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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: pbnorth3 on October 21, 2010, 07:11:13 PM

Title: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: pbnorth3 on October 21, 2010, 07:11:13 PM
Here are some thought provoking pieces about the differences between ELCA and LCMS (and other orthodox Lutheran churches) with regards doctrine. Take a look and see what you think. The website is: http://gnesiolutheran.com/elca-lcms-2/

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: edoughty on October 22, 2010, 08:01:56 AM
I think the writer is in favor of the LCMS view, since the LCMS view is never critiqued. 
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: LutherMan on October 22, 2010, 08:16:37 AM
WordAlone and Sola Publishing are the sponsors of the website, and most authors are ELCA/formerELCA, so it appears to not be an LCMS site.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 22, 2010, 08:43:48 AM
I think the writer is in favor of the LCMS view, since the LCMS view is never critiqued. 

You don't suppose that it could simply be that the LC-MS doesn't have published statements of belief which contradict the Lutheran Confessions or Scripture?

Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: James_Gale on October 22, 2010, 08:53:38 AM
Here are some thought provoking pieces about the differences between ELCA and LCMS (and other orthodox Lutheran churches) with regards doctrine. Take a look and see what you think. The website is: http://gnesiolutheran.com/elca-lcms-2/

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

What's the point in posting this?  I don't find it at all "thought provoking."  On the contrary.  

Anyone posting here knows full well that the ELCA now tolerates (and in some instances promotes) theologically unsound teaching.  The description of ELCA positions is therefore old news.  It "provokes" no new "thoughts" at all.  Neither do the unsurprising descriptions of LCMS positions.

Moreover, the authors of the linked piece do not use the official statements of belief of the two church bodies.  The piece therefore fails in any meaningful or fair way to be what it claims to be -- a "primer to some of the differences that exist between the ELCA and the LCMS in regards to what we believe, teach, and confess."  It would have been perfectly fair to quote from the ELCA web site and to argue that the material posted there by ELCA officials deviate from the ELCA's official theological positions, which are stated in the ELCA constitution.  But to use these web site entries as the primary material in a "primer" intended to illustrate the differences between the ELCA and LCMS is not fair or accurate.

In any event, because this is all very old news, I'll return to the questions I led with:  What's the point of this post?  It seems to me to be just one more thread in which people can bitch about the state of the ELCA.  We've already got plenty of those.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Erma S. Wolf on October 22, 2010, 08:57:02 AM
    As one who has worked alongside Word Alone, and greatly respects Sola Publishing and uses their materials, I will say it here first:  these are hardly unbiased organizations when it comes to discussing, let alone critiquing, the ELCA.  

    The ELCA needs critiquing.  But the LCMS does also.  And here I will critique one statement from the website that intends to explain what the LCMS does with the doctrine of the Holy Trinity:

"LCMS – The LCMS believes in the Triune God. “On the basis of the Holy Scriptures we teach the sublime article of the Holy Trinity; that is, we teach that the one true God, Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4, is the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, three distinct persons, but of one and the same divine essence, equal in power, equal in eternity, equal in majesty, because each person possesses the one divine essence entire, Col. 2:9, Matt. 28:19."

My critique:  The LCMS confesses the Triune God, and it most certainly does teach "the sublime article of the Holy Trinity."  But the LCMS cannot believe in the Triune God.  As a church body, its leaders and those in its congregations can only pray that those belonging to the LCMS faithfully believe in the Triune God, in the same way that I as an ELCA pastor pray that all those in the ELCA believe in the Triune God and confess the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as confessed by the one holy catholic and apostolic church.  There are those individuals and yes, congregations with notorious websites in the ELCA which sadly and sometimes scandalously do not believe and confess this truth.  However, I will remind the readers here, gently, that within the LCMS there has been, and may still be, quite vigorous discussion and disagreement regarding certain aspects of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, especially regarding the possible subordination of the 2nd Person of the Trinity to the 1st Person, that has erupted among theologians, teachers, and pastors in the LCMS in their discussions on the role of women as leaders in the church.  And the website of "herchurch" while scandalous is still not a replacement for the statement of faith in the Constitution of the ELCA, which speaks officially for the teaching of the ELCA on this matter just as the material cited for the LCMS on this website is how the LCMS officially speaks for what it confesses as a denomination.

And I will say that, as an ELCA pastor, I confess and teach the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.  But I believe in the God revealed in Holy Scripture, which witnesses to the truth of that doctrine as formulated through the councils of the Church.  And one more small critique (this time of what is quoted from the ELCA website, most of what I think is a good statement):  I can trust in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and I can pray for an obedient heart and try to obey Him.  But sadly, no, I cannot "just do it." (Meaning, worship and obey God.)  Mea culpa.  Nor can any of us, which is why we need a savior.  
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: LutherMan on October 22, 2010, 11:19:19 AM
WordAlone and Sola Publishing are the sponsors of the website, and most authors are ELCA/formerELCA, so it appears to not be an LCMS site.

What's the point in posting this?  I don't find it at all "thought provoking."  On the contrary.  

 I'll return to the questions I led with:  What's the point of this post?  It seems to me to be just one more thread in which people can bitch about the state of the ELCA.  We've already got plenty of those.
So, why pick on me?  Why not Pr. Buechler, who started this thread.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: pbnorth3 on October 22, 2010, 01:41:58 PM
WordAlone and Sola Publishing are the sponsors of the website, and most authors are ELCA/formerELCA, so it appears to not be an LCMS site.

What's the point in posting this?  I don't find it at all "thought provoking."  On the contrary.  

 I'll return to the questions I led with:  What's the point of this post?  It seems to me to be just one more thread in which people can bitch about the state of the ELCA.  We've already got plenty of those.
So, why pick on me?  Why not Pr. Buechler, who started this thread.

I really couldn't tell you why he was picking on you. However as to answering the question of "why?" the point is this: For those visiting this site or for those discussing whether or not to join LCMS or other Lutheran associations, it would be good to be reminded that the "issue" isn't homosexuality per se, but rather the whole issue of Scriptural authority and the Confessions and Creeds. This website gives a good handle on the real differences between the ELCA and LCMS in doctrine. Those who care to check it out can.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 22, 2010, 03:14:21 PM
But those who honestly and seriously want to understand the ELCA should avoid that website like the plague and do two things.
1. Read the ELCA's own description of itself.
2. Get to know several - and I mean several, even many, even 20-30 or more - ELCA congregations in various locations, and pastors of various ages and interests.
3. Then make up your mind. I guarantee you will still be able to despise, criticize, denounce and condemn; but at least you will be doing it with information you gathered yourself rather than crap from a biased source.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: kls on October 22, 2010, 03:21:42 PM
But those who honestly and seriously want to understand the ELCA should avoid that website like the plague and do two things.
1. Read the ELCA's own description of itself.
2. Get to know several - and I mean several, even many, even 20-30 or more - ELCA congregations in various locations, and pastors of various ages and interests.
3. Then make up your mind. I guarantee you will still be able to despise, criticize, denounce and condemn; but at least you will be doing it with information you gathered yourself rather than crap from a biased source.

As a former ELCA member, I feel it is fair for me to add a fourth to what Charles first labeled as two but really listed as three above:   ;)

4.  Open up your Bible and compare their teachings and statements to the Scriptures.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 22, 2010, 03:24:50 PM
Deaconess Schave writes (re evaluating the ELCA):

4.  Open up your Bible and compare their teachings and statements to the Scriptures.

I respond:
Absolutely! So long as you understand that you are comparing your interpretation of what Scripture says with the interpretation of what scripture says held in the ELCA.

Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: pbnorth3 on October 22, 2010, 03:26:02 PM
But those who honestly and seriously want to understand the ELCA should avoid that website like the plague and do two things.
1. Read the ELCA's own description of itself.
2. Get to know several - and I mean several, even many, even 20-30 or more - ELCA congregations in various locations, and pastors of various ages and interests.
3. Then make up your mind. I guarantee you will still be able to despise, criticize, denounce and condemn; but at least you will be doing it with information you gathered yourself rather than crap from a biased source.

As a former ELCA member, I feel it is fair for me to add a fourth to what Charles first labeled as two but really listed as three above:   ;)

4.  Open up your Bible and compare their teachings and statements to the Scriptures.

Indeed! :)

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

P.S. Folks who actually  go to this website will find links to the ELCA website...in fact what is quoted as an "ELCA" position is in fact found on the ELCA website.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: pbnorth3 on October 22, 2010, 03:29:32 PM
Deaconess Schave writes (re evaluating the ELCA):

4.  Open up your Bible and compare their teachings and statements to the Scriptures.

I respond:
Absolutely! So long as you understand that you are comparing your interpretation of what Scripture says with the interpretation of what scripture says held in the ELCA.



Ah yes, please remember that there are no absolutes! :P

One could say the same about Mormonism. They are just one more Christian religion with a different interpretation of things. Or one could say that of Jehovah's Witnesses as well. :P

This is a very dangerous position to take, and one of the reasons going to the website I posted is truly important to those who come looking to ALPB for answers.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 22, 2010, 03:33:53 PM
Pastor Buechler writes (re my last comment):
Ah yes, please remember that there are no absolutes!
I comment:
I never said that, and I do not agree with that statement.

Pastor Buechler writes:
One could say the same about Mormonism. They are just one more Christian religion with a different interpretation of things. Or one could say that of Jehovah's Witnesses as well.
I comment:
I would not say that about either of those two groups. And I do not see the relevance.

Pastor Buechler:
This is a very dangerous position to take, and one of the reasons going to the website I posted is truly important to those who come looking to ALPB for answers.
Me:
Explain to me how getting first hand information about the ELCA is dangerous and why getting biased information from ELCA opponents is better.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: kls on October 22, 2010, 03:38:38 PM
Explain to me how getting first hand information about the ELCA is dangerous and why getting biased information from ELCA opponents is better.

But Charles, isn't it all about interpretation with you?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: James_Gale on October 22, 2010, 03:44:08 PM
WordAlone and Sola Publishing are the sponsors of the website, and most authors are ELCA/formerELCA, so it appears to not be an LCMS site.

What's the point in posting this?  I don't find it at all "thought provoking."  On the contrary.  

 I'll return to the questions I led with:  What's the point of this post?  It seems to me to be just one more thread in which people can bitch about the state of the ELCA.  We've already got plenty of those.
So, why pick on me?  Why not Pr. Buechler, who started this thread.

I didn't mean to "pick on" anyone.  But I did hit the wrong "quote" button.  I apologize for that.  I've fixed my initial post.

Jim
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: LutherMan on October 22, 2010, 03:46:57 PM

I didn't mean to "pick on" anyone.  But I did hit the wrong "quote" button.  I apologize for that.

Jim
Oh, that's fine.  It left me confused, however.
Thanks for clearing it up.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 22, 2010, 03:48:25 PM
But those who honestly and seriously want to understand the ELCA should avoid that website like the plague and do two things.
1. Read the ELCA's own description of itself.
2. Get to know several - and I mean several, even many, even 20-30 or more - ELCA congregations in various locations, and pastors of various ages and interests.
3. Then make up your mind. I guarantee you will still be able to despise, criticize, denounce and condemn; but at least you will be doing it with information you gathered yourself rather than crap from a biased source.

These are the links included in that "biased source". Could you please tell us which ones are to websites that are not either "the ELCA's own description of itself" or the website of an ELCA congregation?

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Bible.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Holy- Trinity.aspx

http://www2.elca.org/questions/Results.asp?recid=58

http://www.herchurch.org/

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Holy- Spirit.aspx

http://www2.elca.org/questions/Results.asp?recid=4

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Salvation.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The- Resurrection.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Virgin-Birth.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Satan.aspx

https://www.elcabop.org/Home/UnderstandMyBenefits/Health/ELCAPrimary/HospMed/~/

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Homosexuality-and-the- ELCA.aspx

Explain to me how getting first hand information about the ELCA is dangerous and why getting biased information from ELCA opponents is better.

As I note above, the links in that article of "biased information from ELCA opponents" are all to ELCA websites. Of the 12 links, 10 are to pages on WWW.ELCA.ORG. The other two are to WWW.ELCABOP.ORG or to an ELCA congregation.

How are those links "biased information"?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: pbnorth3 on October 22, 2010, 04:07:57 PM
Pastor Buechler writes (re my last comment):
Ah yes, please remember that there are no absolutes!
I comment:
I never said that, and I do not agree with that statement.
Pastor Buechler writes:
One could say the same about Mormonism. They are just one more Christian religion with a different interpretation of things. Or one could say that of Jehovah's Witnesses as well.
I comment:
I would not say that about either of those two groups. And I do not see the relevance.
Pastor Buechler:
This is a very dangerous position to take, and one of the reasons going to the website I posted is truly important to those who come looking to ALPB for answers.
Me:
Explain to me how getting first hand information about the ELCA is dangerous and why getting biased information from ELCA opponents is better.

Because you asked Charles here are the answers to the bolded:

1) Since you are making the statement that all the "issues" are about interpretation, you are in fact saying that there are no absolutes, just people's own definitions of what truth is. That sounds alot like Pontius Pilate who answered our Lord by saying, "What is truth?" Disagree with that all you want. It doesn't change the truth. (Of course you are free to interpret any way you like ;))

2) The relevance is that Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses will start conversations very much as you did. It is all about interpretation of Scripture. Who are you to say they are wrong if it is all about interpretation anyway?

3) George has just posted the salient points on the third bold. This website is in fact posting links directly to the ELCA website. You get to see what the ELCA says on their own pages. So going to the site posted on this thread gives you information directly from the ELCA. Of course you would have known that if you would have gone and actually read the web page. I at least admit when I goof and don't read something all the way through.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 22, 2010, 05:11:56 PM
Here are some thought provoking pieces about the differences between ELCA and LCMS (and other orthodox Lutheran churches) with regards doctrine. Take a look and see what you think. The website is: http://gnesiolutheran.com/elca-lcms-2/

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

What I think is that whomever writes the crap on the ELCA website probably flunked confirmation.

And whoever compares "something from the ELCA website" to official statements of the LCMS is doing everyone a disservice.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 22, 2010, 05:38:07 PM
And whoever compares "something from the ELCA website" to official statements of the LCMS is doing everyone a disservice.

Not so, Richard.

The ELCA alone bears the responsibility for its public statements about what it believes, posted on its web site. How can anyone be faulted for citing what the ELCA itself posts on its own web site?

Perhaps you should contact the ELCA webmaster and inform him/her of the problems the web site is causing you as an ELCA pastor.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on October 22, 2010, 05:42:49 PM
But those who honestly and seriously want to understand the ELCA should avoid that website like the plague and do two things.
1. Read the ELCA's own description of itself.

The trouble is that the "ELCA's own description of itself" may or, as likely as not, not be accurate.  Sometimes the best answer as to who somebody is does not come from themselves, but others who can answer the question from an outside perspective.  Hence why you have to provide other references when you apply for a job and I never trust anybody's "personal" ads on a dating site...

Quote
2. Get to know several - and I mean several, even many, even 20-30 or more - ELCA congregations in various locations, and pastors of various ages and interests.

The funny thing is, the more ELCA parishes people get to know, the more confused people tend to get.  We have become such a broad and divergent group, it is almost impossible to get any common thread between 20-30 congregations besides generics.  Weekly celebration of the Sacrament, monthly, or even less?  "Traditional," "Contemporary," or some other variety of worship?  

Though I do have to admit, the CWA 2009 decisions have done wonders at winnowing out a lot of that diversity...

Quote
3. Then make up your mind. I guarantee you will still be able to despise, criticize, denounce and condemn; but at least you will be doing it with information you gathered yourself rather than crap from a biased source.

Yet, no matter where the "source" comes from, you traditionally don't brook any negative critique of the ELCA...  Which all brings us back to the beginning again.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: pbnorth3 on October 22, 2010, 05:54:26 PM
And whoever compares "something from the ELCA website" to official statements of the LCMS is doing everyone a disservice.

Not so, Richard.

The ELCA alone bears the responsibility for its public statements about what it believes, posted on its web site. How can anyone be faulted for citing what the ELCA itself posts on its own web site?

Your point makes little sense.

Indeed.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: pbnorth3 on October 22, 2010, 05:57:50 PM
Here are some thought provoking pieces about the differences between ELCA and LCMS (and other orthodox Lutheran churches) with regards doctrine. Take a look and see what you think. The website is: http://gnesiolutheran.com/elca-lcms-2/

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

What I think is that whomever writes the crap on the ELCA website probably flunked confirmation.
And whoever compares "something from the ELCA website" to official statements of the LCMS is doing everyone a disservice.

It is quite true that it is garbage. The problem is that the person writing this stuff on the website is writing it with the authority of the National Office. Indeed one of the people writing this garbage is a former bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod. So it is garbage, but it is also official garbage. It cannot be that those in charge no NOTHING about what is on the website. So you cannot pass this off as some "nut" who is writing unbeknownst to the ELCA brass.

So yes, it is official on an official website. Therefore it is open to being compared "officially" with the LCMS statements.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 22, 2010, 06:12:54 PM
Note to Erma, the Gnesio site added the words "The LCMS believes..." and then quoted The LCMS web site:

4. On the basis of the Holy Scriptures we teach the sublime article of the Holy Trinity; that is, we teach that the one true God, Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4, is the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, three distinct persons, but of one and the same divine essence, equal in power, equal in eternity, equal in majesty, because each person possesses the one divine essence entire, Col. 2:9, Matt. 28:19. We hold that all teachers and communions that deny the doctrine of the Holy Trinity are outside the pale of the Christian Church. The Triune God is the God who is gracious to man, John 3:16-18, 1 Cor. 12:3. Since the Fall, no man can believe in the "fatherhood" of God except he believe in the eternal Son of God, who became man and reconciled us to God by His vicarious satisfaction, 1 John 2:23; John 14:6. Hence we warn against Unitarianism, which in our country has to a great extent impenetrated the sects and is being spread particularly also through the influence of the lodges.

Does anyone even know who the Gnesio folks are?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 22, 2010, 06:15:59 PM
Pastor Kliner writes:
The trouble is that the "ELCA's own description of itself" may or, as likely as not, not be accurate.  Sometimes the best answer as to who somebody is does not come from themselves, but others who can answer the question from an outside perspective.  Hence why you have to provide other references when you apply for a job and I never trust anybody's "personal" ads on a dating site...
I comment:
The official documents say what they say. They are accurate.
You may have more experience with "personal ads" on a dating site than I do, but I don't see the parallel.

Pastor Kliner writes:
The funny thing is, the more ELCA parishes people get to know, the more confused people tend to get.  We have become such a broad and divergent group, it is almost impossible to get any common thread between 20-30 congregations besides generics.  Weekly celebration of the Sacrament, monthly, or even less?  "Traditional," "Contemporary," or some other variety of worship?  
I comment:
What confusion? We are diverse. Congregations are not all alike. Worship services are not lock-step uniform. What is wrong with this? Some LC-MS congregations practice closed communion, some do not. Does this alone make the LC-MS "confusing"?

