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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: scott3 on March 04, 2007, 12:30:16 AM

Title: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 04, 2007, 12:30:16 AM
On another thread, there was considerable discussion about what it would take for folks who feel that the ELCA is no longer a satisfactory synodical / churchwide home to actually leave.  This thread intends to leave aside the many good reasons for staying in the ELCA such as: "This is my church and why should I be the one to leave?  I didn't change my doctrine!"  [Like I said, this is a very good and powerful argument] OR "No major official change has happened yet."

Would those same folks who no longer feel comfortable in the ELCA consider the LCMS, warts (which sometimes are so scary that they look like cancer) and all?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Mel Harris on March 04, 2007, 03:59:56 AM

Would those same folks who no longer feel comfortable in the ELCA consider the LCMS, warts (which sometimes are so scary that they look like cancer) and all?


Yes.   I have considered joining the LC-MS.  Some days I think that may well be the best option for pastors like me.  Perhaps the bigger questions are...  Would the LC-MS accept me?   and   Would the LC-MS accept many congregations from the ELCA?  The way things seem to be going in the ELCA, we may find out before too long.

Mel Harris
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on March 04, 2007, 07:22:30 AM
Well, did any read the warmly welcoming article (Benne’s recollections) in the very recent Luth Forum letter?  Problem is, some of us also have a history in LCMS and while you can duck and hide there too (like many feel forced to do in ELCA) as the winds of party-spirit huff and puff... it may be hard to stand up tall and speak with one voice there also in matters both of faith and practice.  Ecumenism means talking with the Wisconsin Synod if you are lucky and the restoration of a good Scriptural hermeneutic means tap dancing around literal 24 hour creation and pastoral practice involves being the least ostentatious with compassion.  You love the Lord by hating sin and maybe sinners is the temptation enough yield to, to be scary.  The worship wars are at least as pitched as they are in our ELCA.   That’s as I read what still is taking place...   Not that I have not learned to re-love my brothers and sisters in the LCMS in spite of scars they also have trouble forgetting.                  Harvey Mozolak
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 04, 2007, 09:23:04 AM
Well, did any read the warmly welcoming article (Benne’s recollections) in the very recent Luth Forum letter?  Problem is, some of us also have a history in LCMS and while you can duck and hide there too (like many feel forced to do in ELCA) as the winds of party-spirit huff and puff... it may be hard to stand up tall and speak with one voice there also in matters both of faith and practice.  Ecumenism means talking with the Wisconsin Synod if you are lucky and the restoration of a good Scriptural hermeneutic means tap dancing around literal 24 hour creation and pastoral practice involves being the least ostentatious with compassion.  You love the Lord by hating sin and maybe sinners is the temptation enough yield to, to be scary.  The worship wars are at least as pitched as they are in our ELCA.   That’s as I read what still is taking place...   Not that I have not learned to re-love my brothers and sisters in the LCMS in spite of scars they also have trouble forgetting.                  Harvey Mozolak

Harvey,

It was Benne's article that spurred my question.  I found his analysis interesting, and his experience at Ft. Wayne horrifying.  He was a speaker at a recent symposium at St. Louis, too, without hitch as I recall.

I have to say that quite a bit of what Benne said resonated with my fears of what the LCMS might be and also with my experience of the LCMS.  It resonated with my fears because I do see a significant group of folks concerned with any type of a reformulation of doctrine, as if Lutherans can only speak for all time using Aristotle.  It resonated with my experience of the LCMS because St. Louis is an exciting place to be -- spiritually and theologically -- where churchly / pastoral concerns do predominate.  I'm glad to hear that he found Ft. Wayne to be so, too.

But I do wonder whether that tension is good or bad.  I know it's unavoidable, in at least two senses.  The first is that it's there.  Those folks have been in the LCMS a while and are unlikely to change.  The second sense that it's unavoidable is that there has never been an "ideal" or "perfect" church.  We have been told that we'll have divisions, so it's sorta like "pick your poison".

Yet having folks who are always concerned with changing doctrine pulling at you can provide a salutary check on your own thoughts, to make sure that you are in continuity with the tradition -- something I believe is quite important.  The churchly folks do this, too, through their pastoral / practical concerns, and they do seem to do it in a more loving, irenic spirit (vast understatement) in addition to what I view as a higher level of theological astuteness.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 04, 2007, 09:30:05 AM

Would those same folks who no longer feel comfortable in the ELCA consider the LCMS, warts (which sometimes are so scary that they look like cancer) and all?


Yes.   I have considered joining the LC-MS.  Some days I think that may well be the best option for pastors like me.  Perhaps the bigger questions are...  Would the LC-MS accept me?   and   Would the LC-MS accept many congregations from the ELCA?  The way things seem to be going in the ELCA, we may find out before too long.

Mel Harris

Mel,

I honestly have no idea if you or your congregation would be accepted.  I know that there's a colloquy process.

Yet, for the purposes of this thread (which is NOT to entice folks to leave the ELCA -- see my comments in response to Charles on the Tutu thread), I'm wondering why you think that the LCMS would not accept you.  What have you seen in the LCMS that would make you think that?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on March 04, 2007, 01:01:21 PM
For what it's worth,,,,,,, the smart move is for folks to get their act together as a group first, with an identity in the works, then petition to go into Mother Mo as a non-geographical district, or as a full intercommunion little synod, like that pietistic little group mentioned on another thread is currently doing.

Crass as it sounds, if the parishes are all self supporting and will cost the synod nothing and can actually make contributions, that helps - big time.  Also, useing the St Louis seminary in the meanwhile is smart as it will connect with what's left of what is non-seventeenth century didactic theology in the LCMS as well as the rank no-nothing fundamentalism.  Politically, St Louis is "THE' seminary in terms of sound preparation, culture, and being able to study and live in a wider world.  The library is first rate,,,,,, the one thing that survived the right wing protestant purge of the 70's.

Remember, the issue for all Lutherans is enculturation, the question is only in which direction..... ELCA appears to want to enter the great pan protestant blob on the liberal piscie wannabe end of things and for sure, no matter what happens at any of Mother Mo's triannual rebirths, they are heading into the lower middle class American evangelical end of of the self same blob.  In both groups, a core of Augsburg Catholics will persevere awaiting the next Confessional revival,,,,,,, alas,  there seems to be only one per century.

Some good comments so far on the thread,,,,,, rereading Piepkorn's 'Staying in Place' essay in the ALPB volume 'The Church' contains some good grist for the mill.

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 04, 2007, 05:57:13 PM
Benne's article now posted under "Selected Reprints," for you slackers who still aren't subscribing to the print version of Forum Letter.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ROB_MOSKOWITZ on March 04, 2007, 06:21:25 PM
God bless the LCMS.   I think the question has already been answered since you are talking with the AALC.   Next the AFLC, LMS?  and maybe even (in some way) folks in associations like the LCMC?

Yours In Christ
Rob Moskowitz
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: MaddogLutheran on March 04, 2007, 08:31:42 PM
Benne's article now posted under "Selected Reprints," for you slackers who still aren't subscribing to the print version of Forum Letter.
As a recent new subscriber, let me say my subscription has already paid for itself.  As an ELCA lay person, it captured my feelings almost exactly.

(And darn it, it turns out I could have gotten this feeling for free!   ::) )
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 04, 2007, 08:36:14 PM
Benne's article now posted under "Selected Reprints," for you slackers who still aren't subscribing to the print version of Forum Letter.
As a recent new subscriber, let me say my subscription has already paid for itself.  As an ELCA lay person, it captured my feelings almost exactly.

(And darn it, it turns out I could have gotten this feeling for free!   ::) )

The last two times, before I even received my first and second issues of the newsletter that I finally bucked up for, I could read the articles on the Forum.

Just a note.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 04, 2007, 08:39:36 PM
Granted that there haven't been a ton of responses yet as this thread is new, but I have noted that so far no one has mentioned the lack of women's ordination as a sticking point for entering the LCMS.

Why?

Is the lack of women's ordination a stumbling block for ELCA'ers looking elsewhere?  If so, why?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: hansen on March 04, 2007, 09:15:29 PM
1)  What percentage of LC-MS churches would you say are Evangelical Catholic types?

2)  Re:  a 6-Day creation, would this be an acceptable answer?:  "I don't know if a 'day' as stated in Genesis is a day as we understand it today.  Regardless, I don't see how it has any effect, one way or another, on our understanding of scripture or creation."

3)  It seems like all institutions have a tendency to move towards one extreme or another.  It's extremely difficult to be a true "moderate".

4)  I'm a lot nicer in person :)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: dastorhaug on March 04, 2007, 09:19:25 PM
Granted that there haven't been a ton of responses yet as this thread is new, but I have noted that so far no one has mentioned the lack of women's ordination as a sticking point for entering the LCMS.

Why?

Is the lack of women's ordination a stumbling block for ELCA'ers looking elsewhere?  If so, why?

It will take historians looking back (after the passage of a proper time) to clearly articulate an answer to that question.

Non the less from my perspective near ground zero today,  I believe that the real stumbling block in the ELCA is what I will call the new hermaneutics,  which simply displays itself most clearly over the matter of homosexuality.   For those who cannot accept such new hermaneutics,  and seek a return to traditional hermaneutics,   such individuals are also likely to reconsider the hermaneutics of what has led to ever increasing leniency on matters of divorce,  as well as women's ordination.  I say this based on various articles I have read,  including some in the Lutheran Forum.

Dave Storhaug

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: MaddogLutheran on March 04, 2007, 09:50:11 PM
As an ELCA lay person, considering the LCMS is one in respect a potentially easier decision -- since my denomination is not also my profession and source of income.  Like I said above, the Benne article resonated with me, because it summarizes my opinions of both bodies.  As a preface, I recognize neither body is a caricature of its worst tendencies (and I don't think Benne was implying that either).  I say this because my ultimate spiritual reluctance is summarized by what the article calls "literal six day creationism".  It's as much the Missouri response to people who disagree with it as the dogmatism. 

I am one who believes that the Genesis creation story describes the Big Bang -- and it fascinates me that a society that obviously had no knowledge of astronomy and physics could come up with metaphors that track the science, so 6 days need not be 24 hours -- Spirit inspired, without question.  So I would also disagree with any in the "historical critical" side who might say it's just a tall tale -- whether that is actually true of elements in the ECLA I have not expertise or incite, so I'm not accusing.  Also not trying to convince any creationist they are wrong, either.  While it may not be a valid distinction, I take the New Testament more "literally" than some of the more hard-to-fathom Old Testament -- my current pastor likes to say the Bible is not always literally true, but it is eternally true.

Point us, growing up LCA/ELCA, in a congregation and area that is not obviously off-the-rails, it is hard to justify swimming the Mississippi to belong to a body where this belief is not welcomed (whether or not it is persecuted).  I think this is the source of the longing for a third way, with the best of both sides.  Of course that would not be a utopia, and I suspect where our society is today, the ELCA-type problems would follow into a new body, all in the name of eliminating judgmental bigotry.  Reaching critical mass for a new body, be it just the orthodox remnants of the ELCA, sounds exceedingly difficult.  Guess that's why the innovators don't just leave, because it's hard to do.

It is comforting to know that Missouri is there, if the ELCA does turn into the UCC, and we have a Dunkirk evacuation situation.  The thing is, people can't seem to agree if the ELCA has passed the point of no return.  Some on this Forum have long-since left, others are staying to fight the good fight.  Perhaps my personal piety (right or wrong) allows me to separate myself from the ELCA-wide things I disagree with -- I think that is a skill many rank-and-file have, since we don't need to interact with the higher levels unless we go out of our way.  Having a single national body is a relatively recent development anyway (from an ELCA perspective) -- it's not like Episcopalian identity tied it in the Anglican Communion -- our identity is local and the Small Catechism.  Women's ordination doesn't figure into it for me -- I favor it, but I would not object belonging to a body that did not allow it.  I do feel for those orthodox women pastors, who have no choice to stay and fight if they want to continue in their call.  (Hope that doesn't sound patronizing.)  Did that answer the question?

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on March 04, 2007, 10:01:51 PM
   I will not leave the ELCA.  

   However, the Missouri Synod is tempting at times.  I grew up in Mother Mo, and have much good to say about her.  And I am grateful for the grounding in Scripture and theology I received, especially in the parochial school system.  It has served me well.  There are things about Missouri that I miss, and know I will not find again outside of her.  

   On the other hand, some (a few? it is hard for me to judge) Missouri Synod pastors have been incredibly, personally rude to me once they learn that I am a pastor in the ELCA.  (I mean, go-out-of-their-way to be rude.)  It has gone beyond having theological differences, in those instances.  I don't know where those guys have gotten it from.  But such behavior does not reflect well on the denomination, even if they are in the minority.

    Lack of women's ordination would not, per se, keep me from returning to Missouri.  But I don't think I would fit in.  While I am on the conservative end of the ELCA, I think I would be on the liberal end of Missouri, and would be doubly suspect since I am female.  My experience of how females who want to engage in theology are dealt with was mixed at best, and pretty negative at worst.  

     What I would like to see is for Missouri to stop fighting quite so much and be a strong voice for conservative, orthodox Lutheran Christianity.  Under President Barry (may he rest in peace), the ELCA could just discount everything Missouri said as being "well, they hate us anyhow no matter what we do, so who cares about what they think?"  At least under the current President it is not so easy for the powers that be in the ELCA to dismiss Missouri's opinion of the ELCA.  

     The ELCA needs Missouri, but not in order to call us heretics.  If Missouri's disaproval can be conveyed as sorrowing rather than as disdainful, if the ELCA can hear and see the concern Missouri has (should have) for us as fellow members of the body of Christ, if Missouri can approach the problems in the ELCA with calls for prayer for the ELCA, its leaders and congregations, and pray for God to bless the ELCA for the sake of the Kingdom, that would, I believe, be positive without and within our respective church bodies.  

     I can hope for that much, anyway.

Erma Wolf
ELCA pastor  
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: MaddogLutheran on March 04, 2007, 10:21:07 PM
     The ELCA needs Missouri, but not in order to call us heretics.  If Missouri's disaproval can be conveyed as sorrowing rather than as disdainful, if the ELCA can hear and see the concern Missouri has (should have) for us as fellow members of the body of Christ, if Missouri can approach the problems in the ELCA with calls for prayer for the ELCA, its leaders and congregations, and pray for God to bless the ELCA for the sake of the Kingdom, that would, I believe, be positive without and within our respective church bodies. 
A few days ago, when talking about Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, someone recalled JP2's description of them as the two lungs of the church.  On a small scale and different way, perhaps that also applies to the two biggest North American Lutheran denominations.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Eric_Swensson on March 04, 2007, 10:25:53 PM
Interesting...
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 04, 2007, 10:26:43 PM
Erma, must all of your posts be thoughtful and well-reasoned? It's no wonder you feel out of place everywhere. C'mon, just sarcastically dismiss those with whom you disagree as a bunch of, well, some colorful and suitably disdainful put-down. All the cool kids are doing it.  
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on March 04, 2007, 10:31:21 PM
     The ELCA needs Missouri, but not in order to call us heretics.  If Missouri's disaproval can be conveyed as sorrowing rather than as disdainful, if the ELCA can hear and see the concern Missouri has (should have) for us as fellow members of the body of Christ, if Missouri can approach the problems in the ELCA with calls for prayer for the ELCA, its leaders and congregations, and pray for God to bless the ELCA for the sake of the Kingdom, that would, I believe, be positive without and within our respective church bodies. 
A few days ago, when talking about Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, someone recalled JP2's description of them as the two lungs of the church.  On a small scale and different way, perhaps that also applies to the two biggest North American Lutheran denominations.


That someone was me, and I would agree that this metaphor applies on a much smaller scale to ELCA-LCMS relations.  As I have remarked in other discussions, persuit of intraLutheran unity  should be the foremost ecumenicl priority concurrent with healing the schisms of both East and West. 

Grand and utopian?  Certainly...but greatly to be preferred to simply sublimating into generic North American Protestantism, whether extreme liberal or fundamentalist.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 04, 2007, 11:08:42 PM
The last two times, before I even received my first and second issues of the newsletter that I finally bucked up for, I could read the articles on the Forum.

No, to be precise, you could read ONE of the fascinating articles from the print version on the Forum.

Like many quality publications, we put ONE (well, once in very blue moon, two) of the articles in a given issue on line. This is done to expose those who haven't yet subscribed to just what they are missing.

The fact that you see it on line before you get it in the mail, well, that you can blame on the post office. I don't post anything until I know the issue is in the mail and starting to appear in mailboxes. If it makes you feel better, I generally don't receive my "mail" copy until at least the middle of the month, though the "theory" is that they arrive around the first of the month. As I say, blame the post office.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 04, 2007, 11:15:38 PM
Granted that there haven't been a ton of responses yet as this thread is new, but I have noted that so far no one has mentioned the lack of women's ordination as a sticking point for entering the LCMS.
Is the lack of women's ordination a stumbling block for ELCA'ers looking elsewhere?  If so, why?

I would personally find the lack of women's ordination to be something of an issue, but likely not an absolute deal breaker. Generally speaking, I think that "traditionalist ELCA" people, while supportive of women's ordination, are less adamant in their feelings in favor of it than LCMS people tend to be against it. That is to say, I've heard a number of LCMS pastors say this is so important to them that they won't even (for example) consider membership in the Society of the Holy Trinity because it includes ordained women.

But I can't see myself joining the Missouri Synod, more for the reasons that Benne's article enumerates, and that others such as Erma have mentioned: the strident Biblical literalism and fundamentalism in so many places, and the zeal that often really amounts to downright rudeness. I, like many ELCA members, could tell stories about personal experiences of this, but what's the point? But those would be bigger stumbling blocks for me personally than the ordination of women--though again, I hasten to add, I support the ordination of women.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 04, 2007, 11:16:14 PM

I am one who believes that the Genesis creation story describes the Big Bang -- and it fascinates me that a society that obviously had no knowledge of astronomy and physics could come up with metaphors that track the science, so 6 days need not be 24 hours -- Spirit inspired, without question. Sterling Spatz
This probably calls for another thread, but I'll give it try. If the Genesis story describes the Big Bang, what exactly is gained by substituting "In the beginning there was a big bang" for "In the beginning God created..."? Big Bang is altogether less creative, precise, and meaningful as a description, so why go with it? It seems to serve no purpose other than to remove God from the act of creation. And purely as a Chestertonian aside, since it was by definition the only bang of its kind, by what standard can it be called big? And since there was nothing to conduct sound waves nor any ears to hear it, how can it be called a bang? When people say they believe in the Big Bang all they really seem to mean is that they believe that first there was nothing, then there was something, and by whatever mysterious process that happened, we can say definitively that it took either more or less than six days.

All joking aside the problem with this discussion in LCMS circles is that it only ever gets treated as matter of Scriptural inerrancy. Be that as it may, I think the bigger issues involved are best brought to light via systematics rather than hermeneutics. In what sense can it be meaningful to say that death entered the world through sin if death was a requisite force in bringing the first sinners into existence via natural selection? Can the Edenic vision from Revelation be both a new thing and a restoration/redemption, and if so, will there be death and natural selection in the new heavens and new earth? Was there a historical fall, and if not, can it make any sense to speak of salvation history? These kinds of questions (and there are many more) need answers from big bang theorists much more than questions about how there could be evening and morning before there was a sun need to be answered by literalists. It isn't just a matter a whether the Bible is literally true; before we even get to that we need to figure out whether Christianity even makes sense without the Creation and Fall as described in Genesis.  
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 05, 2007, 12:09:52 AM
As I say, blame the post office.

So the check really IS in the mail...  :-\
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 05, 2007, 12:22:54 AM
But I can't see myself joining the Missouri Synod, more for the reasons that Benne's article enumerates, and that others such as Erma have mentioned: the strident Biblical literalism and fundamentalism in so many places, and the zeal that often really amounts to downright rudeness. I, like many ELCA members, could tell stories about personal experiences of this, but what's the point? But those would be bigger stumbling blocks for me personally than the ordination of women--though again, I hasten to add, I support the ordination of women.

Sometimes I feel like I don't know a thing about the LCMS.  These experiences I've heard of (which is why I try to acknowledge them), but I have never come even close to observing or experiencing them.

During my stint in the ELCA, I do remember one prof at Luther who would regularly disparage the LCMS in class.  I finally got tired of it and confronted him in class after one such remark and said: "I still consider myself to be LCMS, and I would appreciate if we wouldn't attack it in class.  All synods have shortcomings, and attacking other synods, especially in class, is not appropriate."  (Actually, I believe that is pretty durn close to a quote as I was quite respectful, at least I thought so...)  The prof responded with a bewildered look and said: "Who is saying that?"  To which I responded: "You are."

I don't remember my final grade.

I also remember other disparaging remarks about the LCMS and a certain level of sophisticatedl disdain expressed toward those who were members of the LCMS while at Luther.

Why do I bring these things up?  For the same reason that negative experiences are brought up on the other side -- to show that outsiders get treated like outsiders by insiders.  But also to show that in at least one of the instances, the prof didn't even realize he was doing it (or at least pleaded ignorance).  Perhaps I was hyper sensitive, but I doubt it.  I'm pretty laid back about those types of things.  So maybe some of it is reaction to the "other", and this can take on obnoxious forms from time to time.

But like I said, I sometimes feel like I don't know the LCMS at all when I hear these types of things.  Maybe I should go look in a mirror to see if I'm growing feathers (uhhh, the joke is supposed to be an extremely oblique reference to an ostrich, but it doesn't really seem to work.  Nevermind).
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 05, 2007, 01:52:08 AM
Don't let this shock you, but in the early 1970s, I was a member of an LC-MS parish. Faced with three local church options - ALC, LCA and LC-MS - I found the LC-MS congregtion had a better Sunday School, friendlier people and a better approach to worship than the other two. My kids went to Sunday School there and I preached and presided frequently.

Of course that was in the early days of the Preus administration and the Concordia Seminary schism.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on March 05, 2007, 03:47:29 AM
Would those same folks who no longer feel comfortable in the ELCA consider the LCMS, warts (which sometimes are so scary that they look like cancer) and all?

I frequently do so.  Mainly because I am encouraged by the collegiality of some of the local LCMS pastors (one of whom was a ELCA colleague who colloquied into Missouri), by my connections with others through the STS and liturgical e-mail lists, and by the graciousness and enthusiasm of the faculty at Concordia Ft. Wayne whenever I am there.  Concordia Publishing House is a fine publisher whose focus remains building up the faith in the church and for the church.  I regularly express my appreciation for the prayers my grandmother's LCMS congregation offered on my behalf while I was at PLTS -- and note that their prayers were thankfulness that I was being brought into the ministry, not that I be "saved from the heretics" teaching at the GTU. ;)  I am one of the few people who listened to Pastor Hartwig with appreciation when he addressed the ELCA Churchwide Assembly shortly after the LCMS Convention expressed its, uh, doubt that the ELCA could still be called "Lutheran."   And I was brought to tears when President Keischnick (with whom I would have some serious theological differences) brought his greetings to the last ELCA CWA.

On the other hand, it was several years ago that I first described of the sectarian perspective that pervades much of the Synod, that Prof. Benne writes about and that we experience all too frequently locally.  I would lose the communion I enjoy with other Lutherans around the world -- for me it is most particular with my personal connections with the faithful in the Church of Sweden -- and with faithful Anglicans.  It's not so much the formal nature of the ELCA communion agreements (either via the LWF or other agreements) as it is the formal nature of Missouri's "close" communion -- for me to continue them as an LCMS pastor would put me under an even greater a cloud of suspicion than I already would be (for those who view any ELCA background with suspicion).  I already serve in a church body where some are barely civil to me because of theological disagreement; alas, my observations of Missouri are that such disagreements are much nastier -- with some of the meanest partisans being people with whom I'm actually in greater theological agreement. :(

And then there is the very practical political matter of the congregation I serve being 2 blocks away from the nearest Missouri Synod church -- since both congregations organized within months of each other nearly 115 years ago.  And I expect that wouldn't be ameliorated very much if we spoke with the English District, with whom we'd probably fit better than the CID.

All that said, the atmosphere in both churches is in such a state of flux that my current conclusion could change.

Pax, Steven+

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on March 05, 2007, 04:19:44 AM
And, my dear brother Pastor Zip, that is why we probably ought to stay where God planted us.  In any given year, I can get so incredibly angry with the LCMS that I am about to pick up the phone to the many ELCA Pastor friends I have locally and in the STS and say "GET ME OUT OF HERE".  Other, many fewer days I admit, I have some small amount of pride in something the LCMS does. The vast majority of days, I try my best to be the faithful Pastor of my congregation.

With you, dear brother, my pain is that whatever ecumenical activities I have, I am always looking over my shoulder wondering when the boom will be lowered.  I don't like living like that, but I also refuse to believe that we are so right that we can't "get out more".

Scott, interesting thread this is, but the cultures are so different that short of union (Here comes Jesus when that happens) it is hard to change affiliations.  My first pastoral mentor advised me, wisely, that when one leaves the Church body one was ordained in, it is almost impossible to be totally assimilated in the new one.  Your are always viewd with some suspicion and are always an outsider.  I suspect he is right, even if it is a display of our old Adam.

I am reading A Seminary in Crisis by Paul Zimmerman, one of the few remaining members of the Preus' Fact Finding Committee at Concordia Seminary in the early 70's, and am learning a lot about a crisis I wasn't around for.  I was a blissful Roman Catholic Air Force medic during that time, and when I became a Lutheran in 1976 I heard about some scuffle in St. Louis involving some liberals.

In reading about the dramatic change introduced in the approach to Sacred Scripture, I now understand the sharp reaction of the LCMS.  While I am not appreciative of the harshness and mean-spiritedness of the LCMS culture (I have been the recipient of it and it ain't fun, as has Dr. Benne and many of you) I also have no use for the historical-critical approach to the Bible that was introduced.  Over 30 years later, I do not see how it has helped the faith of the laity of the Church at all.  While I am delighted to see other approaches like canonical criticism gaining ground, the last 30 years of ELCA pastors have been formed in an approach to the Scripture that is alien to the culture of the LCMS.  While we may be rightly accused of biblicism, if I had to choose between the two, I'll take a little biblicism to the variety of historical-criticisms.  Just my observations...
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: BeornBjornson on March 05, 2007, 10:15:17 AM
Dave Poedal wrote:
Quote
I also have no use for the historical-critical approach to the Bible that was introduced.  Over 30 years later, I do not see how it has helped the faith of the laity of the Church at all.  While I am delighted to see other approaches like canonical criticism gaining ground, the last 30 years of ELCA pastors have been formed in an approach to the Scripture that is alien to the culture of the LCMS.  While we may be rightly accused of biblicism, if I had to choose between the two, I'll take a little biblicism to the variety of historical-criticisms.  Just my observations...

Given my post under reprints on the Benne article, I would have to say that I agree for the most part with Dave.  If my only choices were between the "contextualist" (i.e. revisionist) hermeneutic that predominates in the ELCA and the "fundamentalist" hermeneutic predominate in LCMS, I'd go with the "fundamentalist" LCMS.  I just don't think those are the only two choices.  I think there is a demonstrable "traditional" or "classical" hermeneutic that is not a stepping stone or slide into the "contextualist/revisionist" hermeneutic.  Similarly, I think the "fundamentalist" hermeneutic to be a distortion or deviation from the "classical" hermeneutic.  (By the way I borrowed "classical" from Russ Saltzman  who was hunting for a better descriptor than "orthodox" or "conservative").  On the other hand, the "contextualist/revisionist" hermeneutic results in a gnostic form of Christianity discontinuous with classical, historic Christianity.  Fundamentalism and contextualism are not equal errors with "traditional/classical" as the middle ground.  Contextualism ends up playing outside the Christian ballpark--fundamentalism and traditional/classical are still inside together, albeit testily.  As examplars of the "classical" hermeneutic who do not fit under all the "fundamentalist" rubrics: Augustine, Anselm, Luther, C.S. Lewis, Chesterton, et al. 

Peter, Obviously the Biblical language "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth..." beats "In the beginning God shot off a big bang..."  but it is still possible, I argue, to read Genesis 1 in a plain sense but not literal fashion that still comes out the same bottomline as the fundamentalist/literalist reading:  "God created everything that is, including humankind with whom He established a particular relationship."  Either you believe that God is Creator of everything or you don't. 

In relation to the thread, yeah, it's precisely the defining of the boundaries of orthodoxy by one's reading of Genesis 1 and Jonah as test cases of one's orthodoxy that I find most troubling when considering LCMS as a refuge from the ELCA.  And in second place because I support the ordination of women and believe that a credible Biblical and historical case can be made for it (in contrast to the absolute lack of a case Biblically regarding blessing homosexual behavior and ordaining persons engaged in homosexual behavior). 

Ken Kimball

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 05, 2007, 10:44:52 AM
Given my post under reprints on the Benne article, I would have to say that I agree for the most part with Dave.  If my only choices were between the "contextualist" (i.e. revisionist) hermeneutic that predominates in the ELCA and the "fundamentalist" hermeneutic predominate in LCMS, I'd go with the "fundamentalist" LCMS.  I just don't think those are the only two choices.  I think there is a demonstrable "traditional" or "classical" hermeneutic that is not a stepping stone or slide into the "contextualist/revisionist" hermeneutic.  Similarly, I think the "fundamentalist" hermeneutic to be a distortion or deviation from the "classical" hermeneutic.  (By the way I borrowed "classical" from Russ Saltzman  who was hunting for a better descriptor than "orthodox" or "conservative").  On the other hand, the "contextualist/revisionist" hermeneutic results in a gnostic form of Christianity discontinuous with classical, historic Christianity.  Fundamentalism and contextualism are not equal errors with "traditional/classical" as the middle ground.  Contextualism ends up playing outside the Christian ballpark--fundamentalism and traditional/classical are still inside together, albeit testily.  As examplars of the "classical" hermeneutic who do not fit under all the "fundamentalist" rubrics: Augustine, Anselm, Luther, C.S. Lewis, Chesterton, et al. 

<snip>

In relation to the thread, yeah, it's precisely the defining of the boundaries of orthodoxy by one's reading of Genesis 1 and Jonah as test cases of one's orthodoxy that I find most troubling when considering LCMS as a refuge from the ELCA.  And in second place because I support the ordination of women and believe that a credible Biblical and historical case can be made for it (in contrast to the absolute lack of a case Biblically regarding blessing homosexual behavior and ordaining persons engaged in homosexual behavior). 

Ken Kimball

Alright, I know that it has been said that there is, in some quarters of the LCMS, a "fundamentalist" hermeneutic, but if that ever was true, it certainly is no longer dominant at least at one of our seminaries (I would guess both, but I know St. Louis much better).

I would recommend, rather, that folks read books by LCMS professors such as Jeffrey Gibbs, James Voelz, Reed Lessing, Scott Murray, Robert Kolb, Charles Arand, and yes, even David Scaer.  Do these guys exhibit a "fundamentalist" hermeneutic?  I think not.  And they are actively teaching at our institutions of higher education, even our seminaries.  They do, however, exhibit what has been called here a "churchly" hermeneutic if what is meant is one that strives for unity with the tradition even while creatively applying those insights to the current situation.

Also, Gen 1 and Jonah apparently were "test cases" in the 70's (I think I'm going to have to read that new book on the walkout one of these days).  But I do not recall anything about them in my ordination vows or ever being asked what I think about either of them.  I think I'll write more on the other thread about Gen 1...
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on March 05, 2007, 11:10:05 AM
What Scott said....

I have only been quizzed about Gen 1-2 and Jonah during my Colloquy interview prior to being rostered in the LCMS as a Pastor.

In my teaching and preaching, I approach Gen 1-2 as an exposition of how God created all things, and how we fell into sin.  I do believe that Adam and Eve were real people and not evolved Neandrethals or such things.  I do believe there was a Garden and that the imagery of Revalation returns us to that place, though not geographically.

While the condition of Jonah's epidermis after 3 days in the digestive tract of a fish would not be a pretty site, I have no doubt that it happened for the purposed God stated in the Scripture.  If it did not happen, I will find that out in heaven, but know that I have wonderful fellowship with those who do not believe that this is literally true.

I am not into the polemics of the 70's but understand how a trendy attempt to undermine the culture of the LCMS was immature at best, diabolical at worst.  There was much arrogance on both sides, and that arrogance is out in the open and up front, as indicated in the Benne article.  Peter's reflection on the conference indicates that the revisionists are much more urbane and subtle in their disdain for things conservative.  The net effect is the same: disunity in the Body of Christ.

I see much need for repentance, and it begins with me.  During this Lenten season, I am examining my role in my own Synod, congregation and family.  How do I contribute to the disunity of the Church?  How do I contribute to the building up of the bretheren?  What can I do as an individual, Pastor, member of the STS, ecumenist, confessional Evangelical Catholic?

I would hope and pray that the LCMS would become a Synod that is delightfully participating in the Church-at-large and offers her professors, intellectuals, Pastors and other church workers to the Church for the mutual edification of God's people.  Now, it's time to wake up and return to reality.....
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on March 05, 2007, 11:23:10 AM
Rather that getting caught in a false dicotomy of either fundamentalist or historical critical -which has both churchly and not so churchly uses - why not dig in and try THE Lutheran, Pauline, BOC, hermeneutic, Law / Promise,,,,, here's a brief essay on it:  http://www.crossings.org/conference/HTGG_lect_all.pdf

Piepkorn was well known to the seminarians as letting them know in no uncertain terms that opinions, critical studies, academic stuff was important, and even more important that it stayed in the pastor's study.  The pulpit and Liturgy is for proclamation of the Faith handed down and received, not whatever critic or scholar the pastor was currently reading.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on March 05, 2007, 11:54:07 AM
Pastor Tibbetts,,,,,,
As any number of TEC blogs contain comments by folks looking to LCMS as a bail out, and responces range pretty much the same as this thread,,,,,,, now that keeps this on tipic, sorta, have you heard if +Keith Ackerman has made a public response to the Primates meeting as of yet ?,,,,,, and where to find it if he has.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: racin_jason on March 05, 2007, 12:01:27 PM
Whenever this subject comes up amongst ELCA clergy, inevitably the question is raised regarding what "theological hoops" an ELCA pastor must jump through to join the LCMS.

Can anyone speak to what are "non-negotiables" and what the process looks like?  

Presuming there is agreement on key social issues (ie abortion and sexuality), my impression is that one must take a particuilar stance on womens ordination, who is welcome at Holy Communion, Biblical interpretation, and consequently creationism.

Is this accurate?  Is there anything else?

+Jason
 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Maryland Brian on March 05, 2007, 02:02:11 PM


Does/Would the LC-MS ask if an ELCA pastor has been an effective evangelist as part of the process?  How does LC-MS define success when it comes to reaching new populations, the lost, unchurched, etc ...

Maryland Brian
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on March 05, 2007, 02:59:26 PM
Pastor Tibbetts,,,,,,
As any number of TEC blogs contain comments by folks looking to LCMS as a bail out, and responces range pretty much the same as this thread,,,,,,, now that keeps this on tipic, sorta, have you heard if +Keith Ackerman has made a public response to the Primates meeting as of yet ?,,,,,, and where to find it if he has.

The Diocesan Council met the weekend before this.  Thus far no reports of any conclusions.  Bishop Ackerman usually lets them speak for the Diocese.

Pax, spt+
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 05, 2007, 03:00:42 PM
These are good questions to which I don't know the answers.  As far as sucess is concerned for an incoming pastor, I have trouble seeing that being much of a topic of conversation.  As to hoops, I'm hopeful somebody else will chime in with insight because I'm not sure what they may be.

I do know that there will be some (a lot?).  One person recently told me that the LCMS will not accept in ELCA clergy if their wives won't become LCMS as well.  He also mentioned that there is a colloquy process, sometimes extending up to 2 school years.  I have met one transfer in from a Baptist-type denomination where he only had to do a 9 month colloquy, so perhaps that's possible too.  I don't know.

I know that when my mom was applying to be an ELCA pastor, she first went to Princeton Theological Seminary and was in conversation with the synod candidacy comittee the whole time.  Even so, when she received her MDiv from PTS, she was still required to do both an internship and a "Lutheran year" at an ELCA seminary.  I don't know if it was because she was coming from an LCMS background or what, but as she tends toward the conservative side, I figure that may be the case.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on March 05, 2007, 03:12:24 PM
Even so, when she received her MDiv from PTS, she was still required to do both and internship and a "Lutheran year" at an ELCA seminary.

That is the standard in the ELCA candidacy process, and one that is rarely waived.

spt+
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 05, 2007, 03:47:08 PM
Even so, when she received her MDiv from PTS, she was still required to do both and internship and a "Lutheran year" at an ELCA seminary.

That is the standard in the ELCA candidacy process, and one that is rarely waived.

Standard for those attending a non-ELCA seminary.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Revbert on March 05, 2007, 04:25:00 PM
I can't go to the LC-MS.  My theology, as applied to Biblical interpretation, is the largest stumbling block.  While I am, as many have noted, on the conservative side of the ELCA (and Erma, it's so nice to have you among those holding me on the boat  ;)), the battles in the LC-MS would be insurmountable.

Right now, women's ordination to the priesthood and the infallibility of the pope are still deal breakers for me with Rome.  Same is true with LC-MS.

Now, will I stay in the ELCA?  That, I humbly admit, is a greater question.  But if not the ELCA, then where, other than Rome?  For now, I'm stuck here.  ???
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 05, 2007, 05:06:24 PM
Scott!!!

Your MOM is an ELCA PASTOR????

Do you let her serve you wine at the famiily Thanksgiving dinner????

Hoo Ha! ;D ;D ;)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 05, 2007, 05:13:36 PM
Right now, women's ordination to the priesthood and the infallibility of the pope are still deal breakers for me with Rome.  Same is true with LC-MS.

Actually, we're rather negative on the papacy.   ;D  8)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 05, 2007, 05:15:11 PM
Scott!!!

Your MOM is an ELCA PASTOR????

Do you let her serve you wine at the famiily Thanksgiving dinner????

Hoo Ha! ;D ;D ;)

I thought you might appreciate that.  Yep, she is.  And she's an excellent theologian and biblical scholar, from whom I have learned most of my theology and who I can largely credit for the development of my faith.

As to wine at thanksgiving, I or my dad usually serve it.  Occasionally my sister, but almost never my mom.  ;)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 05, 2007, 07:38:25 PM
I guess I do have to ask, what's up with the "Hoo Ha!  ;D  ;D  ;)", anyway?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Coolrevgaus on March 05, 2007, 08:21:27 PM
Given the amount of hits on this topic over a short time span and the general conversation is seems that a lot of people have at least considered crossing the Missouri which ios interesting considering how little genuine contactthere is between LCMS and ELCA pastors on the whole. I would suggest a number of talking points that might help with this.
1) Our most confessional ELCA pastors who have been somewhat tramatized by the ELCA's liberal shift ready to join another denomination at this point or do they like a recently divorced person need to watch out for jumping into a new relationship too fast and with too much ignorance.
2) Why would Missouri want to take in a slew of moderates when it is just now is tryingto put some closure perhaops successfully perhaps unsuccessfully on its internal tensions between moderates-conservatives vs. ultra-conservatives-in other words why rock the boat.?
3)Are most parish pastors after years of tending the flock ready to face a possibly vigorous colloquay process ot become LCMS pastors.
4) What do we say to great confessional  women pastors like Erma, Amy Schrifrin, Jaynan England, my wife Sally Gausmann, etc. etc. if we go Missouri-"hope you can collect unemployment."
5) Does talking about this disturb or relieve the folks in Chicago-"hey now we ca n get rid of those pesky confessionalists."
6) Is the ELCA really just rotten to the Core and unfixable given the questionable work doen by its founders and its less than steller hisotry. Furthermore, given its organizational structure can it legally even get out of the mess it has put itself in.
7) is Missouri ready to become less pararocial in its culture (notic I didn;t say beliefs) and willing to assume its increasingly rightful place as the predominant confessional lutheran denomination in the country or is too secure in its relative isolation and to insecure in its ability to project its image to the public without fear of the culture corrupting it.
8) is Missouri inherently conservative or will it allow the vibrant orthodox element within it to come more to the fore.
9) Can any other Lutheran denomiantion besdies LCMS come even close to matching its size, structure, and ability to reach a large segment of the population or are the other denominations too sectarian to grow.
10) Would promote and expanding the Missouri school system provide a good antecdote to the kind of PC propaganda that is polluting the education of our young in the public schools?

Just a few thoughts, we need much more dialogue with LCMS folks. Paul Gausmann
 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 05, 2007, 08:48:47 PM
7) is Missouri ready to become less pararocial in its culture (notic I didn;t say beliefs) and willing to assume its increasingly rightful place as the predominant confessional lutheran denomination in the country or is too secure in its relative isolation and to insecure in its ability to project its image to the public without fear of the culture corrupting it.
8 ) is Missouri inherently conservative or will it allow the vibrant orthodox element within it to come more to the fore.

Excellent series of questions, Paul!  I especially like these two.  I wonder if it's possible...

[You've really got to post more!  These questions are great!]
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 05, 2007, 10:37:20 PM
Scott asks re my online exclamations:

I guess I do have to ask, what's up with the "Hoo Ha!  Grin  Grin  Wink", anyway?

I respond:
I just find it wild and crazy and amusing and goofy and fun that a solid Missourian, able to articulate LC-MS theology with distinction and panache .... has an ELCA pastor for a MOM!  I don't know whether to whomp on her for not raising you right, or thank her for shifting you over to the other lung of American Lutheranism where it is easier for me to set aside your premises and arguments.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 05, 2007, 10:43:43 PM
Scott asks re my online exclamations:

I guess I do have to ask, what's up with the "Hoo Ha!  Grin  Grin  Wink", anyway?

I respond:
I just find it wild and crazy and amusing and goofy and fun that a solid Missourian, able to articulate LC-MS theology with distinction and panache .... has an ELCA pastor for a MOM!  I don't know whether to whomp on her for not raising you right, or thank her for shifting you over to the other lung of American Lutheranism where it is easier for me to set aside your premises and arguments.

She only switched from the LCMS to the ELCA when she attended Princeton at about the same time I started at Concordia in the late 90's.

But from what I've seen, I'm sure you could just as easily write me off if I were in the ELCA, too.  ;D  8)

And you didn't actually threaten to whomp on my mom, did you?   >:(  Or criticize her parenting skills?  >:(  >:( If so, perhaps we need a face-to-face conversation, but not over mushrooms or roasting chestnuts as previously offered...


 ;)

[End use of annoying emoticons]
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on March 06, 2007, 02:42:37 AM
Standard for those attending a non-ELCA seminary.

Yes, Brian.  ::)  Those of us who matriculated our MDivs at ELCA seminaries are not required to do a "Lutheran year" in order to become eligible for ordination in the ELCA.  Given what I've seen and heard of ELCA seminary faculty and graduates, perhaps some synodical Candidacy Committees will begin requiring a "Lutheran year" of them, too.  <pick your smiley!>
spt+
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: dastorhaug on March 06, 2007, 07:52:57 AM
Having been a member of this forum since 2004,  mostly lurking,   I have gained a healthy respect for those posting here,  and the genuine struggles that you are dealing with.   So it may be to harsh for me to raise the question,   but I will none the less ask if any of you posting here worry that you might sound like certain of the passengers on the Titanic (ELCA edition):

No way,  am I going to put on that life vest and jump into the icy water;
-  I will wait for a life boat
-  I will wait for a life boat with seat cushions
-  I will wait for a life boat with a sail and motor
-  I will wait for a life boat that can carry a 100 people
-  I will wait for a cargo ship to come by
-  I will wait for a cruise ship to come by
-  I will wait for the LC-MS cruise ship to come by before I jump into the icy water
-  I will wait for the LC-MS cruise ship to come by and extend a gold plated gang plank,  so
    that I can walk over without getting wet,  and take all my baggage with me.

This is from a Lutheran Layman  (and a true mongrel) who jumped ship in the early 1990's,   but who is also grateful to the LC-MS,   Lutheran Brethren Church,   Evangelical Free Church,  and Assembly of God,  for nuturing and love before I climbed on board the LCMC  (a lifeboat that never existed when I first jumped ship).    Actually it was a homecoming of sorts,    as a significant percentage of the local LCMC current membership are past fellow members from the original ELCA church that I left in the 1990's.   

I am inspired by the Global South Anglican Primate who said that it isn't necessary to go through Canteberry to get to Christ.

Dave Storhaug
Lutheran Layman
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Maryland Brian on March 06, 2007, 08:44:36 AM

Dave,

Good questions.  IMHO, most ELCA congregations will simply continue their fade into twilight and the dark night of closed facilities.  When we talk about stopping the slide it's usually framed around, "We need more members, we need young people, whatever." I rarely hear it framed as, "There are now three generation far from Christ (Boomers, Xers and the current crop of 20 somethings), so what are we called to do about it?" 

Given my assumed premise above, neither the ELCA or LC-MS has much of a future in the US context.  Look around the room in most of our respective congregations.

That said, I appreciate you raised the Anglican global south group.  Take a look at Trinity Seminary's site:  http://www.tesm.edu/

NOTE how the splash page highlights "the new face of Anglicanism."  They've obviously already made the shift in language, anticipating a new Anglican Province in the US. Ask yourself if any of our seminaries have the same passion and vision for reaching new populations.

I'm personally not interested in LC-MS as I don't see that tradition any more motivated (as a whole system) toward reaching a lost generation as is the ELCA.  Our differences really don't matter ... given both our traditions are in decline.

Maryland Brian
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on March 06, 2007, 09:41:58 AM
Dave,
Good questions.  IMHO, most ELCA congregations will simply continue their fade into twilight and the dark night of closed facilities.  When we talk about stopping the slide it's usually framed around, "We need more members, we need young people, whatever." I rarely hear it framed as, "There are now three generation far from Christ (Boomers, Xers and the current crop of 20 somethings), so what are we called to do about it?" 
Before this can be answered, it is necessary to identify just what caused those three generations to abandon the Church.  I am not talking about the surface reasons, but rather the deep, basic underlying reasons.  Looking at the arguably similar abandonment of Christianity by Western Europeans, Benedict XVI laid the blame on 500 years of progressive de-hellenization of Western Christianity.  Excerpts of the Regensburg Address explaining this process follow (the bold type, italics, and underlining are mine).

"Three stages can be observed in the program of de-Hellenization: Although interconnected, they are clearly distinct from one another in their motivations and objectives.

De-Hellenization first emerges in connection with the fundamental postulates of the Reformation in the 16th century. Looking at the tradition of scholastic theology, the Reformers thought they were confronted with a faith system totally conditioned by philosophy, that is to say an articulation of the faith based on an alien system of thought. As a result, faith no longer appeared as a living historical Word but as one element of an overarching philosophical system.

The principle of "sola scriptura," on the other hand, sought faith in its pure, primordial form, as originally found in the biblical Word. Metaphysics appeared as a premise derived from another source, from which faith had to be liberated in order to become once more fully itself.

When Kant stated that he needed to set thinking aside in order to make room for faith, he carried this program forward with a radicalism that the Reformers could never have foreseen. He thus anchored faith exclusively in practical reason, denying it access to reality as a whole.

The liberal theology of the 19th and 20th centuries ushered in a second stage in the process of de-Hellenization, with Adolf von Harnack as its outstanding representative . . . Harnack's central idea was to return simply to the man Jesus and to his simple message, underneath the accretions of theology and indeed of Hellenization: This simple message was seen as the culmination of the religious development of humanity. Jesus was said to have put an end to worship in favor of morality. In the end he was presented as the father of a humanitarian moral message.

The fundamental goal was to bring Christianity back into harmony with modern reason, liberating it, that is to say, from seemingly philosophical and theological elements, such as faith in Christ's divinity and the triune God. In this sense, historical-critical exegesis of the New Testament restored to theology its place within the university: Theology, for Harnack, is something essentially historical and therefore strictly scientific. What it is able to say critically about Jesus is, so to speak, an expression of practical reason and consequently it can take its rightful place within the university.

Behind this thinking lies the modern self-limitation of reason, classically expressed in Kant's "Critiques," but in the meantime further radicalized by the impact of the natural sciences. This modern concept of reason is based, to put it briefly, on a synthesis between Platonism (Cartesianism) and empiricism, a synthesis confirmed by the success of technology.

On the one hand it presupposes the mathematical structure of matter, its intrinsic rationality, which makes it possible to understand how matter works and use it efficiently: This basic premise is, so to speak, the Platonic element in the modern understanding of nature. On the other hand, there is nature's capacity to be exploited for our purposes, and here only the possibility of verification or falsification through experimentation can yield ultimate certainty. The weight between the two poles can, depending on the circumstances, shift from one side to the other. As strongly positivistic a thinker as J. Monod has declared himself a convinced Platonist/Cartesian.

This gives rise to two principles which are crucial for the issue we have raised. First, only the kind of certainty resulting from the interplay of mathematical and empirical elements can be considered scientific. Anything that would claim to be science must be measured against this criterion. Hence the human sciences, such as history, psychology, sociology and philosophy, attempt to conform themselves to this canon of scientificity.

A second point, which is important for our reflections, is that by its very nature this method excludes the question of God, making it appear an unscientific or pre-scientific question. Consequently, we are faced with a reduction of the radius of science and reason, one which needs to be questioned.

. . . In the meantime, it must be observed that from this standpoint any attempt to maintain theology's claim to be "scientific" would end up reducing Christianity to a mere fragment of its former self . . . the questions raised by religion and ethics, then have no place within the purview of collective reason as defined by "science" and must thus be relegated to the realm of the subjective.

The subject then decides, on the basis of his experiences, what he considers tenable in matters of religion, and the subjective "conscience" becomes the sole arbiter of what is ethical. In this way, though, ethics and religion lose their power to create a community and become a completely personal matter. This is a dangerous state of affairs for humanity, as we see from the disturbing pathologies of religion and reason which necessarily erupt when reason is so reduced that questions of religion and ethics no longer concern it. Attempts to construct an ethic from the rules of evolution or from psychology and sociology, end up being simply inadequate.

. . . I must briefly refer to the third stage of de-Hellenization, which is now in progress. In the light of our experience with cultural pluralism, it is often said nowadays that the synthesis with Hellenism achieved in the early Church was a preliminary inculturation which ought not to be binding on other cultures.

The latter are said to have the right to return to the simple message of the New Testament prior to that inculturation, in order to inculturate it anew in their own particular milieux. This thesis is not only false; it is coarse and lacking in precision. The New Testament was written in Greek and bears the imprint of the Greek spirit, which had already come to maturity as the Old Testament developed.

True, there are elements in the evolution of the early Church which do not have to be integrated into all cultures. Nonetheless, the fundamental decisions made about the relationship between faith and the use of human reason are part of the faith itself; they are developments consonant with the nature of faith itself.

And so I come to my conclusion. This attempt, painted with broad strokes, at a critique of modern reason from within has nothing to do with putting the clock back to the time before the Enlightenment and rejecting the insights of the modern age. The positive aspects of modernity are to be acknowledged unreservedly: We are all grateful for the marvelous possibilities that it has opened up for mankind and for the progress in humanity that has been granted to us. The scientific ethos, moreover, is the will to be obedient to the truth, and, as such, it embodies an attitude which reflects one of the basic tenets of Christianity.

The intention here is not one of retrenchment or negative criticism, but of broadening our concept of reason and its application. While we rejoice in the new possibilities open to humanity, we also see the dangers arising from these possibilities and we must ask ourselves how we can overcome them.

We will succeed in doing so only if reason and faith come together in a new way, if we overcome the self-imposed limitation of reason to the empirically verifiable, and if we once more disclose its vast horizons. In this sense theology rightly belongs in the university and within the wide-ranging dialogue of sciences, not merely as a historical discipline and one of the human sciences, but precisely as theology, as inquiry into the rationality of faith.

Only thus do we become capable of that genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today. In the Western world it is widely held that only positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid. Yet the world's profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions.

A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures. At the same time, as I have attempted to show, modern scientific reason with its intrinsically Platonic element bears within itself a question which points beyond itself and beyond the possibilities of its methodology. Modern scientific reason quite simply has to accept the rational structure of matter and the correspondence between our spirit and the prevailing rational structures of nature as a given, on which its methodology has to be based.

Yet the question why this has to be so is a real question, and one which has to be remanded by the natural sciences to other modes and planes of thought -- to philosophy and theology. For philosophy and, albeit in a different way, for theology, listening to the great experiences and insights of the religious traditions of humanity, and those of the Christian faith in particular, is a source of knowledge, and to ignore it would be an unacceptable restriction of our listening and responding.

Here I am reminded of something Socrates said to Phaedo. In their earlier conversations, many false philosophical opinions had been raised, and so Socrates says: "It would be easily understandable if someone became so annoyed at all these false notions that for the rest of his life he despised and mocked all talk about being -- but in this way he would be deprived of the truth of existence and would suffer a great loss."

The West has long been endangered by this aversion to the questions which underlie its rationality, and can only suffer great harm thereby. The courage to engage the whole breadth of reason, and not the denial of its grandeur -- this is the program with which a theology grounded in biblical faith enters into the debates of our time.

You can read the entire address for yourself at the Vatican's website: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg_en.html , or on EWTN's website:  http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=70993 . 

If Pope Benedict is right, and this is the root cause of the abandonment of classical Christianity in general and the Church in particular, what do we do now?  How do we go about putting God back into the realm of the rational.  I may be wrong, but it seems like some in the liberal Churches have already basically thrown in the towel and are focusing mainly on social goals and programs.   
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: BeornBjornson on March 06, 2007, 09:48:14 AM
Brian,
How many different ELCA or LCMS congregations do you visit in the course of a year on Sunday mornings?  I appreciate the viewpoint you bring and do not doubt that many of our congregations are graying and many are as Lyle Schaller put "playing out their string."  But that's not true everywhere, not even in rural Allamakee county, northeast Iowa (population 17,000).  I have two small country congregations, avg wshp att at Old East Paint Creek is 100, at Old West, it's 70 (total parish membership = 180 households, 550 folks).  Of those worshiping, about half are families with children and/or teens--lots of infants and small children: some Sunday mornings its a wonderful battle to make my sermon heard above the occasional din and outburst.   Both congregations have Sunday Schools with better than 50 kids registered, grades K-9.  We do a parish youth mission trip every other year (GROUP PUblishing's WORKCAMPS) that takes 15-25 teens (about 3/4 of our teenagers).  I know it's small beans by comparison with your congregation but you know what, the Paint Creek Lutheran parish has been here for 157 years.  Unless the Lord returns early, we'll be here 25 years from now or better.  Care to place a standing bet between you and me about which one of our parishes will be the last one standing (you and I may both be gone from this earth and in the Lord's hands when one of us has to pay up!).  

In any event, it is because the parish I serve has a future as a distinctly Lutheran Christian parish, that I think it important to be involved in the fight so that it will have a source of confessionally and Biblically prepared and faithful pastors and have a faithful larger organizational body within the whole body of Christ through which to engage in joint mission and outreach beyond our parish boundary.  I'm not criticizing where you and your congregation have gone and you are doing great things and I rejoice with you in that and I thank God and you for that.  But don't be so quick to dismiss the rest of us where the Word is still faithfully proclaimed, rightly distinguishing between Law and Gospel.  It's worth remembering that in the long term scheme of things, all the twenties somethings that may now be filling and bursting your halls and auditoriums, are only a few years behind our graying folk on the way to the grave.  
Ken Kimball
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on March 06, 2007, 10:14:23 AM
   Dave,
      Good questions.  Here's my perspective.
      whenever the grass starts to look greener over in the LC-MS, I ask myself if the reasons that I left back in the late 70's still apply.  And they do.(And they don't include either women's ordination or rude pastors.)  Same for my reasons then to remain Lutheran and not go to Rome, Canterbury, or elsewhere.

      And I am a pastor in the ELCA.  I have made promises.  I feel bound to stay with the good ship ELCA, and not just when it is a lovely pleasure cruise to Hawaii, but also when hurricane Katrina is bearing down fast and furious.  (I prefer this to the Titanic event; partly because I am a Southener, partly because I see this as a large storm battering many boats, rather than one catastrophic event targeting only one.) 

     Perhaps I apply Scripture wrongly to this situation, but I see this as one of those times analagous to when the disciples and Jesus were crossing the Sea of Galilee, and the storm comes up, and they are in danger of being drowned, and Jesus is asleep on a cushion in the stern. 

      I really do believe the Lord is still with the ELCA, and that this is still His ship.  He may look, may be, in fact, asleep in the stern, but He is here, and that will be enough.  Even if my faith in Him, and this particular ship, falters and fails. 

      I try not to judge those who are getting into the lifeboats, or those who have jumped overboard, or those who stayed on the shore and are shouting warnings.  The ELCA is temporal, but the lives in this church are important. But they are held by God.  Others may need to make different decisions than I have made.  God can work through us all.  But I am doing what I believe I must do to be faithful.  And in the end, God in Christ will be the one who makes sense of it all.

     But in the meantime, I am in the boat, bailing like crazy!

Erma Wolf, STS
also Lutheran CORE steering committee
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gary Hatcher on March 06, 2007, 10:29:54 AM
I have thought and prayed about staying or going.  I cannot see leaving the ELCA with all of its many problems, many serious problems.  I agree with Erma, I made a vow at ordination, first to serve the Lord in word and deed, then to serve that part of the Church, then called the ALC, now the ELCA.  Is there a point at which the ELCA has so abandoned the historic faith that I would have no choice but to shake the dust off my shoes?  Yes, though I am not certain what that point would be, I have some bench marks that would aid my discernment.
That being said, should the ELCA cease to exist today, I would probably took to the Orthodox Church first, then Rome.  I cannot see myself going to the LCMS, not that they are a poor choice, just that what I see in the Orthodox and Rome, with all their problems, is closer to what I understand the Church to be in this world.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 06, 2007, 11:17:34 AM
Standard for those attending a non-ELCA seminary.

Yes, Brian.  ::)  Those of us who matriculated our MDivs at ELCA seminaries are not required to do a "Lutheran year" in order to become eligible for ordination in the ELCA.  Given what I've seen and heard of ELCA seminary faculty and graduates, perhaps some synodical Candidacy Committees will begin requiring a "Lutheran year" of them, too.  <pick your smiley!>

Maybe they should be required to attend the meetings of STS for a year. :)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: LTSS_Sem_2 on March 06, 2007, 12:05:30 PM
Steven T. writes: "Given what I've seen and heard of ELCA seminary faculty and graduates, perhaps some synodical Candidacy Committees will begin requiring a "Lutheran year" of them, too. "

I wonder:
Given what I've seen and heard from many "Rostered Leaders" in the ELCA, the problem you have discerned is obviously not a recent problem. Which of the current faculty from Southern (LTSS) do you find issue with? Which do you find "acceptable" (if any) as teachers for those in formation for ordained ministry? Just curious.

Peace.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Revbert on March 06, 2007, 12:09:53 PM
Right now, women's ordination to the priesthood and the infallibility of the pope are still deal breakers for me with Rome.  Same is true with LC-MS.

