?

Or is the comment simply irrelevant?

The (defensive) anger expressed by some opponents tells me more about them than anything that they are complaining about.

So we can never know for sure what a Bilblical text is saying, although it is equally accesible to all, but Brian can know the motivation of and psychological state of those with whom he disagrees?  The plain meaning of Scripture is unclear, but my inner thoughts are laid bare before Brians eye?

According to Peter Steinke (and others) all of us can revert to reptilian brain responses which are self-preservation by fighting or fleeing.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pilgrim on January 20, 2010, 09:14:54 AM
Brian Stoffregen wrote: The (defensive) anger expressed by some opponents tells me more about them than anything that they are complaining about.

DCharles commented: So we can never know for sure what a Bilblical text is saying, although it is equally accesible to all, but Brian can know the motivation of and psychological state of those with whom he disagrees?  The plain meaning of Scripture is unclear, but my inner thoughts are laid bare before Brians eye?[/quote]

Brian responded: According to Peter Steinke (and others) all of us can revert to reptilian brain responses which are self-preservation by fighting or fleeing.

Pilgrim simply says: The witness' evidence speaks for itself.  8)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 20, 2010, 10:38:30 AM
Brian Stoffregen wrote: The (defensive) anger expressed by some opponents tells me more about them than anything that they are complaining about.

DCharles commented: So we can never know for sure what a Bilblical text is saying, although it is equally accesible to all, but Brian can know the motivation of and psychological state of those with whom he disagrees?  The plain meaning of Scripture is unclear, but my inner thoughts are laid bare before Brians eye?

Brian responded: According to Peter Steinke (and others) all of us can revert to reptilian brain responses which are self-preservation by fighting or fleeing.

Pilgrim simply says: The witness' evidence speaks for itself.  8)

Inner thoughts are revealed by outward words and actions. (Reptilian brain responses -- are non-thinking reactions.)

However, even with words and actions that come from one's more rational brain, we can make some conclusions. Two parallel examples.

Race relations: What does it say about a person who continues to use the "N" word after being told that it is derogatory and offensive to people of Africa descent?

Homosexual behaviors: What does it say about a person who continues to use "sodomy" after being told that it is derogatory and its meaning is quite imprecise. In some states the crime of sodomy can occur between heterosexuals! Similar with words like "perverts," "perversions," etc. Certainly there are many on the traditional side who try to be respectful and precise in the language, e.g., if they mean anal and oral sex -- they will say that.

I don't remember if comments to refrain from using such language was in this forum or in another one where this topic is discussed; but there have been some who get defensive and defiantly use the derogatory language after being told that there language is offensive.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: hillwilliam on January 20, 2010, 11:02:21 AM
Derogatory language = any language, whether accurate or not, that undermines Brian's attempt to revise the meaning of words in the scripture to support his antinomian arguments.  ::)

Dictionary meaning of derogatory

1 : detracting from the character or standing of something —often used with to, towards, or of
2 : expressive of a low opinion : disparaging <derogatory remarks>

You will notice that the offensive language coming from the CWA that detracted from the character and standing of the words of Jesus were not considered derogatory by 'someone'. The  implementing of a policy that differs from the historic Christian tradition and the Lutheran Confessions shows a low opinion of the Lutheran understanding of scripture and a disregard for the OHCAC. That the Oromo Church reacted so negatively to the actions of the CWA shows that they thought the policy showed a very low opinion of the scriptural witness. If this is being inclusive how do we explain the minority churches reaction?

Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 20, 2010, 12:27:15 PM
Brian Stoffregen wrote: The (defensive) anger expressed by some opponents tells me more about them than anything that they are complaining about.

DCharles commented: So we can never know for sure what a Bilblical text is saying, although it is equally accesible to all, but Brian can know the motivation of and psychological state of those with whom he disagrees?  The plain meaning of Scripture is unclear, but my inner thoughts are laid bare before Brians eye?

Brian responded: According to Peter Steinke (and others) all of us can revert to reptilian brain responses which are self-preservation by fighting or fleeing.

Pilgrim simply says: The witness' evidence speaks for itself.  8)

Inner thoughts are revealed by outward words and actions. (Reptilian brain responses -- are non-thinking reactions.)

However, even with words and actions that come from one's more rational brain, we can make some conclusions. Two parallel examples.

Race relations: What does it say about a person who continues to use the "N" word after being told that it is derogatory and offensive to people of Africa descent?

Homosexual behaviors: What does it say about a person who continues to use "sodomy" after being told that it is derogatory and its meaning is quite imprecise. In some states the crime of sodomy can occur between heterosexuals! Similar with words like "perverts," "perversions," etc. Certainly there are many on the traditional side who try to be respectful and precise in the language, e.g., if they mean anal and oral sex -- they will say that.

I don't remember if comments to refrain from using such language was in this forum or in another one where this topic is discussed; but there have been some who get defensive and defiantly use the derogatory language after being told that there language is offensive.

You failed to understand and address my question.  I did not and do not want to argue about the validity of Peter Steinke's ideas nor about whether certain words are offensive.  What I found and find curious is that you are a radical skeptic when it comes to discerning the plain meaning of scripture, but claim the ability to discern the inner thoughts and motivations of others.  To me it represents a strange theory of knowledge to say that the meaning of words printed on a page, available to all, is illusive and open to an infinite variety of interpretations, but the inner thoughts and motivations of those you perceive to be angry are easily discerned.  The authority of two millenia of interpretation is not enough to settle a matter, but the authority of 50 years of family systems theory (again I'm not debating the validity of the theory) enables you to reach definitive conclusions.  Curious.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Keith Falk on January 20, 2010, 01:59:02 PM
I don't understand why it is so hard for Brian to simply say/write, "I shouldn't have responded in that way.  Some people are bigots, but I should not have implied that Lutheran CORE members and their ilk are bigots". 

Brian, your post equated Lutheran CORE members and their ilk with bigots.  Plain and simple.  Please apologize.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 20, 2010, 02:53:25 PM
Doesn't the concept of apologizing for doing something wrong require a belief that there is such a thing as "right and wrong", as opposed to "some say it is and some say it isn't"?

I always wondered how someone who believed that there is no way to determine conclusively whether or not an action is a sin or not could stand in front of a bunch of people and say "Your sins are forgiven" while maintaining a straight face.

Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 20, 2010, 05:15:44 PM
Sometimes failure to adjust one's speech to new norms simply indicates a refusal to be bullied and a refusal to accept the presuppositions of the pc thought police. Recently I found a link to the Temple Prostitution spoof published in these quarters and in the comments section there was an irate progressive whose first reaction was to point that "prostitute" is pejorative and the proper term is "Sex Industry Worker." Having been told that, I will continue to use the word "prostitute" to describe people who have sex for money. It does not mean I am mean, insensitive, ignorant or otherwise hateful towards anyone, nor do I have a phobia. I simply reject the entire mind set of someone who insists on the term "sex industry worker" and I won't have my speech controlled by his phony outrage.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 20, 2010, 07:06:34 PM
You failed to understand and address my question.  I did not and do not want to argue about the validity of Peter Steinke's ideas nor about whether certain words are offensive.  What I found and find curious is that you are a radical skeptic when it comes to discerning the plain meaning of scripture,

I'm not skeptical. I'm a realist. I find over and over again that people can often discern more than one plain meaning of scripture. My skepticism is that God intends one and only one meaning from each passage of scripture. In other words, there can be more the one right and legitimate way of interpreting a scripture passage.

Quote
To me it represents a strange theory of knowledge to say that the meaning of words printed on a page, available to all, is illusive and open to an infinite variety of interpretations,
Nearly every time I look up the meaning of a word printed on a page (usually from the Greek New Testament) I find more than one definition and usually even more than two possible ways of translating the word. There is not an infinite variety of interpretations, but there often is more than one way to understand the plain meanings of the words.

Quote
The authority of two millenia of interpretation is not enough to settle a matter, but the authority of 50 years of family systems theory (again I'm not debating the validity of the theory) enables you to reach definitive conclusions.  Curious.
First of all, we have never let two millennia of interpretation determine what how we will understand scripture today. The prime example is the ordination of women. Another is the marriage of priests, and having divorced and remarried clergy. Yes, the folks of our tradition have a voice, but they do not dictate.

In regards to systems theory, there's another saying that starts with: "If it looks like a duck,...."
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 20, 2010, 07:11:03 PM
I don't understand why it is so hard for Brian to simply say/write, "I shouldn't have responded in that way.  Some people are bigots, but I should not have implied that Lutheran CORE members and their ilk are bigots".

Some are. I've been the victim of their bigotry. (And there are revisionists who are just as guilty of such bigotry towards traditionalists.)

Quote
Brian, your post equated Lutheran CORE members and their ilk with bigots.  Plain and simple.  Please apologize.

To those Lutheran CORE members and their ill who are not bigots, I apologize. Many are many very rational and cogent in articulating their positions without resorting to attacking those who disagree with them.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 20, 2010, 07:23:48 PM
You failed to understand and address my question.  I did not and do not want to argue about the validity of Peter Steinke's ideas nor about whether certain words are offensive.  What I found and find curious is that you are a radical skeptic when it comes to discerning the plain meaning of scripture,

I'm not skeptical. I'm a realist. I find over and over again that people can often discern more than one plain meaning of scripture. My skepticism is that God intends one and only one meaning from each passage of scripture. In other words, there can be more the one right and legitimate way of interpreting a scripture passage.

Quote
To me it represents a strange theory of knowledge to say that the meaning of words printed on a page, available to all, is illusive and open to an infinite variety of interpretations,
Nearly every time I look up the meaning of a word printed on a page (usually from the Greek New Testament) I find more than one definition and usually even more than two possible ways of translating the word. There is not an infinite variety of interpretations, but there often is more than one way to understand the plain meanings of the words.

Quote
The authority of two millenia of interpretation is not enough to settle a matter, but the authority of 50 years of family systems theory (again I'm not debating the validity of the theory) enables you to reach definitive conclusions.  Curious.
First of all, we have never let two millennia of interpretation determine what how we will understand scripture today. The prime example is the ordination of women. Another is the marriage of priests, and having divorced and remarried clergy. Yes, the folks of our tradition have a voice, but they do not dictate.

In regards to systems theory, there's another saying that starts with: "If it looks like a duck,...."
Mutually-exclusive meanings, by defintion, cannot both be intended by the text. Also, I love the irony of "we have never let two millennia of interpretation determine how we understand...", the logic being that we can't say we've never done it that way before because we've never said that before. Throw in the usual falsehoods about married priests somehow relating to two millennia of interpretation when in fact Lutherans re-introduced the idea in the fact explicitly because the Roman practice was the innovation and having divorced and remarried clergy as universally accepted practice and you get classic Brian.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: hillwilliam on January 20, 2010, 07:48:01 PM
Brian Stoffregen wrote: The (defensive) anger expressed by some opponents tells me more about them than anything that they are complaining about.

DCharles commented: So we can never know for sure what a Bilblical text is saying, although it is equally accesible to all, but Brian can know the motivation of and psychological state of those with whom he disagrees?  The plain meaning of Scripture is unclear, but my inner thoughts are laid bare before Brians eye?

Brian responded: According to Peter Steinke (and others) all of us can revert to reptilian brain responses which are self-preservation by fighting or fleeing.

Pilgrim simply says: The witness' evidence speaks for itself.  8)

Inner thoughts are revealed by outward words and actions. (Reptilian brain responses -- are non-thinking reactions.)

Quote
This is from the inerrant word of Peter Steinke I presume.

However, even with words and actions that come from one's more rational brain, we can make some conclusions. Two parallel examples.

Race relations: What does it say about a person who continues to use the "N" word after being told that it is derogatory and offensive to people of Africa descent?

Quote

What does it say about a person who continues to push the ordination and marriage of practicing gays when they know it is derogatory and offensive to people of African descent in the Oromo Church? Do they care that they are detracting from the standing of scripture, expressing a low opinion of the words of Jesus.


Homosexual behaviors: What does it say about a person who continues to use "sodomy" after being told that it is derogatory and its meaning is quite imprecise. In some states the crime of sodomy can occur between heterosexuals! Similar with words like "perverts," "perversions," etc. Certainly there are many on the traditional side who try to be respectful and precise in the language, e.g., if they mean anal and oral sex -- they will say that.

Quote

The Merriam-Webster Online dictionary does not define "sodomy" as a derogatory term and does not limit it to legal usage. So apparently, derogatory language is any language, whether it accurately defines a word or not, that differs with your attempt to revise the meaning so it can be used to attack those that were not in favor of the policy change.


I don't remember if comments to refrain from using such language was in this forum or in another one where this topic is discussed; but there have been some who get defensive and defiantly use the derogatory language after being told that there language is offensive.

So now that you know that the Oromo Church and the Hispanic Pastors of Florida consider the promotion of gay sex as derogatory and offensive, do you intend to desist or are you going to defiantly continue to make these offensive remarks?

Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 20, 2010, 07:49:27 PM
Sometimes failure to adjust one's speech to new norms simply indicates a refusal to be bullied and a refusal to accept the presuppositions of the pc thought police. Recently I found a link to the Temple Prostitution spoof published in these quarters and in the comments section there was an irate progressive whose first reaction was to point that "prostitute" is pejorative and the proper term is "Sex Industry Worker." Having been told that, I will continue to use the word "prostitute" to describe people who have sex for money. It does not mean I am mean, insensitive, ignorant or otherwise hateful towards anyone, nor do I have a phobia. I simply reject the entire mind set of someone who insists on the term "sex industry worker" and I won't have my speech controlled by his phony outrage.

Applause!!!!!!

Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 20, 2010, 09:09:37 PM
Brian Stoffregen wrote: The (defensive) anger expressed by some opponents tells me more about them than anything that they are complaining about.

DCharles commented: So we can never know for sure what a Bilblical text is saying, although it is equally accesible to all, but Brian can know the motivation of and psychological state of those with whom he disagrees?  The plain meaning of Scripture is unclear, but my inner thoughts are laid bare before Brians eye?

Brian responded: According to Peter Steinke (and others) all of us can revert to reptilian brain responses which are self-preservation by fighting or fleeing.

Pilgrim simply says: The witness' evidence speaks for itself.  8)

Inner thoughts are revealed by outward words and actions. (Reptilian brain responses -- are non-thinking reactions.)

Quote
This is from the inerrant word of Peter Steinke I presume.

However, even with words and actions that come from one's more rational brain, we can make some conclusions. Two parallel examples.

Race relations: What does it say about a person who continues to use the "N" word after being told that it is derogatory and offensive to people of Africa descent?

Quote

What does it say about a person who continues to push the ordination and marriage of practicing gays when they know it is derogatory and offensive to people of African descent in the Oromo Church? Do they care that they are detracting from the standing of scripture, expressing a low opinion of the words of Jesus.


Homosexual behaviors: What does it say about a person who continues to use "sodomy" after being told that it is derogatory and its meaning is quite imprecise. In some states the crime of sodomy can occur between heterosexuals! Similar with words like "perverts," "perversions," etc. Certainly there are many on the traditional side who try to be respectful and precise in the language, e.g., if they mean anal and oral sex -- they will say that.

Quote

The Merriam-Webster Online dictionary does not define "sodomy" as a derogatory term and does not limit it to legal usage. So apparently, derogatory language is any language, whether it accurately defines a word or not, that differs with your attempt to revise the meaning so it can be used to attack those that were not in favor of the policy change.