Pastor Kliner writes:
Yet, no matter where the "source" comes from, you traditionally don't brook any negative critique of the ELCA...  Which all brings us back to the beginning again.
I respond:
Actually, I brook quite a lot. But I have little tolerance for silly, uninformed criticism or for the "gotcha-bombs" hurled by people like "Lutherman" or the sniping by those who have - sometimes years ago - left the ELCA in a snit.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: James_Gale on October 22, 2010, 06:16:41 PM
And whoever compares "something from the ELCA website" to official statements of the LCMS is doing everyone a disservice.

Not so, Richard.

The ELCA alone bears the responsibility for its public statements about what it believes, posted on its web site. How can anyone be faulted for citing what the ELCA itself posts on its own web site?

Your point makes little sense.

Pr. Johnson's point makes perfect sense.

The linked document purports to be a "primer to some of the differences that exist between the ELCA and the LCMS in regards to what we believe, teach, and confess."  It's not.  If it were, it would use the officially approved statements of both church bodies as a starting point.

You're right that the "ELCA alone bears responsibility" for what's posted on its web site.  However, the fact that the ELCA has been negligent or reckless in carrying out this responsibility does not mean that the ELCA "believes, teaches, and confesses" what is posted.  

I do think that it would be fair in a "primer" to cite the linked material as evidence that in practice, the ELCA with some frequency deviates from its official teachings.  But only after laying out the official teachings.  And in order to be fair to the reader, an author must clearly identify the author and source of the deviating text.  If a text has been approved by a churchwide, synodical, or congregational body, the primer should say that.  If it has not been, the primer should say that as well.  If a primer does not follow these practices, it will be inherently misleading.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: LutherMan on October 22, 2010, 06:18:39 PM
Some believe this, and some believe that.  Big tent....
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 22, 2010, 06:21:30 PM
James, the statements stand, until corrected, as the public witness of the ELCA.



Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 22, 2010, 06:28:06 PM
So which group should I look to in order to get at the "real" LC-MS? The Jesus One people? The Blazings? Those who stumped for the current president and thumped the previous leader or those who wanted him re-elected? The pastor who invited me to preach when he goes on vacation, or the pastor who would not commune me? Those who don't want ELCA hands on the food or supplies they give to the poor or those who send offerings to Lutheran World Relief and Lutheran Disaster Response? A pastor who won't commune with fellow winklearians or someone who does? Those who have canonized the "official" hymnal, or a congregation with the dread COWO and two or three praise bands? A campus pastor at Valpo or someone whose theological tome is published by CPH?
My goodness, the LC-MS is confusing! How can you know what it really stands for? And it sure seems that some congregations take a different approach to their "walking together" than others.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: James_Gale on October 22, 2010, 06:36:51 PM

The statements stand, until corrected, as the public witness of the ELCA.


I agree with you. 

But that's not the issue in this thread.  The issue here is the self-styled "primer" and its use of the web-site material.

I'm not sure what you think that I -- a holder of leadership positions in the NALC -- can do about the ELCA's web site.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 22, 2010, 06:43:36 PM
And whoever compares "something from the ELCA website" to official statements of the LCMS is doing everyone a disservice.

Not so, Richard.

The ELCA alone bears the responsibility for its public statements about what it believes, posted on its web site. How can anyone be faulted for citing what the ELCA itself posts on its own web site?

Your point makes little sense.

Pr. Johnson's point makes perfect sense.

The linked document purports to be a "primer to some of the differences that exist between the ELCA and the LCMS in regards to what we believe, teach, and confess."  It's not.  If it were, it would use the officially approved statements of both church bodies as a starting point.

You're right that the "ELCA alone bears responsibility" for what's posted on its web site.  However, the fact that the ELCA has been negligent or reckless in carrying out this responsibility does not mean that the ELCA "believes, teaches, and confesses" what is posted.  

I do think that it would be fair in a "primer" to cite the linked material as evidence that in practice, the ELCA with some frequency deviates from its official teachings.  But only after laying out the official teachings.  And in order to be fair to the reader, an author must clearly identify the author and source of the deviating text.  If a text has been approved by a churchwide, synodical, or congregational body, the primer should say that.  If it has not been, the primer should say that as well.  If a primer does not follow these practices, it will be inherently misleading.

Are the things posted on the ELCA's website under the title "What We Believe" not what the ELCA believes? Since when can we not trust that the information contained on the ELCA's website that purports to be "What We Believe" has not been "approved by a churchwide, synodical, or congregational body"? Doesn't the fact that it's published by the ELCA imply that it's "approved"?

What's the difference between the links to the ELCA's website and these links to the LC-MS website?

http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=563

http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=564

http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2682

http://www.lcms.org/ca/www/cyclopedia/02/display.asp?t1=m&word=MONARCHIANISM

http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2677

http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=565 Salvation:

http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=568.

http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/CTCR/justclp.pdf

http://www.lifeoftheworld.com/believe/statements/statementdoc.pdf

http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2676

http://www.lcms.org/ca/www/cyclopedia/02/display.asp?t1=D&word=DEVIL

http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2120

http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2724

http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2702 Homosexual Ordination:

If the links to the ELCA's "What We Believe" pages do not contain what the ELCA believes, perhaps you or Pastor Johnson or Austin could post the correct links for everyone?


The statements stand, until corrected, as the public witness of the ELCA.


I agree with you. 

But that's not the issue in this thread.  The issue here is the self-styled "primer" and its use of the web-site material.

I'm not sure what you think that I -- a holder of leadership positions in the NALC -- can do about the ELCA's web site.

Like I said, the fact that you are in the NALC and not the ELCA doesn't prevent you from posting the correct links. Or, if you cannot, you could prevail on Pastor Johnson or on Austin to do so.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 22, 2010, 06:53:24 PM
I remain puzzled that there is such a kerfuffle about a comparison of what is posted on The LCMS and the ELCA's web site, statements of what these respective churches stand for. You can't fault the Gnesio group for quoting from the two church's web sites.

If there is a problem with anything on the ELCA's web site, it is up to the ELCA to correct it, but until then, the statements stand as written, and are the ELCA's public witness to the world.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 22, 2010, 07:00:33 PM
Perhaps you should contact the ELCA webmaster and inform him/her of the problems the web site is causing you as an ELCA pastor.

There are one heck of a lot of things causing me more problems as an ELCA pastor than stupid things on the ELCA web site.

The simple truth is that a "web site," no matter who is managing it, does not represent the official teaching, opinion, or position of the ELCA. The web site quotations from which started this website does everyone a disservice by citing unofficial and inaccurate things on the ELCA website.

Are there differences in doctrine between the two church bodies? Probably so. But if someone wanted to do a fair analysis, they would compare apples to apples.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 22, 2010, 07:02:07 PM
The problem is that the person writing this stuff on the website is writing it with the authority of the National Office.

The "National Office" has no formal authority in the ELCA, regardless of what the "National Office" might think.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 22, 2010, 07:04:17 PM
Richard, it is not "just" a web site. It is the ELCA's most public witness to the world, literally. It is accessible to, and accessed by, countless numbers of people from around the world. What is stated there represents the ELCA, and every person affiliated with it. If I were you I would not be so cavalier about it. It most certainly *does* represent the official teaching, opinions and positions of the ELCA.

Seem to me you would do better to direct your ire toward the ELCA and its public statements on its web site than try to find fault with people who quote it.

The logic of your argument, Richard, forgive me, but it is bearing an unsettling resemblance to the mental gymnastics displayed by Brian S.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 22, 2010, 07:09:28 PM
Richard, it is not "just" a web site. It is the ELCA's most public witness to the world, literally. It is accessible to and accessed by countless numbers of people from around the world. What is stated there represents the ELCA, and every person affiliated with it. If I were you I would not be so cavalier about it.

It most certainly *does* represent the official teaching, opinions and positions of the ELCA.

Seem to me you would do better to direct your ire toward the ELCA and its public statements on its web site than try to find fault with people who quote it.

(1) I don't believe I said it was "just a web site."
(2) The ELCA is not like the LCMS or the Vatican. Every page on the web site does not go through 164 different reviews.
(3) I have no ire. I barely have an IRA.
(4) James, who is an eminently reasonable layman, an attorney, and affiliated with the NALC, seems to get the point rather clearly. Why you don't is beyond me.

Well, no, that's not quite true. It isn't beyond me at all. I get it quite clearly.
The logic of your argument, Paul, forgive me, but it is bearing an unsettling resemblance to the pre-time out Paul McCain.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 22, 2010, 07:12:21 PM
The ELCA's web site is the ELCA's public face to the world. What is posted there represents the ELCA. You may say it is not accurate, it is an error, it is wrong, but the fact is that it is posted there, and until, and unless, it is changed, it does, de facto, represent the ELCA publicly.

Why you don't, can't, or refuse, to get this point, is what is escaping me.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 22, 2010, 07:14:08 PM
The ELCA's web site is the ELCA's public face to the world. What is posted there represents the ELCA. You may say it is not accurate, it is an error, it is wrong, but the fact is that it is posted there, and until, and unless, it is changed, it does, de facto, represent the ELCA publicly.

Why you don't, can't, or refuse, to get this point, is what is escaping me.


I think you already said that.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 22, 2010, 07:15:05 PM
Richard, it is not "just" a web site. It is the ELCA's most public witness to the world, literally. It is accessible to and accessed by countless numbers of people from around the world. What is stated there represents the ELCA, and every person affiliated with it. If I were you I would not be so cavalier about it.

It most certainly *does* represent the official teaching, opinions and positions of the ELCA.

Seem to me you would do better to direct your ire toward the ELCA and its public statements on its web site than try to find fault with people who quote it.

(1) I don't believe I said it was "just a web site."
(2) The ELCA is not like the LCMS or the Vatican. Every page on the web site does not go through 164 different reviews.
(3) I have no ire. I barely have an IRA.
(4) James, who is an eminently reasonable layman, an attorney, and affiliated with the NALC, seems to get the point rather clearly. Why you don't is beyond me.

Well, no, that's not quite true. It isn't beyond me at all. I get it quite clearly.
The logic of your argument, Paul, forgive me, but it is bearing an unsettling resemblance to the pre-time out Paul McCain.

So, why won't you just direct everyone to where the official statements can be found by posting a link? Are the the ELCA's official statements of belief not on the web anywhere?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Marshall_Hahn on October 22, 2010, 07:45:18 PM
Perhaps you should contact the ELCA webmaster and inform him/her of the problems the web site is causing you as an ELCA pastor.

There are one heck of a lot of things causing me more problems as an ELCA pastor than stupid things on the ELCA web site.

The simple truth is that a "web site," no matter who is managing it, does not represent the official teaching, opinion, or position of the ELCA. The web site quotations from which started this website does everyone a disservice by citing unofficial and inaccurate things on the ELCA website.

Are there differences in doctrine between the two church bodies? Probably so. But if someone wanted to do a fair analysis, they would compare apples to apples.

I appreciate that the statements on the website do not have the same authority as "social statements" and the like, but what is being compared here are the statements on the website of the ELCA with comparable statements on the website of the LCMS.  Is this not "apples to apples"?  As to the explanation that the ELCA is a much more diverse body than the LCMS, with a wider range of opinions on these topics, my question is, if that is so, then where is that diversity of opinion on this website?  In other words, where on this "What We Believe" portion of the website can one find orthodox theological teaching expressed?

Marshall Hahn   
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 22, 2010, 08:07:13 PM
Excellent questions.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 22, 2010, 08:12:18 PM
So, why won't you just direct everyone to where the official statements can be found by posting a link? Are the the ELCA's official statements of belief not on the web anywhere?

Sorry, George, I have a day job. I can't drop everything to do your research for you.

Here: http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx (http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx)
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 22, 2010, 08:12:29 PM
Explain to me how getting first hand information about the ELCA is dangerous and why getting biased information from ELCA opponents is better.

But Charles, isn't it all about interpretation with you?

It's always about interpretation with everyone. We're honest about it. As soon as anyone says or even think, "This means …" they are interpreting. It's true with scriptures or any other statements.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 22, 2010, 08:19:01 PM
Some believe this, and some believe that.  Big tent....

And our confession of faith states what the ELCA believes. Every synod and congregation is to agree with our confession of faith as it is part of their constitutions. Outside of that confession, there can be a lot of diversity, but isn't any diversity with our core confession of faith.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 22, 2010, 08:21:33 PM
Are the things posted on the ELCA's website under the title "What We Believe" not what the ELCA believes? Since when can we not trust that the information contained on the ELCA's website that purports to be "What We Believe" has not been "approved by a churchwide, synodical, or congregational body"? Doesn't the fact that it's published by the ELCA imply that it's "approved"?

No. Except for official announcements in The Lutheran, I don't think anything else in the magazine is "approved" by the ELCA. Even you could write an article and perhaps have it published. My hunch is that the same editorial license is given to those creating the web pages.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 22, 2010, 08:25:08 PM
The ELCA's web site is the ELCA's public face to the world. What is posted there represents the ELCA. You may say it is not accurate, it is an error, it is wrong, but the fact is that it is posted there, and until, and unless, it is changed, it does, de facto, represent the ELCA publicly.

Why you don't, can't, or refuse, to get this point, is what is escaping me.

The witness everyone of us make is less than perfect. We live with that and trust God to make good use of it anyway.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Lutheranistic on October 22, 2010, 08:32:02 PM
Mr. Gale had it right way back upstream. The referred "chart" probably should have said, "Here are the official LCMS teachings and here is what the ELCA has posted on its website under the heading "What we Believe".

That said, though, if it's on the ELCA.org website under the heading "What we Believe", one would hope that more editorial supervision is involved than would be the case in evaluating a freelance submission from George. Or me.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: pbnorth3 on October 22, 2010, 09:09:48 PM
So, why won't you just direct everyone to where the official statements can be found by posting a link? Are the the ELCA's official statements of belief not on the web anywhere?

Sorry, George, I have a day job. I can't drop everything to do your research for you.

Here: http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx (http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx)

Which is essentially where the links on the Gnesio website send a person.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Team Hesse on October 22, 2010, 09:20:24 PM

Does anyone even know who the Gnesio folks are?

I believe the site is run by Pastor Donavon Riley and Pastor Tyler Andor.  Donavon was one of the last graduate assistants of Gerhard Forde and is now a pastor in the LCMS.  Tyler is an LCMC pastor.  Both men are graduates of Luther Seminary.  I think we could safely say they are Fordians.  My personal guess is that most of the postings come from my good friend Donavon; he is a very smart and driven man. 
Lou
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: pbnorth3 on October 22, 2010, 10:01:27 PM
The ELCA's web site is the ELCA's public face to the world. What is posted there represents the ELCA. You may say it is not accurate, it is an error, it is wrong, but the fact is that it is posted there, and until, and unless, it is changed, it does, de facto, represent the ELCA publicly.

Why you don't, can't, or refuse, to get this point, is what is escaping me.


It is strange indeed that this point isn't getting through. There are reasons I believe that this isn't getting through, but discussing them would only set off fireworks. Let me just say, denial is not a river in Egypt.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 22, 2010, 10:05:25 PM
So the site is run by people with a natural hostility to what the ELCA is. Fine.It's a free country.
Meanwhile, how about evaluating and learning about the ELCA through study of the real documents, as Pastor Johnson suggested. That is the starting point for serious scholarly evaluation.
Or....
how about some contact with real ELCA pastors: Pastor Johnson, Pastor Tibbetts, Pastor Wolf, Pastor Stoffregen, and this humble correspondent? We are all active, in-good-status, loyal functioning members of the ELCA, ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament and with years of experience doing so. Some of us have been on synodical committees, national committees and have been voting members at assemblies, both synodical and national. Some of us have worked for those awful people in Chicago or know them well. We have been sharing ourselves on this forum for years; so I don't see the need to recommend going to some website run by hostile partisans.
There may be a couple of other ELCA'ers around here too; but I know of two or three who quit this forum because they were disgusted by the antics of some frequent posters.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: swbohler on October 22, 2010, 10:14:56 PM
"The logic of your argument, Paul, forgive me, but it is bearing an unsettling resemblance to the pre-time out Paul McCain." -- Rev. Johnson, moderator


A veiled threat?  Or simple observation (or maybe, an Austinian "interpretation")?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Michael Slusser on October 22, 2010, 10:23:18 PM
Let me just say, denial is not a river in Egypt.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

It's a dyslexic mountain in Alaska!  :D

Peace,
Michaeil
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 22, 2010, 10:27:25 PM
OK, if one wanted to comment on, or even find out what the ELCA believes, teaches, and confesses, one should go not to what the ELCA says on its web site as "What We Believe" but to the official doctrinal standards in the constitution.  Correct so far?  And even that may not be definitive because everyone has their own interpretation and who is to say which interpretation is "correct" and which is not (or even if it is useful to talk about a correct or incorrect interepretation).  May one ask how closely the pastors, congregations and institutions of the ELCA are expected to conform to the official doctrinal statements of the ELCA?

Dan
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 22, 2010, 10:42:17 PM
So, why won't you just direct everyone to where the official statements can be found by posting a link? Are the the ELCA's official statements of belief not on the web anywhere?

Sorry, George, I have a day job. I can't drop everything to do your research for you.

Here: http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx (http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx)

It appears you did have time to mock me by posting the same links that I copied from the Gnesio website.

Remember this post? Notice the similarities?

These are the links included in that "biased source". Could you please tell us which ones are to websites that are not either "the ELCA's own description of itself" or the website of an ELCA congregation?

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Bible.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Holy- Trinity.aspx

http://www2.elca.org/questions/Results.asp?recid=58

http://www.herchurch.org/

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Holy- Spirit.aspx

http://www2.elca.org/questions/Results.asp?recid=4

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Salvation.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The- Resurrection.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Virgin-Birth.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Satan.aspx

https://www.elcabop.org/Home/UnderstandMyBenefits/Health/ELCAPrimary/HospMed/~/

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Homosexuality-and-the- ELCA.aspx


I expect rude snarkiness like that from Austin or Stoffregen. I don't expect it from one of the moderators.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 22, 2010, 10:49:22 PM
So the site is run by people with a natural hostility to what the ELCA is. Fine.It's a free country.

Regardless of who runs the site, it copied material from the ELCA website and attributed it, including posting links (something that you don't seem to be capable of). And based on what Pastor Johnson posted as the link to the "official" information, it's the same basic webpage. Granted, the page is subdivided into "chapters", one page per chapter. The only difference is that Pastor Johnson posted a link to the general statement of overall core belief, while the pages on the details are other "chapters" in the same basic webpage.

So, it's probably time for you to accuse me of "trolling", or to say "whatever", since all you can do is kvetch but can't actually provide any information yourself.

how about some contact with real ELCA pastors: Pastor Johnson, Pastor Tibbetts, Pastor Wolf, Pastor Stoffregen, and this humble correspondent?