Actually, we're rather negative on the papacy.   ;D  8)

One for 2 still doesn't take the day.   .500 teams shouldn't make the playoffs <G>
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Maryland Brian on March 06, 2007, 12:11:48 PM
Ken,

Are there congregations which are reasonably stable in the ELCA?  Of course.  Sounds like your hard work is making a difference.  Good for you and praise God that you are tending to the flock to which you have been called.  I'm being serious about that.  Please hear my sincere appreciation for your work and the obvious power of the Spirit. 

I will admit that most of my experience in lutheran church bodies has been in urban and suburban environments.  In those places there are pockets of congregations and leadership that are making a difference.  At the same time, when compared with the total population that surrounds them and the percentage of unchurched around them, many many more of these congregations are moving backwards.  And, the overall stats are there for all to see regardless of one's local population dynamics.  The ELCA is numerically declining and aging.  It is what it is.  I've simply come to the conclusion that this decline when coupled with the stated objectives of the homosexual movement in the ELCA means we have passed the downward tipping point and transformation is no longer possible.

When I look at LC-MS I view the constant (in my view) purity wars as inward focused distractions preventing that tradition from making a strategic and viable evangelism plan.

Like I mentioned elsewhere, feel free to disagree with my premises and conclusions.  This is just where I am and where I see the lutheran experiment headed.  The questions was whether any ELCA pastors would jump toward LC-MS.  I think I've answered no from my particular perspective.

So it goes,

Maryland Brian
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 06, 2007, 12:45:11 PM

Maybe they should be required to attend the meetings of STS for a year. :)

Just to be perfectly precise, the Society of the Holy Trinity doesn't really have "meetings." We gather in retreat. Usually there's a small amount of "business" to be done, so I suppose that qualifies as a "meeting." But I don't ever hear members of the Society speak about going to "meetings."
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Eric_Swensson on March 06, 2007, 12:50:34 PM
But I don't ever hear members of the Society speak about going to "meetings."

That would make them Pentecostals!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on March 06, 2007, 01:04:53 PM

"That would make them Pentecostals!"

or Twelve Steppers.


Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: racin_jason on March 06, 2007, 01:32:49 PM
Historians talk about push-pull factors in immigration patterns. 

As far as this thread is concerned, many are experiencing plenty of "push factors" at work within the ELCA, but there seems to be little or no "pull factor" drawing any to the LCMS.  Witness the past 10+ years; for all the rancor in the ELCA concerning social statements and ecumenical agreements, few have jumped to Missouri. Instead, those who feel disenfranchised and want to remain Lutheran have chosen to invest time, money, and energy into new movements or church bodies.

I think this says a lot about the way the LCMS is perceived, for whatever that's worth. 
 

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Eric_Swensson on March 06, 2007, 01:51:35 PM
That's not what we have here. A dozen congregations have approached the local president in the last few years. They just haven't been pushed hard yet.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ROB_MOSKOWITZ on March 06, 2007, 02:18:14 PM
Historians talk about push-pull factors in immigration patterns. 

As far as this thread is concerned, many are experiencing plenty of "push factors" at work within the ELCA, but there seems to be little or no "pull factor" drawing any to the LCMS.  Witness the past 10+ years; for all the rancor in the ELCA concerning social statements and ecumenical agreements, few have jumped to Missouri. Instead, those who feel disenfranchised and want to remain Lutheran have chosen to invest time, money, and energy into new movements or church bodies.

I think this says a lot about the way the LCMS is perceived, for whatever that's worth. 
 


I would think that if someone would desire to affiliate with the LCMS they would want to take thier time in that process.    This would not be best served while devoting time to possibly leaving a former denomination.     The processes for affiliating and leaving varys greatly from one group to another.   In my experience this is the case rather than any pull or lack of pull from the LCMS.   I think thier new agreement with the AALC is a perfect example.

Yours In Christ
Rob Moskowitz
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on March 06, 2007, 03:38:33 PM
Hi Ya'll, Scott in particular

It occurrs to me that maybe the question is not posed correctly.  Few of us ELCA'ers would find a home in the LCMS; I just do not think that the culture there allows us to plug into the rest of the communion just yet.  BUT: as Missouri is fighting her internal wars and ELCA is fighting hers is there a possibility that the both will have a significant schism leaving sizble chunks of denominations floating in open space that might then gravitate toward each other and coagelate into  new entity?  I sense that both LCMS and ELCA have more than two poles (ie conservative vs liberal) do any of these wings have a natural afinity for each other?

Keep the Faith

Peter

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on March 06, 2007, 05:09:38 PM
Hi Ya'll, Scott in particular

It occurrs to me that maybe the question is not posed correctly. Few of us ELCA'ers would find a home in the LCMS; I just do not think that the culture there allows us to plug into the rest of the communion just yet. BUT: as Missouri is fighting her internal wars and ELCA is fighting hers is there a possibility that the both will have a significant schism leaving sizble chunks of denominations floating in open space that might then gravitate toward each other and coagelate into new entity? I sense that both LCMS and ELCA have more than two poles (ie conservative vs liberal) do any of these wings have a natural afinity for each other?

Keep the Faith

Peter



I have been predicting this for many years now.  I can see the EC's from the ELCA and LCMS finding common ground and life together as we do in the Society of the Holy Trinity.

A larger group, though, is the group of "moderates" in the LCMS tired of the cannibalistic behavior and "mainline" ELCA folks in the pews who hold almost identical views as the moderates of the LCMS and are tired of the percieved (CMA...notice I said percieved, and my primary source for that perception is my ELCA mother in law and her fellow parishioners that talk to me, so this is not scientific) shift to the left in the ELCA.  That would be a pretty good chunk from both groups, I suspect.

Then the LCMS would be pure and the ELCA would be progressive and the Lutherans could be....?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Eric_Swensson on March 06, 2007, 05:15:18 PM
Lutheran?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 06, 2007, 06:01:00 PM
Hi Ya'll, Scott in particular

It occurrs to me that maybe the question is not posed correctly.  Few of us ELCA'ers would find a home in the LCMS; I just do not think that the culture there allows us to plug into the rest of the communion just yet.  BUT: as Missouri is fighting her internal wars and ELCA is fighting hers is there a possibility that the both will have a significant schism leaving sizble chunks of denominations floating in open space that might then gravitate toward each other and coagelate into  new entity?  I sense that both LCMS and ELCA have more than two poles (ie conservative vs liberal) do any of these wings have a natural afinity for each other?

Keep the Faith

Peter



If splits happen, perhaps a new grouping could come about.  It would be a very good idea in my book.  But there'd still be a lot to talk about, in particular women's ordination.  Not so much the practice, but the hermeneutics and mode of theologizing necessary to get there.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: dastorhaug on March 06, 2007, 11:46:18 PM
   Dave,
. . . . . . . . . .   I really do believe the Lord is still with the ELCA, and that this is still His ship.  He may look, may be, in fact, asleep in the stern, but He is here, and that will be enough.  Even if my faith in Him, and this particular ship, falters and fails. . . . . . . . . .      But in the meantime, I am in the boat, bailing like crazy!

Erma Wolf, STS
also Lutheran CORE steering committee

Erma:
I have to admit that there may be more hope for the ELCA today,  than in the past,  when I was convinced otherwise.     

For example,  as I view the scene today I am encouraged by the emergence of groups like Word Alone, Lutheran CORE,  and others which are trying to change things.    Those are developments that I could never have conceived possible back in 1990.     

Also at the time I left (for me at least)  it was PRE-INTERNET days.    Today the INTERNET provides a better opportunity for individuals to realize that they are not alone,  to locate others of like mind, and provides them with more opportunity to take action. 

Plus the internet makes it more difficult for the bureaucracy to dictate communications and control the agenda as tightly as they used to do, which  further increases the possibility for change.

God's Blessings on you and your service,
Dave Storhaug
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on March 08, 2007, 12:11:16 AM
Given what I've seen and heard from many "Rostered Leaders" in the ELCA, the problem you have discerned is obviously not a recent problem. Which of the current faculty from Southern (LTSS) do you find issue with? Which do you find "acceptable" (if any) as teachers for those in formation for ordained ministry? Just curious.

I've yet to meet a rostered LTSS MDiv who was not adequately grounded in the Lutheran Confessions.

pax, spt+
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 08, 2007, 07:25:46 AM
An anonymous poster (who uses the letters designating Lutheran Southern Theological Seminary) asks Steven T:

Given what I've seen and heard from many "Rostered Leaders" in the ELCA, the problem you have discerned is obviously not a recent problem. Which of the current faculty from Southern (LTSS) do you find issue with? Which do you find "acceptable" (if any) as teachers for those in formation for ordained ministry? Just curious.

I comment:
Am I the only one to find the question unsavory and with the slight odor of witch-huntery? A noted scholar at that seminary has said he fears that the factions in the ELCA might lead to such conclusions about seminaries (which one is this way? which one is that way?), but he dearly hopes this does not happen.

And everyone please note that Steven P. Tibbetts responded that he "has yet to meet a rostered LTSS MDiv who was not adequately grounded in the Lutheran Confessions."
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: LTSS_Sem_2 on March 08, 2007, 11:21:26 AM
Charles writes:
"An anonymous poster (who uses the letters designating Lutheran Southern Theological Seminary) asks Steven T:
Given what I've seen and heard from many "Rostered Leaders" in the ELCA, the problem you have discerned is obviously not a recent problem. Which of the current faculty from Southern (LTSS) do you find issue with? Which do you find "acceptable" (if any) as teachers for those in formation for ordained ministry? Just curious.

and then he comments:
Am I the only one to find the question unsavory and with the slight odor of witch-huntery?

I respond:
Steven made a general statement regarding the "state" of seminary faculty and graduates that seems contrary to what I have found at LTSS. I wondered if he thought those statements were applicable here. He said no, question answered.

Then you assume, in the least charitable manner and incorrectly I might add, that I intened something unsavory in a conspiratorial witch-hunt sort of way. I think you owe me an apology.

Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 08, 2007, 11:56:47 AM
Someone writes:
Then you assume, in the least charitable manner and incorrectly I might add, that I intened something unsavory in a conspiratorial witch-hunt sort of way. I think you owe me an apology.

I comment:
Well, it seemed to me that you were asking which professors at the seminary were suspect. That feels a little witch-huntish in my opinion. But if I thought I needed to do so, to whom would I apologize? I don't know who you are.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: MMH on March 08, 2007, 01:06:11 PM
Well, it seemed to me that you were asking which professors at the seminary were suspect. That feels a little witch-huntish in my opinion. But if I thought I needed to do so, to whom would I apologize? I don't know who you are.

Or could s/he simply be asking (politely) for Steve to put up or shut up in naming professors at LTSS whom s/he knows to be confessionally sound? Could it be not a witch hunt, but a defense of beloved and respected teachers and mentors?

Just wondering.

Matt
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: JMerrell on March 08, 2007, 01:14:15 PM
Charles commented:
"Well, it seemed to me that you were asking which professors at the seminary were suspect. That feels a little witch-huntish in my opinion. But if I thought I needed to do so, to whom would I apologize? I don't know who you are."


My response:
I'll tell you who I am....I am also a Senior at Southern, and therefore you can apologize to me along with my classmate...yes, he is sitting next to me right now...Those of us at Southern are educated by two of the most well known theologians in the ELCA....furthermore, Southern is consistently known for producing orthodox (confessional) pastors and leaders of the church.  I find all the Lutheran Professors at this school as "acceptable" (your language) as teachers for those in formation for ordained ministry....I just hope all the seminaries had the same quality of professors.

We are highly grounded in the Lutheran Confessions, and I know for one that I am proud of that as well...and always will be.  If we had more pastors that were, maybe the ELCA would not have all the problems it is having.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: hansen on March 08, 2007, 01:23:50 PM
But if I thought I needed to do so, to whom would I apologize? I don't know who you are.

If you accidently bumped into a stranger while pushing your cart around in a grocery store, would that likewise be your response?

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 08, 2007, 01:44:04 PM
JMerrell writes:
We are highly grounded in the Lutheran Confessions, and I know for one that I am proud of that as well...and always will be.  If we had more pastors that were, maybe the ELCA would not have all the problems it is having.

I comment:
I am glad that one about to be ordained values the Lutheran Confessions. I might place a little value on humility as well. But if you don't have enough of it now, the good, faithful people in your first parish will teach it to you.

And I maintain my preference for people posting here under their real names.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: JMerrell on March 08, 2007, 01:48:42 PM
And I maintain my preference for people posting here under their real names.

good for you...hence the reason I chose JMerrell...edit:I also value humility...but due to not wanting to be kicked off this forum after having just joined I will keep my comments to myself.   ;D
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 08, 2007, 02:34:01 PM
I am glad that one about to be ordained values the Lutheran Confessions. I might place a little value on humility as well. But if you don't have enough of it now, the good, faithful people in your first parish will teach it to you.
Now Charles is claiming that there obviously weren't/aren't enough good, faithful people in the parishes he has served. 8) 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on March 08, 2007, 02:35:45 PM
Fear not, dear seminarian Merrell.  This forum is a place of grace (usually) and a wide divergence of opinion,  expressed in humility and fear and trembling, at least from this Pastor's own approach.  In my experience, we Lutherans do not like to be wrong.  For me, one of the joys of getting older is enjoying being occasionally wrong, though I still don't enjoy being misunderstood.  Post boldly!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: JMerrell on March 08, 2007, 03:41:34 PM
Fear not, dear seminarian Merrell.  This forum is a place of grace (usually) and a wide divergence of opinion,  expressed in humility and fear and trembling, at least from this Pastor's own approach.  In my experience, we Lutherans do not like to be wrong.  For me, one of the joys of getting older is enjoying being occasionally wrong, though I still don't enjoy being misunderstood.  Post boldly!

Thanks dave...but it is at this time that I remember what my father once told me: "Calling someone a liberal idiot will not solve anything."  I like to think that my father has pretty good advise sometimes. ;D
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: SCPO on March 08, 2007, 03:55:44 PM
Fear not, dear seminarian Merrell.  This forum is a place of grace (usually) and a wide divergence of opinion,  expressed in humility and fear and trembling, at least from this Pastor's own approach.  In my experience, we Lutherans do not like to be wrong.  For me, one of the joys of getting older is enjoying being occasionally wrong, though I still don't enjoy being misunderstood.  Post boldly!

Thanks dave...but it is at this time that I remember what my father once told me: "Calling someone a liberal idiot will not solve anything."  I like to think that my father has pretty good advise sometimes. ;D

     And post boldly he did!     I think I will go pop some corn.   ;)

Regards,

Someone named Senior
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: LTSS_Sem_2 on March 08, 2007, 10:11:07 PM
Charles:
"Well, it seemed to me that you were asking which professors at the seminary were suspect. That feels a little witch-huntish in my opinion. But if I thought I needed to do so, to whom would I apologize? I don't know who you are."

My turn:
You seem to be glossing the fact that you also said, "Am I the only one to find the question unsavory...?"
There was nothing in my question, nor my motive, that was insipid, tasteless, or morally offensive. Matt and Don understood the purpose and nature of my question. I don't think Steven would have replied had he thought I was "baiting" him with an unsavory question. Get over yourself Charles. I have posted my name previously...go look it up if it bothers you that much. Knowing my name does not mean you know me anyway.

I do apologize for the distraction to the purpose of this thread, of which I have been a participant.

Peace
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: frluther1517 on March 09, 2007, 08:53:17 AM
Getting us back on the topic of this tread....

the Short answer to the question is...No.  I have considered and thought about it, but if the ELCA does fall into the abyss of apostacy I do not see LCMS as an adequate option for me.  I would probably (like many other noted Lutheran theologians as of late) turn to Rome.  There are many things which bother me in the LCMS biblicism, infighting, and the lack of any noticible ecumenical work outside of those other Lutheran Churches who look like the LCMS.  I truly believe that the Augsburg confession is an ecumenical doccument and that given the changes since Vatican II (which some have deemed Luther's council that he never got) my departure will be a move towards Reconciliation with the Bishop of Rome and the Roman Catholic Church.  Also since Vatican II I believe that there could be some wonderful things which departed Lutherans could bring to the RCC, preaching and singing to name a couple.  Lutheranism has always been or at least claims to be a "reforming" movement, I believe to some extent that it is possible now to reform from within.  For me I see swiming the Mississippi as a further move into protestantism, which does not appeal to me.    If I ever come to the realization that I can no longer in good faith serve in the ELCA (which may happen) it will be....Home Sweet Rome.   

For the sake of Charles, lest he throw himself into another fit,
Seminarian Wolfe
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 09, 2007, 09:04:01 AM
For me I see swiming the Mississippi as a further move into protestantism, which does not appeal to me.   

This is interesting to me.  Why would you see it as a further move into protestantism?  Is it because of the "evangelical" tendencies in some LCMS parishes?  Is it because of scriptural interpretation?  Is it that you see the LCMS as being not as "churchly" as other Lutherans or perhaps Anglicans?

It was just an interesting observation, and I was wondering if you could expand on it.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 09, 2007, 09:05:03 AM
frluther1517, also identifying himself as Seminarian Wolfe, gives good reasons for moving towards Rome rather than St. Louis, should one no longer be able to minister within the ELCA. Apart from a certain compatibility on some (by no means all) questions of biblical interpretation, I do not see what would pull ecumenically grounded, doctrinally centered ELCAers into the LC-MS, which Wolfe points out, lurches towards another type of distinctive American Protestantism.

Personal note, since it was mentioned in the post: I do not throw myself "into another fit" about anonymous posters. I just find it strange that in a discussion which involves fellow Christians discussing matters of import to our faith and our churches, people do not want to give their real names and positions. There may be meetings and situations where anonymity is necessary and valued; I just don't think this is one of those places.

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: frluther1517 on March 09, 2007, 09:29:42 AM
For me I see swiming the Mississippi as a further move into protestantism, which does not appeal to me.   

This is interesting to me.  Why would you see it as a further move into protestantism?  Is it because of the "evangelical" tendencies in some LCMS parishes?  Is it because of scriptural interpretation?  Is it that you see the LCMS as being not as "churchly" as other Lutherans or perhaps Anglicans?

It was just an interesting observation, and I was wondering if you could expand on it.

I do want to take your question seriously, because I believe it is a very important one.  Having said that I am not sure all of my thoughts are as formulated as I would have liked them to be.  So here is a weak attempt to respond, which I may need to come back to later and add or change....

It is really a blend of those factors that you and I have already mentioned.  here are some of the parts

Biblicism is a problem for me, especially in terms of a strict 6, 24hr day creation.  I am not certain that that is even a core believe (although according the current LCMS President, it is for him) of the Church.  Please note I am just using this as an example.

The more evangelic tendancies and Church Growth movement program does not sit well with me. 

The lack of any ecumenical work bothers me. 

Ecclesiology is another issue.  Granted I am speaking from a horrible position because the ELCA's own polity is enough to make me leave.   ;)   ;D  As I continue to study, I am further convinced of the three-fold office of ministry.  Given that the ELCA's own for lack of a better term 3rd order is a complete disaster, pushes me away.  (let it be known that I am speaking as a husband of an AIM candidate)  Also I have come to firmly believe in the necessity of the office of Bishop.  And to give the Bishop the authority and power need to be a "prince of the Church."    :) (I really like that term)   

And ultimately lets face it the LCMS is a protestant denomination.  Leaving one Protestant denomination for another would no longer have any appeal to me. 
 
Scott-
Please note that this is a work in progress.  My thoughts are not fully formulated as I would have liked them to be for this post...Perhaps with some more reflection it will become clearer.  Again my apologies
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: frluther1517 on March 09, 2007, 09:37:06 AM
frluther1517

Personal note, since it was mentioned in the post: I do not throw myself "into another fit" about anonymous posters. I just find it strange that in a discussion which involves fellow Christians discussing matters of import to our faith and our churches, people do not want to give their real names and positions. There may be meetings and situations where anonymity is necessary and valued; I just don't think this is one of those places.



Charles, please forgive my attempt at being jovial.  It was not meant to attack, just to be humerous.  I know that you have your position on this (and come on Charles we can all know that some fits on this have been thrown)  ;).  If I really wanted to be secret I wouldn't have posted my "true identity" (I feel like a superhero) ;D on other threads.  My fellow seminarian on another post did raise a rather good question though, even if my screen name was a real name such as Charles Austin, how would you know that it was MY real name?  Perhaps you aren't Really Charles?  How do I know your true identity?  Is knowing eachother's real names and secret identites necessary for Christian discussion, debate and fellowship?  Or is it Adiaphora? 


Again this is all humor....
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 09, 2007, 10:06:48 AM
The lack of any ecumenical work bothers me. 

Ecclesiology is another issue.  Granted I am speaking from a horrible position because the ELCA's own polity is enough to make me leave.   ;)   ;D  As I continue to study, I am further convinced of the three-fold office of ministry.  Given that the ELCA's own for lack of a better term 3rd order is a complete disaster, pushes me away.  (let it be known that I am speaking as a husband of an AIM candidate)  Also I have come to firmly believe in the necessity of the office of Bishop.  And to give the Bishop the authority and power need to be a "prince of the Church."    :) (I really like that term)   

Thanks Friar (or is it "Father"?) Luther.

Like I said, it was an interesting observation to me, and I wanted to know why you thought that.

I'll have to say that the lack of ecumenical work bothers me as well.  We have been doing more of it, but still not enough in my mind.  The LCMS recently re-entered discussions with Rome which we never wanted to leave in the first place.  According to the LCMS people who were actually in attendance and involved in our departure during Barry's time, there was some agitation from the ELCA side that we should no longer participate because we are too intractible (there's probably some truth to that).  But we wanted to be involved and the Roman delegates also said they wanted us involved.  Finally, we have been re-admitted to the table but as a "participant" (not a "full participant") in the discussion.  Nevertheless, the truth is that even under Pres. Barry, we wanted to be in talks with Rome.

But your observation is correct, and I do wish that we would increase our ecumenical discussions, particularly with the ELCA, Rome and the Orthodox.

Ecclesiology is another interesting point.  I agree with you, frluther1517,  about the three-fold office.  I think it's a good idea as long as it's understood to be by human right.  The reality is, thought, that the ministry of oversight envisaged by such a division is already operative and quite strong (at least in the LCMS) through those called "presidents".  But I have been opining to my colleagues lately that we should just adopt the 3-fold ministry by human right as a good way to organize and get it out of the way.  It won't guarantee orthodoxy or anything, but it does put us closer to the mainstream of historic Christian practice over the millenia than our current congregational (I call it "cat") polity. [It's like a cat because they never go where you want them to go (remember the commercial: "I'm a cat herder...") and if you touch them, they arch their back and hiss.]
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 09, 2007, 10:16:13 AM
Scott writes:
[It's like a cat because they never go where you want them to go (remember the commercial: "I'm a cat herder...") and if you touch them, they arch their back and hiss.]

I  comment:
Cat-ism at work again! How rampant it is! My cat, Maxwell, goes where I want him to go (provided I check with him first), loves being touched and he never hisses.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: frluther1517 on March 09, 2007, 10:23:46 AM
The lack of any ecumenical work bothers me. 

Ecclesiology is another issue.  Granted I am speaking from a horrible position because the ELCA's own polity is enough to make me leave.   ;)   ;D  As I continue to study, I am further convinced of the three-fold office of ministry.  Given that the ELCA's own for lack of a better term 3rd order is a complete disaster, pushes me away.  (let it be known that I am speaking as a husband of an AIM candidate)  Also I have come to firmly believe in the necessity of the office of Bishop.  And to give the Bishop the authority and power need to be a "prince of the Church."    :) (I really like that term)   

Thanks Friar (or is it "Father"?) Luther.

Like I said, it was an interesting observation to me, and I wanted to know why you thought that.

I'll have to say that the lack of ecumenical work bothers me as well.  We have been doing more of it, but still not enough in my mind.  The LCMS recently re-entered discussions with Rome which we never wanted to leave in the first place.  According to the LCMS people who were actually in attendance and involved in our departure during Barry's time, there was some agitation from the ELCA side that we should no longer participate because we are too intractible (there's probably some truth to that).  But we wanted to be involved and the Roman delegates also said they wanted us involved.  Finally, we have been re-admitted to the table but as a "participant" (not a "full participant") in the discussion.  Nevertheless, the truth is that even under Pres. Barry, we wanted to be in talks with Rome.

But your observation is correct, and I do wish that we would increase our ecumenical discussions, particularly with the ELCA, Rome and the Orthodox.

Ecclesiology is another interesting point.  I agree with you, frluther1517,  about the three-fold office.  I think it's a good idea as long as it's understood to be by human right.  The reality is, thought, that the ministry of oversight envisaged by such a division is already operative and quite strong (at least in the LCMS) through those called "presidents".  But I have been opining to my colleagues lately that we should just adopt the 3-fold ministry by human right as a good way to organize and get it out of the way.  It won't guarantee orthodoxy or anything, but it does put us closer to the mainstream of historic Christian practice over the millenia than our current congregational (I call it "cat") polity. [It's like a cat because they never go where you want them to go (remember the commercial: "I'm a cat herder...") and if you touch them, they arch their back and hiss.]

Actually it's Ian, but I am a recently ordained Father (of the parental order,  non-ecclesial).  Have to get the Archbishop to hand out CEE-GARS!   ;D

Just for clarification...
What exactly do you mean by human right? Is it purely a human construct or is it a gift to the Church?  I am not sure that I could agree that it is solely a human construct strictly for "good order."  I believe the relationship to the office of ministry and Church to be deeper than that.  I am sure you do as well...just wanted some clarification...

I really like the term cat-polity...lol...its so true.  
 
Keep up the good work in working on the LCMS' ecumenism.

Ian Wolfe

P.s.- It's *father* Luther.  If I'm not mistaken Augustinians are monks not friars, it would have been father.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 09, 2007, 10:59:58 AM
Actually it's Ian, but I am a recently ordained Father (of the parental order,  non-ecclesial).  Have to get the Archbishop to hand out CEE-GARS!   ;D

Just for clarification...
What exactly do you mean by human right? Is it purely a human construct or is it a gift to the Church?  I am not sure that I could agree that it is solely a human construct strictly for "good order."  I believe the relationship to the office of ministry and Church to be deeper than that.  I am sure you do as well...just wanted some clarification...

I really like the term cat-polity...lol...its so true.  
 
Keep up the good work in working on the LCMS' ecumenism.

Ian Wolfe

P.s.- It's *father* Luther.  If I'm not mistaken Augustinians are monks not friars, it would have been father.

By "human right" all I mean to say is that it is not something that consciences can be bound to, as if not accepting it would somehow be to sin.  As far as a gift to the church, I think I could agree with that in the sense that it's something the church does naturally, anyway, with or without the explicit acknowledgement of the three-fold office.  I also think it's beneficial (or could be beneficial) for the life of the church, so in that sense the language of "gift" appeals to me as well.

Thanks for the encouragement re: ecumenism.  It's my justification for wasting -- oops -- I mean profitably spending my time on this board.  :D

[Note -- our wise, fatherly and loving moderator may be lurking, and he has outlawed all references to tobacco products due to the abuse of such by certain archbishops...  Just wait, you'll see...  ;)]
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 09, 2007, 11:13:08 AM
I  comment:
Cat-ism at work again! How rampant it is! My cat, Maxwell, goes where I want him to go (provided I check with him first), loves being touched and he never hisses.

There was one cat that I liked.  Have I ever told you about Inky?  Poor Inky...  Porcupine traps and kittens don't mix...
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on March 09, 2007, 11:23:21 AM
Actually it's Ian, but I am a recently ordained Father (of the parental order,  non-ecclesial).  Have to get the Archbishop to hand out CEE-GARS!   ;D . . .  Note -- our wise, fatherly and loving moderator may be lurking, and he has outlawed all references to tobacco products due to the abuse of such by certain archbishops...  Just wait, you'll see...  ;)
    

Yup.  Now its stuffed ana-mules, and you certainly deserve one.  Congratulations !! :D
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 09, 2007, 11:29:52 AM
[Note -- our wise, fatherly and loving moderator may be lurking, and he has outlawed all references to tobacco products due to the abuse of such by certain archbishops...  Just wait, you'll see...  ;)]

Stop that right now. >:(
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: frluther1517 on March 09, 2007, 11:43:52 AM
Thanks Archbishop! 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on March 09, 2007, 12:03:26 PM
On the three fold office,,,,,,, Piepkorn, and others, hold that the Apostolic and post Apostolic form was firstly the "Amt", Presbyter-Bishop, with presbyter being the lesser emphasised until after the Constantinian peace.  Bishops and Decons ran things, with Presbyters being mostly 'mass priests' when the
Bishop could not preside.   Diaconate was always separate until it was incorpotated into the Office finally in the Fourth Century.
At the time of the Reformation, for the most part Lutheran churches followed the Apostolic form until after time the Diaconate mostly fell into disuse.  Anglicans carried over the (late and decadent 8>) ) Medieval three fold office.
B16 in pushing hard for the revival of the Diaconate (male and female) calls it the ministry of love and service, while the Office of Presbyter-Bishop is one of proclamation and sacrament.  Willl have to wait on the Holy Spirit to see how this all comes to pass.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on March 09, 2007, 12:26:21 PM
B16 in pushing hard for the revival of the Diaconate (male and female) calls it the ministry of love and service, while the Office of Presbyter-Bishop is one of proclamation and sacrament. Willl have to wait on the Holy Spirit to see how this all comes to pass.


I am intrigued by this reference.  The diaconate as a transitional order, used much like our vicarage, is still in place for those to be ordained priests and are to be celibate.

The Permanent Diaconate was restored shortly after Vatican II and is open to single (celibate) and married (chaste) men, who if their wife dies must remain celibate.  They are ordained to a ministry of Word, Sacrament (though not Absolution, Eucharist, Confirmation or Anointing) and are usually non-stipendary.

I served as a renegade Deacon in the LCMS, having been ordained as same (irregularly, I admit) and 10 years later colloquized into the order of Pastor.  I believe strongly in the 3-fold Office and started a school for the Diaconate in Tucson back in 1985 that still operates today and has produced Deacons, a few of whom are on paid staff in LCMS congregations in the area.  Several Districts operate schools like the one I established.  The graduates are called to serve congregations either in support roles or as their "Pastor".  They wear a Deacon stole and, unlike the catholic tradition for most of history, preside at the Eucharist and preach.  The preaching part is standard issue for Deacons, the presiding has probably occured over history, but is not the norm since the Middle Ages when presbyters were 3 cents a dozen (Mass priests).  Deacons have always done the real work of charity for the Church.  Today in the Roman Church, many are simply liturgical Deacons because of their advance age.

Before my dad died years ago, I visited him in the hospital (he remained RC) and a priest came to visit him, I introduced myself as a Deacon and he commented that I was the first Deacon he had met that was younger than 70 years old.  I guess if you are Roman Catholic, you want to hedge your bets about that celibacy thing.  I understand, however, that there have been some Deacons who have gotten divorced, and that throws a wrench into the whole Canon Law thing.

But, I digress....
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 09, 2007, 02:31:25 PM
My experience in the LCMS has been from grade school through seminary that were most decidedly not protestants in the normal sense of the word. Interestingly, our refusal to be lumped in with protestants was a sign of our sectarianism. Now it seems that our insufficient disdain for protestantism is also a sign of our sectarianism. But as I look around, the LCMS seems to be well within the "Great Tradition" of Christianity. For example, if I read Touchstone, which bills itself as a journal of mere Christianity (as per Lewis's book title) I come across Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, and Evangelical authors, yet feel very much at home theologically. But (and here is the main point) is only with representatives of those churches who take their church's authority seriously. We have different rankings of what we recognize as the voice of Our Lord (Scripture, ecclesial authority, Tradition, Reason, etc.) which for the time being keeps us from being formally one church. But we all mutually recognize that fact. But on a more ribber-hits-road level I participate in the Pastor-Theologian program through CTI at Princeton and though I'm lonely in being the only one who is right all the time, I do manage to rub elbows with Mennonites, Methodists, and all manner of sub-Christian miscreants (oh wait, did I type that? That wasn't for public consumption--my secret LCMS personal ecumenism alarm that safeguards my sectarianism and prevents contact with others must have gone haywire, let me get back to you...)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 09, 2007, 03:53:05 PM
Something i consider interesting is how it seems that if ELCA'ers jump ship, they paddle to Rome.  However, for folks in the LCMS, we go and feel a draw a few miles further East.

And like at least many who have expressed their opinions here re: the LCMS, most LCMS'ers don't consider WELS or even smaller micro-synods.

Anybody have any ideas why ELCA folk seem to prefer Rome and LCMS people tend toward Constantinople?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 09, 2007, 05:13:04 PM
Anybody have any ideas why ELCA folk seem to prefer Rome and LCMS people tend toward Constantinople?

I suspect that LCMS has nurtured and harbored the "anti-Roman virus" (which is rampant among Lutherans, and rampant among American Protestants in general) more attentively than ELCA. Part of that has to do with the German experience, where there were fairly clear lines drawn between evangelische and catholicsche (as opposed to Scandinavia, where there were no lines to draw clearly because there were minisucle numbers of Roman Catholics). Part of it has to do with the historical "sectarianism" and "isolationism" of LCMS (and the consequent need to define oneself over and against someone else). Part of it may have to do with the fact that LCMS was strongest in parts of the country where the anti-Roman virus was especially virulent. As a result, an LCMS person would find it congenitally difficult to think about becoming "Catholic." I think that is less of an issue for an ELCA person, perhaps because of longer and friendlier ecumenical relationships with Roman Catholics on several levels.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 09, 2007, 05:18:32 PM
I suspect that LCMS has nurtured and harbored the "anti-Roman virus" (which is rampant among Lutherans, and rampant among American Protestants in general) more attentively than ELCA. Part of that has to do with the German experience, where there were fairly clear lines drawn between evangelische and catholicsche (as opposed to Scandinavia, where there were no lines to draw clearly because there were minisucle numbers of Roman Catholics). Part of it has to do with the historical "sectarianism" and "isolationism" of LCMS (and the consequent need to define oneself over and against someone else). Part of it may have to do with the fact that LCMS was strongest in parts of the country where the anti-Roman virus was especially virulent. As a result, an LCMS person would find it congenitally difficult to think about becoming "Catholic." I think that is less of an issue for an ELCA person, perhaps because of longer and friendlier ecumenical relationships with Roman Catholics on several levels.

Interesting thoughts.  Most of the folks who do go the way of the Orthodox that I have heard of is our "high church" wing where the liturgy is paramount to all things.  From my perspective, this was the reason.  Those others are new to me...

Oh -- a married priesthood would be the other reason.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Revbert on March 09, 2007, 05:32:20 PM
Scott

As to the married priesthood, don't forget that even Rome will "welcome back" the married priest from Anglicanshire and Lutherberg.

Neither Rome or the Orthodox world would allow a married priest to become a bishop, however, I believe.

Art
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: wgross on March 09, 2007, 05:35:25 PM
Discussions about persons who leave Lutheran denominations for other churches often seem to conflate two distinct types of departures. Some leave because they are disaffected from the policies and practices of Lutheran denominations rather than from the Lutheran tradition itself. Others leave because they reject specific Lutheran doctrines. The former presumably would stay Lutheran if the ELCA or LCMS were more to their liking. The latter presumably would leave regardless of what the ELCA or LCMS do or say. Of course, these two categories are not completely distinct since denominational disaffection might contribute to the departure of those who question core Lutheran doctrines and vice versa.

Although I regret both types of departures, I can understand the conversion of those who reject Lutheranism itself much more than I can understand the conversion of those whose quarrel is only with the denominations. If a Lutheran comes to believe in papal infallibility, purgatory, and other uniquely Roman Catholic doctrines, (s)he probably should become Roman Catholic. If, however, a Lutheran disagrees with the ELCA's position on sexualty or is weary of internal disputes within the LCMS, I see no reason at all why he or she should leave Lutheranism altogether or even leave one's Lutheran denomination. It seems to me that a person (clergy or lay) who is disaffected with a denomination might try to find a Lutheran congregation where kindred spirits predominate; if one cannot do this, another alternative (at least for lay persons) is to worship (as I have done) in the church of another denomination without forsaking Lutheranism or dropping one's name from Lutheran membership rolls until such time as one can find a Lutheran congregation in which one feels at home.

Many Lutherans seem to focus so much on specific American Lutheran denominations that they do not seem to sufficiently comprehend that Lutheranism is far more than any specific denomination. Not long ago, I saw a posting on another website in which a woman announced that she no longer could be Lutheran because the ELCA was too "conservative" on some of the issues on which most members of this Forum seem to think that the ELCA is too "liberal." I can see at least some small reason why she might wish to leave the ELCA (even though I think she should have stayed), but I cannot understand any reason why the ELCA's position on various social issues would cause her to leave the Lutheran Church, in which she said she had very deep roots. Similarly, I cannot understand why conservatives leave the Lutheran Church when their quarrel is merely with a denomination rather than with the Church at large.

Too many Lutherans fail to fully appreciate that Lutheranism constitutes a rich heritage of theology, music, art, philosophy, and culture that transcends any specific denomination. I cannot understand why anyone would forsake this ancient and solid heritage because of transitory problems in church organizations.  Roman Catholics who are disaffected with their Church rarely consider leaving it for another denomination; they may disagree with the Pope, but their Catholicism is non-negotiable. Similarly, many persons who are leaving the Episcopal Church are joining Anglican denominations rather than converting to other religions. And I never heard of any Jew forsaking Judaism because he or she didn't feel comfortable with the Conservative, Orthodox or Reform organizations. So why should Lutherans join non-Lutheran churches merely because they don't like the ELCA or the LCMS?

William G. Ross

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 09, 2007, 05:38:06 PM
Excellent thoughts, William.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on March 09, 2007, 07:21:11 PM
Neither Rome or the Orthodox world would allow a married priest to become a bishop, however, I believe. 
Art, there is one precedent for a married bishop in the Roman Catholic Church:  Salomão Barbosa Ferraz.  Just over a month after retired Roman Catholic Diocesan Bishop, Carlos Duarte Costa broke with Rome and founded the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church (ICAB), on August 15, 1945 he presided as the principal at the episcopal consecration of Salomão Barbosa Ferraz. Thirteen years later (in 1958 under Pope John XXIII) Bishop Ferraz reconciled and returned to the Roman Catholic Church and was fully recognized as a valid bishop (even though he was married at the time.)

Ferraz was not ordained or consecrated again, even conditionally, but he was not appointed to a diocese immediately. He did pastoral work in the Archdiocese of São Paolo until May 12, 1963, when he was appointed titular bishop of Eleutherna by Pope John XXIII. He was eventually appointed an Auxiliary Bishop of Rio de Janerio,  He attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council, and Pope Paul VI appointed him to serve on one of Vatican II's working commissions. Upon his death in 1969, Bishop Ferraz was buried with full honors accorded a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church.

Reference:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duarte_Costa

His case is evidence that the Holy Orders conferred by Duarte Costa after having left the Roman Catholic Church were (and are for those who hold the Duarte Costa lineage) accepted as valid but illicit by Rome, and his case is considered a precedent for married bishops in the Roman Catholic Church.  Whether that precedent will be followed is another matter given Benedict XVI's current overtures to the Eastern Orthodox, who do not permit married bishops.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 09, 2007, 07:25:32 PM
So why should Lutherans join non-Lutheran churches merely because they don't like the ELCA or the LCMS?

One reason might be that some Lutherans, at least, take seriously the vision of Lutheranism as a "confessing movement within the church catholic." They have subsequently decided that either one or both of the following is true: (a) the denominations as they presently exist no longer faithfully bear that confession; and/or (b) the Roman Catholic Church in fact has embraced the key elements of that confession. And so the conclusion is that becoming Roman Catholic is the logical and faithful step to take.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: wgross on March 10, 2007, 01:59:28 PM
In response to the first point made in the preceding reply from Pastor Johnson to my question, I reiterate that those who believe that existing denominations are no longer faithful to Lutheranism do not need to forsake Lutheranism itself. With regard to his second point, I believe (as I said in my post) that a Lutheran who accepts all of the doctrines and practices of Roman Catholicism might as well become Roman Catholic. If one merely believes, however, that the Roman Catholic Church accepts "key" elements of the Lutheran confessions, it is my opinion that there are still compelling reasons for remaining Lutheran since there are important differences between Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism even to the extent that there may be agreement on "key" theological issues. With regard to his point about the "church catholic," I believe that a Lutheran can be fully part of the "church catholic" while remaining Lutheran and remaining outside the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches. As Pastor Johnson reminds us, however, not everyone would agree with me.

William G. Ross
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Revbert on March 10, 2007, 08:42:05 PM
Neither Rome or the Orthodox world would allow a married priest to become a bishop, however, I believe. 
Art, there is one precedent for a married bishop in the Roman Catholic Church:  Salomão Barbosa Ferraz.  Just over a month after retired Roman Catholic Diocesan Bishop, Carlos Duarte Costa broke with Rome and founded the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church (ICAB), on August 15, 1945 he presided as the principal at the episcopal consecration of Salomão Barbosa Ferraz. Thirteen years later (in 1958 under Pope John XXIII) Bishop Ferraz reconciled and returned to the Roman Catholic Church and was fully recognized as a valid bishop (even though he was married at the time.)

Ferraz was not ordained or consecrated again, even conditionally, but he was not appointed to a diocese immediately. He did pastoral work in the Archdiocese of São Paolo until May 12, 1963, when he was appointed titular bishop of Eleutherna by Pope John XXIII. He attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council, and Pope Paul VI appointed him to serve on one of Vatican II's working commissions. Upon his death in 1969, Bishop Ferraz was buried with full honors accorded a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church.

Reference:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duarte_Costa

His case is evidence that the Holy Orders conferred by Duarte Costa after having left the Roman Catholic are accepted as valid but illicit, and his case is considered a precedent for married bishops in the Roman Catholic Church.  whether that precedent will be followed is another matter given Benedict XVI's current overtures to the Eastern Orthodox, who do not permit married bishops.

Irl

You are, of course, correct.  I should have remembered the basics of that (if not the names).

Of course, it comes back, in part, to Rome's theology and understanding of ordination itself.  The good bishop would never have been made a bishop if married, and I doubt Rome would ever consider one at the present time.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: dastorhaug on March 10, 2007, 09:37:21 PM
From William G. Ross post #103
So why should Lutherans join non-Lutheran churches merely because they don't like the ELCA or the LCMS?

From William G. Ross post #107
In response to the first point made in the preceding reply from Pastor Johnson to my question, I reiterate that those who believe that existing denominations are no longer faithful to Lutheranism do not need to forsake Lutheranism itself. With regard to his second point, I believe (as I said in my post) that a Lutheran who accepts all of the doctrines and practices of Roman Catholicism might as well become Roman Catholic. If one merely believes, however, that the Roman Catholic Church accepts "key" elements of the Lutheran confessions, it is my opinion that there are still compelling reasons for remaining Lutheran since there are important differences between Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism even to the extent that there may be agreement on "key" theological issues. With regard to his point about the "church catholic," I believe that a Lutheran can be fully part of the "church catholic" while remaining Lutheran and remaining outside the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches. As Pastor Johnson reminds us, however, not everyone would agree with me.

William G. Ross

From a purely theoretical perspective,  I agree wholeheartedly with your statement:
Quote
  . . . . that those who believe that existing denominations are no longer faithful to Lutheranism do not need to forsake Lutheranism itself.

However I submit in this real world,  practical considerations often dilute (or perhaps even contaminate) such a purely theoretical perspective.    From my perspective,  such practical considerations can also be subdivided into whether you are a layman or a pastor.

From my perspective as a layman, situated in the upper midwest USA,  I do not recall hearing of any other Lutheran layman voluntarily switching from Lutheran to "Rome",  except because of marrying a "Catholic".    By contrast,  from my same perspective,   I have observed a number of pastors who have voluntarily made the switch from Lutheran to "Rome".   I am interested if others in other parts of the country have the same or differing observations, and if so, what the reasons might be for pastors being more likely to voluntarily switch to Rome than are laymen. 

For laymen,   the practical considerations are perhaps more obvious and more easily understood:
-  the desire of adults to fellowship with CHRISTIAN friends,  whether Lutheran or not.
-  the desire of parents to have their children maintain their CHRISTIAN friends (often initiated in public school for example),  whether Lutheran or not.
-  the desire to attend a CHRISTIAN church close to your residence,  whether Lutheran or not.  In the rural parts of the USA,  the Lutheran options are often non-existant or very limited.   Even in large metropolitan areas,   I observe that the larger number of choices are more theoretical than real,   because the typical Amerian seldom is willing to fight the traffic and drive from one part of the metropolitan area to another,  just to get to a particular brand of Lutheran church   (my children live in a large metro area and this is what they report to me - besides, when visiting this large metro area,  my wife and I are very willing to make the drive to check out certain Lutheran churches - but our kids and grandchildren almost never are - except perhaps for certain holiday events).
- the bias that certain "mainstream" Lutherans have against smaller Lutheran synods - unfortunate but true.
- the ignorance that certain "mainstream" Lutherans have - not even realizing that there is such a concept as "pan Lutheranism".

Respectfully submitted
Dave Storhaug,
Lutheran Layman
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: JMerrell on March 12, 2007, 01:40:46 PM

But your observation is correct, and I do wish that we would increase our ecumenical discussions, particularly with the ELCA, Rome and the Orthodox.



I agree with you on that Scott...even as I sit in ecumenical theology learning from Michael Root.  When I was on internship, the town had several very large churches, including the 1 ELCA church in the town (we had about 1400 members)...other than the ELCA church, we had a LCMS and a LCWS...surprisingly, everyone got along with the exception of those two.  To them, every other church in the area was "outcasts".  However, the Catholic Church down the street and us (the ELCA church) got along great, and participated in several ecumenical endeavors. The most notable of these was on Palm Sunday...when the members of our congregation gathered, and then walked to the Catholic Church, where we had a brief liturgy together with the Catholics before starting our Palm Sunday service.  Then we all marched back down to our church waving palms and ringing bells.  I thought it was rather interesting that of all the churches in the area, the ELCA Lutherans and the Catholics were the ones that did this.  Word from them is that this year the Presbyterians and the Episcopals will be joining them...I am looking forward to hearing how it turns out. (Maybe one day the methodists might also join... :o)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on March 12, 2007, 01:55:06 PM
So why should Lutherans join non-Lutheran churches merely because they don't like the ELCA or the LCMS?
In the case of leaving for Roman Catholicism I would suggest that it is because of the person's understanding of the nature of the Church and of authority within the Church, their view of the nature of the Wittenberg phase of the Reformation and its course, and that they have in fact come to accept such things as papal primacy and infallibility, RC soteriology, eschatology spirituality, Mariology, as well as the other major Roman Catholic doctrines.  Someone on another thread quite some time back mentioned something to the effect for some, the idea Rome is home does underly at least some corners of Evangelical Catholic Lutheranism.  It may be buried deeper in some places than others, but it is there somewhere, at least for some, and IMHO that does factor in.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on March 12, 2007, 03:35:22 PM
" the nature of the Wittenberg phase of the Reformation and its course"

Irl, that's priceless, what a hoot! ,,,,,, and a lot of truth in it for anyone willing to look at it.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Frsteve on March 13, 2007, 05:09:26 PM
What a question for me--Would[ if the ELCA drifts far afield from the Great Tradition] I consider LC-MS?

Although painful the answer is no!  I am a son of MO Synod, a 1970 graduate of Concordia Lutheran in Austin; a 1975 graduate of Concordia Sr. College in Fort Wayne, Ind.  But even if I can no longer be in the ELCA I could not go the the LCMS as it exists.  I am unwilling to exchange a liberal, drifting theology for the new Phariseeism that is todays Mo Synod. 

As a lover of history I know that quests for purity, quests to purge the heretical and save the one true faith inevitably end in self indulgent, fundamentalism of a sort.

When my grandfather died, I was told by the Pastor of the WELS church to which he belonged that I would not only not be allowed to help in the service, but if as the plan had evolved I was in blacks and led the family in prayer prior to the service the Pastor would not permit the funeral and burial in the church graveyard to go on.  And this is the group LCMS finds acceptable.

In my last parish there were only two Lutheran churches in the county, ours [ELCA] and an LCMS.  When the county Ministerial association met the spiritual leadership rotated.  When it was my turn to lead the opening worship the LCMS pastor would leave the room and not return until the business portion of the meeting.  He stayed when the Baptist led it, when the RC led it, when the Pentecostals led it, but left only when I led it.  After four years I went to his church and asked him why,  his response was illuminating.  This 28 year old new pastor told me that I as a student of the confessions had known the truth of Christ and rejected it for Liberal ideas and his his opinion therefore was apostate and to be shunned;  but the others were operating out of confessional ignorance and deserved to be helped.

I will concede that these are extreme examples but the lack of collegial feeling, the outright rudeness has been much more prevalent with my experience than the use of compassion and Pastoral discretion.  I am still not welcome at the Lord's Table with my family at funerals, weddings, confirmations.

I believe that the Herman Otten, "Christian News" kind of extremism is far more common in the field of Missouri than is generally admitted.  To those who truely use the confessional power of compassion and Pastoral distcretion --to those who would concede to fellow Lutheran was Dr. Martin Luther of Blessed memory conceded about the papists that at the least they are church for they have the Gospel and the Sacraments,  I Say God bless you.  But I will not and could not join a organization that would treat a fellow christian as I and members of my family have been treated.

Pr. Steve Little
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on March 13, 2007, 05:46:48 PM
Fr. Steve:

While not having the lineage you do in the LCMS, I have experienced some of the same things you have while remaining in the LCMS.  May I apologize?  I am not sure I have standing to do so, though.  I must say, I do not blame you.

I also sense, unfortunately, that you are more right in your assessment than I generally like to admit.  I find that I must avoid those circumstances that will create the kinds of confrontations you mention, which means I have to practice selective attendance at selective gatherings.  I am blessed to be in a salt-water District where these issues are rare, and as one of the few Evangelical Catholics, my brothers are delighted to discover that even though I wear clericals daily, I do not share the agenda of those who are known for such a practice in our Synod.

Kyrie eleison!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 13, 2007, 06:29:36 PM
For a historical study of Lutheran differences, the 1978 discussion between official representatives of the ALC, LCA, and LCMS on "the function of doctrine and theology in the light of the unity of the church" known as the FODT Report continues to be discussed by the ELCA and LCMS. The FODT report can be read/downloaded at:

http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=10823
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 13, 2007, 07:44:10 PM
I have only been an active pastor in two different circuits, one in Illinois and one in Wisconsin, and of the thirty or so LCMS pastors with whom I had/have regular collegial contact, none come even close to what is described above. The LCMS does not find the WELS version of fellowship acceptable or we would be in fellowship, so the funeral story, while sad, is misplaced in this thread; nobody was talking about the WELS. And I think there is a substantive difference between somebody who has been formed by a church and then deliberately left it and somebody who is a stranger to that church, just as somebody who has renounced the family name makes a different kind of dinner companion than a stranger. The dramatic gesture of leaving the opening devotion was over the top, to be sure, but the distinction is not mean-spirited or illogical. And, yes, there are kooks out there-- the same fifty or so guys generating five thousand or so anectdotes. But to have the group of pastors I met with yesterday at our circuit meeting dismissed as representing "the new Phariseeism that is today's Mo Synod" rings so far from the truth that it is difficult to respond other than to note that calling people Pharisees whom you could never join is the exact same thing as calling them heretics whom you could never join.   
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on March 13, 2007, 07:54:33 PM
ah, but... what if one of our (or a bishop of the Church of Sweden) married at that, decided to swim the Tiber?  Would there be some pr factor in not only letting him become a priest, as they can and do at times, but also a bishop?  Perhaps it has never happened.... Harvey Mozolak

Scott

As to the married priesthood, don't forget that even Rome will "welcome back" the married priest from Anglicanshire and Lutherberg.

Neither Rome or the Orthodox world would allow a married priest to become a bishop, however, I believe.

Art
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on March 13, 2007, 08:08:20 PM
Of course, it comes back, in part, to Rome's theology and understanding of ordination itself.  The good bishop would never have been made a bishop if married, and I doubt Rome would ever consider one at the present time.
 Although the ECCL is in a number of Apostollic Lineages, the Duarte Costa Linage is our primary one, and I have been ordained a deacon, priest, and bishop in the Duarte Costa lineage as have all our clergy.  I have been told by a friend who is an RC Bishop that holding the Duarge Costa lineage and the Salomão Barbosa Ferraz precedent along with the fact that it involved actions by two Popes complicates things.  A valid ordination which is "valid but illicit" becomes licit upon reconciliation to Rome and in any case it cannot be "un-done," repudiated, or ignored.  I was told that the Ferraz precedent creates problems for them, especially since two Popes were involved.

After running this up his "chain of command," he has indicated that it would only be possible to return as a Titular Bishop of a vacant See, with some but not all faculties; or as an Auxiliary Bishop with some but not all faculties; in either case working out of sight at a desk job in a chancery or some Church agency somewhere, possibly with more faculties within a priestly society or personal prelacy of Lutheran heritage were one to be established (or as a retired Titular Bishop again with the limited faculties of a retired bishop) but assignment as a Diocesan Bishop would never happen.

This was before Pope Benedict's overtures to Constantinople.  Now it is anyone's guess what they would do.  Possibly schmooze the issue by simply not allowing the bishop to reconcile publically with Rome and instead work out something after retirement like Br. Roger of Taize allegedly did.  Who knows?  I don't at this point.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 13, 2007, 08:20:49 PM
I have to say, that as I read some horror stories of encounters with LCMS folks, I hear something that I've never encountered before in my life.  If these folks are out there, I've never met them.  I don't know if I'm just ignorant, aren't looking for these folks, or just plain blind.  Since my professional LCMS career has been overseas, perhaps that's the reason.  But so many of these horror stories (and they are bad -- except for the WELS part; to me, the LCMS can't be blamed for WELS bad behavior, unless all the UCC and TEC sins should be attributed to the ELCA) just don't resonate with me.  It's like a description of a group I know nothing about.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on March 13, 2007, 08:38:15 PM
Scott:
Enjoy the fact that you have never encountered this type of behavior. Don't seek it out, it will find you eventually.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on March 13, 2007, 08:56:07 PM
Of course, it comes back, in part, to Rome's theology and understanding of ordination itself.  The good bishop would never have been made a bishop if married, and I doubt Rome would ever consider one at the present time. 
  Archbishop Duarte Costa and his new Church did not change any of their doctrines or rites.  The issue that precipitated the break between Duarte Costa and Rome had absolutely nothing to do with doctrine or rites.  There was no "reformation" involved in the founding of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church (ICAB).  The issue was entirely pollitical.  To this day there is no theological difference in doctrine (or specifically the theology and understanding of ordination itself)  between Rome and the ICAB.  This is why other than the direct tactile lineage, Rome absolutely recognizes the validity of the Duarte Costa lineage (presuming that the Church which holds that lineage also agrees with Rome on the theology and understanding of ordination itself which has always been the case for the ECCL.)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on March 13, 2007, 08:57:37 PM
Scott:
Enjoy the fact that you have never encountered this type of behavior. Don't seek it out, it will find you eventually.
And when it does find you don't let it bother you or lower your opinion of the LCMS (which I can't say enough good things about.)   :)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 13, 2007, 09:02:05 PM
Scott:
Enjoy the fact that you have never encountered this type of behavior. Don't seek it out, it will find you eventually.

Dave -- that brings me more concern than you know.

Even so, I do hope that my experience of the LCMS will become the dominant one in the future.  It's true that a few bad experiences will do more than a hundred good ones to discredit a church, but there is no perfect denomination.  And since there is some degree of "pick your poison", I'm not sure where else might be better.  The grass is always greener and all that.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on March 13, 2007, 09:21:24 PM
ah, but... what if one of our (or a bishop of the Church of Sweden) married at that, decided to swim the Tiber?  Would there be some pr factor in not only letting him become a priest, as they can and do at times, but also a bishop?  Perhaps it has never happened.... Harvey Mozolak
  That has not happened yet.  I have read (and been told by a number of RC priests (mostly Jesuits) and by an RC bishop that Rome has not ruled the Swedish Succession valid because the Church of Sweden has never officially asked for a ruling on the validity of their Orders.  Were that to happen the judgment would be based on the classical Augustinian criteria.  The tactile lineage itself would not be questioned.  The sticking points would be with the criteria of Form, Intention, and recently Matter.  The following is what I have both read and been told: 

As Form is concerned, for Swedish Orders to be valid, the form - the rites of ordination would have to (1) make it clear that it is the teaching of the Church of Sweden that the priesthood consists of three Orders; (2) that the ordination is for life, and creates an ontological change in the soul of the man being ordained; (3) that the ordination is into a "sacrificial priesthood" inherent in which is the belief that the Mass is a true sacrifice.

As far as Intention is concerned, it would have to be clear not only from the liturgy of ordination but also from the formal theology of the Church of Sweden that it is the intent of the Church of Sweden that the man be ordained into a sacrificing priesthood and the Mass is a true sacrifice.

As far as Matter is concerned, the ordination of women by the Church of Sweden is a violation - that the person being ordained is not eligible for ordination simply by being female.

Would the Church of Sweden be able to pass muster on those points?   I see problems there - were Rome to be formally asked.  Perhaps Sweden has been smart not to ask.

Now, some small Churches which have left the Church of Sweden and the Church of Norway have Orders and Sacraments Rome recognizes as "valid though illicit" because they picked up the Apostolic Succession from the Polish National Catholic Church and re-ordained their clergy.  + + Bertil Persson of Solna, Sweden, Archbishop Metropolitan Emeritus of the Apostolic Episcopal Church (a Church of Chaldean Catholic orgins - not Anglican ones) is recognized as a priest by the Church of Sweden but is recognized as validly ordained by Rome because of the Chaldean Catholic, Duarge Costa and other lineages he holds and the fact that his Church has the same sacramental theology and theology of ordination as does Rome.  (He has never been a Bishop of the Church of Sweden.)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on March 13, 2007, 09:47:23 PM
I ask this not in a smart a. sort of way... how do you know this stuff?   Harvey Mozolak

[
Now, some small Churches which have left the Church of Sweden and the Church of Norway have Orders and Sacraments Rome recognizes as "valid though illicit" because they picked up the Apostolic Succession from the Polish National Catholic Church and re-ordained their clergy.  + + Bertil Persson of Solna, Sweden, Archbishop Metropolitan Emeritus of the Apostolic Episcopal Church (a Church of Chaldean Catholic orgins - not Anglican ones) is recognized as a priest by the Church of Sweden but is recognized as validly ordained by Rome because of the Chaldean Catholic, Duarge Costa and other lineages he holds and the fact that his Church has the same sacramental theology and theology of ordination as does Rome.  (He has never been a Bishop of the Church of Sweden.)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 13, 2007, 10:01:06 PM
Now, some small Churches which have left the Church of Sweden and the Church of Norway have Orders and Sacraments Rome recognizes as "valid though illicit" because they picked up the Apostolic Succession from the Polish National Catholic Church and re-ordained their clergy.  + + Bertil Persson of Solna, Sweden, Archbishop Metropolitan Emeritus of the Apostolic Episcopal Church (a Church of Chaldean Catholic orgins - not Anglican ones) is recognized as a priest by the Church of Sweden but is recognized as validly ordained by Rome because of the Chaldean Catholic, Duarge Costa and other lineages he holds and the fact that his Church has the same sacramental theology and theology of ordination as does Rome.  (He has never been a Bishop of the Church of Sweden.)