I don't remember if comments to refrain from using such language was in this forum or in another one where this topic is discussed; but there have been some who get defensive and defiantly use the derogatory language after being told that there language is offensive.

So now that you know that the Oromo Church and the Hispanic Pastors of Florida consider the promotion of gay sex as derogatory and offensive, do you intend to desist or are you going to defiantly continue to make these offensive remarks?



Clearly the idea of bigotry utilized by Brian is untrue and unwarranted. At an AFLC meeting this morning I met a young man from the Oromo community who has graduated from Luther and is looking at Lutheran options other than the ELCA. He is doing so not because of bigotry, but out of a deep concern for the authority of Holy Scripture and therefore out of concern for the eternal salvation of those who struggle with same-sex attraction and other sinful desires. The Scriptures are clear that we must reach out to all sinners and invite them to new life, to a changed life which the Holy Spirit will give through faith in the merits of Jesus Christ. We are not to endorse sin and make it a virtue, but renounce sin and cling to Christ. This appears to be the reason that young man was at our meeting. It certainly was NOT bigotry.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: GoCubsGo on January 20, 2010, 09:24:45 PM
Clearly the idea of bigotry utilized by Brian is untrue and unwarranted. At an AFLC meeting this morning I met a young man from the Oromo community who has graduated from Luther and is looking at Lutheran options other than the ELCA. He is doing so not because of bigotry, but out of a deep concern for the authority of Holy Scripture and therefore out of concern for the eternal salvation of those who struggle with same-sex attraction and other sinful desires. The Scriptures are clear that we must reach out to all sinners and invite them to new life, to a changed life which the Holy Spirit will give through faith in the merits of Jesus Christ. We are not to endorse sin and make it a virtue, but renounce sin and cling to Christ. This appears to be the reason that young man was at our meeting. It certainly was NOT bigotry.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Rob--Don 't you understand that "deep concern for the authority of Holy Scripture" and "concern for those who struggle with same-sex attractions" equals bigotry?  Or so it seems.

FWIW, I once led a forum discussion of homosexuality in a previous congregaton.  I kept having to tell one member to stop calling gays "queers."  The next week "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" premiered. ???
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 21, 2010, 09:36:41 AM
You failed to understand and address my question.  I did not and do not want to argue about the validity of Peter Steinke's ideas nor about whether certain words are offensive.  What I found and find curious is that you are a radical skeptic when it comes to discerning the plain meaning of scripture,

I'm not skeptical. I'm a realist. I find over and over again that people can often discern more than one plain meaning of scripture. My skepticism is that God intends one and only one meaning from each passage of scripture. In other words, there can be more the one right and legitimate way of interpreting a scripture passage.

Quote
To me it represents a strange theory of knowledge to say that the meaning of words printed on a page, available to all, is illusive and open to an infinite variety of interpretations,
Nearly every time I look up the meaning of a word printed on a page (usually from the Greek New Testament) I find more than one definition and usually even more than two possible ways of translating the word. There is not an infinite variety of interpretations, but there often is more than one way to understand the plain meanings of the words.

Quote
The authority of two millenia of interpretation is not enough to settle a matter, but the authority of 50 years of family systems theory (again I'm not debating the validity of the theory) enables you to reach definitive conclusions.  Curious.
First of all, we have never let two millennia of interpretation determine what how we will understand scripture today. The prime example is the ordination of women. Another is the marriage of priests, and having divorced and remarried clergy. Yes, the folks of our tradition have a voice, but they do not dictate.

In regards to systems theory, there's another saying that starts with: "If it looks like a duck,...."

Thank you for demonstrating, in a round about way, that my thesis is correct:

When it comes to quacking ducks and systems theory you are a realist.  When it comes to the Word of God, you are a skeptic. 
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2010, 11:50:10 AM
You failed to understand and address my question.  I did not and do not want to argue about the validity of Peter Steinke's ideas nor about whether certain words are offensive.  What I found and find curious is that you are a radical skeptic when it comes to discerning the plain meaning of scripture,

I'm not skeptical. I'm a realist. I find over and over again that people can often discern more than one plain meaning of scripture. My skepticism is that God intends one and only one meaning from each passage of scripture. In other words, there can be more the one right and legitimate way of interpreting a scripture passage.

Quote
To me it represents a strange theory of knowledge to say that the meaning of words printed on a page, available to all, is illusive and open to an infinite variety of interpretations,
Nearly every time I look up the meaning of a word printed on a page (usually from the Greek New Testament) I find more than one definition and usually even more than two possible ways of translating the word. There is not an infinite variety of interpretations, but there often is more than one way to understand the plain meanings of the words.

Quote
The authority of two millenia of interpretation is not enough to settle a matter, but the authority of 50 years of family systems theory (again I'm not debating the validity of the theory) enables you to reach definitive conclusions.  Curious.
First of all, we have never let two millennia of interpretation determine what how we will understand scripture today. The prime example is the ordination of women. Another is the marriage of priests, and having divorced and remarried clergy. Yes, the folks of our tradition have a voice, but they do not dictate.

In regards to systems theory, there's another saying that starts with: "If it looks like a duck,...."
Mutually-exclusive meanings, by defintion, cannot both be intended by the text.

Nope, the Greek word λαμβάνω, for one, can have mutually-exclusive definitions: to actively reach out and grab or to passively receive what someone else gives. How that word is translated leads to two quite different understandings about Christianity. ἔρχομαι can mean "come" or it came mean "go". How that word is translated can take a text in opposite directions.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2010, 11:52:44 AM
When it comes to quacking ducks and systems theory you are a realist.  When it comes to the Word of God, you are a skeptic. 

Nope. Not at all a skeptic about the Word of God. I maintain and confess nod teach that the Bible is the Word of God. (I also say that that preaching can also be the Word of God, but without the same authority as scriptures.) Certainly I am a skeptic about interpretations of the Word of God -- both those of others and my own.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2010, 11:57:04 AM
So now that you know that the Oromo Church and the Hispanic Pastors of Florida consider the promotion of gay sex as derogatory and offensive, do you intend to desist or are you going to defiantly continue to make these offensive remarks?

Should I be in their presence, like when I'm with most other people, I make no comments about the promotion of committed same-gender relationships; nor do I say anything about those who disagree with the ELCA's position. (I very seldom talk about any kind of sex -- that's offensive to most people.)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: hillwilliam on January 21, 2010, 12:59:37 PM
So now that you know that the Oromo Church and the Hispanic Pastors of Florida consider the promotion of gay sex as derogatory and offensive, do you intend to desist or are you going to defiantly continue to make these offensive remarks?

Should I be in their presence, like when I'm with most other people, I make no comments about the promotion of committed same-gender relationships; nor do I say anything about those who disagree with the ELCA's position. (I very seldom talk about any kind of sex -- that's offensive to most people.)

If that had been the approach of the ELCA from the start we would all be much better off. It seems to me that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that most people find any talk about sex offensive. But some folks were so concerned with the private lives of those around them that they called for a study on human sexuality that forced all of us to take a position on what someone else could do. That put us all in the position of either supporting or denying the authority of scripture in the lives of Lutheran Christians. (Please, don't trot out any sophist arguments about how the Church misinterpreted the Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, etc. for the last two millennium)

As for not making these statements in the presence of those who find the promotion of committed same-gender relationships offensive, you are posting these statements in a public forum. I would be surprised if there weren't at least some of those good folk lurking here. It may be that David Duke never used the "N" word in the presence of African Americans but there is no doubt that he was promoting racism.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2010, 01:34:12 PM
Rob--Don 't you understand that "deep concern for the authority of Holy Scripture" and "concern for those who struggle with same-sex attractions" equals bigotry?  Or so it seems.

My dictionary defines bigotry: "intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself". So, when "deep concern for the authority of Holy Scriptures" means being intolerant towards those who hold different opinions than oneself (which are usually not about the authority of Holy Scriptures, but about interpretations of God's Word -- except for those folks who consider any interpretation different from their own is an attack on the authority of God's Word) their attitude equals bigotry.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pilgrim on January 21, 2010, 02:20:11 PM
Pilgrim opines: All this "bigotry" talk and contemporary defining can certainly raises some questions about, oh, say ... our Lord, vis-a-vis the temple scene in Luke 19:45ff and Jesus' speech in Matthew 23:13ff.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 21, 2010, 02:38:21 PM

Nope. Not at all a skeptic about the Word of God. I maintain and confess nod teach that the Bible is the Word of God.

Let's see . . . Is this a typo? Does he mean "not" rather than nod? Or does he mean to say that he nods in the direction of the Bible being the Word of God? Shall we take a poll?  :o
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Scott6 on January 21, 2010, 02:45:57 PM

Nope. Not at all a skeptic about the Word of God. I maintain and confess nod teach that the Bible is the Word of God.

Let's see . . . Is this a typo? Does he mean "not" rather than nod? Or does he mean to say that he nods in the direction of the Bible being the Word of God? Shall we take a poll?  :o

Or maybe it's "nod," as in "wink, wink."  ;)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 21, 2010, 02:58:06 PM
Pilgrim opines: All this "bigotry" talk and contemporary defining can certainly raises some questions about, oh, say ... our Lord, vis-a-vis the temple scene in Luke 19:45ff and Jesus' speech in Matthew 23:13ff.

Yeah, Jesus was so tolerant of the Pharisees and Sadducceess (sic?) about their misinterpretations and rejection in some cases of Holy Scripture. :P
What seems clear to me is that the dictionary has it wrong. What makes a bigot a bigot is not intolerance in itself. There are things we ought not to tolerate and some things we ought to quite vigorously not tolerate. I will not tolerate a person molesting my daughter for example, and I will do whatever is necessary to see that the hypothetical person goes to jail and if I happen to show up when said person is harming my daughter then fists will fly no doubt. I will not tolerate it. I would presume Brian would not tolerate such things either.

The issue in bigotry is whether or not the intolerance is reasonable or unreasonable. Are we intolerant because we find some behavior merely unhelpful to us, or are we intolerant because the behavior is in fact something harmful and to embrace it harms that person and others? If what is being said or done is harming someones eternal destiny by violating the Word of God and encouraging sin and wrath then certainly being intolerant of that behavior is not only reasonable but in fact loving if in fact the intolerance towards the behavior is acted upon with love.

Then again, I don't see why Brian has a dog in this fight. According to his denomination there isn't anything that has any absolute truth in it. It is all up to you follks, which is what bound conscience in the ELCA really means (again, check the Social Statement Brian. There is an admission that by allowing same-sex unions, etc the ELCA is moving away from Historic Christianity and the Lutheran Confessions. The conscience is bound to something other than the Word of God). So what does it really matter unless your going to insist that there actually are absolute moral values that cannot be violated. You would have to go to the Bible for that, and that ground doesn't exist for you anymore.

Another point though. If someone is willing to encourage a person to sin continuously and support and bless that sin then that means that person is leading another into the damnation of souls. That should cause you to pause long and hard  (with much weeping and repentance) before worrying about who and who is not a bigot.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2010, 02:58:25 PM

Nope. Not at all a skeptic about the Word of God. I maintain and confess nod teach that the Bible is the Word of God.

Let's see . . . Is this a typo? Does he mean "not" rather than nod? Or does he mean to say that he nods in the direction of the Bible being the Word of God? Shall we take a poll?  :o
Will it be simple majority or 2/3rds?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2010, 03:00:58 PM

Nope. Not at all a skeptic about the Word of God. I maintain and confess nod teach that the Bible is the Word of God.

Let's see . . . Is this a typo? Does he mean "not" rather than nod? Or does he mean to say that he nods in the direction of the Bible being the Word of God? Shall we take a poll?  :o

Or maybe it's "nod," as in "wink, wink."  ;)
I'll accept only part of the blame for the misplaced word. My mac will automatically replace a misspelled word with one it believes is right. While Mac used a properly spelled word -- and thus was right on that issue; it was the wrong word, so it was wrong on a more important issue.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 21, 2010, 03:02:49 PM
As I say to my students: "You know, you could avoid this problem if you would just proofread your work."
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Scott6 on January 21, 2010, 03:04:32 PM

Nope. Not at all a skeptic about the Word of God. I maintain and confess nod teach that the Bible is the Word of God.

Let's see . . . Is this a typo? Does he mean "not" rather than nod? Or does he mean to say that he nods in the direction of the Bible being the Word of God? Shall we take a poll?  :o

Or maybe it's "nod," as in "wink, wink."  ;)
I'll accept only part of the blame for the misplaced word. My mac will automatically replace a misspelled word with one it believes is right. While Mac used a properly spelled word -- and thus was right on that issue; it was the wrong word, so it was wrong on a more important issue.

Macs that believe.  Wow.  What can't Jobs do?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2010, 03:06:49 PM
What seems clear to me is that the dictionary has it wrong. What makes a bigot a bigot is not intolerance in itself. There are things we ought not to tolerate and some things we ought to quite vigorously not tolerate.
Note that the definition was not about things or behaviors -- there are some acts that should not be tolerated -- but it was about people. Bigotry is intolerance of people simply because they think differently.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Lutheranistic on January 21, 2010, 03:07:53 PM
Quote
I'll accept only part of the blame for the misplaced word. My mac will automatically replace a misspelled word with one it believes is right. While Mac used a properly spelled word -- and thus was right on that issue; it was the wrong word, so it was wrong on a more important issue.

Lot's of "right"s & "wrong"s in that post, Pr. Stoffregen.  ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) (Please, everyone, don't overlook the emoticons indicating playfulness, not a verbal punch in the nose)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2010, 03:13:11 PM
As I say to my students: "You know, you could avoid this problem if you would just proofread your work."
When I worked as a typesetter in a print shop, I wasn't the one to proofread my own work, they had another person hired to do that. We tend not to proof read our own works too well.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2010, 03:15:21 PM

Nope. Not at all a skeptic about the Word of God. I maintain and confess nod teach that the Bible is the Word of God.

Let's see . . . Is this a typo? Does he mean "not" rather than nod? Or does he mean to say that he nods in the direction of the Bible being the Word of God? Shall we take a poll?  :o

Or maybe it's "nod," as in "wink, wink."  ;)
I'll accept only part of the blame for the misplaced word. My mac will automatically replace a misspelled word with one it believes is right. While Mac used a properly spelled word -- and thus was right on that issue; it was the wrong word, so it was wrong on a more important issue.

Macs that believe.  Wow.  What can't Jobs do?

I'm certain that folks with even less skills than Jobs could have a computer perfectly recite every word of the Bible in whatever translation you wanted -- and, for good measure, also every word from the Book of Concord from either the AF or CPH versions. Would saying all that make it a Lutheran believer?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 21, 2010, 03:21:00 PM
Should I be in their presence, like when I'm with most other people, I make no comments about the promotion of committed same-gender relationships; nor do I say anything about those who disagree with the ELCA's position. (I very seldom talk about any kind of sex -- that's offensive to most people.)

So is talking to people of other faiths, or of no faith at all, about Jesus Christ. I suppose you eschew that for the same reason, right?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 21, 2010, 03:41:29 PM
What seems clear to me is that the dictionary has it wrong. What makes a bigot a bigot is not intolerance in itself. There are things we ought not to tolerate and some things we ought to quite vigorously not tolerate.
Note that the definition was not about things or behaviors -- there are some acts that should not be tolerated -- but it was about people. Bigotry is intolerance of people simply because they think differently.