I won't speak for the others, but you haven't given a clear, accurate answer to any questions of that type for as long as I've been a participant in here. Asking you anything is a royal waste of time.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: pbnorth3 on October 22, 2010, 11:59:07 PM
Let me just say, denial is not a river in Egypt.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

It's a dyslexic mountain in Alaska!  :D

Peace,
Michaeil

Hey I've been there. That is a great looking range.  ;)

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 23, 2010, 12:28:48 AM
"The logic of your argument, Paul, forgive me, but it is bearing an unsettling resemblance to the pre-time out Paul McCain." -- Rev. Johnson, moderator


A veiled threat?  Or simple observation (or maybe, an Austinian "interpretation")?

Or perhaps a cautionary word to a Christian brother who has previously admitted, quite honorably, that his "time out" had caused him to reflect on and consequently try to change his previous attitude.

But I suppose interpreting it that way would require you to exercise the 8th commandment.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 23, 2010, 12:31:21 AM
So, why won't you just direct everyone to where the official statements can be found by posting a link? Are the the ELCA's official statements of belief not on the web anywhere?

Sorry, George, I have a day job. I can't drop everything to do your research for you.

Here: http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx (http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx)

It appears you did have time to mock me by posting the same links that I copied from the Gnesio website.

Remember this post? Notice the similarities?

These are the links included in that "biased source". Could you please tell us which ones are to websites that are not either "the ELCA's own description of itself" or the website of an ELCA congregation?

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Bible.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Holy- Trinity.aspx

http://www2.elca.org/questions/Results.asp?recid=58

http://www.herchurch.org/

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Holy- Spirit.aspx

http://www2.elca.org/questions/Results.asp?recid=4

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Salvation.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The- Resurrection.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Virgin-Birth.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Satan.aspx

https://www.elcabop.org/Home/UnderstandMyBenefits/Health/ELCAPrimary/HospMed/~/

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Homosexuality-and-the- ELCA.aspx


I expect rude snarkiness like that from Austin or Stoffregen. I don't expect it from one of the moderators.


Actually, notice the difference? The one I cited actually quotes official ELCA documents.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 23, 2010, 01:01:39 AM
Actually, notice the difference? The one I cited actually quotes official ELCA documents.

No, what I noticed that the "official" documents you referred to didn't address the detail issues that were covered on the other "chapter" webpages in the overall page. As I noted in a reply to Austin, "The only difference is that Pastor Johnson posted a link to the general statement of overall core belief, while the pages on the details are other "chapters" in the same basic webpage." 

So, I'm find myself at the same "damned if I do and damned if I don't" place I'm often in. If I write too little, I'm misunderstood. If I write enough to be through, then others kvetch over my posts being too long.

So, to return to the original Gneiso comparison, they compared several different subject areas. They were:

The Bible
Trinity
Holy Spirit
Creation
Justification
The Resurrection of Jesus
The Virgin Birth of Jesus
The Devil
Church Fellowship
Abortion
Homosexuality
Women’s Ordination

The page you linked to with the "official" documents didn't address some of those points. So, where can we find the official documents that do? Even the issues that they do address are pithy little telegrams that conceal as much as they reveal. Each statement begs the question, "What does this mean?". The statements that Genios quoted are the ELCA's answers to those "What does this mean" questions.

I'm not asking you to do my research for me. I am content to accept what the ELCA publishes on their own website as accurate. That's the ELCA's public witness to the world, posted on the World Wide Web. Frankly, if they post inaccurate information about matters of faith like the topic presented in the comparison, that could be seen as an even bigger problem than some of their other issues.

Or, we could look at it another way, and presume that if that brief little summary is all that the ELCA really teaches, and there is no need for depth or detail or asking "What does this mean", then whatever each individual person interprets those statements as meaning is just as good as what any other person interprets. Since that brief little "Statement of Faith", though official, doesn't mention women's ordination, homosexuality, abortion, the devil, church fellowship, or justification, then that means the ELCA has no "official" teachings on those subjects, right?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 23, 2010, 01:54:00 AM
Let me just say, denial is not a river in Egypt.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

It's a dyslexic mountain in Alaska!  :D

Peace,
Michaeil

Ah, thank you, Father.  I needed that about now!   ;)

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 23, 2010, 01:56:45 AM
And based on what Pastor Johnson posted as the link to the "official" information, it's the same basic webpage.

That's like saying Mercury and Mars are the same basic planet.

spt+
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: swbohler on October 23, 2010, 07:55:57 AM
"The logic of your argument, Paul, forgive me, but it is bearing an unsettling resemblance to the pre-time out Paul McCain." -- Rev. Johnson, moderator


Bohler: "A veiled threat?  Or simple observation (or maybe, an Austinian 'interpretation')?"


Johnson: "Or perhaps a cautionary word to a Christian brother who has previously admitted, quite honorably, that his 'time out' had caused him to reflect on and consequently try to change his previous attitude.

But I suppose interpreting it that way would require you to exercise the 8th commandment."
______________________________

That street runs both ways, brother. 
 
 
 
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 07:56:43 AM
Perhaps, without intending to, the Gnesio folks have underscored the true problem facing the ELCA.

The ELCA constitution refers to historic Scripture, creeds and confessions and says this is what the ELCA believes.

But, in reality, as sadly demonstrated on the ELCA web site, the very things said to be believed, are subject to severe doubt, distortion, contradiction and even outright denial, in the institutions and leadership structure of the ELCA, as evidenced by the ELCA's official web site posting statements of faith that are diametrically opposed, at many points, to the historic doctrinal standards mentioned in the ELCA constitution. We are all aware of how extensively such things have been taught, for a very long time, to up and coming ELCA pastors throughout the ELCA's seminaries.

Therefore, if we grant Richard's point—and upon further reflection, I'm more than willing to do that—that the Gnesio folks are not quoting from "official" statements of the ELCA, we have an even ore disturbing reality to deal with, in any number of ways, documented for all to see on the ELCA web site.


Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.


Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 23, 2010, 08:07:32 AM
Mr. Erdner wrote, (when I suggested that there are plenty of ELCA pastors here who can provide honest, first-hand faithful information about what the ELCA is):
I won't speak for the others, but you haven't given a clear, accurate answer to any questions of that type for as long as I've been a participant in here. Asking you anything is a royal waste of time.

I respond:
The answers have been provided. You just don't like them and refuse to believe them. So leave me out of the loop. Ask those questions to all the other ELCA pastors here. Ask in the same tone and with the same level of decency that you use when you pose those questions to me and see what happens. Respond in your usual way, a way that seems to irritate even those who might agree with you on some points. You have already barked at our moderator for his reasoned response, so I think I know what will happen.
Done. Headed off to watch my granddaughter play hockey.

Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: kls on October 23, 2010, 08:40:08 AM
Or perhaps a cautionary word to a Christian brother who has previously admitted, quite honorably, that his "time out" had caused him to reflect on and consequently try to change his previous attitude.

But I suppose interpreting it that way would require you to exercise the 8th commandment.

Where exactly would one find the official rules as to what language/behavior warrants getting a time-out on this site?  I am still new, admittedly, but there is quite a bit of noticeable leniency applied to some and not others in this regard (and implied threats made).   It would be nice to see the "lesser ban" applied more consistently to ALL who misbehave according to what I perceive at the moment (until I'm more adequately informed) as arbitrary rules.  Just in case I want to get a little crazy and start upping the rhetoric I use a little (the Deaconess behaving badly, if you will), it would be nice to know what those limits are.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Matt on October 23, 2010, 09:12:01 AM
I don't envy the position of moderator.

The general rule in these type of things is that the moderator rules as czar within his domain. If he is too restrictive or biased than the discussion will migrate to a different forum with a different moderator. The job is, by its nature, arbitrary.

I don't know whether Pr. McCain's timeout was well-deserved or not, but I think he is one of the most informed and insightful contributors here. His exile made the ALPB boards a poorer place. On the other side, there are some very prolific commenters that I wish were not here. In most cases, I just don't read their posts.

So I favor moderation with a light hand, which is generally what we get here. I don't think it is possible or necessary to draw up a comprehensive list of rules.

Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: kls on October 23, 2010, 09:20:25 AM
I don't envy the position of moderator.

The general rule in these type of things is that the moderator rules as czar within his domain. If he is too restrictive or biased than the discussion will migrate to a different forum with a different moderator. The job is, by its nature, arbitrary.

I don't know whether Pr. McCain's timeout was well-deserved or not, but I think he is one of the most informed and insightful contributors here. His exile made the ALPB boards a poorer place. On the other side, there are some very prolific commenters that I wish were not here. In most cases, I just don't read their posts.

So I favor moderation with a light hand, which is generally what we get here. I don't think it is possible or necessary to draw up a comprehensive list of rules.



So poster beware, I suppose.  What is good for one might not be good for another.  Got it.  I surely don't envy the task of the moderator either.  I suppose I'd better keep my behavior in check the best I can then.   ;)  I was brand new when ptmccain was put on time-out, but it sure did seem boring without him, too.  I suppose if we don't like the rules, we can just leave the forum.  Got that, too.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 23, 2010, 09:50:33 AM
And based on what Pastor Johnson posted as the link to the "official" information, it's the same basic webpage.

That's like saying Mercury and Mars are the same basic planet.

spt+

And that is a red herring worthy of Stoffregen.

Perhaps, without intending to, the Gnesio folks have underscored the true problem facing the ELCA.

The ELCA constitution refers to historic Scripture, creeds and confessions and says this is what the ELCA believes.

But, in reality, as sadly demonstrated on the ELCA web site, the very things said to be believed, are subject to severe doubt, distortion, contradiction and even outright denial, in the institutions and leadership structure of the ELCA, as evidenced by the ELCA's official web site posting statements of faith that are diametrically opposed, at many points, to the historic doctrinal standards mentioned in the ELCA constitution. We are all aware of how extensively such things have been taught, for a very long time, to up and coming ELCA pastors throughout the ELCA's seminaries.

Therefore, if we grant Richard's point—and upon further reflection, I'm more than willing to do that—that the Gnesio folks are not quoting from "official" statements of the ELCA, we have an even ore disturbing reality to deal with, in any number of ways, documented for all to see on the ELCA web site.


Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.




That bolded line is the best summary of the whole problem I've seen. The ELCA defenders make a great deal of noise about the material on the issues raised not being "official", yet they cannot point to any official source because there is none. It would appear that the ELCA just makes it up as it goes along.

And now Austin will make a churlish "Mr. Erdner said" response, but it will not include any sort of link to any official statements of the ELCA that address those points, because he can't. They apparently do not exist.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Team Hesse on October 23, 2010, 10:43:52 AM
So the site is run by people with a natural hostility to what the ELCA is. Fine.It's a free country.


Very revelatory. Two recent graduates of the ELCA's flagship seminary are considered " naturally hostile" to the parent denomination. Something is obviously askew on the good ship ELCA.

Lou
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 23, 2010, 11:51:05 AM
"The only difference is that Pastor Johnson posted a link to the general statement of overall core belief, while the pages on the details are other "chapters" in the same basic webpage." 
. . .
So, to return to the original Gneiso comparison, they compared several different subject areas. They were:

The Bible
Trinity
Holy Spirit
Creation
Justification
The Resurrection of Jesus
The Virgin Birth of Jesus
The Devil
Church Fellowship
Abortion
Homosexuality
Women’s Ordination

The page you linked to with the "official" documents didn't address some of those points. So, where can we find the official documents that do?

OK, let me try to be more helpful:

(1) There still is a very pronounced difference between the page I cited and the others; the page I cited are the actual words from the ELCA confession of faith, and as such they represent an actual and official statement.
(2) ALL the other pages are simply some Chicago functionary's expression, and they have no official status, are not binding, could not be used to accuse someone of heresy.
(3) One difference between ELCA and LCMS is that ELCA is rather minimalist when it comes to making doctrinal and theological statements. They have nothing comparable to the LCMS Commission on Theology or whatever they call it. Unfortunate, but the way it is.
(4) Part of the ELCA's heritage is the old Iowa synod, which had a philosophy of "open questions"--theological questions which, while important, are not dogmatically settled, and thus allow for different interpretations. So the ELCA does not demand doctrinal uniformity on all the issues you mention. There really is no "ELCA position."
(5) On the other hand, the "official" page I cite pledges us, after a fashion at least, to the ecumenical creeds and the Lutheran confessions. Most of the topics you mention are discussed at length there, and are the ELCA teaching. The ELCA has not found it profitable to reiterate every doctrinal teaching found in the Confessions in some denominational statement.
(6) I acknowledge that this is a "generous" interpretation, at least in the minds of some, and that for many of us the ELCA has strayed rather badly from really living up to the teachings it claims as its own.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on October 23, 2010, 12:00:17 PM
Pastor Kliner writes:
The trouble is that the "ELCA's own description of itself" may or, as likely as not, not be accurate.  Sometimes the best answer as to who somebody is does not come from themselves, but others who can answer the question from an outside perspective.  Hence why you have to provide other references when you apply for a job and I never trust anybody's "personal" ads on a dating site...
I comment:
The official documents say what they say. They are accurate.
You may have more experience with "personal ads" on a dating site than I do, but I don't see the parallel.

Pastor Kliner writes:
The funny thing is, the more ELCA parishes people get to know, the more confused people tend to get.  We have become such a broad and divergent group, it is almost impossible to get any common thread between 20-30 congregations besides generics.  Weekly celebration of the Sacrament, monthly, or even less?  "Traditional," "Contemporary," or some other variety of worship?  
I comment:
What confusion? We are diverse. Congregations are not all alike. Worship services are not lock-step uniform. What is wrong with this? Some LC-MS congregations practice closed communion, some do not. Does this alone make the LC-MS "confusing"?

Pastor Kliner writes:
Yet, no matter where the "source" comes from, you traditionally don't brook any negative critique of the ELCA...  Which all brings us back to the beginning again.
I respond:
Actually, I brook quite a lot. But I have little tolerance for silly, uninformed criticism or for the "gotcha-bombs" hurled by people like "Lutherman" or the sniping by those who have - sometimes years ago - left the ELCA in a snit.

A few points:
First, my simple point is that people, either intentionally or unintentionally, misrepresent themselves all the time.  Maybe they really "think" that they are more handsome or beautiful than they really are.  Maybe they really think that they are "humble" and "modest" when, in fact they are anything but.  So, what the ELCA says about herself is simply that.... what she says about herself.  But, as others have repeatedly noted, what she apparently thinks about herself may not, in fact be accurate.  (By the way, if you're looking for such an oppinion from within the ELCA herself, I refer you to the decision at the 2010 Synod Assembly of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod that decisively stated that the CWA 2009 decisions around homosexuality were, in fact, in opposition to the ELCA's and the Synod's consitution.  Or, in other words, what the Synod and the ELCA are "saying about themselves" is contradicted by our own actions...)

Second, if you don't think there is literal confusion about the ELCA out there, you do need to get out and talk to clergy of other denominations.  The plethora of contradicting practices and beliefs within the ELCA leaves many of us inside and a whole lot of people outside the ELCA confused about "What the ELCA really believes..."  I cited worship practices as an example, but maybe just as telling could be questions about "What the ELCA believes about Jesus in the Sacrament of Holy Communion?" or "What does the ELCA believe about salvation and damnation?" or  "What does the ELCA believe about ecumenism?"  I could go on, but I won't...

Finally, you consistentlty misunderstand... perhaps deliberatlely I wonder?... about the motivations about those who are leaving.  They are not leaving "in a snit."  This is not a "kerfuffle."  What has occurred inside the ELCA is a schism, not merely among those who have or are leaving, but also between those who hold to the orthodox faith that was handed down to us and the ELCA which is bravely pioneering a different way.

Pax Christi;
Pr.  Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 23, 2010, 12:20:36 PM
From our official Confession of Faith.

So, to return to the original Gneiso comparison, they compared several different subject areas. They were:

The Bible

2.02.c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.

2.03. This church accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life.

Quote
Trinity

2.01. This church confesses the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

2.04. This church accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this church.

Quote
Holy Spirit

2.02.c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.

2.04. This church accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this congregation.

Quote
Creation

2.04. This church accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this congregation.

2.06. This church accepts the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord, namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise, the Small Catechism, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord, as further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church.

Consider, especially, Luther's explanation to the First Article of the Creed.

Quote
Justification

2.05. This church accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.

Consider, especially, Article IV on justification -- also in the Apology.

Quote
The Resurrection of Jesus
The Virgin Birth of Jesus

2.04. This church accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this church.

Quote
The Devil
Church Fellowship
Abortion
Homosexuality
Women’s Ordination

As the earliest Christians defined the faith in the creeds without mentioning these issues, so we too, confess our Christian faith without requiring uniformity of beliefs on these and many other issues.

For a summary of what the ELCA believes:

2.07. This church confesses the Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain the Church for God's mission in the world.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 23, 2010, 12:27:05 PM
"The only difference is that Pastor Johnson posted a link to the general statement of overall core belief, while the pages on the details are other "chapters" in the same basic webpage." 
. . .
So, to return to the original Gneiso comparison, they compared several different subject areas. They were:

The Bible
Trinity
Holy Spirit
Creation
Justification
The Resurrection of Jesus
The Virgin Birth of Jesus
The Devil
Church Fellowship
Abortion
Homosexuality
Women’s Ordination

The page you linked to with the "official" documents didn't address some of those points. So, where can we find the official documents that do?

OK, let me try to be more helpful:

(1) There still is a very pronounced difference between the page I cited and the others; the page I cited are the actual words from the ELCA confession of faith, and as such they represent an actual and official statement.
(2) ALL the other pages are simply some Chicago functionary's expression, and they have no official status, are not binding, could not be used to accuse someone of heresy.
(3) One difference between ELCA and LCMS is that ELCA is rather minimalist when it comes to making doctrinal and theological statements. They have nothing comparable to the LCMS Commission on Theology or whatever they call it. Unfortunate, but the way it is.
(4) Part of the ELCA's heritage is the old Iowa synod, which had a philosophy of "open questions"--theological questions which, while important, are not dogmatically settled, and thus allow for different interpretations. So the ELCA does not demand doctrinal uniformity on all the issues you mention. There really is no "ELCA position."
(5) On the other hand, the "official" page I cite pledges us, after a fashion at least, to the ecumenical creeds and the Lutheran confessions. Most of the topics you mention are discussed at length there, and are the ELCA teaching. The ELCA has not found it profitable to reiterate every doctrinal teaching found in the Confessions in some denominational statement.
(6) I acknowledge that this is a "generous" interpretation, at least in the minds of some, and that for many of us the ELCA has strayed rather badly from really living up to the teachings it claims as its own.

But what does that mean?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 23, 2010, 12:28:24 PM
From our official Confession of Faith.

So, to return to the original Gneiso comparison, they compared several different subject areas. They were:

The Bible

2.02.c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.