I noticed that you did not list the Mission Province and those that Bishop Obare et al consecrated.  Is there any particular reason they are not listed?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on March 13, 2007, 10:12:54 PM
I don't know what specific lineages + + Obare holds.  Most Anglican bishops have either PNCC, Dutch Old Catholic, Order of Corporate Reunion lines or a combination of them and I suspect that is likley for + + Obare; in which case his Orders are valid.  That presumes that he and the Mission you mention hold the Mass to be a sacrifice and that his intent and that of the Mission is that the men ordained by him et. al. were and are ordained as sacrificing priests.  If he has ordained any women, their ordinations would not be considered valid.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on March 13, 2007, 10:58:37 PM
I ask this not in a smart a. sort of way... how do you know this stuff?   Harvey Mozolak
From colleagues who are Archbishops in the Apostolic Episcopal Church both here and in Sweden including two bishops of the AEC who were my 2nd and 3rd co-ordaining bishops at my episcopal ordination.  (The ECCL is in Communion with the AEC.  I also know + + Bertil Persson personally as do some of our other bishops.)  Also from contacts and those of one of our other bishops with the PNCC, from various Independent Catholic / Old Catholic Churches who have ties to the small Scandanavian off-shoots of the Swedish and Norwegian Churches, my correspondance with one of the small Norwegian Churches (which now considers itself to be Independent Catholic rather than Lutheran,) and confirmed by my contacts in the Roman Catholic Church.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 13, 2007, 11:20:03 PM
I don't know what specific lineages + + Obare holds.  Most Anglican bishops have either PNCC, Dutch Old Catholic, Order of Corporate Reunion lines or a combination of them and I suspect that is likley for + + Obare; in which case his Orders are valid.  That presumes that he and the Mission you mention hold the Mass to be a sacrifice and that his intent and that of the Mission is that the men ordained by him et. al. were and are ordained as sacrificing priests.  If he has ordained any women, their ordinations would not be considered valid.

You know, I was pretty much in favor of CCM, but it's stuff like this that could change my mind.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on March 13, 2007, 11:36:50 PM
I can see why you might, Richard.  And that is reasonable.  A friend who is an old "Trekkie" likes to say that we need to be careful because the universe is full of Klingons ("cling-on's") the things that "cling on" to something; whether consequences, unexpected corollaries, and the like, of a course of action.  If a Church picks up the historic apostolic succession without also adopting the Catholic theology of ordination, the nature of the Office of the Public Ministry of Word and Sacrament, and the basic underlying sacramental theology especially relating to the Eucharist, there are going to be all these "cling-on's.  And in the end, that Church will not really accomplished anything because Rome (arguably the "big dog" on the block) still won't consider the lines valid if asked to rule on validity of Orders.  Ditto for Constantinople although they will add the Cyprian matter of the "ecclesial location" of the lineage. 

Even the Anglicans and Continuing Anglicans do not consider each others lineages valid because - using Cyprian theology - they consider each other to not be "orthodox."  And this is without even considering polity matters and matters of authority within the Church.  Of course if one does not care what the "big dog" thinks or doubts that the "big dog" is really the big dog, so to speak, then none of the above matters and a Church should simply do what it thinks is right for its own confessional reasons.

Adopting CCM just to facilitate communion / eucharistic sharing with TEC was the wrong reason to adopt it.  It would have been better to adopt it out of a broad consensus that the former polity was wrong and the pre-reformation polity was correct and should be restored.  I suspect that may not have been the case. 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 14, 2007, 04:07:50 AM
At the risk of irritating the archbishop, I shall posit that while I am totally in favor of the concept of "apostolic succession" when it comes to matters relating to ordination, I think we must also admit that the idea of a direct hand-to-head-to-hand-to head approach to the "validity" of ordination requires us to accept a historical impossibility and a myth that is theologically useful, but mythological nonetheless.

But this has little to do whether - if disaffected with the ELCA - I would consider the LC-MS. I might have considered the LC-MS of Arthur Carl Piepkorn (who held what most consider an important, but eccentric view of that church body), or John Tietjen or even Oliver Harms; but I find little in the LC-MS as a whole today that would attract me. And the LC-MS today would not find much in me that fits with their approach to modern ministry.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on March 14, 2007, 08:14:22 AM
Here is a dumb reversal of question:  I hear there is some discontent in the LCMS as well as the incident with Benne shows.  SO, would disaffected LCMSers consider the ELCA?  WHy or why not? Assuming that they are on, oh what shall I call it, liberal(?), no that is not right, oh, lets call them, "reasonable," yes, that its it, reasonable side of Missouri.

And Charles why is tactile historical succession historically impossible and a myth?  Any proof or just speculation?  It could have happened you know; it is possible; a struggel perhaps, but pssible.

Keep the Faith

Peter
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on March 14, 2007, 10:02:26 AM
At the risk of irritating the archbishop, I shall posit that while I am totally in favor of the concept of "apostolic succession" when it comes to matters relating to ordination, I think we must also admit that the idea of a direct hand-to-head-to-hand-to head approach to the "validity" of ordination requires us to accept a historical impossibility and a myth that is theologically useful, but mythological nonetheless.
You never irritate me, Charles.  to the contrary, I have learned a great deal from you (and the others on this Forum.)  And discussing things with you, Brian, and the others has had me re-think many of my positions and sharpen them (when they were not changed.)  As I said some time back on another thread, I am personally grateful for that.  I also share your interest in gourmet food;  and the little dogs I own (Lhasa Apsos and a Shih Tzu) do sometimes behave like cats.

I understand your belief that the historic apostolic succession is, "a historical impossibility and a myth that is theologically useful, but mythological nonetheless."  I have run into that opinion many times before;  even way back while I was still an Episcopalian.  But I respectfully disagree with you.  I know where you are coming from.  I respect your opinion - it is common enough.  I understand the arguments for your position.  In a debate, as an academic exercise, I can argue very well for your opinion.  But I respectfully disagree with you.

Until the Reformation, bishops in historic apostolic succession - in a direct, tactile lineage going back to the Apostles themselves was universal in the mainstream Church Catholic going back to the "episcopal ordination" of St. Matthias.  Granted, there have been occasional gaps, breaks in that succession in some lines, especially during the Roman persecutions and records were lost in the West during chaos of the dark ages (as I understand it, the Eastern lines do not have nearly as many, and much better records were kept in the Eastern Church.)  This is why a bishop is supposed to be ordained / consecrated by three bishops rather than one. 

Roman lines are also a bit constricted with over 90% of todays RC bishops holding only one line - that of Scipione Cardinal Rebiba - the Rebiban or Vatican Succession - but Rome is trying to fix that by including bishops of sui juris (uniate) Churches or bishops carrying those lines as primary or co-ordaining bishops.  During the Vietnam War, President Diem's brother, Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc was ordained a bishop in sui juris / uniate Chaldean Catholic lines (I have his lineage as well as other Chaldean Catholic lineages by the way, through the Apostolic Episcopal Church - which as I noted upthread is originally of non-Chalcedonian Chaldean Catholic origins though quite orthodox now.) 

As an aside, although Cardinal Rebiba, a contemporary of Martin Luther by the way, was the Titular Latin Patriarch of Constantinople the record of which bishops actually ordained him into the episcopate has been lost although there is no doubt that by that time in European history he was undoubtably validly ordained by several bishops.  There is also a question as to whether or not one Archbishop of Canterbury (I don't recall which one) was properly ordained a Bishop.

As I and the majority of Christianity (Rome, the Eastern Orthodox, the non-Chalcedonian Oriental Churches, the Anglicans and the Swedes) see it, the question is not whether or not the historic apostolic succession is, "a historical impossibility and a myth that is theologically useful, but mythological nonetheless."  Rather, it is whether the historic apostolic succession is of the essence of the Church (esse);  necessary the well-being of the Church (bene esse or even optime esse);  or simply desirable for the "fullness" of the Church - as something somewhat more than just "a good thing," but perhaps not much more than that (plene esse,)  or whether it is just so much historical "baggage."   Rome, the Easterners, and the non-Chalcedonians vote for "esse."  The Anglicans are divided but all agree it is necessary somehow, and the Swedes likewise, though perhaps (?) tending for the second or third choices for confessional reasons.

One "cling-on" to the above question ("the universe is full of cling-ons" remember . . ."  ::) ) especially in the American context of democracy and what Harold Bloom in his book, "The American Religion" and other scholars see as the Calvinist influences pervasive in American life and thought and which permeate all American Churches to at least some degree (with the exception of Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox,) is if there are Bishops, just how much power and authority are they to really have - on how short a leash should they be kept;  how should they be chosen;  whether or not should they stand for re-election periodically;  and the very American concern of just how close should ecclesiastical power be kept to the people.  (Reference C.W. F. Walther's struggles here as described in the book, "Zion on the Mississippi."

Another "cling-on" is this:  What adjustments to sacramental theology and ecclesiology, what adjustments to the theology of the Office of the Public Ministry / Priesthood and the Eucharist are going to have to be made for Rome to recognize the validity of a given Church's bishops?  And what adjustments to the Cyprian theology of the Eastern Churches are going to have to be made in order for Constantinople to recognize the validity of a given Church's bishops - if that is even possible, because they do not recognize the validity of Rome's bishops?  And if it is possible, is it really worth it?

Another "cling-on" is whether or not a Church is willing to completely stop ordaining women indefinitely in order for Rome and Constantinople to recognize the validity of its Orders and Sacraments.

Or this "cling-on:"  If a Church is unable for confessional and other reasons to make any changes or adjustments to satisfy Rome and Constantinople, and the recognition of their Orders and Sacraments by them is simply not going to happen, why doesn't that Church just do whatever it wants anyway (or in the first place?)

So many "cling-ons" . . .   ::)  Every Church will have to deal with them itself.  And in the light of the above, as an outside observer (only) I can understand why some in the ELCA just might want to take another look at CCM in the light of all those "cling-ons." 



Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 14, 2007, 10:10:17 AM
Hey guys, I'm not sure how all this in-depth stuff on the historic succession is particularly relevant to the question of the thread.  Let's get back on topic, shall we?

Though I do agree that the converse of the question ("Would disaffected LCMS'ers consider the ELCA?") is a nice expansion on the question, especially at this point.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on March 14, 2007, 10:19:35 AM
Well, Scott, for at least some, the rigorous congregational polity of the LCMS (the absence of bishops some of whom can at least claim Anglican - and through them Old Catholic lineages) may be a factor keeping them from going to the LCMS.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 14, 2007, 10:36:55 AM
Well, Scott, for at least some, the rigorous congregational polity of the LCMS (the absense of bishops some of whom can at least claim Anglican - and through them Old Catholic lineages) may be a factor keeping them from going to the LCMS.

True, but discussing in increasing detail a succession that is, as you say, absent to the LCMS is stretching the bounds of the thread.  Likewise, an extended discussion on biblical hermeneutics, rather than simply mentioning the difference or fleshing it out here and there, is also probably beyond the bounds.  There are a number of issues that could be talked about -- the drive for changing the church's teaching on sexuality, for one -- that are legitimate reasons for not joining the LCMS, but if we took them all up in great detail, this thread would turn into a veritable potpourri of topics.

Some discussion is great.  Lots of discussion may be better done on another thread.  It is a good topic, though, so perhaps a thread of its own might be in order?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 14, 2007, 10:54:40 AM
Would I, as a "reasonable" LCMS person (interesting title, that; but I like to think I'm reasonable, so what the hay?), consider switching to the ELCA?

Well, in point of fact I was an ELCA member or attended ELCA churches from 1994-1999 while at the same time I was getting my MA in Islam from Luther Seminary.

Would I go back now?  Probably not.  Not with the continued debates over sexuality that have go on since the formation of the ELCA.  I remember the bru-ha-ha (sp?) surrounding the Sexuality Document back ca. 1994 and thought it was misguided then, too.  Now it just seems like there is a never ending drive until a new view on human sexuality is finally adopted by the ELCA.  I'm not quite sure why I would want to associate myself with that.

Further, when I thought that God might be wanting me in the ministry, I had no problem immediately abandoning our roots in the community where we lived in the Twin Cities, leaving Luther, and moving to St. Louis.  My wife fully agreed and left a good job at an ELCA church where she was the Director of Youth and Family Ministries.  In fact, there was no real debate on the topic because both of us had received degrees from Luther, and we both knew that the ELCA was not a good home for us. 

Another draw was that a childhood friend of mine was finishing up his MDiv from Concordia.  We always used to talk theology, and we continued to do so while I was studying at Luther and he was studying at Concordia.  However, in the course of our conversations, something had changed.  Previously, IMNSHO, I would almost always prevail in theological debate.  But now, he had this annoying habit of returning to Scripture and insisting that we could actually get something from reading it.  I wanted to set the Bible aside as ultimately inconclusive and so debate on other grounds.  He wouldn't allow me to do that, and so he began to get the better of me in our debates.  This caused me to re-think what I was learning at Luther and to wonder what it was at Concordia that could do this.  It made the switch not just easy, but also made me excited and expectant to learn what I could from the program at Concordia.  I could have transferred in with a number of credits, but I refused to transfer them because I wanted the "full monty", the entire program that CSL had to offer.  I'm thrilled that I did.

So I know that unless something drastic happens in the LCMS, I would not consider leaving her for the ELCA.  If two drastic things happened at the same time, with the "reasonable" ELCA folks in a new synod (with the "unreasonable" ones moving forward elsewhere with their sexuality stuff) while the "unreasonable" (these are still fun terms; perjorative, but fun) LCMS folks were on a rampage, then I would certainly consider some type of union with said middle ground.  But as I said, for the time being, I'm quite happy where I'm at.

In the LCMS, with all its foibles, there is a focus on the Word and at least an underlying desire to spread the Word.  I like that.  So it's more a matter of being happy where I'm at than looking for other greener pastures. [Edit: Like Peter said below, I'm not a "disaffected" LCMS'er]

The only place that holds anything more than a passing interest for me is Orthodoxy.  Perhaps it's because of my ethnic heritage (Ruthinian; my father's church was the Carpatho-Russian Greek Catholic Church of the Eastern Rite).  But I respect the emphasis upon the liturgy as a way of doing theology.  There's some wisdom there, it seems to me.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 14, 2007, 11:12:54 AM
The problem for me is that I'm not a "disaffected" LCMS-er, but rather like it here. But I know some who would qualify as disaffected who might consider the ELCA, though I doubt they would actually pull the trigger. If I had to go elsewhere I honestly don't think I would consider the ELCA, but I don't know where I would go. It seems to me that to say Rome is a possibility is to say that we already ought to be there. If there are no insurmountable obstacles to union with Rome, it should not require any problems in other churches to force anyone there. And if there are insurmountable obstacles, then it is not a possibility.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 14, 2007, 11:49:49 AM
Though I do agree that the converse of the question ("Would disaffected LCMS'ers consider the ELCA?") is a nice expansion on the question, especially at this point.

Well, there was that Seminex issue, and many of those LCMSers came to the ELCA through the AELC.

While not necessarily disaffected members, at my last congregation, both my predecessor and I said that the local LCMS minister was our best evangelist. LCMSers coming into the area would visit there and then often join our congregation. I noted that at one point, over half of our council members were former LCMSers. The LCMS pastor/congregation was more conservative than many. Women were not allowed to vote. The pastor did not believe in dinosaurs. The pastor told people attending his new member class something like, "What I'm telling you is what we believe. If you don't agree with everything I say, then you shouldn't join."

Over the last three years, we've had at eight families transfer from the LCMS congregation. The major issue was not theological, but over (mis-)management of funds for the school and treatment of personnel. (The school has become a charter school, run by the city.) From what I've heard, in the past, when we were going through some difficulties, there was a movement of members from us to them. I talked with the pastor to assure him that I had not "gone after" his members.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Eric_Swensson on March 14, 2007, 12:06:30 PM
That's right, Scott. I get kinda confused. We are supposed to get ordained by the Polish Natural Catholic Church unless we are women and then we are no longer valid, or was it that they were no longer valid? ;D
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on March 14, 2007, 12:58:16 PM
Pastor Poedel's comment of yesterday afternoon about staying out of the way of the LCMS right wingers is accurate,,,,,, once they find going after you for whatever reasons suits their agenda, you're a target for life.  Mary Todd's 'Authoriy Vested' contains some of the classic examples,,,,,, ironicaly, she too became a victim of one of the witch hunts after the book was published.  There should still be a review of the book on the Daystar archives.

Pastor Speckhard, the WELS illustraton is quite germane.  The right wing of the LCMS has as one of their major issues the apostacy of the LCMS which led to the breakup of the old Synodical Conferance,,,,, and the WELS is one of the paradigms to which they wish to return.  These would also be the folks who Benne notes, and who walk out of 'religious' and even social interactions with apostates, i.e. LCMS folk.

Pastor Yakimow, your observation on being safe in overseas missions holds some merit,,,,,, but do recall the Adolf Brux case.  For years, being an inner city pastor was also safe,,,,,,,, Dick Neuhaus was never bothered at St. John the Evangelist in Brooklyn.  It's just being part of LCMS to be aware that the reactionary idiologs are out there, they have their agenda(s) and if you're a convienent target you're going to get hit.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 14, 2007, 06:43:47 PM
Pastor Poedel's comment of yesterday afternoon about staying out of the way of the LCMS right wingers is accurate,,,,,, once they find going after you for whatever reasons suits their agenda, you're a target for life.  Mary Todd's 'Authoriy Vested' contains some of the classic examples,,,,,, ironicaly, she too became a victim of one of the witch hunts after the book was published.  There should still be a review of the book on the Daystar archives.

Pastor Speckhard, the WELS illustraton is quite germane.  The right wing of the LCMS has as one of their major issues the apostacy of the LCMS which led to the breakup of the old Synodical Conferance,,,,, and the WELS is one of the paradigms to which they wish to return.  These would also be the folks who Benne notes, and who walk out of 'religious' and even social interactions with apostates, i.e. LCMS folk.

Pastor Yakimow, your observation on being safe in overseas missions holds some merit,,,,,, but do recall the Adolf Brux case.  For years, being an inner city pastor was also safe,,,,,,,, Dick Neuhaus was never bothered at St. John the Evangelist in Brooklyn.  It's just being part of LCMS to be aware that the reactionary idiologs are out there, they have their agenda(s) and if you're a convienent target you're going to get hit.
Part of the problem is a perception of what is mean. When Charles in this forum ends all discussion of women's ordination in the ELCA by saying "The issue is settled. Period. End of Discussion," (or something similar to that) it is taken as mere Realpolitic. The fact of the matter is that the same holds true for that issue in the LCMS. Yet when people insist on bringing it up (e.g. Authority Vested) and get shouted down in the exact same way people who bring it up in the ELCA get shouted down by people like Charles, the shouters are dismissed as mean-spirited thugs. The issue is settled in the LCMS. As for the WELS example being Germane, I still don't think so. Yes, there is sympathy in certain quarters of the LCMS for the WELS, just as there is sympathy in other quarters for the ELCA. But there is still separation. By this reasoning, all evangelical catholics with sympathy for Rome in the LCMS are answerable for indulgences and the doctrine of the bodily assumption of Mary. No--those are some of the things that separate us. And, no, the WELS ides of fellowship separates us despite a wholly evangelical and logical desire on the part of confessional Lutherans to unite with other confessional Lutherans. And anyone who gives up for a moment a fixation on fellowship issues will likely discover the WELS to be a group with a lot to offer and worth being in dialogue with. Much as I enjoy sparring with Brian, I would much rather belong to a church that couldn't tolerate his nonsense than a church that does. And as for Neuhaus being safe in New York, it depends what you mean by safe. Christian News probably still piles on him all these years later, but the mainstream media and liberals in the church, Catholic and Protestant, are every bit as vicious and armed with inuendo and half-truth in their zeal to cruch the supposed Theocrats today as the arch-conservatives were back in the day out of fear of liberals. Since he left the LCMS and was a victim of the right-wing, spent time in the ELCA, and is now a neutral observer of things Lutheran, it might be interesting to get his take on today's LCMS and today's ELCA and what he views as the relative stengths and weaknesses of each. I'm sure he would be down on the LCMS anti-ecumenical fringe and also the Church-growth buy-in, but positive about our strong commitment to orthodox doctrine, positions on social issues, and theological seriousness. He'd probably have good things to say about the ELCA's greater acceptance of the Evangelical Catholic movement and more ecclesial outlook, but would offer nothing but withering looks, pregnant pauses, loaded rhetorical questions and otherwise polite exasperation with every other aspect of that denomination. But that's just a guess.       
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on March 14, 2007, 08:39:49 PM
Pastor Speckhard,,,,,, the issue in 'Authority Vested' is not the ordination of women to the presbyterate or episcopate,,, it is about how power is used, and how doctrine is used in the service of power, in the LCMS as institution,,,,, and it is not a nice thing.   Mary Todd, the scion of a founding LCMS family, knew first hand of what she wrote and was attacked for talking about the elephant in the living room, nothing else.

I came of age in LCMS at the time of the Statement of the 44, so called,,,,, which was a modest call for the LCMS to grow up and be true to the Lutheranism it professed, and at the same time to take seriously and realize the world in which it lived and was called to be 'Church'.  Things really haven't gotten much better, only the names and issues shift and change.  In family dynamics speak, Mother Mo is not a safe place to be.  It's a good place to be an Augsburg Catholic,,,,,,, but always be ready to pack up and move on, because history shows that sooner or later that time may well come.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on March 14, 2007, 09:23:35 PM
Pastor Speckhard,,,,,, the issue in 'Authority Vested' is not the ordination of women to the presbyterate or episcopate,,, it is about how power is used, and how doctrine is used in the service of power, in the LCMS as institution,,,,, and it is not a nice thing. Mary Todd, the scion of a founding LCMS family, knew first hand of what she wrote and was attacked for talking about the elephant in the living room, nothing else.

I came of age in LCMS at the time of the Statement of the 44, so called,,,,, which was a modest call for the LCMS to grow up and be true to the Lutheranism it professed, and at the same time to take seriously and realize the world in which it lived and was called to be 'Church'. Things really haven't gotten much better, only the names and issues shift and change. In family dynamics speak, Mother Mo is not a safe place to be. It's a good place to be an Augsburg Catholic,,,,,,, but always be ready to pack up and move on, because history shows that sooner or later that time may well come.

While I became Lutheran much later, your above assessment of the underlying culture is such an amazingly accurate picture of what I have experienced since becoming aware of the Synod I accidentally became a member of.  Bloom where planted is my plan, but the readiness to exile is ever-present for me.  What was that the people of Israel say?  Loins girded, ready to move.....  As for now, the joy of proclaiming the Word and administering the Sacraments has me being one happy and faithful Pastor.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 15, 2007, 04:57:10 AM
Peter writes:
When Charles in this forum ends all discussion of women's ordination in the ELCA by saying "The issue is settled. Period. End of Discussion," (or something similar to that) it is taken as mere Realpolitic. The fact of the matter is that the same holds true for that issue in the LCMS. Yet when people insist on bringing it up (e.g. Authority Vested) and get shouted down in the exact same way people who bring it up in the ELCA get shouted down by people like Charles, the shouters are dismissed as mean-spirited thugs.

I comment:
I'm not sure that realpolitik is the proper term; but I do think that discussion should have some root in reality. The ELCA is highly highly highly highly (to the nth power) unlikely to discuss reversing its approval of ordination for women; so I would find such a discussion a waste of time.
There may be racists out there who want to talk about repealing the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; or anti-feminists who want to repeal the 19th Amendment; but does anyone think it is a good use of time to talk about these things?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 15, 2007, 09:59:36 AM
Pastor Speckhard,,,,,, the issue in 'Authority Vested' is not the ordination of women to the presbyterate or episcopate,,, it is about how power is used, and how doctrine is used in the service of power, in the LCMS as institution,,,,, and it is not a nice thing.   Mary Todd, the scion of a founding LCMS family, knew first hand of what she wrote and was attacked for talking about the elephant in the living room, nothing else.

I came of age in LCMS at the time of the Statement of the 44, so called,,,,, which was a modest call for the LCMS to grow up and be true to the Lutheranism it professed, and at the same time to take seriously and realize the world in which it lived and was called to be 'Church'.  Things really haven't gotten much better, only the names and issues shift and change.  In family dynamics speak, Mother Mo is not a safe place to be.  It's a good place to be an Augsburg Catholic,,,,,,, but always be ready to pack up and move on, because history shows that sooner or later that time may well come.
Yes, but depending on what book you read all religious doctrine is always and only can be invented and used in the service of power. An obsession with interpreting everything under the rubric of power and oppression characterizes a sociological (and highly suspect) approach to things churchly. But I also come from families that go back to the beginning of the LCMS and I also speak from what I know first-hand. And I agree that a sort of family dynamic is much more prevalent in the LCMS than in other bodies, which makes for fiercer loyalties and more explosive and hurtful disagreements, but doe not fundamentally change much else. And if there is an elephant in the living room, there are ways to deal with it that work and ways that will get interpreted (sometimes rightly, but not always) as betrayal. Again, I'm not trying to minimize the hurt that people have experienced but only say that the reputation of the LCMS in some circles does not reflect the reality of today's LCMS for the vast majority of people. I know former Catholics, former Baptists, etc. who have similar stories, and they are tragic, but I bring them up only to rid the discussion on the notion that this bad aspect of church life is unique to the LCMS. The ELCA is less than twenty years old and already has an impressive lineup of former members, some of whom I know personally and whose tales of heavy-handed tactics, public lies, political manuevering, etc. could easily rival the tales of the LCMS of yore. It is just that nobody has the emotional, primal loyalty to the ELCA that some have with the LCMS. This also makes Dave's experience as a "convert" (if that term can apply) to the LCMS ring true. The family dynamic is hard to get on the inside of and can only be sense as a sort of vague but palpable sense of tension.   
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: dfrazer on March 15, 2007, 11:14:12 AM
I'm not sure that realpolitik is the proper term; but I do think that discussion should have some root in reality. The ELCA is highly highly highly highly (to the nth power) unlikely to discuss reversing its approval of ordination for women; so I would find such a discussion a waste of time.
There may be racists out there who want to talk about repealing the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; or anti-feminists who want to repeal the 19th Amendment; but does anyone think it is a good use of time to talk about these things?


I'm confused, I see that things change. Was there anyone arguing for gay ordination or same-sex unions two decades ago? Yet, today we are about to fall over that cliff.

So, I wonder, why can't the 13th or the 19th amendments change too?

From my perspective the ground is not rock, it is sand. Sand shifts.

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 15, 2007, 11:31:03 AM
Doug Frazer writes:
I'm confused, I see that things change. Was there anyone arguing for gay ordination or same-sex unions two decades ago? Yet, today we are about to fall over that cliff.

I respond:
Yes, there were people arguing for such things two decades ago.

Doug again:
So, I wonder, why can't the 13th or the 19th amendments change too?

Me again:
So you think we will repeal the amendment against slavery and the one giving women the right to vote? 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Eric_Swensson on March 15, 2007, 12:18:10 PM
We need a smiley faced with arched eyebrows.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: MMH on March 15, 2007, 12:28:16 PM
So you think we will repeal the amendment against slavery and the one giving women the right to vote?

Oh yeah Charles- they are points 3 & 4 on the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Honeydo list.  Didn't you get the e-mail?   Oh drat, I've let the cat out of the bag, haven't I?  ;D

Matt Hummel
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on March 15, 2007, 12:44:15 PM
Pastor Poedel,,,,,,,
"As for now, the joy of proclaiming the Word and administering the Sacraments has me being one happy and faithful Pastor."  Piepkorn said the same thing,,, the essay is in the ALPB volume of his writings, 'The Church'.   The issue is always threefold, "Fidelity, fidelity, and fidelity."

Do recall, as you read that book of essays, Piepkorn was declared a false teacher not to be tolerated in the Church of God.  When the time came, finally, to shake the dust off the sandals, he was prepared to go into exile with his colleagues as staying put was no longer possible.
Another example of such false teaching not to be so tolerated  http://www.crossings.org/conference/HTGG_lect_all.pdf   is written by one of Piepkorn's colleagues.

For an example of one who managed to 'stay in' as it were, the ALPB biography of Berthold von Schenk of Our Savours Church and School in the Bronx is a wonderful read.  Treat yourself.  As you are STS, note that von Shenk and others early on organized a similar 'ministerium' for mutual support, prayer, and scholarship.  Lots of good history in that story, Bertie was a friend and classmate of WAM Meyer of Lutheran Hour fame,,,,, out of seminary they set a project for themselves to find which way it would be for Missouri to survive in the American context.  WAM took to the sawdust trail of evangelism, and radio evangelism at that, and von Schenk the route of Evangelical Catholic school and parish work emphasising Sacraments, Law/Gospel preaching, parish life embedded in it's community context,,,,, all the good stuff.  For the moment, looks like WAM's end of the experiment is in the ascendant.

There is really no moral equivalency for the dark side of LCMS's corporate culture,,,,,, saying other people do it too, or it's normal in organizations is a good way to avoid the Law, as in Law and Gospel.
The only way this cancer is going to be excised is to face it, out in the open, with prayer, contrition, repentance, and amendment of life,,,,, and if that ever is to happen, it's going to hurt and hurt badly,,,,, costly Grace is that way,,, God breaks us so that we can heal in his image,,,,, and none of our Old Adams and Eves likes to hear that sort of thing, individually or corporately.   ++ Rowan Cantur's words to his own communion, "I am so great a sinner, and Christ is so great a Saviour" are a good place to start.

It's either that or be left to ones own folly.

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: dfrazer on March 15, 2007, 01:13:50 PM
So you think we will repeal the amendment against slavery and the one giving women the right to vote? 

Of course not, I just don't think anything is settled, ever!
A vote one year can be turned around the next. There is no foundation.

I don't use emoticons.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 15, 2007, 03:50:09 PM

There is really no moral equivalency for the dark side of LCMS's corporate culture,,,,,, saying other people do it too, or it's normal in organizations is a good way to avoid the Law, as in Law and Gospel.
The only way this cancer is going to be excised is to face it, out in the open, with prayer, contrition, repentance, and amendment of life,,,,, and if that ever is to happen, it's going to hurt and hurt badly,,,,, costly Grace is that way,,, God breaks us so that we can heal in his image,,,,, and none of our Old Adams and Eves likes to hear that sort of thing, individually or corporately.   ++ Rowan Cantur's words to his own communion, "I am so great a sinner, and Christ is so great a Saviour" are a good place to start.

It's either that or be left to ones own folly.
This is all true of all sin. The biggest avoidance is always a desire to talk about somebody else's sin. But talk of excising cancer is exactly (I mean exactly) the sin you're trying to excise. The quote above could have been taken from any Christian News account of the thought process behind the "purge" of seminex, the persecutors of the 44, or the evil "dark side" of the synod today pondering what to do with the moderates. "We've got to get rid of them...they're a cancer...it will hurt...etc. etc." Remember that the Law is a mirror, not a searchlight. Just as the dark side needs to repent, so those wallowing in righteous indignation might need to hear those terrible words from Nathan "You are the man." When you dismiss the LCMS of today as a bunch of Pharisees and write off the whole corporate culture as a cancer, well, I guess I'd say it is at least as unhelpful and vicious as anything I've ever heard from the people you're complaining about. If the whole discussion is "You're a cancer!" followed by the response, "I know you are, but what am I?" then it is problematic to assign blame for that sad situation to one side or the other.     
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on March 15, 2007, 04:07:00 PM
Brother Peter:

I believe you are reading your quoted post in a very defensive way.  My reading of it is totally different from your reaction to it.  I see a great need for what ++Kieshnick is doing before each Synodical Convention:  a time of corporate confession and absolution.  I believe PJK realizes the systemic sin of our Synod and is calling it what it is and dealing with it like a Pastor should.

To "excise" does not mean to kill (my background in surgery comes in real handy here).  It means to preserve the life of the patient while removing that which is causing disease.  I wish my sin to be excised, better yet my sinful nature, but I must wait for Heaven for that to occur.  In the meantime, I engage in Individual Confession and Absolution through my fellowship in the STS, and regularly confess my sin to my congregation liturgically and in sermons and Bible classes..

I must tell you that I see no "wallowing in righteous indignation" at work here, nor a total dismissal of the LCMS as a bunch of Pharisees.  I have a Pharisee in me, as do you.  I hate it when my Pharisee comes out, and appreciate the Law to call me on it and (I appreciate this one less) crush my righteous indignation.

Remember, many of us who have deep concerns about the systemic behavior of the LCMS and stay and try to be faithful to the Holy Scriptures and Confessions.  To express concern or dissent is not unfaithfulness or failure to "walk together", it is a desire to see Ablaze! be something more than just another Synod campaign that will end up as binders on the shelf.  I want the Gospel of Jesus Christ ,with all of its power to be shared and believed and I want the LCMS to be a leader and stimulant to the rest of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, rather than being a sideline antagonist to the same.

Yes, I am a bit emotional, as you sound in your reply. My response to you is not as systemically organized as it might be if we were presenting papers (you would blow me out of the water in that regard), but I pray you get my drift.

In Christian love,
Dave
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on March 16, 2007, 02:53:06 AM
For the benefit of those not in the LCMS or conversant with her history, janielou13 cited the "Statement of the 44", as did Peter.  Below, from the CTSFW Library, are the theses that make up the "Statement":

"Statement of the Forty-Four
September 20, 1945
From Copies in Concordia Historical Institute
St. Louis, Missouri
---------------------------------
In Nomine Jesu
STATEMENT

We, the undersigned, as individuals, members of Synod, conscious of our responsibilities and duties before the Lord of the Church, herewith subscribe to the following statement:

ONE

We affirm our unswerving loyalty to the great evangelical heritage of historic Lutheranism. We believe in its message and mission for this crucial hour in the time of man. We therefore deplore any and every tendency, which would limit the power of our heritage, reduce it to narrow legalism, and confine it by man-made traditions.

TWO

We affirm our faith in the great Lutheran principle of the inerrancy, certainty, and all-sufficiency of Holy Writ. We therefore deplore a tendency in our Synod to substitute human judgments, Synodical resolutions, or other sources of authority for the supreme authority of Scripture.

THREE

We affirm our conviction that the Gospel must be given free course so that it may be preached in all its truth and power to all the nations of the earth. We therefore deplore all man-made walls and barriers and all ecclesiastical traditions which would hinder the free course of the Gospel in the world.

FOUR

We believe that the ultimate and basic motive for all our life and work must be love--love of God, love of the Word, love of the brethren, love of souls. We affirm our conviction that the law of love must also find application to our relationship to other Lutheran bodies. We therefore deplore a loveless attitude, which is manifesting itself within Synod. This unscriptural attitude has been expressed in suspicions of brethren, in the impugning of motives, and in the condemnation of all who have expressed differing opinions concerning some of the problems confronting our Church today.

FIVE

We affirm our conviction that sound exegetical procedure is the basis for sound Lutheran theology. We therefore deplore the fact that Romans 16:17, 18 has been applied to all Christians who differ from us in certain points of doctrine. It is our conviction, based on sound exegetical and hermeneutical principles, that this text does not apply to the present situation in the Lutheran Church of America. We furthermore deplore the misuse of First Thessalonians 5:22 in the translation "avoid every appearance of evil." This text should be used only in its true meaning, "avoid evil in every form."

SIX

We affirm the historic Lutheran position concerning the central importance of the una sancta and the local congregation. We believe that there should be a re-emphasis of the privileges and responsibilities of the local congregation also in the matter of determining questions of fellowship. We therefore deplore the new and improper emphasis on the Synodical organization as basic in our consideration of the problems of the Church. We believe that no organizational loyalty can take the place of loyalty to Christ and His Church.

SEVEN

We affirm our abiding faith in the historic Lutheran position concerning the centrality of the Atonement and the Gospel as the revelation of God's redeeming love in Christ. We therefore deplore any tendency which reduces the warmth and power of the Gospel to a set of intellectual propositions which are to be grasped solely by the mind of man.

EIGHT

We affirm our conviction that any two or more Christians may pray together to the Triune God in the name of Jesus Christ if the purpose for which they meet and pray is right according to the Word of God. This obviously includes meetings of groups called for the purpose of discussing doctrinal differences. We therefore deplore the tendency to decide the question of prayer fellowship on any other basis beyond the clear words of Scripture.

NINE

We believe that the term "unionism" should be applied only to acts in which a clear and unmistakable denial of Scriptural truth or approval of error is involved. We therefore deplore the tendency to apply this non-Biblical term to any and every contact between Christians of different denominations.

TEN

We affirm the historic Lutheran position that no Christian has a right to take offense at anything, which God has commanded in His Holy Word. The plea of offense must not be made a cover for the irresponsible expression of prejudices, traditions, customs, and usages.

ELEVEN

We affirm our conviction that in keeping with the historic Lutheran tradition and in harmony with the Synodical resolution adopted in 1938 regarding Church fellowship, such fellowship is possible without complete agreement in details of doctrine and practice which have never been considered divisive in the Lutheran Church.

TWELVE

We affirm our conviction that our Lord has richly, singularly, and undeservedly blessed our beloved Synod during the first century of its existence in America. We pledge the efforts of our hearts and hands to the building of Synod as the second century opens and new opportunities are given us by the Lord of the Church.

Soli Deo Gloria"
[/i]Realizing that it makes me somewhat of a heretic in some LCMS circles, I can easily subscribe to this "Statement" as I am in complete agreement with all of the points therein, recognizing that the Synod is now in her 3rd century (and still struggling about the same issues).

PS:  I have the Piepkorn book (got it when it was first published, and ordered the Second Edition, anticipating the full series.  I ordered yhe von Shenk book today, after looking at it at the STS General Retreat and thinking "someday", which is today.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 16, 2007, 10:27:21 AM
Brother Peter:

I believe you are reading your quoted post in a very defensive way.  My reading of it is totally different from your reaction to it.  I see a great need for what ++Kieshnick is doing before each Synodical Convention:  a time of corporate confession and absolution.  I believe PJK realizes the systemic sin of our Synod and is calling it what it is and dealing with it like a Pastor should.

To "excise" does not mean to kill (my background in surgery comes in real handy here).  It means to preserve the life of the patient while removing that which is causing disease.  I wish my sin to be excised, better yet my sinful nature, but I must wait for Heaven for that to occur.  In the meantime, I engage in Individual Confession and Absolution through my fellowship in the STS, and regularly confess my sin to my congregation liturgically and in sermons and Bible classes..

I must tell you that I see no "wallowing in righteous indignation" at work here, nor a total dismissal of the LCMS as a bunch of Pharisees.  I have a Pharisee in me, as do you.  I hate it when my Pharisee comes out, and appreciate the Law to call me on it and (I appreciate this one less) crush my righteous indignation.

Remember, many of us who have deep concerns about the systemic behavior of the LCMS and stay and try to be faithful to the Holy Scriptures and Confessions.  To express concern or dissent is not unfaithfulness or failure to "walk together", it is a desire to see Ablaze! be something more than just another Synod campaign that will end up as binders on the shelf.  I want the Gospel of Jesus Christ ,with all of its power to be shared and believed and I want the LCMS to be a leader and stimulant to the rest of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, rather than being a sideline antagonist to the same.

Yes, I am a bit emotional, as you sound in your reply. My response to you is not as systemically organized as it might be if we were presenting papers (you would blow me out of the water in that regard), but I pray you get my drift.

In Christian love,
Dave
Dave, you're right. I was probably too defensive to be reading and posting constructively. I guess all I want to head off is the idea that all these old conflicts still define the LCMS. As Scott has pointed out, he doesn't recognize that at all, and I really am serious in saying that my circuit, which back in the day would have been in the heart of the conflicts, is filled with vibrant congregations preaching the Gospel. Sure there will always be problems and disagreements, and some of them will be personal and painful, but, to be really, really crass-- (I apologize if vulgar metaphors offend) the dark side of the synod is not so much an elephant standing in the living room which needs to be openly dealt with but an old man passing gas in the elevator who needs to be aggressively ignored no matter how powerful the stench. Bringing it up will be sure to cause uncomfortable discussion but not change anything for the better. It might be wise to get off at the next floor, unless the man is your brother.

As I've said before, by grandfather was sympathetic to the 44 but was not at the meeting that when the statement was formally approved and probably did not want to embroil his congregation in controversy by making such politics a centerpiece of ministry. I'm guessing about that, though, since he died before I was born. Certainly the statement sounds fine and reasonable and evangelical, but we have to careful about ascribing motives to those who objected to the statement. It is too easy to write them off. They were probably just as caring and evangelical and concerned for their church as those who published it obviously were. An interesting imagination game might be to picture the state of American Lutheranism today had the LCMS more or less unamimously gone along with the statement of the 44. The clear objective already back then was the creation of one Lutheran synod in America-- certainly a laudable goal. The crafters of the statement pursued that goal through dialogue and mutual understanding (with maybe a hint of "reconciled diversity" but not much) while the rebutters of the statement sought that goal via everyone else repenting and joining the LCMS. As I picture it, had the LCMS taken the route proposed by the 44, the ELCA would have come into existence several years earlier and been considered a triumph of ecumenism, but it probably would have already split apart, too. But who knows?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Mel Harris on March 16, 2007, 10:53:34 AM
An interesting imagination game might be to picture the state of American Lutheranism today had the LCMS more or less unamimously gone along with the statement of the 44. The clear objective already back then was the creation of one Lutheran synod in America-- certainly a laudable goal. The crafters of the statement pursued that goal through dialogue and mutual understanding (with maybe a hint of "reconciled diversity" but not much) while the rebutters of the statement sought that goal via everyone else repenting and joining the LCMS. As I picture it, had the LCMS taken the route proposed by the 44, the ELCA would have come into existence several years earlier and been considered a triumph of ecumenism, but it probably would have already split apart, too. But who knows?
It is also very possible that the new Lutheran church body that you imagine, if it had included many if not most of those who remained in the LC-MS, would have been much more successful at saying a clear no to those pushing special agendas from our culture, than we have been so far in the ELCA.

Just a thought...

Mel Harris
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on March 23, 2007, 07:41:43 PM
Scott:
Enjoy the fact that you have never encountered this type of behavior. Don't seek it out, it will find you eventually.

You are a prophet.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on March 24, 2007, 09:20:16 AM
Pastor Yakimow,,,,,, I know what you're talking about,,,,,, quod est demonstrandum and all that.

Mel Harris,,,,,,,, spot on, 20 /20 hindsight is perfect, but none the less there is plenty of documentationto support your observation.

Pastor Poedel,,,,,, thanks for the posting of the Statement of the 44,,,,, they always look good in the light of day.

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on March 31, 2007, 06:12:51 PM
Rainy days are for sorting out books to be taken to the recycle centre or give away bins at the local thrift shop,,,,,,,,, one does that a lot as the years pile on.

Anyway, came across a Sept 30, '72 copy of 'The Lutheran',,, with LCA president Robert Marshall on the cover and an interview with Krister Stendahl on the occasion of this 50th birthday,,,,,, highlighted quote, "It irritates me at times that the LCA is enormously complex and bureaucratic."

In the 'Turning Points in Chruch History' section was an essay on Walther at the Altenburg debates of 1841.  The author, H. George Anderson, observes in his concluding paragraph:

"Today Lutherans outside the Missouri Synod sometimes feel that the descendants of those early settlers have lost the ability to hear the other side of a question.  If that is correct, then the Missouri Synod has forgotten that it was born out of the ability of its founders to seek the truth, listen to those with different viewpoints, and humbly pray to God to lead them into a fuller knowledge of his will."
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 31, 2007, 06:33:29 PM
Rainy days are for sorting out books to be taken to the recycle centre or give away bins at the local thrift shop,,,,,,,,, one does that a lot as the years pile on.

Anyway, came across a Sept 30, '72 copy of 'The Lutheran',,, with LCA president Robert Marshall on the cover and an interview with Krister Stendahl on the occasion of this 50th birthday,,,,,, highlighted quote, "It irritates me at times that the LCA is enormously complex and bureaucratic."

In the 'Turning Points in Chruch History' section was an essay on Walther at the Altenburg debates of 1841.  The author, H. George Anderson, observes in his concluding paragraph:

"Today Lutherans outside the Missouri Synod sometimes feel that the descendants of those early settlers have lost the ability to hear the other side of a question.  If that is correct, then the Missouri Synod has forgotten that it was born out of the ability of its founders to seek the truth, listen to those with different viewpoints, and humbly pray to God to lead them into a fuller knowledge of his will."

 :o
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Coolrevgaus on March 31, 2007, 11:03:02 PM
From what I can tell the LCMS is really getting its act together, it has a fine publishing house, conservative influence as opposed to ultra conservatism is in the ascendency, better liturgical life that represents a shift away from its flurtations with the Church Growth movement two fine seminaries, KFUO,  in Ablaze a concerted if at times rather superficial outreach program, and increasing engagement with the culture as witnessed by the topics at recent symposium. Now all they need to do is to continue on their present path and just say no to any relations with the increasingly apostate ELCA and they will soon be the voice of Lutheranism in the USA.  As for me I have no interest in a moderate hybrid Lutheranism it will just drift towards what we now have in the ELCA, moderate Lutherans have proven a million times over they can't manage a thing accept manipulation.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 31, 2007, 11:16:42 PM
Paul Gausmann writes (re the LC-MS)
Now all they need to do is to continue on their present path and just say no to any relations with the increasingly apostate ELCA and they will soon be the voice of Lutheranism in the USA.

I ask:
But are you not a pastor in the "increasngly apostate ELCA"? Along with your wife? What then of your own mission and ministry in this imperfect thing we have as "church"?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on April 01, 2007, 01:00:02 AM
I am finally getting around to reading Lively Stone: The Autobiography of Berthold von Schenk, published by ALPB.  And I thought I had biting critique of the LCMS!  There are some one line zingers in there that, WOW, talk about getting to the core of the issue!

My dearest wife (a former ELCA member) tells me that I am too hard on the LCMS, but she hasn't had the experiences with her that I have had, and I have deliberately sheltered her and keep Christian News (an oxymoronic title if there ever was one) out of her sight and out of our home (as my mentor used to call it: pornography of the 8th Commandment).

I think I have found a kindred spirit: an ecumenical, liturgical, Holy Spirit driven LCMS Pastor.  Cool.  I highly recommend the book!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Coolrevgaus on April 01, 2007, 01:55:44 PM
Fair question Charles. The answer is- I attend Conference meetings monthly unlike many pastors I know in the area, I am running for a postion through our Synod for a university board, our congregation hosted a synodwide ordination this year and will host the Bishop at conference this month- I have also served as conference dean. I am facilitator of a reform group in the Synod and synodical representative to Lutheran Core. Our congregation hosted the national board for both Lutheran Core and Word Alone recently, I am class representaitve for my class at Gettysburg Seminary, we hosted a local marraige savers seminar inviting synodical pastors and laity chielfy, I have served as a mission consultant for the Synod for most of my career and am one of about five local pastors who shows up for the Lutheran Men's Breakfast. I also write to our Bishop frequently about synodical concerns and she seems to value these contacts with her. In addition I am preparing to lead about thrity people in the congregation through Free to..., the latest instalment of the sexuality study which most pastors are ignoring. My wife is on Synod Council, chair of the Discernrment and Gifts Committee and the Sub-committee on Companion Congregations, a delegate to the last and next churchwide assembly, our daughter was the Synodical youth rep, to it. Paul Gausmann
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on April 01, 2007, 03:12:16 PM
Pastor Poedel,,,,,,,, delightful that you've hooked up with Bertie.  If you have opportunity to meet an alum of Our Saviours, or someone who knew him, pump them for all you can get.  The hagiography/ oral tradition is even more delightful than the book
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on April 01, 2007, 08:22:50 PM
Paul:
I am delighted to hear about the involvement that you and your family have in synod and ELCA ministries. Then I guess it is not so "increasingly apostate" as was suggested in your earlier post. Good.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Coolrevgaus on April 01, 2007, 08:46:44 PM
Actually all my involvement in the ELCA including having served in three different synods only confirms the drift that the church has taken towards the liberal fringe, I stick by my statement completely, no baiting thanks. Paul 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on April 02, 2007, 03:55:30 AM
Paul Gausmann write (after my compliment on his involvement with the ELCA):

Actually all my involvement in the ELCA including having served in three different synods only confirms the drift that the church has taken towards the liberal fringe, I stick by my statement completely, no baiting thanks. Paul

I respond:
No "baiting" intended. I only wanted to point out (and perhaps agree with him) that for most of us, this imperfect vehicle of the Gospel called the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is touched by snowstorms - some might say blizzards - of apostasy from time to time. But, having been called into its ministry, we go on ministering in it and sharing its mission with our fellow members; also believing that our denomination is, by the grace of God, still a faithful part of the Church catholic. (And the "Lutheran" part of that fellowship, if that's important.)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on April 02, 2007, 09:27:39 AM
And, if I may be so bold, take Charles' description of the ELCA above and apply it directly to the LCMS.

Blessed Holy Week, dear sisters and brothers.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: dwwalter on April 03, 2007, 08:15:22 AM
To go back to the question, I am a long-time ELCA member is is considering the LCMS.  I will admit that the latest issues over homosexuality have brought to the fore a number of concerns I have had over the direction of the ELCA.  As a father of four children who is trying to be a good example, and trying to instill in them love and fear of the Lord, I wonder if the ELCA is the wrong place for my family.

I fear that the ELCA is heading over the next five to ten years to the same place where Christianity is in Europe--nice buildings, empty pews, and a church reduced to charity.  I am temporarily living in Germany, and recently received a letter from the local German Catholic Church.  The church urged me to join so that it could get its share of taxes from the German state.  Nowhere in the letter were the words God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit.  Nothing in the letter told me when Holy Mass was held.  They just wanted the money so they could feed the poor--a great goal, but not the only mission of the church.

I was struck when I received that letter on how it was very similar to many of the pronouncements by the ELCA.  I have been concerned for years that the answer for many (but not all) social issues have usually used the approach of asking for government money--coveting someone elses money--instead of asking for action from the pews. 

I am also concerned how the Bible is a shrinking part of the church.  One church I attended reduced from three readings to a single Gospel reading during a contemporary service.  Maybe this was not intended to reduce the role of the Bible within a service, but it left me with a bad taste.

Clearly, this is not the only story in the ELCA.  The Society of the Holy Trinity and the 9.5 theses have given me hope.

Many in this post mentioned the question of inerrency of the Bible as a key stumbling block, particularly Genesis, and I would agree.  As an engineer, I believe that the Universe is older than the Genesis story.  However, when I know that the Universe is an improbability, and that the Earth's location around a stable sun in a stable orbit, and that life is enormously complex, I do believe that God has intervened throughout history to create this world and express his love for us. 

For me, this is the biggest stumbling block for joining the LCMS.  It may not be insurmountable.

Yours in Christ
Dale

PS  I read these forums for both inspiration and thoughtful guidance.  Believe or not, I do receive those from the heated debates here.

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on April 03, 2007, 10:25:10 AM
Many in this post mentioned the question of inerrency of the Bible as a key stumbling block, particularly Genesis, and I would agree.  As an engineer, I believe that the Universe is older than the Genesis story.  However, when I know that the Universe is an improbability, and that the Earth's location around a stable sun in a stable orbit, and that life is enormously complex, I do believe that God has intervened throughout history to create this world and express his love for us. 

For me, this is the biggest stumbling block for joining the LCMS.  It may not be insurmountable.
It is not insurmountable.  One need not be a "young earth creationist" in order to be a creationist.  There are also theologically orthodox "old earth creationists" and "old universe creationists."  The point is that God directly created the universe and all it contains.  It did not occur by accident and evolve by random blind chance.  It was created by a creator.  The Hebrew word translated as "day" can also mean "age", "aeon," or simply an incredibly long, undefined period of time.  Biola University Theologian and Philosopher J. P. Moreland always asks his students to never criticize "old earth creationists" or"old universe creationists."  They are, in fact "on the reservation."  Their views are not unorthodox.

As far as the proper use of higher criticism as opposed to biblical literalism, there is a marvelous document, "The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church" ( http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM ) by the R. C. Pontifical Biblical Commission.  This document allows, no, encourages higher criticism - up to a point.  But it stops it dead in its tracks whenever it attempts to "de-mythologize the Bible" or to eliminate the supernatural - miracles, etc. "a priori."  This presents an intelligent view of scripture an educated person can respect and live with. 

I came out of the LCMS, and I can assure you that with these two concepts under your belt you will be able to find a home in the LCMS.  (Don't worry about the hard-core "Christian News" types.  They may be in the LCMS but they are definitely not  the LCMS!)  Good luck.

Blessings,
Irl
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on April 03, 2007, 12:29:37 PM
"This document allows, no, encourages higher criticism - up to a point.  But it stops it dead in its tracks whenever it attempts to "de-mythologize the Bible" or to eliminate the supernatural - miracles, etc. "a priori."  This presents an intelligent view of scripture an educated person can respect and live with."

Actually, there was an article in a recent Pro Ecclesia that talked a bit about Luther, the not too young - not too old, Luther who became leary of the humanist scripture studies of his day and moved to keeping hermeneutics churchly with more pre-critical methods. 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Eric_Swensson on April 03, 2007, 12:41:17 PM
Read Kenneth Hagen on Luther and Scripture, if you can get a copy of his Luther's "Commentary" on Galatians.

Not taking Luther in a rigid way, but a model nevertheless of a "faithful reader" of Scripture. Luther believed that the Holy Spirit was the Master Teacher. H ewould have nothing of the critical method's idea of the autonomy of the reader, each reader the final judge of what the text says.

And Dale, who knows what wil be going on in the ELCA when you get back? We are going to have something of a showdown in August. Wherever you settle, you might not have a choice, that is, nearby there might be a good ELCA congregation, there might be a good LCMS, who knows?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on April 03, 2007, 03:06:21 PM
There is a lot to lilke about the LCMS.  :)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Revbert on April 03, 2007, 03:32:37 PM
Indeed...much of it from an educational standpoint.

They know how to build and support schools (we in the ELCA are awful at that in general...)

They know how to write theologically-sound material for all ages (we in the ELCA see a lot of "Jesus is a fuzzy bunny..." stuff)

They know the English Standard Version of the Bible isn't so bad after all

They still print the "little blue hardback" version of Luther's Small Catechism (which is good, since mine is from the 1920s I think and beginning to wear out)

And, even if a "fault" from my POV, they are generally confessional and sacramental. (close(d) communion is understandable, but I don't necessarily agree with the rigor OR lack of rigor it is practiced).

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on April 03, 2007, 05:07:41 PM
Pastor Poedel writes - re my description of the ELCA as "flawed" but faithful:

And, if I may be so bold, take Charles' description of the ELCA above and apply it directly to the LCMS.

I respond:
I agree.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Kidd, STS on April 03, 2007, 05:43:38 PM
After August, we will see if ELCA will go the way of culture or scripture.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: jrstacy98 on April 08, 2007, 12:13:22 AM
"Would those same folks who no longer feel comfortable in the ELCA consider the LCMS, warts and all?"

This question hits very close to home, and I was definitely a disaffected elca member, and the answer is a resounding Yes!. After years in the ELCA (or previously the LCA for myself – ALC for my wife)  this past Sunday my family became members at a vibrant and growing LCMS church.

This was not an easy path for us to follow, I’ve been a very involved member (I spent 4 of those 8 years on council) at the ELCA church we left for over 8 years (I spent 4 of those years on council), my wife it’s been her whole life.  Her great grandparents were some of the original members.  That doesn’t mean she owned the church, but to show how deep our ties and relationships are.

A little history about me – I grew up in an LCA church, but didn’t really get it, when I was ending high school and starting college working was more important, then eventually sleeping in was also.  My wife and I became C & E people, and any faith I really had was more of a football game type.  I wanted my team to win, you know, the Christian team, putting a Santa up on my door at Christmas was my way of cheering.  Yeah, I obviously didn’t get it.

Eventually God started putting people in my path, lead me back to church, and I got it, Faith and Grace in a big way, and I am so grateful for that.  Reading the Bible really did change my life, I had been about as liberal as they come, after being convicted by the Word, my outlook on life was changed.  The Bible changed from a story book that some simpletons believe, to God’s Holy Word, the Truth.

Why did we leave?  There are many reasons but in the end it comes down to the elca not trusting scripture and all the side issues that come with that (and will continue to come).  It really became a downer when I’d find something new on the net, ordained elca Pastors preaching cheap grace and Universalism, etc. etc. etc.  We were Blessed that our parish had (he’s still there) a Bible believing pastor, but knowing that we were part of the things being done and pushed in the elca became too heavy of a yoke.

Looking over the past 5 years I see that God had lead us to a decision point, and I struggled with it for a couple of years.  A friend I made in a discussion group shared with me the words that helped his church decide to leave the elca, “ If you were part of an independent Lutheran church and decided to join a bigger body, would you consider the elca?  If not, than what are you doing there?”

All my life I had always heard bad things about the LC-MS, They’re legalists, they’re really Baptists, etc. etc. etc.  I don’t find that to be true.  Is the LC-MS perfect?  Of course not, but keep in mind, regardless of what dispersions some want to cast, the LC-MS is the moderate Lutheran body in America, the elca is the Liberal and Wels is the conservative.

The church we are now members of makes no apologies for the Bible, they love Jesus, they follow the confessions, they serve the poor, and they reach out in the great commission locally and worldly, they’ve genuinely welcomed us, not in a fake way to help the head count.

Am I unique?  Sometimes I’d like to think so, but not really.  When I talked with the Associate Pastor about where we were and what membership would entail, he made a joke about starting a support group for ex-ELCAers.  Getting to know some of the people there are many who got tired of the elca and left over different issues, but in the end, over the issue of not trusting scripture.

And now, a friend from a different elca church has started attending, he’s brought 3 other couples with him from his elca church, some of them are talking of joining.  Perhaps this LC-MS church God lead me to is unique, but it’s light is shining bright and calling.

So Scott, I wrote much more than I intended, but I’m very happy as an LC-MS Christian and I’m not even a full week into it.  Have I found / Will I find things I don’t care for, of course, but those seem small compared to what I found and kept finding in the elca.  If there are others out there like me, give it a chance, visit a couple churches in your area, pray about it, where does God want you?  Does he want you to help lead your current church to a new body, or does he want you make a trek?  Leaving friends and family isn't easy, but in the end it's not really leaving, those relationships don't go away, and you can still visit.

God Bless You All!

He is Risen!!!!!!

-John from Toledo
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on April 08, 2007, 04:50:44 AM
Someone writes upstream:

After August, we will see if ELCA will go the way of culture or scripture.