Then you are confusing intolerance towards intolerable behaviors and speaking with intolerance towards individuals themselves when you are speaking of bigots. For example, I don't know you personally. I might get to know you and like you as an individual. I do not tolerate much of your speaking, thinking, and teaching however. So one can in fact be intolerant towards a person's behavior, thinking, teaching, speaking and say so in love and even end up having to separate from others (ie into other church bodies) without being a bigot. There is infact good reason to not be tolerant of harmful, soul endangering stuff.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2010, 04:51:47 PM
Should I be in their presence, like when I'm with most other people, I make no comments about the promotion of committed same-gender relationships; nor do I say anything about those who disagree with the ELCA's position. (I very seldom talk about any kind of sex -- that's offensive to most people.)

So is talking to people of other faiths, or of no faith at all, about Jesus Christ. I suppose you eschew that for the same reason, right?

I think that evangelism begins with being a good listener. Just last week, my notes on Luke 4:14-21, included this quote that good news is only good news when it meets the needs of the people.

God's story is always related to human need. For example, if a woman is dying of cancer, the gospel is God's strong word of resurrection. If a person is permeated with guilt, the gospel is God's assurance of forgiveness. If people experience extreme suffering, the gospel is the prayer: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble." For the starving, the gospel may be bread. For a homeless refugee, the gospel may be freedom in a new homeland. For others, the gospel may be freedom from political tyranny. The gospel is always related to human need. It is never truth in a vacuum, a theologically true statement which may or may not relate to one's life. The gospel is God's truth, God's message, God's action, God's word to a particular person, to a particular need, to a particular historical situation. You don't throw a drowning person sandwich. However good the sandwich may be, it just doesn't meet that person's need. You throw a drowning person a life jacket or a lifeline, or you dive in for the rescue. So it is with the gospel. The gospel is God's truth, God's action, aimed at a particular human need. [Edward Markquart, Witnesses for Christ: student book, p. 69, emphases added]

I think that many pushy evangelists do more harm than good in opening up people for the gentle working of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 21, 2010, 06:35:03 PM
You failed to understand and address my question.  I did not and do not want to argue about the validity of Peter Steinke's ideas nor about whether certain words are offensive.  What I found and find curious is that you are a radical skeptic when it comes to discerning the plain meaning of scripture,

I'm not skeptical. I'm a realist. I find over and over again that people can often discern more than one plain meaning of scripture. My skepticism is that God intends one and only one meaning from each passage of scripture. In other words, there can be more the one right and legitimate way of interpreting a scripture passage.

Quote
To me it represents a strange theory of knowledge to say that the meaning of words printed on a page, available to all, is illusive and open to an infinite variety of interpretations,
Nearly every time I look up the meaning of a word printed on a page (usually from the Greek New Testament) I find more than one definition and usually even more than two possible ways of translating the word. There is not an infinite variety of interpretations, but there often is more than one way to understand the plain meanings of the words.

Quote
The authority of two millenia of interpretation is not enough to settle a matter, but the authority of 50 years of family systems theory (again I'm not debating the validity of the theory) enables you to reach definitive conclusions.  Curious.
First of all, we have never let two millennia of interpretation determine what how we will understand scripture today. The prime example is the ordination of women. Another is the marriage of priests, and having divorced and remarried clergy. Yes, the folks of our tradition have a voice, but they do not dictate.

In regards to systems theory, there's another saying that starts with: "If it looks like a duck,...."
Mutually-exclusive meanings, by defintion, cannot both be intended by the text.

Nope, the Greek word λαμβάνω, for one, can have mutually-exclusive definitions: to actively reach out and grab or to passively receive what someone else gives. How that word is translated leads to two quite different understandings about Christianity. ἔρχομαι can mean "come" or it came mean "go". How that word is translated can take a text in opposite directions.
Brian, your blithe "nope" when you have no clue what you are talking about is simply ridiculous. Look back at what I wrote. I said that mutually-exclusive meanings cannot both be intended by the text. You responded by offering an example of a word that can mean two mutually-exclusive things depending on the context. (You didn't need to use Greek for that, btw, as English is full of them, e.g. "sanction" can mean approve or prohibit.) That isn't a response at all. For one thing, a word in the abstract is not the text. "Set" in a dictionary can mean all kinds of things, but in a sentence about the score of a tennis match, it means one of those things. In a sentence with the word "sanction" in it, the author cannot be intending that word to have both of the mutually-exclusive meanings listed in the dictionary, and the reader is not free to choose which meaning he will apply. He might not know, in which case he might get it wrong, as revisionists do on purpose. A poet might use a word with multiple and even contradictory meanings to make the reader think and make different connections, but even in that case the fact that the words can't mean mutually-exclusive (by definition of the term "mutually-exclusive") things is a given and the word choice is trying to make the reader see a contradiction or else see that what seems mutually-exclusive at first might not be so. So, while it is true that how a Biblical word is translated can take things in opposite directions, both of those directions, if they really are mutually-exclusive, were not intended by the author; one of the translations is wrong. Just because a word has multiple definitions in the dictionary doesn't mean the interpreter gets to pick which one to use. The translator/interpreter seeks to discover the meaning, not create the meaning, and he knows that in the case of a word with ten definitions, nine of them are wrong in this or that particular case.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 21, 2010, 07:00:43 PM
You failed to understand and address my question.  I did not and do not want to argue about the validity of Peter Steinke's ideas nor about whether certain words are offensive.  What I found and find curious is that you are a radical skeptic when it comes to discerning the plain meaning of scripture,

I'm not skeptical. I'm a realist. I find over and over again that people can often discern more than one plain meaning of scripture. My skepticism is that God intends one and only one meaning from each passage of scripture. In other words, there can be more the one right and legitimate way of interpreting a scripture passage.

Quote
To me it represents a strange theory of knowledge to say that the meaning of words printed on a page, available to all, is illusive and open to an infinite variety of interpretations,
Nearly every time I look up the meaning of a word printed on a page (usually from the Greek New Testament) I find more than one definition and usually even more than two possible ways of translating the word. There is not an infinite variety of interpretations, but there often is more than one way to understand the plain meanings of the words.

Quote
The authority of two millenia of interpretation is not enough to settle a matter, but the authority of 50 years of family systems theory (again I'm not debating the validity of the theory) enables you to reach definitive conclusions.  Curious.
First of all, we have never let two millennia of interpretation determine what how we will understand scripture today. The prime example is the ordination of women. Another is the marriage of priests, and having divorced and remarried clergy. Yes, the folks of our tradition have a voice, but they do not dictate.

In regards to systems theory, there's another saying that starts with: "If it looks like a duck,...."
Mutually-exclusive meanings, by defintion, cannot both be intended by the text.

Nope, the Greek word λαμβάνω, for one, can have mutually-exclusive definitions: to actively reach out and grab or to passively receive what someone else gives. How that word is translated leads to two quite different understandings about Christianity. ἔρχομαι can mean "come" or it came mean "go". How that word is translated can take a text in opposite directions.
Brian, your blithe "nope" when you have no clue what you are talking about is simply ridiculous. Look back at what I wrote. I said that mutually-exclusive meanings cannot both be intended by the text.

What do you mean by "intended by the text"?

First of all, the text has no intentions. It's just words on a page -- and, as I illustrated, some of those words could have mutually-exclusive ways of being translated.

Secondly, we do talk about what the author intended to say or do with a text -- but then we're using historical-critical tools (which, as I recall, you don't use) -- and, even with those, discerning the author's original intentions is hypothetical. We're making an educated guess -- and, again, as my illustration was meant to show, the ways a word within a text can be translating can make a text do a 180. In some cases we are guessing at which of the mutually-exclusive meanings the author intended -- and so we are also guessing at the intended meaning of the text.

Quote
So, while it is true that how a Biblical word is translated can take things in opposite directions, both of those directions, if they really are mutually-exclusive, were not intended by the author; one of the translations is wrong. Just because a word has multiple definitions in the dictionary doesn't mean the interpreter gets to pick which one to use. The translator/interpreter seeks to discover the meaning, not create the meaning, and he knows that in the case of a word with ten definitions, nine of them are wrong in this or that particular case.
So how do you determine which of the translations is wrong?

Two other issues that can cause mutually-exclusive meanings are: (1) The author may be making an ironic statement -- that is, his intended meaning is really the opposite of what he wrote; and (2) one of the issues in 1 Corinthians is discerning when Paul is quoting one of his opponents sayings (almost making fun of it,) in which case he is intending us to disagree with those words.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 21, 2010, 07:38:58 PM
You failed to understand and address my question.  I did not and do not want to argue about the validity of Peter Steinke's ideas nor about whether certain words are offensive.  What I found and find curious is that you are a radical skeptic when it comes to discerning the plain meaning of scripture,

I'm not skeptical. I'm a realist. I find over and over again that people can often discern more than one plain meaning of scripture. My skepticism is that God intends one and only one meaning from each passage of scripture. In other words, there can be more the one right and legitimate way of interpreting a scripture passage.

Quote
To me it represents a strange theory of knowledge to say that the meaning of words printed on a page, available to all, is illusive and open to an infinite variety of interpretations,
Nearly every time I look up the meaning of a word printed on a page (usually from the Greek New Testament) I find more than one definition and usually even more than two possible ways of translating the word. There is not an infinite variety of interpretations, but there often is more than one way to understand the plain meanings of the words.

Quote
The authority of two millenia of interpretation is not enough to settle a matter, but the authority of 50 years of family systems theory (again I'm not debating the validity of the theory) enables you to reach definitive conclusions.  Curious.
First of all, we have never let two millennia of interpretation determine what how we will understand scripture today. The prime example is the ordination of women. Another is the marriage of priests, and having divorced and remarried clergy. Yes, the folks of our tradition have a voice, but they do not dictate.

In regards to systems theory, there's another saying that starts with: "If it looks like a duck,...."
Mutually-exclusive meanings, by defintion, cannot both be intended by the text.

Nope, the Greek word λαμβάνω, for one, can have mutually-exclusive definitions: to actively reach out and grab or to passively receive what someone else gives. How that word is translated leads to two quite different understandings about Christianity. ἔρχομαι can mean "come" or it came mean "go". How that word is translated can take a text in opposite directions.
Brian, your blithe "nope" when you have no clue what you are talking about is simply ridiculous. Look back at what I wrote. I said that mutually-exclusive meanings cannot both be intended by the text.

What do you mean by "intended by the text"?

First of all, the text has no intentions. It's just words on a page -- and, as I illustrated, some of those words could have mutually-exclusive ways of being translated.

Secondly, we do talk about what the author intended to say or do with a text -- but then we're using historical-critical tools (which, as I recall, you don't use) -- and, even with those, discerning the author's original intentions is hypothetical. We're making an educated guess -- and, again, as my illustration was meant to show, the ways a word within a text can be translating can make a text do a 180. In some cases we are guessing at which of the mutually-exclusive meanings the author intended -- and so we are also guessing at the intended meaning of the text.

Quote
So, while it is true that how a Biblical word is translated can take things in opposite directions, both of those directions, if they really are mutually-exclusive, were not intended by the author; one of the translations is wrong. Just because a word has multiple definitions in the dictionary doesn't mean the interpreter gets to pick which one to use. The translator/interpreter seeks to discover the meaning, not create the meaning, and he knows that in the case of a word with ten definitions, nine of them are wrong in this or that particular case.
So how do you determine which of the translations is wrong?

Two other issues that can cause mutually-exclusive meanings are: (1) The author may be making an ironic statement -- that is, his intended meaning is really the opposite of what he wrote; and (2) one of the issues in 1 Corinthians is discerning when Paul is quoting one of his opponents sayings (almost making fun of it,) in which case he is intending us to disagree with those words.

Brian, I respond to the bold.

I don't need to go any further than the bold. What you have written there is an absolute piece of nonsense. Words have meaning and they don't just appear on the page. The author places them there with a context. That you fail to recognize this is a sad commentary on your abilities. I pray you will come around. The rest of what you say is not even necessary to comment about, since you begin with the absurd the rest is absurd as well.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 21, 2010, 07:43:25 PM
Should I be in their presence, like when I'm with most other people, I make no comments about the promotion of committed same-gender relationships; nor do I say anything about those who disagree with the ELCA's position. (I very seldom talk about any kind of sex -- that's offensive to most people.)

So is talking to people of other faiths, or of no faith at all, about Jesus Christ. I suppose you eschew that for the same reason, right?

I think that evangelism begins with being a good listener. Just last week, my notes on Luke 4:14-21, included this quote that good news is only good news when it meets the needs of the people.
...

I think that many pushy evangelists do more harm than good in opening up people for the gentle working of the Holy Spirit in their lives.


It might start with listening. But if it ends with listening, then it's not much of an effort, is it? And while pushy evangelists might indeed do more harm than good, silent ones do neither harm nor good.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 22, 2010, 12:27:55 PM
I don't need to go any further than the bold. What you have written there is an absolute piece of nonsense. Words have meaning and they don't just appear on the page. The author places them there with a context. That you fail to recognize this is a sad commentary on your abilities. I pray you will come around. The rest of what you say is not even necessary to comment about, since you begin with the absurd the rest is absurd as well.

To think that ink on a piece of paper has intentions is most absurd. In fact, you support my comment when you say: "they don't just appear on the page" and "the author places them there with a context." There is the intentions of the author that is behind the words on the page. That was my first point. The second was that we can only make educated guesses about the original intentions of the author.

What's your point, besides attacking me and calling for my conversion so that would become like you? (I used to be like that, but God did turn me around. I'm still hopeful for you.)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 22, 2010, 12:30:44 PM
Should I be in their presence, like when I'm with most other people, I make no comments about the promotion of committed same-gender relationships; nor do I say anything about those who disagree with the ELCA's position. (I very seldom talk about any kind of sex -- that's offensive to most people.)

So is talking to people of other faiths, or of no faith at all, about Jesus Christ. I suppose you eschew that for the same reason, right?

I think that evangelism begins with being a good listener. Just last week, my notes on Luke 4:14-21, included this quote that good news is only good news when it meets the needs of the people.
...

I think that many pushy evangelists do more harm than good in opening up people for the gentle working of the Holy Spirit in their lives.


It might start with listening. But if it ends with listening, then it's not much of an effort, is it? And while pushy evangelists might indeed do more harm than good, silent ones do neither harm nor good.

Yes, listening to understand their story is only the beginning of evangelism. It isn't the end.

However, sometimes doing no harm is the best we can do in a particular context. Thus silence can be better than pushy preaching.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pilgrim on January 22, 2010, 12:41:05 PM
Brian Stoffregen wrote: What's your point, besides attacking me and calling for my conversion so that would become like you? (I used to be like that, but God did turn me around. I'm still hopeful for you.)

Pilgrim: Still tilting at that windmill, eh Brian? Must have been quite a traumatic stretch in your life to be carrying the torch this long.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 22, 2010, 01:50:03 PM
I don't need to go any further than the bold. What you have written there is an absolute piece of nonsense. Words have meaning and they don't just appear on the page. The author places them there with a context. That you fail to recognize this is a sad commentary on your abilities. I pray you will come around. The rest of what you say is not even necessary to comment about, since you begin with the absurd the rest is absurd as well.

To think that ink on a piece of paper has intentions is most absurd.