2.03. This church accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life.

Quote
Trinity

2.01. This church confesses the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

2.04. This church accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this church.

Quote
Holy Spirit

2.02.c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.

2.04. This church accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this congregation.

Quote
Creation

2.04. This church accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this congregation.

2.06. This church accepts the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord, namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise, the Small Catechism, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord, as further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church.

Consider, especially, Luther's explanation to the First Article of the Creed.

Quote
Justification

2.05. This church accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.

Consider, especially, Article IV on justification -- also in the Apology.

Quote
The Resurrection of Jesus
The Virgin Birth of Jesus

2.04. This church accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this church.

Quote
The Devil
Church Fellowship
Abortion
Homosexuality
Women’s Ordination

As the earliest Christians defined the faith in the creeds without mentioning these issues, so we too, confess our Christian faith without requiring uniformity of beliefs on these and many other issues.

For a summary of what the ELCA believes:

2.07. This church confesses the Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain the Church for God's mission in the world.

But what do those pithy little snippets mean?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 23, 2010, 12:30:13 PM
From our official Confession of Faith.

So, to return to the original Gneiso comparison, they compared several different subject areas. They were:

The Bible

2.02.c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.

2.03. This church accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life.

Quote
Trinity

2.01. This church confesses the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

2.04. This church accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this church.

Quote
Holy Spirit

2.02.c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.

2.04. This church accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this congregation.

Quote
Creation

2.04. This church accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this congregation.

2.06. This church accepts the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord, namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise, the Small Catechism, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord, as further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church.

Consider, especially, Luther's explanation to the First Article of the Creed.

Quote
Justification

2.05. This church accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.

Consider, especially, Article IV on justification -- also in the Apology.

Quote
The Resurrection of Jesus
The Virgin Birth of Jesus

2.04. This church accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this church.

Quote
The Devil
Church Fellowship
Abortion
Homosexuality
Women’s Ordination

As the earliest Christians defined the faith in the creeds without mentioning these issues, so we too, confess our Christian faith without requiring uniformity of beliefs on these and many other issues.

For a summary of what the ELCA believes:

2.07. This church confesses the Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain the Church for God's mission in the world.

But what do those pithy little snippets mean?

They are the official statements of what the ELCA believes. If anyone wants to know what the ELCA believes, read them.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on October 23, 2010, 12:52:29 PM
They are the official statements of what the ELCA believes. If anyone wants to know what the ELCA believes, read them.

But, as we all know, everything is a matter of personal interpretation...  So all this stuff means...

...nothing.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 23, 2010, 12:58:13 PM
They are the official statements of what the ELCA believes. If anyone wants to know what the ELCA believes, read them.

But, as we all know, everything is a matter of personal interpretation...  So all this stuff means...

...nothing.

It also means that you and I, even with our differences, can be good, faithful members of the same church because we agree about the essential, core faith of our church.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 23, 2010, 01:09:53 PM
They are the official statements of what the ELCA believes. If anyone wants to know what the ELCA believes, read them.

But, as we all know, everything is a matter of personal interpretation...  So all this stuff means...

...nothing.

It also means that you and I, even with our differences, can be good, faithful members of the same church because we agree about the essential, core faith of our church.

This is about attempting to compare what the ELCA teaches with what the LC-MS teaches. Where is the official ELCA statement that says everyone can make up their own religious teachings to suit their fancy whenever and wherever they choose? Please provide a link to that official statement so that we can all see that it is an official position of the ELCA, and not some crap you invented on your own.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on October 23, 2010, 01:13:01 PM
They are the official statements of what the ELCA believes. If anyone wants to know what the ELCA believes, read them.

But, as we all know, everything is a matter of personal interpretation...  So all this stuff means...

...nothing.

It also means that you and I, even with our differences, can be good, faithful members of the same church because we agree about the essential, core faith of our church.

My god.  We really need a "head shaking" emoticon in this forum. 

Or maybe a "wretching" emoticon.  Either one could apply right now. :-p

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Question for Richard Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 01:15:24 PM
Richard,

I'm still trying to understand your disagreement with using the ELCA.ORG site as a way to document what the ELCA says it believes.

The Gnesio document cites both the LCMS and the ELCA web site. The quotes from the LCMS web site include a variety of things from Q/A type resources, documents, etc. The ELCA quotes use the material the ELCA itself posts under the "What We Believe" section of their web site.

Now, I understand that you do not like the fact that the ELCA posts things under the "What We Believe" section of its web site that you find objectionable, that you believe contradict "official" assertions elsewhere, but would you agree that in fact this *is* the very problem the ELCA faces?

In other words, what do you disagree with in my post from earlier this morning:

Perhaps, without intending to, the Gnesio folks have underscored the true problem facing the ELCA.

The ELCA constitution refers to historic Scripture, creeds and confessions and says this is what the ELCA believes.

But, in reality, as sadly demonstrated on the ELCA web site, the very things said to be believed, are subject to severe doubt, distortion, contradiction and even outright denial, in the institutions and leadership structure of the ELCA, as evidenced by the ELCA's official web site posting statements of faith that are diametrically opposed, at many points, to the historic doctrinal standards mentioned in the ELCA constitution. We are all aware of how extensively such things have been taught, for a very long time, to up and coming ELCA pastors throughout the ELCA's seminaries.

Therefore, if we grant Richard's point—and upon further reflection, I'm more than willing to do that—that the Gnesio folks are not quoting from "official" statements of the ELCA, we have an even ore disturbing reality to deal with, in any number of ways, documented for all to see on the ELCA web site.


Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.


Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 01:17:22 PM
It also means that you and I, even with our differences, can be good, faithful members of the same church because we agree about the essential, core faith of our church.

Throughout his voluminous quantity of posts on this forum, I have read Brian Stoffregren call into question, doubt, contort, twist and otherwise deny virtually every significant doctrinal assertion in even the most basic confessions of the ELCA: the creeds.

Therefore, I have no idea, nor do I believe it would ever be possible to know, what he means when he refers to the "core faith of our church." Sadly, for Brian, I'm not sure he even knows.

This is, again, an example of the profound problems in the ELCA from the standpoint of its core confession. There is one thing stated on paper, but it is subject to death from a thousand cuts by pastors such as Brian S.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 23, 2010, 01:24:44 PM
It also means that you and I, even with our differences, can be good, faithful members of the same church because we agree about the essential, core faith of our church.

I have read Brian Stoffregren, in his voluminous postings on this board, call into question, doubt, contort, twist and otherwise deny virtually every significant doctrinal assertion in even the most basic confessions of the ELCA: the creeds.

Like what? I have stated that I do not believe that scriptures prohibit same-gender unions; but homosexuality and same-gender relationships are not articles in the creeds. I have affirmed the resurrection of Christ and the virginal conception and the creation of heaven and earth by God. So, what specifically are you referring to?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 23, 2010, 01:44:17 PM
ptmccain writes:
Throughout his voluminous quantity of posts on this forum, I have read Brian Stoffregren call into question, doubt, contort, twist and otherwise deny virtually every significant doctrinal assertion in even the most basic confessions of the ELCA: the creeds.
I comment:
This is, of course, wrong, judgmental and so deep an error as to rattle the earth's core. Because for such a statement to be true, one has to accept - in total and without the tiniest reservation - ptmccain's view of the world, theology and the church.
It's as if one complains that the French "incorrectly" spell "castle" "c-h-a-t-e-a-u" and denounce them for it.
I'll run the risk of saying it again: While I do not agree with everything Pastor Stoffregen posts, he has frequently declared his belief in things that he is accused of denying. And, in over 40 years of seminary studies, workshops, pastors' meetings, synodical conventions, congregation Bible studies, Lutheran World Federation conferences and barroom conversations with pastors, it is Pastor Stoffregen's approach to scriptures and methods of exegesis that I have encountered in ULCA, LCA, and ELCA settings; not the approach of ptmccain or his cohorts on this discussion board.
And I marvel at the obsession that ptmccain has about the errors he perceives in the ELCA, when - from what I read here - the LC-MS has its own problems that might need his attention.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: kls on October 23, 2010, 01:50:39 PM
Mr. Erdner writes:
OK, Smart ***, does this ...

I note:
Another example of the level of discussion fostered by some frequent posters here.
And Pr. Stoffregan quickly followed up with this:
Better than being a dumb sh*t.

Yes, lurkers on the fence, wouldn't you want to visit THEIR churches tomorrow?  Seriously, I'm no moderator, but might you both try to act like the mature men in Christ that you profess to be?  This is EXACTLY what I was referring to in my post above about the lack of consistency on the part of the moderators.  You're both making ptmccain look like an angel right now.   ;D  Nice job!
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 23, 2010, 01:53:23 PM
Charles, will you please give the rest of us just a little credit. Brian says he believes in the inspiration of Scripture, but he also says he believes the Scriptures are like his own sermons. The same goes for al his affirmations of various beliefs--words without meaning. The reason theologians are fleeing the ELCA in droves is because Brian's take is indeed the reigning view in the ELCA but not in the history of Lutheranism. He is free to post here, as are those who disagree with him, but let's elevate the discussion just a tad. I've deleted a bunch of posts on this thread.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 01:58:44 PM
You're both making ptmccain look like an angel right now.   ;D  Nice job!

Oh, dear Deaconess, my heart is filled with joy to be so described, I hasten now to report the same to my spiritual directoress, The Bishop of All Pinkness Herself, Her Eminence, Barbie.

Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: kls on October 23, 2010, 02:07:40 PM
You're both making ptmccain look like an angel right now.   ;D  Nice job!
Oh, dear Deaconess, my heart is filled with joy to be so described, I hasten now to report the same to my spiritual directoress, The Bishop of All Pinkness Herself, Her Eminence, Barbie.

I'll send you some pink angel wings to go along with your Bishop Barbie costume.  Oooops, wrong thread.   ;D ;D
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 23, 2010, 03:04:54 PM
Mr. Erdner writes:
OK, Smart ***, does this ...

I note:
Another example of the level of discussion fostered by some frequent posters here.
And Pr. Stoffregan quickly followed up with this:
Better than being a dumb sh*t.

Yes, lurkers on the fence, wouldn't you want to visit THEIR churches tomorrow?  Seriously, I'm no moderator, but might you both try to act like the mature men in Christ that you profess to be?  This is EXACTLY what I was referring to in my post above about the lack of consistency on the part of the moderators.  You're both making ptmccain look like an angel right now.   ;D  Nice job!

Everyone has a limit to how far they can be pushed without pushing back. Perhaps that's a difference between the ELCA and the LC-MS. One might think people in the LC-MS don't have a "breaking point" that when they are pushed beyond it, they break.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: pbnorth3 on October 23, 2010, 03:56:49 PM
You're both making ptmccain look like an angel right now.   ;D  Nice job!

Oh, dear Deaconess, my heart is filled with joy to be so described, I hasten now to report the same to my spiritual directoress, The Bishop of All Pinkness Herself, Her Eminence, Barbie.



Yeah well I'm still torked off, because you with your close relationship with Her Pinkness haven't gotten her to approve Sponge Bob as her assistant. You should be whipped with a lazagna noodle! :D

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: kls on October 23, 2010, 04:03:07 PM
Everyone has a limit to how far they can be pushed without pushing back. Perhaps that's a difference between the ELCA and the LC-MS. One might think people in the LC-MS don't have a "breaking point" that when they are pushed beyond it, they break.

Now you know better than anyone what sinners we are in the LCMS.  We pride ourselves on being able to admit that fact, otherwise why the need for a loving savior?  We break as much as the next person, but it is helpful to remember how much good a kind word can do over of a harsh one (Proverbs 15:1 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%2015:1&version=ESV)).  Mom will quit lecturing now . . .
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 23, 2010, 04:59:23 PM

This is, of course, wrong, judgmental and so deep an error as to rattle the earth's core.


That's giving WAY too much importance to Pr. McCain!   ;D
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: LutherMan on October 23, 2010, 05:05:45 PM

This is, of course, wrong, judgmental and so deep an error as to rattle the earth's core.


That's giving WAY too much importance to Pr. McCain!   ;D

In most LC-MS circles, Pr. McCain is HUGELY important, respected and deserving of praise.  He brought CPH back to orthodoxy and increased the profit margin.  CPH is giving Synod extra dollars she didn't always have.  
I don't have enogh $$$$$$$ to spend at CPH at the rate they are churning out good stuff since he took the interim helm.
Thanks, good buddy! :)
Title: Re: Question for Richard Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally
Post by: James_Gale on October 23, 2010, 05:49:37 PM
I'm still trying to understand your disagreement with using the ELCA.ORG site as a way to document what the ELCA says it believes.

I wouldn't presume to speak for Pr. Johnson.  But let me try to respond again to your question.  

It is wrong for the "primer" to characterize the materials it cites as ELCA beliefs because that's not what they are.  The ELCA's doctrinal commitments are set out in the ELCA constitution and in other documents enacted by authorized bodies within the ELCA.  The functionaries who drafted the cited materials most assuredly are not such "authorized bodies."

Your response has been that the ELCA is responsible for the content on its web site.  That's true.  However, it does not follow from this that everything posted on the web site is an official teaching of the ELCA or is consistent with the ELCA's official teachings.  Those who control the web site -- either intentionally or through negligence -- have posted material that is not consistent with the ELCA's constitution.  The ELCA ideally should call to account those in charge of the web site.  Will they?  That brings me to this, which you posted earlier today:

But, in reality, as sadly demonstrated on the ELCA web site, the very things said to be believed, are subject to severe doubt, distortion, contradiction and even outright denial, in the institutions and leadership structure of the ELCA, as evidenced by the ELCA's official web site posting statements of faith that are diametrically opposed, at many points, to the historic doctrinal standards mentioned in the ELCA constitution. We are all aware of how extensively such things have been taught, for a very long time, to up and coming ELCA pastors throughout the ELCA's seminaries.

This, I think, is largely correct.

Perhaps your point is that we ought not worry about the distinction between the ELCA's official statements and its practices on the ground.  After all, a departure from the orthodox faith is a grave matter whether or not it is constitutional.  Thus, you might be viewing the distinction between "official teaching" and "widespread practice" as legalistic and ultimately not very important.

If that is your point, I understand it.  But I think that it's ultimately wrong.  

Many orthodox pastors and congregations remain within the ELCA as witnesses to the orthodox faith.  By insisting on a distinction between the orthodox statement in the ELCA constitution and the contradictory private views held by many revisionists, we give the orthodox remnant a high-ground platform from which to witness to the truth within the ELCA.  Even though revisionists may now control most of the structures within the ELCA, the orthodox remnant can point to the statement of faith in the ELCA constitution -- which is founded on Scripture and the Confessions -- and can argue correctly that the revisionists are acting in opposition to that which they are obligated to support.

Through persistence, the orthodox remnant may succeed in leading some revisionists to repentance.  But even if they fail at this, they will shine a light on the inconsistency between what the ELCA's official documents say and what many ELCA leaders teach and do.  This will make clear to all that the revisionists have departed from the teaching of Scripture and the Confessions.  Indeed, the revisionists may at some point even have to admit as much.  If the faithful remnant is persistent, ELCA leaders may not be able to get away with simply saying without explanation that their innovative teachings are consistent with the doctrinal commitments stated in the ELCA constitution.  They might be forced to explain how this is so.  And because it is not so, they will fail.  For some in the pews, this could be a saving revelation.  And if the leaders persist in their revisionist ways, they may even be forced ultimately to seek to amend the constitution, which would lay bare completely the true nature of their teachings

The danger in the approach taken by the "primer" is two-fold.  First, it removes the high-ground platform from which the faithful remnant are witnessing.  If the cited material can be said to trump the ELCA constitution and to state the ELCA's official teachings, then the faithful remnant are no longer faithful according to official ELCA teachings.  Those in control could say to the remnant that the ELCA has new beliefs and that the remnant should either accept those or leave.  The second danger flows from the first.  If people inside and outside the ELCA begin to view personal, revisionist musings as official doctrine, revisionists may never be forced to explain how they believe their teachings are consistent with the ELCA constitution.  They will simply assert, without providing justification, that there is no contradiction between their novel teachings and the teachings of Scripture and the Confessions.  (You've seen that dynamic at play here.  Time and again, some on this forum have claimed that in passing HSGT, the ELCA simply was adopting a different interpretation of Scripture than that held by nearly all of Christendom across time and space.  When confronted with facts to the contrary, people taking this position back down.  But not for long.  Soon they once again are repeating their claim.  That is the dynamic confronting those who intend to continue witnessing to the truth inside the ELCA.  They must be patient and persistent in speaking the truth to those who do not want to hear or admit it.)

So what is the right approach for a "primer"?  Start with the official teachings of the ELCA.  Chronicle the departures from those teachings in all their gory detail, identifying them clearly as departures.  And note that a faithful remnant continues to fight for what remains the ELCA's constitutional commitment to the authority of Scripture and Confessions.  This would be the honest approach.  It would be the approach that best honors the unenviable role played by the faithful remnant as it continues to witness to the truth within the ELCA.  And it would force those who remain within the ELCA to acknowledge squarely that the ELCA's constitutional statement and the revisionists' teachings are not compatible.

Jim
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Mike Bennett on October 23, 2010, 06:15:20 PM
Here are some thought provoking pieces about the differences between ELCA and LCMS (and other orthodox Lutheran churches) with regards doctrine. Take a look and see what you think. The website is: http://gnesiolutheran.com/elca-lcms-2/

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

What I think is that whomever writes the crap on the ELCA website probably flunked confirmation.
And whoever compares "something from the ELCA website" to official statements of the LCMS is doing everyone a disservice.

It is quite true that it is garbage. The problem is that the person writing this stuff on the website is writing it with the authority of the National Office. Indeed one of the people writing this garbage is a former bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod. So it is garbage, but it is also official garbage. It cannot be that those in charge no NOTHING about what is on the website. So you cannot pass this off as some "nut" who is writing unbeknownst to the ELCA brass.

So yes, it is official on an official website. Therefore it is open to being compared "officially" with the LCMS statements.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

The "Dig Deeper" site at elca.org includes the following conspicuous note:

About Dig Deeper
Dig Deeper pages invite fresh explorations of Christian faith for people new or returning to church life.

These articles express the viewpoints of the individual writers; they do not constitute the ELCA’s official Confession of Faith.

These pages are being reviewed. Send suggestions, improvements and new topics for Dig Deeper to info@elca.org.


Why those in charge of the elca web pages would choose to post stuff that does not represent the official Confession of Faith, I have no idea.  But that's what it is. 

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 06:39:52 PM
That's giving WAY too much importance to Pr. McCain!   ;D

I'm glad Charles finally does realize how powerful I am!

 ;D
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Marshall_Hahn on October 23, 2010, 07:27:45 PM

The "Dig Deeper" site at elca.org includes the following conspicuous note:

About Dig Deeper
Dig Deeper pages invite fresh explorations of Christian faith for people new or returning to church life.