I muse:

Is the "choice" that clear-cut? Either/Or? Have we ruled out the possibility that God may speak to us through "culture," through science, through the human intellect, through the ways in which Christians organize themselves in the world and deal with its problems? Unless we believe that "scripture" was somehow plunked down in our midst as a unified package, didn't "scripture" itself come out of "culture" and the ways that God spoke to people through those things we now call "culture"?

And, if we do do want to reject the ways of "culture," why are we not speaking more to greed, consumerism, militarism, American imperialism and disregard of the poor, all things that permeate our "culture"?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on April 08, 2007, 08:50:05 AM
Perhaps this LC-MS church God lead me to is unique, but it’s light is shining bright and calling.

So Scott, I wrote much more than I intended, but I’m very happy as an LC-MS Christian and I’m not even a full week into it.  Have I found / Will I find things I don’t care for, of course, but those seem small compared to what I found and kept finding in the elca.  If there are others out there like me, give it a chance, visit a couple churches in your area, pray about it, where does God want you?  Does he want you to help lead your current church to a new body, or does he want you make a trek?  Leaving friends and family isn't easy, but in the end it's not really leaving, those relationships don't go away, and you can still visit.

God Bless You All!

He is Risen!!!!!!

-John from Toledo


John, thank you for sharing your experience!  I am glad that you have found a church home, and I pray that it will be a blessing to you even as you are a blessing to others by living out your faith and being that light you have found at the church to others.

He is risen!!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: LutherMan on April 08, 2007, 02:18:33 PM
We have had several ELCA families join our LCMS parish in recent years.  One parish that left LCMS for AELC in the mid-seventies has become a full-blown RIC parish, so some of the people who had stayed through a lot of what they referred to as "doctrinal decay" came back after almost 30 years, and some former ALC & LCA folks came with them.   The homosexual acceptance became the deciding factor for these people.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on April 08, 2007, 02:49:13 PM
And, if we do do want to reject the ways of "culture," why are we not speaking more to greed, consumerism, militarism, American imperialism and disregard of the poor, all things that permeate our "culture"?

What more would you have us in the ELCA speak, Charles?

Alleluia!  Christ is risen!

spt+
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: LutherMan on April 08, 2007, 03:02:18 PM
He is Risen indeed!  Alleluia!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on April 08, 2007, 07:37:23 PM
I have some ambivalent feelings about this discussion.

First of all, in our ELCA congregation we have had the experience of several LCMS families leaving the local LCMS congregation to join us. Same with some Presbyterian families. In each case, there has also been occasional movement in the other direction, though I think we've gotten the better of the deal, numerically speaking. We've even had a family or two that has left us for LCMS, and then later come back.

Obviously these families were not leaving because their original congregations were more "liberal." Nor were they leaving because they were more "conservative." They were leaving for reasons that had little to do with denominational politics, and more to do with congregational issues.

And while I've always welcomed folks like this (though I've not "pursued" them), it leaves me pondering what really is a good reason to leave a congregation. Toledo John's experience troubles me, because he seems to suggest that his own (former) ELCA congregation was, in fact, not the issue for him, but the ELCA itself was the  issue. Is that a reasonable reason to leave a congregation? Is it reasonable to leave because you don't like the pastor? Because you disagree with decisions made locally? Because you don't like the way worship style has developed?

There are lots of reasons to leave, but how many of them are good reasons? Seems to me there's an analogy here to marriage. In Toledo John's experience, he's left because he didn't like his in-laws . . .or so it seems. Part of the reason I am still in the ELCA is that I made a certain commitment. It isn't always easy to keep it, but I take it seriously. Having already left one denomination, I'm not happy about the idea of leaving another, but that's another story.

One of the most interesting comments made by one of the LCMS people that came to our congregation: She was unhappy because the LCMS pastor didn't enforce LCMS policy. ELCA policy was different (essentially the LCMS pastor was following ELCA policy). Her comment: "I can live with either policy; what I can't live with is the pastor not following the policy of the church body of which he is a part."

Well, just my musings on an Easter afternoon.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on April 08, 2007, 08:30:11 PM
I don't remember the studies, but I recall reading somewhere that people moving from one parish to another had little to do with the "liberal/moderate/conservative" spectrum, as it seemed clear that about the same number of people moved each direction.
It would be interesting to see some reliable studies on congregational choice today. We do know, I think, that denominationalism isn't the main consideration; though I suspect the desire for a denominational label is stronger among Lutherans than among Presbyterians.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Maryland Brian on April 08, 2007, 09:40:26 PM
I don't remember the studies, but I recall reading somewhere that people moving from one parish to another had little to do with the "liberal/moderate/conservative" spectrum, as it seemed clear that about the same number of people moved each direction.
It would be interesting to see some reliable studies on congregational choice today. We do know, I think, that denominationalism isn't the main consideration; though I suspect the desire for a denominational label is stronger among Lutherans than among Presbyterians.

  Among the prevailing church movement crowd there's a general consensus that if someone(s) should leave a congregation and move to another for a positive reason (more youth present, sermons, worship experience, less to no congregational conflict in the new parish), they generally will stay and become effective members.  If, OTOH, they move to your congregation and consistently start the conversation with, "we left so-and-so because ..." and the reasons are negative and they stay on that for a couple of months or so ... within five years they'll move onto another congregation again.

 Most of our new members come from little to no church background so I don't know how that would fit the Lutheran "union label" argument.

So it goes ...

Maryland Brian
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: jrstacy98 on April 08, 2007, 11:15:15 PM
I have some ambivalent feelings about this discussion.
(some snipping)
 Toledo John's experience troubles me, because he seems to suggest that his own (former) ELCA congregation was, in fact, not the issue for him, but the ELCA itself was the  issue. Is that a reasonable reason to leave a congregation? Is it reasonable to leave because you don't like the pastor? Because you disagree with decisions made locally? Because you don't like the way worship style has developed?

There are lots of reasons to leave, but how many of them are good reasons? Seems to me there's an analogy here to marriage. In Toledo John's experience, he's left because he didn't like his in-laws . . .or so it seems. Part of the reason I am still in the ELCA is that I made a certain commitment. It isn't always easy to keep it, but I take it seriously. Having already left one denomination, I'm not happy about the idea of leaving another, but that's another story.


I hear you Richard and am replying to help you understand the process for us.  This was not a light or easy discernment period for us, there was a lot of prayer and doors opening on one side with other doors closing on the other.  There were some local issues, but most of those came out of things from the elca trickling down.   Your are right that the biggest issues came from the elca itself.  I had at one time been very involved in different Evangelism programs, at a certain point I felt torn on inviting people to the congregation.  Not for the sake that it was a bad congregation, but I didn't want to put them through the issues I was going through - the dissapointment of what kept coming from Higgins road, the lack of enforcement of ministry standards in some synods while there was enforcement in others, etc. etc. etc.  This really had become a weight that was interfering with my worship life. 

What is reasonable reason to leave a chuirch?  Some people leave over things like the color of the carpet.  In recent years we had people leave over issues of money, issues of an associate pastor who was there about a  year, for just wanting a change in worship style.  You bring up the family metaphor, and there is truth in that, but I don't think it quite equates with the in-laws being the elca.  I'm tired enough at the moment that I can't come with a better comparison, in the end your faith life is unique. 

By staying, to me, it felt that we endorsed the elca and it's directions, which we didn't.  When every press release mentions the 4.8 million membership (wasn't it 5.2 just a couple years ago?) we were counted in that - it often seemd like that number was included to say 4.8 million Lutherans can't be wrong - sort of a might make right thing.  In the end church or family, I stand with Jesus and I found conflict in loyalty to Him and being part of the elca.  Am I perfect in my decision making, no of course not, but it does feel like a weight has been lifted.  Nothing here is meant as a challenge or an insult to the elca members or clergy who are here, you need to pray and if God convicts your heart, than you need to act according to His will and your conscience.

Did we leave in the night and turn our back on our family and friends at the old church? no.  Though one friend got excited when he found out I had become involved in the Praise Band at the new church and started telling some people before I had the chance to - my goal was to tell those we were closest to personally and I am sad that some found out from others.  I had a long talk with my pastor, while he was sad he understood, he let us know the door is always open and we will visit from time to time, but it's not our church home anymore - though the relationships will continue.

You do ask a good questions Richard, what is a reasonable reason to leave a church?

1) Not getting along with the Pastor or caring for a new Pastor?  It happens all the time, I don't like this reason, but in the right (or really wrong) circumstance, I could see being part of it.

2) Not being fed - I always cringe when I hear this one, it seems to be always be about 'me', but some of the people I know who have said it are some of the most devoted Christians/Lutherans I know.  There can be truth in that statement.  Children can be a big influence on this one, while home should be the first place of Christian education, I expect to the church to be up there, if there is nothing to feed the children it seems reasonable to look for some place that would.

3) Theological differences.  I guess this is where we fall in, the old church is part of the elca, by being in the elca it endorses the elca's point of views (though there seem to be many views on every issue).  This seems like a perfectly reasonable to leave (to me ;-) anyway) .  If this doesn't seem reasonable, why not?  Isn't this really in our Lutheran DNA?  Martin wanted to change the RC church, it didn't change, thus the birth of the Lutheran church (very simplified I know).  If we are at odds over large issues (not color of the carpet issues) it seems we have a duty, either fight unceasingly for change, or leave.

Too much typing, I hope this makes sense to everyone.

God's Blessings!!!  -- John
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Mel Harris on April 08, 2007, 11:33:22 PM

In Toledo John's experience, he's left because he didn't like his in-laws . . .or so it seems.


Perhaps I am missing something, but I have reread John from Toledo's posting and I do not think the sentence above is accurate or fair.


 it leaves me pondering what really is a good reason to leave a congregation. Toledo John's experience troubles me, because he seems to suggest that his own (former) ELCA congregation was, in fact, not the issue for him, but the ELCA itself was the  issue. Is that a reasonable reason to leave a congregation? Is it reasonable to leave because you don't like the pastor? Because you disagree with decisions made locally? Because you don't like the way worship style has developed?

There are lots of reasons to leave, but how many of them are good reasons?


What is a good reason to leave a congregation?  I have a lot of different thoughts about that question.  I can understand the reasoning John mentioned in his posting, that he did not want to be a part of and support the work of a church body that was not trusting and following the Scriptures, even if the local congregation and pastor were not themselves the problem.  We could debate whether or not that is true about our ELCA, but it is not difficult to see how someone might come to that conclusion.  We could also debate whether or not that is a good enough reason to leave a congregation.

Years ago, I thought church shopping was a dumb idea.  The first time my wife and I moved after we were married (many many years ago), we looked in an ALC yearbook, found the name and address of the ALC congregation in the town we were moving to, and had our letter of transfer in our hands when we moved.  We had never seen that congregation.  All we knew about it was that it was the ALC congregation in that town, and that was all that we thought we needed to know.  During the first years that I was a pastor, I did not hesitate to recommend congregations to people who were moving on that same basis, that they were congregations of our church body.  Maybe I was simply young and naive, but I trusted back then, that any congregation of our church body would be acceptable.  I would not do that today.  In fact, when our elder daughter was getting ready to go to college, I looked up the nearest ELCA congregation to that college, and then looked over their web site.  I saw some things on their web site that suggested to me that I probably would not approve of some of the things that congregation did and taught.  I looked some more, but there was not another ELCA congregation within a reasonable distance.  I gave my daughter the name, address and phone number of that congregation, and told her what I had seen on their web site that made me less than confident that I could recommend going there.  I suggested that she check out some other options, as well as that congregation.  (There is not an LC-MS congregation near the college she was headed to, or I would have given her information about that as well.)  When that same daughter moved again for graduate school, I recommended that she try going to services at several congregations, as there are a number of Lutheran congregations in that area.  So... it seems that I have changed my attitude about church shopping.

I agree that many of the reasons that I have heard people give for leaving a congregation, are not reasons that I can affirm.  Still, I do believe that there are some very good reasons for leaving some congregations.  I can think of some ELCA congregations that I would have a very difficult time staying a member of.  I think that many members of the ELCA, TEC and several other church bodies are struggling today to decide when and for what reasons it is appropriate to leave a church body.  If someone could provide a simple answer to that question, they could be very popular.

Mel Harris
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on April 08, 2007, 11:58:26 PM
I have come to the conclusion that confessional Lutheranism is like a positive magnetic force; it simultaneously attracts some and repels others.  The same could be said, contrawise, of modern Schmuckerite Lutheranism, or any other significant Lutheran movement or faction.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on April 09, 2007, 02:28:40 PM
I have come to the conclusion that confessional Lutheranism is like a positive magnetic force; it simultaneously attracts some and repels others.  The same could be said, contrawise, of modern Schmuckerite Lutheranism, or any other significant Lutheran movement or faction.

One of the problems is that "confessional Lutheranism" can mean many different things. Every ELCA congregation subscribes to the Lutheran Confessions. It's in our constitutions. Not every congregation or pastor or member will use or interpret the confessions in the same way. We also have two new translations of the confessions from the ELCA and LCMS. Is one more right than another?

In some cases, the phrase "confessional Lutheranism" is not so much about the confessions but about a position on CCM or homosexuality. (I don't recall that the confessions say anything about homomsexuality.)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peter_speckhard on April 09, 2007, 03:10:06 PM

And while I've always welcomed folks like this (though I've not "pursued" them), it leaves me pondering what really is a good reason to leave a congregation. Toledo John's experience troubles me, because he seems to suggest that his own (former) ELCA congregation was, in fact, not the issue for him, but the ELCA itself was the  issue. Is that a reasonable reason to leave a congregation?

I would say that it is not only a reasonable reason, it is about the only reasonable reason. People ought to stick with their local congregation through in-fighting, pastoral vacancies, building projects, declining membership, or any other problem, but only if their congregation preaches and teaches sound doctrine, and that includes the wider fellowship of which that congregation is a manifestation. I would not join a "moderate" WELS congregation because I disagre with WELS theology, even if it is downplayed or ignored at the congregational level. I would not join a conservative ELCA congregation, which is true purely because of the ELCA and even if the congregation itself were doctrinally solid and great in every practical way. If I ever came to believe, say, the ELCA view of the Scriptures, I would (as many have done before me) make a genuine effort to change it in the LCMS, but having failed at that (which I certainly would) I would join an ELCA congregation even if it meant driving farther and worshiping with strangers.

John from Toledo's story makes perfect sense to me, and would (I think) even if it were in reverse. If he were looking for a RIC congregation, I would not expect him to remain in the LCMS but simply find a more liberal pastor and congregation. I would expect him ultimately either to change his mind about that (ideally) or else join an ELCA congregation.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Maryland Brian on April 09, 2007, 03:22:34 PM

If he were looking for a RIC congregation, I would not expect him to remain in the LCMS but simply find a more liberal pastor and congregation. I would expect him ultimately either to change his mind about that (ideally) or else join an ELCA congregation.

  I go back to an earlier comment I made about whether I'd head in the direction of LC-MS should Vision and Expectations be changed this summer.  People moving between congregations is all very interesting.  Kind of like musical chairs ... who gets the member when the organ stops?  OTOH, both our denominations are shrinking and neither has, as a group, made much institutional headway in reaching new generations or populations.  In other words, what would it get me or my congregation to go to all the trouble of connecting up with yet another declining US based denomination?  I doubt I can stay in the ELCA should V&E be changed.  But I have yet to hear a convincing argument toward LC-MS either, particularly considering their equally ineffective efforts toward reaching new people with the Gospel.

The future is the Global South, at least that's the way I see it.  So the deeper question for me is how to maintain connections to a global church AND be part of an evangelical orthodox prevailing movement during this time of internationally shifting loyalties?

Maryland Brian
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Kidd, STS on April 09, 2007, 03:30:07 PM
Charles says:
And, if we do do want to reject the ways of "culture," why are we not speaking more to greed, consumerism, militarism, American imperialism and disregard of the poor, all things that permeate our "culture"?

Amen and I will agree with you. When I say Culture I meant to say the bad things in culture not good.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Coolrevgaus on April 09, 2007, 10:22:28 PM
Maryland Brian, wouldn't it be interesting if a third world Lutheran Bishop would invite confessional orthodox folks to form a nongeographic diocese in the United States. It seems as though this is becoming almost standard practce among the anglicans in the United States. Of course when the Kenyan Lutheran Bishop did this in Sweden he was disiciplined by the LWF but I don't think that overly concerned him. But getting back to the main topic, a simple review of who the LCMS has invited to speak at their major conferences will reveal that they have many well known non-Missourians speak at their meetings including ELCA notables like Robert Benne. This notion of LCMS as parochial and clanish really needs to be revised, I have found them very gracious and kind folks to talk to (and I have spoken to many) genuinely interested in the wider church. Meanwhile many ELCA pastors have the old stereotype of LCMS as merely self-inclusive still firmly planted in their minds, shame.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Fred_Douglass on April 10, 2007, 10:34:33 AM
This is my own personal take and answer to the question....  I would not consider leaving the ELCA even though I may feel disaffected at times.
For the same reason why I did not understand the merger but have accepted and embraced it.  I would not have had my first call because it was an ALC congregation.  Without the merger, the LCA would not have known what to do with me and it was a mid-west congregation that embraced my ministry.  Yes, ELCA has it issues, but from my perspective not enough to usurp the many grace and sprit filled actions  and moments that have strengthened my faith within it.  I know this is not everyone's experience and I respect that, but I could not and will not leave.  I have a friend who is a Roman Catholic and many of his friends question his intentions in staying in that faith even though he has felt disaffected.  His response is my response:  "Faith should not be about issues"....  Just my viewpoint from my experiences.  I am sure others would like to pounce on my naivete....

Brian McClinton
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Eric_Swensson on April 10, 2007, 12:08:00 PM
I won't pounce on you or your firmly held beliefs. It seems that you havce found a way to separate "issues" from the "real business of the church." I used to feel that way myself. For me it became an in your face thing, and spiritually I came to see that there were not only different ways of doing things, but what underlied it all was two different streams of Lutheran theology. later by listening to Anglicans I saw it wasn't two "Lutheranisms" but two different religions in one church. This has been borne out as I have attempted to engage the revisionists.

Don't take my word. Read the papers from our dialogue  http://mnys.org/Learning/Learn-8.html

Eric Swensson
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Fred_Douglass on April 10, 2007, 01:00:18 PM
I agree that there are several forms of "lutheranisms" in the ELCA.  I would even say that the biggest problem is the original premise "how do we interpret scripture".  This is why the "issues" come up.  That was part of the problem I believe with the merger as I do not know how intentional scripture and how we interpret played a part.  This is why lutherans have divided through the centuries.  What is happening is nothing new. I am saying that I have not reached a point of many in which the issues have driven me to the point to re-consider my thought on not leaving.  So, I would not consider LCMS or any other denomination.  I look at it like the different orders in the Roman church.    Some believe in (though not officially) the consideration of married priests and women ordination.  Some leave the Roman church and some stay because of those issues.  We should expect the same in the ELCA.   I do respect others resolve in departing.  I am not there.

Brian McClinton
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on May 08, 2007, 09:04:50 AM
The review by Pr John Hannah in the newly arrived Forum is excellent, good way to context the topic of this somewhat dead thread.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Vern on May 24, 2007, 04:48:37 PM
Since the Bishop of the Episcopal Church has stated that Christ is not the only way to salvation I am wondering how we can stay connected to them. In fact a recent resolution to the St Paul Area Synod convention (resolution 8) suggests that we should affirm John 14:6 " I am the way, the truth and the light, no one can come to the Father but by Me." The synod is recommending that it NOT pass.  This is how you chase people away from the Church. :'(
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on May 24, 2007, 04:53:12 PM
Someone writes:
In fact a recent resolution to the St Paul Area Synod convention (resolution suggests that we should affirm John 14:6 " I am the way, the truth and the light, no one can come to the Father but by Me." The synod is recommending that it NOT pass.  This is how you chase people away from the Church.

I comment:
No. This is how you politicize the Scriptures by attaching a political agenda to a verse and then asking a portion of the church to affirm it; an unnecessary act, since we already affirm the Bible. It's a have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife-yet kind of declaration.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: MMH on May 24, 2007, 05:41:53 PM
I think it would depend upon the reason for not passing.

To not pass it because we already uphold the Bible makes a great deal of sense, and I would stand shoulder to shoulder with Pr. Austin, waving my Red Card at the vote.

However, if the Synod  recomended "No" because John 14 is "judgmental, non-inclusive and generally not, like nice, you know?" I would find myself reaching for the Green.

Matt Hummell+
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: mchristi on May 24, 2007, 06:08:01 PM
The St. Paul Area Synod reference and councel committee's reason is given on it's publication of the resolution.  You can read it at:
http://www.spas-elca.org/about/assembly/8JesusOneTrueWay.pdf

There is another resolution put forth for consideration.  You can read it at:
http://www.spas-elca.org/about/assembly/8AEvangelicalOutreach.pdf

I agree with both Charles and the rationale of the reference and council committee.  Besides, the alternative actually proposes that we do something about the matter, while the original is little more than posturing (even if it is may be good posture).

Mark C.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Vern on May 25, 2007, 02:05:09 PM
I must disagree with Charles. In my"non-pastor"  mind I feel that joining with a group that does not support our beliefs is an error.  To me it's not political unless that is what you think the Church has become.

Vern
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on July 16, 2007, 06:23:13 PM
I read the reports that Speckhard is posting on the LCMS assembly topic.  My eyes are now glazed and my head hurts- ok the beer last night had something to do with the headache but still :  Can someone "interpret" some of the history and meaning behind this stuff to me?  I read the JesusFirst site but that does not give me the true history.  Please, somehow someone enlighten us ELCA types.  At least the ones who are interested.

Keep the Faith

Peter
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 16, 2007, 06:37:19 PM
I read the reports that Speckhard is posting on the LCMS assembly topic.  My eyes are now glazed and my head hurts- ok the beer last night had something to do with the headache but still :  Can someone "interpret" some of the history and meaning behind this stuff to me?  I read the JesusFirst site but that does not give me the true history.  Please, somehow someone enlighten us ELCA types.  At least the ones who are interested.

Keep the Faith

Peter

The nature of on the scene reporting makes it difficult to provide background for those not to some extent "in the know." When this is all over, Pr. Speckhard will be writing a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis which can be expected to put things in context, and which you can expect to read in the September issue (the timing being such as to miss the deadline for the August issue, in addition to which the outgoing editor can be expected to fill the August issue with maudlin and sentimental reflections on his 17-year editorship; the incoming editor can promise you that, if still living in 17 years, he will have long ago retired, so the Salzman record is in no immediate danger of being surpassed).
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peter_speckhard on July 16, 2007, 06:45:58 PM
Yeah, everytime I try to type something more explanatory or commentary related, something comes up on the floor. There are no scheduled breaks except lunch. So, yes, it is true that if you aren't fully familiar with some of the factions and their media and newsletters you'll have a hard time following some (not all) of the convention. Next time I'll do a little more pre-convention posting to get everyone up to speed. I can't help it that heathendom finds the LCMS bewildering.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on July 16, 2007, 07:49:32 PM
Yeah, everytime I try to type something more explanatory or commentary related, something comes up on the floor. There are no scheduled breaks except lunch. So, yes, it is true that if you aren't fully familiar with some of the factions and their media and newsletters you'll have a hard time following some (not all) of the convention. Next time I'll do a little more pre-convention posting to get everyone up to speed. I can't help it that heathendom finds the LCMS bewildering.

Peter

You are doing well.  I apreciate your reports.  I just do not understand them- at least not all the way.  And as this is the open forum part of ALPB and there are other LCMS type folk here I hope some of the other voice chime in to splash us Heathens  ;) from the holding tanks of their knowledge of things going on.  Please?  :-[

Keep the Faith

Peter
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on July 16, 2007, 07:50:29 PM
I read the reports that Speckhard is posting on the LCMS assembly topic.  My eyes are now glazed and my head hurts- ok the beer last night had something to do with the headache but still :  Can someone "interpret" some of the history and meaning behind this stuff to me?  I read the JesusFirst site but that does not give me the true history.  Please, somehow someone enlighten us ELCA types.  At least the ones who are interested.

Keep the Faith

Peter

The nature of on the scene reporting makes it difficult to provide background for those not to some extent "in the know." When this is all over, Pr. Speckhard will be writing a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis which can be expected to put things in context, and which you can expect to read in the September issue (the timing being such as to miss the deadline for the August issue, in addition to which the outgoing editor can be expected to fill the August issue with maudlin and sentimental reflections on his 17-year editorship; the incoming editor can promise you that, if still living in 17 years, he will have long ago retired, so the Salzman record is in no immediate danger of being surpassed).

Bound to be a classic issue I am sure; followed by a classic period of editorship. 

Keep the Faith

Peter
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 16, 2007, 08:03:48 PM
Yeah, everytime I try to type something more explanatory or commentary related, something comes up on the floor. There are no scheduled breaks except lunch. So, yes, it is true that if you aren't fully familiar with some of the factions and their media and newsletters you'll have a hard time following some (not all) of the convention. Next time I'll do a little more pre-convention posting to get everyone up to speed. I can't help it that heathendom finds the LCMS bewildering.

Mayne others can adopt my approach: immersion. It's really the only way to learn a language, so why not apply it to a bunch of words coming from LCMS-ville?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on July 16, 2007, 08:17:18 PM
Yeah, everytime I try to type something more explanatory or commentary related, something comes up on the floor. There are no scheduled breaks except lunch. So, yes, it is true that if you aren't fully familiar with some of the factions and their media and newsletters you'll have a hard time following some (not all) of the convention. Next time I'll do a little more pre-convention posting to get everyone up to speed. I can't help it that heathendom finds the LCMS bewildering.

Mayne others can adopt my approach: immersion. It's really the only way to learn a language, so why not apply it to a bunch of words coming from LCMS-ville?

Immersion?  Do Lutherans do that?  Does LCMS.. no couldn't be...   ;)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on July 16, 2007, 08:41:10 PM
Yeah, everytime I try to type something more explanatory or commentary related, something comes up on the floor. There are no scheduled breaks except lunch. So, yes, it is true that if you aren't fully familiar with some of the factions and their media and newsletters you'll have a hard time following some (not all) of the convention. Next time I'll do a little more pre-convention posting to get everyone up to speed. I can't help it that heathendom finds the LCMS bewildering.

Mayne others can adopt my approach: immersion. It's really the only way to learn a language, so why not apply it to a bunch of words coming from LCMS-ville?

Immersion?  Do Lutherans do that?  Does LCMS.. no couldn't be...   ;)

It takes a lot of barrels (or kegs), but yes, it is possible and very LCMS...
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on July 16, 2007, 09:45:07 PM
If you will be more specific, I will try to provide some background, though it will not be as erudite as Peter's will be.

Specific issues that you would like background on?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on July 16, 2007, 09:55:43 PM
ave,

To start with, Peter S. speaks of JesusFirst a bunch.  What is the story and history?  I take it that Ablaze! is somehow connected to them, no?  How do these people fit in.  Please, remember I am ELCA and not in a very LCMS rich slice of Ohio; I don't get the Gestraetengepoopen on these things.

Peter
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: navyman on July 17, 2007, 12:39:14 PM

Why not go down to the nearest Lake or River!

Don


Yeah, everytime I try to type something more explanatory or commentary related, something comes up on the floor. There are no scheduled breaks except lunch. So, yes, it is true that if you aren't fully familiar with some of the factions and their media and newsletters you'll have a hard time following some (not all) of the convention. Next time I'll do a little more pre-convention posting to get everyone up to speed. I can't help it that heathendom finds the LCMS bewildering.

Mayne others can adopt my approach: immersion. It's really the only way to learn a language, so why not apply it to a bunch of words coming from LCMS-ville?

Immersion?  Do Lutherans do that?  Does LCMS.. no couldn't be...   ;)

It takes a lot of barrels (or kegs), but yes, it is possible and very LCMS...
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on July 17, 2007, 01:14:16 PM
There is beer running LCMS territory rivers??!!!  :o   WHere do I sign up?  ;D


Why not go down to the nearest Lake or River!

Don


Yeah, everytime I try to type something more explanatory or commentary related, something comes up on the floor. There are no scheduled breaks except lunch. So, yes, it is true that if you aren't fully familiar with some of the factions and their media and newsletters you'll have a hard time following some (not all) of the convention. Next time I'll do a little more pre-convention posting to get everyone up to speed. I can't help it that heathendom finds the LCMS bewildering.

Mayne others can adopt my approach: immersion. It's really the only way to learn a language, so why not apply it to a bunch of words coming from LCMS-ville?

Immersion?  Do Lutherans do that?  Does LCMS.. no couldn't be...   ;)

It takes a lot of barrels (or kegs), but yes, it is possible and very LCMS...
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: navyman on July 17, 2007, 01:26:43 PM
They can always set up a beer tent, and have a quick one, there after!  Would that be cool or what?  ;D

Just kidding!!! 

Don


There is beer running LCMS territory rivers??!!!  :o   WHere do I sign up?  ;D


Why not go down to the nearest Lake or River!

Don


Yeah, everytime I try to type something more explanatory or commentary related, something comes up on the floor. There are no scheduled breaks except lunch. So, yes, it is true that if you aren't fully familiar with some of the factions and their media and newsletters you'll have a hard time following some (not all) of the convention. Next time I'll do a little more pre-convention posting to get everyone up to speed. I can't help it that heathendom finds the LCMS bewildering.

Mayne others can adopt my approach: immersion. It's really the only way to learn a language, so why not apply it to a bunch of words coming from LCMS-ville?

Immersion?  Do Lutherans do that?  Does LCMS.. no couldn't be...   ;)

It takes a lot of barrels (or kegs), but yes, it is possible and very LCMS...
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on July 17, 2007, 01:42:01 PM
There is beer running LCMS territory rivers??!!!  :o   WHere do I sign up?  ;D


Why not go down to the nearest Lake or River!

Don


Yeah, everytime I try to type something more explanatory or commentary related, something comes up on the floor. There are no scheduled breaks except lunch. So, yes, it is true that if you aren't fully familiar with some of the factions and their media and newsletters you'll have a hard time following some (not all) of the convention. Next time I'll do a little more pre-convention posting to get everyone up to speed. I can't help it that heathendom finds the LCMS bewildering.

Mayne others can adopt my approach: immersion. It's really the only way to learn a language, so why not apply it to a bunch of words coming from LCMS-ville?

Immersion?  Do Lutherans do that?  Does LCMS.. no couldn't be...   ;)

It takes a lot of barrels (or kegs), but yes, it is possible and very LCMS...

Well, Missouri is called the "holy land", not without reason.  God does drink Bells Double Cream Stout, BTW (when He can afford it).  If not, the Almighty just comes down to the rivers of Perry County.  ;D  8)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: pilgrimpriest on July 18, 2007, 01:10:54 PM
I have a question for your collective input...

Given the recent declaration of altar and pulpit fellowship between the LC-MS and the AALC, and the offer of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis to educate WA/LCMC seminarians, does this present a "third way" for disaffected ELCA'ers?

And a follow-up...

Will this present reality affect the proceedings in August at the Church-wide Assembly?

Priest Robert
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on July 18, 2007, 01:37:03 PM
I have a question for your collective input...

Given the recent declaration of altar and pulpit fellowship between the LC-MS and the AALC, and the offer of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis to educate WA/LCMC seminarians, does this present a "third way" for disaffected ELCA'ers?

And a follow-up...

Will this present reality affect the proceedings in August at the Church-wide Assembly?

Priest Robert

As to the first question, maybe, for some.

As to the second, no.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Eric_Swensson on July 18, 2007, 01:50:17 PM
I have a question for your collective input...

Given the recent declaration of altar and pulpit fellowship between the LC-MS and the AALC, and the offer of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis to educate WA/LCMC seminarians, does this present a "third way" for disaffected ELCA'ers?

Priest Robert

That's what Jaynann says...

I concur with Richard, and what Russ just wrote in the Forum Letter, with 2/3 of the delegates there celebrating their first assembly, who has been prepared to understand the complex history of the groups much less what the future holds.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on July 24, 2007, 02:29:38 PM
Third way? Makes sense. This should open new opportunities for intra-Lutheran dialogue on both doctrine and practice. In most regions I think the effect will be small. But who knows?

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Deb_H. on July 24, 2007, 09:13:58 PM
Given the recent declaration of altar and pulpit fellowship between the LC-MS and the AALC, and the offer of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis to educate WA/LCMC seminarians, does this present a "third way" for disaffected ELCA'ers?
And a follow-up...
Will this present reality affect the proceedings in August at the Church-wide Assembly?
Priest Robert

As to the first question, maybe, for some.
As to the second, no.

This has piqued my curiosity.  Do you have some information regarding the "official stance" toward WordAlone, or is this just an opinion?
There are certain things which lead me to believe that a day of reckoning for WordAlone is fast approaching.  Certain pieces of rhetoric, certain bishop behaviors, and certain anecdotal evidence leads me to believe that if not at Churchwide, then sometime soon, the hammer's going to come down.
Lou
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on August 06, 2007, 09:31:30 AM
I don't know if this thread deserves another life but I'll tey giving it one anyway:  It is the week of the big dance in Chicago.  I can just hear the rummagin in many a conservative garage as folks look for their inflatable rowboat and are calling up mapquest to find their way down to the river shore, whatever river they might be considdering.  THat said:  I know of some who have gone to the shores of the Tiber and gone over to the other side where they became.. well..  I don't know.  In my slice of puragtory the RC bishop will not discuss such things as acceptance into the priesthood until you are actually a Catholic.  Some case are reported where he said yes.  Others he has said no.  In any case, he has sent them all to seminary for ome time prior to accepting them into the "p-hood." 

For discussion purposes [note FOR DISCUSSION, I am not going to listen to any whineing on how this won't happen and where did I get my data, etc.]  let's say things go well for Goodsoil in Chicago tomorrow and their agenda is 100% accepted.  Conservatives drive to the river,  they pump up the dingys and start rowing.  Let's also say they landed in MS.  How would they be recieved?  What would LCMS do if they were suddenly faced with 100, no- 500, no- 1000 ELCA pastors asking for a haven and a place on the roster of the LCMS?  Maybe their congregations came with them but probably not.  But wait there is more:  ELCA has 8 seminaries, all with their own idiosyncracies and bend so these guys, yes GUYS, this is MS after all- coming to speak of it what would you do with a women pastor who brought her congregation with her- there is a weird question, but I digress- these guys, although conservative, would be all over the theological map.  Would they not be suspect for the rest of their careers in the LCMS?  Would LCMS not have to send them to St L for at least two years to re educate them [sounds so.. russian, does'nt it]? 

Would it be a good thing for LCMS to pray real hard that this somehow does not happen since it would be a real pain for them as well?

If you are LCMS reply with guesses and conjectures, etc.  :)

If you are ELCA feel free to malign me for takling this way- don't worry- I'll ignore you  ;)  As Linus said: 'We live in difficult times."

Keep the Faith

Peter
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Pr. Jerry on August 06, 2007, 10:46:25 AM
I don't know if this thread deserves another life but I'll tey giving it one anyway:  It is the week of the big dance in Chicago.  I can just hear the rummagin in many a conservative garage as folks look for their inflatable rowboat and are calling up mapquest to find their way down to the river shore, whatever river they might be considdering.  THat said:  I know of some who have gone to the shores of the Tiber and gone over to the other side where they became.. well..  I don't know.  In my slice of puragtory the RC bishop will not discuss such things as acceptance into the priesthood until you are actually a Catholic.  Some case are reported where he said yes.  Others he has said no.  In any case, he has sent them all to seminary for ome time prior to accepting them into the "p-hood." 

For discussion purposes [note FOR DISCUSSION, I am not going to listen to any whineing on how this won't happen and where did I get my data, etc.]  let's say things go well for Goodsoil in Chicago tomorrow and their agenda is 100% accepted.  Conservatives drive to the river,  they pump up the dingys and start rowing.  Let's also say they landed in MS.  How would they be recieved?  What would LCMS do if they were suddenly faced with 100, no- 500, no- 1000 ELCA pastors asking for a haven and a place on the roster of the LCMS?  Maybe their congregations came with them but probably not.  But wait there is more:  ELCA has 8 seminaries, all with their own idiosyncracies and bend so these guys, yes GUYS, this is MS after all- coming to speak of it what would you do with a women pastor who brought her congregation with her- there is a weird question, but I digress- these guys, although conservative, would be all over the theological map.  Would they not be suspect for the rest of their careers in the LCMS?  Would LCMS not have to send them to St L for at least two years to re educate them [sounds so.. russian, does'nt it]? 

Would it be a good thing for LCMS to pray real hard that this somehow does not happen since it would be a real pain for them as well?

If you are LCMS reply with guesses and conjectures, etc.  :)

If you are ELCA feel free to malign me for takling this way- don't worry- I'll ignore you  ;)  As Linus said: 'We live in difficult times."

Keep the Faith

My dear brother, Peter...

I would never malign you, lest it come back to haunt me in just a couple of weeks when we room together in Ft. Wayne... :)

On a serious note, you raise some good questions.  Being a late-comer to this forum, I just paged through all 15 pages of dialog and I think there are serious questions on both sides of the river.
   For those who are ready to dive in and paddle, swim, wade or whatever, I echo the questions raised by several: Do you know and appreciate the culture of which you are ready to depart to?  Do you know which "body of water" (the Misouri, the Tiber, or the Bosphorus) that you're ready to swim and the currents in those rivers?  And is it truly time to swim or is it time to fight?
   For the other side of the stream: Are they ready to recieve, what is in effect, a refugee population (Carl Braaten has used the image of the Cuban refugee population in a different way to illustrate the "Lutheran" dillemma, but perhaps it is not such a bad way to think of mass ecclesial migration in this case as well...)?  Would they (Rome/Constantinople/St. Louis) welcome, not the occasional parish or pastor, but the influx of potentially many traumatized folks?  Would they, especially LC-MS, be able to handle such an influx and assimilate such folks?

We often look at times of crisis (especially in other denominations) as a cheap way of "growing" our own turf.  But I think there are good reasons NOT to unreflectively accept people fleeing conflict into our own congregations and denominations.  As I told one visitor from a Presbyterian congregation that was in conflict: "We'd love to have you here, but you need to ask yourself the question 'Does my congregation need me more?'  For this is when your congregation needs you the most.... When the battle is at its worst.  This is when they need all the good hands they can find"

So, beyond all the practical issues surrounding assimilation, perhaps our brothers and sisters in St. Louis, et all...  should be encouraging us, not to cede the field, but to stay and work like mad, for the good of the Church.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Pr. Jerry on August 06, 2007, 10:49:32 AM
By-The-Way, and For-What-Its-Worth (and NO I am not going to use all those cute, little abbreviations like those kids on the "text messaging" commercials... ;D)

I missed the earlier discussion, but I echo several: No, I do not find myself on the banks of the Missouri.  It is the Tiber that I am prepared to swim.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Deb_H. on August 06, 2007, 11:09:24 AM
So, beyond all the practical issues surrounding assimilation, perhaps our brothers and sisters in St. Louis, et all...  should be encouraging us, not to cede the field, but to stay and work like mad, for the good of the Church.
Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

As one who has done the above and finally been driven off by the 'tolerant,' I can say the shores on the other side of the rivers are probably friendlier than you would guess.  I'll never be a RC, but there is much I admire about Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch, or St. Louis.  LCMC would do their best to welcome everyone, and I've had minimal problems with St. Louis.  In the final analysis, I do not fault those who choose to remain, but in my 'journey' (what is the emoticon for 'gag me'?) I have found the second chapter of Micah speaks volumes to me, and verse 10 in particular -- "Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined beyond all remedy."

Lou Hesse
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on August 06, 2007, 11:14:12 AM
The sound of canoes not paddling off to Canturbury is positively deafening.  In my day that was always a lively option.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: John Martin on August 07, 2007, 02:07:17 AM
"...coming to speak of it what would you do with a women pastor who brought her congregation with her- there is a weird question,..."

I don't think the LCMS would accept a women pastor from the ELCA, at this time. However, in a few years I think we may - especially if some of the ultra-conservatives leave for the ELS or other pastures. It is interesting that at the LCMS convention in Milwaukee in 1971, the issue of the ordination of women was brought up. The Minutes of the Convention record state that the vote on the Resolution was 674 to 194. These numbers may have gone down after the Seminex/AELC split. However, in 1984, LCMS President Bohlmann appointed a special "President's Commission on Women" to consult with and advise the CTCR, which was then preparing a new theological statement on the role of women in the church. The Commission was also to gather information on the current involvement of women in various aspects of synodical and congregational life. The Commission distributed at thirty page questionnaire to 2,464 members of the LCMS in the Fall of 1985. The results of the survey were published in a report to the church entitled "God's Woman for all Generations. The result of the survey indicated that nearly one fourth (23%) of the pastors who had responded indicated that they believed the ordination of women to be Scriptural, and nearly half (41.8%) expected the LCMS to one day permit women to serve as pastors. I suspect the numbers have gone up since that time.

The LCMS has made about three major changes concerning women. The first change was after the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted full voting rights to American women in 1920. Prior to this time it was taught in the LCMS that women should not hold government office or, in a democracy, vote. It was believed that woman suffrage in the secular world should be opposed by Christians because it is inconsistent with the "general principle" ("allgemeinen Gesetz") of the subordination of woman to man. In just a few short years theologians in the LCMS argued that it was o.k. for women to vote in the secular realm, but not in the church. The second big change was allowing women to vote in the church. It is interesting that in 1956, the LCMS convention voted to continue to deny women from voting in churches. Out of the six hundred delegates at the Convention, there were only ten dissenting votes. However, by the time of the Detroit convention in 1962 the LCMS convention redefined the role of women to allow for women to vote in congregations. The third change, was more recent, it allowed women to hold just about any office in the church - except that of being ordained clergy.

I could be wrong, but I think that the LCMS is not on the verge of making another jump in their view of women in the church. There are too many more important issues for progressive evangelicals to deal with. The change will probably still be a couple of decades yet.  However, as one of the leading ultra-conservative candidates for office in the LCMS, Laurence White, commented:

“The Synod's current position - that the only exercise of authority in the church from which women may be biblically excluded is formal ordination to the pastoral office - is logically and theologically unstable. It will necessarily result in the eventual approval of the ordination of women...”
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on August 07, 2007, 08:52:29 AM
John,

This is the first time I have heard that reading of the LCMS ever articulated.  Thnak you!  You can color me surprised.

Keep the Faith

Peter
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on August 07, 2007, 09:06:28 AM
So, beyond all the practical issues surrounding assimilation, perhaps our brothers and sisters in St. Louis, et all...  should be encouraging us, not to cede the field, but to stay and work like mad, for the good of the Church.
Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

As one who has done the above and finally been driven off by the 'tolerant,' I can say the shores on the other side of the rivers are probably friendlier than you would guess.  I'll never be a RC, but there is much I admire about Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch, or St. Louis.  LCMC would do their best to welcome everyone, and I've had minimal problems with St. Louis.  In the final analysis, I do not fault those who choose to remain, but in my 'journey' (what is the emoticon for 'gag me'?) I have found the second chapter of Micah speaks volumes to me, and verse 10 in particular -- "Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined beyond all remedy."

Lou Hesse

There is no emoticon for gag me except maybe this one  :P  But there are posters available that say the same thing here: http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/posters.htm 

Now, please, realize that I have stashed the dingy long ago.  Sold it at yard sale some time back.  I likewise admire Rome, Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch but, really,  I have been Lutheran a very long time.  It would take a mayor shift in Lutheranism and me to do the swiming thing.

That leaves the Lutherans.  LCMC is a protest movement as of yet which makes it always a over against type of place which is exhausting, besides if anyone was to be high church, it would not be the place to land.  By the way: which river dost one swim to reach LCMC- got to keep the silly metaphore alive here.  Like LCMS, LCMC would have a real tummyache if it tried to suddenly take in a 1000 new pastors though I don't see them having the same problems ith theological soundness that LCMS  would have with those they recieved.   At least not yet.  By the way- off topic but interesting, could one create am LCMC "district" that was high church, had three fold ministry and bishops in historic succession? I digress. 

Anyway- happy postng to all

Keep the Faith

Peter
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Pr. Jerry on August 07, 2007, 10:09:56 AM
There is no emoticon for gag me except maybe this one  :P  But there are posters available that say the same thing here: http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/posters.htm 

Now, please, realize that I have stashed the dingy long ago.  Sold it at yard sale some time back.  I likewise admire Rome, Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch but, really,  I have been Lutheran a very long time.  It would take a mayor shift in Lutheranism and me to do the swiming thing.

That leaves the Lutherans.  LCMC is a protest movement as of yet which makes it always a over against type of place which is exhausting, besides if anyone was to be high church, it would not be the place to land.  By the way: which river dost one swim to reach LCMC- got to keep the silly metaphore alive here.  Like LCMS, LCMC would have a real tummyache if it tried to suddenly take in a 1000 new pastors though I don't see them having the same problems ith theological soundness that LCMS  would have with those they recieved.   At least not yet.  By the way- off topic but interesting, could one create am LCMC "district" that was high church, had three fold ministry and bishops in historic succession? I digress. 

Isn't Mahtomedi (MN) on a lake?  OK, OK, it's not a river, but....

I don't think LCMC would be at all sympathetic to evangelical catholic types, Peter.  Their new worship book is a response to the charge that ELW is "too Catholic."  I honestly think that, after the shouting is over, WA and STS will largely part ways, perhaps amicably.  I just think the long-range agendas of these two groups do not correspond.

Which leaves the open question: Where can the evangelical catholic turn?

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Deb_H. on August 07, 2007, 11:35:19 AM
There is no emoticon for gag me except maybe this one  :P  But there are posters available that say the same thing here: http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/posters.htm 

Enjoyed this immensely.

Quote
Now, please, realize that I have stashed the dingy long ago.  Sold it at yard sale some time back.  I likewise admire Rome, Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch but, really,  I have been Lutheran a very long time.  It would take a mayor shift in Lutheranism and me to do the swiming thing.

I, too, burned my non-Lutheran galleons years ago.

 
Quote
That leaves the Lutherans.  LCMC is a protest movement as of yet which makes it always a over against type of place which is exhausting, besides if anyone was to be high church, it would not be the place to land.  By the way: which river dost one swim to reach LCMC- got to keep the silly metaphore alive here.  Like LCMS, LCMC would have a real tummyache if it tried to suddenly take in a 1000 new pastors though I don't see them having the same problems ith theological soundness that LCMS  would have with those they recieved.   At least not yet.  By the way- off topic but interesting, could one create am LCMC "district" that was high church, had three fold ministry and bishops in historic succession? I digress. 

There are signs that LCMC is moving beyond being a protest movement.  We could talk about that if you wish, but what I find more interesting is that there has been talk and discussion of what a "high church LCMC district" would look like.  There have been inquiries from some Pennsylvania types.

I don't know where my boat will dock.  So I remain a wandering Aramean, trusting in the promise of Micah 2:12.

Lou
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on August 07, 2007, 11:55:49 AM
I don't think LCMC would be at all sympathetic to evangelical catholic types, Peter.  Their new worship book is a response to the charge that ELW is "too Catholic." 

I am aghast at the accusation!  :o

You'd have loved the comment at the CORE meeting last night. They were trying to line up bishops to talk on their amendment. Paull Spring quipped, "You guys like bishops all right when they're on your side, don't you?"
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Pr. Jerry on August 07, 2007, 12:05:11 PM
I don't think LCMC would be at all sympathetic to evangelical catholic types, Peter.  Their new worship book is a response to the charge that ELW is "too Catholic." 

I am aghast at the accusation!  :o

You'd have loved the comment at the CORE meeting last night. They were trying to line up bishops to talk on their amendment. Paull Spring quipped, "You guys like bishops all right when they're on your side, don't you?"

I hope I'm detecting some irony in your response, Richard... ;D

For the record, so as not to engender any hostility from CORE/WA/LCMC folks, I meant to make no accusation.  I simply think, if we're being honest and forthright, that the agendas of the two groups diverge once a common issue around the preservation of the traditional stance on human sexuality is past.  It is well and good to seek common ground, but as far as a long-term outlook as an acceptable place for E.C.'s to feel at home, I just don't see it.  No ill will is intended at all.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Maryland Brian on August 07, 2007, 01:18:14 PM
The sound of canoes not paddling off to Canturbury is positively deafening.  In my day that was always a lively option.

August 26 I'm planning to bring a large group of members to visit Truro Church in Fairfax, VA.  We're going to observe their worship as they cycle 3000/weekend through their sanctuary. 

http://trurochurch.org/

MD Brian

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: John Martin on August 07, 2007, 01:30:00 PM
Brian,

I notice their website gives this philosophy behind their worship:

"English Services in Main Sanctuary at 8:00am & 10:30am - A juxtaposition of ancient tradition and modern celebration, with an eclectic blend of robust hymns, the finest present-day songs, and indigenous world music, led by organ, piano, percussion, band, and choir.  Worshipers are engaged by thought-provoking preaching."
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on August 07, 2007, 01:53:42 PM
"Which leaves the open question: Where can the evangelical catholic turn?"

Before turning, read the primer of Evangelical Catholic now being published by ALPB,,,,,, the four editions of the Works of Arthur Carl Piepkorn.  Pieps coined the term, I believe, when he discovered the Symbolical Books while in grad school at the University of Chicago,,,,,, after having graduated from Concordia, St. Louis.
Other Piepkorn materials can be found online at the ACP Center for Evangelical Catholicity  http://www.lutheransonline.com/servlet/lo_ProcServ/dbpage=page&gid=00001615403789030111155555
Pastor Philip Secker, who received his ThD on the Medieval precursors of the BofC under Piepkorn is the director of the Center.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on August 07, 2007, 03:00:25 PM
"Which leaves the open question: Where can the evangelical catholic turn?"

Before turning, read the primer of Evangelical Catholic now being published by ALPB,,,,,, the four editions of the Works of Arthur Carl Piepkorn.  Pieps coined the term, I believe, when he discovered the Symbolical Books while in grad school at the University of Chicago,,,,,, after having graduated from Concordia, St. Louis.
Other Piepkorn materials can be found online at the ACP Center for Evangelical Catholicity  http://www.lutheransonline.com/servlet/lo_ProcServ/dbpage=page&gid=00001615403789030111155555
Pastor Philip Secker, who received his ThD on the Medieval precursors of the BofC under Piepkorn is the director of the Center.



Love Piepkorn, always have..don't acctually know why..   even though his name is the character in a German childrens book anno 1960...
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Pr. Jerry on August 07, 2007, 03:03:08 PM
Before turning, read the primer of Evangelical Catholic now being published by ALPB,,,,,, the four editions of the Works of Arthur Carl Piepkorn.  Pieps coined the term, I believe, when he discovered the Symbolical Books while in grad school at the University of Chicago,,,,,, after having graduated from Concordia, St. Louis.
Other Piepkorn materials can be found online at the ACP Center for Evangelical Catholicity  http://www.lutheransonline.com/servlet/lo_ProcServ/dbpage=page&gid=00001615403789030111155555
Pastor Philip Secker, who received his ThD on the Medieval precursors of the BofC under Piepkorn is the director of the Center.

I actually am awaiting my copy of Vol. 1, which I purchased with birthday gift-certificates from Amazon.  Can't wait to get my hot, little, hands on it.

But the question that was posed was "Would disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS?"  And the answer seems to be: "Some yes, others no."  Part of the "No," answer seems to be based upon catholic issues, which leads me to ponder what might be some solutions.  Certainly Piepkorn's wisdom will be welcome in such pondering.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on August 07, 2007, 03:05:50 PM
There is no emoticon for gag me except maybe this one  :P  But there are posters available that say the same thing here: http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/posters.htm 

Now, please, realize that I have stashed the dingy long ago.  Sold it at yard sale some time back.  I likewise admire Rome, Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch but, really,  I have been Lutheran a very long time.  It would take a mayor shift in Lutheranism and me to do the swiming thing.

That leaves the Lutherans.  LCMC is a protest movement as of yet which makes it always a over against type of place which is exhausting, besides if anyone was to be high church, it would not be the place to land.  By the way: which river dost one swim to reach LCMC- got to keep the silly metaphore alive here.  Like LCMS, LCMC would have a real tummyache if it tried to suddenly take in a 1000 new pastors though I don't see them having the same problems ith theological soundness that LCMS  would have with those they recieved.   At least not yet.  By the way- off topic but interesting, could one create am LCMC "district" that was high church, had three fold ministry and bishops in historic succession? I digress. 

Isn't Mahtomedi (MN) on a lake?  OK, OK, it's not a river, but....

I don't think LCMC would be at all sympathetic to evangelical catholic types, Peter.  Their new worship book is a response to the charge that ELW is "too Catholic."  I honestly think that, after the shouting is over, WA and STS will largely part ways, perhaps amicably.  I just think the long-range agendas of these two groups do not correspond.

Which leaves the open question: Where can the evangelical catholic turn?

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS


Let's not make it sound that WA and STS are somehow partners.  STS has its own unique little culture where the LCMS folks have been a real gift to me as their ver presence keeps us ELCA bloaks from going off about the ELCA too often.  STS is also a matter of keeping the prayer of the church alive in the ministerium; about keeping the ministerium honest to its vows and such.  STS can exist serenely even when there is not hot political topic and it can do likewis when their is.  That is its genius.

We still need to figgure out the name of this body of water...

Keep the Faith
Peter
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on August 07, 2007, 03:08:29 PM
There is no emoticon for gag me except maybe this one  :P  But there are posters available that say the same thing here: http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/posters.htm 

Enjoyed this immensely.

Quote
Now, please, realize that I have stashed the dingy long ago.  Sold it at yard sale some time back.  I likewise admire Rome, Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch but, really,  I have been Lutheran a very long time.  It would take a mayor shift in Lutheranism and me to do the swiming thing.

I, too, burned my non-Lutheran galleons years ago.

 
Quote
That leaves the Lutherans.  LCMC is a protest movement as of yet which makes it always a over against type of place which is exhausting, besides if anyone was to be high church, it would not be the place to land.  By the way: which river dost one swim to reach LCMC- got to keep the silly metaphore alive here.  Like LCMS, LCMC would have a real tummyache if it tried to suddenly take in a 1000 new pastors though I don't see them having the same problems ith theological soundness that LCMS  would have with those they recieved.   At least not yet.  By the way- off topic but interesting, could one create am LCMC "district" that was high church, had three fold ministry and bishops in historic succession? I digress. 

There are signs that LCMC is moving beyond being a protest movement.  We could talk about that if you wish, but what I find more interesting is that there has been talk and discussion of what a "high church LCMC district" would look like.  There have been inquiries from some Pennsylvania types.

I don't know where my boat will dock.  So I remain a wandering Aramean, trusting in the promise of Micah 2:12.

Lou

Thank Pastor Zip for teh web site- he had it on his site.

As far as the high church LCMC district:  Oye! I didn't think that actually was coming.  Keep me posted- just for grins.

Keep the Faith

Peter
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on August 07, 2007, 03:12:06 PM
We still need to figure out the name of this body of water...



Lake Eerie?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 07, 2007, 03:22:06 PM
I don't think the LCMS would accept a women pastor from the ELCA, at this time. However, in a few years I think we may - especially if some of the ultra-conservatives leave for the ELS or other pastures.

in 1984, LCMS President Bohlmann appointed a special "President's Commission on Women" to consult with and advise the CTCR, which was then preparing a new theological statement on the role of women in the church. The Commission was also to gather information on the current involvement of women in various aspects of synodical and congregational life. The Commission distributed at thirty page questionnaire to 2,464 members of the LCMS in the Fall of 1985. The results of the survey were published in a report to the church entitled "God's Woman for all Generations. The result of the survey indicated that nearly one fourth (23%) of the pastors who had responded indicated that they believed the ordination of women to be Scriptural, and nearly half (41.8%) expected the LCMS to one day permit women to serve as pastors. I suspect the numbers have gone up since that time.

A few caveats:

(1) Despite all the talk about ELDoNA in other fora, most conservatives will stay in the LCMS (it is the nature of conservatives not to change, right?  ;)).
(2) The survey you cite is now over 20 years old.
(3) Both seminary faculties continue to oppose the ordination of women and there's been over twenty years of grads from those sems since the release of the survey you cite.
(4) A lot of the 41.8% respondents you note were guys who thought it would happen but would still be against it (I know quite a number of these fellows).
(5) No resolution on the topic gets seriously considered at LCMS conventions.
(6) Such a change to women's ordination would require a massive shift in the doctrine of Scripture currently held in the LCMS.

Honestly, I just can't see the ordination of women taking place in the LCMS. Not in the near future. Besides, it would undermine our catholicity.  :)

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on August 07, 2007, 03:34:55 PM
(6) Such a change to women's ordination would require a massive shift in the doctrine of Scripture currently held in the LCMS.

Honestly, I just can't see the ordination of women taking place in the LCMS. Not in the near future. Besides, it would undermine our catholicity.  :)

I agree 100%.  I don't see any change on this issue at any time in the future in the LCMS.  It requires too great a shift on how Scripture is read not just on this issue but in general.  And the seminaries are very strong on this issue and have a very nuanced, sophisticated approach to it which is itself a bulwark against shifting sands.  So I think you're right on.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 07, 2007, 04:27:24 PM
I was just thinking about the proximity of the 1985 study on women that John cites. It is only a decade removed from the Walkout (and the influence of that faculty). However, the same study is twice removed (over two decades) from the present. Also, in the 1980's, there were many men graduating from Fuller Seminary (called the "other LCMS seminary") and then entering the LCMS. That no longer seems to be the case (if someone knows of a third seminary influencing LCMS clergy, I would be interested to know about that).

A similar survey today on women's ordination would likely yield significantly different results. Yet, I agree that the issue of women's ordination remains one of interest in parts of the LCMS.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: John Martin on August 07, 2007, 05:58:49 PM
“Besides, it would undermine our catholicity.”

That, of course, depends on what one means by catholicity. Evangelical churches are increasingly adopting forms of women ordination. As effective women pastors rise to publicity, the cultural pressure will be on for other churches to adopt successful strategies of outreach. The Anglican church allows for the ordination of women and in the Eastern Orthodox church it is still open for discussion. For example, I found a reference in which Bishop Kallistos Ware writes:

“I am far from convinced by many of the current arguments advanced in favor of women priests; but at the same time a number of the arguments urged on the other side now appear to me a great deal less conclusive than they did twenty years ago. What I would plead is that we Orthodox should regard the matter as essentially an open question. Let us not imagine that in this area everything is clarified and finally settled; for manifestly it is not, either for us Orthodox or for other Christians. One point deserves to be underlined at the outset. On the subject of women and the priesthood, there exists as yet no pan-Orthodox statement, possessing definitive Ecumenical authority."

The other point is brought up, "Despite all the talk about ELDoNA in other fora, most conservatives will stay in the LCMS (it is the nature of conservatives not to change, right?..."

That remains to be seen. During the last convention there was a strong tilt toward "Jesus First" candidates being elected to office. There is sure to be some fall out after the Synod is restructured in the next few years. There will be winners and there will be losers in how money is spent in the LCMS, along with that will be some folks who throw in their marbles and refuse to play the game. Remember, I am talking twenty years from now and not five years.