To fail to understand that describing the intentions of the person who wrote words on paper using a figure of speech that says that the words themselves had the intentions is to indicate a serious lack of understanding of how English speaking people use the language, and/or a churclish and pedantic nit-picking over rhetorical style. When the late George Carlin made whimsical observations on some of the peculiarities of how we phrase things in English it was entertaining. When you do it, it is tiresome in the extreme.

Yes, listening to understand their story is only the beginning of evangelism. It isn't the end.

However, sometimes doing no harm is the best we can do in a particular context. Thus silence can be better than pushy preaching.

And sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Do you ever respond to people in a way other than just arguing for the sake of arguing?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 22, 2010, 04:51:09 PM
Do you ever respond to people in a way other than just arguing for the sake of arguing?

Yes, why do you ask?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pilgrim on January 22, 2010, 05:21:28 PM
Brian Stoffregen wrote (cleverly I think he believes): Yes, why do you ask?

Pilgrim affirms: You frequently alter with a red herring, and there are those rare occasion when your contribution is helpful and the even more rare occasions when you actually gives consideration to the possibility that someone else might not only have a point, but a point that needs cause you to re-think, perhaps change or modify a previously stated conclusions. But as I said, that's even more rare.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 22, 2010, 06:42:55 PM
Brian Stoffregen wrote (cleverly I think he believes): Yes, why do you ask?

Pilgrim affirms: You frequently alter with a red herring, and there are those rare occasion when your contribution is helpful and the even more rare occasions when you actually gives consideration to the possibility that someone else might not only have a point, but a point that needs cause you to re-think, perhaps change or modify a previously stated conclusions. But as I said, that's even more rare.

What he said!
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 23, 2010, 03:35:11 PM
I don't need to go any further than the bold. What you have written there is an absolute piece of nonsense. Words have meaning and they don't just appear on the page. The author places them there with a context. That you fail to recognize this is a sad commentary on your abilities. I pray you will come around. The rest of what you say is not even necessary to comment about, since you begin with the absurd the rest is absurd as well.

To think that ink on a piece of paper has intentions is most absurd. In fact, you support my comment when you say: "they don't just appear on the page" and "the author places them there with a context." There is the intentions of the author that is behind the words on the page. That was my first point. The second was that we can only make educated guesses about the original intentions of the author.

What's your point, besides attacking me and calling for my conversion so that would become like you? (I used to be like that, but God did turn me around. I'm still hopeful for you.)

Brian, then you are being intentionally blind. My point is that you need to repent of a great deal of cynicism that comes out of your academic background, not to attack you per se. It is detrimental to your faith and the faith of others. I pray you will come home.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 23, 2010, 08:11:37 PM
Do you ever respond to people in a way other than just arguing for the sake of arguing?

Yes, why do you ask?

Care to provide a link to the other forum where you make such post? Because it certainly isn't this one!
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: GoCubsGo on January 23, 2010, 11:51:09 PM
First of all, the text has no intentions. It's just words on a page --
I agree with you Brian, in one sense.  All your posts seem to have no intention.  They are "just words on a page."

Sometimes it seems that you are saying that all of the Bible is outside our understanding and that we cannot discern the intention of any of its authors.  If that is in fact your contention, I pity you and I will pray for you.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 24, 2010, 12:53:52 AM
First of all, the text has no intentions. It's just words on a page --
I agree with you Brian, in one sense.  All your posts seem to have no intention.  They are "just words on a page."

Sometimes it seems that you are saying that all of the Bible is outside our understanding and that we cannot discern the intention of any of its authors.  If that is in fact your contention, I pity you and I will pray for you.

Nope, just the opposite. All of the Bible is within our understanding, and we can discern, or at least make educated guesses of the author's original intended meaning. My point is that we are the ones doing the discerning and coming to an understanding. The words are just words until an interpreter pulls meaning(s) out of those words.

The historical-critical tools are designed to help us discern the intentions of the original author, but even as well as we can use the tools, we are making educated guesses -- and educated people have come to differing interpretations of the author's intentions. In addition, there are times when we are pretty sure of the author's intentions: e.g., women should not cut their hair short, and decide that such a meaning no longer applies to us. There are other times when God may give us a message that goes beyond the author's original intention. Mark Allan Powell deals a lot with intended and unintended meanings in Chasing the Eastern Star.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 24, 2010, 07:11:10 AM
Pastor Stoffregen's last post reminds me that those who berate him for his "personal" opinion, as if he stood alone, forget how frequently he cites other authorities to support what he says or illustrate that his method of exegesis is not unique to him, but is one applied by many others.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 24, 2010, 09:34:49 AM
Pastor Stoffregen's last post reminds me that those who berate him for his "personal" opinion, as if he stood alone, forget how frequently he cites other authorities to support what he says or illustrate that his method of exegesis is not unique to him, but is one applied by many others.

Well, he frequently cites Mark Allan Powell, at least.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 24, 2010, 10:59:41 AM
And some of the standard lexicons.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 25, 2010, 11:16:29 AM
First of all, the text has no intentions. It's just words on a page --
I agree with you Brian, in one sense.  All your posts seem to have no intention.  They are "just words on a page."

Sometimes it seems that you are saying that all of the Bible is outside our understanding and that we cannot discern the intention of any of its authors.  If that is in fact your contention, I pity you and I will pray for you.

Nope, just the opposite. All of the Bible is within our understanding, and we can discern, or at least make educated guesses of the author's original intended meaning. My point is that we are the ones doing the discerning and coming to an understanding. The words are just words until an interpreter pulls meaning(s) out of those words.

The historical-critical tools are designed to help us discern the intentions of the original author, but even as well as we can use the tools, we are making educated guesses -- and educated people have come to differing interpretations of the author's intentions. In addition, there are times when we are pretty sure of the author's intentions: e.g., women should not cut their hair short, and decide that such a meaning no longer applies to us. There are other times when God may give us a message that goes beyond the author's original intention. Mark Allan Powell deals a lot with intended and unintended meanings in Chasing the Eastern Star.

I wouldn't rehash this again if I didn't think it illustrated a skepticism that is  common in the  ELCA.  According to Brian, true communication through words is impossible.  We cannot understand another person's mind through language.  Language is an opaque wall seperating two people. All we have are shadows that must be interpreted.

On the other hand, through modern psychological theories we can penetrate  beyond the opaque barrier of language and discern the inner thoughts and motivations of  others.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 25, 2010, 11:42:05 AM
Pastor Stoffregen's last post reminds me that those who berate him for his "personal" opinion, as if he stood alone, forget how frequently he cites other authorities to support what he says or illustrate that his method of exegesis is not unique to him, but is one applied by many others.

Well, he frequently cites Mark Allan Powell, at least.

For a while I was quoting Harvey Cox, too.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 25, 2010, 11:51:34 AM

I wouldn't rehash this again if I didn't think it illustrated a skepticism that is  common in the  ELCA.  According to Brian, true communication through words is impossible.

I've never said "impossible". Studies I read back in college (40 years ago) indicated that about 60% of what is communicated in a two-way conversation is non-verbal. All of that is lost in written words. Because of that, emoticons were invented to help written texts express non-verbal clues, e.g., speaking ironically.

Quote
We cannot understand another person's mind through language.  Language is an opaque wall seperating two people. All we have are shadows that must be interpreted.

We certainly interpret another person's mind through language -- and we are often wrong. Thus counselors and therapists are trained to probe further if their interpretation of the meaning and inner thinking and feeling are correct by asking questions -- or checking observations. However, we can't ask the biblical writers, "What did you mean by that?" or "Were you being ironic?" or "Were you quoting the opposition?" "Were you serious?"

Quote
On the other hand, through modern psychological theories we can penetrate  beyond the opaque barrier of language and discern the inner thoughts and motivations of others.

Well, I was a psych major in college. Yes, we use that. We also use communication theory and social science studies to better understand what might be going on in the mind of the original biblical writers. Weren't you arguing before that words don't exist in a vacuum? There is the context of the sentence, paragraph, entire writing; and there is the context of the social/cultural world in which the writer lived. The more we understand that the more accurate we are likely to be in interpreting the intended meaning of the written words.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Steverem on January 25, 2010, 11:53:59 AM
Pastor Stoffregen's last post reminds me that those who berate him for his "personal" opinion, as if he stood alone, forget how frequently he cites other authorities to support what he says or illustrate that his method of exegesis is not unique to him, but is one applied by many others.

Well, he frequently cites Mark Allan Powell, at least.

For a while I was quoting Harvey Cox, too.

Beat me to it, Brian!   ;)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: JEdwards on January 25, 2010, 02:48:08 PM
I think that evangelism begins with being a good listener. Just last week, my notes on Luke 4:14-21, included this quote that good news is only good news when it meets the needs of the people.

God's story is always related to human need. For example, if a woman is dying of cancer, the gospel is God's strong word of resurrection. If a person is permeated with guilt, the gospel is God's assurance of forgiveness. If people experience extreme suffering, the gospel is the prayer: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble." For the starving, the gospel may be bread. For a homeless refugee, the gospel may be freedom in a new homeland. For others, the gospel may be freedom from political tyranny. The gospel is always related to human need. It is never truth in a vacuum, a theologically true statement which may or may not relate to one's life. The gospel is God's truth, God's message, God's action, God's word to a particular person, to a particular need, to a particular historical situation. You don't throw a drowning person sandwich. However good the sandwich may be, it just doesn't meet that person's need. You throw a drowning person a life jacket or a lifeline, or you dive in for the rescue. So it is with the gospel. The gospel is God's truth, God's action, aimed at a particular human need. [Edward Markquart, Witnesses for Christ: student book, p. 69, emphases added]
Is a person always the best judge of his or her own needs?  I realize the extreme danger (in both politics and religion, btw) of assuming that we understand a person's needs better than she herself does.  But such cases do arise.  Someone in the depths of depression, contemplating suicide, might see the availability of a fatal dose of medication as good news, and might view involuntary psychiatric hospitalization as bad news.  "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil" suggests that good and evil have objective meaning apart from the labels some might be inclined to apply; otherwise Isaiah 5:20 should simply read "Woe to those who disagree with me about linguistics!"  :)

Evangelism should of course be tailored to address real and acute material and spiritual needs.  Is there ever a time to address unacknowledged needs?  "I am sinful" implies "I need to be changed", a need which exists even when I deny it.

Peace,
Jon
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pilgrim on January 25, 2010, 03:00:13 PM
Charles Austin wrote: Pastor Stoffregen's last post reminds me that those who berate him for his "personal" opinion, as if he stood alone, forget how frequently he cites other authorities to support what he says or illustrate that his method of exegesis is not unique to him, but is one applied by many others.

Well, he frequently cites Mark Allan Powell, at least.[/quote]

Brian added: For a while I was quoting Harvey Cox, too.

Pilgrim wonders: And thus solves the issue? I knew Mark when he was just a parish pastor biding his time to get offered a teaching position. Read him through the years. Nice enough fellow. Occasionally some good insights. But his writing strikes me as more heavily influenced by a sort of "boomer faddishness born of the seminary context in which he finds himself" rather than the groundbreaking scholarship that Brian S. seems to apply to him.

And Harvey Cox? Well, interesting is a word.

What does bother me however, is that when others cite authorities reaching all the way back to the apostolic fathers they are generally dismissed by the revisionist camp. It's as if nothing worthwhile in exegetics or theology has occured prior to around 1960. And that is truly frightening for the simple reason that it suggests a contemporary arrogance that is monumental in its size and scope.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 25, 2010, 03:56:17 PM
What does bother me however, is that when others cite authorities reaching all the way back to the apostolic fathers they are generally dismissed by the revisionist camp. It's as if nothing worthwhile in exegetics or theology has occured prior to around 1960. And that is truly frightening for the simple reason that it suggests a contemporary arrogance that is monumental in its size and scope.

And there can be just as much of a "traditional arrogance" that believes God only spoke to those men in the first few centuries after Christ's resurrection.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 25, 2010, 04:05:58 PM
I keep asking: When did God stop speaking to the Church? The last of the great ecumenical councils? 1530? 1580? When was it that we were told all has been revealed and God has nothing more to say to us?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pilgrim on January 25, 2010, 04:10:54 PM
Charles Austin wrote: I keep asking: When did God stop speaking to the Church? The last of the great ecumenical councils? 1530? 1580? When was it that we were told all has been revealed and God has nothing more to say to us?

Brian Stoffregen wrote: And there can be just as much of a "traditional arrogance" that believes God only spoke to those men in the first few centuries after Christ's resurrection.

Pilgrim comments: Boy, you two sure must have your knickers in a square knot! Two nearly immediate, combatative and seemingly "arrogant" responses! Who would have thought? I believe the defense need only rest. ???
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Steverem on January 25, 2010, 04:18:28 PM
I keep asking: When did God stop speaking to the Church? The last of the great ecumenical councils? 1530? 1580? When was it that we were told all has been revealed and God has nothing more to say to us?

I'm not a theologian, but I think it happened somewhere around the time the UCC started using a Gracie Allen quote as it's official slogan.   ;)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 25, 2010, 04:30:01 PM
Pilgrim comments: Boy, you two sure must have your knickers in a square knot! Two nearly immediate, combatative and seemingly "arrogant" responses! Who would have thought? I believe the defense need only rest. ???
I believe that traditionalists are more likely to be wearing knickers. :)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pilgrim on January 25, 2010, 04:41:20 PM
Brian Stoffregen wrote: I believe that traditionalists are more likely to be wearing knickers. :)

Pilgrim replies: But they'd look so good with your rainbow suspenders!  ;)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 25, 2010, 05:23:25 PM
I keep asking: When did God stop speaking to the Church? The last of the great ecumenical councils? 1530? 1580? When was it that we were told all has been revealed and God has nothing more to say to us?
God never stops speaking to the Church through the Scriptures. He just doesn't contradict Himself, which is what some people seem to be expecting. Like a pastor announcing forgiveness week after week, God has the same old Gospel and He never stops speaking through it. Is the revisionists' "new thing" simply people bringing their new (and supposedly greater) understanding to the old thing or God saying something new that contradicts what He used to say? It is a theologically fraught position either way.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 25, 2010, 06:51:47 PM
I keep asking: When did God stop speaking to the Church? The last of the great ecumenical councils? 1530? 1580? When was it that we were told all has been revealed and God has nothing more to say to us?
God never stops speaking to the Church through the Scriptures. He just doesn't contradict Himself, which is what some people seem to be expecting. Like a pastor announcing forgiveness week after week, God has the same old Gospel and He never stops speaking through it. Is the revisionists' "new thing" simply people bringing their new (and supposedly greater) understanding to the old thing or God saying something new that contradicts what He used to say? It is a theologically fraught position either way.

The gospel lesson for this Sunday (Luke 4:21-30) sounds very contemporary: Jesus proclaims God's acts of grace that reached beyond Israel (outside of the church? or "to those sinners") and the people get so angry that they want to kill Jesus. Should our message of God's unmerited grace by so scandalous that it fills people (especially those who believe that they are God's chosen people) with rage? Have we seen that happen recently? I haven't heard anyone threatening to kill a messenger; but congregations are being destroyed.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 25, 2010, 06:57:31 PM
I keep asking: When did God stop speaking to the Church? The last of the great ecumenical councils? 1530? 1580? When was it that we were told all has been revealed and God has nothing more to say to us?
God never stops speaking to the Church through the Scriptures. He just doesn't contradict Himself, which is what some people seem to be expecting. Like a pastor announcing forgiveness week after week, God has the same old Gospel and He never stops speaking through it. Is the revisionists' "new thing" simply people bringing their new (and supposedly greater) understanding to the old thing or God saying something new that contradicts what He used to say? It is a theologically fraught position either way.