These articles express the viewpoints of the individual writers; they do not constitute the ELCA’s official Confession of Faith.

These pages are being reviewed. Send suggestions, improvements and new topics for Dig Deeper to info@elca.org.


Why those in charge of the elca web pages would choose to post stuff that does not represent the official Confession of Faith, I have no idea.  But that's what it is. 

Mike Bennett


I have an idea.  It is because they are not concerned that it does not represent the official Confession of Faith and they do not care.  That is the impression I have received from the responses I have received to the charge that the Human Sexuality Statement violates the ELCA Confession of Faith.

Marshall Hahn
Title: Re: Question for Richard Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally
Post by: totaliter vivens on October 23, 2010, 09:41:58 PM
I'm still trying to understand your disagreement with using the ELCA.ORG site as a way to document what the ELCA says it believes.

I wouldn't presume to speak for Pr. Johnson.  But let me try to respond again to your question.  

It is wrong for the "primer" to characterize the materials it cites as ELCA beliefs because that's not what they are.  The ELCA's doctrinal commitments are set out in the ELCA constitution and in other documents enacted by authorized bodies within the ELCA.  The functionaries who drafted the cited materials most assuredly are not such "authorized bodies."

Your response has been that the ELCA is responsible for the content on its web site.  That's true.  However, it does not follow from this that everything posted on the web site is an official teaching of the ELCA or is consistent with the ELCA's official teachings.  Those who control the web site -- either intentionally or through negligence -- have posted material that is not consistent with the ELCA's constitution.  The ELCA ideally should call to account those in charge of the web site.  Will they?  That brings me to this, which you posted earlier today:

But, in reality, as sadly demonstrated on the ELCA web site, the very things said to be believed, are subject to severe doubt, distortion, contradiction and even outright denial, in the institutions and leadership structure of the ELCA, as evidenced by the ELCA's official web site posting statements of faith that are diametrically opposed, at many points, to the historic doctrinal standards mentioned in the ELCA constitution. We are all aware of how extensively such things have been taught, for a very long time, to up and coming ELCA pastors throughout the ELCA's seminaries.

This, I think, is largely correct.

Perhaps your point is that we ought not worry about the distinction between the ELCA's official statements and its practices on the ground.  After all, a departure from the orthodox faith is a grave matter whether or not it is constitutional.  Thus, you might be viewing the distinction between "official teaching" and "widespread practice" as legalistic and ultimately not very important.

If that is your point, I understand it.  But I think that it's ultimately wrong.  

Many orthodox pastors and congregations remain within the ELCA as witnesses to the orthodox faith.  By insisting on a distinction between the orthodox statement in the ELCA constitution and the contradictory private views held by many revisionists, we give the orthodox remnant a high-ground platform from which to witness to the truth within the ELCA.  Even though revisionists may now control most of the structures within the ELCA, the orthodox remnant can point to the statement of faith in the ELCA constitution -- which is founded on Scripture and the Confessions -- and can argue correctly that the revisionists are acting in opposition to that which they are obligated to support.

Through persistence, the orthodox remnant may succeed in leading some revisionists to repentance.  But even if they fail at this, they will shine a light on the inconsistency between what the ELCA's official documents say and what many ELCA leaders teach and do.  This will make clear to all that the revisionists have departed from the teaching of Scripture and the Confessions.  Indeed, the revisionists may at some point even have to admit as much.  If the faithful remnant is persistent, ELCA leaders may not be able to get away with simply saying without explanation that their innovative teachings are consistent with the doctrinal commitments stated in the ELCA constitution.  They might be forced to explain how this is so.  And because it is not so, they will fail.  For some in the pews, this could be a saving revelation.  And if the leaders persist in their revisionist ways, they may even be forced ultimately to seek to amend the constitution, which would lay bare completely the true nature of their teachings

The danger in the approach taken by the "primer" is two-fold.  First, it removes the high-ground platform from which the faithful remnant are witnessing.  If the cited material can be said to trump the ELCA constitution and to state the ELCA's official teachings, then the faithful remnant are no longer faithful according to official ELCA teachings.  Those in control could say to the remnant that the ELCA has new beliefs and that the remnant should either accept those or leave.  The second danger flows from the first.  If people inside and outside the ELCA begin to view personal, revisionist musings as official doctrine, revisionists may never be forced to explain how they believe their teachings are consistent with the ELCA constitution.  They will simply assert, without providing justification, that there is no contradiction between their novel teachings and the teachings of Scripture and the Confessions.  (You've seen that dynamic at play here.  Time and again, some on this forum have claimed that in passing HSGT, the ELCA simply was adopting a different interpretation of Scripture than that held by nearly all of Christendom across time and space.  When confronted with facts to the contrary, people taking this position back down.  But not for long.  Soon they once again are repeating their claim.  That is the dynamic confronting those who intend to continue witnessing to the truth inside the ELCA.  They must be patient and persistent in speaking the truth to those who do not want to hear or admit it.)

So what is the right approach for a "primer"?  Start with the official teachings of the ELCA.  Chronicle the departures from those teachings in all their gory detail, identifying them clearly as departures.  And note that a faithful remnant continues to fight for what remains the ELCA's constitutional commitment to the authority of Scripture and Confessions.  This would be the honest approach.  It would be the approach that best honors the unenviable role played by the faithful remnant as it continues to witness to the truth within the ELCA.  And it would force those who remain within the ELCA to acknowledge squarely that the ELCA's constitutional statement and the revisionists' teachings are not compatible.

Jim



James:

I think you have written a remarkably apt, concise, and indeed hopeful analysis of the situation regarding theological discourse in the ECLA in all manner of areas. What I most admire in your statement is the way you point to the true and essential functions of Scripture in the Church namely to create faith, motivate repentance, and to call and shape the faithful to lives emulating Jesus Christ. I believe wholeheartedly that dialog within the ELCA, even in disagreement, grounding itself in Scripture, Creeds, and Confessions cannot help but be fruitful in time.

SPS
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 23, 2010, 10:56:50 PM
From our official Confession of Faith.

Quote
Holy Spirit

2.02.c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.


Ahh, so that's whence "God's Spirit" first replaced "the Holy Spirit" in ELCA documents: the CNLC in the mid-'80s.

kyrie eleison, spt+
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 23, 2010, 11:08:18 PM

It also means that you and I, even with our differences, can be good, faithful members of the same church because we agree about the essential, core faith of our church.

I don't want to step on my brother Jerry's toes here, Brian, but while you and I are able to use the same set of words to describe the faith of our church, you and I do not agree about the essential, core faith of our church. 

Of course, given our countless dialogues here on ALPB Forum Online, my saying so will surprise almost no one* who reads this.

Christe eleison, Steven+ 


*-Alas, I suspect that you may be among the very few who may be surprised by this.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 23, 2010, 11:16:35 PM
ptmccain writes:
Throughout his voluminous quantity of posts on this forum, I have read Brian Stoffregren call into question, doubt, contort, twist and otherwise deny virtually every significant doctrinal assertion in even the most basic confessions of the ELCA: the creeds.
I comment:
This is, of course, wrong, judgmental and so deep an error as to rattle the earth's core. Because for such a statement to be true, one has to accept - in total and without the tiniest reservation - ptmccain's view of the world, theology and the church.


I do not accept - in total and without the tiniest reservation - ptmccain's view of the world, theology and the church.

I do, however, sadly agree with his judgment about the cumulative effect of Pr. Stroffregen's thousands of posts on this forum.

kyrie eleison, Steven+
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 23, 2010, 11:33:24 PM
Then, Pastor Tibbetts, you and I have less in common in the ELCA than I had thought and I am truly sorry about that.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 12:40:16 AM
From our official Confession of Faith.

Quote
Holy Spirit

2.02.c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.


Ahh, so that's whence "God's Spirit" first replaced "the Holy Spirit" in ELCA documents: the CNLC in the mid-'80s.

2.01.   This church confesses the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Now, what were you saying?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 12:45:16 AM

It also means that you and I, even with our differences, can be good, faithful members of the same church because we agree about the essential, core faith of our church.

I don't want to step on my brother Jerry's toes here, Brian, but while you and I are able to use the same set of words to describe the faith of our church, you and I do not agree about the essential, core faith of our church. 

Then we have different essential, core faiths. I agree fully with our ELCA's confession of faith. What do you believe?
Title: Re: Question for Richard Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally
Post by: James_Gale on October 24, 2010, 12:57:05 AM
I believe wholeheartedly that dialog within the ELCA, even in disagreement, grounding itself in Scripture, Creeds, and Confessions cannot help but be fruitful in time.

Pr. Sabin --

My greatest regret is that conversation within the ELCA has not been grounded in Scripture, the Creeds, and the Confessions.  The CWA's decisions regarding sex and sexuality obviously were the catalyst for the division within the ELCA.  But this was never primarily about sex.  It was about authority and the foundation of our faith.

I don't know where we would be now if conversations about sex and sexuality had been grounded in Scripture, the Creeds, and the Confessions.  But I suspect that at the very least, we'd be better equipped to deal with the situation honestly and with integrity.

Perhaps it is not too late.

Jim
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 24, 2010, 01:00:17 AM

I don't want to step on my brother Jerry's toes here, Brian, but while you and I are able to use the same set of words to describe the faith of our church, you and I do not agree about the essential, core faith of our church.

Then we have different essential, core faiths. I agree fully with our ELCA's confession of faith. What do you believe?

<Sigh!>

spt+
Title: Re: Question for Richard Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally
Post by: totaliter vivens on October 24, 2010, 01:06:11 AM
I believe wholeheartedly that dialog within the ELCA, even in disagreement, grounding itself in Scripture, Creeds, and Confessions cannot help but be fruitful in time.

Pr. Sabin --

My greatest regret is that conversation within the ELCA has not been grounded in Scripture, the Creeds, and the Confessions.  The CWA's decisions regarding sex and sexuality obviously were the catalyst for the division within the ELCA.  But this was never primarily about sex.  It was about authority and the foundation of our faith.

I don't know where we would be now if conversations about sex and sexuality had been grounded in Scripture, the Creeds, and the Confessions.  But I suspect that at the very least, we'd be better equipped to deal with the situation honestly and with integrity.

Jim

Jim:

Again, I tend to agree with you. I have not been happy with the way the conversation has been handled. I might agree with the outcome, but to me it lacks an adequately expressed  rationale. I believe that the sexuality studies were an embarrassment of shallowness (not blaming any members of the committees here). I have a suspicion that the ELCA organization is not structured in a way that allows for serious theological debate or discernment. Yet this is not to say that improvements cannot be made nor that productive theological conversation cannot occur. There will, however, still be disagreements about how the authority of Scripture as foundation of our faith operates... but as you say the conversation may very well look and feel different.

SPS
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on October 24, 2010, 01:18:44 AM
... while you and I are able to use the same set of words to describe the faith of our church, you and I do not agree about the essential, core faith of our church.  

Then we have different essential, core faiths. I agree fully with our ELCA's confession of faith. What do you believe?

I'm made mindful of the joint circuit/conference meeting I was at a month ago, where LCMS pastors later remarked, "they say the words, but the definitions are so different. And they admit that the new definitions are not what has been used by the church throughout her history."

The words are empty Brian. We have come to know that when you say "confession of faith," it means something very strange to us, to many in the ELCA who inked those very words, to  500 year old definitions we were taught,  and the 1000+ year old fathers' writings. The authors of the document, that you cite, tell you that. You change the Gospel, but seem blind that you have done so. That is plain 1984 doublespeak. We agree with a confession of faith, that has centuries of affirmation in meaning. What do you believe? Something you made up in your head? It surely seems so.

Jim and Steven (Sabin) are right. That's the conversation that should have been had. To Steven (Tibbetts) - <Sigh!> indeed.

TV
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 24, 2010, 06:33:25 AM
And this has been the reason I have concluded that serious theological discussion with the LC-MS as that church body is currently constituted is fruitless.
We say, with all our hearts:
We believe in God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We believe that God's word is revealed in scripture.
We believe that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, crucified and rose again.
We confess with all our hearts the words of the Creeds.
And you in the LC-MS say.... We don't believe you. We declare that you do not believe what you say you believe.
That pretty much is the end of the discussion.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: swbohler on October 24, 2010, 07:04:17 AM
So why has this gone on for 8 pages (so far)?  And why do you post and post and post?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 24, 2010, 07:09:57 AM
Pastor Bohler writes (to me, I think):
So why has this gone on for 8 pages (so far)?  And why do you post and post and post?

I respond:
You know why.
1. A desire to offer more accurate information about the ELCA than is hurled around by partisans or non-ELCA critics here.
2. So as not to give the field over to people such as you and let people like you dominate the discussion.
3. Because I can.

Why do you post? It appears you have some difficulties within your own Synod or district or probably the winkel, and yet you are among those who like to slop about in the internal troubles of the ELCA.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: swbohler on October 24, 2010, 07:55:03 AM
Rev. Austin,

I don't believe I have posted anything on this thread about the ELCA; I think you would be hard pressed to find much anywhere from me (on this site or elsewhere) criticizing the ELCA.  Partly because, as you wrote, my own church body has its problems that concern me more.  And partly because (due to "people like you", to borrow a phrase) I think the ELCA is beyond hope as a Lutheran body.  But go ahead, keep flailing and failing.  Hey, maybe you can find a spelling error here to make you feel better, superior, and smarter than the rest.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 24, 2010, 08:04:27 AM
Are the musings posted on the ELCA web site in the section "What we believe" in agreement with the official, constitutional confessional statement of the ELCA, or are they at variance from how those official confessional statements and documents have been understood by Lutherans through the ages?

Which more accurately describes the faith that is believed, taught and confessed by the institutions of the ELCA?

If we use the same words but understand them differently are we confessing the same faith?

Dan
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on October 24, 2010, 09:06:20 AM
I continue the conversation because, battling definitions cannot be the last word. There needs o be genuine conversation. That means we have to move the foundation back a step and redefine what we say.

Charles, what I hear, and strive to have you and others correct is for example: a Trinitarian definition that is either plain modalism, or worse a half modal half polytheism that has a lady Holy Spirit separate from the the "others." Those are the types of expressions I hear when we say Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I hear about a Gospel of Mercy-(Eleison) as if it is anchored in fairness and justice. What we have been taught is a merciful propitiation that is anything but fair or just, but a love that supercedes what would be just. The justice is that we all deserve to be cast aside equally, not that we all have equal rights to His blessings. None of us, not one is found worthy in ourselves.

The conversation that is needed is to clear up, what you and we mean when you speak thusly, praying that there is a distinction we have not heard, and a foundation from which we can continue conversation, and reach agreement. It seems to me that since ELCA is the one who says they have a new revelation from the Holy Spirit, that "She" has shown a new thing, then ELCA is the one who must initiate and clarify what this new thing is. No? How can we be held to account what your "new thing" is?

TV

Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 10:13:06 AM
I'm made mindful of the joint circuit/conference meeting I was at a month ago, where LCMS pastors later remarked, "they say the words, but the definitions are so different. And they admit that the new definitions are not what has been used by the church throughout her history."

Give examples.

Quote
The words are empty Brian. We have come to know that when you say "confession of faith," it means something very strange to us, to many in the ELCA who inked those very words, to  500 year old definitions we were taught,  and the 1000+ year old fathers' writings.

Give examples where I am straying from traditional definitions.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 24, 2010, 10:21:05 AM
Give it up, Brian, whatever you say, they will say you don't believe it.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 10:23:17 AM
Give it up, Brian, whatever you say, they will say you don't believe it.

I can just hear them praying, "God, I think you that I don't have a faith like that Brian in Yuma …."

But they are unwilling to try and define that faith.

They also seem to have the belief that whatever I argue for, must be my belief. It isn't. It wasn't for my favorite seminary professor who stated: "You should be able to argue both sides of an issue with conviction." Even worse, I raise questions, and they assume how I must answer the questions -- and often they are wrong.

Perhaps it is a difference between having a Thinking preference -- which means, among other things, typically means standing outside the argument -- as kind of an impersonal observer and commentator. In contrast, those with a Feeling preference (about 70% of clergy) -- which means, among other things, typically being personally involved in the argument -- it becomes "about me and my beliefs".
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Mike Bennett on October 24, 2010, 12:18:34 PM
The ELCA's web site is the ELCA's public face to the world. What is posted there represents the ELCA. You may say it is not accurate, it is an error, it is wrong, but the fact is that it is posted there, and until, and unless, it is changed, it does, de facto, represent the ELCA publicly.

Why you don't, can't, or refuse, to get this point, is what is escaping me.


A conspicuous note at the "Dig Deeper" page explicitly says the writings there do not in fact represent ELCA's beliefs.  One might ask why then they are there.  But to pretend they are what they explicitly say they are not is, well, I can't say here what that is.
 
Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Mike Bennett on October 24, 2010, 12:23:32 PM
So, why won't you just direct everyone to where the official statements can be found by posting a link? Are the the ELCA's official statements of belief not on the web anywhere?

Sorry, George, I have a day job. I can't drop everything to do your research for you.

Here: http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx (http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx)

Which is essentially where the links on the Gnesio website send a person.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

Not true.  In each case the Gnesio links send one to a "Dig Deeper" sub page which has a conspicuous note saying what it is and what it is not.  Richard's link is to the official statement of beliefs.

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Mike Bennett on October 24, 2010, 12:28:16 PM
So, why won't you just direct everyone to where the official statements can be found by posting a link? Are the the ELCA's official statements of belief not on the web anywhere?

Sorry, George, I have a day job. I can't drop everything to do your research for you.

Here: http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx (http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Statements-of-Belief/ELCA-Confession-of-Faith.aspx)

It appears you did have time to mock me by posting the same links that I copied from the Gnesio website.

Remember this post? Notice the similarities?

These are the links included in that "biased source". Could you please tell us which ones are to websites that are not either "the ELCA's own description of itself" or the website of an ELCA congregation?

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Bible.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Holy- Trinity.aspx

http://www2.elca.org/questions/Results.asp?recid=58

http://www.herchurch.org/

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The-Holy- Spirit.aspx

http://www2.elca.org/questions/Results.asp?recid=4

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Salvation.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/The- Resurrection.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Virgin-Birth.aspx

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Satan.aspx

https://www.elcabop.org/Home/UnderstandMyBenefits/Health/ELCAPrimary/HospMed/~/

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Homosexuality-and-the- ELCA.aspx


I expect rude snarkiness like that from Austin or Stoffregen. I don't expect it from one of the moderators.


Copying  a link to a page and then a list of links to sub pages, each under the "Did Deeper" category, and claiming they are the same, and then making a snarky comment about the one who provided the link to the main page in response to your churlish demand is, well, exactly what would be expected of you.