Finally, it is pointed out, "Such a change to women's ordination would require a massive shift in the doctrine of Scripture currently held in the LCMS."

What do you mean by doctrine of Scripture? The LCMS has already changed its doctrine of Scripture in reference to women in the church many times. One more time will not be a big deal. The earliest example of change in our doctrine of Scripture happened back in 1917 when the LCMS’s official paper "Der Lutheraner" proclaimed the feminist movement was a “zeitkkrankheit” and female suffrage an “unordnung” to be voted down by good Lutherans wherever it appeared on the ballot.

The LCMS has always been a bit behind the times. For example, back in the 19th century, while many Christians were working hard to eliminate the institution of slavery, C.F.W. Walther and the early LCMS leaders defended the institution of slavery as Scriptural. If it had not been for the civil war, the LCMS might very well have lobbied against President Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation. LCMS seminarians studying pastoral theology with John Fritz in the 1920's and '30's were taught that birth control was a sin. C.F.W. Walther used to teach: “One consecrated to the ministry should no appear at theatrical performances, plays, comedies, dances, and other solemnities, or rather profane buffooneries, but he ought to avoid them and show thereby that he does not approve what is passing on there.” In the Synodical Proceedings of 1849 there was a resolution that stated that the pastor should condemn and discourage dancing. The list of changes due to shifting cultural expectations could go on and on.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ptmccain on August 07, 2007, 06:25:15 PM
And, of course, once we adopt this argumentation, we can look forward toward the inevitable case for the ordination of homosexuals that has been embraced [no pun intended] by all the mainline Protestants, and which continues to consume so much of the energy and attention of the ELCA. Methinks it would be interesting to know who this "John Martin" person is. Come on, don't be shy. We are using our real names and having a fun time. You can too.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 07, 2007, 07:00:46 PM
That remains to be seen. During the last convention there was a strong tilt toward "Jesus First" candidates being elected to office. . . .

Finally, it is pointed out, "Such a change to women's ordination would require a massive shift in the doctrine of Scripture currently held in the LCMS." . . .

What do you mean by doctrine of Scripture? The LCMS has already changed its doctrine of Scripture in reference to women in the church many times.

John, you seem to assume that supporters of Jesus First candidates favor women's ordination. Is there substantial evidence for this? Please share. I'd like to know that. It's not my impression of Jesus First as a movement.

Also, just because a few conservatives get loud doesn't mean the synod is splitting. Heaven's sake, this last convention has been described as a "group hug." Pretty peaceful out there. The daughter of our circuit rep said the ladies at the back of the convention hall gathered together to work on their craft projects together. They weren't at the mikes asking for ordination. There is no split brewing. Most of us (of all stripes) are rolling up sleeves and going back to business.

Interpretation and application of Scripture passages have changed in the LCMS, as they always do over time in all churches. But the LCMS confession of sola scriptura and inerrancy have not changed and will not likely change anytime soon. Liberal protestant bodies had to cast off these two doctrines in order to embrace women's ordination (can you point to any denomination that confesses these two doctrines and practices women's ordination?).

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 07, 2007, 07:41:57 PM
Methinks it would be interesting to know who this "John Martin" person is. Come on, don't be shy. We are using our real names and having a fun time. You can too.

Yes, Brother Martin, are you an ELDoNA advocate pretending to be an advocate of women's ordination? Do tell.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: pilgrimpriest on August 07, 2007, 08:13:11 PM
“Besides, it would undermine our catholicity.”

...The Anglican church allows for the ordination of women and in the Eastern Orthodox church it is still open for discussion. For example, I found a reference in which Bishop Kallistos Ware writes:

“I am far from convinced by many of the current arguments advanced in favor of women priests; but at the same time a number of the arguments urged on the other side now appear to me a great deal less conclusive than they did twenty years ago. What I would plead is that we Orthodox should regard the matter as essentially an open question. Let us not imagine that in this area everything is clarified and finally settled; for manifestly it is not, either for us Orthodox or for other Christians. One point deserves to be underlined at the outset. On the subject of women and the priesthood, there exists as yet no pan-Orthodox statement, possessing definitive Ecumenical authority."


First, let me say that the women's ordination issue was never a consideration in my decision to leave the ELCA... there were bigger issues on the front burner for me.  Second, His Grace, Bishop Kallistos, is personally opposed to it even though he acknowledges that it is still an "open issue." Third and finally, the ordination of women to the priesthood in the Orthodox Church will most certainly never happen in our lifetime or several others for that matter. This issue can only be solved at an Ecumenical Council and there hasn't been one of those in the Eastern Church in over a thousand years. If by some miracle one were to occur in the near future, women's ordination wouldn't be in the top ten  list of agenda items. Further, if past performance is any indication, the bishops assembled at such a Council would in all likelihood barely make it to item number three on the agenda! :)

Just want to interject this here lest some are led to a "false and illusory hope" by the above quoted statement.

Fr. Bob
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ptmccain on August 07, 2007, 08:14:30 PM
How did you do that great avatar??

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on August 07, 2007, 08:30:27 PM
Interpretation and application of Scripture passages have changed in the LCMS, as they always do over time in all churches. But the LCMS confession of sola scriptura and inerrancy have not changed and will not likely change anytime soon. Liberal protestant bodies had to cast off these two doctrines in order to embrace women's ordination (can you point to any denomination that confesses these two doctrines and practices women's ordination?).
To my knowledge, no - except for the Assemblies of God and allied Pentecostal denominations (but then many of their leaders and people are not comfortable with the idea that the canon of scripture is closed.  That is a matter in a whole 'nother ballpark; and I suppose that may give some the latitude to permit the ordination of women.)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on August 07, 2007, 08:48:43 PM
"............ have a very nuanced, sophisticated approach to it which is itself a bulwark against shifting sands."

Is there somewhere to read up on the above?

In any event,,,,,, if in a few centuries (rapid change) Rome and the East concur that women can be ordained to the presbyterate, be prepared to admit you were wrong.  8>)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: pilgrimpriest on August 07, 2007, 09:06:54 PM
How did you do that great avatar??



www.simpsonizeme.com
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on August 07, 2007, 09:07:04 PM
"............ have a very nuanced, sophisticated approach to it which is itself a bulwark against shifting sands."

Is there somewhere to read up on the above?

In any event,,,,,, if in a few centuries (rapid change) Rome and the East concur that women can be ordained to the presbyterate, be prepared to admit you were wrong.  8>)

Well, you can start with my exegesis of 1 Tim 2 on a thread long ago...

 8)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: John Martin on August 07, 2007, 09:16:11 PM
It is not all that black and white of an issue in respect to evangelicals and inerrancy. For example, in 1874, Rev. John W. Haley wrote a major resource book that is still used by supporters for the inerrancy of Scripture. He argued against anti-inerrancy theologians who claimed passages about women in the Bible were in contradiction to each other. He wrote:

"...with fitting deference, we may ask whether after all the texts from Corinthians and Timothy may not have been intended for a local and specific, rather than a general, application..." (John Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, p. 310)

One of the early LCUSA books on the Ordination of Women pointed out that Johann Gerhard (1621-1668) saw 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 as a rejection of the matriarchal ways of some sects, rather than as an absolute rule. Johann Gerhard was an inerrantist. In the same LCUSA book, it was also pointed out that Matthias Flacius (1520-1575) thought that men rather than women should preach and minister, but considered this a human arrangement rather than a divine command. Flacius thought that order was at least partly to be based on the attitude of the whole community so long as there was fear of God in what was done. In the LCMS book "Different Voces/Shared Vision" it was also pointed out that Nicolaus Hunnius (1585-1643) taught about 1 Timothy 2:12: "But an exception of this rule is permitted in case there is an absolute want of godly men for the office, and there are some pious and able women..."
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 07, 2007, 09:32:11 PM
Interpretation and application of Scripture passages have changed in the LCMS, as they always do over time in all churches. But the LCMS confession of sola scriptura and inerrancy have not changed and will not likely change anytime soon. Liberal protestant bodies had to cast off these two doctrines in order to embrace women's ordination (can you point to any denomination that confesses these two doctrines and practices women's ordination?).
To my knowledge, no - except for the Assemblies of God and allied Pentecostal denominations (but then many of their leaders and people are not comfortable with the idea that the canon of scripture is closed.  That is a matter in a whole 'nother ballpark; and I suppose that may give some the latitude to permit the ordination of women.)

I would contend that Pentecostals, as you allude, do not hold to sola scriptura. They certainly support the study of Scripture and its importance but they also place tremendous emphasis on new revelations. Conservative Pentecostals like the AGs are ardent defenders of inerrancy but they also insist that prophecy is on going. This is how they came to ordain women ministers (though they make up a small percentage of the ministers in such churches).

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 07, 2007, 09:44:49 PM
It is not all that black and white of an issue in respect to evangelicals and inerrancy. For example, in 1874, Rev. John W. Haley wrote a major resource book that is still used by supporters for the inerrancy of Scripture. He argued against anti-inerrancy theologians who claimed passages about women in the Bible were in contradiction to each other. He wrote:

"...with fitting deference, we may ask whether after all the texts from Corinthians and Timothy may not have been intended for a local and specific, rather than a general, application..." (John Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, p. 310)

One of the early LCUSA books on the Ordination of Women pointed out that Johann Gerhard (1621-1668) saw 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 as a rejection of the matriarchal ways of some sects, rather than as an absolute rule. Johann Gerhard was an inerrantist. In the same LCUSA book, it was also pointed out that Matthias Flacius (1520-1575) thought that men rather than women should preach and minister, but considered this a human arrangement rather than a divine command. Flacius thought that order was at least partly to be based on the attitude of the whole community so long as there was fear of God in what was done. In the LCMS book "Different Voces/Shared Vision" it was also pointed out that Nicolaus Hunnius (1585-1643) taught about 1 Timothy 2:12: "But an exception of this rule is permitted in case there is an absolute want of godly men for the office, and there are some pious and able women..."


"John Martin," you've referred to some opinions of individual theologians on specific passages but you're not making anything like an argument. The exceptions you've referenced do not advocate women's ordination.

My point: church bodies that confess sola scriptura and inerrancy do not ordain women. Nothing you've cited speaks against this thesis.

Is "Different Voices/Shared Vision" an LCMS book? Or do you mean a book produced by some in the LCMS?

Also, you've still not told us who you are, my ELDoNA friend.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on August 07, 2007, 10:33:40 PM
Interpretation and application of Scripture passages have changed in the LCMS, as they always do over time in all churches. But the LCMS confession of sola scriptura and inerrancy have not changed and will not likely change anytime soon. Liberal protestant bodies had to cast off these two doctrines in order to embrace women's ordination (can you point to any denomination that confesses these two doctrines and practices women's ordination?).
To my knowledge, no - except for the Assemblies of God and allied Pentecostal denominations (but then many of their leaders and people are not comfortable with the idea that the canon of scripture is closed.  That is a matter in a whole 'nother ballpark; and I suppose that may give some the latitude to permit the ordination of women.)

I would contend that Pentecostals, as you allude, do not hold to sola scriptura. They certainly support the study of Scripture and its importance but they also place tremendous emphasis on new revelations. Conservative Pentecostals like the AGs are ardent defenders of inerrancy but they also insist that prophecy is on going. This is how they came to ordain women ministers (though they make up a small percentage of the ministers in such churches).

In Christ,
EE
You are correct.  One of my wife's relatives was an AG minister.  She believed that the books of an additional Testament were now being written and someday there would be a 3rd Testament containing books by Oral Roberts, Benny Hin, etc.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: RayToy on August 08, 2007, 12:03:39 AM
Interpretation and application of Scripture passages have changed in the LCMS, as they always do over time in all churches. But the LCMS confession of sola scriptura and inerrancy have not changed and will not likely change anytime soon. Liberal protestant bodies had to cast off these two doctrines in order to embrace women's ordination (can you point to any denomination that confesses these two doctrines and practices women's ordination?).
To my knowledge, no - except for the Assemblies of God and allied Pentecostal denominations (but then many of their leaders and people are not comfortable with the idea that the canon of scripture is closed.  That is a matter in a whole 'nother ballpark; and I suppose that may give some the latitude to permit the ordination of women.)

I would contend that Pentecostals, as you allude, do not hold to sola scriptura. They certainly support the study of Scripture and its importance but they also place tremendous emphasis on new revelations. Conservative Pentecostals like the AGs are ardent defenders of inerrancy but they also insist that prophecy is on going. This is how they came to ordain women ministers (though they make up a small percentage of the ministers in such churches).

In Christ,
EE

     <De-lurking>

     A friend of mine is a pastor in the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), and from what he tells me, his denomination and the Assemblies of God have basically identical ecclesiologies.   Within his tradition, there are three levels of pastoral licenses; Bishop, Elder, and Exhorter.  Apparently, all three licenses require a written exam.  All license holders are also referred to as "Pastor," though their duties differ.
     Both men and women are eligible to take the Exhorter's exam.  Exhorters are usually in charge of a specific ministry within a congregation (ie Pastor for Music and the Arts, Pastor for Women, Pastor for Children and Youth, etc).  They do not preach, preside, or do weddings.  However, as pastoral staff, they are expected to provide pastoral care for any parishioner who asks, regardless of whether that parishioner is part of the Exhorter's specialty population.
     Only men are eligible for the Elder's and Bishop's licenses.  Elders are what we would think of as associate pastors of large congregations or solo pastors of small congregations.  They preach, preside, and they officiate at weddings and funerals.
     Bishops are pastors of large congregations, and they also have responsibilities within the larger denomination.  Although some will use the title of "Bishop," many will still use the title of "Pastor."

      So, at least for the Church of God, that tradition does ordain women as pastors, but their ideas of what pastors do and how pastors work are also different from our tradition.

Ray 

<Back to Lurking>
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: John Martin on August 08, 2007, 02:14:56 AM
"...with fitting deference, we may ask whether after all the texts from Corinthians and Timothy may not have been intended for a local and specific, rather than a general, application..." (John Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, p. 310)

The point of providing this quotation, from a major leader of the Scriptural inerrancy movement of the 19th century (1874), is to demonstrate that the LCMS need not change its classical view of inerrancy to adopt any form of women's ordination. Johann Gerhard (1621-1668), Matthias Flacius (1520-1575) and possibly quotes from other Lutheran orthodox theologians - that are yet to be discovered - viewed the texts (1 Corinthians 14:34; 1 Timothy 2:11, 12) relating women's ordination as time bound and of a human arrangement rather than a divine command. So, a rich precedent has been set to revisit the issue of women's ordination - sometime in the future - from a fresh perspective of both a Biblical orthodox view of Scripture and a high view of Lutheran exegetical traditions.

I have not had that much time to research the issue, but there are at least a couple examples of non-Pentecostal denominations that both believe the Bible is infallible and also allow for women's ordination. See http://www.epc.org/about-epc/position-papers/ordination-women.html

See also the Christian Reformed Church: http://www.crcna.org/pages/positions.cfm

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 08, 2007, 07:24:47 AM
Bishop, Elder, and Exhorter. 

So, at least for the Church of God, that tradition does ordain women as pastors, but their ideas of what pastors do and how pastors work are also different from our tradition.

Ray 

Thanks for the helpful note, Ray. Looks like they're showing some of the methodist/holiness heritage in structure.

The first person to experience the modern version of speaking in tongues was a woman, as I recall, who they thought was communicting in Chinese. (Turned out not to be Chinese or any known language.) Pentecostals come by women's ordination via their experience. So even though these groups are very conservative Christians, they are wild and wooly on the topic of revelation, certainly not sola scriptura.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 08, 2007, 07:34:53 AM
"...with fitting deference, we may ask whether after all the texts from Corinthians and Timothy may not have been intended for a local and specific, rather than a general, application..." (John Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, p. 310)

The point of providing this quotation, from a major leader of the Scriptural inerrancy movement of the 19th century (1874), is to demonstrate that the LCMS need not change its classical view of inerrancy to adopt any form of women's ordination. Johann Gerhard (1621-1668), Matthias Flacius (1520-1575) and possibly quotes from other Lutheran orthodox theologians - that are yet to be discovered - viewed the texts (1 Corinthians 14:34; 1 Timothy 2:11, 12) relating women's ordination as time bound and of a human arrangement rather than a divine command. So, a rich precedent has been set to revisit the issue of women's ordination - sometime in the future - from a fresh perspective of both a Biblical orthodox view of Scripture and a high view of Lutheran exegetical traditions.

I have not had that much time to research the issue, but there are at least a couple examples of non-Pentecostal denominations that both believe the Bible is infallible and also allow for women's ordination. See http://www.epc.org/about-epc/position-papers/ordination-women.html

See also the Christian Reformed Church: http://www.crcna.org/pages/positions.cfm

John Haley, you seem to suggest, was not Lutheran. Inerrancy is much older than him and was well established in Lutheran Orthodoxy, which is where the LCMS received its position.

You are trying to string together a few quotes from Orthodox Lutherans to support your contention. You clearly have not considered them in context. I know a Gerhard expert. I'll drop him a line about this. I suspect you "merely cultural" interpretation of 1Tm and 1Co is incorrect.

On Christian Reformed, you are using "infallible" which at one time was interchangeable with "inerrancy" but doesn't get used that way today. The Reformed, of course, are also not a sola scriptura tradition since they gave special emphasis to reason alongside revelation.

So, thanks for the good thoughts. Thesis still stands: No church body teaching sola scriptura and inerrancy also ordains women. The LCMS would have to change its doctrine of Scripture to embrace women's ordination.

In Christ,
EE

P.s. - You've still not shared with us who you are, "John Martin."
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on August 08, 2007, 09:33:17 AM
Irl,,,,,,, Rome closed the Canon as part of its birthing from the ruins of the Medieval Church, at the close of Trent........ a novelty.  The more conservative, in the proper sense of the word, Churches of the Augsburg Confession, those Evangelical Catholics, birthed from the ruins of the Medieval Church with an (still open) Canon.

Inerrancy was held by the Scholastics as not a fundamental teaching in any sense, just a supportive gloss on the ancient term, inspiration,,,,,(often overagainst the Socinians) and showed up quite late in Scholasticism when Confessional dynamism was fairly well supplanted with late (and polemical) Aristotlean epistomology and ontology.  The Scholastics did cosistently emphasise that any use of inerrancy had to be immediately linked with the Doctrine of Accomodation, from at least St. Jerome, to avoid biblicism and what we today know as literalistic, a-historical, fundamentalism.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 08, 2007, 10:01:26 AM
Inerrancy was held by the Scholastics as not a fundamental teaching in any sense, just a supportive gloss on the ancient term, inspiration,,,,,(often overagainst the Socinians) and showed up quite late in Scholasticism when Confessional dynamism was fairly well supplanted with late (and polemical) Aristotlean epistomology and ontology.  The Scholastics did cosistently emphasise that any use of inerrancy had to be immediately linked with the Doctrine of Accomodation, from at least St. Jerome, to avoid biblicism and what we today know as literalistic, a-historical, fundamentalism.

In Lutheran Dogmatics you would likewise find discussion of inerrancy under the locus on inspiration.

Janielou, you seem to suggest that Jerome taught inerrancy. So, that would make it much older than the Scholastics, part of our ancient catholic heritage. Yes?

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on August 08, 2007, 10:50:30 AM
St Jerome did not teach inerrancy,,,,,, the word is a novelty of later Scholastics and really gains steam in the anti-Modernist imbroglios of the Eighteenth and especially in the Ninteenth Centuries.  Inerrancy in the Scholastics is as I noted a non fundamental sub teaching to bolster inspiration, which is Patristic and a lively part of our Creedal and Confessional Tradition.  Inerrancy is not.  St. Jerome, and earlier because he doesn't seem to see it as something new, always spoke of the Doctrine of Accomodation in his understanding of inspiration,,,,, the Scholastics taught that you can't have one without the other, whether one uses the term inerrant or not.
Inerrancy only folk seem to forget about the corallory Doctrine of Accomodation, which keeps binding the Church up on all manner of ongoing kerfluffulments.  For Evangelical Catholics the term inerrancy is both best both not denied as well as not used.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on August 08, 2007, 11:09:22 AM
Scott, I found the ancient thread, and understand the nuanced arguement you mentioned.  Thanks.
What I find curious is that the Eastern Church ordained women to the Deaconate up until approximately the time of the Great Schism,,,,,, and then the practice faded away.  Never to the presbyterate or the episcopate,,,,,, and used a Christological / Trinitarian base for that, not any Pauline teaching so they must have seen such as not applicable.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 08, 2007, 11:36:11 AM
St Jerome did not teach inerrancy,,,,,, the word is a novelty of later Scholastics and really gains steam in the anti-Modernist imbroglios of the Eighteenth and especially in the Ninteenth Centuries.  Inerrancy in the Scholastics is as I noted a non fundamental sub teaching to bolster inspiration, which is Patristic and a lively part of our Creedal and Confessional Tradition.  Inerrancy is not.  St. Jerome, and earlier because he doesn't seem to see it as something new, always spoke of the Doctrine of Accomodation in his understanding of inspiration,,,,, the Scholastics taught that you can't have one without the other, whether one uses the term inerrant or not.
Inerrancy only folk seem to forget about the corallory Doctrine of Accomodation, which keeps binding the Church up on all manner of ongoing kerfluffulments.  For Evangelical Catholics the term inerrancy is both best both not denied as well as not used.

I'm confused by your earlier sentence: "The Scholastics did cosistently emphasise that any use of inerrancy had to be immediately linked with the Doctrine of Accomodation, from at least St. Jerome, to avoid biblicism and what we today know as literalistic, a-historical, fundamentalism." It seems to say that Jerome linked inerrancy and accomodation, which was later adopted by the Scholastics. It also seems to suggest that what we call fundamentalism today existed in earlier centuries. I'm not sure I understand. Could you clarify?

So, the Fathers did not use "inerratia" with the doctrine of Scripture/Inspiration? Or do you mean that they didn't have the term but taught the doctrine? Or, the doctrine was never taught/held until the Scholastics?

Thank you for your patience.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: John Martin on August 08, 2007, 12:17:49 PM
You comment: "On Christian Reformed, you are using "infallible" which at one time was interchangeable with "inerrancy" but doesn't get used that way today. The Reformed, of course, are also not a sola scriptura tradition since they gave special emphasis to reason alongside revelation."

The old ALC, as I once heard it (Can a theologian from the old ALC confirm this?), used the word "inerrant" in their constitution - and they were in the solo scriptura tradition. Indeed, they adopted women's ordination, prior to the merger, without changing the word "inerrant" from their constitution.

By the way, the word "infallible" is actually a stronger word than "inerrancy." I have a little book on my shelf in which John Frey writes for the Seminex tradition in the LCMS. He writes:

"How is possible for the Bible to be inerrant if it contains faulty science, inaccurate quotations, and various discrepancies...It is possible because inerrancy does not mean an absence of all inaccuracies and discrepancies, but that the Bible says what it intends to say and what it intends to say correctly corresponds to fact. Inerrancy is determined by intended teaching, and not by the concepts of science or details of history used to convey that teaching." (Frey, Is the Bible Inerrant?)

At any rate, your whole premise, than an advocating of women's ordination is necessarily based upon a low view of Scripture, is intellectually vacuous. It is a hermeneutical question plain and simple.

You also state: “You are trying to string together a few quotes from Orthodox Lutherans to support your contention. You clearly have not considered them in context. I know a Gerhard expert.”

How do you know that they are out of context when you have not even read the primary source documents that they are found in? Your bias shows in that statement. My quotes come from Lutheran experts who have read these guys in context.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 08, 2007, 03:08:45 PM
The old ALC, as I once heard it (Can a theologian from the old ALC confirm this?), used the word "inerrant" in their constitution - and they were in the solo scriptura tradition. Indeed, they adopted women's ordination, prior to the merger, without changing the word "inerrant" from their constitution.

 “You are trying to string together a few quotes from Orthodox Lutherans to support your contention. You clearly have not considered them in context. I know a Gerhard expert.”

Your bias shows in that statement.

You refer to a now defunct church body that apparently (you are not sure) behaved erratically in its final days, after it had clearly embraced a different theology of Scripture (as demonstrated by the merger).

You contend that "infallible" is stronger than "inerrant" when the latter is clearly the term that distinguishes positions these days.

You complain that I'm biased and don't trust your source. I fully admit my bias! I do not think an old LCUSA document is a reliable source for developing a historically informed theology of ordination. I would rather verify.

Brave people admit their bias. They also write under their own names.  :D Do continue.

I was going to adjust my thesis on the possiblity that you are correct about the old ALC but upon review, I see that I don't have to make a change since the thesis was already written in the present tense. My thesis: No church body teaching sola scriptura and inerrancy also ordains women. The LCMS would have to change its doctrine of Scripture to embrace women's ordination.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: John Martin on August 08, 2007, 04:05:08 PM
"The LCMS would have to change its doctrine of Scripture to embrace women's ordination."

No, it would not. My quote from the 19th century Biblical inerrantist, John Haley, clearly demonstrates that this is not so:

"...with fitting deference, we may ask whether after all the texts from Corinthians and Timothy may not have been intended for a local and specific, rather than a general, application..." (John Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, p. 310)

Haley’s book is still considered the major apologetic work for the inerrancy advocates of the past couple of centuries. It is more of an historical accident that women's ordination did not rise from the Biblical inerrancy affirming churches of the 19th century. By the way, one of the best resource sites on the internet defending a “nuts and bolts” conservative approach to Biblical inerrancy is also currently defending a position that is open to women’s ordination. Check out this page and scroll down to the links for “women” at this site:

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/topix.html

You may be right, however, in noting that much of the current opposition to women’s ordination in the LCMS is because so many of those who support women’s ordination also reject inerrancy. But, in another generation, this will change. I believe that those transferring from the ELCA into the LCMS will probably be accepted more on the basis of their affirming Biblical inerrancy and not in their rejecting of women’s ordination. This is as it should be.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 08, 2007, 04:52:15 PM
"The LCMS would have to change its doctrine of Scripture to embrace women's ordination."

No, it would not. My quote from the 19th century Biblical inerrantist, John Haley, clearly demonstrates that this is not so:

I fully agree that some folks who believe in inerrancy also advocate ordination of women. We've already discussed several Pentecostal groups. I see from the net that Haley was a Baptist. There is a completely different ecclesiology at work in such groups, completely different doctrine of the call, ordination, etc. There's no one-to-one correspondence with Lutherans in such matters.

Such groups also lack the kind of confessional documents we have or the theological method that draws on Church Fathers to inform doctrine/practice. So, they are a different kettle of fish. Having spent quality time with some Baptists I can tell you they will easily jump from present theology/culture back to the NT and give a new reading (similar to what you're advocating). LCMS Lutherans don't do that because of theological method and history. We'd have to stop being Lutherans to make the move you're suggesting.

Also, you're overlooking the fact that Baptists and Pentecostals are not sola scriptura churches.

Lutheran churches that have embraced women's ordination first changed their doctrine of Scripture (ALC is a prime example). They had to embrace higher critical views (abandoning sola scriptura) and had to let go of traditional views of inspiration (inerrancy). Until the LCMS makes these moves, there's no chance we'll ordain women. Historically, we are moving away from the Walkout positions.

In Christ,
EE

P.s. - Lutheran churches that embrace women's ordination have also slipped directly to discussion of ordaining homosexuals. Those who advocate women's ordination will also have to take this into account. Are you prepared to ordain active homosexuals?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on August 08, 2007, 05:05:03 PM
St Jerome did not use the term 'inerrancy',,,,,,, it is at best, as I noted, a late Scholastic novelty, and a not foundational gloss on Inspiration.  St Jerome used the concept Inspiration, along with the Doctrine of Accomodation,,, particularly against what he perceived as the bumbling excesses of the plenary verbalist, Origin.
Inerrancy is not a part of out Catholic Tradition, being neither taught in the Sacred Scriptures nor the Symbolical Books, is best neither discarded nor taught, and can never be used to bind consciences.

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 08, 2007, 05:10:31 PM
P.s. - Lutheran churches that embrace women's ordination have also slipped directly to discussion of ordaining homosexuals. Those who advocate women's ordination will also have to take this into account. Are you prepared to ordain active homosexuals?
You have to be more specific in regards to what you mean by "active". No "revisionists" that I know of are for the ordination of any and all homosexuals -- just as no church body that I know if, is willing to ordain all active heterosexuals. There are some activities that disqualify a person for ordination.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 08, 2007, 09:20:35 PM
St Jerome did not use the term 'inerrancy',,,,,,, it is at best, as I noted, a late Scholastic novelty, and a not foundational gloss on Inspiration.  St Jerome used the concept Inspiration, along with the Doctrine of Accomodation,,, particularly against what he perceived as the bumbling excesses of the plenary verbalist, Origin.
Inerrancy is not a part of out Catholic Tradition, being neither taught in the Sacred Scriptures nor the Symbolical Books, is best neither discarded nor taught, and can never be used to bind consciences.

Thanks for your note, Janielou. I had a look at Jerome and didn't find anything, as you suggested. However, I did bump into this quote from Augustine in a letter to Jerome:

"For I confess to your Charity [Jerome] that I have learned to yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error. And if in these writings I am perplexed by anything which appears to me opposed to truth, I do not hesitate to suppose that either the MS. is faulty, or the translator has not caught the meaning of what was said, or I myself have failed to understand it" (Letter 82, NPNF2 1:350).

Augustine seems to hold something like inerrancy. Perhaps the idea comes up earlier than the Scholastics. I think I'll poke around on this a bit more.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: John Martin on August 09, 2007, 12:27:01 AM
“Such groups also lack the kind of confessional documents we have or the theological method that draws on Church Fathers to inform doctrine/practice…LCMS Lutherans don't do that because of theological method and history. We'd have to stop being Lutherans to make the move you're suggesting.”

What do you mean by how they “inform” doctrine/practice? Do you believe that the patristic tradition, or any other era of history, acts as an infallible guide to illuminating what can be found within Scripture itself? Are you aware of how many changes have occurred in the Synod’s public teaching concerning women in the church and society?

How does your hermeneutical method differ from the one that advocates an egalitarian view of women? For example, see http://www.christian-thinktank.com/topix.html

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 09, 2007, 02:07:38 AM
The old ALC, as I once heard it (Can a theologian from the old ALC confirm this?), used the word "inerrant" in their constitution - and they were in the solo scriptura tradition. Indeed, they adopted women's ordination, prior to the merger, without changing the word "inerrant" from their constitution.
Actually, the old ALC was formed in 1930. The new ALC (or TALC when it began) was formed in 1960. The Confession of Faith in the Constitution of the later body has: 3.10. The American Lutheran Church accepts all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as a whole and in all their parts as the divinely inspired, revealed, and inerrant Word of God, and submits to this as the only infallible authority in all matters of faith and life."

Even with that confession, the ALC approved the ordination of women.

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 09, 2007, 08:17:32 AM
What do you mean by how they “inform” doctrine/practice? Do you believe that the patristic tradition, or any other era of history, acts as an infallible guide to illuminating what can be found within Scripture itself?

A traditional Lutheran hermeneutic/theological method includes the following steps:

Read Scripture in view of Scripture
Check one's conclusions against wisdom of the Creeds and Confessions
Check one's conclusions against the insights of the Fathers

The Fathers are not infallible but they are wise. To ignore them is behave arrogantly, like a wet-behind-the-ears preacher who ignores the counsel of the seasoned pastors in the circuit. Consulting with others is an act of humility, which is befitting for any servant of Christ. One often finds that the Father wrestled with the very same issues that we wrestle with today.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 09, 2007, 08:29:44 AM
Even with that confession, the ALC approved the ordination of women.

Thanks, Brian. Most helpful. My point is that they had changed their hermeneutic and their doctrine of Scripture despite what was written in their constitution. All this was manifest in the merger when they finally set the constitution aside. It had ceased to guide their doctrine and practice years earlier, as a review of their history would demonstrate (I had close kin at Wartburg in those days; sola scriptura and inerrancy were passe, even though they lingered in the documents). As a consequence, the ALC no longer exists.

John Martin, this is a very helpful illustration of what I'm talking about. The ALC could not embrace women's ordination without first changing who they were and what they confessed. In the process, they ceased to be by becoming something else. The same thing would have to take place in the LCMS. We would have to stop being who we are in order to make these changes. It is that big a step, not simply adopting a new approach to interpreting and applying a few passages.

My thesis still stands: No church body teaching sola scriptura and inerrancy also ordains women. The LCMS would have to change its doctrine of Scripture to embrace women's ordination.


In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on August 09, 2007, 12:04:43 PM
"................yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture:"

The canon was still fluid at the time, so which books the Bishop of Hippo means is open to question.

"...........of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error."
 
In terms of Inspiration and it's polarity the Doctrine of Accomodation of course,,,,,,, do recall, just one example, the good Bishops rejection of anything other than an allegorical or typological interpretion of the Genesis Creation stories as he observed that in any other sense they were preposterous.

"Augustine seems to hold something like inerrancy."

Something like is not the thing itself, one doesn't read back an idea that occurs 1300 year in the future  into the good Bishops, and the Churchs', rather complete doctrine of Inspiration.

The rationalistic, not theological, term inerrancy is utterly redundant and obfuscating if one has a grasp on the doctrine of Inspiration, in all its breadth and fulness.  For Evangelical Catholics, which is what we are according to the Tradition and our Confessions, such alien categories, like inerrancy, say more about us and what we want Scripture and Authority to be than what the Scriptures are and say about themselves.




Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 09, 2007, 12:12:19 PM
EENGEBRECHT WRITES:
P.s. - Lutheran churches that embrace women's ordination have also slipped directly to discussion of ordaining homosexuals. Those who advocate women's ordination will also have to take this into account. Are you prepared to ordain active homosexuals?

I muse:
Slipped directly? The ELCA began ordaining women 37 years ago. That's not exactly "directly" though this topic has been on the agenda for about 10 years.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on August 09, 2007, 12:24:55 PM
The rationalistic, not theological, term inerrancy is utterly redundant and obfuscating if one has a grasp on the doctrine of Inspiration, in all its breadth and fulness.  For Evangelical Catholics, which is what we are according to the Tradition and our Confessions, such alien categories, like inerrancy, say more about us and what we want Scripture and Authority to be than what the Scriptures are and say about themselves.

I agree that the term "inerrancy" can be viewed as a subset of the larger concept "inspiration".  The problem is, neither term really does a whole lot of "work" hermeneutically, outside of two very important functions.  First, scriptures inspired by God can be viewed as a unity even as they address different situations with different words.  However, since they are inspired by the same Spirit, we get a view of what it means to live within a particular worldview formed by the working of that Spirit so that the "grammar" or "deep logic" of what it means to be a Christian becomes apparent.  Without this view of inspiration, we're left with rather sterile discussions of "conflicting theologies" which do not challenge us to see the deeper picture elucidated by the different scriptural statements.

The second function terms like "inspiration" and, more pointedly, "innerrancy" get across is the fact that what Scripture has to say matters.  It communicates, if you will, the "mattered-ness" of Scripture.  By saying that God did not make a mistake when having His scriptures written in the way that they are written, we can be assured that what is said -- when properly understood -- is in fact God's take on the issues therein.  And God being God (and we being crectures of God), confronting His Word does make a difference in our lives and is something that we need to heed because it matters.  Using 1 Tim 2 as an example, one move would be to dismiss what Paul has to say by claiming that it is culturally bound.  However, this would be to treat the passage, in practice, as if it does not matter to our deliberations and so is, in practice, simply wrong in giving guidance on how we are to live today.  This would be a different situation if textual markers indicated that the passage was only intended as advice to a given situation; absent those (like 1 Tim 2 is absent those), to call what Paul says "culturally bound" would be to treat the passage as neither inerrant nor inspired.

So yes, janielou, I agree that it does say more about the person holding the doctrine because it not only describes Scripture itself, but it most properly describes the attitude of the one who holds Scripture to be inerrant.  That attitude is one who seeks to be formed by the Scriptures to think in a particular manner -- a manner that reflects the diachronic and synchronic view of the community that God formed in Christ and to whom His Word is preached and among whom His Word is read.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: John Martin on August 09, 2007, 12:30:34 PM
“The Fathers are not infallible but they are wise. To ignore them is behave arrogantly, like a wet-behind-the-ears preacher who ignores the counsel of the seasoned pastors in the circuit. Consulting with others is an act of humility, which is befitting for any servant of Christ. One often finds that the Father wrestled with the very same issues that we wrestle with today.”

By “Fathers” which period of time to do mean? Are you talking about Martin Luther? I already pointed out that one of the major Lutheran historians of this past century pointed out in a LCUSA book on the Ordination of Women that Johann Gerhard (1621-1668) saw 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 as a rejection of the matriarchal ways of some sects, rather than as an absolute rule.

Are you appealing to the Church Fathers because of their exegetical prowess and hermeneutical wisdom? It is just a bunch of rhetoric to argue that the LCMS will never adopt women’s ordination because no other church body teaching sola scriptura and inerrancy also ordains women. What about those in the LCMS who hold to Biblical inerrancy, but consider this whole issue as being open for discussion?

For example, Dr. Ralph Bohlmann, President of the LCMS (1981 to 1992), was one of the chief architects of the movement in the LCMS back to a full affirmation of the inerrancy of Scripture. He wrote the Synod's official doctrinal statement on the doctrine of inerrancy. See https://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/LCMS/astatement.pdf

It is interesting to note that Dr. Bohlmann changed his view on women in the church. The LCMS emeritus President is quoted as saying:

"The biblical texts that had historically been used to limit the activities of women, he opined, were obscure, confusing and complicated. The President Emeritus insisted that our conclusions in this matter, prohibiting the ordination of women, have been based on our own inferences and deductions, not the Word of God.”

The same article points out that our über-Lutheran LCMS Seminary in Ft. Wayne - the institution in the early 1980’s that argued against the Synod’s stance that allowed women to vote in the congregation - had, at least one time in the past, two professors who held to a more egalitarian view of women:

“Dr. Alvin Schmidt, a professor at the Fort Wayne Seminary, was charged with false doctrine and removed from his faculty position in 1987 for teaching that there was no biblical basis for the prohibition of women's ordination. Schmidt subsequently sued both the Seminary and the Synod over his dismissal. The case was settled out of court. A short time later, in 1989, Dr. Daniel Bruch, a professor at Concordia College in St. Paul, Minnesota, was also charged with false doctrine because of his position on the role of women. After years of wrangling, the charges were dismissed.” See: http://www.concordtx.org/cpapers/womsuff.htm:

Allowing women to vote in congregations, but not hold the pastoral office is just a compromise position that will not last longer than another couple of dozen years in the LCMS. The falling dominos of change in the area of women serving in the LCMS is pretty clear. The first big change for women was that they could vote in the civic realm. This was initially opposed by LCMS t theologians, but that position fell by the wayside. Next, it was allowed for women to hold civic offices, than it was allowed for them to teach boys and girls in Christian schools, than it was allowed for them to vote in the church, than it was allowed for them to hold political offices in the Synod, than it was allowed for them to be leaders at a congregational level. There is only one more domino of change to fall. The handwriting is on the wall.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 09, 2007, 12:55:43 PM
John Martin, this is a very helpful illustration of what I'm talking about. The ALC could not embrace women's ordination without first changing who they were and what they confessed. In the process, they ceased to be by becoming something else. The same thing would have to take place in the LCMS. We would have to stop being who we are in order to make these changes. It is that big a step, not simply adopting a new approach to interpreting and applying a few passages.

My thesis still stands: No church body teaching sola scriptura and inerrancy also ordains women. The LCMS would have to change its doctrine of Scripture to embrace women's ordination.
I think your thesis is centered on your understanding of sola scriptura and inerrancy, which was never quite the same as in the ALC, which is defined in the United Tesitmony of Faith and Life, which was approved in 1952.

We bear witness that the Bible is our only authentic and infallible source of God's revelation to us and all men, and that it is the only inerrant and completely adequate source and norm of Christian doctrine and life. We hold that the Bible, as a whole and in all its parts, is the Word of God under all circumstances regardless of man's attitude toward it. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:16-17, AV).

The Bible is the Word of God, given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit through human personalities in the course of human history. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God psake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21, AV). We acknowledge with humble gratitutde the condescending love of God in speaking to men throught eh agency of human language. We reject all rationalizing processes which would explain away either the divine or the human factor in the Bible.

"Inerrancy" and "infallibility" are applied only to issues of Christian doctrine and life; thus the Bible could error in other areas, e.g., science. One could confess the inerrancy of scriptures and deny that the world was created in six days (or six thousand year days).

"Inerrancy" and "infallibility" did not remove either the human nor historical factors in the creation of scriptures. Thus one could confess the inerrancy of scriptures and make use of historical critical methods (as long as one did not deny or explain away the divine factor). 

Julius Bodensieck, a retired professor from Wartburg Seminary, and the editor of the 3 volume, Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, stated that the United Testimony was a more accurate statement of the belief of the ALC than the statement in the constitution.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on August 09, 2007, 01:12:49 PM
Allowing women to vote in congregations, but not hold the pastoral office is just a compromise position that will not last longer than another couple of dozen years in the LCMS. The falling dominos of change in the area of women serving in the LCMS is pretty clear. The first big change for women was that they could vote in the civic realm. This was initially opposed by LCMS t theologians, but that position fell by the wayside. Next, it was allowed for women to hold civic offices, than it was allowed for them to teach boys and girls in Christian schools, than it was allowed for them to vote in the church, than it was allowed for them to hold political offices in the Synod, than it was allowed for them to be leaders at a congregational level. There is only one more domino of change to fall. The handwriting is on the wall.

Not really.  Re: the handwriting on the wall, that is.  You see, outside of yourself (are you a member of ELDoNA like Ted wonders?), I haven't heard anybody advocating for women's ordination.  I was at CSL from 1999-2002, then in Africa (where, granted, I was a bit out of touch with the powers-that-be), then back to CSL for the last year doing a PhD (and now I'm off to the University of Virginia for continued PhD studies -- just packed the truck yesterday and have the aches to prove it).  I have yet to hear any faculty member arguing for women's ordination or even countenancing it.  Further, there are good biblical reasons for seeing the current situation where women may not hold the office of the public ministry but may hold other offices as being a Christian practice.  Check out, if you like, my exegesis of 1 Tim 2 on this forum and elsewhere:

http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=266.0

And:

http://www.lutherquest.org/cgi-bin/discus40/show.cgi?tpc=41821&post=158903#POST158903
(You have to page through a number of archived sessions to see how this discussion was conducted...)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: John Martin on August 09, 2007, 01:38:28 PM
"I haven't heard anybody advocating for women's ordination."

That is because the theologians in the LCMS that are sympathetic toward it are very much concerned that their promotion of such a change, at this time, is not in the best interests of the collective church. However, as I pointed out, change in the LCMS can happen at a very fast pace. For example, in 1956, the LCMS convention voted to continue to deny women from voting in churches. Out of the six hundred delegates at the Convention, there were only ten dissenting votes! However, by the time of the Detroit convention in 1962, the LCMS convention redefined the role of women to allow for women to vote in congregations. That is a hugh shift in interpretation. To put this in historical perspective, at the last Synodical convention, I can't think of a single resolution that passed that did not have at least twenty or so dissenting votes.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 09, 2007, 01:53:26 PM
The rationalistic, not theological, term inerrancy is utterly redundant and obfuscating if one has a grasp on the doctrine of Inspiration, in all its breadth and fulness.  For Evangelical Catholics, which is what we are according to the Tradition and our Confessions, such alien categories, like inerrancy, say more about us and what we want Scripture and Authority to be than what the Scriptures are and say about themselves.

Thanks, Janielou, for your note. I think you are reading things into the term that I would not find there. I bumped into some other quotes from the Fathers and will type them up later.

Please take note: you're telling me, "Don't use THAT word!" I'm asking myself, what has the word meant and how has it (and its cognates) been used in the theology of the Church. I want to understand this more clearly before I cast the word out.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 09, 2007, 01:54:47 PM
EENGEBRECHT WRITES:
P.s. - Lutheran churches that embrace women's ordination have also slipped directly to discussion of ordaining homosexuals. Those who advocate women's ordination will also have to take this into account. Are you prepared to ordain active homosexuals?

I muse:
Slipped directly? The ELCA began ordaining women 37 years ago. That's not exactly "directly" though this topic has been on the agenda for about 10 years.

In the history of the Church, Charles, a decade is but a moment.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 09, 2007, 02:07:01 PM
“The Fathers are not infallible but they are wise. To ignore them is behave arrogantly, like a wet-behind-the-ears preacher who ignores the counsel of the seasoned pastors in the circuit. Consulting with others is an act of humility, which is befitting for any servant of Christ. One often finds that the Father wrestled with the very same issues that we wrestle with today.”

By “Fathers” which period of time to do mean? Are you talking about Martin Luther? I already pointed out that one of the major Lutheran historians of this past century pointed out in a LCUSA book on the Ordination of Women that Johann Gerhard (1621-1668) saw 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 as a rejection of the matriarchal ways of some sects, rather than as an absolute rule.

As a Lutheran, I respect, read, and cite faithful Christian teachers of the ancient, medieval, reformation, and modern eras.

"John Martin," did Gerhard advocate women's ordination? Cite me some clear evidence for this from actual Gerhard texts (not LCUSA) and then I will regard Gerhard as in your camp.

You seem convinced of your position. I commend you to your view. If the synod approved women's ordination, the synod would likely fall apart. I see the culture backing away from this issue and emphasizing again that men and women are different. I do not see Rome or Byzantium changing their positions. In the broader view of things, liberal protestantism looks very lonely on this issue. And if they keep advocating for ordaining homosexuals (a natural consequency of their doctrines) they will only get lonlier.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on August 09, 2007, 02:18:42 PM
That is because the theologians in the LCMS that are sympathetic toward it are very much concerned that their promotion of such a change, at this time, is not in the best interests of the collective church.

I guess if you are one of these folks, then you would probably have direct knowledge.  Otherwise, it has not been a part of the public debate in the LCMS at all for at least the past decade, as far as I can tell.  But as it seems rather difficult to figure out actual folks who hold this view, I'll take this as your best guess as to the motivations of these unknown folks.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: John Martin on August 09, 2007, 02:38:47 PM
"If the synod approved women's ordination, the synod would likely fall apart."

I don't think so. For one thing, it is expected by a number of conservatives who are still offended by the vote that allowed for women to vote in congregations - and probably would just as soon not have them vote or hold leadership positions in the civic realm at large. For example, a major leader in the conservative part of the LCMS, Laurence White writes:

"The Synod's current position, "Ordination no; just about everything else yes!", will not stand against the relentless pressure of our culture. It is logically and theologically unstable...The predicament posed by the Synod's current stance might be compared to that of a diver who, after springing gracefully from the board, decides in mid-air that he no longer wishes to enter the water. His options at that point are severely limited. He could frantically attempt to reverse course and clamber back onto the board, or he could complete the dive into the water below. But he cannot remain suspended in mid-air, no matter how fervently he declares that he is going to stay up there...The Synod, like our hapless diver, cannot remain suspended in mid-air. A desperate attempt to reverse course and clamber back onto to the board would certainly be difficult. At this point it may even prove to be impossible. But the only other alternative is to complete the dive into the water below." (http://www.concordtx.org/cpapers/womsuff.htm)

I think some will leave, in a couple of dozen years when the Synod - once again - changes its view, but the majority of congregations and pastors will stay. Practical issues like retirement, Church Extension Funds and Worker Benefit Plans will keep most from leaving the Synod.

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 09, 2007, 02:51:02 PM

"Inerrancy" and "infallibility" are applied only to issues of Christian doctrine and life; thus the Bible could error in other areas, e.g., science. One could confess the inerrancy of scriptures and deny that the world was created in six days (or six thousand year days).

"Inerrancy" and "infallibility" did not remove either the human nor historical factors in the creation of scriptures. Thus one could confess the inerrancy of scriptures and make use of historical critical methods (as long as one did not deny or explain away the divine factor). 


Brian, as you are well aware, there were divisions among the ALC people on these issues.  :) Besides, as noted before, the ALC is dead.  :-\

In Christ
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 09, 2007, 02:56:07 PM
"I haven't heard anybody advocating for women's ordination."

That is because the theologians in the LCMS that are sympathetic toward it are very much concerned that their promotion of such a change, at this time, is not in the best interests of the collective church. However, as I pointed out, change in the LCMS can happen at a very fast pace. For example, in 1956, the LCMS convention voted to continue to deny women from voting in churches. Out of the six hundred delegates at the Convention, there were only ten dissenting votes! However, by the time of the Detroit convention in 1962, the LCMS convention redefined the role of women to allow for women to vote in congregations. That is a hugh shift in interpretation. To put this in historical perspective, at the last Synodical convention, I can't think of a single resolution that passed that did not have at least twenty or so dissenting votes.

Yes, "John Martin," such things did happen. And then there was the Walkout when the most liberal/progressive elements of the synod left. They synod since then is quite different. As those trained by the Walkout faculty retire, further changes come to bear. You are citing events but not considering the larger picture of what's happened and happening. (E.g., citing Bohlmann? He's retired and has been for some years! He's an important figure in our history but does not represents LCMS theologians today.)

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 09, 2007, 03:04:19 PM
That is because the theologians in the LCMS that are sympathetic toward it are very much concerned that their promotion of such a change, at this time, is not in the best interests of the collective church.

I guess if you are one of these folks, then you would probably have direct knowledge.  Otherwise, it has not been a part of the public debate in the LCMS at all for at least the past decade, as far as I can tell.  But as it seems rather difficult to figure out actual folks who hold this view, I'll take this as your best guess as to the motivations of these unknown folks.

What's funny, Scott, is that "John Martin" complains that the faculty won't come out on this while he likewise will not state who he is and whether "John Martin" is his real name. His credibility thus seems awefully thin.

I have never heard any of the current faculty from either seminary, nor anyone on the CTCR, advocate for women's ordination. I'm with these folks often enough.

"John Martin," it really sounds like you're blowing smoke. Some evidence, please.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on August 09, 2007, 03:07:10 PM
John Martin,

You seem to represent a perspective that knows the LCMS quite well, but also seems to be encouraging folks (like me, I guess) who do not believe in women's ordination to bail out before it is adopted in the LCMS.  So I would ask, if you don't mind, what church body are you a part of?  The LCMS or another?  What would you encourage folks like me (who does not accept women's ordination as a biblical concept and is a pastor in the LCMS) to do or where, in your opinion, should I go?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Kidd, STS on August 09, 2007, 05:41:29 PM
Scott,

Maybe WELS????
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on August 09, 2007, 06:20:22 PM
What John Martin really doesn't need to allude to in all this is the 'silent majority' in the LCMS, the more than half the membership and more than half of regular attenders and supporters,,,,,, as in money.  Silent as they are, politics will follow the power and money, as it always does, and has.
 
President Bohlman who has pretty well changed his views (to a more Lutheran position) on a number of things, is terrifyingly spot on that Missouri's position on the ordination of women to the presbyterate is as sub Scriptural and just plain wrong as is Rome's.  Likewise the institutional self censorship of don't talk about it, or else.  Those things are a classic set up for a quick and decisive break.  I don't know the time scale, but watch for it,,,,,, and guess what, the wold will not slip off its axis, the sun will rise and set, and the Church will go on.

Now if LCMS,,,,, and our Roman friends, could approach the subject like adults, and do the hard work of theologizing on the basis of the Creeds and Symbols things might jolly well turn out better.  I'm not holding my breath.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 09, 2007, 06:33:07 PM
Brian, as you are well aware, there were divisions among the ALC people on these issues.  :) Besides, as noted before, the ALC is dead.  :-
However, as I heard the question, it was whether or not there have been any church bodies who believed in inerrancy of scriptures who ordained women. The ALC did.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ptmccain on August 09, 2007, 06:39:04 PM
I appreciate "Janielou's" candor, even if he can not bring himself to use his real name and identify himself. The admission that the world's largest, and oldest, Christian churches do not accept the ordination of women is an important one, even if it is premised on a rather facile and all too-flip rejection of the reasons they oppose it. It would also be important to note that those Lutheran churches that most self-conscientiously wish to identify themselves as closely as possible with the historic, traditional orthodox Lutheran confession and practice of the Reformation, also oppose this practice worldwide. To toss off meaningless sound-bites about Rome, the East, traditional Lutherans, and every other traditional Christian church body that rejects the practice of women's ordination bespeaks a profound weakness in one's position advocating women's ordination.



Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 09, 2007, 10:28:43 PM
Brian, as you are well aware, there were divisions among the ALC people on these issues.  :) Besides, as noted before, the ALC is dead.  :-
However, as I heard the question, it was whether or not there have been any church bodies who believed in inerrancy of scriptures who ordained women. The ALC did.

Brian, this was my thesis:

"No church body teaching sola scriptura and inerrancy also ordains women [note the present tense]. The LCMS would have to change its doctrine of Scripture to embrace women's ordination."

I was speaking of existing church bodies, which is why I think the example of the ALC is so telling, since it no longer exists. They made the changes that allowed for women's ordination and in the process they gave up who they were as a confessing church body.  No statement of inerrancy followed them into the merger. (They had, indeed, already left it behind.) When they adopted higher critical approaches to Scripture, they exalted the canon of reason over the received canon of the Church. Passages that had formerly been regarded as God's Word were subsequently regarded as anything but (hence the present debates). Now we see the creeds being pulled apart piece by piece or not even confessed/taught at all (note Richard's frustration at the confirmation retreat).

I believe the thesis I proposed still stands. The doctrine of Scripture is absolutely vital to this question of who a church ordains.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 09, 2007, 10:40:16 PM
I was speaking of existing church bodies, which is why I think the example of the ALC is so telling, since it no longer exists. They made the changes that allowed for women's ordination and in the process they gave up who they were as a confessing church body.
Not for a number of years. I was ordained in the ALC. We confessed inerrancy of scriptures and we ordained women. We did that for 18 years prior to the formation of the ELCA. Even then, the president of the ALC was not in favor of the new church.

Quote
No statement of inerrancy followed them into the merger.
Partly because the LCA never had a statement of inerrancy. Thus such a confession was not required of those in the new church, although any individual could believe in an inerrant Bible.

Quote
When they adopted higher critical approaches to Scripture, they exalted the canon of reason over the received canon of the Church. Passages that had formerly been regarded as God's Word were subsequently regarded as anything but (hence the present debates).

The Bible continues to be confessed as the Word of God.

C2.02.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.

Quote
I believe the thesis I proposed still stands. The doctrine of Scripture is absolutely vital to this question of who a church ordains.
So what do you say about the 18 years that the ALC ordained women while confessing inerrancy in scripture?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on August 09, 2007, 10:43:12 PM
So what do you say about the 18 years that the ALC ordained women while confessing inerrancy in scripture?

Oops?

[[With the provisos I've stated above]]
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Kidd, STS on August 09, 2007, 10:45:00 PM
ENG says:
No church body teaching sola scriptura and inerrancy also ordains women [note the present tense]. The LCMS would have to change its doctrine of Scripture to embrace women's ordination."

uh excuse me there are many fundamentalist-Inerranist churches that ordain women like Church of God-Anderson Indiana, Free Methodists, Evangelical Covenant, several Presbyterian and some Baptists so your logic falls flat.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: GoCubsGo! on August 09, 2007, 10:47:28 PM
No, I don't think that I could go from the ELCS to the LC-MS.  The problems of the LC-MS as I have heard about them are as bad as the problems of the ELCA only in a different direction.  I would prefer a church that was committed to reconciliation with Rome and could name that as a goall.  So, far no "church" body that would be suitable to me exists.  In fact the closest body is the one I left many years ago the Roman Catholic Church--but alas they would ne' take me, at least not take me and let me remain in the parish.  (Former Catholics who have left the church are not eligible to serve as priests)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: GoCubsGo! on August 09, 2007, 10:51:37 PM
Sorry about the typo in my last post.  And apologies to the church body whose initials are ELCS if there is such a thing.

BTW, if a church body alternative to the LC-MS and the ELCA were to be formed I suspect that would be the beginning of an Exodus from the ELCA (for some).  All that really hold some back from leaving the ELCA is that nothing suitable exists... yet!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 10, 2007, 09:15:22 AM
ENG says:
No church body teaching sola scriptura and inerrancy also ordains women [note the present tense]. The LCMS would have to change its doctrine of Scripture to embrace women's ordination."

uh excuse me there are many fundamentalist-Inerranist churches that ordain women like Church of God-Anderson Indiana, Free Methodists, Evangelical Covenant, several Presbyterian and some Baptists so your logic falls flat.


We've already discussed a number of these church bodies earlier. They are not sola scriptura churches.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on August 10, 2007, 11:05:27 AM
"profound weakness in one's position advocating women's ordination."

,,,,,,,,, speculation as to how and how quickly ordination of women to the presbyterate will happen does in no way indicate the soundness of same or approval of same.  The issue is and remains articulating a sound Scriptural, Creedal, and in our case, Symbolical case.  That has yet to be devised.

That exercise also includes the humility to recognize that when we get to the Pearly Gates, Mrs. St Peter just might shake her finger at us and say, "You got it wrong, fella"

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on August 10, 2007, 11:24:07 AM
President Bohlman who has pretty well changed his views (to a more Lutheran position) on a number of things, is terrifyingly spot on that Missouri's position on the ordination of women to the presbyterate is as sub Scriptural and just plain wrong as is Rome's.

"sub Scriptural"?  Hmmm.  Perhaps you'd like to resurrect the past thread on 1 Tim 2 because I'm not sure what you mean by that.  I've actually delved into this issue quite deeply (I think I mentioned before that I have a personal stake in it), and I'm not sure what position you're considering "sub-Scriptural".

That exercise also includes the humility to recognize that when we get to the Pearly Gates, Mrs. St Peter just might shake her finger at us and say, "You got it wrong, fella"

Entirely possible.  Thank God we're saved by God's grace in Christ!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on August 10, 2007, 01:26:28 PM
"Entirely possible"

Indeed,,,,,, and that implies that all of us need to be much less cocksure of our theologizings not matter how sound they appear to us and others.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on August 10, 2007, 01:55:44 PM
"Entirely possible"

Indeed,,,,,, and that implies that all of us need to be much less cocksure of our theologizings not matter how sound they appear to us and others.

Agreed.  Advocates of women's ordination and those who do not alike.  That's why I like to debate the issues scripturally and have done so on this forum and elsewhere.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 10, 2007, 08:09:50 PM
"Entirely possible"

Indeed,,,,,, and that implies that all of us need to be much less cocksure of our theologizings not matter how sound they appear to us and others.

I don't think there's anything inappropriate about having a strong, clear belief about a theological issue when it is well grounded in Holy Scripture. If I am scolded by a Mrs. St. Peter at the pearly gate, I'll say, "Fine for you. But our Savior did not ordain women and He did not tell me to do so either. Take it up with Him. He's the one who invited me to heaven."  :)

Honestly, why didn't our Savior choose women among the Twelve? That would have made things clear.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ptmccain on August 10, 2007, 08:18:16 PM
The spirit of uncertainty that some anonymous posters here wish for us to embrace when speaking to any doctrinal topic is a spirit alien to the One Who breathed out the Holy Scriptures and moved men along to record it for us to believe, teach and confess. To ask that we all therefore embrace this "uncertainty" as we talk about doctrine is contrary to the Biblical meaning of confession, it is also, a passive-aggressive way of proceeding, demanding that your opponent not be "too certain" of his position.