The gospel lesson for this Sunday (Luke 4:21-30) sounds very contemporary: Jesus proclaims God's acts of grace that reached beyond Israel (outside of the church? or "to those sinners") and the people get so angry that they want to kill Jesus. Should our message of God's unmerited grace by so scandalous that it fills people (especially those who believe that they are God's chosen people) with rage? Have we seen that happen recently? I haven't heard anyone threatening to kill a messenger; but congregations are being destroyed.
Brian, you're confusing a doctrine with a direction or trajectory. It is a doctrine that salvation if from the Jews but that Jew and Gentile are included. It is a logical fallacy to say that the situation today with approving sin is therefore parallel.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 25, 2010, 09:06:34 PM
Pastor Stoffregen's last post reminds me that those who berate him for his "personal" opinion, as if he stood alone, forget how frequently he cites other authorities to support what he says or illustrate that his method of exegesis is not unique to him, but is one applied by many others.

Well, he frequently cites Mark Allan Powell, at least.

For a while I was quoting Harvey Cox, too.

Well, then, that's an improvement.  8)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 25, 2010, 09:23:45 PM
Charles Austin wrote: Pastor Stoffregen's last post reminds me that those who berate him for his "personal" opinion, as if he stood alone, forget how frequently he cites other authorities to support what he says or illustrate that his method of exegesis is not unique to him, but is one applied by many others.

Well, he frequently cites Mark Allan Powell, at least.

Brian added: For a while I was quoting Harvey Cox, too.

Pilgrim wonders: And thus solves the issue? I knew Mark when he was just a parish pastor biding his time to get offered a teaching position. Read him through the years. Nice enough fellow. Occasionally some good insights. But his writing strikes me as more heavily influenced by a sort of "boomer faddishness born of the seminary context in which he finds himself" rather than the groundbreaking scholarship that Brian S. seems to apply to him.

And Harvey Cox? Well, interesting is a word.

What does bother me however, is that when others cite authorities reaching all the way back to the apostolic fathers they are generally dismissed by the revisionist camp. It's as if nothing worthwhile in exegetics or theology has occured prior to around 1960. And that is truly frightening for the simple reason that it suggests a contemporary arrogance that is monumental in its size and scope.
[/quote]

My thoughts exactly. I know Mark and had him for seminary classes. Nice enough. There are better commentators.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 25, 2010, 10:55:45 PM
National Geographic jumped into the fray this month with a rather positive portrayal of polygamy as practiced by the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints.  The article is well written and makes it seem like polygamy could be the right relationship arrangement for some people. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/02/polygamists/anderson-text (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/02/polygamists/anderson-text)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 25, 2010, 11:08:38 PM
National Geographic jumped into the fray this month with a rather positive portrayal of polygamy as practiced by the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints.  The article is well written and makes it seem like polygamy could be the right relationship arrangement for some people. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/02/polygamists/anderson-text (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/02/polygamists/anderson-text)

No doubt a commentary of equal value to that of the apostles and Church Fathers, if not better given our "deeper" knowledge of things." ::) :D Of course that does raise a question concerning comment, interpretation, etc. This "new" knowledge our culture speaks of, is it not simply Gnosticism, that old heresy, in new clothing? When we jettison the Scriptures for "new knowledge" and "our experience" and "our bound conscience" then that is what we get. Gnosticiim in 21st century garb.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 25, 2010, 11:16:02 PM
Well, at least as it's presented in the article, it seems to fit the definition used in HSG&T - publicly accountable (within their own community) life-long, committed (can't say monogamous, although it is one at a time).  So a stretch, but it is a sort of PALMS relationship if only a variant reading of the intended meaning.  And they are consenting adults at some point.  This is part tongue-in-cheek and part heads-up, because HSGT lends itself to many applications.  Polygamy looks like the next one to hit the courts in our lifetime.  And how do we say, "No"?  On what basis?  HSG&T destroys any rational basis for refusing any relationship.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: George Erdner on January 26, 2010, 12:07:11 AM
HSG&T

Huh? WDTM?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Keith Falk on January 26, 2010, 12:14:37 AM
HSG&T

Huh? WDTM?

Human Sexuality: Gift & Trust (Social Statement's name)

Answering the "What Does That Mean"?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 01:32:58 AM
I keep asking: When did God stop speaking to the Church? The last of the great ecumenical councils? 1530? 1580? When was it that we were told all has been revealed and God has nothing more to say to us?
God never stops speaking to the Church through the Scriptures. He just doesn't contradict Himself, which is what some people seem to be expecting. Like a pastor announcing forgiveness week after week, God has the same old Gospel and He never stops speaking through it. Is the revisionists' "new thing" simply people bringing their new (and supposedly greater) understanding to the old thing or God saying something new that contradicts what He used to say? It is a theologically fraught position either way.

Your (and other's) repeated statement that we have approved sin indicates that you have a warped idea what the ELCA has done.

The gospel lesson for this Sunday (Luke 4:21-30) sounds very contemporary: Jesus proclaims God's acts of grace that reached beyond Israel (outside of the church? or "to those sinners") and the people get so angry that they want to kill Jesus. Should our message of God's unmerited grace by so scandalous that it fills people (especially those who believe that they are God's chosen people) with rage? Have we seen that happen recently? I haven't heard anyone threatening to kill a messenger; but congregations are being destroyed.
Brian, you're confusing a doctrine with a direction or trajectory. It is a doctrine that salvation if from the Jews but that Jew and Gentile are included. It is a logical fallacy to say that the situation today with approving sin is therefore parallel.

Your (and other's) oft repeated statement that we have approved sin indicates a warped idea of what the ELCA has done.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 01:37:00 AM
My thoughts exactly. I know Mark and had him for seminary classes. Nice enough. There are better commentators.

True, and there are many worse commentators. Actually, I seldom quote his commentaries. More often, I reference Chasing the Eastern Star: Adventures in Biblical Reader-Response Criticism and Loving Jesus.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 26, 2010, 01:37:16 AM

And there can be just as much of a "traditional arrogance" that believes God only spoke to those men in the first few centuries after Christ's resurrection.

And naturally you once again attribute to those you oppose something other than what they actually say.

If you can't exegete plain American English of your own era...

spt+
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 01:42:24 AM
The latest Christian Century has an article about polygamy: http://www.christiancentury.org/article.lasso?id=8169
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 01:44:03 AM

And there can be just as much of a "traditional arrogance" that believes God only spoke to those men in the first few centuries after Christ's resurrection.

And naturally you once again attribute to those you oppose something other than what they actually say.

If you can't exegete plain American English of your own era...

I figure if the opponents are going to mischaracterize us, I'll do the same to them. Childish, I know.

More seriously, it is highly likely that because of our differences in thinking, we will read, understand, and interpret the comments differently. Reader-response criticism is alive and well in the 21st century.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 26, 2010, 01:47:01 AM

More often, I reference Chasing the Eastern Star: Adventures in Biblical Reader-Response Criticism...

Every time you give that title, I have to consciously think, "Don't worry, he's not referring to Masons...."

Shuddering nonetheless, spt+

Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 01:50:59 AM

More often, I reference Chasing the Eastern Star: Adventures in Biblical Reader-Response Criticism...

Every time you give that title, I have to consciously think, "Don't worry, he's not referring to Masons...."

Think biblically: "Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." (Mt 2:2, NASB) He spends some pages dealing with that text.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 26, 2010, 04:28:29 AM
Pastor Tibbetts writes (re the book title Chasing the Eastern Star):
Every time you give that title, I have to consciously think, "Don't worry, he's not referring to Masons...."

I comment:
Not to mention what to think or do about the "Rainbow girls."  ;D ;)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 26, 2010, 07:53:48 AM

More often, I reference Chasing the Eastern Star: Adventures in Biblical Reader-Response Criticism...

Every time you give that title, I have to consciously think, "Don't worry, he's not referring to Masons...."

Shuddering nonetheless, spt+


Lady Masons, none the less!  ;)  Is there something you'd like to share with us, Brian?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: James Gustafson on January 26, 2010, 09:16:01 AM
Your (and other's) oft repeated statement that we have approved sin indicates a warped idea of what the ELCA has done.

Why are you saying that the ELCA has a warped perception of self?  According to the bound conscience clause it's an ELCA approved position to preach and teach that homosexual activities are contrary to biblical and historical church doctrines, so it is an ELCA approved position to state that the ELCA has approved sin in congregations which teach and preach differently.  If the ELCA is going to advocate double mindedness perhaps someone should remind them of James 1:8, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways..  The ELCA is purposely double minded about the issues they brought up at the CWA meeting, an issue that they think and they say they cannot find a satisfactory for everyone answer to.




(For context, James 1:5-8
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Ask God and read scripture seeking his answer, ask in faith, without doubting what the Scripture says in regards to your answer.  Doubting the scriptural answer from the Lord means that person must not suppose that they will receive an answer from the Lord...)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pilgrim on January 26, 2010, 10:01:06 AM
Brian Stoffregen wrote: Your (and other's) oft repeated statement that we have approved sin indicates a warped idea of what the ELCA has done.

James Gustafson replied nicely: Why are you saying that the ELCA has a warped perception of self?  According to the bound conscience clause it's an ELCA approved position to preach and teach that homosexual activities are contrary to biblical and historical church doctrines, so it is an ELCA approved position to state that the ELCA has approved sin in congregations which teach and preach differently.  If the ELCA is going to advocate double mindedness perhaps someone should remind them of James 1:8, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways..  The ELCA is purposely double minded about the issues they brought up at the CWA meeting, an issue that they think and they say they cannot find a satisfactory for everyone answer to.

Pilgrim wonders out loud: In my wife's school district, whenever an ethnic group falls below a certain percentage, they cannot even be counted a minority, simply because their numbers are so minuscule relative to the school and/or district. What strikes me as interesting about Brian S. (and the ELCA's) ongoing action and contention is their unrelenting implied attack on the totality of both the historic church and the present day world wide Christian communion's moral teaching, such that, if percentages were used, they(we) ELCA, Episcopals and UCC, etc., would not even constitute a sizeable enough group to be deemed a minority by the aforementioned standards. Now, the "new thing" all these folks are proclaiming may (I say may) be right ... but the fact that being in such a minuscule minority in light of the whole of the Church on earth and the Saints in heaven being a reality, you would think some appropriate humility and far more tentative rhetoric would be in order. Could it be that the stridency of the sexual revolution run amok has caused even some among the faithful to fall away, blown about by the contemporary winds of so-called "religious" self-fulfillment (aka, sin in any other age)?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 26, 2010, 10:09:39 AM
Your (and other's) oft repeated statement that we have approved sin indicates a warped idea of what the ELCA has done.

Why are you saying that the ELCA has a warped perception of self?  According to the bound conscience clause it's an ELCA approved position to preach and teach that homosexual activities are contrary to biblical and historical church doctrines, so it is an ELCA approved position to state that the ELCA has approved sin in congregations which teach and preach differently.  If the ELCA is going to advocate double mindedness perhaps someone should remind them of James 1:8, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways..  The ELCA is purposely double minded about the issues they brought up at the CWA meeting, an issue that they think and they say they cannot find a satisfactory for everyone answer to.

James is exactly right. Because of the "bound conscience" idea, the ELCA recognizes as Christian doctrine taught in ELCA churches that homosexual activity is sinful. It also approves such acitivity among its clergy. Therefore, the ELCA approves what the ELCA classifies as sin. Unless, that is, one position or the other (the approval or the classification) is contrary to the teachings of the ELCA.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 26, 2010, 10:10:52 AM

I wouldn't rehash this again if I didn't think it illustrated a skepticism that is  common in the  ELCA.  According to Brian, true communication through words is impossible.

I've never said "impossible". Studies I read back in college (40 years ago) indicated that about 60% of what is communicated in a two-way conversation is non-verbal. All of that is lost in written words. Because of that, emoticons were invented to help written texts express non-verbal clues, e.g., speaking ironically.

Quote
We cannot understand another person's mind through language.  Language is an opaque wall seperating two people. All we have are shadows that must be interpreted.

We certainly interpret another person's mind through language -- and we are often wrong. Thus counselors and therapists are trained to probe further if their interpretation of the meaning and inner thinking and feeling are correct by asking questions -- or checking observations. However, we can't ask the biblical writers, "What did you mean by that?" or "Were you being ironic?" or "Were you quoting the opposition?" "Were you serious?"

Quote
On the other hand, through modern psychological theories we can penetrate  beyond the opaque barrier of language and discern the inner thoughts and motivations of others.

Well, I was a psych major in college. Yes, we use that. We also use communication theory and social science studies to better understand what might be going on in the mind of the original biblical writers. Weren't you arguing before that words don't exist in a vacuum? There is the context of the sentence, paragraph, entire writing; and there is the context of the social/cultural world in which the writer lived. The more we understand that the more accurate we are likely to be in interpreting the intended meaning of the written words.

Brian,

It seems that you and I are in agreement.  You place greater trust in psychology, communication theory, and social science than you do it the plain meaning of the text.  You do believe that language itself is a poor medium of communication that must be augmented by the very best of current theory.  

We do not disagree about what yo believe.  We disagree about whether what you believe is true.  I believe that your approach is a return to the methods of interpretation that Luther rejected.  It resembles the four-fold method that sought to penetrate beyond the plain meaning of the text to the deeper and multiple meanings.  Going even further, it seems as if you believe a special gnosis is required to free up the true meaning of the text.  

In summary, your approach, which I'm sure is the product of your college and seminary education, is a step backward from a Lutheran perspective.

David
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 11:14:11 AM

More often, I reference Chasing the Eastern Star: Adventures in Biblical Reader-Response Criticism...

Every time you give that title, I have to consciously think, "Don't worry, he's not referring to Masons...."

Shuddering nonetheless, spt+


Lady Masons, none the less!  ;)  Is there something you'd like to share with us, Brian?

Hmmm, I wonder why my thoughts go towards a biblical story and yours go towards "lady Masons".
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: hillwilliam on January 26, 2010, 11:37:46 AM

And there can be just as much of a "traditional arrogance" that believes God only spoke to those men in the first few centuries after Christ's resurrection.

And naturally you once again attribute to those you oppose something other than what they actually say.

If you can't exegete plain American English of your own era...

spt+

Concerning interpretation of Scripture:

In Oswald Bayer's book, "Martin Luther's Theology" he states on page 27: "The point is that one can use the arts of grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric to determine the meaning of the text of Holy Scripture; one can make sense of it and teach it to others in the schools and institutions of higher learning --- thus serving to articulate the external clarity of Scripture, which (Luther quotation) 'is employed in service to the Word'. "

It continues, (Luther quotation) "Among all the academic disciplines that have been developed by human beings, in a most important way grammar is most useful for the advancement of theology" (end quote) …. grammar and rhetoric are more important for him (the theologian) than dialectic, which drifts along emptily without language or history, and leads one astray. … (Luther quotation) "the sophists did not take what has been logical from time immemorial into account, that is, they did not think important that grammar and rhetoric need to be taught first. For whenever one seeks to know about logic before one knows grammar, and where one would rather teach than hear, would rather judge than speak, nothing correct is going to follow therefrom." (end quote)

Those who aren't thoroughly grounded in their own language aren't likely to be able to apply reason to the interpretation of Scripture successfully. Reason is most reasonable in service to the word not attacking it with sophist tools.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 12:32:10 PM
Your (and other's) oft repeated statement that we have approved sin indicates a warped idea of what the ELCA has done.