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 24, 2010, 02:02:02 PM
Copying  a link to a page and then a list of links to sub pages, each under the "Did Deeper" category, and claiming they are the same, and then making a snarky comment about the one who provided the link to the main page in response to your churlish demand is, well, exactly what would be expected of you.

Mike Bennett

I claimed that they amounted to different pages in the same book. Which they are. The link to the main page with no explanation, comment, or acknowledgement of the difference between "official" beliefs that don't even address most of the points under discussion compared to pages that do address those points, was a snarky and dismissive reply. I said that before, and I still stand behind it.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2010, 03:24:01 PM
The ELCA's web site is the ELCA's public face to the world. What is posted there represents the ELCA. You may say it is not accurate, it is an error, it is wrong, but the fact is that it is posted there, and until, and unless, it is changed, it does, de facto, represent the ELCA publicly.

Why you don't, can't, or refuse, to get this point, is what is escaping me.


A conspicuous note at the "Dig Deeper" page explicitly says the writings there do not in fact represent ELCA's beliefs.  One might ask why then they are there.  But to pretend they are what they explicitly say they are not is, well, I can't say here what that is.
 
Mike Bennett

Yet the 'New or Returning to Church?' page states this:

Quote
http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church.aspx
The ELCA invites you into our community of Christian faith. Welcome, and explore.
What is Christianity?
Who is Jesus Christ? What do his teachings mean? Get the fundamentals on Christianity.
What is Lutheranism?
Find out how our Lutheran system of beliefs fits in the context of the Christian faith tradition.
How We Worship
Worship lies at the heart of how Lutherans understand ourselves together. Learn more about how we worship.
Glossary
Have a specific question? Try searching our glossary of terms and topics to gain insight on faith-based themes.
Dig Deeper
Desire a better understanding of our beliefs? Dig deeper and learn more.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: James_Gale on October 24, 2010, 03:34:56 PM
The ELCA's web site is the ELCA's public face to the world. What is posted there represents the ELCA. You may say it is not accurate, it is an error, it is wrong, but the fact is that it is posted there, and until, and unless, it is changed, it does, de facto, represent the ELCA publicly.

Why you don't, can't, or refuse, to get this point, is what is escaping me.


A conspicuous note at the "Dig Deeper" page explicitly says the writings there do not in fact represent ELCA's beliefs.  One might ask why then they are there.  But to pretend they are what they explicitly say they are not is, well, I can't say here what that is.
 
Mike Bennett

Yet the 'New or Returning to Church?' page states this:

Quote
http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church.aspx
The ELCA invites you into our community of Christian faith. Welcome, and explore.
What is Christianity?
Who is Jesus Christ? What do his teachings mean? Get the fundamentals on Christianity.
What is Lutheranism?
Find out how our Lutheran system of beliefs fits in the context of the Christian faith tradition.
How We Worship
Worship lies at the heart of how Lutherans understand ourselves together. Learn more about how we worship.
Glossary
Have a specific question? Try searching our glossary of terms and topics to gain insight on faith-based themes.
Dig Deeper
Desire a better understanding of our beliefs? Dig deeper and learn more.

And that undercuts Mike's point not one whit. 
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 24, 2010, 03:53:40 PM
The ELCA's web site is the ELCA's public face to the world. What is posted there represents the ELCA. You may say it is not accurate, it is an error, it is wrong, but the fact is that it is posted there, and until, and unless, it is changed, it does, de facto, represent the ELCA publicly.

Why you don't, can't, or refuse, to get this point, is what is escaping me.


A conspicuous note at the "Dig Deeper" page explicitly says the writings there do not in fact represent ELCA's beliefs.  One might ask why then they are there.  But to pretend they are what they explicitly say they are not is, well, I can't say here what that is.
 
Mike Bennett

Yet the 'New or Returning to Church?' page states this:

Quote
http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church.aspx
The ELCA invites you into our community of Christian faith. Welcome, and explore.
What is Christianity?
Who is Jesus Christ? What do his teachings mean? Get the fundamentals on Christianity.
What is Lutheranism?
Find out how our Lutheran system of beliefs fits in the context of the Christian faith tradition.
How We Worship
Worship lies at the heart of how Lutherans understand ourselves together. Learn more about how we worship.
Glossary
Have a specific question? Try searching our glossary of terms and topics to gain insight on faith-based themes.
Dig Deeper
Desire a better understanding of our beliefs? Dig deeper and learn more.

Exactly! The conflicting claims and disclaimers are ambiguous at best and downright confusing at worst. As with most things the ELCA publishes about their beliefs, they post two opposing statements, and leave it to the reader to pick for himself which one to believe.

Orwell's Newspeak was bad enough, trying to convince people that black is white. The ELCA's position is that black is black and that black is also white. That means that pointing to one page as being the authoritative and official position without comment or explanation is only telling half the story.

What Mike said was half of the truth. Posting the rest of the truth doesn't "undercut" Mike's point, but it completes it and brings it to total fullness.
Title: Stick a fork in this topic, it's done.
Post by: ptmccain on October 24, 2010, 04:01:23 PM
OK, I don't know about anyone/everyone else, but at this point, I'm helplessly lost and confused by the direction this topic has taken. Seems now we are talking not about the differences between the ELCA and the LCMS, but now debating the differences between the ELCA's "official" statements on the ELCA's web site, or if they are on the web site, or where they are on the web site and the statements as they are found on the "official" ELCA web site and whether, or to what extent, they can said to be indicative of what the ELCA believes.

But, seems The LCMS's official web site is a perfectly fine and useful tool to ascertain what The LCMS believes, teaches, confesses, stands for and represents as its position, to the world.

So, I guess that's a good thing.   :)

But on that that, Dear Esteemed Moderators, I suggest sticking a fork in this one, it's done.
Title: Re: Stick a fork in this topic, it's done.
Post by: George Erdner on October 24, 2010, 04:15:01 PM
But on that that, Dear Esteemed Moderators, I suggest sticking a fork in this one, it's done.

Where you anointed the official judge of when threads should be ended, just like Austin was appointed official corrector of all errors? Maybe I can get anointed as official judge of when a new thread is redundant because there's already a thread about the same topic running.

Title: Re: Stick a fork in this topic, it's done.
Post by: James_Gale on October 24, 2010, 04:53:31 PM
OK, I don't know about anyone/everyone else, but at this point, I'm helplessly lost and confused by the direction this topic has taken. Seems now we are talking not about the differences between the ELCA and the LCMS, but now debating the differences between the ELCA's "official" statements on the ELCA's web site, or if they are on the web site, or where they are on the web site and the statements as they are found on the "official" ELCA web site and whether, or to what extent, they can said to be indicative of what the ELCA believes.

But, seems The LCMS's official web site is a perfectly fine and useful tool to ascertain what The LCMS believes, teaches, confesses, stands for and represents as its position, to the world.

So, I guess that's a good thing.   :)

But on that that, Dear Esteemed Moderators, I suggest sticking a fork in this one, it's done.

I'll accept your claim that you are "lost and confused by the direction this topic has taken."  But I'm not sure how you can be.  If you read back through this thread, you'll notice that you played a key role in shaping its direction.  And you'll also notice that it was never about differences between the LCMS and ELCA.  It was always about the merits of a self-styled "primer."

I don't object to closing this thread, though.  Here's what I said at the beginning of this thread:

"What's the point of this post?  It seems to me to be just one more thread in which people can bitch about the state of the ELCA.  We've already got plenty of those."

I stand by this statement, which has proved correct.
Title: Re: Stick a fork in this topic, it's done.
Post by: ptmccain on October 24, 2010, 04:55:45 PM
Where you anointed the official judge of when threads should be ended, just like Austin was appointed official corrector of all errors? Maybe I can get anointed as official judge of when a new thread is redundant because there's already a thread about the same topic running.

George, don't be such a grump. I'm merely expressing *my opinion* that this topic is "done." If you don't think it is, that's your opinion.

Good grief.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 24, 2010, 04:57:17 PM
Mr. Gale writes (emphasis added):
I don't object to closing this thread, though.  Here's what I said at the beginning of this thread:
"What's the point of this post?  It seems to me to be just one more thread in which people can bitch about the state of the ELCA. We've already got plenty of those."
I stand by this statement, which has proved correct.

I comment:
Amen to what Mr. Gale said.
Title: Re: Stick a fork in this topic, it's done.
Post by: ptmccain on October 24, 2010, 04:58:35 PM
But I'm not sure how you can be.

I wish I was as sure as you are that I'm not sure that I am confused.  :)

Actually, it was Richard who took the thread into the direction debating the merits/demerits of using the ELCA.ORG site to figure out what the ELCA believes. But, as I said, this has now, in my opinion, devolved into a circular argument about what is and what is not, official, or where it is, or is not found, or if it even exists.

Which confuses me.

Which is why I said perhaps it is time to shut this topic down, which suggestion has George all grumpy now.

Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on October 24, 2010, 05:03:55 PM
Give it up, Brian, whatever you say, they will say you don't believe it.

and...
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen
I can just hear them praying, "God, I think you that I don't have a faith like that Brian in Yuma …."

But they are unwilling to try and define that faith.

They also seem to have the belief that whatever I argue for, must be my belief. It isn't. It wasn't for my favorite seminary professor who stated: "You should be able to argue both sides of an issue with conviction." Even worse, I raise questions, and they assume how I must answer the questions -- and often they are wrong.

Perhaps it is a difference between having a Thinking preference -- which means, among other things, typically means standing outside the argument -- as kind of an impersonal observer and commentator. In contrast, those with a Feeling preference (about 70% of clergy) -- which means, among other things, typically being personally involved in the argument -- it becomes "about me and my beliefs".

I ask...  Are these responses closer to the "Pharisee" from today's reading (Luke 18) or the "Tax Collector"?

I guess I will counter the whole MMPI thing with an observation about the cognitive distortion around "forecasting" and "mind-reading," not to mention the good practice of limiting one's comments to "I" statements.  But since Brian and Charles have already heard my prayers way out here in West-by-God-Virginia and spoken for me, I will not get too bent out of shape...  That is even though I am one of those "Feeling" types...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
 
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 24, 2010, 05:06:37 PM
Oh, not a discussion of MMPI!

 ;D

Does anyone know if the Rams played today, and if so, did they win?

I need to check on that.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 24, 2010, 05:07:50 PM
Oh, no, the Rams lost. Bummer.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2010, 05:08:51 PM
Some believe this, and some believe that.  Big tent....
This is mainly what I end up getting from ELCA.org...
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on October 24, 2010, 05:11:13 PM
Oh, not a discussion of MMPI!

 ;D

Does anyone know if the Rams played today, and if so, did they win?

I need to check on that.

Sorry...  I know I shouldn't but I just can't help myself sometimes when I see something so badly abused...

Don't worry.  A "discussion" implies some sort of on-going and equal interchange which I have not intention of trying to engage in.  I agree, for the most part, that this thread has played out.  It's too bad, because there could be real discussion to be had if we were to really explore the differences between the ELCA and the LCMS, but I agree that was not the intent of the thread nor do I (personally) think that the atmosphere is at all conducive for a real or formal exchange on the subject.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 24, 2010, 05:14:45 PM
If there is an interest in such a discussion, that is, a true discussion of the doctrinal differences between the ELCA and The LCMS, it would have to be conducted in a very disciplined and well moderated fashion, dealing with, perhaps, for example, the doctrinal points of the Augsburg Confession.

The conversation could invite back/forth on each topic of the AC, and how the doctrinal topic is taught and confessed in each church body, not merely how they are cited in official statements of faith.

But, as I said, I think such a discussion, to be helpful, would have to be heavily moderated to present the kind of silly nonsense into which virtually every discussion around here devolves, to the point where you even have people talking about NFL football game results in a topic. Which is to say, I honestly do not believe the ALPB forum is the place where it could be conducted. I think our moderators both have full time jobs elsewhere.

 ;)
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 24, 2010, 05:27:52 PM
No, the problem is that the LC-MS has - at various times and in numerous ways - officially and with great vigor declared the ELCA (and the LCA and ALC before it) as "heterodox," non-Lutheran and sometimes worse.
     So the die is cast. No "loyal" LC-MS member can begin with any other premise but that we in the ELCA are wrong and non-Lutheran. And we in the ELCA would then have to prove to you that we are not wrong, which is the wrong way to foster dialogue.
     Furthermore, it is clear in very recent discussion that the LC-MS is seriously divided within itself over what it means for them that the ELCA is "wrong." Are we talking with those who oppose all "cooperation in externals" (a curious LC-MS neologism), or not?
    And what of those "moderate" LC-MS pastors who are cooperative locally, even straying (as many do) from official synodical policies when it comes to the ELCA? Can they be in this discussion? Why would they want to be?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2010, 05:34:51 PM
No, the problem is that the LC-MS has - at various times and in numerous ways - officially and with great vigor declared the ELCA (and the LCA and ALC before it) as "heterodox," non-Lutheran and sometimes worse.
Please specify the 'sometimes worse' with citation.

And we declared that we could no longer consider the ELCA "to be an orthodox Lutheran church body" (2001 Res 3-21A).
Title: Re: Stick a fork in this topic, it's done.
Post by: George Erdner on October 24, 2010, 05:59:33 PM
But I'm not sure how you can be.

I wish I was as sure as you are that I'm not sure that I am confused.  :)

Actually, it was Richard who took the thread into the direction debating the merits/demerits of using the ELCA.ORG site to figure out what the ELCA believes. But, as I said, this has now, in my opinion, devolved into a circular argument about what is and what is not, official, or where it is, or is not found, or if it even exists.

Which confuses me.

Which is why I said perhaps it is time to shut this topic down, which suggestion has George all grumpy now.



No, the previous time when you called for shutting down a thread made me grumpy, but I didn't say anything. But since you calling for threads to be shut down seems to be turning into a habit, I thought it time to speak up.

Now, you might have instead attempted to steer the discussion back onto whatever you perceive the topic to be.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 24, 2010, 06:01:29 PM
George, you can speak up all you want and be as grumpy as you want about it. I'm not stopping you. But I'm grumpy that you always have to get so darn grumpy about everything, at every point, at each turn, at every opportunity.

But, as has been pointed out recently, you just make me look like a little angel of happiness and sweet thoughts and butterfly kisses, and here's one just for you, George: *smack*

 ;D
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 24, 2010, 06:36:44 PM
No, the problem is that the LC-MS has - at various times and in numerous ways - officially and with great vigor declared the ELCA (and the LCA and ALC before it) as "heterodox," non-Lutheran and sometimes worse.
     So the die is cast. No "loyal" LC-MS member can begin with any other premise but that we in the ELCA are wrong and non-Lutheran. And we in the ELCA would then have to prove to you that we are not wrong, which is the wrong way to foster dialogue.
     

That simply makes no sense, unless one subscribes to the nonsense that multiple contrary things can all be simultaneously correct.

The only "dialogue" that makes sense between different bodies of Christians is either to discuss what things they can do together that do not require either side to abandon beliefs it holds as being defining truths, or to discuss their differences with the understanding that each side is going to attempt to persuade the other side to change it's mind.

Given that you can't even define "Lutheran" beyond "Anyone who says he's a Lutheran is a Lutheran", which is pure poppycock, of course you're going to get in high dudgeon if someone says that because you do not conform to the definition of what a Lutheran is, that means you are not a Lutheran.

If you say that you are duck, yet you have no feathers, no bill, no webbed feet, no wings, and cannot swim, fly, or quack, then you have no reason to be offended if someone says you are not a duck. So why do you get offended if the ELCA does not conform to the definition of a Lutheran church body, but simply says that it is Lutheran?

What proof or evidence can you present, other than self-claims, that the ELCA is currently a genuine Lutheran church body?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on October 24, 2010, 06:46:14 PM
...
The words are empty Brian. We have come to know that when you say "confession of faith," it means something very strange to us, to many in the ELCA who inked those very words, to  500 year old definitions we were taught,  and the 1000+ year old fathers' writings.

Give examples where I am straying from traditional definitions.

Ok, I'll try.

Brian, can we agree that Dr. Crumley was somewhere in the neighborhood when the ELCA wrote what he references as

"There are seven paragraphs in that confession and each not only states the position of the ELCA but a truth that is also church-defining." ?

Assuming he has some familiarity with what was meant when those words were penned, and maybe you assert that he didn't, he says,

"I conclude that there is no evidence based on the text of Scripture which permits or mandates the change as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. The action rather was unconstitutional and violated a part of the Confession of Faith. "

I'm sorry if it seems I am having trouble accepting what you say the words mean, when one who - sort of knew what he was trying to say back then,-  disagrees. Take it up with the guys who wrote the statements. To say this is insanity is an understatement.

But let's try. Forget any cut and paste of other posts. You can answer plainly here. Do you believe that the action violated in part the confession statements Dr. Crumley had some hand in, "as you read those words?"

TV
Title: Re: Stick a fork in this topic, it's done.
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 24, 2010, 07:52:34 PM
But I'm not sure how you can be.

I wish I was as sure as you are that I'm not sure that I am confused.  :)

Actually, it was Richard who took the thread into the direction debating the merits/demerits of using the ELCA.ORG site to figure out what the ELCA believes. But, as I said, this has now, in my opinion, devolved into a circular argument about what is and what is not, official, or where it is, or is not found, or if it even exists.

Which confuses me.

Which is why I said perhaps it is time to shut this topic down, which suggestion has George all grumpy now.



Alternative suggestion: Stop reading and posting.
Title: Re: Stick a fork in this topic, it's done.
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2010, 08:04:30 PM
But I'm not sure how you can be.

I wish I was as sure as you are that I'm not sure that I am confused.  :)

Actually, it was Richard who took the thread into the direction debating the merits/demerits of using the ELCA.ORG site to figure out what the ELCA believes. But, as I said, this has now, in my opinion, devolved into a circular argument about what is and what is not, official, or where it is, or is not found, or if it even exists.

Which confuses me.

Which is why I said perhaps it is time to shut this topic down, which suggestion has George all grumpy now.



Alternative suggestion: Stop reading and posting.
Just curious here:
What is it about Pr. McCain and his posts that irritates you so much?  He is a much revered and beloved champion of the Lutheran Confessions and Symbols in most LCMS circles.  He even brought CPH back to classical Lutheran orthodoxy.  That is to be commended.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 08:12:57 PM
Assuming he has some familiarity with what was meant when those words were penned, and maybe you assert that he didn't, he says,

"I conclude that there is no evidence based on the text of Scripture which permits or mandates the change as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. The action rather was unconstitutional and violated a part of the Confession of Faith. "

His is one approach to scriptures. I've argued from a different perspective: there is nothing in the text of Scriptures that prohibits the changes as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. I believe that this is a more Lutheran approach, e.g., there is nothing in scriptures that mandates infant baptism, but we see nothing in scriptures that prohibits baptizing infants.