The Sacred Scriptures do not teach, nor support, the practice of the ordination of women to the pastoral office. It is both sub-apostolic and sub-Scriptural, it is anti-Apostolic and anti-Scriptural. It is therefore contrary to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic faith. It is highly ironic to me that those who claim the term: "evangelical catholic" are so ready to defend the practice of the ordination of women, in spite of it being one of the most visibly non-catholic position in the Church today.

The seeds the practice or the ordination of women plants in a church that is ostensibly a confessional church, are now flowering forth in the bitter fruit of dissension we see on sad, full display at the ELCA convention.



Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 10, 2007, 08:19:53 PM
Honestly, why didn't our Savior choose women among the Twelve? That would have made things clear.
Probably because there were symbolizing the TwelveTribes, which all came from Joseph's sons. However, we know that women traveled with Jesus (Luke 8). God chose Mary to be the "apostle to the apostles" -- the one sent with the message about the resurrection to the eleven.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 10, 2007, 09:30:13 PM
Honestly, why didn't our Savior choose women among the Twelve? That would have made things clear.
Probably because there were symbolizing the TwelveTribes, which all came from Joseph's sons. However, we know that women traveled with Jesus (Luke 8). God chose Mary to be the "apostle to the apostles" -- the one sent with the message about the resurrection to the eleven.

Gee, Brian, Does that make sense? Jesus was more interested in symbolism than in the plight of women? (as defined by those who regard women's ordination as valid). I don't get that.

Praise God, Jesus quite boldly welcomed women as fellow disciples! That's clear (Lk 8). But He also did not ordain them or encourage the disciples to ordain them. He distinguished the apostolic ministry from the ministries others would undertake in the Church.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 10, 2007, 09:41:56 PM
Praise God, Jesus quite boldly welcomed women as fellow disciples! That's clear (Lk 8). But He also did not ordain them or encourage the disciples to ordain them. He distinguished the apostolic ministry from the ministries others would undertake in the Church.
I don't recall that Jesus ordained anyone. He invited people to follow him. I think that God gave the apostolic (literally, those sent with a message) to women at the empty tomb -- and this was in a culture that didn't allow women to be witnesses in court. It was thought that their testimony would be unreliable.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: bmj on August 11, 2007, 01:20:33 AM
Praise God, Jesus quite boldly welcomed women as fellow disciples! That's clear (Lk 8). But He also did not ordain them or encourage the disciples to ordain them. He distinguished the apostolic ministry from the ministries others would undertake in the Church.
I don't recall that Jesus ordained anyone. He invited people to follow him. I think that God gave the apostolic (literally, those sent with a message) to women at the empty tomb -- and this was in a culture that didn't allow women to be witnesses in court. It was thought that their testimony would be unreliable.

From http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/ordain
Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English ordeinen, from Anglo-French ordener, ordeiner, from Late Latin ordinare, from Latin, to put in order, appoint, from ordin-, ordo order
transitive verb
1 : to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority


Do you not consider Matthew 16:18, Luke 24:48, Acts 1:8 apply here?

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 11, 2007, 02:01:47 AM
Do you not consider Matthew 16:18, Luke 24:48, Acts 1:8 apply here?
WE usually connect ordination with the laying on of hands -- Jesus didn't do that; and the making of vows -- the disciples didn't do that.

However, if you want to consider these verses "ordinations" by Jesus:

Luke 24:48 was spoken "to the eleven and their companions" (24:33). Considering that Luke 8:1-3 tells us that women traveled with Jesus, it seems likely that there were women among the companions.

Acts 1:8 happened at Pentecost. We are told that those who were in Jerusalem were the eleven (mentioned by name), "together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers (Acts 1:13-14). In the next verses were are told that there were about one hundred and twenty persons -- and we know that some of them were women.

Matthew 16:18 is addressed only to Peter. A similar statement about binding and loosing is given to the disciples in 18:18; but are "the disciples" limited to the twelve? Matthew 10:2 tells us that the twelve were given the title "apostle" -- a word that is not used again in Matthew. Occastionally Matthew uses the phrase "12 disciples" (10:1; 11:1; 20:17; 11 disciples, 28:16); but most often it is just disciples. John the baptist has disciples (9:14; 11:2; 14:12) and Pharisees have disciples (22:16). Jesus talks about the little ones who are his disciples (10:42). In most instances, "disciples" could refer to a larger group who followed and were learning from Jesus.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: bmj on August 11, 2007, 03:09:02 AM
Do you not consider Matthew 16:18, Luke 24:48, Acts 1:8 apply here?
WE usually connect ordination with the laying on of hands -- Jesus didn't do that; and the making of vows -- the disciples didn't do that.

However, if you want to consider these verses "ordinations" by Jesus:

Luke 24:48 was spoken "to the eleven and their companions" (24:33). Considering that Luke 8:1-3 tells us that women traveled with Jesus, it seems likely that there were women among the companions.

Acts 1:8 happened at Pentecost. We are told that those who were in Jerusalem were the eleven (mentioned by name), "together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers (Acts 1:13-14). In the next verses were are told that there were about one hundred and twenty persons -- and we know that some of them were women.

Matthew 16:18 is addressed only to Peter. A similar statement about binding and loosing is given to the disciples in 18:18; but are "the disciples" limited to the twelve? Matthew 10:2 tells us that the twelve were given the title "apostle" -- a word that is not used again in Matthew. Occastionally Matthew uses the phrase "12 disciples" (10:1; 11:1; 20:17; 11 disciples, 28:16); but most often it is just disciples. John the baptist has disciples (9:14; 11:2; 14:12) and Pharisees have disciples (22:16). Jesus talks about the little ones who are his disciples (10:42). In most instances, "disciples" could refer to a larger group who followed and were learning from Jesus.

I did not mean to suggest by the definition that ordination equated to the laying on of hands (actually I think the definition is clear in that it offers this only as an example act of ordination).  The part of "ordination" I had in mind is to set apart for ministerial or priestly authority.

   Modified from http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/ordain
   Etymology: <snip> from Latin, to put in order, appoint, from ordin-, ordo order
   1 : to invest officially <snip> with ministerial or priestly authority

Certainly Jesus did this, did he not?  He "set apart with special ministerial authority".  I think the original post you responded to also used "ordination" in this sense.

EENGELBRECHT said:  "He also did not ordain them or encourage the disciples to ordain them. He distinguished the apostolic ministry from the ministries others would undertake in the Church"

Your quote which seemed odd to me was:  "I don't recall that Jesus ordained anyone."

Putting the question of the ordination of women aside, do you agree that Jesus (and subsequently the Apostles)  "distinguished the apostolic ministry from the ministries others would undertake in the Church"?  Since you are ordained, you must place value in that real distinction.  I am not ordained, but I do value, respect, and accept that distinction as valid and important, and based in scripture (John 20:19, Mark 16:14, Luke 24:44, Acts 1:4).  Although many followed Jesus, not all were present (invited?) at the last supper, or at Pentecost. 

In your comments on Acts 1 above, are you saying that the words of Jesus to the Apostles in Acts 1:8 were also spoken directly by Jesus to those whom the Apostles met upon returning to Jerusalem after the Ascension?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 11, 2007, 07:40:59 AM
I don't recall that Jesus ordained anyone. He invited people to follow him. I think that God gave the apostolic (literally, those sent with a message) to women at the empty tomb -- and this was in a culture that didn't allow women to be witnesses in court. It was thought that their testimony would be unreliable.

Brian. I see you've become a literalist. Congrats. But I don't recall Jesus or the evangelists actually using apostello with the women. So, as a literalist, wouldn't you have to say that they were not called to apostolic ministry?

In contrast, the evangelists certainly call the 12, "Apostles," and apply the term for a distinct work. They use apostello to describe the calling of the 12. And then there's that wonderful passage in Jn 20 where Jesus "breathes" on them and invests them with the authority to forgive and retain sins. Now if you wish to say the latter is not strictly an ordination, that would be fine with me. But it is clearly a call to apostolic ministry, which Jesus does with no other followers.

So I ask, why did the Son of God not choose women for the apostolic ministry? He was clearly able to do so (they followed Him and were near at hand and also entrusted with service, as Luke recounts) but Jesus did not choose them for apostolic ministry. Clearly Jesus had (and has) high regard for women, yet He also did not choose them to be apostles. Why?

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Vern on August 11, 2007, 08:24:04 AM
Question from a lowly lay person. Who were the first one told to spread the word of Christ's resurrection?

Vern
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 11, 2007, 08:54:20 AM
Question from a lowly lay person. Who were the first one told to spread the word of Christ's resurrection?

Vern

Was it not the angels who announced it first? (Lk 24:5-7). All creation bears witness to the Lord's wonders, as we read in the Psalms. The call to be witnesses was established already in the OT and applies to men, women, children, and angels, too. But Christ only called 12 to the apostolic ministry in Jn 20. And all of the 12 were men.

Why did our Lord Jesus Christ call only men to this apostolic ministry?

In Christ,
EE

P.s. - I love the use of "ordain" that so often appears in the good old KJV, as in "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger" (Ps 8:2). We could certainly speak in this free way of all believers being "ordained" as God's witnesses, even the cooing (and sometimes screeching) babes at the font!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 11, 2007, 09:15:03 AM
EEENGELBRECHT writes:
Was it not the angels who announced it first? (Lk 24:5-7). All creation bears witness to the Lord's wonders, as we read in the Psalms. The call to be witnesses was established already in the OT and applies to men, women, children, and angels, too. But Christ only called 12 to the apostolic ministry in Jn 20. And all of the 12 were men.

Why did our Lord Jesus Christ call only men to this apostolic ministry?

I ponder:
Is this too narrow a view of what constitutes "apostolic" ministry?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ptmccain on August 11, 2007, 09:19:18 AM
Of course it is to narrow a view of "apostolic ministry" for those who wish to advance the non-Scriptural practice of women as pastors.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 11, 2007, 09:51:34 AM
Why did our Lord Jesus Christ call only men to this apostolic ministry?

I ponder:
Is this too narrow a view of what constitutes "apostolic" ministry?

Jesus uses the term in a limited (or narrow) way, describing the calling of the 12 (a narrow figure, given that there were many other disciples). If Jesus had chosen, He could easily have applied the words of John 20 to many or all of His followers. But He didn't. He narrows out these 12 and gives them a special calling. There is something unique here in Jesus' action. We should not lose sight of that.

In contrast the word "witness" is wonderfully broad and applies to all believers and we dare not lose sight of that fact either. Alleluia!  :D

Yet, returning to the question, Why did our Lord Jesus Christ call only men to this apostolic ministry?

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Paula Murray on August 11, 2007, 12:21:32 PM
Gentlemen,

see Romans 16:7  "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was."

"Junia" is a woman's name; there are no examples in Latin literature of it being applied to a man.  Junia was the name used for this person Paul greets until the 1100's or so when a monastic script writer changed it in the Bible he was making, writing in the margins something to the effect that everyone knows apostles can only be men. 

The greats of the Patristic era though had it right, when they acknowledged in their own writings that Paul gave that title to a woman who had seen the risen Christ as he had.

So gentleman, was Paul an apostle? 

Paula Murray
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on August 11, 2007, 12:25:17 PM
Pastor McCain writes (re my comment about a narrow definition of "apostolic")

Of course it is to (sic) narrow a view of "apostolic ministry" for those who wish to advance the non-Scriptural practice of women as pastors.

I comment:
I have no desire or need to "advance" the practice of women as pastors. My church has ordained women for more than 35 years, and made several of them bishops in our church. So the practice needs no push from my humble self. As for "non-Scriptural," well, we can disagree on that.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dan Fienen on August 11, 2007, 12:39:48 PM
Gentlemen,

see Romans 16:7 "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was."

"Junia" is a woman's name; there are no examples in Latin literature of it being applied to a man. Junia was the name used for this person Paul greets until the 1100's or so when a monastic script writer changed it in the Bible he was making, writing in the margins something to the effect that everyone knows apostles can only be men.

The greats of the Patristic era though had it right, when they acknowledged in their own writings that Paul gave that title to a woman who had seen the risen Christ as he had.

So gentleman, was Paul an apostle?

Paula Murray

There are two ways to understand the Greek at this point.  I don't have all my reference material at hand but will try to track down a technical discussion to reference for you.  Briefly, when Paul says that they are prominent among the apostles the question is whether it is more properly understood as including them among the Apostles or that when the Apostles are considered as a group, these two are well known to that group but are not themselves a part of that group.  Apparently in the rest of Greek literature it is this second usage that is much more common.

Dan
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 11, 2007, 12:48:45 PM
Certainly Jesus did this, did he not?  He "set apart with special ministerial authority".  I think the original post you responded to also used "ordination" in this sense.
That was not how I used "ordination". I was referring to a rite with laying on of hands, and vows.

Quote
Putting the question of the ordination of women aside, do you agree that Jesus (and subsequently the Apostles)  "distinguished the apostolic ministry from the ministries others would undertake in the Church"?  Since you are ordained, you must place value in that real distinction.  I am not ordained, but I do value, respect, and accept that distinction as valid and important, and based in scripture (John 20:19, Mark 16:14, Luke 24:44, Acts 1:4).  Although many followed Jesus, not all were present (invited?) at the last supper, or at Pentecost. 


Yes and no. Often the term "apostle" is used of the twelve. However, Paul often uses it of himself. He was not one of the twelve. In Acts 14:14 it is used of Barnabas & Paul. In 2 Corinthians it is used of Titus and "brothers," but translated "messengers" in NRSV. It's also translated "messenger" in regards to Epaphroditus in Philippians 2:25. Andronicus and Junia seemed to be called apostles in Romans 16:7.

Literally, apostolos means "someone sent with a (special) message." In that sense, anyone sent with a message is distinguished from those are not sent or given a message to share.

I think that the great commission and the Pentecost gave all disciples a message that they are sent to share with others. So there is a broad meaning of "apostle" that applies to all believers. We have a message from God and we are sent to share it. I have preached and written about our need to be both "disciples," which literally means "learners" so that we take in God's message; and "apostles" who spread the message.

And "apostle" is a technical term that refers to (1) the original 12; then the modified 12 after the death of Judas and election of Matthias; and (2) others who were especially sent to spread the gospel message, e.g., Paul, Barnabas, Titus, etc.

In a similar way, the church has ordained ministers and we talk about every believer doing ministry. Some congregations even state the the ministers are all the members of the congregation.

Quote
In your comments on Acts 1 above, are you saying that the words of Jesus to the Apostles in Acts 1:8 were also spoken directly by Jesus to those whom the Apostles met upon returning to Jerusalem after the Ascension?


While the command in Acts 1:8 may have been given only to the "apostles whom he had chosen" (1:2); I believe that the fulfillment of that promise occurred on all 120 believers who were gathering together.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ptmccain on August 11, 2007, 01:09:32 PM
With all the revisionism required of those who read the plain text of Scripture on the issue of ordination of women, two questions come to mind:

Where is there any text instituting an office of the holy ministry in the New Testament?

Do any texts in the New Testament preclude the ministry of non-celibate homosexuals?

How can arguments made for the ordination of women, based on Scripture, preclude non-celibate homosexuals from the ministry?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 11, 2007, 01:17:22 PM
Brian. I see you've become a literalist. Congrats. But I don't recall Jesus or the evangelists actually using apostello with the women. So, as a literalist, wouldn't you have to say that they were not called to apostolic ministry?
Literally (there's that word again) apostolic ministry was being sent with a message. Women were the first to be given this task concerning the message of the resurrection. Traditionally, Mary Magdalene was given the title, "Apostle to the Apostles" -- not because scriptures calls her an "apostle," but because she fulfilled the function of an apostle -- she was sent with a message by the angel(s).

We do have Paul refering to Junia (a female name) as being "prominent among the apostles".

Quote
In contrast, the evangelists certainly call the 12, "Apostles," and apply the term for a distinct work. They use apostello to describe the calling of the 12. And then there's that wonderful passage in Jn 20 where Jesus "breathes" on them and invests them with the authority to forgive and retain sins. Now if you wish to say the latter is not strictly an ordination, that would be fine with me. But it is clearly a call to apostolic ministry, which Jesus does with no other followers.


No, "apostle" is used for the sending of the twelve; see Mk 3:14; Luke 6:13; 9:1, 10.

The Gospel of John uses the noun "apostolos" only once -- John 13:16 -- and it isn't translated "apostle"!

Yes, Jesus sends (pempo, not apostello) the disciples out as he was sent (apostello) in John 20. Who are the "disciples" in the locked room? John never uses the phrase "12 disciples". In fact, a contrast is made in 6:66-71 between "disciples" and "the Twelve". When John wants to refer to the select group, he uses "the twelve" not disciples nor apostles.

Jesus has a similar phrase about sending out, (where apostello is used) in 17:8. There are differences of opinions whether in this part of the prayer Jesus is just praying about his disciples at that time, or all the disciples in all times.

In terms of the verb, apostello, it is used of Mary and Martha in 11:3.

Quote
So I ask, why did the Son of God not choose women for the apostolic ministry? He was clearly able to do so (they followed Him and were near at hand and also entrusted with service, as Luke recounts) but Jesus did not choose them for apostolic ministry. Clearly Jesus had (and has) high regard for women, yet He also did not choose them to be apostles. Why?
He did. He choose Mary and other women to be messengers about the resurrection. I have no doubt that women were among the 120 disciples who were empowered by the Holy Spirit to be sent as witnesses to Jesus.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: janielou13 on August 11, 2007, 01:20:01 PM
"God chose Mary to be the "apostle to the apostles" -- the one sent with the message about the resurrection to the eleven."

Indeed, as well as remembering that in her lifetime, St. Mary of Magdala was known as the equal of St Paul among the Apostles
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 11, 2007, 01:29:56 PM
see Romans 16:7  "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was."

Thanks Paula, but you've side-stepped the question: Why did our Savior choose only men for this apostolic ministry?

The Junia passage is very interesting and there's much more one can say about it. But to jump to that separate and thorny issue is to truly overlook a much more important matter: Jesus Christ---God in the flesh---had opportunity to choose women as apostles. But He did not choose them. In Jn 20, God Himself gave this apostolic ministry to men only. That is of special note. Why did it happen so?

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 11, 2007, 01:56:16 PM
In terms of the verb, apostello, it is used of Mary and Martha in 11:3.

Brian, you're getting a bit sloppy. Mary and Martha sent a message to Jesus in Jn 11:3. He did not send them as apostolic ministers. Grammar matters.

You can't simply grab every usage of a term and then apply it all to any passage where the term might appear. Jesus only calls the 12 to apostolic ministry. He might "send" someone to prepare for the Passover or receive a message "sent" by Mary and Martha but those are hardly the same as Jesus declaring someone an apostle! Brother, please exercise greater restraint.

The question remains: Why did our Lord Jesus Christ choose only men for this apostolic ministry (as witnessed in Jn 20)?

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 11, 2007, 01:59:16 PM
"God chose Mary to be the "apostle to the apostles" -- the one sent with the message about the resurrection to the eleven."

Indeed, as well as remembering that in her lifetime, St. Mary of Magdala was known as the equal of St Paul among the Apostles

These are interesting assertions. Texts, please! Just because some well meaning preacher in modern times called Mary an apostle to the apostles does not make her an apostle in the biblical sense. Jesus chose twelve and Mary was not one of them.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 11, 2007, 02:00:13 PM
The question remains: Why did our Lord Jesus Christ choose only men for this apostolic ministry (as witnessed in Jn 20)?
Why do you assume that only men were in the room? Do you also assume that the Pentecust event and the fulfillment of Acts 1:8 happened only to males?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 11, 2007, 02:03:02 PM
These are interesting assertions. Texts, please! Just because some well meaning preacher in modern times called Mary an apostle to the apostles does not make her an apostle in the biblical sense. Jesus chose twelve and Mary was not one of them.
Bernard of Clairvaux, who called her "apostle to the apostles" is hardly a preacher in modern times.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on August 11, 2007, 02:35:10 PM
Gentlemen,

see Romans 16:7  "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was."

"Junia" is a woman's name; there are no examples in Latin literature of it being applied to a man.  Junia was the name used for this person Paul greets until the 1100's or so when a monastic script writer changed it in the Bible he was making, writing in the margins something to the effect that everyone knows apostles can only be men. 

The greats of the Patristic era though had it right, when they acknowledged in their own writings that Paul gave that title to a woman who had seen the risen Christ as he had.

So gentleman, was Paul an apostle? 

Paula Murray

Hi Paula.  You should probably also check out Wallace's study of the use "en" plus the plural dative (he's the guy who recently published an outstanding grammar of Greek, and his findings were published in the journal New Testament Studies, unless memory fails).  He surveyed ALL of extant Greek literature and with one exception, he found that such a construction is always (with the singular exception) used to indicate that it is not an inclusive sense as if a member of a group but rather a construction that indicates "well known to the apostles".  Later, a friend of mine, Heath Curtis, published an article in the Concordia Journal disputing the singular exception that Wallace found and persuasively, IMNSHO, demonstrated that it wasn't an exception after all.

So I know that the whole Junia thing seems to be a conclusive argument to some, but it relies on a faulty understanding of Greek syntax.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 11, 2007, 03:44:30 PM
The question remains: Why did our Lord Jesus Christ choose only men for this apostolic ministry (as witnessed in Jn 20)?
Why do you assume that only men were in the room? Do you also assume that the Pentecust event and the fulfillment of Acts 1:8 happened only to males?

Carefully note the use of "disciple" in John, which is applied quite tightly to the Twelve. There are a few broader uses of the term early on. But the usage tightens after the many abandon Jesus in ch 6 and the Twelve He has chosen continue to follow (6:66-71, a major turning point in the Gospel).

In John's passion and resurrection narratives, the only names appearing with the term disciple/s are among the twelve (with one exception, the secret disciple---Joseph of Aramathea).

Also note how John uses the expression "the other disciple" in ch 20. It is always used as counter to one of the Twelve. The same happens with the plural, used in contrast with Thomas, who had been missing. So, mathetes gets used quite narrowly by John in ch 20, referring to the Twelve. (In this respect, John writes differently from Luke in his gospel, who keeps "disciple" pretty general but also explicitly calls the Twelve, "apostles.")

Now consider some parallels for that day: Mt 28:7-9 (disciples); Mk 16:14 (the eleven) [long ending, think what you like]; Lk 24:10 (apostles). Then woman/women go to tell the apostles (in some cases with explicit names given). There is never a report of a crowd or other disciples in any of the accounts. Indeed, the context describes people meeting in secret behind locked doors, hardly the setting for a crowd. So the specific account in John as well as the parallel accounts in the Synoptics for that day point to the Twelve. (This was also the conclusion presented in the Book of Concord AC XXVIII 6; Tr 8--9, 31.) So this was the interpretation at work among the Lutheran reformers in their theology of the ministry.

Ac 1:8, of course, happens some time later. There the broader terminology is used: witnesses. I have already acknowledged that all God's people, including the angels, are to speak as witnesses as already happens in the OT.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 11, 2007, 03:45:21 PM
These are interesting assertions. Texts, please! Just because some well meaning preacher in modern times called Mary an apostle to the apostles does not make her an apostle in the biblical sense. Jesus chose twelve and Mary was not one of them.
Bernard of Clairvaux, who called her "apostle to the apostles" is hardly a preacher in modern times.

Brian, thanks for this. I would love to have this reference. Can you provide it?

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Paula Murray on August 11, 2007, 05:55:27 PM
You can look earlier than Bernard, as well; there are patristic references to Junia.  And they do not flatter women as a group, only lift up Junia.  As to John 20, alas, my Greek stuff is in the office, not at home.  But while the 12 are referenced with regards to the twin's absence, there is no indication that prior language denotes only the 12.  The chapter begins too, with the sending of Mary to the others with the good news of the resurrection.  And frankly, if we are going to read the Scriptures quite this tightly, than I think we Lutherans need to give up the struggle with regards to the Petrine ministry and bring ourselves into communion with the Pope.  After all, the tighter reading is that Peter is the rock, not faith.  Actually, the whole discussion with regards to the 12 is interesting from a Lutheran standpoint.  Our contention is that to be an apostolic church you adhere to the teachings of the Apostles and not to the person.  Hence our difficulty with whomever is the current Bishop of Rome claiming to be more equal amongst the episcopals than others.  Why would we be in such a dither about whether or not it is the 12 and only the 12 when for the years of our history we have been more than happy saying to ourselves, "the Apostle Paul"?  Why else the thousands of churches world wide that memorialize his apostolic ministry in their names?  To take your "en" seriously we must disenfranchise the writer of large chunks of our New Testament canon.  And as for choosing the 12, he chose Mary of Magdala to witness to them of the resurrection.  Why should that choice of our Lord's be of less import than the choice of, say, Judas?  After all, he too was an apostle......until he wasn't.

The argument concerning the 12 is in vogue amongst traditionalist Roman Catholics right now, as is the argument that the one ordained stands in persona Christi.  This last debate item has come to mean not the spiritual/liturgical/confessional dimension of the pastoral ministry but quite literally the physical.  Pastor must have a penis to be pastor, because Jesus had one.  It seems oh so timely, given that so many other arguements no longer hold weight on Scriptural grounds or those of historical practice.
That gets us into yet another old debate concerning heresy about what Christ must assume to redeem humanity.  It's just a hop, skip, and jump from this idea of pastor as physical stand in for Christ to women as among the great unwashed, like the four legged of the animal world, because Christ did not assume the physical characteristics of a woman.

Do we have to go here?  You know, my inlaws, staunch MS folks, have started looking seriously about crossing the Tiber, and one of the reasons they have started to think this way, is that a young, recent graduate of an LC-MS seminary was called to their congregation, and insisted that women could no longer read the lessons on Sunday mornings, teach male children over 12, or sing in the choir if they stood on the chancel steps.   Fascinating.  And their thinking was, after a life spent in that synod, that the mother-in-law was no longer human.  She did not have a place in the church.  They could live with the no woman in the pulpit thing, they were not thrilled with my going into pastoral ministry, but the chancel steps?  The Sunday School class room?  But that is where that argument goes in the end, if women must indeed, keep silent in the church.  If they must keep silent, perhaps they should not be there at all?  After all, to be seen is a form of witness.  Best to stay at home, or, if you insist on being present at the Christmas or Easter mass for the glories of the Word and the sharing of our Lord, than wear a burka, or at the very least a long veil that covers the face and hair. 

Off to prepare for the morning's liturgy, and for the meeting afterwards and the Bible study following that.  Pray for me and for the congregation I serve, for tomorrow I will indeed, fail to be silent in the church, yet again.  Pray that through this poor, pitible reed Law and Gospel is rightly parsed, the grace of God is revealed again, for us, and the compassion the Father has for his wondering children is shared among us.  Or, you could pray for another pastor for this church, maybe one of those who doesn't pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or talk about human sin and our need for redemption, and who thinks anything goes so long as you are expressing yourself, but, who is male.

Thanks for the discussion; you woke me up.

Have a blessed Sunday, you all.
Paula Murray 


Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 11, 2007, 06:14:34 PM
Carefully note the use of "disciple" in John, which is applied quite tightly to the Twelve. There are a few broader uses of the term early on. But the usage tightens after the many abandon Jesus in ch 6 and the Twelve He has chosen continue to follow (6:66-71, a major turning point in the Gospel).
I have looked at it carefully. John never uses the phrase 12 disciples or 12 apostles. He talks about "the twelve" and he talks about disciples. The twelve are a select group out of the disciples. There is no indication that the word "disciples" after ch 6 is limited to the twelve. In fact, it is used of Jews who believe in him and continue in his word (8:31); and the healed blind man (9:29). There is the unnamed disciple whom Jesus loved (19:26, 27, 20:2). There is also the author of John (or at least the epilogue) 21:24. Even when disciples are named, there is never twelve names: a reference to seven (two unnamed) in 21:2; besides these we know of Andrew, Philip, and Judas.

Quote
In John's passion and resurrection narratives, the only names appearing with the term disciple/s are among the twelve (with one exception, the secret disciple---Joseph of Aramathea).

However, the twelve are never named in John.

Quote
Also note how John uses the expression "the other disciple" in ch 20. It is always used as counter to one of the Twelve. The same happens with the plural, used in contrast with Thomas, who had been missing. So, mathetes gets used quite narrowly by John in ch 20, referring to the Twelve. (In this respect, John writes differently from Luke in his gospel, who keeps "disciple" pretty general but also explicitly calls the Twelve, "apostles.")
The "other disciple" is always used as counter with Peter. There is nothing to indicate that the other disciples in 20:25 are the twelve or a larger group of believers who continue in Jesus' word.

Quote
Ac 1:8, of course, happens some time later. There the broader terminology is used: witnesses. I have already acknowledged that all God's people, including the angels, are to speak as witnesses as already happens in the OT.

So women can proclaim the gospel to others as a witness, but not as a pastor. What's the difference?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 11, 2007, 06:19:18 PM
Brian, thanks for this. I would love to have this reference. Can you provide it?
I got it from Philip Pfatteicher's Festivals and Commemorations. He simply writes: "Mary Magdalene, called 'the apostle to the Apostles' by Bernard of Claivaux, carried the news of the resurrection to the Twelve." (p. 292). He does not give a reference.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ptmccain on August 11, 2007, 06:30:01 PM
Brian, what passages in the NT do you use to teach your people why Christ instituted the office of the holy ministry?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: pilgrimpriest on August 11, 2007, 06:33:37 PM
These are interesting assertions. Texts, please! Just because some well meaning preacher in modern times called Mary an apostle to the apostles does not make her an apostle in the biblical sense. Jesus chose twelve and Mary was not one of them.
Bernard of Clairvaux, who called her "apostle to the apostles" is hardly a preacher in modern times.

Mary Magdalene is given the title "Isapostle" or "equal to the apostles" in the Orthodox Church. According to tradition, she ventured to Rome to bear witness to the Resurrection of Christ to the Roman Emperor Tiberius (d. A.D. 37) with a red egg and the words "Christ is risen!" The title of "equal to the apostles" is generally given to persons whose proclamation is the first to a land or people and results in the conversion of other saints or (in many instances) the whole country. Vladimir of Kiev, Gregory of Armenia, Patrick of Ireland, Cyril and Methodius are most notable. Among the women who also bear this title are Photini (the woman at the well), Nina of Georgia, Helen (the Mother of Constantine), and Macrina (sister of Basil the Great). It is a title that relates to the impact of this saint, not to any apostolic ministry in the magisterial sense.

The problem I perceive among Lutherans is the notion of ordained ministry as a ministry of "the Word" and who may or may not proclaim it. It's odd, since in the East the "ministry of the Word" is the responsibility of all the baptized in the exercise of their royal priestly ministry in the world. The "apostolic ministry" is a teaching office to equip the faithful and a "functional" priestly office sacramentally at the altar on their behalf.

Women do preach in the Orthodox Church and have for centuries. They are not, however ordained to the office of deacon, priest and bishop--only certain males are set apart for this task.

Fr. Bob
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 11, 2007, 06:45:26 PM
Hi Paula.  You should probably also check out Wallace's study of the use "en" plus the plural dative (he's the guy who recently published an outstanding grammar of Greek, and his findings were published in the journal New Testament Studies, unless memory fails).  He surveyed ALL of extant Greek literature and with one exception, he found that such a construction is always (with the singular exception) used to indicate that it is not an inclusive sense as if a member of a group but rather a construction that indicates "well known to the apostles".  Later, a friend of mine, Heath Curtis, published an article in the Concordia Journal disputing the singular exception that Wallace found and persuasively, IMNSHO, demonstrated that it wasn't an exception after all.

So I know that the whole Junia thing seems to be a conclusive argument to some, but it relies on a faulty understanding of Greek syntax.
εν with the dative leave a lot up to the translator. BDAG gives 11 meanings for the word; but before that makes this statement: "The uses of this prep. are so many and various, and oft. so easily confused, that a strictly systematic treatment is impossible. It must suffice to list the main categories, which will help establish the usage in individual cases. The earliest auditors/readers, not being inconvenienced by grammatical and lexical debates, would readily absorb the context and experience little difficulty."

I have no doubt that a study of εν with a plural could lead to the results Wallace concludes. I would also guess that someone else looking at the same evidence would conclude something differently. Whenver I encounter εν with a plural, my first way of translating it is "among". Of the apostles, Junia is "prominent" or "well-known" or "outstanding". Of course it is possible to translate εν τοις αποστολοις as indicating that she was "well-known" by the apostles, rather than as a "well-known apostle". It is likely that one's bias about women in ministry determines how the phrase is translated.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 11, 2007, 06:47:56 PM
Brian, what passages in the NT do you use to teach your people why Christ instituted the office of the holy ministry?
I'm not sure that I've felt a need to teach that. If I did, I would probably use 1 Cor 14:40: "But all things should be done decently and in order."
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on August 11, 2007, 06:50:51 PM
Hi Paula.  You should probably also check out Wallace's study of the use "en" plus the plural dative (he's the guy who recently published an outstanding grammar of Greek, and his findings were published in the journal New Testament Studies, unless memory fails).  He surveyed ALL of extant Greek literature and with one exception, he found that such a construction is always (with the singular exception) used to indicate that it is not an inclusive sense as if a member of a group but rather a construction that indicates "well known to the apostles".  Later, a friend of mine, Heath Curtis, published an article in the Concordia Journal disputing the singular exception that Wallace found and persuasively, IMNSHO, demonstrated that it wasn't an exception after all.

So I know that the whole Junia thing seems to be a conclusive argument to some, but it relies on a faulty understanding of Greek syntax.
εν with the dative leave a lot up to the translator. BDAG gives 11 meanings for the word; but before that makes this statement: "The uses of this prep. are so many and various, and oft. so easily confused, that a strictly systematic treatment is impossible. It must suffice to list the main categories, which will help establish the usage in individual cases. The earliest auditors/readers, not being inconvenienced by grammatical and lexical debates, would readily absorb the context and experience little difficulty."

I have no doubt that a study of εν with a plural could lead to the results Wallace concludes. I would also guess that someone else looking at the same evidence would conclude something differently. Whenver I encounter εν with a plural, my first way of translating it is "among". Of the apostles, Junia is "prominent" or "well-known" or "outstanding". Of course it is possible to translate εν τοις αποστολοις as indicating that she was "well-known" by the apostles, rather than as a "well-known apostle". It is likely that one's bias about women in ministry determines how the phrase is translated.

I encourage you to check out Wallace's claims, then.  Like I said, he surveyed ALL of extant Greek literature for this particular construction and made his conclusions based upon his research.  To my knowledge, no one else has done such a thorough investigation.  So if you disagree with his conclusions, I encourage you to do research equal to his and refute the claims he published in a peer-reviewed, highly respected journal.

In any case, though, my point stands.  The citation of Junia as if this settles the issue is simply not the case.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ptmccain on August 11, 2007, 06:59:20 PM
Brian, what passages in the NT do you use to teach your people why Christ instituted the office of the holy ministry?
I'm not sure that I've felt a need to teach that. If I did, I would probably use 1 Cor 14:40: "But all things should be done decently and in order."

That passage is from the Apostle St. Paul. Do you believe our Lord Christ instituted an office of ministry in the Church?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 11, 2007, 07:14:26 PM
In any case, though, my point stands.  The citation of Junia as if this settles the issue is simply not the case.
True, but other interpretations of Junia do not settle in for your side either. It is a text that has ambiguous interpretations.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 11, 2007, 07:16:10 PM
That passage is from the Apostle St. Paul. Do you believe our Lord Christ instituted an office of ministry in the Church?
My quick response is No. He instructed all followers to serve (minister) one another. He commissioned all followers with the great commission. He empowered all followers with the office of the keys.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: scott3 on August 11, 2007, 07:46:14 PM
In any case, though, my point stands.  The citation of Junia as if this settles the issue is simply not the case.
True, but other interpretations of Junia do not settle in for your side either. It is a text that has ambiguous interpretations.

Gotta agree that it certainly doesn't "settle" it for "[my] side" as I would not see a reason to cite it in this connection.  But when cited against "[my] side", I gotta point out that such an interpretation is based on a syntactical construction that, apparently, doesn't exist in extant Greek writings according to the guy who actually bothered to do the research on it (except once, but that one time was quite persuasively refuted by Heath Curtis in a short article in the Concordia Journal, as I mentioned earlier).
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 11, 2007, 08:43:48 PM
You can look earlier than Bernard, as well; there are patristic references to Junia.  And they do not flatter women as a group, only lift up Junia.  As to John 20, alas, my Greek stuff is in the office, not at home.  But while the 12 are referenced with regards to the twin's absence, there is no indication that prior language denotes only the 12.  The chapter begins too, with the sending of Mary to the others with the good news of the resurrection.  And frankly, if we are going to read the Scriptures quite this tightly, than I think we Lutherans need to give up the struggle with regards to the Petrine ministry and bring ourselves into communion with the Pope.  After all, the tighter reading is that Peter is the rock, not faith.  Actually, the whole discussion with regards to the 12 is interesting from a Lutheran standpoint.  Our contention is that to be an apostolic church you adhere to the teachings of the Apostles and not to the person.  Hence our difficulty with whomever is the current Bishop of Rome claiming to be more equal amongst the episcopals than others.  Why would we be in such a dither about whether or not it is the 12 and only the 12 when for the years of our history we have been more than happy saying to ourselves, "the Apostle Paul"?  Why else the thousands of churches world wide that memorialize his apostolic ministry in their names?  To take your "en" seriously we must disenfranchise the writer of large chunks of our New Testament canon.  And as for choosing the 12, he chose Mary of Magdala to witness to them of the resurrection.  Why should that choice of our Lord's be of less import than the choice of, say, Judas?  After all, he too was an apostle......until he wasn't.

Dear Paula,

Thanks for your notes. I would not advocate that anyone run to Rome or to apostolic succession, which can't be documented and is never emphasized in Scripture. I do not think anything in my argument encourages that. I would note once again---I did not choose the Twelve, Jesus Christ did. That's what prompts my interest, not something I've received from Rome. Also, I have affirmed that God calls all Christians to be His witnesses, which began already in the OT.

You are right to point out that the teaching of the Twelve (which they had from Jesus) became normative for the early Church. That's what was passed down, not an unbroken succession in the laying on of hands. To my eye St. Peter was married and needed a severe rebuke from Paul to get his theology straight. He certainly wasn't a pope (nor do we need one!).

The question I have asked, which respondants keep turning away from is: Why did our Lord Jesus Christ choose only men for the twelve apostles? It seems no one wants to answer this. I apologize if my question makes some feel uncomfortable. That's not my goal (and I certainly have no interest in turning women into four-legged beasts---good God! Why would you assume this?).

Can we please explore the question, and continue to explore the Scriptures, rather than our fears?

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 11, 2007, 08:48:28 PM
The question I have asked, which respondants keep turning away from is: Why did our Lord Jesus Christ choose only men for the twelve apostles? It seems no one wants to answer this.
It's cultural. Women were not permitted to be witnesses in that society at that time. If the "job" of apostles was to go and witness, such actions by women would not be well-received. However, that didn't stop God from asking women to be the first witnesses of the resurrection -- a witness that was not believed by the disciples. We no longer live in first century Palestine.

From at least the 10th century Mary Magdalene was called an "apostle". How do you explain this designation for a woman?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 11, 2007, 09:01:51 PM
There is no indication that the word "disciples" after ch 6 is limited to the twelve. In fact, it is used of Jews who believe in him and continue in his word (8:31); and the healed blind man (9:29). There is the unnamed disciple whom Jesus loved (19:26, 27, 20:2). There is also the author of John (or at least the epilogue) 21:24. Even when disciples are named, there is never twelve names: a reference to seven (two unnamed) in 21:2; besides these we know of Andrew, Philip, and Judas.

So women can proclaim the gospel to others as a witness, but not as a pastor. What's the difference?

Brian, thanks for looking more carefully. Please note:

In 8:31 Jesus says to the Jews in challenge, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples." The point of course, is that they did not continue! He does not call them disciples.

In 9:29 others angerly accuse the blind man of being Jesus' disciple. The author does not call him a disciple. These passages show once again how hesitant people had become about being Jesus' disciples.

So the point I made earlier still holds: after the great turning away in ch 6, people called disciples are among the twelve (with the except of the "secret" disciple---note the Gospel theme again---Joseph).

Now, you also note that not all of the Twelve are listed out as happens in the Synoptics. By the time the Gospel of John was written, folks knew who the Twelve were, hence the shorthand. You made no comment about the parallels to the Synoptics, which also nicely support the point.

So, to get back on track, Jesus called twelve men and named them the apostles. He did not call any women to this apostleship. Why?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 11, 2007, 09:05:39 PM
The question I have asked, which respondants keep turning away from is: Why did our Lord Jesus Christ choose only men for the twelve apostles? It seems no one wants to answer this.
It's cultural. Women were not permitted to be witnesses in that society at that time. If the "job" of apostles was to go and witness, such actions by women would not be well-received. However, that didn't stop God from asking women to be the first witnesses of the resurrection -- a witness that was not believed by the disciples. We no longer live in first century Palestine.

From at least the 10th century Mary Magdalene was called an "apostle". How do you explain this designation for a woman?

Thanks for your note, Brian, and the ref to Bernard. I have an inkling that she may actually get that title from John Chysostom, though I'm not sure why that sticks in my memory. I'll have to check.

It's time for me to put kids to bed. I'll weigh in again tomorrow. I don't think its cultural and I'll explain that. Good exchange today.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: pilgrimpriest on August 11, 2007, 10:50:19 PM
The question I have asked, which respondants keep turning away from is: Why did our Lord Jesus Christ choose only men for the twelve apostles? It seems no one wants to answer this.
It's cultural. Women were not permitted to be witnesses in that society at that time. If the "job" of apostles was to go and witness, such actions by women would not be well-received. However, that didn't stop God from asking women to be the first witnesses of the resurrection -- a witness that was not believed by the disciples. We no longer live in first century Palestine.

From at least the 10th century Mary Magdalene was called an "apostle". How do you explain this designation for a woman?

As I said above, she was called "Isapostle" or "equal-to-the-apostles and that title dates well before the 10th century at least to Chrysostom in the 4th-5th century.

Priest RKM
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: bmj on August 12, 2007, 03:01:06 AM
These are interesting assertions. Texts, please! Just because some well meaning preacher in modern times called Mary an apostle to the apostles does not make her an apostle in the biblical sense. Jesus chose twelve and Mary was not one of them.
Bernard of Clairvaux, who called her "apostle to the apostles" is hardly a preacher in modern times.

Brian, thanks for this. I would love to have this reference. Can you provide it?

In Christ,
EE

According to this link about Pope Benedict and the role of women in Church history, she was also called this by Thomas Aquinas.

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=8638

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 12, 2007, 04:52:24 PM
The question I have asked, which respondants keep turning away from is: Why did our Lord Jesus Christ choose only men for the twelve apostles? It seems no one wants to answer this.
It's cultural. Women were not permitted to be witnesses in that society at that time. If the "job" of apostles was to go and witness, such actions by women would not be well-received. However, that didn't stop God from asking women to be the first witnesses of the resurrection -- a witness that was not believed by the disciples. We no longer live in first century Palestine.

I think we need to remember what a counter-cultural figure Jesus was: eating and drinking with sinners and prostitutes, calling Pharisees whitewashed walls, driving money changers out of the temple courts, etc. I don't agree that he would hesitate to act against the prevailing culture, since He did so quite often. Would this Jesus really tell his female disciples (Lk 8 ), "Look, you've been devoted and all that but we just can't swim upstream against the culture here. Maybe in a couple hundred years things will be different." This is not how the NT describes Him.

I think the biblical and cultural evidence points in a different direction. Scripture does include examples of women acting as witnesses and as able to participate in legal or official  proceedings (cf Nu 36; 1Ki 3:16).  Some women also served at the entrance to the tabernacle (Ex 38:8 ) and even ran businesses (Pr 31). So, Rabbi Jesus would have all this OT precedent about the service of women. I think it shows in the care and respect He demonstrated toward women, including choosing them as witnesses of His resurrection.

Despite all this, He did not choose any women to serve as apostles. Once again, I think Rabbi Jesus was walking with what He knew from the Torah and the prophets. As happened in the OT, I believe Jesus distinguished the callings of men and women in the family and also in the Early Church. The decision to have only men as apostles, that is, leaders of the Church (cf Ac 6) follows quite naturally from OT theological precedents. It likewise fits quite naturally with the way Torah distinguished male from female and gave separate laws and services for them in many cases. I would say that Jesus' teaching/practice in distiguishing male and female service flows quite naturally from the OT and into the teaching/practice in the NT epistles.

Given all this, I don't think Jesus intentionally held women back because of culture or symbolism. He followed the manner of the Torah (i.e., God's Word), as did the apostles who served after Him.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Different Voices/Shared Vision
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on August 12, 2007, 07:29:51 PM
Is "Different Voices/Shared Vision" an LCMS book? Or do you mean a book produced by some in the LCMS?

Actually, it was published by the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, quickly selling out and becoming impossible to acquire (though it occasionally shows up in used book merchants), and later leading to the creation of the Voices/Vision (http://www.voicesvision.org) group of LCMS folk.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on August 12, 2007, 07:32:16 PM
I muse:
Slipped directly? The ELCA began ordaining women 37 years ago. That's not exactly "directly" though this topic has been on the agenda for about 10 years.

Of course, the ELCA didn't exist 37 years ago.  Rather 2 of its predecessors did, and the ELCA inherited the practice from its predecessors.

The ELCA was constituted 20 years ago in 1987, and its PCBs ceased Dec. 31, 1987.  The ordination of homosexuals became a major issue in the ELCA in January 1988, thanks to a press release from Lutherans Concerned/San Francisco about 3 gay PLTS seminarians who had been approved for ordination in the autumn of 1987 under PCB auspices.  It has been a top item on the agenda ever since.

Less-than-a-generation (1970-1988) seems pretty "directly" to me, at least from an historical perspective.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on August 12, 2007, 07:34:06 PM
Bernard of Clairvaux, who called her "apostle to the apostles" is hardly a preacher in modern times.

He's also hardly a contemporary of St. Mary Magdalene.

pax, spt+
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave Benke on August 12, 2007, 07:48:36 PM
I haven't followed all of this thread, and I'd like at some time to say some things about the issue of women's service in the Church as may be pertinent to the discussion, but there are other parameters to be considered ecclesiastically, some of which are:

a) is the disaffection one organized by a group or being undertaken by individual congregations and workers?
If it's by a group, then the dialog could take place between the President of the Synod and the ecumenical officer (Sam Nafzger) and maybe a few others and the leadership of the group.  But that's probably not in the cards.  So, if

b) it's individual workers and parishes that are dialoging about switching, then from my perspective the rubrics of inter-parish "sheep-tending" take priority.  If someone comes to me from another parish, I tell that person that I will be contacting their current pastor and so should they, and that I'm happy for the visit but they have a parish to which they should return and with which they should walk faithfully.  I've had the other thing done to me, where someone with a beef goes to the next door parish (LCMS or otherwise) and is greeted as the newest potential member.  I really dislike that.  And I don't do that to others.  If someone comes to my place in Brooklyn from another, they're in for a good long wait and ongoing conversations with the other pastor before any transfer takes place.

If a pastor/parish comes to me from the ELCA as the ecclesiastical supervisor in the LCMS, my first responsibility is to speak with the ELCA bishop and tell the pastor/parish to do the same.  THEN and only then can we speak further.  And that will be a process of introduction and include all the rules of the LCMS along the way.  No one in my corner of the ecclesiastical world is unaware of the dangers of LCMS membership - they immediately reference my situation and ask if that could ever happen again.  So the second level is some real honesty about the differences in both polity and doctrine.  

There can and most likely will be legal implications as to property.  Not insignificant.

And there are church-political implications to confessional faithfulness or at the very least to a "two party" system.  Wallace Schulz has written recently about the slide of the LCMS toward biblical fundamentalism/evangelicalism after the split in the 70s.  I agree with his basic assessment.  Part of the reason for it could be assigned to the lack of a vibrant evangelical/catholic voice/vote, since those who didn't leave or were not expelled became kind of underground non-participants in the political life of the denomination, taking valuable dialog off the table.  Same would be true in the ELCA now.  If say 300 parishes and pastors were to leave in the next several years, the whole ground of the dialog would change, and I don't think it would be helpful for the ELCA.  On the other side of the coin, if 300 parishes and pastors came into the LCMS it could and would change the dialogs in the LCMS, which I think COULD be helpful, but I would still arbitrate against it taking place for the sake of the Church with a capitol C and not just the denominations.

Just as an aside, I have seldom heard people who are seeking a new denominational home and looking at the LCMS bark about LCMS doctrine.  They're already attracted to all or most of it.  It's most always LCMS practice, that battling Bickerson thing we do, that makes them hesitate as far as affiliation. Which of course to me IS a doctrinal issue.  Doctrine should have something to do with practice.  If we're so busy hacking away at one another in this very whiny and arrogant indocrinational way, how much internalization has taken place as regards our pure doctrine?  

To the point - there's a process to any inquiry of denominational re-affiliation that involves ecclesiastical supervisors at several levels, and that is quite important to the outcome in either direction.  

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ptmccain on August 12, 2007, 10:43:38 PM
Persons interested in the procedure for a pastor to join The LCMS from another church body can read the bylaws governing what we call "colloquy" in our Synod.

Here is The LCMS Handbook:

http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/LCMS/2004Handbook.pdf


The section concerning colloquy begins on page 125.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on August 13, 2007, 01:45:04 AM
Snippet quote

The problem I perceive among Lutherans is the notion of ordained ministry as a ministry of "the Word" and who may or may not proclaim it. It's odd, since in the East the "ministry of the Word" is the responsibility of all the baptized in the exercise of their royal priestly ministry in the world. The "apostolic ministry" is a teaching office to equip the faithful and a "functional" priestly office sacramentally at the altar on their behalf.

Fr. Bob

Fr. Bob:

This has always bothered me too.  In the LCMS, reading C.F.W. Walther's Theses on Ministry the reference is, from my recollection (the book is in the office, I am not) to the Ministry of the Word.  The presumption is that the Ministry of the Sacraments is subsumed withing that Ministry of the Word.

This precludes women from teaching, even teaching theology in our colleges and universities.  Perhaps my roots in Rome make your observation sound so logical to me, and I have always been mystified by the Lutheran approach to one Office that contains everything involving every aspect of Word and Sacrament.

Not peculiar to the LCMS though, this doctrine came out in the ELCA study a few years back on the 3-fold Ministry of Deacon, Priest and Bishop.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 13, 2007, 08:57:59 AM
Just as an aside, I have seldom heard people who are seeking a new denominational home and looking at the LCMS bark about LCMS doctrine.  They're already attracted to all or most of it.  It's most always LCMS practice, that battling Bickerson thing we do, that makes them hesitate as far as affiliation. Which of course to me IS a doctrinal issue.  Doctrine should have something to do with practice.  If we're so busy hacking away at one another in this very whiny and arrogant indocrinational way, how much internalization has taken place as regards our pure doctrine?  

To the point - there's a process to any inquiry of denominational re-affiliation that involves ecclesiastical supervisors at several levels, and that is quite important to the outcome in either direction.  

Dave Benke

Many thanks, Dave, for your very practical info on the challenges/process of switching.

I agree that practice remains the major issue of discussion in the LCMS and for those considering the LCMS. I likewise agree that this reflects in some ways underlieing theological issues, since doctrine and practice are so closely interrelated.

I would say, in my experience, I'm not sure the LCMS does any more rangling than other church bodies. I grew up in a very non-Lutheran area and I saw disputes about practice/doctrine quite often in other churches. Some things that are different for Lutherans generally: we don't split as easily as evangelicals (Baptists and Pentecosts split and merge constantly), we tend to voice protests more than RCs (though American RCs are learning the art).  :)

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on August 13, 2007, 09:38:43 AM
Pr. McCain, Pr. Benke,

Too many pages ago I accidentaly started a discussion of the place of women's ordination and LCMS.  That was not my intent, hey, it was a weird asside but someone picked up on it- God bless them.  You two are addressing the point of my post.  Thank you.  Again everyone please note I have no boat and I am not looking at any yard sales to find one.  I ain't goin' anywhere.   Keep your cards and letter..  8)

Thank you for your posts just upstream.  I see that LCMS does seem to have a rigorous proceedure in place to handle pastors from other Lutheran flocks.  I thinks we have a simmilar one, much more ad hoc than yours, only it is burried in a "ministry preparation unit" handbook.  "Colloquy" sounds.. well... "churchly" and I am saying that like it is a good thing.   :)

Pr. Benke,  I seem to read between the lines of your post that, maybe, just maybe, it would be just as well, as far as LCMS is concerned, that  conservative disaffected ELCAers stay home and fight if that is the right verb.  Thank you also for the pastoral aproach to this possible disaster. I hope you will not be forced to put it into practice.  It is good to know what our Lutheran neighbors are thinking and that they are praying for us.

Keep the Faith

Peter
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: BeornBjornson on August 13, 2007, 01:08:08 PM
I have followed this thread with considerable interest since Scott started it, being one of those traditional-conservative-orthodox-classical (pick your term) ELCA Lutheran pastors of a strongly traditional-orthodox Lutheran two point rural parish.  In our distress over the ELCA, I and my parish leadership over the past six years have seriously discussed the possibility of leaving the ELCA together as pastor and parish.  In terms of the orthodox Lutheran spectrum of the ELCA, the parish is not at either extreme of LCMC congregationalism (a position shared by some, but not all, in WordAlone) or at the evangelical catholic extreme that finds WordAlone intolerable.  We're in the middle, probably leaning more to the evangelical catholic side with every Sunday Holy Communion and a high view of the office of ministry and preference for an episcopal ordering as a matter of good order but not of the essence of the church.  

That said--while I thank God for the LCMS witness to the authority of Scripture and the centrality of the Confessions, and while I have a deep appreciation and respect for Scott, Paul, Peter, EE, DP Benke, and others of the LCMS on this Forum--LCMS really is not the option for us that I once thought and hoped.  It has become apparent over this thread and others that we would always be refugees, theologically and culturally displaced.  Like other traditional ELCA pastors who think that a Biblical argument for the ordination of women can be made (and who have loyalties to orthodox women pastors who have stood with us against the enthusiasms of pro-glbt and radical feminism), I realize just how tainted and suspect in the eyes of orthodox LCMS pastors our profession of the authority of Scripture and our claim to be confessional would always be.  Similarly in regard to the interpretation of Genesis 1.  So Scott, I guess the answer to the question you posed in starting this thread is:  "No.  Despite my parish's and my own disaffection with the ELCA, we no longer consider the LCMS an alternative for us."

I might add, we aren't all that keen about LCMC either.  Nor are any of the other micro-synods appealing at all.  We'd be exchanging one form of theological and cultural displacement for another.  We do know that at least here in our parish, Sunday after Sunday, the Holy Spirit continues to gather us around Word and Sacrament despite the infidelities of parts of the ELCA.  We do not feed the beast, having for a decade now designated our giving only to our synod and not counted among the undesignated giving of which the synod sends on (in ever shrinking percentages) to the ELCA Churchwide.  What would have gone to the ELCA, we send instead to LWR, our conference missionaries in Nigeria, and other ministries, some of which have been dropped by the ELCA, some of which are still rightly supported by the ELCA (e.g. Disaster Relief).  

Since we have no place to go, we choose to stay and step forward and stand shoulder to shoulder with other faithful congregations and pastors and laity to bear witness to and contend for the orthodox Lutheran faith that is our heritage through the ELCA and predecessor church bodies.   I know Pastor Austin doesn't like the word but it has good Biblical roots--"fight".  We're staying and fighting and at the same time we're going to be the church.  Unlike GoodSoil and other revisionists, we're not single issue focused.  We're going to be the church and do what the church is called to do and a big part of that in this time and in the situation in which we find ourselves, is fighting for the orthodox faith--and that means, in part, raising up orthodox leaders and using every tool we have to stem the revisionist tide and regain the congregations of the ELCA.  It's not about gaining control of the churchwide or even synods (though we have whole synods or decisive majorities of congregations within synods with us) but connecting with what the ELCA really is: the 10,700 or so congregations.  

Pastor Ken Kimball
Steering Committee member, Lutheran Coalition For Reform

P.S. to Pr. Kruse.  See you in a week or so at Ft. Wayne.  I'm subscribing to the Rule this year, largely due to the conversation you and I had at last year's General Retreat. 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 13, 2007, 05:43:40 PM
I have followed this thread with considerable interest since Scott started it, being one of those traditional-conservative-orthodox-classical (pick your term) ELCA Lutheran pastors of a strongly traditional-orthodox Lutheran two point rural parish.  In our distress over the ELCA, I and my parish leadership over the past six years have seriously discussed the possibility of leaving the ELCA together as pastor and parish.  In terms of the orthodox Lutheran spectrum of the ELCA, the parish is not at either extreme of LCMC congregationalism (a position shared by some, but not all, in WordAlone) or at the evangelical catholic extreme that finds WordAlone intolerable.  We're in the middle, probably leaning more to the evangelical catholic side with every Sunday Holy Communion and a high view of the office of ministry and preference for an episcopal ordering as a matter of good order but not of the essence of the church.  

That said--while I thank God for the LCMS witness to the authority of Scripture and the centrality of the Confessions, and while I have a deep appreciation and respect for Scott, Paul, Peter, EE, DP Benke, and others of the LCMS on this Forum--LCMS really is not the option for us that I once thought and hoped.  

No matter what you and your congregations decide, brother, be assured we have you in our prayers and bid you peace.

In Christ,
EE

P.s. - I recall meeting some very nice rural folks from an ELCA congregation nearby my first parish. One of them described their congregation as "Iowa Synod" (and this was not too many years ago!). How amazing all the changes and proposed changes must feel for them.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on August 13, 2007, 06:33:44 PM
P.s. - I recall meeting some very nice rural folks from an ELCA congregation nearby my first parish. One of them described their congregation as "Iowa Synod" (and this was not too many years ago!). How amazing all the changes and proposed changes must feel for them.
The Evangelical Synod of Iowa began in 1854. It merged into the "old" ALC in 1930. For some 1930 may not seem like very long ago.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: BeornBjornson on August 13, 2007, 08:59:36 PM
Mange Tak, Pastor Engelbrecht! 