Why are you saying that the ELCA has a warped perception of self?  According to the bound conscience clause it's an ELCA approved position to preach and teach that homosexual activities are contrary to biblical and historical church doctrines, so it is an ELCA approved position to state that the ELCA has approved sin in congregations which teach and preach differently.  If the ELCA is going to advocate double mindedness perhaps someone should remind them of James 1:8, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways..  The ELCA is purposely double minded about the issues they brought up at the CWA meeting, an issue that they think and they say they cannot find a satisfactory for everyone answer to.

I did not say that the ELCA has a warped perception, but you and others who keep saying that the ELCA has "approved sin". That sounds a lot like the Pharisee's criticism of Jesus -- especially his fellowship practice of eating and associating with the unclean, sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes.

As far as "double-mindedness," the ELCA looks to Paul rather than James for its guidance. Paul states forcefully in Galatians that circumcision cannot be required for salvation; but he also has Timothy circumcised. He argues that remaining single is the best way to devote one's whole life to God; but if you can't control your desires (and actions,) it's OK for believers to marry. He says that it's OK to eat that has been sacrificed to idols (contrary to the edict of the Jerusalem council,) but he also refuses to eat it in certain circumstances.

Quote
(For context, James 1:5-8
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Ask God and read scripture seeking his answer, ask in faith, without doubting what the Scripture says in regards to your answer.  Doubting the scriptural answer from the Lord means that person must not suppose that they will receive an answer from the Lord...)

The word that James uses for doubt (διακρίνω) is interesting. James uses it again in 2:4 to criticize the people for "making distinctions" among the believers! Even more interesting is Paul's use of the word in Romans 14:22-23: "The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve. But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin." This is one of the key texts for talking about "bound consciences" -- one's convictions about a particular issue when other believers have another conviction. In Romans 14 it is about eating meat and drinking wine. We certainly have found ways for meat-eating and wine-drinking believers to respect the convictions of believers who are vegetarians and tea-totallers. The ELCA has seen fit, through study and prayers, to apply the same criteria to the issue of committed same-gender relationships. The ELCA is not "doubting" or being "double-minded," but recognizing, as Paul does in Romans 14, that God leads believers to different convictions about some issues.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 12:34:19 PM
Those who aren't thoroughly grounded in their own language aren't likely to be able to apply reason to the interpretation of Scripture successfully. Reason is most reasonable in service to the word not attacking it with sophist tools.

Except that American English is not the language of scripture.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pilgrim on January 26, 2010, 12:44:15 PM
Brian Stoffregen writes: Your (and other's) oft repeated statement that we have approved sin indicates a warped idea of what the ELCA has done.

Pilgrim comments: In a sense, you speak rightly, grasshopper. Except that the ELCA has not disapproved this particular sin either (whether you view that warped or not is a separate issue)...the ELCA has clearly stated that it can't make up its mind. Therefore, BOTH approval and disapproval can be properly applied to homosexual behavior and are to be accomodated under this "new thing" (yet to be properly defined and administered if that is even possible) called, "bound conscience".

Kind of reminds me of "oh what a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive". The sexual revolution (sic) claims yet an additional casulty - common sense!  :P
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: James Gustafson on January 26, 2010, 01:01:14 PM
I did not say that the ELCA has a warped perception, but you and others who keep saying that the ELCA has "approved sin". That sounds a lot like the Pharisee's criticism of Jesus -- especially his fellowship practice of eating and associating with the unclean, sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes.

Yes you did.  BTW: In your entire post, did you address the main issue even once?  The point was and IS, the ELCA approves the position to say that the ELCA approved sin.  It says so straight up, an ELCA congregation is allowed to be in the ELCA and say that the homosexual acts approved of in other ELCA congregations is in fact a sin.   So when you say "You and others" you are pointing at the ELCA too.  Thus, according to what you said, the ELCA has a warped perception of itself.  Try reading your own post before telling others what they are saying, you don't even seem to know what you are saying.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: hillwilliam on January 26, 2010, 01:39:23 PM
Those who aren't thoroughly grounded in their own language aren't likely to be able to apply reason to the interpretation of Scripture successfully. Reason is most reasonable in service to the word not attacking it with sophist tools.

Except that American English is not the language of scripture.

However, it is the language that all Scripture is translated into for American Christians. Once again you seem to be saying that scripture cannot be understood by any but those with a special gnosis. If you believe that Scripture cannot be translated into American English maybe you should give all your future proof texts in the original language. Better yet translate the Scriptures yourself and publish the product of that translation. I would be fascinated by the progress of such an effort and it's reception by the world Christian community.

I, personally, believe that the best translations from the original languages into American English are already in existence, are consistent with each other and were produced by the best scholars available. More importantly, I believe that the Holy Spirit has safeguarded the message of the Scriptures so that it comes to us today with the same clarity it had for the original hearers.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 02:00:35 PM
It seems that you and I are in agreement.  You place greater trust in psychology, communication theory, and social science than you do it the plain meaning of the text.  You do believe that language itself is a poor medium of communication that must be augmented by the very best of current theory.

I would say that the disagreement is about what is "the plain meaning of the text." The ELCA approach, at least as spelled out in their Book of Faith initiative, is that it refers to the plain meaning as intended by the author -- or the plain meaning as understood by the first readers/hearers of the text. Thus seeking to understand everything we can about world, culture, society at the time of the biblical writings is essential for discerning the plain meaning of the text. This, at least by our ELCA biblical scholars, is precisely what Luther did in opposition to the allegorical exegesis that had been done.

Quote
It resembles the four-fold method that sought to penetrate beyond the plain meaning of the text to the deeper and multiple meanings.  Going even further, it seems as if you believe a special gnosis is required to free up the true meaning of the text.  

Yup, the special gnosis is learning the biblical languages. If it wasn't so important for properly understanding the text, why do our seminaries require at least Greek for ordination?

Quote
In summary, your approach, which I'm sure is the product of your college and seminary education, is a step backward from a Lutheran perspective.

Actually the method I use for exegesis came primarily from a class at the Lutheran Bible Institute in Seattle. About the only difference from that approach is that I now use it with the Greek (and occasionally Hebrew) text rather than English. The primary resource is the text. The main secondary source are lexicons. Third is a concordance. I spent nearly all of my exegetical time with just the words of the text -- printed out on a sheet of paper with wide spacing and wide margins where I can make comments and notes about the text. (The process I was taught at LBI.)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 02:07:02 PM
Those who aren't thoroughly grounded in their own language aren't likely to be able to apply reason to the interpretation of Scripture successfully. Reason is most reasonable in service to the word not attacking it with sophist tools.

Except that American English is not the language of scripture.

However, it is the language that all Scripture is translated into for American Christians. Once again you seem to be saying that scripture cannot be understood by any but those with a special gnosis. If you believe that Scripture cannot be translated into American English maybe you should give all your future proof texts in the original language. Better yet translate the Scriptures yourself and publish the product of that translation. I would be fascinated by the progress of such an effort and it's reception by the world Christian community.

If a knowledge of Greek wasn't so important, why do our seminaries require it?

Quote
I, personally, believe that the best translations from the original languages into American English are already in existence, are consistent with each other and were produced by the best scholars available. More importantly, I believe that the Holy Spirit has safeguarded the message of the Scriptures so that it comes to us today with the same clarity it had for the original hearers.

My suggestion to folks who don't know the original languages is to study the text in at least two literal translations and perhaps one or two less literal -- noting similarities and differences in the way scholars have translated the text -- including reading the footnotes. Every translation has biases. Every translation has strengths and weaknesses. On the shelves next to my desk, I have 11 different English translations -- as well as Greek and Hebrew texts and tools.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 26, 2010, 02:24:46 PM
It seems that you and I are in agreement.  You place greater trust in psychology, communication theory, and social science than you do it the plain meaning of the text.  You do believe that language itself is a poor medium of communication that must be augmented by the very best of current theory.

I would say that the disagreement is about what is "the plain meaning of the text." The ELCA approach, at least as spelled out in their Book of Faith initiative, is that it refers to the plain meaning as intended by the author -- or the plain meaning as understood by the first readers/hearers of the text. Thus seeking to understand everything we can about world, culture, society at the time of the biblical writings is essential for discerning the plain meaning of the text. This, at least by our ELCA biblical scholars, is precisely what Luther did in opposition to the allegorical exegesis that had been done.

Quote
It resembles the four-fold method that sought to penetrate beyond the plain meaning of the text to the deeper and multiple meanings.  Going even further, it seems as if you believe a special gnosis is required to free up the true meaning of the text.  

Yup, the special gnosis is learning the biblical languages. If it wasn't so important for properly understanding the text, why do our seminaries require at least Greek for ordination?

Quote
In summary, your approach, which I'm sure is the product of your college and seminary education, is a step backward from a Lutheran perspective.

Actually the method I use for exegesis came primarily from a class at the Lutheran Bible Institute in Seattle. About the only difference from that approach is that I now use it with the Greek (and occasionally Hebrew) text rather than English. The primary resource is the text. The main secondary source are lexicons. Third is a concordance. I spent nearly all of my exegetical time with just the words of the text -- printed out on a sheet of paper with wide spacing and wide margins where I can make comments and notes about the text. (The process I was taught at LBI.)

Brian,

The method you refer to above is not the one you have been advocating on this thread and that we were debating.  We were not disagreeing about the "plain meaning of the text".  We were debating the relative reliability of words and language (the plain meaning of the text) in understanding another person over against various modern tools of psychology, systems theory, etc...  The special gnosis you were championing was not learning biblical languages, it was the power to understand another person's inner thought and motivations by the use of family systems theory.

As I stated earlier, you are a skeptic when it comes to words and language.  However, when it comes to family systems theory, you feel quite confident that you can uncover the motives of another.  That's what we were discussing.  Remember?  Please, no red herrings.

David  
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 26, 2010, 02:31:41 PM
Actually the method I use for exegesis came primarily from a class at the Lutheran Bible Institute in Seattle. About the only difference from that approach is that I now use it with the Greek (and occasionally Hebrew) text rather than English. The primary resource is the text. The main secondary source are lexicons. Third is a concordance. I spent nearly all of my exegetical time with just the words of the text -- printed out on a sheet of paper with wide spacing and wide margins where I can make comments and notes about the text. (The process I was taught at LBI.)

And when it's all done, you throw up your hand and announce, "No one really knows what this means.  It's all a matter or interpretation.  Some believe it means one thing, other believe it means the exact opposite."  It's not the tools you use, but your skeptical and relativist presuppostions that do you in.

Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 26, 2010, 02:35:42 PM
Your (and other's) oft repeated statement that we have approved sin indicates a warped idea of what the ELCA has done.

Why are you saying that the ELCA has a warped perception of self?  According to the bound conscience clause it's an ELCA approved position to preach and teach that homosexual activities are contrary to biblical and historical church doctrines, so it is an ELCA approved position to state that the ELCA has approved sin in congregations which teach and preach differently.  If the ELCA is going to advocate double mindedness perhaps someone should remind them of James 1:8, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways..  The ELCA is purposely double minded about the issues they brought up at the CWA meeting, an issue that they think and they say they cannot find a satisfactory for everyone answer to.

I did not say that the ELCA has a warped perception, but you and others who keep saying that the ELCA has "approved sin". That sounds a lot like the Pharisee's criticism of Jesus -- especially his fellowship practice of eating and associating with the unclean, sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes.

As far as "double-mindedness," the ELCA looks to Paul rather than James for its guidance. Paul states forcefully in Galatians that circumcision cannot be required for salvation; but he also has Timothy circumcised. He argues that remaining single is the best way to devote one's whole life to God; but if you can't control your desires (and actions,) it's OK for believers to marry. He says that it's OK to eat that has been sacrificed to idols (contrary to the edict of the Jerusalem council,) but he also refuses to eat it in certain circumstances.

Quote
(For context, James 1:5-8
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Ask God and read scripture seeking his answer, ask in faith, without doubting what the Scripture says in regards to your answer.  Doubting the scriptural answer from the Lord means that person must not suppose that they will receive an answer from the Lord...)

The word that James uses for doubt (διακρίνω) is interesting. James uses it again in 2:4 to criticize the people for "making distinctions" among the believers! Even more interesting is Paul's use of the word in Romans 14:22-23: "The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve. But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin." This is one of the key texts for talking about "bound consciences" -- one's convictions about a particular issue when other believers have another conviction. In Romans 14 it is about eating meat and drinking wine. We certainly have found ways for meat-eating and wine-drinking believers to respect the convictions of believers who are vegetarians and tea-totallers. The ELCA has seen fit, through study and prayers, to apply the same criteria to the issue of committed same-gender relationships. The ELCA is not "doubting" or being "double-minded," but recognizing, as Paul does in Romans 14, that God leads believers to different convictions about some issues.

What I have bolded is what I will respond to.

Brian, do you not see the problem in this. Paul and James are both part of the Canon. They are both inspired Scripture. Therefore it is not proper to take one and ignore the other. Both are in play, both are to be taken together.

Of coure another problem with what you say (you and others who are rejecting the clear word of Scripture) is that the ELCA only looks to Paul in a very narrow way. It actually takes him out of context with regards the issue of bound conscience and ignores what he clearly says about sexual purity and the fact that those who live in sexual immorality, including homosexual sexual practice, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Paul clearly makes the point in 1 Cor. 5 that the man committing incest must be excommunicated. What his conscience says to him is immaterial. He must repent or perish eternally.  So obviously the ELCA only cares for Paul in so far as he is useful. Otherwise he can be ignored.

The ELCA ignores this very thing in its social statement, and in fact makes it clear that as far as it is concerned Historic Christianity and the Lutheran Confessions (which include the understanding that the Bible is the final authority over matters of faith and life) are not in play with this decision to bless same sex unions and ordain practicing gay/lesbian clergy. They have moved away from Scripture.

 They do not really care for Paul over James. They don't care for either actually and will do their own thing. Their use of Paul (as you say) is only a smoke screen to give their CWA actions a religious gloss. Paul has not been embraced. Nor has Saint James.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: hillwilliam on January 26, 2010, 03:09:25 PM

If a knowledge of Greek wasn't so important, why do our seminaries require it?

My suggestion to folks who don't know the original languages is to study the text in at least two literal translations and perhaps one or two less literal -- noting similarities and differences in the way scholars have translated the text -- including reading the footnotes. Every translation has biases. Every translation has strengths and weaknesses. On the shelves next to my desk, I have 11 different English translations -- as well as Greek and Hebrew texts and tools.


A knowledge of Greek is important but mastery of Greek is the minimum requirement for those who work on the major translations of Scripture from Greek into English. You may have a leg up on me translating Greek texts but you have no standing among the scholars doing the translations for the NRSV, ESV, NIV, NKJV, Jerusalem Bible, etc. These translations are consistent with each other even though the groups producing them may be biased. The best way to minimize the bias is to not read the footnotes.

Based on your demand for special gnosis to have any true basis for understanding the Scriptures one would have to master Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Coptic, Latin, with possibly a smattering of Hindi and Chinese to really understand the Scriptures. Having said that, I find it odd that Jesus came to the great unwashed masses rather than the powerful and educated Hellenist elite.