The action can only be deemed unconstitutional and a violation for those who interpret the biblical passages as prohibiting same-gender sexual behaviors under all circumstances. There are others in the ELCA -- and apparently a majority of the voting members in 2009, who understand those biblical to be silent about publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous same-gender relationships. For us with that interpretation, the action is not unconstitutional nor a violation.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2010, 08:16:22 PM
LC-MS'ers are *not* pietists.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 08:18:21 PM
I guess I will counter the whole MMPI thing

The MBTI is quite different from the MMPI. A key differences is that the MBTI is not a diagnostic tool. It doesn't seek to reveal pathologies. It indicates preferences in typical behaviors -- much like being right handed or left handed.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 08:23:49 PM
Some believe this, and some believe that.  Big tent....
This is mainly what I end up getting from ELCA.org...

To perhaps steer is slight back to topic: it seems only logical that with eight seminaries in the ELCA, (and without a central theological education committee,) we will have a broader range in our theological education than the LCMS with only two seminaries.

Also related to that is the fact that most of our seminaries grew out of different Lutheran heritages and traditions. Within the ELCA we have the anti-clerical, low church Haugean piety and the hierarchical, high-church piety of the Swedes. Through our history of mergers between different Lutheran groups, we have accepted differences in beliefs and practices; while centering on core convictions that can hold us together as one body. The LCMS doesn't have that history.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2010, 08:25:24 PM
wow.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on October 24, 2010, 08:26:41 PM
Assuming he has some familiarity with what was meant when those words were penned, and maybe you assert that he didn't, he says,

"I conclude that there is no evidence based on the text of Scripture which permits or mandates the change as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. The action rather was unconstitutional and violated a part of the Confession of Faith. "

His is one approach to scriptures. I've argued from a different perspective: there is nothing in the text of Scriptures that prohibits the changes as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. I believe that this is a more Lutheran approach, ....  For us with that interpretation, the action is not unconstitutional nor a violation.

I hope you understand that it is not a speciifc. That is a point that has been empasized over and over. It is the "new ... approach" (your words) So one who wrote the words of the confession tells you that this new approach is not what he meant or said. It is not about sex or interpretation. It is about how you (and maybe 1/2 the delegates as well) take someone else's words and meaning, and choose to apply your "new" meaning against their plain objection.

Do you really not see how this has folks throwing their hands up saying, "the words have no meaning?" What we seek to determine is what is meant. Most efforts at that lead to despair over what is heard. But we keep trying.

1. The party hijacking the words of another to a different meaning have an obligation to explain that "new" meaning.
2. There needs to be a clear distinction made for discussion.
3. The discussion needs to be focused on mutual agreement to language to even begin to reconcile.
4. When some one purposely and stubbornly uses common language to obscure disagreements, plainly obvious, it is difficult to see that they wish to clear it up at all.

TV
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 24, 2010, 08:26:47 PM
Which ELCA seminary is that teaches homosexual behaviors are intrinsically sinful and that St. Paul meant what he said in Romans 1 about homosexuality and thus, there can be no so-called "union" between homosexuals, for any reason, that has God's blessing?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 24, 2010, 08:29:04 PM
No, the problem is that the LC-MS has - at various times and in numerous ways - officially and with great vigor declared the ELCA (and the LCA and ALC before it) as "heterodox," non-Lutheran and sometimes worse.
     So the die is cast. No "loyal" LC-MS member can begin with any other premise but that we in the ELCA are wrong and non-Lutheran. And we in the ELCA would then have to prove to you that we are not wrong, which is the wrong way to foster dialogue.
     Furthermore, it is clear in very recent discussion that the LC-MS is seriously divided within itself over what it means for them that the ELCA is "wrong." Are we talking with those who oppose all "cooperation in externals" (a curious LC-MS neologism), or not?
    And what of those "moderate" LC-MS pastors who are cooperative locally, even straying (as many do) from official synodical policies when it comes to the ELCA? Can they be in this discussion? Why would they want to be?
So, in order for us to have a proper discussion with the ELCA the the LCMS must first agree that the doctinal positions of the ELCA are all perfectly acceptable and Orthodox?  What will there be to discuss, just how wonderful the ELCA is compared to those crabby Mo Synod types?

Dan
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 08:36:56 PM
Assuming he has some familiarity with what was meant when those words were penned, and maybe you assert that he didn't, he says,

"I conclude that there is no evidence based on the text of Scripture which permits or mandates the change as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. The action rather was unconstitutional and violated a part of the Confession of Faith. "

His is one approach to scriptures. I've argued from a different perspective: there is nothing in the text of Scriptures that prohibits the changes as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. I believe that this is a more Lutheran approach, ....  For us with that interpretation, the action is not unconstitutional nor a violation.

I hope you understand that it is not a speciifc. That is a point that has been empasized over and over. It is the "new ... approach" (your words)

Nope. I never wrote "new approach." I wrote "new policy," but I also stated that the approach of considering with scriptures does not prohibit is an approach that goes back to Luther. I used infant baptism as an example; but we could also throw in liturgical vestments. We're discussing under another subject, the proper use of cassock, surplice, alb, chasuble, stole, cope, etc. While there are other Lutheran ministers for whom Hawaiian shirts are their Sunday "vestment". Does the scriptures mandate what the ordained should wear? No. Does it prohibit the wearing of traditional vestments or modern suits or colorful shirts? No.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: MaddogLutheran on October 24, 2010, 08:44:21 PM
Assuming he has some familiarity with what was meant when those words were penned, and maybe you assert that he didn't, he says,

"I conclude that there is no evidence based on the text of Scripture which permits or mandates the change as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. The action rather was unconstitutional and violated a part of the Confession of Faith. "
His is one approach to scriptures. I've argued from a different perspective: there is nothing in the text of Scriptures that prohibits the changes as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. I believe that this is a more Lutheran approach, e.g., there is nothing in scriptures that mandates infant baptism, but we see nothing in scriptures that prohibits baptizing infants.

The action can only be deemed unconstitutional and a violation for those who interpret the biblical passages as prohibiting same-gender sexual behaviors under all circumstances. There are others in the ELCA -- and apparently a majority of the voting members in 2009, who understand those biblical to be silent about publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous same-gender relationships. For us with that interpretation, the action is not unconstitutional nor a violation.
Except, except, that the Social Statement and related CWA action did not adopt or specifically cite your biblical interpretation.  It offered no justification grounded in Scripture at all, merely that there are some who believe there is no prohibition against such change in policy.  I have pointed out to you before that the prior understanding was that Scripture did prohibit them (which is why the policy was what is was to begin with), therefore the burden was on those advocating change to justify it in a way that passed constitutional muster.  You have attempted this, Pr. Stoffregen, but the CWA did not.  Ergo, your argument is moot.  But as the ELCA website which is the topic of this thread demonstrates, people at the highest levels of the ELCA are entirely capable of making it up as they go along, without any authority or permission other than personal preferences.  There may be tactical and strategic reasons for this, but it doesn't make it right.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 08:47:22 PM
Which ELCA seminary is that teaches homosexual behaviors are intrinsically sinful and that St. Paul meant what he said in Romans 1 about homosexuality and thus, there can be no so-called "union" between homosexuals, for any reason, that has God's blessing?

I can't say. I've only been to three of the eight seminaries. When I was at Wartburg, '72-'76 homosexual relationships were not even discussed. The big issue then was whether or not to commune children (the seminary was communing children as young as 2 years old) and learning to accept women as ordained ministers which began in 1970.

I have heard that Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary at Columbia, South Carolina, may be the most conservative of our seminaries. However, the South Carolina Synod with a large number of Southern graduates invited me to lead three workshops at their bishop's convocation a few years ago. Perhaps they don't consider me the liberal radical that some others do. (I've had folks sympathetic to the Jesus Seminar complain that I'm too conservative for them.)

If the other seminaries are like mine, there will be students in them who hold those beliefs. We were not forced to agree with everything our professors told us.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 24, 2010, 08:54:26 PM
I can't say.

 ::) ::) ::)

Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 08:58:07 PM
Except, except, that the Social Statement and related CWA action did not adopt or specifically cite your biblical interpretation.  It offered no justification grounded in Scripture at all, merely that there are some who believe there is no prohibition against such change in policy.  I have pointed out to you before that the prior understanding was that Scripture did prohibit them (which is why the policy was what is was to begin with), therefore the burden was on those advocating change to justify it in a way that passed constitutional muster.

The old Vision and Expectations, and Definition and Guidelines didn't offer any biblical reasons for establishing their policy. The argument that V&E seems to make is that single folks have to abstain from sexual relationships; and since same-gender marriage is not allowed, homosexuals must abstain from sexual relationships. There are no arguments made from scriptures for this policy against homosexual sexual relationships.

That argument began to fall apart when states began to recognize same-gender marriages.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: MaddogLutheran on October 24, 2010, 09:18:18 PM
Except, except, that the Social Statement and related CWA action did not adopt or specifically cite your biblical interpretation.  It offered no justification grounded in Scripture at all, merely that there are some who believe there is no prohibition against such change in policy.  I have pointed out to you before that the prior understanding was that Scripture did prohibit them (which is why the policy was what is was to begin with), therefore the burden was on those advocating change to justify it in a way that passed constitutional muster.

The old Vision and Expectations, and Definition and Guidelines didn't offer any biblical reasons for establishing their policy. The argument that V&E seems to make is that single folks have to abstain from sexual relationships; and since same-gender marriage is not allowed, homosexuals must abstain from sexual relationships. There are no arguments made from scriptures for this policy against homosexual sexual relationships.
 
That argument began to fall apart when states began to recognize same-gender marriages.

As I noted in my previous, and you continue to do in the above, you (and others) willfully ignore the fact that there was a scriptural reason for the previous policy, as it was the historic practice of the church (which even the CWA recognized in adopting the social statement), and until very recently there was no need to specifically mention it.  Even worse, the ELCA deliberately refused to recognize the predecessor body controlling statements on the subject, which did address the issue explicity.  You and others can pretend that the ELCA started in 1988 as a clean slate, and so was not bound by such prior understanding by not formally adopting such documents--a deliberate decision to make this eventual outcome more easily attainable.  I've said it before and I'll remind you again:  it's dishonest and disingenuous to suggest that there was no biblical reasons supporting the prior (and historic) policy.  It's also why dialog is so difficult, because there is a lack of intellectual honesty among some of our worthy opponents in their desire to reach the desired result.  Since for your example you start at your desired conclusion, that not all homosexual acts are prohibited, instead of the historic understanding that all of them are (both because sex is reserved for marriage and homosexuality is yet another example of our fallen sinfulness), to build your thesis in a way that diverges from the actual starting point.

Whether any state recognizes same-sex marriage is yet another red herring, as a church is under no obligation to bless all state sanctioned arrangements.  Advocates for change were laying the groundwork for this changed policy before any state had recognized same-sex marriage, so there is no cause/effect argument to be had--it wasn't integral to the desire for change.  But I won't waste my time further on this, as I know all too well how this "discussion" goes.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 24, 2010, 09:40:53 PM

But they are unwilling to try and define that faith.


One way to show the untruth if this statement would be to do a ALPB Forum Online search using the words "Stoffregen Tibbetts" together.  Or "Stoffregen Speckhard" or "Stoffregen Yakimow" or "Stoffregen Kliner" etc., etc., etc.



Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 24, 2010, 09:52:49 PM
No, the problem is that the LC-MS has - at various times and in numerous ways - officially and with great vigor declared the ELCA (and the LCA and ALC before it) as "heterodox," non-Lutheran and sometimes worse.
     So the die is cast. No "loyal" LC-MS member can begin with any other premise but that we in the ELCA are wrong and non-Lutheran. And we in the ELCA would then have to prove to you that we are not wrong, which is the wrong way to foster dialogue.


Or we could actually pay serious attention to the LCMS' fraternal concern, engage in dialogue, and offer a defense for our positions or, when we are unable to do so, consider repenting.

Pax, Steven+
Who has been saying this since 2001.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 10:43:40 PM
As I noted in my previous, and you continue to do in the above, you (and others) willfully ignore the fact that there was a scriptural reason for the previous policy, as it was the historic practice of the church (which even the CWA recognized in adopting the social statement), and until very recently there was no need to specifically mention it.

Yes, scriptures could be used to argue for our previous policy, but our documents do not do that.

Quote
it's dishonest and disingenuous to suggest that there was no biblical reasons supporting the prior (and historic) policy.
 

Show me where the old Vision and Expectations or Definition and Guidelines use biblical reasons to support the policy contained therein. I'm not denying that there are biblical interpretations for that policy; but they are not used in our documents.

Quote
Since for your example you start at your desired conclusion, that not all homosexual acts are prohibited, instead of the historic understanding that all of them are (both because sex is reserved for marriage and homosexuality is yet another example of our fallen sinfulness), to build your thesis in a way that diverges from the actual starting point.

You are wrong. I start with the biblical passage -- not with a prior understanding, nor even the historic understanding. I read and study the texts, often in the original languages; taking special notice of their contexts -- and then came to my interpretation of them.

Quote
Whether any state recognizes same-sex marriage is yet another red herring, as a church is under no obligation to bless all state sanctioned arrangements.  Advocates for change were laying the groundwork for this changed policy before any state had recognized same-sex marriage, so there is no cause/effect argument to be had--it wasn't integral to the desire for change.  But I won't waste my time further on this, as I know all too well how this "discussion" goes.

What is the argument that you see in our older disciplinary documents for prohibiting homosexual pastors from sexual relationships?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: MaddogLutheran on October 24, 2010, 10:51:57 PM
[snip]
What is the argument that you see in our older disciplinary documents for prohibiting homosexual pastors from sexual relationships?
I refer my honorable friend to the reply I gave some moments ago.  I'm not pursuing this further, in no small part because you are doing again what I objected to previously, which makes dialog impossible.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 11:50:59 PM
[snip]
What is the argument that you see in our older disciplinary documents for prohibiting homosexual pastors from sexual relationships?
I refer my honorable friend to the reply I gave some moments ago.  I'm not pursuing this further, in no small part because you are doing again what I objected to previously, which makes dialog impossible.

I think my question is pretty clear. I state that our older (as well as the newer) documents offer no biblical arguments for our policy in regard to homosexuals. You seem to state that they do. I'm asking for evidence that you apparently see and I don't.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: totaliter vivens on October 24, 2010, 11:52:47 PM
Why could people possibly question the old version of “Visions and Expectations” or the traditional interpretation of Scripture?

   “Sexual conduct. The expectations of this church regarding the sexual conduct of its ordained ministers are grounded in the understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God and that ordained ministers are to live in such a way as to honor this gift. Ordained ministers are expected to reject sexual promiscuity, the manipulation of others for purposes of sexual gratification, and all attempts of sexual seduction and sexual harassment, including taking physical or emotional advantage of others. Single ordained ministers are expected to live a chaste life. Married ordained ministers are expected to live in fidelity to their spouses, giving expression to sexual intimacy within a marriage relationship that is mutual, chaste and faithful. Ordained ministers who are homosexual in their self-understanding are expected to abstain from homosexual sexual relationships.”

V&E and the traditional understanding of Scripture, perhaps uniquely, view homosexual behavior without context. Sexuality is defined as a gift to be used appropriately. Appropriateness is defined in terms of the interpersonal dynamic between the sexual partners, except for gays who are ALWAYS prohibited from sexual behavior.

Some people might take seriously what the ELCA and Scripture teaches about the ways people make appropriate and faithful use of the gift of sexuality and recognize that homosexual persons can and do manifest exactly what we ask of our heterosexual clergy. It might also be that case that CWA2009 was unimpressed by the arguments “No they don’t,” or “They don’t make babies.”

From my perspective the action of CWA2009 is neither irrational nor incongruent with Scripture. The action of CWA2009 does not however improve much upon the laconic V&E. A more complete rational would improve the conversation.

I also recognize that the above position is debatable, but that does not make it wrong.

SPS
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Scott6 on October 25, 2010, 08:02:53 AM
V&E and the traditional understanding of Scripture, perhaps uniquely, view homosexual behavior without context. Sexuality is defined as a gift to be used appropriately. Appropriateness is defined in terms of the interpersonal dynamic between the sexual partners, except for gays who are ALWAYS prohibited from sexual behavior.

Yet this is how Scripture approaches the topic of homosexual behavior in that, in places like Rom 1, what is in view is the behavior itself, regardless of context.  Scripture does not treat heterosexual sexual behavior in the same way.  I.e., Scripture approaches the idea of what is "appropriate" for the two phenomena differently; so on this point, V&E is simply following Scripture's lead.

I also recognize that the above position is debatable, but that does not make it wrong.

Is there be a position that it's not possible to debate?  ???  ;)
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 25, 2010, 11:15:57 AM
I think the RC explanation of the relationship between orientation and act captures the point well by referring to homosexual attraction as "objectively disordered desire." In other words, the act is always wrong because the desire to perform the act is, unlike normal human functions like eating and "mating", only a result of the fall. It is therefore, unlike eating done by sinners, or sleeping, or marrying, or most common actions performed by sinners, not redeemable. Those who do it are redeemable, of course, by repentance and faith, but the act itself is not something that can be "baptized" and made holy again, like eating and marrying, because the act itself is a sign of the fall. Nobody is saying the desire isn't sincere. The question of whether people were born that way is moot. Nobody is saying it is simple not to engage in something your whole being cries out to do. Nobody is saying homosexuals per se are worse than other people or that their sin is worse. They're saying that sodomy, as an act, is not redeemable, whereas heterosuexual sex between married people is redeemable. It is like idol worship. Idol worshippers are redeemable, but idol worship is not; it, like sodomy, has no legitimate place in the Christian life. 
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: MaddogLutheran on October 25, 2010, 11:18:22 AM
[snip]
What is the argument that you see in our older disciplinary documents for prohibiting homosexual pastors from sexual relationships?
I refer my honorable friend to the reply I gave some moments ago.  I'm not pursuing this further, in no small part because you are doing again what I objected to previously, which makes dialog impossible.

I think my question is pretty clear. I state that our older (as well as the newer) documents offer no biblical arguments for our policy in regard to homosexuals. You seem to state that they do. I'm asking for evidence that you apparently see and I don't.
I fully acknowledge that your question was clear.  I'm trying to be equally clear that it's a question that doesn't need an answer, which I explained previously.  Having quickly re-scanned the new V&E, I found no biblical arguments in support of the requirement "to live in fidelity to their spouses, giving expression to sexual intimacy within a marriage relationship that is mutual, chaste, and faithful" either.  As I have been told, those sorts of biblical justifications rightly belong in an ELCA social statement, not implementing regulations.
 