The Paint Creek parish has been around since the fall of 1850 here in the hills of Allamakee County.  When it comes to synods, denominational structures and church organizations, these two rock-walled churches have seen 'em come and seen 'em go.  I figure they'll outlast the ELCA as well.  Of course I also pray that will survive me as well (remember that prayer of Luther's that if God leaves it in our hands the church is doomed to ruin?  I remember that every day and pray heartily for God's help that I not be the ruin of the legacy of faithfulness of these two congregations).
Ken Kimball

 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on August 13, 2007, 10:43:22 PM
I read the history of my wife's congregation in central Illinois, which was ALC and now ELCA.  Nowhere in the history written on the anniversary of 100 years (I think) was there any mention of any Synod to which they were affiliated with at the beginning or through most of their history.  They pretty much behave as if the ELCA doesn't exist and probably always will, though their long-tenured pastor retired.  There is some anxiety about what the Synod may "try to force down our throats".  Can't wait for my mom-in-law to get back to the desert so I can hear all the stories.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peter_speckhard on August 13, 2007, 11:04:56 PM
I read the history of my wife's congregation in central Illinois, which was ALC and now ELCA.  Nowhere in the history written on the anniversary of 100 years (I think) was there any mention of any Synod to which they were affiliated with at the beginning or through most of their history.  They pretty much behave as if the ELCA doesn't exist and probably always will, though their long-tenured pastor retired.  There is some anxiety about what the Synod may "try to force down our throats".  Can't wait for my mom-in-law to get back to the desert so I can hear all the stories.
If you go to St. Lorenz in Frankenmuth, Michigan you'll see their LCMS affiliation actually within the huge stained glass window depicting their history. I went there earlier this summer because I was doing a wedding nearby and have many generations of family history in the area, but I'd never been there before. I highly recommend visiting that congregation. 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 14, 2007, 07:45:54 AM
Mange Tak, Pastor Engelbrecht! 

The Paint Creek parish has been around since the fall of 1850 here in the hills of Allamakee County.  When it comes to synods, denominational structures and church organizations, these two rock-walled churches have seen 'em come and seen 'em go.  I figure they'll outlast the ELCA as well.  Of course I also pray that will survive me as well (remember that prayer of Luther's that if God leaves it in our hands the church is doomed to ruin?  I remember that every day and pray heartily for God's help that I not be the ruin of the legacy of faithfulness of these two congregations).
Ken Kimball

"Paint Creek . . . Allamakee . . . rock-walled churches." Sounds idyllic!

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: BeornBjornson on August 14, 2007, 10:14:55 AM
Pastor Engelbrecht wrote:
Quote
"Paint Creek . . . Allamakee . . . rock-walled churches." Sounds idyllic!

It is.  And a week in steel and concrete canyons of Chicago and the subterranean bowels of the Hyatt and concrete enclosure of Festival Hall (now there's a contradiction in name) made me ache for the hollows and hills and ridges and forest and farmland of northeast Iowa.  I felt like a hobbit from the Shire forced to journey to Mordor.  From my back steps I can see the Wisconsin bluffs twelve miles distant and the rising steams of the Mississippi winding like a great snake and between myself and the horizon, the land swelling and falling away in waves of green pastures, fields, and woods, all knit together by forested hollows descending to trout stream coulees.  I've been to the coast of Maine and the coast of Superior and the Colorado Rockies.  Nice places but I'll take the Upper Mississippi Valley any day and twice on Sunday. 
Ken Kimball
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: John Martin on August 14, 2007, 05:55:21 PM
Brian writes:

”I have no doubt that a study of εν with a plural could lead to the results Wallace concludes. I would also guess that someone else looking at the same evidence would conclude something differently. Whenever I encounter εν with a plural, my first way of translating it is "among". Of the apostles, Junia is "prominent" or "well-known" or "outstanding". Of course it is possible to translate εν τοις αποστολοις as indicating that she was "well-known" by the apostles, rather than as a "well-known apostle". It is likely that one's bias about women in ministry determines how the phrase is translated.”

That is a good point. The site I mentioned before, http://www.christian-thinktank.com/fem08.html, has a good discussion on the passage. Here it is pointed out that one of the earliest commentators on the passage, John Chrysostom, took the name as feminine and took it in a literal sense: "how great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle." No doubt, the range of extant literature in the original Greek language was much broader in John Chrysostom’s day than it is today. The author of “the Christian Thinktank” claims that a thorough investigation of  the various linguistic arguments about the issue this was done by Eldon Jay Epp, in Junia--The First Woman Apostle [Fortress:2005]. I don’t have the book, but I am interested in how he argues his case.

Of course, successfully arguing that Junia was considered a female apostle in New Testament times, is not necessarily a “knock down, drag down” total victory for viewing the New Testament as allowing for women’s ordination - in the modern sense of women exercising authority over men. For example, Junia could have been an apostle/missionary just to women and not to men. However, it still could be appealed to as a precedent to encourage a special women’s ministry of female pastors in the LCMS who especially minister to other women. The most effective women ELCA pastors, that I know, have a strong outreach and discipleship ministry to women in general. I suspect the next step in the LCMS will be to adopt forms of women's ordination that will still keep intact an iconic image of the Senior Pastor/Chief Eucharistic Celebrant being male - somewhat along the lines argued by C.S. Lewis in his article, "Priestesses in the Church."
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 15, 2007, 07:13:18 AM
Pastor Engelbrecht wrote:
Quote
"Paint Creek . . . Allamakee . . . rock-walled churches." Sounds idyllic!

It is.  And a week in steel and concrete canyons of Chicago and the subterranean bowels of the Hyatt and concrete enclosure of Festival Hall (now there's a contradiction in name) made me ache for the hollows and hills and ridges and forest and farmland of northeast Iowa.  I felt like a hobbit from the Shire forced to journey to Mordor.  From my back steps I can see the Wisconsin bluffs twelve miles distant and the rising steams of the Mississippi winding like a great snake and between myself and the horizon, the land swelling and falling away in waves of green pastures, fields, and woods, all knit together by forested hollows descending to trout stream coulees.  I've been to the coast of Maine and the coast of Superior and the Colorado Rockies.  Nice places but I'll take the Upper Mississippi Valley any day and twice on Sunday. 
Ken Kimball

Dear Ken,

You should do a photo essay for Country Magazine, which is a wonderful publication.

I've been to Galena and S. West Wisconsin. Now I'll have to take a look at Northeast Iowa.

In Christ,
EE

P.s. - Chicago is Mordor, esp at rush hour!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Mike in Pennsylvania on August 15, 2007, 09:51:51 AM
I've been thinking for some time about the original question that started this thread.  I was raised in the LCMS, then took a boat (I can't swim worth a darn) across the Mississippi to the LCA in 1971.  I at times have thought about taking the boat back, but there are too many of those "Missouri distinctives" that cause a problem.

(1) We have some fine exegetes on this Forum discussing the relevant texts, but I think the first century church, and thus the New Testament, was not of one mind on the subject of women's roles within the body of Christ.  It would be nice if folks on either side would recognize the ambivalence instead of only running to the texts that support their view.  I think that the ambivalence is a sign that the Church in each place and time has to evaluate the matter and reach its own conclusions, and I happen to believe that in our place and time ordination of women is appropriate.

(2) I liked the quote from Sasse posted somewhere on this Forum about how could a 10th century BC person have understood 21st century AD science?  I think there is a tendency in LCMS not to be content with Epitome/Comprehensive Summary 1-2 but keep adding qualifications borrowed from other sources.  I'm perfectly happy with what the Book of Concord says.

(3) I appreciate the idea of close communion, but then we get the attitude of Pastor Bohler towards President Benke.  I think our Lord intended a more open invitation to His supper than that!

And, as others have said, while Missouri might accept me, I think I'd be a stranger in a strange land, even though I grew up there.  I at least understand something of how the ELCA operates, painful though it can be.

I'm not too interested in the Tiber or the Bosphorus, so until and unless somebody comes up with a new version of Lutheranism bridging the two major US expressions, I'm staying put.

Pr Mike Tamorria, St. Paul's, Frostburg MD
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 15, 2007, 10:08:49 AM
(2) I liked the quote from Sasse posted somewhere on this Forum about how could a 10th century BC person have understood 21st century AD science?  I think there is a tendency in LCMS not to be content with Epitome/Comprehensive Summary 1-2 but keep adding qualifications borrowed from other sources.  I'm perfectly happy with what the Book of Concord says.

Thanks for your note, Mike. When someone reads the process of evolution back into Gn 1 or dismisses the Gn account as automatically unhistorical, I find that amazing. I much prefer to take Moses at face value. So, I'm quite content with Ep Sum 1-2; and having seen the exegesis of 16th century Lutherans on Gn 1, I'd say I'm pretty much of the same opinion as them.

What qualifications do you feel LCMS is adding to the Ep?

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Coolrevgaus on August 16, 2007, 11:01:25 PM
I think the real question is whether or not the LCMS is sincerely interested in discussing the future of confessional Lutheransim with other Lutherans. If it is indeed finally getting over some of its sectarian squabbles then it might want to more closely examine the landscape of Lutheranism in America in its totality and then be more pro-active in dialoguing with other Lutherans. With over 200 Lutherans coming to Fort Wayne for the STS meeting next week, that would seem like an opportune time for the LCMS to reach out more in dialogue.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ptmccain on August 17, 2007, 06:00:35 AM
Paul, I believe the very fact that CTS Fort Wayne is extending hospitality toward the STS is evidence of a willingness to dialogue and to speak of common interests and concerns. I am sure you would agree.

I think the other interesting question is how willing are STS members to consider that the ordination of women and the embrace of higher-critical Bible hermeneutics are contrary to the nature and meaning of confessional Lutheranism? And how willing are they to consider that the full communion agreements of the ELCA with non-Lutheran church bodies are also contrary to confessional Lutheranism? I would say these issues are "deal breakers" with every younger confessional Lutheran I know of in The LCMS who, otherwise, upon examination of the constituting documents of the STS would find much with which they would agree.

I don't know if you would consider these issues or questions to be merely sectarian squabbles, but I can assure you they are deeply profound questions of the meaning of "confessional Lutheranism" both in The LCMS and throughout the world today.

I wonder to what extent the STS membership has taken to heart the heartfelt counsel of Lou Smith (of fond memory, may he rest in peace) and would consider just how far outside genuine catholicity the ordination of women has placed Lutherans who have embraced it? I recall with great fondness several lengthy and meaningful conversations with Lou about this and other issues of mutual concern to all who cherish the Lutheran Confessions.

Perhaps the ALPB would be willing to post Lou's Lutheran Forum article here on this site for conversation and dialogue.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Coolrevgaus on August 17, 2007, 07:33:58 AM
Paul, good retort. I can only say that in the last week I have heard more willingness among ELCA pastors, men and women alike to consider joining the LCMS than I ever have. It is my belief that many women ELCA pastors would be willing to good up their ordinations for the sake of being in a faithful church and would be very open to hearing the LCMS postions against the ordination of women but for substantia leadership roles in the church. By the same token their will be much receptiveness to hearing the LCMS approach to the interpretation of Scripture now that the ELCA has launched it's own dubious study on the Scriptures. Thus I beleive that this may be a kairos like moment for the LCMS in reaching its confessional witness to a larger Lutheran audience. I am part of a clergy couple, in the congregation my wife and I serve we use far mroe Concordia material than anything else, and beleive me my wife and I are very open to having a real heart to heart discussion about the LCMS as are numerous other pastors that I know personally. Hope to see you in Fort Wayne! Paul Gausmann
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ptmccain on August 17, 2007, 07:59:16 AM
Paul, I would enjoy that kind of conversation with you and your wife, and have been having it for years, privately and quietly, with an ever increasing number of ELCA pastors. What concerns them, perhaps more than anything else, about the Missouri Synod, is their perception that we struggle with the temptation to imitate the protestantism of American evangelicalism. We need carefully to hear those concerns and heed those warnings.

Thanks for kind words about CPH materials. It is our honor and privilege to serve anyone and everyone with our materials and we pray that they are blessing to all those who use them.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave Benke on August 17, 2007, 08:42:41 AM
Pauls,

I find yours a helpful dialog.  And from the evangelical and catholic perspective, I think the STS meeting does offer a great opportunity to explore the future in terms of the LCMS as an option for confessional Lutherans BECAUSE of the lessening of what Paul G well puts as "sectarian squabbling." 

I think the obverse of Paul M's point on biblical higher criticism should also be part of that dialog, as per Wallace Schulz - what has the reactive hyperstress on biblical inerrancy led to in the LCMS?  Beyond as Schulz states the drive toward evangelicalism/fundamentalism, which is pretty demonstrable, it has also, in my opinion for one, led to an over-dependency on Reformed thought processes and hermeneutics in the area of the service of women, to the uneccessary exclusion of women from the life of the church in areas of lay service.  Again, demonstrably, the length of time it took to get from a document allowing women to serve as congregational presidents/vps and other lay leadership positions to that document being passed in convention was over ten years.  There were many, many folks persuaded by Reformed thinking.  And one of the sub-arguments was the "slippery slope" thing - let 'em usher, or light candles, or read a lesson, and soon they'll be invading your pulpit.  A workable solution for me would be the one developed with our partner church in Latvia. 

To abjure higher criticism should not mean giving up at the very least Lutheran principles of interpretation - Scripture interprets Scripture and the clear passages explicate the unclear.  I've had a difficult time in some circles promoting the priority of baptismal identity in promoting the service of all the laity in the life of the Church, for instance.  It seems perfectly clear to me, but the passage connected to "but a woman may be saved in childbearing" is launched as the location of clarity for submission, silence, and general subordination.  No braids either. Huh?

Also, Paul M, I'm not sure why the application of the higher criticism clause is limited to Protestants.  The evangelical and catholic perspective allows us to explore what the Roman Catholic and Orthodox bodies have on the books.  There is a more expansive path toward biblical exploration in the Roman Catholic position than that offered in the LCMS 1973 statement, without women's ordination and along with the Orthodox applying to the overwhelming majority of Christians on the planet.  I think again that would be helpful for the STS dialogers.  And, I must say, my interaction with professors at both of the LCMS seminaries leads me to state that there is productive and creative exegetical study going on at our seminaries.  Overall, I believe it's a hopeful picture.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 17, 2007, 08:44:11 AM
Paul, good retort. I can only say that in the last week I have heard more willingness among ELCA pastors, men and women alike to consider joining the LCMS than I ever have. It is my belief that many women ELCA pastors would be willing to good up their ordinations for the sake of being in a faithful church and would be very open to hearing the LCMS postions against the ordination of women but for substantia leadership roles in the church. By the same token their will be much receptiveness to hearing the LCMS approach to the interpretation of Scripture now that the ELCA has launched it's own dubious study on the Scriptures. Thus I beleive that this may be a kairos like moment for the LCMS in reaching its confessional witness to a larger Lutheran audience. I am part of a clergy couple, in the congregation my wife and I serve we use far mroe Concordia material than anything else, and beleive me my wife and I are very open to having a real heart to heart discussion about the LCMS as are numerous other pastors that I know personally. Hope to see you in Fort Wayne! Paul Gausmann

Paul, I appreciate what you're saying and the struggles our brothers and sisters in the ELCA are facing. Please be assured you are in our prayers. I was just responding to an email from Dean Wenthe and included a word of thanks to him for hosting the STS at Ft. Wayne this year.

I also would like to extend my thanks to your wife for her desire to serve Christ and His beloved bride, the Church. Though I do not believe in women's ordination (as I've explained in this forum), I certainly do respect the sincere desire of faithful women to serve the Lord and His people. I think you will find many LCMS people with similar attitudes. Our beliefs about women's ordination are not predicated on a lack of respect for women but on what we see and believe we must respect in the teachings of Holy Scripture. I am personally blessed with several women colleagues who are LCMS deaconesses and Lutheran teachers and am very grateful to God for the vital service among us.

In Christ,
Rev. Edward A. Engelbrecht
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Gladfelteri on August 17, 2007, 08:59:20 AM
I think the other interesting question is how willing are STS members to consider that the ordination of women and the embrace of higher-critical Bible hermeneutics are contrary to the nature and meaning of confessional Lutheranism?
Perhaps the problem is less with historical-critical Bible hermeneutics as it is with *unrestricted* historical-critical Bible hermeneutics.  Perhaps the problem is more with the fact that no firm, absolute limits are placed on historical critical Bible hermeneutics, resulting in the "internalization" of Bultmann's concept of the nature and authority of Scripture and the resulting "demythologization."

In the introduction to his book, "Jesus of Nazareth," Pope Benedict XVI states the following (1) since the events in Scripture (and he is speaking of the NT, the Gospels, specifically,) were actual historical events which took place in what is now Israel, in actual space and time, in the "real world," by not  subjecting them to historical criticism is tantamout to denying that they were actual historical events.  

On the other hand, B16 states that there is a firm, hard-and-fast limit to historical critical Bible hermeneutics:  That limit is that the demythologization of the supernatural events Gospel is not permitted.  It is not permitted to say, with Schweitzer and others, that we simply cannot know the historical Jesus from Scripture; and likewise it is not permissible to go with Bultmann and claim that, where those events are concerned, one must in effect remove the husk of myth in order to uncover the truth inside it.  Demythologization of Scripture (of the Gospels in the instance of his book, "Jesus of Nazareth,") is simply not permissible.  The historical critical method may go only so far - but no further.  In this he is within the boundaries of the Pontifical Biblical Commissions' "Interpretation of the Bible in the Church."

Some will say that B16 and the earlier document I just referred to effectively "guts" the historical critical hermeneutic / method - that it cuts it off at the knees.  But others would point out that what B16 and the earlier document both insist on in the way of limits, restores balance to scriptural exegesis, and keeps things in perspective without going down a road which will lead to where + Jack Spong is in his latest book - denying the very core of historic Christianity and effectively writing what he calls "Institutional Christianity" is just one more false religious system based on myths.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave Benke on August 17, 2007, 10:57:44 AM
Nice post, Irl Gladfelter, very helpful at the very least for my personal understanding, and in my opinion a helpful adjective - "unrestricted."

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Mike in Pennsylvania on August 17, 2007, 01:54:26 PM
Pastor Engelbrecht, please excuse the delay in my response to you, but I have been thinking about your question.  The recent posts discussing the pros and cons of the "historical-critical" method (however the poster defines that) have pointed up some of the uneasiness I feel about the desire of some (many?) LCMS people to a priori rule that out of bounds.  I have experienced too much of exegetes using the tools of 20th/21st century criticism, yet maintaining a real faith in our Lord Jesus, and a respect for the authority of Scripture, which I think is called for in the Epitome Summary.  That is why I think we get in trouble when we try to say more than the Confessions, and start bringing in words like inerrant, infallible, etc., and then start qualifying their meanings or arguing exactly what they mean.  I think we miss out on a lot of what we truly can learn from God's Word by a priori excluding certain things.
I know you would say that such concepts as inerrancy are implicit in the Confessions, but I think it wiser to leave them that way.
Peace.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on August 17, 2007, 02:01:20 PM
Nice post, Irl Gladfelter, very helpful at the very least for my personal understanding, and in my opinion a helpful adjective - "unrestricted."

Dave Benke

I think so, too. The issue for me is recognizing that historical critical tools can be useful; but they are only useful when used in the proper way.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 17, 2007, 06:10:50 PM
That is why I think we get in trouble when we try to say more than the Confessions, and start bringing in words like inerrant, infallible, etc., and then start qualifying their meanings or arguing exactly what they mean.  I think we miss out on a lot of what we truly can learn from God's Word by a priori excluding certain things.
I know you would say that such concepts as inerrancy are implicit in the Confessions, but I think it wiser to leave them that way.
Peace.

Dear Mike, thanks for your thoughtful response. Two brief thoughts:

(1) The teaching that God's Word does not err is not implicit in the Confessions. It is actually stated: "All men, may err and deceive, but the Word of God cannot err" (LC IV 57). To suggest that someone is reading this into the Confessions seems a priori unfair.  :)

(2) As to how people in the synod feel about this issue, I quote the latest communication from the president of synod, "I also pray that God the Holy Spirit will lead and guide all Christians and Christian denominations everywhere to seek wisdom and truth from God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible Word on this and other critical issues in our contemporary church and culture.  Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick, President The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod."

Question: What are the "certain things" you mention? I'm not sure I understand that point.

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ptmccain on August 17, 2007, 06:13:15 PM
I simply wanted here to thank all the ELCA pastors who have been in touch with me in the past week or so expressing their grave concerns with the decisions made at the ELCA's Assembly and expressing their interest in doing the kind of a 180 degree turn-around I was speaking about here in regard to the ordination of women. They know that breathing a word of this in your circles is enough to incur the displeasure of the powers that be. But, I simply here wanted to thank all those who have dropped me a line after reading all these conversations. I welcome your notes and messages and am happy to talk "off line" with you.

God bless!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EENGELBRECHT on August 17, 2007, 06:27:28 PM
As I read recent posts, I found myself wondering: If a little higher criticism is okay, would a little fundamentalism be okay? Is that how we should make hermeneutical decisions? :)

In Christ,
EE
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on October 13, 2008, 11:25:28 AM
To finally answer the original question I would today like to give it a hearty and emphatic: "NO"

Here is the reason why.  http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=1677.0

It is civil until one gets to page 3 then a universe opens up that no one would want to occupy.  This is a Cardassian warship at best. Why not stay on the Klingon bird of prey; it is no worse than beaming over there....
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: swbohler on October 13, 2008, 11:34:54 AM
Rev. Kruse,

I am curious: if the LCMS were orthodox but uncivil you would refuse to join due to the incivility?  Is that making politeness more important than doctrine?  Or is there some other option than the LCMS that is seen to be both orthodox and civil? And if so, would you please tell me where it is!!!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Scott5 on October 13, 2008, 12:25:33 PM
Rev. Kruse,

I am curious: if the LCMS were orthodox but uncivil you would refuse to join due to the incivility?  Is that making politeness more important than doctrine?  Or is there some other option than the LCMS that is seen to be both orthodox and civil? And if so, would you please tell me where it is!!!

A rejoinder question would be: What spirit does incivility more likely point to?  The Spirit of Christ whose fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control or another spirit?

Before it is brought up, I'm obviously not saying that Paul was wrong to condemn the Judaizers, Jesus the leaders of the Jews, etc.  These are examples when perhaps such an attitude is an expression of love, etc.

But when a brother in Christ is attempting a rapprochement, and quite quickly his move to reconcile is attacked, we are seeing a different situation (not to mention that we all want to be Paul, Jesus, Luther etc a bit over-hastily, oddly by choosing their attacks to emulate rather than their prioritizing humility and gentleness).  That some folks in the LCMS are so quick to attack I find very distressing, and IMNSHO, justifiably reflects quite negatively on the LCMS as a whole as a word of judgment over and against an attitude that we find prevalent among us.  We should find ways to correct this attitude precisely because it does pollute sound doctrine by making it to be no more than "sound-bites," if you will (not to mention in the sense of "sound-chomps"), to be repeated when the time is right.  Rather, sound doctrine is that which trains not just our minds but our hearts and spirits to exhibit the fruits that the Spirit does work through us mediately via the Word encapsulated in and transmitted through doctrine (doctrine itself being indispensible to this process).
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on October 13, 2008, 04:39:53 PM
Yeah...what Scott says...and, the propensity to place "truth" over "civility" is a major symptom of the systemic disease that infects the LCMS.  One of the joys of the Kieschnik era has been the recognition of this systemic disease and the attempts at eradication.  While most of the therapy, thus far and to use a medical analogy, has been "medical".  As such, an accurate diagnosis has been made and therapy has and is directed towards treating the systemic symptoms. Evidence of such therapy has been the revision of the Dispute Resolution Process which largely reduces lobbing grenades at individuals over the internet. A retraining of the body's immune defenses to reject personal attack and the smokescreen of "truth over civility" is causing irritation of those whose M.O. has been to act that way.  Some anti-inflammatory therapy provided by Confession & Absolution is having some effect, but resistance is still present.

The question for the Presidium and COP is how long to continue medical therapy before considering surgery.  Sometimes surgical excision is better for the patient rather than patient attempts or futile attempts at medical treatment. Will surgery be necessary to excise the systemic illness?  Doubtful, as the "medicine of immortality" is the most powerful therapy there is.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: swbohler on October 13, 2008, 04:52:25 PM
Rev. Poedel,

As one on the receiving end of Dr. Kieschnick's brand of "civility", I would disagree with you.  If you wish more details, let me know.  I can provide them.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: grabau14 on October 13, 2008, 06:02:33 PM
Fr. Dave, with all due respect, the issue of incivility cuts both ways.  I have witnessed this "incivility" from some within District offices who tell us liturgical types to get with the 21st century and use worship that appeals to the "now."  When I asked if that "now" meant bored baby-boomers, I got a tongue lashing for not being concerned with the "lost."

President Barry recieved this incivility from some within the COP and a former SP for the ad in the USA Today after the JDDJ.  But it wasn't incivility then it was bring the "truth" to power.

The last Synodical Convention portrayed this "incivility" in its treatment on those who signed the lawsuit.

Dr. Schulz received "incivility" by some of the bishop's supporters after his ruling.  Of all the people to call a nazi..

Those who were the first to speak against YS also received some incivility.

Heck, the treatment of the sainted Robert Preus was the height of incivility.

The list goes on....



Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: mariemeyer on October 13, 2008, 07:37:44 PM
In response to Peter Krause...

Back when the LCMS was debating suffrage for women at congregational meetings those who opposed having women vote acknowledged that while men were at times "quarrelsome below the dignity of Christian gentleman, at least the meetings were not an arena for battles between the sexes."

Years later it is interesting how LCMS men manage to engage in cat fights without participation by LCMS women.

Marie Meyer

 

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: swbohler on October 13, 2008, 07:51:46 PM
Mrs. Meyer,

For several years I was a pastoral counselor for our district's LWML and I have a few stories about women too.  I would wager that the ELCA pastors here could tell stories about men and women in their church too.  And, I am sure, the same could be said about Roman Catholic priests and their parishioners (and clergy from every other church body about their churches, indeed, all religions).  The bottom line is that we are all sinners, the LCMS (men and women) have no corner on that.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on October 13, 2008, 11:12:53 PM
Fr. Dave, with all due respect, the issue of incivility cuts both ways.  I have witnessed this "incivility" from some within District offices who tell us liturgical types to get with the 21st century and use worship that appeals to the "now."  When I asked if that "now" meant bored baby-boomers, I got a tongue lashing for not being concerned with the "lost."

President Barry recieved this incivility from some within the COP and a former SP for the ad in the USA Today after the JDDJ.  But it wasn't incivility then it was bring the "truth" to power.

The last Synodical Convention portrayed this "incivility" in its treatment on those who signed the lawsuit.

Dr. Schulz received "incivility" by some of the bishop's supporters after his ruling.  Of all the people to call a nazi..

Those who were the first to speak against YS also received some incivility.

Heck, the treatment of the sainted Robert Preus was the height of incivility.

The list goes on....

To Frs. Steve and Matt:

I guess we differ about what civility is due to whom then.  I owe respect and deference to those who have episcopal responsibility for me and my conduct and practice, even more than I am entitled to receive from them.  I am a staunch liturgical guy in clericals daily and serve in a saltwater District and I have had no one challenge my effectiveness at missional outreach.  When I served in the English District in the days prior to Bp. Pittelko my experience was the same. 

Because I don't know either of you personally, my only way of knowing your personality is by what you write here. Same goes for you both with me.  I don't know if personality, maturity, or any other factor can account for the different experiences we have had from the incumbent SP and his folks.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: swbohler on October 14, 2008, 12:03:58 AM
Rev. Poedel,

Perhaps it is my bleariness of eye and wit after spending several hours with a man whose wife was recently flattened by a semi truck, but your last post strikes me as bordering on suggesting that those to whom Dr. Kieschnick was "incivil" (is that a word?) deserved to be treated thusly.  Am I reading you correctly?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 14, 2008, 12:56:06 PM
Speaking the truth in love has always been difficult.  The temptation is to speak what we understand as truth as forcefully, boldly, and harshly as possible and let the chips fall where they may.  (Indeed, if in the service of the truth, should I not try my hardest to destroy anyone or anything that clouds that truth?)  The other temptation is to speak in what seems to us in a loving and affirming fashion and if that means bending some abstract "truth," well, civility and kindness are more important.  To do both without sacrificing either, that is hard.

I have not been personally involved with that many church bodies, but those I have been - this has always been a problem in one way or the other.  Even in the ELCA there are those whose contention for the truth (as they understand it) accepts only unconditional surrender or destruction.  We see similar in the LCMS.
 
Dan
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 14, 2008, 02:34:14 PM
(1) The teaching that God's Word does not err is not implicit in the Confessions. It is actually stated: "All men, may err and deceive, but the Word of God cannot err" (LC IV 57). To suggest that someone is reading this into the Confessions seems a priori unfair.  :)

I note that the K&W translation is somewhat different: "Thus we do the same with infant baptism. We bring the child with the intent and hope that it may believe, and we pray God to grant it faith. But we do not baptize on this basis, but solely on the command of God. Why? Because we know that God does not lie. My neighbor and I – in short, all people – may deceive and mislead, but God’s Word cannot deceive."

In either case, is Luther talking about everything in scriptures or specifically the promises related to baptism and salvation?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Lutheran_Lay_Leader on October 15, 2008, 08:05:32 AM
If there was some way that I could remain in my congregation and still leave the ELCA, I'd be very tempted to do so. Some of the actions that Presiding Bishop Hanson has taken are very difficult for me to accept. Even when I was an Aaron's Minister in the Southwestern PA Synod, and proud to serve God under the leadership of Bishop McCoid and then Bishop Kusserow, I was embarrassed by many of Bishop Hanson's public statements. Now that I am in the Southeastern Synod and have selected a new congregation that I'll be formally joining one of these Sundays, I wouldn't ever consider leaving that congregation just because of what's happening in Chicago.

Besides, even if I did leave my current congregation, the only LC-MS congregations that I might want to be a member of would be one of the ones where the pastor ignores loosely interprets the LC-MS rules on closed communion. I would never join a congregation in which my mother (a member of an ELCA congregation) or my step-son (a Roman Catholic) weren't welcome at the Lord's table if they came down here for a visit. And by "welcome", I mean without any advance jumping through hoops for special dispensations.

I'm not attempting to convince anyone in the LC-MS to change their minds about closed communion. I'm just saying that when it comes to considering a congregation to join, for me personally that's a deal-breaker.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on October 16, 2008, 08:42:24 AM
My apologies for the delay in getting back to this. I have no intent of doing drive by postings here.  But, SW, I am addressing the basis of this thread:  Would disaffected ELCAers consider LCMS.  Upstream, round about page 15, it occurred to me that in the LCMS an ELCA transplanted pastor would always be somehow suspect for their lack of solid theological pedigree forged at LCMS foundries.  The regrettable series of events that are the "Retraction" thread suggest to me that if one was to be ELCA one would always have to nervously look over one's shoulder after swimming the Missouri.  If you can do this to a DP for personal Emails 5 years old, what would you ever do with the content of public and private speech made in the years of ministry while one sojourned in ELCA? 

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 16, 2008, 11:23:15 AM
My apologies for the delay in getting back to this. I have no intent of doing drive by postings here.  But, SW, I am addressing the basis of this thread:  Would disaffected ELCAers consider LCMS.  Upstream, round about page 15, it occurred to me that in the LCMS an ELCA transplanted pastor would always be somehow suspect for their lack of solid theological pedigree forged at LCMS foundries.  The regrettable series of events that are the "Retraction" thread suggest to me that if one was to be ELCA one would always have to nervously look over one's shoulder after swimming the Missouri.  If you can do this to a DP for personal Emails 5 years old, what would you ever do with the content of public and private speech made in the years of ministry while one sojourned in ELCA?
Is there still the suspicion within the LCMS that those clergy who did not go through the "system," i.e., parochial schools, a college not in Morehead named Concordia may not have the proper background as those who did? From what I understand, originally, Concordia St. Louis was the seminary for the LCMS College grads who already had four years of pre-seminary training and the other seminary was for those who graduated from some other college. Although it was some years ago, I'd also heard from LCMS pastors that they (and even districts) looked at St. Louis grads differently than Ft. Wayne grads.

What about those who attended a non-Lutheran seminary? Is there a process for them to be ordained in the LCMS? One of our esteemed moderators is a graduate of Yale Divinity School (-- a path his daughter is also taking). If there is a process, are their suspicions about their Lutheran orthodoxy?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: grabau14 on October 16, 2008, 11:49:59 AM
My apologies for the delay in getting back to this. I have no intent of doing drive by postings here.  But, SW, I am addressing the basis of this thread:  Would disaffected ELCAers consider LCMS.  Upstream, round about page 15, it occurred to me that in the LCMS an ELCA transplanted pastor would always be somehow suspect for their lack of solid theological pedigree forged at LCMS foundries.  The regrettable series of events that are the "Retraction" thread suggest to me that if one was to be ELCA one would always have to nervously look over one's shoulder after swimming the Missouri.  If you can do this to a DP for personal Emails 5 years old, what would you ever do with the content of public and private speech made in the years of ministry while one sojourned in ELCA? 



With all due respect, one of my best friends in the ministry is a former ELCA pastor (He was the one who turned me on to Sasse and got me involved in the Sasse study groups which has Missouri and ELCA pastors).  He is well respected within his district and is asked to speak at congregations concerning the issue of closed communion.  The MNN district has several former ELCA pastors and they are seen as brothers.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 16, 2008, 12:09:54 PM
What about those who attended a non-Lutheran seminary? Is there a process for them to be ordained in the LCMS? One of our esteemed moderators is a graduate of Yale Divinity School (-- a path his daughter is also taking). If there is a process, are their suspicions about their Lutheran orthodoxy?
There is a process called colloquy for Pastors who have not been approved by one of our seminary faculties to enter the ministry of the LCMS.  It is not merely a matter of having a degree from an accredited seminary.  (In fact, I know of at least one student in my graduating class from Ft. Wayne who received his degree but was not approved for ministry.)

Dan
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: swbohler on October 16, 2008, 02:31:29 PM
Rev. Stoffregen,

It is Moorhead, not Morehead.



Rev. Kruse,

If an ELCA clergyman colloquized into the LCMS, and his public statements were deemed to be theologically wrong, I would expect he would be called to account for them.  Just as I would expect for any LCMS pastor, regardless of how he became rostered in the LCMS.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Keith Falk on October 17, 2008, 12:30:21 AM
Rev. Stoffregen,

It is Moorhead, not Morehead.



Rev. Kruse,

If an ELCA clergyman colloquized into the LCMS, and his public statements were deemed to be theologically wrong, I would expect he would be called to account for them.  Just as I would expect for any LCMS pastor, regardless of how he became rostered in the LCMS.

To borrow a phrase... "By what authority?"  or, to be more precise (there's that word again...) "By whose authority?"  Who is deeming that the nameless hypothetical ELCA pastor's public statements (prior to joining the LCMS) are theologically wrong?  You?  The CTCR (did I get those initials right?) or some other board/body/committee?  LutherQuest folks? 

I don't know, ever time I start to get the whole "grass is greener" feeling about the LCMS, I just bop on over to LQ and that takes care of that.  It seems as though the ditch the ELCA falls into is Gospel without Law, and the ditch for the LCMS is Law without Gospel.  Ahhh, that pesky sin keeps us moving, doesn't it?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on October 17, 2008, 03:18:50 AM
And for my dear brothers Keith and Peter, having just enjoyed a wonderful 3 day STS Retreat with both of you and our ~170 closest friends, I look forward to the day we all stand together before the throne of the Lamb of God, robed in white and carrying palm branches in our hands....indeed, we have come from the great tribulation.....and, guess what guys?  No more tears, no more slams via the Internet, no more arguing about what a good and great Bishop did for the sake of the people of God....no more swipes about this post.....maranatha! 

In the meantime, we have an incredible number of souls out there who desperately need Jesus Christ!  I know the both of you and the rest of our friends who have this amazing passion to get out there with excellent proclamation, faithful liturgy and a contagious joy....no, not happy, clappy superficial stuff....good evangelical catholic joy in sharing the Good News of the God who was, is and will be forevermore.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 17, 2008, 09:06:07 AM
“Is there still the suspicion within the LCMS that those clergy who did not go through the "system…I'd also heard…

…are their suspicions about their Lutheran orthodoxy?”

Let’s talk about how things are rather than speculate and talk about things one has "heard," okay?

The only “suspicion” I’ve ever seen as a pastor was the suspicion and downright hostility and rudeness by my fellow students at Luther Seminary in St. Paul when I took a course from James Nestingen as part of their STS program a few years ago. (Word got out that I am LC-MS.) So, are we to assume that there is going to be suspicion, hostility, and rudeness by ELCA pastors whenever and wherever I go among ELCA groups? Of course not!

Your unfair and illogical suggestion that former ELCA pastors would be under suspicion immediately brought to mind former ELCA Pastor Dennis Brostrom of the Minnesota North District of the LC-MS. He is one of the most well respected pastors within the District, particularly among the so-called confessional crowd. Check out his background.   http://www.lcms.org/locators/nworkers/w_detail.asp?W1002724

As to whether there are suspicions about me because I did not go through the “system” you’d have to ask those like President Benke who did. :-)

Pax,
Don Kirchner
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 17, 2008, 09:24:03 AM
"I don't know, ever time I start to get the whole "grass is greener" feeling about the LCMS, I just bop on over to LQ and that takes care of that."

I simply don't get this. The Lutherquest owner is a disaffected former LC-MS pastor who constantly is taking shots at the LC-MS. The webmaster is a member of the congregation that the owner pastors. One of the most prolific posters there is a psychiatrist and former member of an LC-MS congregation (I think he's now a member of a WELS congregation) who constantly is taking shots at the LC-MS. The chaplain of LQ is a former member of the LC-MS and former member of the ELS who couldn't tolerate being in either. One of the most cantankerous attackers thereon is the disciple of another former LC-MS pastor who left the Synod in a huff.

Ironically, one of the most high-profile LC-MS pastors and a moderator on LQ is Mark Louderback who constantly is being ridiculed, mocked, and shamelessly attacked thereon.

So I simply don't see this looking to LQ as an example of LC-MS attitudes. It's not an "LC-MS" board.

Pax,
Don Kirchner
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Scott5 on October 17, 2008, 09:29:44 AM
So I simply don't see this looking to LQ as an example of LC-MS attitudes. It's not an "LC-MS" board.

Thanks for pointing that out.  This helps.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave Benke on October 17, 2008, 11:53:33 AM
There are disaffected ELCA and WELS pastors coming through our "colloquium" all the time.  I'm receiving some of them.  The reason they would is that there is Gospel freedom within the evangelical and catholic understandings of the Church through the ages in the LCMS.  That would apply to folks from both of those prior ports of call.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 17, 2008, 02:01:22 PM
Your unfair and illogical suggestion ...
Can't a person ask a question without it being taken as an "unfair and illogical suggestion"?

I asked the question because (some years ago) an LCMS clergy friend told me that he knew of districts in Wisconsin (his home state) avoiding Ft Wayne grads because they were too conservative for the folks there. Two different LCMS pastors, in different parts of the country, but both ordained before the "split," stated that they no longer attend circuit meetings because of the in-fighting that often occurred there. One stated, "I don't want to go to a meeting where I know I'm just going to get angry."

So I asked the question. Are the feelings of these two pastors unique within the LCMS or more widespread? Have feelings changed in regards to St. Louis vs. Ft. Wayne grads? What about those who were taught by the professors who were expelled (or walked out depending on whose history you read) vs. those who were taught by the more orthodox professors?

Among my contacts, those were issues within the LCMS. Do they remain?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 17, 2008, 02:54:56 PM
"Can't a person ask a question without it being taken as an 'unfair and illogical suggestion'?"

Yes, a person can. Often, however, a question carries some freight with it. The unfair and illogical suggestion applied to the suggestion that former ELCA clergy would be treated with suspicion as LC-MS pastors. It's similar to a "Do you still beat your wife?" type of inquiry.

You are now inquiring and talking about the avoidance of Fort Wayne grads and feelings toward StL vs. Ft. Wayne grads.

Two different inquiries. Carry on.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Keith Falk on October 17, 2008, 02:55:19 PM
So I simply don't see this looking to LQ as an example of LC-MS attitudes. It's not an "LC-MS" board.

Thanks for pointing that out.  This helps.

It does help - I was unaware that so many LQ folks are non-LCMS.  And, too, I would note that most of my interaction with LCMS folks (pastors and lay) has been altogether pleasant.  That said, my sentiment still stands about the Law/Gospel ditches of our respective church bodies.  Look at some of the postings here, as well, about the YS stuff.  FWIW, I am willing to bet that there is a fair number of ELCA pastors who would be suspicious/slow to warm to a LCMS pastor swam Lake Michigan (?), unfortunately.  
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: grabau14 on October 17, 2008, 05:17:43 PM
Pr. Kirchner, Pr. Brostrom was the pastor that I was talking about in my earlier post.  He is a dear friend and it is because of him that I have such a high appreciation of Sasse as well as the faithful remnant within the ELCA and TEC. 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 17, 2008, 07:02:37 PM
You are now inquiring and talking about the avoidance of Fort Wayne grads and feelings toward StL vs. Ft. Wayne grads.

Two different inquiries. Carry on.
Nope, similar inquiries. If there continues to be suspicions among LCMS clergy because of one's seminary training, it seems logical to think that there would be even more suspicions towards those who were not trained in an LCMS seminary, e.g., an ELCA one.

While I was at Wartburg Seminary ('72-'76 - back in the ALC days,) we had an LCMS student there. He'd been a lay worker in the LCMS mission fields and came back for seminary training. For some reason he choose Wartburg. He relates the story of meeting President JAO Preus. They were shaking hands. He told about his missionary work. That was gladly received. When he told about attending Wartburg seminary, the handshake stopped and so did the cordial reception. That one act convinced him to leave the LCMS and become an ALC minister.

I recognize that my anecdotal accounts are a ways back in history and include a very limited number of people. Thus I asked my questions. Are these isolated cases or is it somewhat widespread? Is it an attitude of the past that has been reduced or is it still present?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 18, 2008, 02:02:51 AM
So let's see if I have this right...

The guy already had chosen and was attending Wartburg Seminary. So he did not intend to remain in the LC-MS, right? IOW, he already had left or at least had decided to leave the LC-MS. Then he meets Preus, and at some point Preus stops shaking hands with him. And that convinces him to leave the same LC-MS that he's already decided to leave. Then when he later meets you and relates the story about Preus being mean to him, he is an LC-MS student. Got it.

BTW, from which seminary did Preus graduate? Oh yeah, Luther in St. Paul.

So, from a single (that is quite a limited number)- suspect on its face- anecdote you decide what attitudes were like in the LC-MS? And those would be attitudes about what? When is it appropriate to stop shaking hands? 

But let's follow your logic.  Your fellow student claims that Preus was rude. He graduated from Luther in St. Paul. I was treated rudely by some hostile students at Luther in St. Paul. You know, you may be on to something. Students/graduates of Luther in St. Paul are rude.  ::)

Don Kirchner
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on October 18, 2008, 05:25:20 AM


I believe the incident Brian described relates to something I have struggled with in my 20+ years as a Lutheran, all in the LCMS:  There is what I have come to call a "mean streak" that runs through the Synod.  As one educated in Family Systems Theory, I have tried to assess the etiology of both my perception and the perceived way of reacting to those who disagree with the position of the Synod.

The etiology of my own perception is too sensitive to share on a public forum and that is the extent of my sharing on that topic.  My observation of said "mean streak" has been both personal and described by those who have been on the receiving end of said streak.  One need only read "Christian News" and the letters to the editor to see one expression of this phenomenon.  While it is easy to say that The Editor was never certified and therefore not part of the Synod is to miss the obvious: the newspaper continues to exist and is supported.  LQ has been described, even given all of the disclaimers about former LCMS members being the offenders.  All of these miss the point, in my experience.

My experience and observation is something to the effect of "let's see...." and then either a sarcastic comeback with the intent of saying that you are wrong in all you think, say or believe in this situation or a personal attack recalling a perceived or real offense in the past or your association with someone or something associated with an error or offense in the past.

Whether I am correct in my observation or not is not the main issue for me.  My issue is how said behavior is perceived by those who may be considering the LCMS as a refuge from the loony behavior and/or practice/teaching in the ELCA (or for that matter, anywhere else that may cause one to seek refuge).  When the potential refugee sees doctrine and teaching that is more consistent with their orthodox evangelical catholic sensibilities in the LCMS, there is an attraction.  Then the observation on how folks in the Synod treat each other when there is a difference in practice or approach or a perceived or real error, and the refugee says "no thanks, that's not the way I want to be treated" and they look elsewhere or find refuge in a place like the STS.

FWIW, I find refuge in the STS precisely because of this "mean streak" (again, my term and perception).
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Weedon on October 18, 2008, 09:29:56 AM
Dave,

A friend observed the same thing to me - only he widened it to embrace Lutheranism as a whole.  It saddened me, because I think of the FOLKS in my parish and know it's just not true.  Still, especially in our presence on the internet, we certainly can and do give that horrific impression.  It's not simply a matter of saying:  well, we don't believe we should tolerate error in the Church.  It's the way we treat those whom we have consigned to that category (sometimes with little seeming effort to reflect on whether we've been hasty in the conclusions we've reached).  We could learn much from the spirit of the second Martin and the manner of his interactions.  I don't think it's an accident that he was instrumental in healing the wounds of Lutheranism in the 16th century.  He was tough on error; but he was also kind in his dealings with people and tried to be circumspect in his comments, even and especially his criticisms. 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 18, 2008, 10:28:52 AM
 "LQ has been described, even given all of the disclaimers about former LCMS members being the offenders.  All of these miss the point, in my experience."

And the point is? It seems that the arguments are:

Claim: LCMSers are mean; look at LQ. Answer: Most of those at LQ, particularly the owner and many of the most prolific posters, are not LCMSers. Response: You miss the point; LCMSers are mean.

Claim: LCMSers are mean; 30+ years ago somebody told me that JAO Preus II was mean to him because he attended an ALC seminary. Answer: Preus graduated an ALC seminary. Response: You miss the point. LCMSers are mean.

The point that has been made hereon is expressed by Bill Weedon: A mean streak runs through all of Lutheranism. And who knows- you might find mean persons in other, non-Lutheran denominations as well. Go to a local ministerial meeting. Talk to the other clergy. They deal with many of the same problems, one being a "mean streak."

Does that mean we simply should ignore it with a "Yup, that's what happens when you hang around sinners"? Of course not. But beware concluding that disaffected ELCAers should not consider the LCMS because they're mean over in the LCMS without first addressing the beam in your own eye. And beware of illogical misconversions of particular propositions to universal ones, i.e., "I know they're mean over in the LCMS because 30 years ago I talked to someone who told me that the then LCMS prez was less than cordial to him."  Because I was treated like Sarah Palin at a NOW rally by ELCA students simply becasue they heard I was an LCMS pastor, it is illogical for me to conclude that there is any more of a mean streak in the ELCA than any other Lutheran denomination.

Pax,
Don Kirchner
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 18, 2008, 10:34:13 AM
I say this not intending to excuse or minimize the "mean streak" some have perceived in the Missouri Synod.  I have seen it myself and could testify to it.  I also saw it in a way back in my Senior College days '72-'74.  There I guess the majority, most of whom ended up in Seminex, were not so much mean as dismissive of those of us who were "conservative."  We were objects of fun and the but of jokes.  To be mildly courted if they thought we could be swayed to their side or marginalized if not.  It is not only conservatives that can treat others badly.

I do not have a great deal of experience in the ELCA, but from comments gleaned from this board, it seems to me that there is a mean streak in the ELCA also, especially against those who are considered homophobic, anti-woman, or holders of other disreputable opinions.

My point is, it is not just LCMS (though we are very good at it) it is human.  Some of the maneuvering going on in the Episcopal church does not look especially nice either.  Sin infects and corrupts us all and one favorite ploy of Satan is to get sin to infect and corrupt virtue.  To stand for the truth is virtuous, but if Satan can get us to be proud, or mean about it - he has blunted to virtue and weakened the effect.

It has always been very difficult to follow Paul's command: (Ephes. 4:15 ESV) "Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,"  The temptation is always to pit truth and love against each other, hence the mean streak of those who believe they are standing for truth and wish-washiness of those who want above all to speak in loving ways.  Quite frankly, it is much easier to speak the truth and hammer away at it, let the chips fall where they may - or to be nice and if that means blunting the truth or denying its existance, so be it.

There is a mean streak in the LCMS - but we are not alone in having problems following Paul.

Dan



Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 18, 2008, 10:41:23 AM
Re: JAO Preus II.  During the great seminary upset in 1974, many came from St. Louis to Ft. Wayne to address the Senior College.  During one such convocation at which JAO Preus spoke, when he was done speaking he looked around for a place to sit and seeing none handy, sat down on a step in one of aisles in the audience (we were in one of banked lecture rooms) and proceeded to smoke.  (Obviously, that was long before public spaces were declaired smoke free.)  Later on, another student I knew was complaining about his actions, saying (more or less), "Who did he think he was sitting on his ass on a step and smoking as if he were just another guy?  He didn't fool me!"  I asked if he would have thought better of JAOP if he had gone over to a student and demanded his seat and the student agreed that that would not have been better.  For many, anything JAOP did was suspect and wrong, no matter what it was.  Now, who was mean?

Dan
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Team Hesse on October 18, 2008, 10:42:55 AM
I would second what Dan Fienen has posted (#426).  "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  Anybody who thinks otherwise is living in a dreamworld.  Having experienced LCMS, ELCA, and LCMC mean streaks, I think at this stage, if I had to settle for one, I would settle for the HONEST meanness of some in the LCMS over and against the smile-to-your-face-stab-you-in-the-back streak I have experienced elsewhere. 
Lou
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave Benke on October 18, 2008, 11:36:07 AM
The behaviors called "mean streak" (in my opinion pretty accurately) by Padre D (great rap group concept!), usually are dealt with in the LCMS under the heading of the breaking of the 8th commandment.  Whenever the conduct is called sin, there's a major defensive reaction, and it centers on lying.  "I did not lie - prove it.  Etc., etc."  Of course the rest of the meaning of Luther's meaning is left hanging - "betray, slander."  And the real rest of the positive ending "defend him, speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything," is a precinct never heard from. 

That's why this board is in large part exemplary.  I'm not sure, Lou, about lifting up the LCMS as having an "honest mean streak" as helpful to the LCMS.  We need to cut it out, big time, and not be congratulated for being up in the face of people all the time.  By the same token, I always sit with my back to the wall because the scars heal so slowly on that side of the body and I don't need those wounds opened again. 

I can also give ample evidence through the course of 18 years at my level of service that there is plenty of grumpy and backbiting behavior among the laity as well, stemming from the training received from the actions of the pastorate, the inherent inclination to self-preserve at the expense of the other, and an aging and ossified leadership core, among others.  Sin coucheth at all doors.

Lord, have mercy.

Dave Benke

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 18, 2008, 12:25:50 PM
So let's see if I have this right...

The guy already had chosen and was attending Wartburg Seminary. So he did not intend to remain in the LC-MS, right?
Nope, he had planned to remain LCMS. Remember, at that time the ALC and LCMS were "friends".

Quote
Then when he later meets you and relates the story about Preus being mean to him, he is an LC-MS student. Got it.
Nope, you didn't get it. In a similar situation, I attended Concordia Jr. College, Portland, as an ALC student in their pre-seminary program and had no plans to attend an LCMS seminary -- I didn't even go on to the senior college, which was at Ft. Wayne. I was given all the same benefits as the LCMS students. I attended weekly chapel and received communion there. There were two other ALC students there at the time -- one was pre-seminary, the other was in the teacher's track.

Quote
BTW, from which seminary did Preus graduate? Oh yeah, Luther in St. Paul.
But we hadn't begun ordaining women then -- the act that put our fellowship under protest -- or whatever term the LCMS used.

Quote
So, from a single (that is quite a limited number)- suspect on its face- anecdote you decide what attitudes were like in the LC-MS?

I related two other conversations with LCMS pastors (both ordained before the "split") about their unwillingness to attend circuit meetings. One also shared the reluctance of the DP in his home district to bring in Ft. Wayne graduates because they were too conservative for him. (He also felt that way about a pastor in his circuit -- one I'd talked with a few times -- who certainly gave the impression that salvation was only in the LCMS.

Quote
But let's follow your logic.  Your fellow student claims that Preus was rude. He graduated from Luther in St. Paul. I was treated rudely by some hostile students at Luther in St. Paul. You know, you may be on to something. Students/graduates of Luther in St. Paul are rude.  ::)
Nope -- the rudeness came because an LCMS pastor-to-be was attending an ALC seminary at a time when the two church bodies were "in fellowship" with each other. From what I recall, Preus was not in favor of the fellowship, but compromises were made at the convention, i.e., "You vote for fellowship and we'll vote for your candidate for president."
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 18, 2008, 12:38:51 PM
Claim: LCMSers are mean; 30+ years ago somebody told me that JAO Preus II was mean to him because he attended an ALC seminary. Answer: Preus graduated an ALC seminary. Response: You miss the point. LCMSers are mean.
You got it wrong.

Claim: an LCMS member who was a student at an ALC seminary experienced a change in Preus's attitude towards him when he found it he was at an ALC seminary.

Point: no point, rather questions were asked: Does such an attitude continue in the LCMS towards those outside of the LCMS? If so, how widespread is such an attitude?

I just received an e-mail from a retired LCMS pastor who is a good friend. We often had meals and beer together when we were neighbors. He admits that he is on the more moderate side of the LCMS. (I know that at least one of his married daughters is ELCA; his son teaches at an LCMS school.) I've also run into LCMS pastors who would suspect my Christian faith just because I am not a member of the LCMS and/or because I don't believe in a literal six 24-hour days of creation. There was actually one who questioned the faith of anyone who believed dinosaurs existed!

Thus, if I were dissatisfied with the ELCA, I would not consider the LCMS a place to land -- even though that's the denomiination my wife grew up in. However, the congregation where she spent most of her years went with the AELC and is now ELCA. That says something about the pastors that she had as a youth.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Team Hesse on October 18, 2008, 12:53:10 PM
The behaviors called "mean streak" (in my opinion pretty accurately) by Padre D (great rap group concept!), usually are dealt with in the LCMS under the heading of the breaking of the 8th commandment.  Whenever the conduct is called sin, there's a major defensive reaction, and it centers on lying.  "I did not lie - prove it.  Etc., etc."  Of course the rest of the meaning of Luther's meaning is left hanging - "betray, slander."  And the real rest of the positive ending "defend him, speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything," is a precinct never heard from. 

That's why this board is in large part exemplary.  I'm not sure, Lou, about lifting up the LCMS as having an "honest mean streak" as helpful to the LCMS.  We need to cut it out, big time, and not be congratulated for being up in the face of people all the time.  By the same token, I always sit with my back to the wall because the scars heal so slowly on that side of the body and I don't need those wounds opened again. 

I can also give ample evidence through the course of 18 years at my level of service that there is plenty of grumpy and backbiting behavior among the laity as well, stemming from the training received from the actions of the pastorate, the inherent inclination to self-preserve at the expense of the other, and an aging and ossified leadership core, among others.  Sin coucheth at all doors.
Lord, have mercy.
Dave Benke

No argument from me on any of this, particularly the need to focus on the positive part of the 8th commandment.  If I came across as saying honest meanness is a good thing, I apologize.  I simply prefer to face a mean old boar than to have the SoB try to charge me from behind.  I have scars from those encounters also...
And yeah, the laity do follow the example of their servant leaders, sometimes sadly.  But quite frankly, we laity do quite well at violating the 8th on our own.  Sin does, indeed, crouch at all doors.
Lou

... and generally, this board is better than most on 8th commandment stuff, in my opinion.  After all, you put up with me.  :)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Weedon on October 18, 2008, 01:00:19 PM
Just to note that sometimes the appeal to the 8th commandment is a club to stifle honest discussion and disagreement.  Not saying that's what the good Bishop meant by his words, because he obviously doesn't mind discussion - but I have seen it used that way. 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on October 18, 2008, 02:00:38 PM
"Claim: an LCMS member who was a student at an ALC seminary experienced a change in Preus's attitude towards him when he found it he was at an ALC seminary."

Okay...

"Point: no point..."

Indeed.  ;)

"...rather questions were asked: Does such an attitude continue in the LCMS towards those outside of the LCMS?"

And we're right back to the "Still beat your wife?" type of suggestion. Answer: JAO Preus II is dead. So, based upon your anecdote of his once being mean to someone you knew as a reason for determining an LCMS  mean streak, the answer is, "No."

"Thus, if I were dissatisfied with the ELCA, I would not consider the LCMS a place to land -- even though that's the denomiination my wife grew up in."

I don't think that anyone hereon doubts that statement. But I don't think for a second that it is because of an LC-MS mean streak. Similarly, if I were dissatisfied with the LC-MS I would not consider the ELCA a place to land even though my wife grew up in the ALC (as if that should have any relevance whatsoever.)  And it's not because Luther Seminary folks have a mean streak.  :) Moreover, I no longer wish to pursue the STS at Luther, St. Paul, not because of the rudeness experienced there but because both Kittelson and Nestingen* are no longer there.

It's about what we believe, teach, and confess, Rev. Stoffregen, not about whether some individual was once mean to us.

Pax,
Don Kirchner

*A very well-respected and well-loved theologian within LC-MS circles (and not even former ELCA) from the time that I first heard him speak at a convocation during my first quarter at St. Louis to his recent presentation at the Minnesota North Confessionals group. Hardly "under suspicion." On the other hand, I heard that the folks at Luther, St. Paul ended up being kind of mean to him. So there you go; there's that mean streak.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 18, 2008, 02:41:41 PM
Claim: LCMSers are mean; 30+ years ago somebody told me that JAO Preus II was mean to him because he attended an ALC seminary. Answer: Preus graduated an ALC seminary. Response: You miss the point. LCMSers are mean.
You got it wrong.

Claim: an LCMS member who was a student at an ALC seminary experienced a change in Preus's attitude towards him when he found it he was at an ALC seminary.

Point: no point, rather questions were asked: Does such an attitude continue in the LCMS towards those outside of the LCMS? If so, how widespread is such an attitude?

I just received an e-mail from a retired LCMS pastor who is a good friend. We often had meals and beer together when we were neighbors. He admits that he is on the more moderate side of the LCMS. (I know that at least one of his married daughters is ELCA; his son teaches at an LCMS school.) I've also run into LCMS pastors who would suspect my Christian faith just because I am not a member of the LCMS and/or because I don't believe in a literal six 24-hour days of creation. There was actually one who questioned the faith of anyone who believed dinosaurs existed!

Thus, if I were dissatisfied with the ELCA, I would not consider the LCMS a place to land -- even though that's the denomiination my wife grew up in. However, the congregation where she spent most of her years went with the AELC and is now ELCA. That says something about the pastors that she had as a youth.

You give three examples that prove to you that LCMS need not be considered.  If I have been treated poorly by three ELCA people, does that mean that the ELCA should not be considered as a worthy church body to belong to?  Wow, I never realized how easy it is to write a whole church body off as worthless.  Three examples and your're done.

Thank you, I can now apply the Stoffregen rule to other churches - three strikes and you're out.