For what it's worth, I have at least 7 different translations of the Scriptures in multiple editions, 2 editions of the B of C, The Koran, Book of Mormon, and New World Translation (Jehovah Witnesses). I also have books on theology from the Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Reformed and Evangelist viewpoint. None of that convinces me that the orthodox Christian teachings are wrong.

Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 03:47:18 PM
We were debating the relative reliability of words and language (the plain meaning of the text) in understanding another person over against various modern tools of psychology, systems theory, etc...[/quote]

Huh? I saw us discussing the relative meaning of words and language. The meaning(s) one takes from words and languages is somewhat dependent upon their own experiences -- which includes things like the psychology, personality type, place within a social system.

Quote
The special gnosis you were championing was not learning biblical languages, it was the power to understand another person's inner thought and motivations by the use of family systems theory.
My use of family systems theory is that when someone acts in a defensive way, when their responses are either to fight back or to flee in an almost irrational way, we can conclude that their "reptilian brain" has been hooked and supplanted the "thinking brain" as the one controlling the responses. Or, to phrase it in a different, when someone is unable to be a non-anxious (or non-reactive) presence, something other than the rational, thinking part of their brain has taken control.

Quote
As I stated earlier, you are a skeptic when it comes to words and language.
Yes, in regards to the words and language that interpreters use. I look up the Greek words for myself. I study the grammar for myself. I do not question the words and language of the Greek text (except when there are variant reading). I do question translations and interpretations. Don't you?

Quote
However, when it comes to family systems theory, you feel quite confident that you can uncover the motives of another. That's what we were discussing.  Remember?  Please, no red herrings.

I'm also trained in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and I can uncover (or at least come to a hypothesis of) someone's personality type based on watching their behaviors. So what? We all do that. We interpret people's actions and behaviors. We make assumptions about their motivations. Over time we come to recognize what is typical and atypical for someone's behaviors. If you hadn't noticed yet, it is typical of some people to naturally jump off on tangents.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 03:53:08 PM
And when it's all done, you throw up your hand and announce, "No one really knows what this means.  It's all a matter or interpretation.  Some believe it means one thing, other believe it means the exact opposite."  It's not the tools you use, but your skeptical and relativist presuppostions that do you in.

When I have I said, "No one really knows what this means?" (except for Paul's made up word)? Much more often I will give different possible, valid ways of translating, and interpreting texts -- and may state which one I believe has the greater support. While it is possible to take Paul's words and argue that they mean obese (soft) couch potato (and I heard someone suggest that,) I think it's unlikely that's what Paul meant. I also think it's unlikely that his use of the terms he uses refers to every and all same-gender sexual relationship. I know that others disagree with that interpretation; but that is not saying, "No one really knows," it's indicating that there are different meanings that folks glean from the same words and grammar.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Pilgrim on January 26, 2010, 03:53:20 PM
Pilgrim wonders: Isn't this one of those occasions when you could have simply said, "See previous posts"?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 26, 2010, 06:09:57 PM
Quote
We were debating the relative reliability of words and language (the plain meaning of the text) in understanding another person over against various modern tools of psychology, systems theory, etc...

Huh? I saw us discussing the relative meaning of words and language. The meaning(s) one takes from words and languages is somewhat dependent upon their own experiences -- which includes things like the psychology, personality type, place within a social system.

Quote
The special gnosis you were championing was not learning biblical languages, it was the power to understand another person's inner thought and motivations by the use of family systems theory.
My use of family systems theory is that when someone acts in a defensive way, when their responses are either to fight back or to flee in an almost irrational way, we can conclude that their "reptilian brain" has been hooked and supplanted the "thinking brain" as the one controlling the responses. Or, to phrase it in a different, when someone is unable to be a non-anxious (or non-reactive) presence, something other than the rational, thinking part of their brain has taken control.

Quote
As I stated earlier, you are a skeptic when it comes to words and language.
Yes, in regards to the words and language that interpreters use. I look up the Greek words for myself. I study the grammar for myself. I do not question the words and language of the Greek text (except when there are variant reading). I do question translations and interpretations. Don't you?

Quote
However, when it comes to family systems theory, you feel quite confident that you can uncover the motives of another. That's what we were discussing.  Remember?  Please, no red herrings.

I'm also trained in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and I can uncover (or at least come to a hypothesis of) someone's personality type based on watching their behaviors. So what? We all do that. We interpret people's actions and behaviors. We make assumptions about their motivations. Over time we come to recognize what is typical and atypical for someone's behaviors. If you hadn't noticed yet, it is typical of some people to naturally jump off on tangents.

Let me try to simplify.  You seem to take a critical approach to the biblical text, but a rather uncritical attitude towards things like the MBTI and family systems theory.  Based on my own diagnostic abilities  ::)  I would say that represents a condition sometims known as "chronological snobbery".   :o

Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 26, 2010, 06:46:57 PM

Except that American English is not the language of scripture.

Well, my point in bringing it up is that it is the language native to both you and I and just about everyone else here.  And yet, when appearing to argue against those with whom you disagree, you first re-write their (our) points to say something other than what they (we) actually say.  Given your inability to deal with your native language, on what basis can we trust that you accurately deal with an ancient language that is not native to you?

As for your point in continuing to riff on my theme, I couldn't begin to guess.  Partly because I've learned that when I do guess, I'm wrong even when I use your own words.

Now, how did we get from polygamy to this (whatever "this" is)?

spt+
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 08:53:13 PM
Let me try to simplify.  You seem to take a critical approach to the biblical text, but a rather uncritical attitude towards things like the MBTI and family systems theory.  Based on my own diagnostic abilities  ::)  I would say that represents a condition sometims known as "chronological snobbery".   :o

I have no idea what you are talking about. What do you mean by critical? To me, that means "asking questions," like, "What does this mean?" Or "Does this help?" when I've used MBTI or family systems theory with folks.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 26, 2010, 08:55:22 PM

Except that American English is not the language of scripture.

Well, my point in bringing it up is that it is the language native to both you and I and just about everyone else here.  And yet, when appearing to argue against those with whom you disagree, you first re-write their (our) points to say something other than what they (we) actually say.  Given your inability to deal with your native language, on what basis can we trust that you accurately deal with an ancient language that is not native to you?

See my response about reader-response criticism. Even though American English is our native language, our life-experiences condition us to read and understand it differently.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 26, 2010, 11:16:04 PM
OK.  Polygamy has a basis in the Old Testament, which is part of the canonical scriptures Lutherans acknowledge.  So, what will keep polygamy from be acknowledged as a legitimate relationship mode under the HSG&T rubric?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 27, 2010, 12:33:32 PM
So, what will keep polygamy from be acknowledged as a legitimate relationship mode under the HSG&T rubric?

The HS:G&T rubric "monogamy."

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 27, 2010, 12:34:37 PM

Even though American English is our native language, our life-experiences condition us to read and understand it differently.

Whereas our life-experiences enable us to better understand the Evangelists and Apostles?

spt+
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 27, 2010, 02:23:19 PM

Even though American English is our native language, our life-experiences condition us to read and understand it differently.

Whereas our life-experiences enable us to better understand the Evangelists and Apostles?

Not necessarily "better,"  but different (at least in emphases or nuances) -- as cross-cultural comparisons of responses to biblical texts have shown.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 27, 2010, 06:08:59 PM
How about cross cultural reading of scripture as it pertains to homosexuality?  Do you really want to go there?

When the Bible is read cross culturally, it often leads to problems for liberal Christians.  My guess is that outside of North America and Europe most Christians have little problem believing in miracles, the demonic, the power of the Spirit, the existence of God, and a discernable difference between good and evil.  Most of that is way too fundamentalist for liberal Christianity.   In some way you might say they have more in common with Luther than we do. (Think for instance of Oberman's Luther: Man Between God and the DDevil.)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 27, 2010, 07:30:33 PM
How about cross cultural reading of scripture as it pertains to homosexuality?  Do you really want to go there?

When the Bible is read cross culturally, it often leads to problems for liberal Christians.  My guess is that outside of North America and Europe most Christians have little problem believing in miracles, the demonic, the power of the Spirit, the existence of God, and a discernable difference between good and evil.  Most of that is way too fundamentalist for liberal Christianity.   In some way you might say they have more in common with Luther than we do. (Think for instance of Oberman's Luther: Man Between God and the DDevil.)

There are those in other cultures who expect their Christian minister to exorcize demons. (We had missionaries who'd been in Africa at seminary who had participated in such services.) How do you think that'd go over in our American congregations -- and not just the liberal ones?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 28, 2010, 09:54:18 AM
If we were as committed to tolerance, diversity and muti-culturalism as we claim, we would affirm it.  Diversity sounds great when it means relaxing doctrinal standards or overturning centuries of tradition, but when it means accomadating those with more traditional views, it's a problem. Or so it seems.     
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 12:26:12 AM
If we were as committed to tolerance, diversity and muti-culturalism as we claim, we would affirm it.  Diversity sounds great when it means relaxing doctrinal standards or overturning centuries of tradition, but when it means accomadating those with more traditional views, it's a problem. Or so it seems.

It seems to me that revisionists have accommodated traditional views for a long time, but now that the traditionalists are asked to accommodate the revisionist's view, many are abandoning the ship.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 29, 2010, 09:45:51 AM
If we were as committed to tolerance, diversity and muti-culturalism as we claim, we would affirm it.  Diversity sounds great when it means relaxing doctrinal standards or overturning centuries of tradition, but when it means accomadating those with more traditional views, it's a problem. Or so it seems.

It seems to me that revisionists have accommodated traditional views for a long time, but now that the traditionalists are asked to accommodate the revisionist's view, many are abandoning the ship.

Sure, but it's not a contradiction for us to do that.  We do not claim diversity and tolerance as the highest value and the only non-negotiable truth.  We believe that there are core Christian truths that should not be abandoned, even in the name of diversity or tolerance. We believe that every community must have some boundaries that define who is and isn't a part of it.  In other words, we are not the ones contradicting our core beliefs.  

We also do not consider "accomodation" the highest virtue.  For some time we have wondered why those who find so much of Christian doctrine offensive don't leave the Church and found a new religion that better suits their tastes.  Why should someone continue to adhere to a faith that he/she no longer believes is true?  

P.S.  What would you say to someone who said, "Those of us Christians[sic] who no longer believe that Jesus is the Christ are willing to accomodate those who do"?  
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 10:14:14 AM
P.S.  What would you say to someone who said, "Those of us Christians[sic] who no longer believe that Jesus is the Christ are willing to accomodate those who do"?  

I would say: "Regardless of what you think, Jesus Christ died for you. God, in Jesus Christ, loves and accepts you."

It sounds to me like you are basing Christianity on adhering to certain laws -- rules we believe and try to obey, rather than being centered on God's grace revealed in Jesus Christ. I would say the same thing to someone who makes "diversity and tolerance" a new rule we have to believe and obey. The non-negotiable truth is "God so loved the world (which includes every single person) so that he gave his unique Son, so that everyone who trusts him is not destroyed, but might have a never-ending life."

Our guiding principle for our thoughts, words, and actions towards others is that they are people whom God loves and for whom Jesus' died. If that leads to accepting and tolerating those who are different from me, so be it. Beyond that, the next verse indicates that God did not send Jesus to judge/condemn (κρίνω) others, but to save them. If he isn't judging/condemning, why are we? If his way of saving them was to suffer horribly and die for them, what might that indicate about the way we need to relate to "the world"?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 29, 2010, 10:16:41 AM
How about cross cultural reading of scripture as it pertains to homosexuality?  Do you really want to go there?

When the Bible is read cross culturally, it often leads to problems for liberal Christians.  My guess is that outside of North America and Europe most Christians have little problem believing in miracles, the demonic, the power of the Spirit, the existence of God, and a discernable difference between good and evil.  Most of that is way too fundamentalist for liberal Christianity.   In some way you might say they have more in common with Luther than we do. (Think for instance of Oberman's Luther: Man Between God and the DDevil.)

There are those in other cultures who expect their Christian minister to exorcize demons. (We had missionaries who'd been in Africa at seminary who had participated in such services.) How do you think that'd go over in our American congregations -- and not just the liberal ones?

Actually it happens in American congregations and it goes over as the Holy Spirit intends, giving glory to God and showing the power of Jesus Christ as alive and well and able to save. These kinds of exorcisms are going on in RC churches in this area, Lutheran churches in this area, and non-denominational churches in this area. These don't happen in a worship service, but they do happen in the life of those congregations.

So as a witness and participant in such things, I can tell you the Lord does wonders for those who have faith.  The expectation of the Christian minister to cast out demons in the name of Jesus is legitimate and a part of the calling for SOME. Not all have that calling, and that is something to think about too.

The point I would make is that the Word of God has the power to save and redeem no matter what culture. His Word is true no matter where it is read. The truths of Scripture are not bound to culture. However the Scripture does seek to bind everyone of every culture to its Truth.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 10:21:05 AM
The expectation of the Christian minister to cast out demons in the name of Jesus is legitimate and a part of the calling for SOME. Not all have that calling, and that is something to think about too.

I like that. It easily carries over to say: "The expectation of the Christian minister is to be celibate so as to devote all his(/her) time to the Lord rather than divide it with a spouse, and singleness is the calling for SOME." Not all have that gift. Something else to think about.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 29, 2010, 10:36:23 AM
The expectation of the Christian minister to cast out demons in the name of Jesus is legitimate and a part of the calling for SOME. Not all have that calling, and that is something to think about too.

I like that. It easily carries over to say: "The expectation of the Christian minister is to be celibate so as to devote all his(/her) time to the Lord rather than divide it with a spouse, and singleness is the calling for SOME." Not all have that gift. Something else to think about.

It only easily carries over in your mind. Scripture does not give that expectation. Scripture does say that singleness is the calling of SOME. Those who are not called to that may enter into Holy Matrimony defined by our Lord Jesus as one man, one woman, lifelong.

I said the expectation that the Christian minister will cast out demons in the name of Jesus is legitimate. That is found in Scripture as indeed our Lord gives that as part of the mission to go out and proclaim the Gospel. I also said not all have that calling. I probably need to rephrase that. All Christian ministers have that authority through Christ. Not all should use it, especially those who don't really believe the power of the keys and don't really believe the absolute authority of Scripture. Remember the sons of Sceva.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 29, 2010, 10:47:45 AM
It sounds to me like you are basing Christianity on adhering to certain laws -- rules we believe and try to obey, rather than being centered on God's grace revealed in Jesus Christ.

It seems from what you write (I'm not sure what you sound like) that you need to take a remedial course in reading comprehension.  I was not asking what you would say in a pastoral conversation, I was asking you whether you would also find that statement absurd.

Furthermore, the only kind of rule I was talking about is the same kind of rule you refer to when you say, "centered on God's grace revealed in Jesus Christ."  The Rule of Faith if you will, the Canon,  the Ecumenical Creeds and the Trinitarian and Christological Dogmas.  You have to admit they limit diversity and make it impossible to accomodate all opinions.  The rule you gave above, simple as it is, also limits diversity.  It does not allow room for those who would like to center the faith in obedience to rules, or in God's grace revealed in the goddess, or is submission to the will of Allah.  Does that make you legalistic or intolerant?

Quote
I would say the same thing to someone who makes "diversity and tolerance" a new rule we have to believe and obey.