Let me be equally clear here that I'm addressing the narrow issue of ELCA policy implementation and its foundations.  Even though I disagree with your arguments about PALMS, there is room for discussion up to a point (even if you are ultimately wrong  ::) ).  My point has been and remains that it is intellectually dishonest to pretend that there is not an obvious scriptural reason why all homosexual acts were ruled out of bounds by the original V&E and in the predecessor bodies, even if they were not written down.  Pr. Yakimow addresses that in his above post.  In my previous, I made the point that advocates for change made sure that predecessor body statements which were more explicit carried no official status within the new ELCA, supposedly leaving the question unanswered.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 25, 2010, 12:06:40 PM
V&E and the traditional understanding of Scripture, perhaps uniquely, view homosexual behavior without context. Sexuality is defined as a gift to be used appropriately. Appropriateness is defined in terms of the interpersonal dynamic between the sexual partners, except for gays who are ALWAYS prohibited from sexual behavior.

Yet this is how Scripture approaches the topic of homosexual behavior in that, in places like Rom 1, what is in view is the behavior itself, regardless of context.  Scripture does not treat heterosexual sexual behavior in the same way.  I.e., Scripture approaches the idea of what is "appropriate" for the two phenomena differently; so on this point, V&E is simply following Scripture's lead.

Except that Romans 1 is clearly talking about the behavior of those who "did not honor him as God or give thanks to him" and "exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rater than the Creator". Romans 1 is not addressed to Christians. Paul is not talking about folks who honor and thank God as God and worship and serve God as our Creator rather than idols.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Scott6 on October 25, 2010, 12:19:50 PM
V&E and the traditional understanding of Scripture, perhaps uniquely, view homosexual behavior without context. Sexuality is defined as a gift to be used appropriately. Appropriateness is defined in terms of the interpersonal dynamic between the sexual partners, except for gays who are ALWAYS prohibited from sexual behavior.

Yet this is how Scripture approaches the topic of homosexual behavior in that, in places like Rom 1, what is in view is the behavior itself, regardless of context.  Scripture does not treat heterosexual sexual behavior in the same way.  I.e., Scripture approaches the idea of what is "appropriate" for the two phenomena differently; so on this point, V&E is simply following Scripture's lead.

Except that Romans 1 is clearly talking about the behavior of those who "did not honor him as God or give thanks to him" and "exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rater than the Creator". Romans 1 is not addressed to Christians. Paul is not talking about folks who honor and thank God as God and worship and serve God as our Creator rather than idols.

To save time from the normal repetition, see the below quote.  The last paragraph speaks to the point you made (again):

You may not be getting many takers because this topic has been discussed to death on ALPB.  Really.  To death.  I could link literally thousands of posts around "The Issue" (which is ultimately about scriptural interpretation, btw).

But to enter this discussion again, let's just look at one passage for now, Rom 1:26-27:

26 Διὰ τοῦτο παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς εἰς πάθη ἀτιμίας, αἵ τε γὰρ θήλειαι αὐτῶν μετήλλαξαν τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν, 27 ὁμοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην κατεργαζόμενοι καὶ τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀπολαμβάνοντες.

Here we note that vs. 26 speaks of women giving up of "natural relations" (τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν) for those "against nature" (εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν).  Though vs. 26 doesn't explicitly say this is women having relations with women, vs. 27 does make that clear with the particle ὁμοίως ("likewise") when it explicitly indicates that men engaged in relations with men.  Further, a judgment is given on these relations that are "against nature" -- such relations are "the shameless act" (τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην) and "their error" (τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν) for which they receive a penalty in their own bodies.

Note that no mention of the quality of their relationship is in view.  Only the engaging in relations "against nature" is.  And those are described as the "shameless act."

Further note that it doesn't say "against their nature" as if such activity would be wrong only if they were truly heterosexual and then engaged in homosexual relations.  Rather, it simply calls them "against nature" in general.

And also note that while the specific sin in view is idolatry (and yes, we have plenty of our own idolatries today, worshiping what is created rather than the Creator, but let's leave that obvious point aside for the moment), the description of the appropriateness of homosexual behavior in no way hinges upon whether or not they are idolaters.  Rather, such relations are said to be "against nature" and the acts themselves are called "shameless," and that they are a punishment for the specific sin of (crude) idolatry but the judgment regarding such activity is not so bound.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 25, 2010, 01:13:02 PM
V&E and the traditional understanding of Scripture, perhaps uniquely, view homosexual behavior without context. Sexuality is defined as a gift to be used appropriately. Appropriateness is defined in terms of the interpersonal dynamic between the sexual partners, except for gays who are ALWAYS prohibited from sexual behavior.

Yet this is how Scripture approaches the topic of homosexual behavior in that, in places like Rom 1, what is in view is the behavior itself, regardless of context.  Scripture does not treat heterosexual sexual behavior in the same way.  I.e., Scripture approaches the idea of what is "appropriate" for the two phenomena differently; so on this point, V&E is simply following Scripture's lead.

Except that Romans 1 is clearly talking about the behavior of those who "did not honor him as God or give thanks to him" and "exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rater than the Creator". Romans 1 is not addressed to Christians. Paul is not talking about folks who honor and thank God as God and worship and serve God as our Creator rather than idols.

To save time from the normal repetition, see the below quote.  The last paragraph speaks to the point you made (again):

You may not be getting many takers because this topic has been discussed to death on ALPB.  Really.  To death.  I could link literally thousands of posts around "The Issue" (which is ultimately about scriptural interpretation, btw).

But to enter this discussion again, let's just look at one passage for now, Rom 1:26-27:

26 Διὰ τοῦτο παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς εἰς πάθη ἀτιμίας, αἵ τε γὰρ θήλειαι αὐτῶν μετήλλαξαν τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν, 27 ὁμοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην κατεργαζόμενοι καὶ τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀπολαμβάνοντες.

Here we note that vs. 26 speaks of women giving up of "natural relations" (τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν) for those "against nature" (εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν).  Though vs. 26 doesn't explicitly say this is women having relations with women, vs. 27 does make that clear with the particle ὁμοίως ("likewise") when it explicitly indicates that men engaged in relations with men.  Further, a judgment is given on these relations that are "against nature" -- such relations are "the shameless act" (τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην) and "their error" (τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν) for which they receive a penalty in their own bodies.

Note that no mention of the quality of their relationship is in view.  Only the engaging in relations "against nature" is.  And those are described as the "shameless act."

Further note that it doesn't say "against their nature" as if such activity would be wrong only if they were truly heterosexual and then engaged in homosexual relations.  Rather, it simply calls them "against nature" in general.

And also note that while the specific sin in view is idolatry (and yes, we have plenty of our own idolatries today, worshiping what is created rather than the Creator, but let's leave that obvious point aside for the moment), the description of the appropriateness of homosexual behavior in no way hinges upon whether or not they are idolaters.  Rather, such relations are said to be "against nature" and the acts themselves are called "shameless," and that they are a punishment for the specific sin of (crude) idolatry but the judgment regarding such activity is not so bound.
Yes, you are clear about your understanding. It's not a universal understanding of that text nor of what "against nature" means.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Scott6 on October 25, 2010, 01:23:57 PM
Yes, you are clear about your understanding. It's not a universal understanding of that text nor of what "against nature" means.

Insightful.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on October 25, 2010, 01:28:18 PM
As I noted in my previous, and you continue to do in the above, you (and others) willfully ignore the fact that there was a scriptural reason for the previous policy, as it was the historic practice of the church (which even the CWA recognized in adopting the social statement), and until very recently there was no need to specifically mention it.

Yes, scriptures could be used to argue for our previous policy, but our documents do not do that.

Quote
it's dishonest and disingenuous to suggest that there was no biblical reasons supporting the prior (and historic) policy.
 

Show me where the old Vision and Expectations or Definition and Guidelines use biblical reasons to support the policy contained therein. I'm not denying that there are biblical interpretations for that policy; but they are not used in our documents.

Quote
Since for your example you start at your desired conclusion, that not all homosexual acts are prohibited, instead of the historic understanding that all of them are (both because sex is reserved for marriage and homosexuality is yet another example of our fallen sinfulness), to build your thesis in a way that diverges from the actual starting point.

You are wrong. I start with the biblical passage -- not with a prior understanding, nor even the historic understanding. I read and study the texts, often in the original languages; taking special notice of their contexts -- and then came to my interpretation of them.

Quote
Whether any state recognizes same-sex marriage is yet another red herring, as a church is under no obligation to bless all state sanctioned arrangements.  Advocates for change were laying the groundwork for this changed policy before any state had recognized same-sex marriage, so there is no cause/effect argument to be had--it wasn't integral to the desire for change.  But I won't waste my time further on this, as I know all too well how this "discussion" goes.

What is the argument that you see in our older disciplinary documents for prohibiting homosexual pastors from sexual relationships?

Do we have detail the differences between a Social Statement (ie. "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust") and Policy Statements (ie. "Vision and Expectations")?  

By-the-bye, V+E does not offer any Biblical injunctions for behavioral standards, including charging parishioners for hospital visits and the like.  That's not V+E's job.  V+E's purpose is to lay out the standards for ethical and moral behavior for the clergy and other rostered leaders.  

It is the purpose of the supposed Social Statement to lay the Biblical and theological rationale to teach what "this church" believes and will put into policy.  And, if you would hearken back to the inception of the ELCA, you will find that the CNLC explicitly stated that all the "Social Statements" issued by the Predecessor Church Bodies (PCB's) were considered valid and binding until such time that the ELCA would revise them.  And, while I don't have them at my fingertips, I would lay money that the LCA and TALC's statements on human sexuality (they each had one and both agreed that homosexuality was intrinsically sinful) does have biblical citations and theological rationale to back up the stance that led to V+E.

So, Brian, again you tell only half the story and convienently twist that half-truth to be something that it isn't.  Both "Definitions and Guildlines" and "Visions and Expectation" are not supposed to lay out the Biblical and theological rationales, but only the policy.  And they were backed up and formed by the PCB's statements on human sexuality, which were in force until the farce that is HSGT.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 25, 2010, 01:30:05 PM
Assuming he has some familiarity with what was meant when those words were penned, and maybe you assert that he didn't, he says,

"I conclude that there is no evidence based on the text of Scripture which permits or mandates the change as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. The action rather was unconstitutional and violated a part of the Confession of Faith. "

His is one approach to scriptures. I've argued from a different perspective: there is nothing in the text of Scriptures that prohibits the changes as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. I believe that this is a more Lutheran approach, ....  For us with that interpretation, the action is not unconstitutional nor a violation.

I hope you understand that it is not a speciifc. That is a point that has been empasized over and over. It is the "new ... approach" (your words)

Nope. I never wrote "new approach." I wrote "new policy," but I also stated that the approach of considering with scriptures does not prohibit is an approach that goes back to Luther. I used infant baptism as an example; but we could also throw in liturgical vestments. We're discussing under another subject, the proper use of cassock, surplice, alb, chasuble, stole, cope, etc. While there are other Lutheran ministers for whom Hawaiian shirts are their Sunday "vestment". Does the scriptures mandate what the ordained should wear? No. Does it prohibit the wearing of traditional vestments or modern suits or colorful shirts? No.

Amazingly, I am in agreement with this to some extent. While the ELCA's lack of doctrinal uniformity and definitiveness regarding important matters is very, very difficult to accept, I can see where the apparent practice of the LC-MS to elevate every issue, down to when to wear this and when to wear that, can be seen as equally difficult to accept in the opposite extreme. I do not wish to remain part of a denomination that has standards so loose that it allows non-celibate homosexuals to be ordained. But I also do not wish to join a denomination that has standards so strict that it has a dress code for clergy.

Neither extreme strikes me as spiritually beneficial.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 25, 2010, 01:31:45 PM
The LCMS does have a dress code for clergy.

 ::)
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 25, 2010, 01:32:57 PM
The LCMS does have a dress code for clergy.

 ::)

Thank you for confirming what I just said.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 25, 2010, 01:34:39 PM
Hah, that's funny.

The LCMS does NOT have a dress code for clergy, of course.

 ::)
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 25, 2010, 01:35:37 PM
But, I hasten to add that though we do not have a dress code for clergy, our clergy do not wear skirts. At least, if they do, they are not on the clergy roster for very long.

 :D
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: LutherMan on October 25, 2010, 01:37:44 PM
I can see where the apparent practice of the LC-MS to elevate every issue, down to when to wear this and when to wear that, can be seen as equally difficult to accept in the opposite extreme.
Another pre-conceived false perception from a non-LCMS'er.   ::)
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: racin_jason on October 25, 2010, 01:41:21 PM
There's got to be at least one LCMS pastor of scottish descent out there who'd beg to differ.

Those guys can't get enough of their kilts and scotch (which has been making white men dance since 1494, according to one t-shirt i saw recently).   
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: ptmccain on October 25, 2010, 01:43:13 PM
Racin, how many times must this be said?

A kilt is NOT a skirt. I strongly advise you never tell a Scotsman, or an Irishman, wearing a kilt, "Nice skirt!" . . . particularly after they have had a few whiskeys.

You have been warned.

 :)
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: DeHall on October 25, 2010, 01:45:20 PM
Amazingly, I am in agreement with this to some extent. While the ELCA's lack of doctrinal uniformity and definitiveness regarding important matters is very, very difficult to accept, I can see where the apparent practice of the LC-MS to elevate every issue, down to when to wear this and when to wear that, can be seen as equally difficult to accept in the opposite extreme. I do not wish to remain part of a denomination that has standards so loose that it allows non-celibate homosexuals to be ordained. But I also do not wish to join a denomination that has standards so strict that it has a dress code for clergy.

Neither extreme strikes me as spiritually beneficial.

Another so-called "Statement of Fact", Mr. Erdner?
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: racin_jason on October 25, 2010, 01:52:44 PM
Racin, how many times must this be said?

A kilt is NOT a skirt. I strongly advise you never tell a Scotsman, or an Irishman, wearing a kilt, "Nice skirt!" . . . particularly after they have had a few whiskeys.

You have been warned.

 :)

Golly, my ELCA-shaped "open to a variety of interpretations" got the best of me there,....sorry for the poor exegesis on my part.  ;)
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 25, 2010, 02:10:45 PM
Amazingly, I am in agreement with this to some extent. While the ELCA's lack of doctrinal uniformity and definitiveness regarding important matters is very, very difficult to accept, I can see where the apparent practice of the LC-MS to elevate every issue, down to when to wear this and when to wear that, can be seen as equally difficult to accept in the opposite extreme. I do not wish to remain part of a denomination that has standards so loose that it allows non-celibate homosexuals to be ordained. But I also do not wish to join a denomination that has standards so strict that it has a dress code for clergy.

Neither extreme strikes me as spiritually beneficial.

Another so-called "Statement of Fact", Mr. Erdner?

No, merely an observation expressed through the obvious use of hyperbole.

At least, it would have been obvious who anyone whose sole intent wasn't to search for nits to pick.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: DeHall on October 25, 2010, 02:55:30 PM


No, merely an observation expressed through the obvious use of hyperbole.

At least, it would have been obvious who anyone whose sole intent wasn't to search for nits to pick.


I see....Still having problems admitting when you're wrong.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 25, 2010, 03:12:46 PM
So, Brian, again you tell only half the story and convienently twist that half-truth to be something that it isn't.  Both "Definitions and Guildlines" and "Visions and Expectation" are not supposed to lay out the Biblical and theological rationales, but only the policy.  And they were backed up and formed by the PCB's statements on human sexuality, which were in force until the farce that is HSGT.

The Social Statement did not change our policy. It led to revisions in Visions and Expectations and Definition and Guidelines.

I'm pretty sure that predecessor statements were received as information, and they were not in force as teaching statements of the ELCA until they were approved by the ELCA. I point specifically to the Statement on Communion Practices that had adopted by both the ALC and the LCA in 1978; but it did not become official in the ELCA until it was approved it in 1989. (It has since been replaced by The Use of the Means of Grace.)
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 25, 2010, 03:14:55 PM
Racin, how many times must this be said?

A kilt is NOT a skirt.

And an alb is not a dress -- even though that's what little kids seem to think it is.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 25, 2010, 04:52:08 PM

The Social Statement did not change our policy. It led to revisions in Visions and Expectations and Definition and Guidelines.


So you're saying that the Social Statement did not change our policy; it lead to changes in our policies.   Ah, yes, we understand much better now.

PCB (that is, LCA and ALC) Social Statements were carried forward into the ELCA, except when both churches addressed a topic differently.  The previous statements related to human sexuality were officially judged different enough that they were not brought forward as ELCA teaching, though they were received as useful teachings from the PCBs and could be used to help determine ELCA policies and practices.  Which they were.  And, yes, that is as confusing in 2010 as it was in 1987.

The common Statement on Communion Practices was not a Social Statement of either the ALC or LCA, and thus needed to be adopted by the ELCA to be regarded as our practice.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 25, 2010, 05:24:51 PM

The Social Statement did not change our policy. It led to revisions in Visions and Expectations and Definition and Guidelines.


So you're saying that the Social Statement did not change our policy; it lead to changes in our policies.   Ah, yes, we understand much better now.

How could the Social Statement change a policy that we didn't have? The predecessor bodies had statements, but as you indicated, they were not brought forward as ELCA teaching.

Quote
The common Statement on Communion Practices was not a Social Statement of either the ALC or LCA, and thus needed to be adopted by the ELCA to be regarded as our practice.

You are correct.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: racin_jason on October 25, 2010, 05:51:39 PM
Racin, how many times must this be said?

A kilt is NOT a skirt. I strongly advise you never tell a Scotsman, or an Irishman, wearing a kilt, "Nice skirt!" . . . particularly after they have had a few whiskeys.

You have been warned.

 :)

Golly, my ELCA-shaped "open to a variety of interpretations" got the best of me there,....sorry for the poor exegesis on my part.  ;)

Hey, Mr. Recipient of the official Forum Online Get Us Back on Topic Award, how is this on topic?

[Bucking for the 2010 nomination]

I thought I had skillfully connected our diversion to the topic at hand.  :D

...and besides, it was an award, not an induction to sainthood.  Even Tom Hanks made a few bad pictures even though he won an academy award.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 26, 2010, 12:34:25 AM

How could the Social Statement change a policy that we didn't have?

Huh?  There were several "implementing resolutions" of the Social Statement that changed policies.  Then, of course, the most basic purpose of the Social Statement was to provide theological cover (white wash?) for changing the ministry policies regarding homosexuals. 

Nice try, Brian.
Title: Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
Post by: George Erdner on October 26, 2010, 10:10:55 AM

The Social Statement did not change our policy. It led to revisions in Visions and Expectations and Definition and Guidelines.


So you're saying that the Social Statement did not change our policy; it lead to changes in our policies.   Ah, yes, we understand much better now.

How could the Social Statement change a policy that we didn't have? The predecessor bodies had statements, but as you indicated, they were not brought forward as ELCA teaching.

Quote
The common Statement on Communion Practices was not a Social Statement of either the ALC or LCA, and thus needed to be adopted by the ELCA to be regarded as our practice.

You are correct.

Since when does the ELCA need written documents to set policy? It does what it does, not what its formal policies say it should do, unless it wants to follow it's own written word.