Really?  Do you mean that?  From what I heard  ;) that is the value you were lifting up as the most important.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 29, 2010, 10:49:20 AM

More often, I reference Chasing the Eastern Star: Adventures in Biblical Reader-Response Criticism...

Every time you give that title, I have to consciously think, "Don't worry, he's not referring to Masons...."

Shuddering nonetheless, spt+


Lady Masons, none the less!  ;)  Is there something you'd like to share with us, Brian?

Hmmm, I wonder why my thoughts go towards a biblical story and yours go towards "lady Masons".

Probably because one of us is trying to curtail in a light-hearted way yet another divergence from the thread.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 10:50:13 AM
Really?  Do you mean that?  From what I heard  ;) that is the value you were lifting up as the most important.
The value I have lifted up over and over and over again is: Salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I have been very consistent in that.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 10:53:06 AM
It seems from what you write (I'm not sure what you sound like) that you need to take a remedial course in reading comprehension.  I was not asking what you would say in a pastoral conversation, I was asking you whether you would also find that statement absurd.

This is what you wrote, with emphasis added: P.S.  What would you say to someone who said, "Those of us Christians[sic] who no longer believe that Jesus is the Christ are willing to accomodate those who do"?

I responded with what I would say "to someone". Perhaps you need a course in remedial writing.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 29, 2010, 10:54:15 AM
Really?  Do you mean that?  From what I heard  ;) that is the value you were lifting up as the most important.
The value I have lifted up over and over and over again is: Salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I have been very consistent in that.

No.  When you criticized traditionalist for not being as accomodating as revisionists had been, you were criticizing us for not being a tolerant and open to diversity as you.  So, at least in that case, which by the way was the one I was responding to, you were lifting up something other than the doctrine of Justification.

Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 10:56:28 AM
Really?  Do you mean that?  From what I heard  ;) that is the value you were lifting up as the most important.
The value I have lifted up over and over and over again is: Salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I have been very consistent in that.

No.  When you criticized traditionalist for not being as accomodating as revisionists had been, you were criticizing us for not being a tolerant and open to diversity as you.  So, at least in that case, which by the way was the one I was responding to, you were lifting up something other than the doctrine of Justification.

Nope, if you are going to use the tolerant and open argument, I showed how it can be turned around and bite you. I didn't say that it was my argument.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 29, 2010, 10:56:39 AM
So, what will keep polygamy from be acknowledged as a legitimate relationship mode under the HSG&T rubric?

The HS:G&T rubric "monogamy."

Pax, Steven+

Why would the ELCA begin to follow the plain meaning of the text now?  The statements of the FLDS folks in the National Geographic article suggest that they have mutually loving, trusting, publicly accountable relationship in their community.  It's just a matter of time before the ELCA thinks so, too.  Monogamy literally means "one reproductive unit" by it's etymology and I would suggest by common understanding among most people, so HSG&T's use of monogamy is fundamentally flawed since it is being applied to those who cannot reproduce.  HSG&T enshrines pleasure as the primary principle of relationships, using careful wording, of course, but wholly inconsistent with the plain reading of Genesis 1 & 2.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 29, 2010, 10:56:56 AM
It seems from what you write (I'm not sure what you sound like) that you need to take a remedial course in reading comprehension.  I was not asking what you would say in a pastoral conversation, I was asking you whether you would also find that statement absurd.

This is what you wrote, with emphasis added: P.S.  What would you say to someone who said, "Those of us Christians[sic] who no longer believe that Jesus is the Christ are willing to accomodate those who do"?

I responded with what I would say "to someone". Perhaps you need a course in remedial writing.

Context is part of reading comprehension.  Of course you know that, but choose to obfuscate.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 11:00:06 AM
Monogamy literally means "one reproductive unit" by it's etymology
Nope, etymologically it means "married once". mono = one + gamos = marriage. Literally, anyone has been married more than once is no longer "monogamous". (We've mostly redefined the literally meaning to mean, "married to one person at a time.")
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 29, 2010, 11:01:53 AM
How about cross cultural reading of scripture as it pertains to homosexuality?  Do you really want to go there?

When the Bible is read cross culturally, it often leads to problems for liberal Christians.  My guess is that outside of North America and Europe most Christians have little problem believing in miracles, the demonic, the power of the Spirit, the existence of God, and a discernable difference between good and evil.  Most of that is way too fundamentalist for liberal Christianity.   In some way you might say they have more in common with Luther than we do. (Think for instance of Oberman's Luther: Man Between God and the DDevil.)

Sooner or later they'll understand enough to see things the way they really are...the way we do!  ;)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 11:04:19 AM
It seems from what you write (I'm not sure what you sound like) that you need to take a remedial course in reading comprehension.  I was not asking what you would say in a pastoral conversation, I was asking you whether you would also find that statement absurd.

This is what you wrote, with emphasis added: P.S.  What would you say to someone who said, "Those of us Christians[sic] who no longer believe that Jesus is the Christ are willing to accomodate those who do"?

I responded with what I would say "to someone". Perhaps you need a course in remedial writing.

Context is part of reading comprehension.  Of course you know that, but choose to obfuscate.

So, in your context, the words "say to someone" don't really mean "say to someone". Who is obfuscating? I can't read your mind, only the words you type.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 29, 2010, 11:04:28 AM
Really?  Do you mean that?  From what I heard  ;) that is the value you were lifting up as the most important.
The value I have lifted up over and over and over again is: Salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I have been very consistent in that.

No.  When you criticized traditionalist for not being as accomodating as revisionists had been, you were criticizing us for not being a tolerant and open to diversity as you.  So, at least in that case, which by the way was the one I was responding to, you were lifting up something other than the doctrine of Justification.

Nope, if you are going to use the tolerant and open argument, I showed how it can be turned around and bite you. I didn't say that it was my argument.

But of course, I was not using the "tolerant and open" argument, I was using the "inconsistency" argument.  Revisionists who champion diversity are inconsistent.  That's what I criticized them for.  You can't turn an argument back on me if I have not made that argument.  Again, pay attention to what I wrote.  
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 29, 2010, 11:08:07 AM
It seems from what you write (I'm not sure what you sound like) that you need to take a remedial course in reading comprehension.  I was not asking what you would say in a pastoral conversation, I was asking you whether you would also find that statement absurd.

This is what you wrote, with emphasis added: P.S.  What would you say to someone who said, "Those of us Christians[sic] who no longer believe that Jesus is the Christ are willing to accomodate those who do"?

I responded with what I would say "to someone". Perhaps you need a course in remedial writing.

Context is part of reading comprehension.  Of course you know that, but choose to obfuscate.

So, in your context, the words "say to someone" don't really mean "say to someone". Who is obfuscating? I can't read your mind, only the words you type.

In the context of a discussion of diversity, accomodation and tolerance.  Not in the context of a pastoral discussion.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 11:10:57 AM
But of course, I was not using the "tolerant and open" argument, I was using the "inconsistency" argument.  Revisionists who champion diversity are inconsistent.  That's what I criticized them for.
Some are, but not all. Some traditionalists are "intolerant and closed," but not all.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 29, 2010, 11:14:25 AM
Monogamy literally means "one reproductive unit" by it's etymology
Nope, etymologically it means "married once". mono = one + gamos = marriage. Literally, anyone has been married more than once is no longer "monogamous". (We've mostly redefined the literally meaning to mean, "married to one person at a time.")

You reveal your short-sightedness and lack of depth so easily!

Origin:  1605–15; < LL monogamia < Gk monogamía. See mono-, -gamy

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/monogamy (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/monogamy)


mono-
a combining form meaning “alone,” “single,” “one” (monogamy); specialized in some scientific terms to denote a monomolecular thickness (monolayer) and adapted in chemistry to apply to compounds containing one atom of a particular element (monohydrate).
Also, especially before a vowel, mon-.

Origin:
< Gk, comb. form of mónos alone

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mono-?db=luna (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mono-?db=luna)


-gamy
a combining form with the meanings “marriage,” “union,” “fertilization, pollination,” of the kind specified by the initial element: exogamy; plastogamy; allogamy; also forming nouns corresponding to adjectives ending in -gamous: heterogamy.
Origin:
comb. form repr. Gk -gamía act of marrying

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/-gamy?db=luna (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/-gamy?db=luna)

You are right, Brian, monogamy literally means "once married" from it's Greek roots.  The bigger question is what is the primary purpose of such marrying in God's revealed will?
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: G.Edward on January 29, 2010, 11:20:06 AM
If we were as committed to tolerance, diversity and muti-culturalism as we claim, we would affirm it.  Diversity sounds great when it means relaxing doctrinal standards or overturning centuries of tradition, but when it means accomadating those with more traditional views, it's a problem. Or so it seems.

It seems to me that revisionists have accommodated traditional views for a long time, but now that the traditionalists are asked to accommodate the revisionist's view, many are abandoning the ship.

How do they accommodate an unfounded break with the main interpretation of Christianity over two millennia?  It would be one thing if it could be defended coherently from the preponderance of the biblical text (as can the abolition of slavery and the ordination of women).  But to go where the bible explicitly says "don't" is to engage in the original lie, "did God really say..."
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 29, 2010, 11:23:30 AM
It seems to me that revisionists have accommodated traditional views for a long time, but now that the traditionalists are asked to accommodate the revisionist's view, many are abandoning the ship.


Hedonists never mind puritans quietly doing their thing.

spt+
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 11:31:15 AM
You are right, Brian, monogamy literally means "once married" from it's Greek roots.  The bigger question is what is the primary purpose of such marrying in God's revealed will?
There is not one primary purpose, but scriptures indicate different purposes -- in a random order as I recall them.

1. To relieve the not goodness of being alone.
2. To achieve an intimacy (one-ness) beyond that of any other relationships.
3. To procreate
4. To be a model of (a) the relationship between Christ and the church, and (b) the unity among the persons of the Trinity
5. To curb promiscuity
6. To give sexual pleasure (see Song of Songs)
7. To bring salvation to the woman through childbearing!! (see 1 Tim. 2:15)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 11:36:36 AM
You reveal your short-sightedness and lack of depth so easily!

I'm in good company.

μονόγαμος , ὁ,

A. one who marries but once, Ptol. Tetr.183, Vett.Val. 120.8.

Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. revised and augmented throughout by. Sir Henry Stuart Jones. with the assistance of. Roderick McKenzie. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 1940.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: northchurch on January 29, 2010, 11:38:53 AM
But of course, I was not using the "tolerant and open" argument, I was using the "inconsistency" argument.  Revisionists who champion diversity are inconsistent.  That's what I criticized them for.
Some are, but not all. Some traditionalists are "intolerant and closed," but not all.

C.S. Lewis reminds us (in his talk with Anglican priests of his day) that they are not called to be "open" or "tolerant" of the day. They are not called to change with the times. Scripture calls them to be intolerant of heresy and closed to any attempt to change what the Lord has handed down through the apostles and saints. So the traditionalists who are intolerant and closed can do so with clear consciences. They stand with the apostles and saints who were also intolerant and closed to whatever wind of doctrine sought to undermine the fabric of the teachings and power of Christ.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler, Pastor
Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 29, 2010, 11:51:09 AM
How do you think that'd go over in our American congregations -- and not just the liberal ones?

Is not the rejection of the Devil in our Baptismal service the remnants of exorcism?

spt+
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 29, 2010, 11:53:26 AM

I would say: "Regardless of what you think, Jesus Christ died for you. God, in Jesus Christ, loves and accepts you."

...The non-negotiable truth is "God so loved the world (which includes every single person) so that he gave his unique Son, so that everyone who trusts him is not destroyed, but might have a never-ending life."


Compare and contrast what you "would say" with your paraphrase of John 3:16.

spt+
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 02:02:39 PM

I would say: "Regardless of what you think, Jesus Christ died for you. God, in Jesus Christ, loves and accepts you."

...The non-negotiable truth is "God so loved the world (which includes every single person) so that he gave his unique Son, so that everyone who trusts him is not destroyed, but might have a never-ending life."


Compare and contrast what you "would say" with your paraphrase of John 3:16.

There is no contrast. There is an intentional omission. I said nothing about "trust" in my "would say". Whether or not anyone trusts this proclamation, it is still true: God loves the world. God sent Jesus to die for the world. God, in Jesus Christ, loves and accepts every person in the world. Some will trust that the proclamation is true and reap the benefits. Others will call God/the proclaimer a liar and risk forfeiting the benefits God's love and Christ's death have brought to the world.
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 29, 2010, 02:36:05 PM
God loves the world. God sent Jesus to die for the world.

God, in Jesus Christ, loves and accepts every person in the world.

Steven can speak for himself, but if you look at the two statements above, I think you would see the same contrast he is talking about.  The first half of each statement is the same: God loves the world.  The second part is not.  God "accepts every person in the world" might mean that God accepts us as we are.  Or it could mean that through the death of Jesus, God makes us acceptable and bestow on us a favor we do not deserve.  Judging from the context, it would assume you mean the latter.

Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 29, 2010, 03:41:18 PM
There is no contrast. There is an intentional omission.


 ::)
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 03:48:12 PM
God loves the world. God sent Jesus to die for the world.

God, in Jesus Christ, loves and accepts every person in the world.

Steven can speak for himself, but if you look at the two statements above, I think you would see the same contrast he is talking about.  The first half of each statement is the same: God loves the world.  The second part is not.  God "accepts every person in the world" might mean that God accepts us as we are.  Or it could mean that through the death of Jesus, God makes us acceptable and bestow on us a favor we do not deserve.  Judging from the context, it would assume you mean the latter.

It could also mean that God accepts us as we are -- and God, through the Holy Spirit, kills the old and raises up a new person (every day).
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: DCharlton on January 29, 2010, 06:17:11 PM
God loves the world. God sent Jesus to die for the world.

God, in Jesus Christ, loves and accepts every person in the world.

Steven can speak for himself, but if you look at the two statements above, I think you would see the same contrast he is talking about.  The first half of each statement is the same: God loves the world.  The second part is not.  God "accepts every person in the world" might mean that God accepts us as we are.  Or it could mean that through the death of Jesus, God makes us acceptable and bestow on us a favor we do not deserve.  Judging from the context, it would assume you mean the latter.

It could also mean that God accepts us as we are -- and God, through the Holy Spirit, kills the old and raises up a new person (every day).

Do you meand that God both declares us righteousness and makes (is making, will make) us righteous?  If so, I agree with you.  Would you also agree that a problem arises when we either believe 1)that God is content to leave us as we are; or 2) that Christ' righteousness is not ours until we have become righteous on our own.        
Title: Re: Giving Polygamy a Chance
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 29, 2010, 06:41:23 PM
Do you meand that God both declares us righteousness and makes (is making, will make) us righteous?  If so, I agree with you.  Would you also agree that a problem arises when we either believe 1)that God is content to leave us as we are; or 2) that Christ' righteousness is not ours until we have become righteous on our own.

Yes, there is a now and not yet to our righteousness. At the same time, I'm hesitant to say that God is in the process of making us more and more righteous. Throughout our lives we are 100% sinner and 100% righteous. We never escape from that dual nature. At the same time, we can improve in our "civil righteousness." That is, better willing and able to show love towards neighbors (and enemies). Better willing and able to stand up against injustice, etc. Perhaps to phrase it differently, we can act more and more like the perfectly righteous person that God says that we are in his sight. "Become what you are!"