Dan
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 18, 2008, 04:23:32 PM
Thank you, I can now apply the Stoffregen rule to other churches - three strikes and you're out.
You're welcome, and thank you and Don for confirming that the attitude I experienced from some LCMSers in the past is still alive in the denomination.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Scott5 on October 18, 2008, 04:45:16 PM
Thank you, I can now apply the Stoffregen rule to other churches - three strikes and you're out.
You're welcome, and thank you and Don for confirming that the attitude I experienced from some LCMSers in the past is still alive in the denomination.

Brian, you are simply demonstrating the same response but from the ELCA.  That's what they were saying in regards to your citing another of your seemingly bottomless negative LCMS anecdotes, apparently in an attempt to make the LCMS look bad (again).  You just were doing so in a more passive-aggressive manner.  Unless I'm quite wrong with what they were saying.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 18, 2008, 05:11:38 PM
Brian, you said:

Thus, if I were dissatisfied with the ELCA, I would not consider the LCMS a place to land -- even though that's the denomiination my wife grew up in. However, the congregation where she spent most of her years went with the AELC and is now ELCA. That says something about the pastors that she had as a youth.

If you are not writing off the entire denomination on the basis of a few bad experiences (Oh and that your wife grew up in an LCMS congregation that ended up in the ELCA, apparently an indictment (though of what you do not say) of the pastors of her youth), then what are you saying. 

You do not like the LCMS.  You have made that clear.  You think that we are wrong on any number of points.  Fair enough.  You do not have to like us.  But apparently it is not enough to dislike us, on the basis of your few experiences we have to be all mean people.  Is that your point?

Well, I'm glad to be able to reassure you that you are absolutely right to dislike us.  I don't know how we stand to be ourselves, we are so far from your perfection. :-X

I should also thank you for confirming that the attitude I experienced from some Seminex, AELC, ELCA people in the past is still alive in the ELCA.

Dan
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 18, 2008, 07:29:51 PM
(Oh and that your wife grew up in an LCMS congregation that ended up in the ELCA, apparently an indictment (though of what you do not say) of the pastors of her youth), then what are you saying.
I'm not indicting the pastors of my wife's youth, but informing you that the LCMS congregation she grew up in was probably not the typical LCMS congregation. It certainly wasn't on the conservative side of things.

Quote
You do not like the LCMS.  You have made that clear. You think that we are wrong on any number of points.  Fair enough.  You do not have to like us.  But apparently it is not enough to dislike us, on the basis of your few experiences we have to be all mean people.  Is that your point?
I've tried not to make any point, but to ask questions -- questions which you have refused to answer. In my examples, I was not talking about what happened to me, but relating comments made by LCMS pastors about their colleagues. They have talked about the meanness they have experienced. They have talked about leaving circuit meetings so angry that they haven't returned. For the most part, my personal experiences with the LCMS have been good, but I do disagree with them on some issues, such as women's ordination and open communion. I also don't say that they are wrong, but that they have a different understanding of scriptures than we do in the ELCA -- and I try to explain the LCMS position as best I can based your interpretation of the relevant scripture passages.

Quote
I should also thank you for confirming that the attitude I experienced from some Seminex, AELC, ELCA people in the past is still alive in the ELCA.
Yeah, there are some ELCA pastors I don't care much for, too.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 18, 2008, 07:37:00 PM
If your question is whether there are still pastors in the LCMS who at times act in mean ways - you really don't  need that answered - of course there are.  As one example is the treatment of Pr. Benke.  I dare say that there are also ELCA folk that act meanly toward those they disagree with.  There is more to the LCMS than mean people and not every disagreement with ELCA is prompted by meanness.

Dan
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Scott5 on October 18, 2008, 08:13:53 PM
I hate to keep bringing up an anecdote of mine, but for some reason it keeps becoming relevant on this board.  When I was getting my M.A. from Luther, I took a class where the professor (yes, not a student but the professor) found it necessary to repeatedly criticize the LCMS in quite uncharitable ways in class, creating an environment I found distinctly offensive and disturbing.  I took exception to this and confronted him in class after it had occurred repeatedly saying something like: "I still consider myself an LCMS Lutheran, and the ELCA has many problems, too.  Let the one without sin cast the first stone."  To which I received a somewhat baffled reply: "Well, who is criticizing the LCMS?"  Of course, I replied: "You."  There was a bit of stunned silence.

The criticisms died off a bit after that.

No, I don't remember the professor's name (I could probably find it from some notes buried somewhere deep), but I wouldn't share it even if I did remember it.

And no, I am not going to tar all ELCA people or Luther folks with that professorial brush.  I have friends and good memories from my time there.

And no, too, I wouldn't need to get this anecdote clarified to see if all ELCA folks were really like this by "asking" questions on this board, either.  I'm not that dumb, er, confused.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave_Poedel on October 19, 2008, 01:15:04 AM
SO as not to end up in an eternal tit-for-tat (where did that phrase come from anyway?) I have a few good friends in the LCMS ministerium (though we don't often call it that), and a whole lot of good friends in the ELCA ministerium, mainly from my joyful association with the STS and Cursillo, and a couple of good friends in the LCMC.

I am delighted to state that I have not experienced any of the reported negative behavior from ELCA folks toward me personally or the fact that I am a LCMS Pastor.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: swbohler on October 19, 2008, 09:21:56 AM
Rev. Fienen,

What was the "mean" treatment Dr. Benke received?  Speaking for myself (and for all those I know who were involved in the official actions against Dr. Benke), there was absolutely no personal animosity toward him, but just disagreement with his words/actions which were seen to imperil the Gospel.  You may not agree with that assessment (that Dr. Benke's words/actions threatened the Gospel) but that does not mean that those others were "mean" when they/we acted according to the agreed upon procedures of our Synod.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 19, 2008, 10:26:09 AM
Rev. Fienen,

What was the "mean" treatment Dr. Benke received?  Speaking for myself (and for all those I know who were involved in the official actions against Dr. Benke), there was absolutely no personal animosity toward him, but just disagreement with his words/actions which were seen to imperil the Gospel.  You may not agree with that assessment (that Dr. Benke's words/actions threatened the Gospel) but that does not mean that those others were "mean" when they/we acted according to the agreed upon procedures of our Synod.

I was actually more thinking about the sniping that has recently been going on in this forum and especially over at LQ.  You may have always behaved as a Christian Gentleman in regard to Dr. Benke - but others of his detractors have not been content to simply institute official actions against him with no personal animosity.  I saw, again not necessarily from you, plenty of personal animosity as people discussed his motivation for what he did (not his stated motivation but the motivations that they ascribed to him - I presume knowing better than the man himself why he did what he did - and the motivations they ascribed were far less than Christian).  Then there was the whole matter of the Keller Resolution.

Again, I am not saying that all his detractors were "mean," but some were in my judgment and so serve as examples of LCMS meanness.  Unless, of course, it is your contention that Dr. Benke was the only one with sin in this situation - in which case we have a different disagreement.

Dan
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 19, 2008, 02:08:32 PM
We've probably all cringed at times when a lector misreads a passage of Scripture (generally, in my experience, precisely the verse I'm about to preach on  ;D). This morning we worshiped in the little church where my seminarian daughter has been involved. The passage from 1 Thessalonians includes this line: "And you became imitators of us and of the Lord." The lector read intimidators.

That's it, see. So many times when we should be imitating the saints, or imitating the Lord, we instead intimidate. Often this happens when we think we are being forthright and courageous in standing for the truth. This is by no means restricted to members of the LCMS.

I attended a funeral recently in a Catholic Church. The priest said quite overtly that the deceased had gone to heaven because of her good works. The deceased's daughter, who is a Lutheran, said to the priest, "But we Lutherans believe that one goes to heaven, not because of good works, but entirely because of God's grace." The priest replied, "Well, that's also what I believe." The Lutheran said to me later, "I think he just doesn't hear the words that he's saying."

And I think there's a lot of that going around. I think we often just don't hear the words we're saying, or the tone, or the undertone. We all have a mean streak, if you will, and too many of us let it out without even realizing it. I know I do. I remember once, sometime in the middle of the last millennium when I was in seminary, a very dear friend coming to me one night, visibly upset with me. "You really hurt me this morning," he said. "You thought you were just kidding around when you said xyz, and you just don't realize how that sounds." He was right. I've tried to do better, but there are plenty of times when I say words that later need recalling; and usually i don't realize it until much later, often too late.

Better to work at imitating the saints than to resort to intimidating those we regard as unorthodox, unsaintly, or even just uninformed.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: swbohler on October 19, 2008, 02:28:23 PM
Rev. Johnson,

Perhaps it is just my mean streak coming out, but my favorite part of your post was that right after you wrote about people misreading, you miswrote (I hope): "The deceased daughter, who is Lutheran, said to the priest..."   Or did the dead daughter actually talk?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 19, 2008, 09:37:53 PM
Rev. Johnson,

Perhaps it is just my mean streak coming out, but my favorite part of your post was that right after you wrote about people misreading, you miswrote (I hope): "The deceased daughter, who is Lutheran, said to the priest..."   Or did the dead daughter actually talk?

Mean.  ;D
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: swbohler on October 19, 2008, 10:50:04 PM
Yeah, probably.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Layman Randy on October 20, 2008, 01:41:32 PM
Thought for a moment that he was on his way to sainthood  ;)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Kevin C. on October 20, 2008, 06:08:22 PM
I would not consider the LCMS, but it has to do with practice rather than personalities.

My father was LCMS.  The rest of my familiy is LCMS.  I was brought up Presbyterian by my mother (mixed religious marriage).  I found my current ELCA church without even knowing about the ELCA.  I liked the pastor, the people. 

Now, years later, after being very involved, most committees, council, choir, currently council president, and yes, I was asked by our pastor to preside 6 times last year, I have learned the differences between different Lutherans and I am happy with the beliefs of the ELCA regarding communion and women's ordination.  I have many LCMS friends, pastors included.  I worship in my families congregation when I am in their town. 

However, if I were to leave the ELCA, I would not go to LCMS, WELS, Baptist or some other denominations.  I would look for a church that had the same beliefs as my congregation does.

You can find mean spirited people anywhere.  There are even a few in my congregation.  But if the majority are nice, welcoming, and I feel comfortable with the beliefs, I will attend. 

Kevin
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Thomas Byers on October 24, 2008, 08:18:53 AM
The RC priest was not confused but clear that 'good works' are the embodiment of actual grace. tb
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Team Hesse on October 24, 2008, 09:50:15 AM
The RC priest was not confused but clear that 'good works' are the embodiment of actual grace. tb

Is he speaking truth, or does he need to be corrected? or at least witnessed to?
Lou
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Thomas Byers on October 24, 2008, 10:15:57 AM
Did the Joint Declaration achieve unity?  tb
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Lutheran_Lay_Leader on October 24, 2008, 11:02:01 AM
Did the Joint Declaration achieve unity?  tb

Unity and separateness are not absolutes. The JDDJ was a step towards unity. It wasn't the entire journey, nor was it the culmination of a journey. It was simply a milestone along the path. At best, it was another step towards a goal. At worst, it was another step towards a goal.


Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2008, 02:05:09 PM
The RC priest was not confused but clear that 'good works' are the embodiment of actual grace. tb

Is he speaking truth, or does he need to be corrected? or at least witnessed to?
Would it make a difference if he said, "good fruit" is the embodiment of actual grace? The production of fruit is certainly a biblical concept. How much of our differences is semantics?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 13, 2011, 12:24:21 AM
This issue was raised in a thread in which it the subject "Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS?  Why or Why Not?" is a digression away from the topic. I thought it would be helpful to bring this thread to the top where the issues of why people who want to leave the ELCA might or might not consider the LC-MS as a viable alerternative. Since this thread stopped getting new posts almost a year before the 2009 CWA, with all the changes that have taken place since then in terms of alternate Lutheran church bodies and much closer introspection of the ELCA's practices post '09 CWA, it might also give some interesting insights.

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 13, 2011, 12:34:19 AM
From The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up. (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=2616.msg199455#msg199455)

Pastor Kruse,

So the "bad" reputation of the LCMS in the eyes of the ELCA can be attributed to many bitter ELCA seminary professors and pastors.  The LCMS somehow ruined their dream of compromising 2000+ year old church doctrines for the sake of pan-Lutheran unity.  Thank you for explaining the origin of this hatred.  I have never understood it until now. :D


I think it was very clear that Pastor Kruse included the actions of ELCA seminary professors and pastors as but one factor for the reputation that the LC-MS has among ELCA pewsitters. It has been discussed at great length in here and elsewhere that the LC-MS has gotten an undeserved negative reputation because of many factors, most of which come down to misinformation, misunderstanding, and in some cases, deliberate mischaracterization.

The thing about a reputation is, whether it is good or bad, it isn't necessarily based on reality. When it comes to reputations, perceptions are more important than reality, even if the perceptions are wrong.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: EarlOfOrmond on January 13, 2011, 01:06:42 AM
We left the ELCA for the LCMS.

It was not without pain, but we have never regretted it.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dadoo on January 13, 2011, 09:10:16 AM
From The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up. (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=2616.msg199455#msg199455)

Pastor Kruse,

So the "bad" reputation of the LCMS in the eyes of the ELCA can be attributed to many bitter ELCA seminary professors and pastors.  The LCMS somehow ruined their dream of compromising 2000+ year old church doctrines for the sake of pan-Lutheran unity.  Thank you for explaining the origin of this hatred.  I have never understood it until now. :D


I think it was very clear that Pastor Kruse included the actions of ELCA seminary professors and pastors as but one factor for the reputation that the LC-MS has among ELCA pewsitters. It has been discussed at great length in here and elsewhere that the LC-MS has gotten an undeserved negative reputation because of many factors, most of which come down to misinformation, misunderstanding, and in some cases, deliberate mischaracterization.

The thing about a reputation is, whether it is good or bad, it isn't necessarily based on reality. When it comes to reputations, perceptions are more important than reality, even if the perceptions are wrong.


George,

I saw Drive By's note and got a chuckle out of it because he did what all of us seem to do here, he pushed the statements I made past their envelope. Hyperbole is a bunch of fun and lives and thrives in the internet.

I note, that, yes, I spoke about ELCA professors. Yes, I remember some of them noting that the LCMS had a very different biblical theology that was more similar to Baptists than Luther; their words, not mine. They also noted that the idea of infallibility as understood in the 20th century was a product of the late 19th and early 20th century and therefor really had no immediate claim on the Lutheran Church. After that, in the case of some professors, it was pointed out how problematic the view was and sometimes it was offered up as ridiculous and beneath us. You know the drill, "If you think the bible is without error what do you make of  . . . " fill in your own favorite "contradiction."  I have colleagues who shun anything LCMS. They were carefully taught. Whether they implanted that "distance" into their parishioners and whether those parishioners actually give a darn about the difference or about being Lutheran I cannot tell you. Though a snide comment or two in Bible Study is not unlikely.

The ELCA was not founded so it could compromise 2000 years of Christian teaching. The latter was already underway and merely continued. ELCA just happened to be part of it in its new and merged form. One or more of the predecessors would have done the job if ELCA had not.

Yet, there had been a lot of hope in the late 60's and early 70's that the merger would bring all three, LCA, ALC, and LCMS into one Lutheran presence in America and would that not have been prettyful. When LCMS pulled out it questioned that dream which offended a number of those for whom it was the pirze and goal and they still don't like LCMS for it.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 13, 2011, 09:23:03 AM
When LCMS pulled out it questioned that dream which offended a number of those for whom it was the prize and goal and they still don't like LCMS for it.

I'm not aware that The LCMS ever supported the theology, or formation, of the ELCA, or participated in it. I welcome correction.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Coach-Rev on January 13, 2011, 09:39:28 AM
Yes.  I have been in process with LCMS for over a year now, and will be meeting the colloquy committee for the first time this month.  My parents left the ELCA for the LCMS 4 years ago, and though I may or may not agree with every position the LCMS takes, I recognize it as a denom that attempts to take seriously the Word of God and apply its doctrines accordingly.  I respect that greatly.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 13, 2011, 09:57:23 AM
When LCMS pulled out it questioned that dream which offended a number of those for whom it was the prize and goal and they still don't like LCMS for it.

I'm not aware that The LCMS ever supported the theology, or formation, of the ELCA, or participated in it. I welcome correction.

How could someone in your position not be aware of this? The LC-MS is, like any other group comprised of human beings, not all of one hive-mind that is in perfect unity. There were informal discussions of joining together with the ALC and LCA long before the official, formal talks started. The cat fancier from New Jersey was corrected a while back when he kept insisting that there were no unofficial preliminary talks before the serious negotiations started.

The project to put together the Lutheran Book of Worship in the 1970's was a prelude to the long term plan for merger before the end of the 20th century. That's why the LC-MS was involved, and why their name is on the list of copyright holders. From the Introduction to the LBW is this statement, "In 1965, after abandoning a project of its own begun in 1953, The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod issued an invitation to other Lutheran churches in North America to join it in work toward a common hymnal and service book."

There were people within the LC-MS who welcomed the idea of at least discussing a merger. There were people who did not. That should not surprise anyone. It appears that looking backwards at the outcomes of the actions of the 1970's and 1980's, many of the LC-MS faction that favored merger were also part of the faction that split off to form the AELC. It would also appear that it took some discussion and consideration for those in the LC-MS to realize that what was destined to be the theology of the ELCA was going to be something that they could not approve of. I do not see how people in the 1970's could reject the results of discussions that wouldn't be completed until the end of the 1980's. From what little I've read, one of the disappointments that changed the minds of many LC-MS advocates of merger was that they thought that there would be discussion and debate in which they could persuade the people in the ALC and LCA to see the error of their ways and change their teachings to conform to what the LC-MS taught. After all, not all LC-MS merger advocates went AELC. Some simply changed their minds. It happens.  

That's one of the reasons why I have been convinced to change my mind about the ELCA, which I used to be proud to be affiliated with. The merger that created it included far too much "we'll just agree to disagree", and that attitude continued to cloud subsequent events, like the ecumenical agreements with some denominations in other faith traditions.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 13, 2011, 10:14:18 AM
Going back to the early 1960s, I know of absolutely no talk of the LCMS merging with the ALC or LCA. If there were folks in the LCMS who were thinking that way, they were certainly not very vocal or in positions of leadership. During the late 1960s when the LCMS was in fellowship with the ALC, there were hopes for closer cooperation involving the LCA, ALC, and LCMS. This was indeed happening in many significant ways through the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A., working on mission planning, theological studies, communications and many other things. I was present on that scene as a staff member of the Lutheran Council from 1972 to 1976.
The ALC decision to ordain women ended the ALC-LCMS fellowship, and the Preus administration of the LCMS began pulling out of all kinds of cooperative work, including campus ministries and the final approval of the Lutheran Book of Worship.
I do not think that anyone was talking about an LCMS merger with either the ALC or the LCA. Even under the relatively benign administration of Dr. Oliver Harms, such discussions would have hardly been possible.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 13, 2011, 10:28:26 AM
Thanks, Charles.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 13, 2011, 10:50:08 AM
Going back to the early 1960s, I know of absolutely no talk of the LCMS merging with the ALC or LCA.


Perhaps you just weren't invited to join people for lunch when they had casual, informal conversations.

I'm surprised that in all your years as a reporter you never learned that long before the official leadership of major entitities, whether in church, business, or government, meets formally to hold official discussions that junior staffers are invited to, there are casual, off-the-record conversations that take place. Some how, I don't think that when those in positions of influence and leadership in the LC-MS, ALC, and LCA played a round of golf together, or sat down to share some Lutheran beverates, they invited you to be there to record their conversations for posterity.

However, though the exact nature and content of such conversations are known only to the participants, such unofficial meetings have been alluded to in books and articles. Such unofficial meetings have been a normal part of the conduct of business in the church, in business, and in government for as long as humans have engaged in collective actions.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 13, 2011, 10:56:25 AM
George, that's not what we are talking about. The statement/assertion was that The LCMS "pulled out" of the discussions forming the new Lutheran church. That assertion is not true because The LCMS was never part of the discussions leading to the formation of the ELCA. Charles is absolutely correct.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 10:58:04 AM
Going back to the early 1960s, I know of absolutely no talk of the LCMS merging with the ALC or LCA. If there were folks in the LCMS who were thinking that way, they were certainly not very vocal or in positions of leadership. During the late 1960s when the LCMS was in fellowship with the ALC, there were hopes for closer cooperation involving the LCA, ALC, and LCMS. This was indeed happening in many significant ways through the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A., working on mission planning, theological studies, communications and many other things. I was present on that scene as a staff member of the Lutheran Council from 1972 to 1976.
The ALC decision to ordain women ended the ALC-LCMS fellowship, and the Preus administration of the LCMS began pulling out of all kinds of cooperative work, including campus ministries and the final approval of the Lutheran Book of Worship.
I do not think that anyone was talking about an LCMS merger with either the ALC or the LCA. Even under the relatively benign administration of Dr. Oliver Harms, such discussions would have hardly been possible.

I also remember hearing back in those days that the ALC saw itself as a bridge between LCMS and LCA. Because of that, we were not interested in merging with the LCA until LCMS could also be brought along. The dropping of fellowship by the LCMS, and the walk-out/expulsion that lead to the AELC, the "blue ribbon" committee that was formed to evaluate LBW (after LCMS started the project and was part of the creation of that book) pushed the ALC to rethink our middling position and conclude that bringing the LCMS along would never happen.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 13, 2011, 11:17:09 AM
George, that's not what we are talking about. The statement/assertion was that The LCMS "pulled out" of the discussions forming the new Lutheran church. That assertion is not true because The LCMS was never part of the discussions leading to the formation of the ELCA. Charles is absolutely correct.

The project to create the Lutheran Book of Worship was a preliminary to the hoped-for merger of all the major Lutheran denominations. Whether or not the discussions that were part of the project to create a new Lutheran hymnal and service book were a separate project from the creation of the ELCA or were simply Phase I of a larger project is something that can be nitpicked over ad nauseum. Likewise, attempting to draw some sort of official line in the sand as to when the discussions leading to the formation of the ELCA began can also be similarly debated. Austin likes to regard an official sit-down at some sort of conference table or auditorium dais with a gavel being banged down as the start of any process, and he refuses to include any conversations that got the parties to that conference table or auditorium dais as being part of the process.

Even to a pedantic nit-picker, surely everyone agrees that the LC-MS made a conscious collective decision to not be involved in the formation of the ELCA. To reach that point, they had to have been involved in some preliminary conversations in order to learn what it was that they were rejecting.

Are you prepared to say that during the entire process of crafting the Lutheran Book of Worship, a project launched by the LC-MS, that no one in a leadership position in the LC-MS ever once engaged in any sort of conversation with anyone in a leadership position of the LCA or ALC about building on the cooperative work on the LBW to consider even greater cooperation in the future? Because if such conversations took place, then those conversations were preliminaries to the formation of the ELCA, and the LC-MS was involved.

I also remember hearing back in those days that the ALC saw itself as a bridge between LCMS and LCA. Because of that, we were not interested in merging with the LCA until LCMS could also be brought along. The dropping of fellowship by the LCMS, and the walk-out/expulsion that lead to the AELC, the "blue ribbon" committee that was formed to evaluate LBW (after LCMS started the project and was part of the creation of that book) pushed the ALC to rethink our middling position and conclude that bringing the LCMS along would never happen.

Exactly! Those events you describe are exactly the kind of preliminary discussions I have been referring to.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 13, 2011, 11:23:01 AM
George, whatever you say.

 ::)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 13, 2011, 12:16:47 PM
Mr. Erdner writes:
The project to create the Lutheran Book of Worship was a preliminary to the hoped-for merger of all the major Lutheran denominations.

I respond:
Ye gods and little fishes! It was not.

Mr. Erdner writes:
surely everyone agrees that the LC-MS made a conscious collective decision to not be involved in the formation of the ELCA.

I respond:
No. No. And no. There was no "conscious collective decision" to make. They weren't invited. But of course, if some LCMS pastor somewhere mused to his wife over breakfast coffee "gee, I wish we were in on this merger," or if some LCMS layperson asked his pastor "do you think we should be in this merger," then in Mr. Erdner's fantasy world those "discussions" took place. Have fun with that.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 13, 2011, 12:18:20 PM
George, the fact that both Charles, and I, are basically telling you the same thing should give you some pause to consider that you are simply and flat-out wrong here.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave Benke on January 13, 2011, 12:30:49 PM
The point George has made repeatedly that bears repeating is that many in the ELCA who are unhappy with its current direction have not considered the Missouri Synod due to misinformation or anecdotally-transmitted horror stories.  This I believe to be true.  And yet -

On that side of the dialog, in fraternal discussion with the brethren in recent months and days, a recurring theme is that every unhappy ELCA pastor/parish seems to have in some tribal memory location a Missouri Synod horror story.  Many of them, and I have heard some as recently as today, revolve around someone who was confirmed at St. John Gaspump, LCMS in 1978, goes back for a family funeral, stays the weekend and is turned away at the altar on Sunday because they're now in some other locale where the nearest Missouri parish is 30 miles away, so they've joined St. John's Pump ELCA or Presbyterian version and the pastor won't commune them, even though they are heart and soul bound to that parish and to their confirmation confessional subscription to the Small Catechism of Martin Luther.  Now they have great difficulty even entering a Missouri parish anywhere, because their own personal faith story has been sullied, in their perception, along with that of their dead Uncle Waldemar. 

When the ten year dialog about closed communion commences, if I'm part of it, that will frame my remarks on the topic.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave Benke on January 13, 2011, 12:51:56 PM
Who are "we" in that situation, Mike?  It's a blow to the solar plexus to the family and the folks from out there somewhere.  Their catechization had to do with the proper belief in the Presence of Christ in the Meal at the same altar they have returned to.  Whatever your thoughts about the charity due the pastor, the family is gone and is spreading a very bad and sad word about the Missouri Synod. 

You or I, the outside "we," can speak with charity about the understanding of unity from afar, but that's not where the story is happening.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 13, 2011, 01:06:31 PM
On that side of the dialog, in fraternal discussion with the brethren in recent months and days, a recurring theme is that every unhappy ELCA pastor/parish seems to have in some tribal memory location a Missouri Synod horror story.  Many of them, and I have heard some as recently as today, revolve around someone who was confirmed at St. John Gaspump, LCMS in 1978, goes back for a family funeral, stays the weekend and is turned away at the altar on Sunday because they're now in some other locale where the nearest Missouri parish is 30 miles away, so they've joined St. John's Pump ELCA or Presbyterian version and the pastor won't commune them, even though they are heart and soul bound to that parish and to their confirmation confessional subscription to the Small Catechism of Martin Luther.  Now they have great difficulty even entering a Missouri parish anywhere, because their own personal faith story has been sullied, in their perception, along with that of their dead Uncle Waldemar.  

I've seen those "sullied experiences" overcome more times than I can count (my own included) by pastors who with great care and concern take the time to teach why this is the historical practice of the LCMS.  Instead of focusing so much on the harm it's done to the people on the receiving end, perhaps we could rejoice that it may allow them to take a second look at why they might want to even commune at an LCMS rail in the first place since it would mean denouncing abortion, homosexuality, women's ordination, etc.  I will never discount the ability of the Holy Spirit to work in someone who has previously been offended by a visit to an LCMS church and was denied communion.  I know how much work it took for Him to make my own anger subside.  However, at the other end of that anger, selfishness and pride I found a peace that surpassed all understanding.  To me, that is how real love is shown--being willing to take the heat from someone for the sake of their soul (and of course handling the situation in a manner that demonstrates Christian love rather than disinterested arrogance).
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 13, 2011, 01:11:37 PM
George, the fact that both Charles, and I, are basically telling you the same thing should give you some pause to consider that you are simply and flat-out wrong here.

Considering the esteem with which I hold both of you, and how much I value your opinions, it does not give me pause.  ::)

You both have the same axe to grind, and both simply choose to nitpick over the official start date of a process. Had I known there would be a test, I'd have made notes of the name and author of the book about the creation of the LBW that my pastor loaned me to read in which I read about how the project to create the LBW was seen by many within the LC-MS, ALC, and LCA as a pilot project that could lead to further cooperation that would ultimately lead to a merger of all three bodies before the end of the 20th century. And, I've have taken careful notes in my conversations with people over the years so that I can name names and include dates and venues of conversations. But frankly, it don't regard your personal credentials alone as sufficient proof to dissuade me from believe what I learned from other sources, sources which I believe are more accurate than you two.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Drive-by Lutheran on January 13, 2011, 01:23:43 PM
From The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up. (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=2616.msg199455#msg199455)

Pastor Kruse,

So the "bad" reputation of the LCMS in the eyes of the ELCA can be attributed to many bitter ELCA seminary professors and pastors.  The LCMS somehow ruined their dream of compromising 2000+ year old church doctrines for the sake of pan-Lutheran unity.  Thank you for explaining the origin of this hatred.  I have never understood it until now. :D


I think it was very clear that Pastor Kruse included the actions of ELCA seminary professors and pastors as but one factor for the reputation that the LC-MS has among ELCA pewsitters. It has been discussed at great length in here and elsewhere that the LC-MS has gotten an undeserved negative reputation because of many factors, most of which come down to misinformation, misunderstanding, and in some cases, deliberate mischaracterization.

The thing about a reputation is, whether it is good or bad, it isn't necessarily based on reality. When it comes to reputations, perceptions are more important than reality, even if the perceptions are wrong.


Thanks, George.

Charles, your thoughts? ;D
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 13, 2011, 01:38:26 PM
You both have the same axe to grind, and both simply choose to nitpick over the official start date of a process.

The LCMS was never, at any point, involved in any process to form the ELCA.

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave Benke on January 13, 2011, 01:42:30 PM
Kim, the problem to me is not the heat, but the cold.  From the pastor's point of view, you're reflecting someone who might take some "heat" for his position of discernment.  From the point of view of the person denied reception of the sacrament, the feeling presented to me by many is that they left that service and will not return, and are now not only cold to the Missouri Synod and its parishes, but are wearing parkas in their conversations with anyone else about the Missouri Synod.  

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 13, 2011, 01:54:09 PM
In my parish ministry I had ELCA families actively seek out my congregation to join because they were so revolted by the theology they were getting in their ELCA congregation, and this was even long before the homosexual garbage infected the ELCA. They were among my most active members and they did not come complaining about closed communion, but respected it and were hungry to learn more and once members were the most concerned about communion fellowship with the ELCA.

One of my elders was former ELCA and when his daughter decided to marry a young man studying to be an ELCA pastor he made it clear to me that he would be insulted if I permitted his future son-in-law's ELCA pastor friends to participate in the wedding service.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 13, 2011, 02:02:17 PM
You both have the same axe to grind, and both simply choose to nitpick over the official start date of a process.

The LCMS was never, at any point, involved in any process to form the ELCA.



No, but individual leaders of the LC-MS were involved in a process that was hoped would lead to a unified Lutheran church in North America before the end of the 20th century. The LC-MS bailed out of the process before the name "Evangelical Lutheran Church in America" was chosen, so a pedantic nit-picker can accurately say that they weren't involved in a process to "form the ELCA", because that acronym hadn't been selected yet.

Is that what you're saying? That the LC-MS wasn't involved in the early talking stages of the process that ultimately resulted in the formation of the ELCA because they bailed out before the name "ELCA" was picked? Or are you picking the nit that though many individuals in a position of leadership in the LC-MS were engaged in the preliminary, unofficial talks that always precede any formal talks, the fact that the talks were preliminary and unofficial means that they didn't really exist or take place. Is it the old "plausible deniability" thing?

Or are you saying that there were no preliminary, casual, unofficial conversations that took place before the church bodies all sat down to set the official date to start the "official" talks? Did the LC-MS not participate in those preliminary talks, and as a result of them (and their experiences with the LBW project) decide to let the ALC and LCA know that they weren't interested in being part of the official talks? Doesn't being part of the initial stages of a long process count if one party bails out before some arbitrary official start date?

What date do you consider the date when the "official" negotiations between the church bodies that ultimately became the ELCA began? Are you saying that any contact between anyone in the leadership of the LC-MS and anyone in the leadership of the ALC or LCA simply don't count as being part of the process? Isn't that just a little nit-pickingly arbitrary?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 13, 2011, 02:10:52 PM
Kim, the problem to me is not the heat, but the cold.  From the pastor's point of view, you're reflecting someone who might take some "heat" for his position of discernment.  From the point of view of the person denied reception of the sacrament, the feeling presented to me by many is that they left that service and will not return, and are now not only cold to the Missouri Synod and its parishes, but are wearing parkas in their conversations with anyone else about the Missouri Synod.  

Dave Benke

I share your concern and hope every LCMS pastor who is in this position does so with the sincerest of attitudes while explaining our historic position.  I'm not so sure I'd say the coldness comes AFTER being denied the Lord's Supper.  For me, I had enough coldness in my own heart even before meeting with the pastor who would deny me the meal.  ;)  Perhaps my current pastor is just particularly gifted in how he approaches people in this situation, but we have several instances of regular attendees (interestingly, they come back) who take no offense that they can't commune while they discern whether to join the church or not.  They understand that to commune means they make the same common confession as the LCMS; some have been Baptist and aren't quite clear yet on our theology of baptism, some are in a mixed Lutheran/Catholic marriage and are attempting to negotiate the path that's best for their family, etc.  One regular visitor is a retired pastor from either the Presbyterian or Episcopalian pursuasion; we had a good talk once on why he doesn't take offense to not being able to commune.  He sits in front of me when he attends, so I try my best to continue the practice of patting him on the back when I get up behind him for communion as my reminder to him that he's loved (especially when the weekly-changing ushers inevitably keep trying to get his attention to start the line since he's always in the first row closest to them).  He doesn't seem to even let that embarrass him when he has to tell them "no".  

We've certainly seen people walk out angrily at communion time in our mission church in my husband's previous call and leave lovely notes in the communion registration pad; not sure they would have fit into our church in the first place with the nasty attitude they took.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 02:11:39 PM
The project to create the Lutheran Book of Worship was a preliminary to the hoped-for merger of all the major Lutheran denominations.

Where did you get that idea? The LCMS decided in 1965 that they needed a new hymnal to replace The Lutheran Hymnal of 1941. They invited the other church bodies to participate in the creation of a new hymnal. It was definitely not an invitation to merge together. Although the Service Book and Hymnal of 1958 was still fairly new by hymnal standards, the ALC, LCA, and ELCC became partners in this endeavor and the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship was formed. Thirteen years later LBW was born.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 13, 2011, 02:14:09 PM
George: Last and final - the LCMS was involved in NO process leading to the formation of the ELCA. Period.

There is nothing more I can do to help you understand this point, since you are so determined to ignore facts.

OK, now we have Stoffregen, Austin and McCain all singing the same tune, in perfect harmony. What more do you want, George?

 ;D
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 02:21:45 PM
You both have the same axe to grind, and both simply choose to nitpick over the official start date of a process.

The LCMS was never, at any point, involved in any process to form the ELCA.

About this we agree. The hymnal project began in 1965, was completed in 1978. It was unrelated to any movements towards merger.

To quote from the ELCA website:

In 1977 the LCMS decision  to place fellowship with ALC “in protest” along with the AELC’s “Call to Lutheran Union” nudged the three church bodies, ALC, LCA and AELC, toward merger. The 1978 ALC and LCA conventions adopted resolutions aimed at the creation of a single church body. The AELC joined them, and the ALC-LCA Committee on Church Cooperation became the Committee on Lutheran Unity (CLU) in January of 1979.

Effectively, the work on the hymnal had ended before there was any movement towards a new Lutheran church.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: peterm on January 13, 2011, 02:25:56 PM
George: Last and final - the LCMS was involved in NO process leading to the formation of the ELCA. Period.

There is nothing more I can do to help you understand this point, since you are so determined to ignore facts.

OK, now we have Stoffregen, Austin and McCain all singing the same tune, in perfect harmony. What more do you want, George?

 ;D

I for one am checking the back of my Bible to see if this event is listed among those which are precursers for the end of time.... 8) ;D
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 13, 2011, 02:28:49 PM
The project to create the Lutheran Book of Worship was a preliminary to the hoped-for merger of all the major Lutheran denominations.

Where did you get that idea? The LCMS decided in 1965 that they needed a new hymnal to replace The Lutheran Hymnal of 1941. They invited the other church bodies to participate in the creation of a new hymnal. It was definitely not an invitation to merge together. Although the Service Book and Hymnal of 1958 was still fairly new by hymnal standards, the ALC, LCA, and ELCC became partners in this endeavor and the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship was formed. Thirteen years later LBW was born.

From the book I mentioned earlier that I didn't write down the name and author of. And for the umpteenth time, I never said it was an official decision made by whatever official leadership councile runs the LC-MS. I've been saying repeatedly that there was a faction within the LC-MS who were advocating for at least consideration of greater unity among North American Lutherans. I've never said that the faction that wanted to see closer cooperation and discussion of a merger was the ruling majority who held sway over a dissident minority and was able to get their position accepted and officially adopted. How many times must I repeat that it was a faction within the LC-MS and not the entire denomination who was engaged in these preliminary conversations? Are the actions of a faction within a group not an unofficial action of the group?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 13, 2011, 02:39:47 PM
I for one am checking the back of my Bible to see if this event is listed among those which are precursers for the end of time.... 8) ;D

Along with flocks of birds falling from the sky dead, I do think this portends something BIG. Prepare.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: olarmy02 on January 13, 2011, 02:41:28 PM
George: Last and final - the LCMS was involved in NO process leading to the formation of the ELCA. Period.

There is nothing more I can do to help you understand this point, since you are so determined to ignore facts.

OK, now we have Stoffregen, Austin and McCain all singing the same tune, in perfect harmony. What more do you want, George?
 ;D

I don't know about George, but how about the Camptown Lady?  Apologies to Mel Brooks.  ;D
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Michael Slusser on January 13, 2011, 02:44:19 PM

OK, now we have Stoffregen, Austin and McCain all singing the same tune, in perfect harmony. What more do you want?


More of the same!  :D :D

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: JEdwards on January 13, 2011, 02:51:53 PM
We've certainly seen people walk out angrily at communion time in our mission church in my husband's previous call and leave lovely notes in the communion registration pad; not sure they would have fit into our church in the first place with the nasty attitude they took.

Love is always ready to make allowances... hopes all things...  

Jon
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 13, 2011, 03:10:24 PM
We've certainly seen people walk out angrily at communion time in our mission church in my husband's previous call and leave lovely notes in the communion registration pad; not sure they would have fit into our church in the first place with the nasty attitude they took.

Love is always ready to make allowances... hopes all things...  

Jon

Indeed, but, it helps when you're open to actually having dialogue on the subject and not storming out briskly and somewhat loudly in the middle of the Divine Service showing disrespect not only to the worshipping body, but more importantly, to God Himself.  I believe the note referenced how they would welcome us to their table if we were visiting their home. The only difference being, of course, that they weren't in the home of my husband (the pastor), they were in the Lord's Church.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Kurt Strause on January 13, 2011, 03:10:35 PM
Was the 1965 LCMS invitation to other American Lutheran churches simply an invitation to create a single hymnal? I know there was no invitation to merger, but wasn't there the hope the hymnal might also advance the cause of altar and pulpit fellowship among American Lutheran churches?

I think most of us knew at least 5 years before the publication of LBW that wasn't going to happen. But wasn't that dream very much alive in The LCMS in 1965?

Kurt Strause
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 03:21:27 PM
In my parish ministry I had ELCA families actively seek out my congregation to join because they were so revolted by the theology they were getting in their ELCA congregation, and this was even long before the homosexual garbage infected the ELCA. They were among my most active members and they did not come complaining about closed communion, but respected it and were hungry to learn more and once members were the most concerned about communion fellowship with the ELCA.

One of my elders was former ELCA and when his daughter decided to marry a young man studying to be an ELCA pastor he made it clear to me that he would be insulted if I permitted his future son-in-law's ELCA pastor friends to participate in the wedding service.

My experience, especially at my last two calls, was just the opposite. A majority of the new members were former LCMS folks.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 03:25:50 PM
The project to create the Lutheran Book of Worship was a preliminary to the hoped-for merger of all the major Lutheran denominations.

Where did you get that idea? The LCMS decided in 1965 that they needed a new hymnal to replace The Lutheran Hymnal of 1941. They invited the other church bodies to participate in the creation of a new hymnal. It was definitely not an invitation to merge together. Although the Service Book and Hymnal of 1958 was still fairly new by hymnal standards, the ALC, LCA, and ELCC became partners in this endeavor and the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship was formed. Thirteen years later LBW was born.

From the book I mentioned earlier that I didn't write down the name and author of. And for the umpteenth time, I never said it was an official decision made by whatever official leadership councile runs the LC-MS. I've been saying repeatedly that there was a faction within the LC-MS who were advocating for at least consideration of greater unity among North American Lutherans. I've never said that the faction that wanted to see closer cooperation and discussion of a merger was the ruling majority who held sway over a dissident minority and was able to get their position accepted and officially adopted. How many times must I repeat that it was a faction within the LC-MS and not the entire denomination who was engaged in these preliminary conversations? Are the actions of a faction within a group not an unofficial action of the group?

Yes, there was that faction in 1965 -- they broke away / were expelled ten years later and formed the AELC. According to LCMS, they never did represent the LCMS, but, at best, were a fringe group -- some might even say, a heretical group.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Chuck Sampson on January 13, 2011, 03:27:01 PM
George: Last and final - the LCMS was involved in NO process leading to the formation of the ELCA. Period.

There is nothing more I can do to help you understand this point, since you are so determined to ignore facts.

OK, now we have Stoffregen, Austin and McCain all singing the same tune, in perfect harmony. What more do you want, George?

 ;D
" . . .  this is the dawning of the age of Aquarius . . ."   ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 03:27:09 PM
OK, now we have Stoffregen, Austin and McCain all singing the same tune, in perfect harmony. What more do you want, George?

I think that he's quite capable of ignoring us all.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 03:32:29 PM
This is not coldly refusing people communion with no explanation.  It is actively following-up to explain why they were refused the Eucharist and inviting them to learn more about what the LCMS confesses.

I'm pretty sure that folks who were confirmed in the LCMS know what the LCMS confesses. However, sometimes because of marriages, location, or other reasons, those LCMSers have joined other congregations. They are refused communion simply because they are not a member of the LCMS. That is what happened to my wife -- raised and confirmed LCMS, has a degree from an LCMS college. Married me -- and thought it best to be a member of the same church I was. She was denied communion at her parent's church. It wasn't because she didn't know what the LCMS confesses. The pastor never asked her about her beliefs -- only about her church membership.

Certainly, not all LCMS pastors are like that, but it's those kinds of experiences that keep many ELCAers from considering the LCMS.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 13, 2011, 03:55:47 PM
I said it upstream. There was never, anywhere, an effort to have the LCMS merge with either the ALC or the LCA or be part of the ELCA. The LBW was not intended to be a precursor to Lutheran merger. No way. No how. 
Didn't happen. Couldn't happen. Austin, Stoffregen and McCain agree.
And Mr. Erdner...? Well, somewhere, some LCMS pastor might have thought or even said, "let's get in on this" so really they were...... thus goes the Erdner fantasy world. 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 13, 2011, 04:37:09 PM
Yes, there was that faction in 1965 -- they broke away / were expelled ten years later and formed the AELC. According to LCMS, they never did represent the LCMS, but, at best, were a fringe group -- some might even say, a heretical group.

Which goes back to exactly what I said earlier. The LC-MS faction that favored merger (1) failed to convince the others and (2) left to form the AELC. But that faction did exist (as you point out), and the actions of a faction within a church are still actions taken within a church, as "Nick" pointed out here (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3620.msg199590#msg199590).

To be fair, we have too many congregations in The LCMS attempting to attract "seekers" who intentionally skip over the confession of sin, because it is too "negative."

So...it's not simply/only an ELCA problem.

If Old Nick can acknowledge that congregations in the LCMS can do things that aren't reflective of the official policy of the church as a whole, and still regard them as part of the LC-MS, and that their actions reflect on the entire LC-MS, then why don't the actions of the factions you refer to reflect on the entire LC-MS?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 13, 2011, 04:37:48 PM
OK, you've convinced me George. I'm sure you are right.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Kevin C. on January 13, 2011, 04:49:10 PM
One more attempt at a post for ALPB

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hi folks,

I tried earlier to write a post and just couldn’t.  I am so frustrated.  I haven’t posted in almost 6 months although I do occasionally read threads on the board.  Nothing has changed.  No one has changed their opinions about anything.  People are still mean and nasty to each other. 

How depressing.  I have emailed a few people over time and found that to be more rewarding.

However, I wish to make a couple of statements.  This is my personal experience.  I have participated in my congregation on council, as president, on all committees, have presided numerous times, have attended synod assemblies for the last number of years, and have attended most other synod functions.

Our congregation talked about leaving the ELCA and voted to stay.  When we discussed leaving, we talked about which Lutheran groups we wanted to come speak to us.  Everyone wanted to hear from LCMC and NALC.  Not one person raised their hand to hear from LCMS.  This is not a slam against the LCMS.  I am just reporting what happened.  I was truly shocked.  To me it just shows how much of a divide there is in Lutheranism or in religion. 

The ELCA people I know would not be interested in the LCMS because:

1)   Women’s ordination
2)   Open communion
3)   Accepting of homosexual unions and/or ordinations of those in a relationship (about   50/50)
4)   Ecumenical agreements (my congregation and other congregations in my synod like them and encourage them)
5)   Less doctrine oriented, (Jesus is our Savior)
6)   Not literal Bible (inspired not inerrant)
7)   Abortion (not the best choice but is a choice)

I don’t necessarily agree with all of the above but this is what I know from the people that I associate with in our congregation and our synod.

Kevin   back to lurking for another 6 months
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: SKPeterson on January 13, 2011, 05:13:43 PM
One more attempt at a post for ALPB

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hi folks,

I tried earlier to write a post and just couldn’t.  I am so frustrated.  I haven’t posted in almost 6 months although I do occasionally read threads on the board.  Nothing has changed.  No one has changed their opinions about anything.  People are still mean and nasty to each other.  

How depressing.  I have emailed a few people over time and found that to be more rewarding.

However, I wish to make a couple of statements.  This is my personal experience.  I have participated in my congregation on council, as president, on all committees, have presided numerous times, have attended synod assemblies for the last number of years, and have attended most other synod functions.

Our congregation talked about leaving the ELCA and voted to stay.  When we discussed leaving, we talked about which Lutheran groups we wanted to come speak to us.  Everyone wanted to hear from LCMC and NALC.  Not one person raised their hand to hear from LCMS.  This is not a slam against the LCMS.  I am just reporting what happened.  I was truly shocked.  To me it just shows how much of a divide there is in Lutheranism or in religion.  

The ELCA people I know would not be interested in the LCMS because:

1)   Women’s ordination
2)   Open communion
3)   Accepting of homosexual unions and/or ordinations of those in a relationship (about   50/50)
4)   Ecumenical agreements (my congregation and other congregations in my synod like them and encourage them)
5)   Less doctrine oriented, (Jesus is our Savior)
6)   Not literal Bible (inspired not inerrant)
7)   Abortion (not the best choice but is a choice)

I don’t necessarily agree with all of the above but this is what I know from the people that I associate with in our congregation and our synod.

Kevin   back to lurking for another 6 months


I can sympathize, Kevin.  As one who has left the ELCA, I went immediately to the LCMS, partly because it was the only other Lutheran game in town, but also because I knew pretty well what the LCMS stood for, and that it was much closer to what I learned almost 30 years ago in the old LCA in confirmation than what was being officially taught in the ELCA.  Following the 7 points outlined by Kevin, I can say that yes those were all important to me and I found that I disagreed with most of the ELCA's stands on those points.  The only ones that I had (very slight) problems with were 1 and 6, although 2 was the most emotionally and spiritually wrenching in practice.  As to 1, I was a confirmed agnostic, but the LCMS stance is perfectly reasonable and Scripturally defensible, so that one fell to the wayside quite quickly.  Point 6 has been difficult and I'm still working it out, but I will blame that on my secular education; I'm learning to accept more and question differently.  It's not so much that I'm not asking questions, but the questions I'm asking are different in focus and tenor.  

I can only speak for myself, but the finality of the CWA09 decisions were the culminating factor in a process that I had been going through since about the time of the ecumenical agreements with the Episcopals and Reformed.  Anyhow, at that time I simply could not return to the ELCA and to my congregation, something had been irrevocably broken.

As to 2) it was painful not to be able to commune at the LCMS, especially since my leaving the ELCA had to do with its increasing abandonment of Lutheran teaching and confession, and I was more fully in communion with the LCMS than the ELCA.  Having been confirmed and assenting to the full and complete statements of belief found in the (Lutheran) Rite of Affirmation of Baptism, I was slightly appalled at being put on hold for 8 weeks to prove my bona fides.  So, yes, my family and I were caught out in the cold - unable to commune in the community that reflected our beliefs and unable to (for me, just physically, mentally, spiritually could not do it) commune in good faith at the ELCA.  It was one of the darkest periods of my life, but there was light at the end of the tunnel - I'm just thankful that nothing life-threatening or altering happened during that period.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 05:21:53 PM
I think most of us knew at least 5 years before the publication of LBW that wasn't going to happen. But wasn't that dream very much alive in The LCMS in 1965?

I don't believe that in 1965 the LCMS had altar and pulpit fellowship outside of its own daughter synods, e.g., in Canada and elsewhere. That was before fellowship with the ALC.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 13, 2011, 05:24:13 PM
1)   Women’s ordination
2)   Open communion
3)   Accepting of homosexual unions and/or ordinations of those in a relationship (about   50/50)
4)   Ecumenical agreements (my congregation and other congregations in my synod like them and encourage them)
5)   Less doctrine oriented, (Jesus is our Savior)
6)   Not literal Bible (inspired not inerrant)
7)   Abortion (not the best choice but is a choice)


Yup, if those are things people do hold to, believe in and want to see in their church body, The LCMS is not for them.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 05:29:14 PM
Yes, there was that faction in 1965 -- they broke away / were expelled ten years later and formed the AELC. According to LCMS, they never did represent the LCMS, but, at best, were a fringe group -- some might even say, a heretical group.

Which goes back to exactly what I said earlier. The LC-MS faction that favored merger (1) failed to convince the others and (2) left to form the AELC. But that faction did exist (as you point out), and the actions of a faction within a church are still actions taken within a church, as "Nick" pointed out here (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3620.msg199590#msg199590).

A faction, a fringe, a heretical group are not actions of the whole group. No one has claimed that HerChurch is an action of the ELCA; or congregations who elect only men to their council; nor when congregations called partnered gay clergy (rostered or not) or when ELCA pastors officiated at same-gender unions. As a church body we said that these things were not part of the ELCA (prior to August 2009). What individual pastors or congregations did was at odds with the ELCA -- not part of it.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 13, 2011, 05:29:42 PM
SKPeterson writes (re their transition to the LCMS):
 So, yes, my family and I were caught out in the cold - unable to commune in the community that reflected our beliefs and unable to (for me, just physically, mentally, spiritually could not do it) commune in good faith at the ELCA.  It was one of the darkest periods of my life, but there was light at the end of the tunnel - I'm just thankful that nothing life-threatening or altering happened during that period.

I comment:
And for you to have to think that - if a crisis arose - you would be denied the sacraments in the LCMS community that reflected your belief is one of the reasons that many ELCAers have a problem considering the LCMS.
I know LCMS pastors who would welcome me at their communion rails. But we all have stories of people in grave need of the consolation of the sacrament being denied that consolation by LCMS pastors because of their affiliation with the ELCA.
But this is not as big a problem as formerly. Our full communion agreements assure us that other churches will minister sacramentally to our people without reservation.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Steverem on January 13, 2011, 05:46:55 PM

I can only speak for myself, but the finality of the CWA09 decisions were the culminating factor in a process that I had been going through since about the time of the ecumenical agreements with the Episcopals and Reformed.  Anyhow, at that time I simply could not return to the ELCA and to my congregation, something had been irrevocably broken.


You're speaking for at least one other person.  I am quite happy in my current (since 1999) LCMS congregation, but there was profound sadness in 2009 when I realized I couldn't go back to my old church body as a member.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 13, 2011, 06:42:14 PM
It was one of the darkest periods of my life, but there was light at the end of the tunnel - I'm just thankful that nothing life-threatening or altering happened during that period.

Thank you so much for sharing your story from what I'm sure was a difficult transition.  Might I add that you had the sacrament of baptism to look to for assurance during that period, as well?  Reading your post made me remember that the pastor at the 2nd ELCA church I joined asked me to attend the Adult Instruction class before becoming a member.  My memory fails, but I'm sure he still allowed me to commune.  I suppose none of us can get enough of that Catechism, can we?   :D
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 13, 2011, 06:50:59 PM
Our full communion agreements assure us that other churches will minister sacramentally to our people without reservation.

And to their detriment (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2011:27-32&version=ESV), as I experienced firsthand in the ELCA.  It provides quite the jar when one recognizes one is doing this, which is why I'm an ardent defender of close(d) communion.  It's far easier to heed the authority of a pastor up front than learn the hard way directly from God how wrong you've been.

Let us not forget the importance of the sacrament of baptism that we benefit from when we remember it DAILY as Luther taught us.  

IV. The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household.

First.
What is Baptism?--Answer.
Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God's command and connected with God's Word.
Which is that word of God?--Answer.
Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Matthew: Go ye into all the world and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Secondly.
What does Baptism give or profit?--Answer.
It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.
Which are such words and promises of God? Answer.
Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Mark: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Thirdly.
How can water do such great things?--Answer.
It is not the water indeed that does them, but the word of God which is in and with the water, and faith, which trusts such word of God in the water. For without the word of God the water is simple water and no baptism. But with the word of God it is a baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost, as St. Paul says, Titus, chapter three: By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior, that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying.

Fourthly.
What does such baptizing with water signify?--Answer.
It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?--Answer.
St. Paul says Romans, chapter 6: We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


(excerpted from http://www.bookofconcord.org/smallcatechism.php#baptism)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 06:51:49 PM
I'm pretty sure that if my parents had waited until I properly understood everything about nutrition and the human digestive system before feeding me, I would have died. Should folks be surprised at how ELCAers react to LCMS's close(d) communion?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 06:54:33 PM
It's far easier to heed the authority of a pastor up front than learn the hard way directly from God how wrong you've been.

As I see it, it is the pastor up front who keeps some folks from receiving the means of grace, not God; and thus, it is an abuse of authority -- taking God's place.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 13, 2011, 07:08:00 PM
As I see it, it is the pastor up front who keeps some folks from receiving the means of grace, not God; and thus, it is an abuse of authority -- taking God's place.

As I see it, it is the pastor up front who neglects the authority he's been entrusted with BY GOD to stand in the stead of Jesus and refuses to heed that which is written in 1 Cor 11 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2011:27-32&version=ESV) that represents the true abuse of authority.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 13, 2011, 07:18:36 PM
Our full communion agreements assure us that other churches will minister sacramentally to our people without reservation.

And to their detriment (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2011:27-32&version=ESV), as I experienced firsthand in the ELCA.  It provides quite the jar when one recognizes they're doing this, which is why I'm an ardent defender of close(d) communion.  It's far easier to heed the authority of a pastor up front than learn the hard way directly from God how wrong you've been.


I was taught that passage you quoted referred to allowing Roman pagans who weren't baptised to partake in communion, not refusing to allow Christians from Antioch,  Thessaly, or Ephesus to receive communion in Corinth.

As I have said several times before on this issue, I do not dispute the principle that self-examination is a requirement prior to communion. It does after all expressly state, "Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup." St Paul makes a big deal of self-examination, as well he should. But he says nothing about the presiding clergyman serving as God's bouncer to ensure that only the worth commune. And, that expression of self-examination says nothing about using which congregation contains the filing cabinet with one's name on a piece of paper as a litmus test of whether or not the person seeking communion is adequately self-examined.

It is clear from many posts in here made by members of the LC-MS that there are people and even entire congregations who do not totally conform to all of the LC-MS understandings of what the Augsburg Confession really means. If an LC-MS pastor can decry the practice at some LC-MS congregations of leaving out the order for public confession because it is "too negative", then how could that same pastor accept any member of one of those congregations at the altar when he is presiding, regardless of the fact that the congregation is nominally part of the LC-MS?

And what of members of an LC-MS congregation who, though members in good standing on the roster, haven't conducted their own, personal self-examination in full compliance with Paul's admonition? How does an LC-MS pastor discern which members of his flock have and which members haven't examined themselves as Paul says that they should? Wouldn't permitting someone who hadn't examined himself, even though he was a member of an LC-MS congregation, be the same as giving communion to a person who was a baptized member of a Lutheran church that wasn't a designated full-communion partner?

I think that the ELCA's communion practices at some congregations are too lax. I think that there should be a clear statement of welcome to, "all baptized Christians who acknowledge the true presence of the Body and Blood of our Lord in the elements". There should be some mention of self-examination. But I'm sorry, I cannot understand how Paul's admonishment for self-examination can be interpreted as the presiding clergy must serve as judging gatekeeper and I cannot accept congregational membership as a litmus test to determine if the person seeking communion has properly examined himself.

As I see it, it is the pastor up front who keeps some folks from receiving the means of grace, not God; and thus, it is an abuse of authority -- taking God's place.

As I see it, it is the pastor up front who neglects the authority he's been entrusted with BY GOD to stand in the stead of Jesus and refuses to heed that which is written in 1 Cor 11 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2011:27-32&version=ESV) that represents the true abuse of authority.

Where in the bit you linked to does it say that the pastor is supposed to be the gatekeeper?

27(A) Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord(B) in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning(C) the body and blood of the Lord. 28(D) Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some(E) have died.[a] 31(F) But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32But when we are judged by the Lord,(G) we are disciplined[c] so that we may not be(H) condemned along with the world.

Footnotes:
a.1 Corinthians 11:30 Greek have fallen asleep (as in 15:6, 20)
b.1 Corinthians 11:31 Or discerned
c.1 Corinthians 11:32 Or when we are judged we are being disciplined by the Lord
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Robert Johnson on January 13, 2011, 07:21:55 PM
 Having been confirmed and assenting to the full and complete statements of belief found in the (Lutheran) Rite of Affirmation of Baptism, I was slightly appalled at being put on hold for 8 weeks to prove my bona fides.

If you don't mind, would you elaborate on the 8 weeks' hold?  What was the purpose of the delay?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 07:22:12 PM
As I see it, it is the pastor up front who keeps some folks from receiving the means of grace, not God; and thus, it is an abuse of authority -- taking God's place.

As I see it, it is the pastor up front who neglects the authority he's been entrusted with BY GOD to stand in the stead of Jesus and refuses to heed that which is written in 1 Cor 11 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2011:27-32&version=ESV) that represents the true abuse of authority.

1 Corinthians 11 is about one group who excluded others from the sacrament, because the first group was unwilling to discern that the others (probably the poor laborers who couldn't get to church until after work) were equal parts of the body of Christ. Thus, it was the first group, the excluders, who were bringing judgment upon themselves by excluding the others. Those who saw it as "our own meal" rather than the Lord's meal for all of God's children.

You stopped reading before Paul gave his solution to the problem in v. 33: "So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for (or share with) one another." His solution has nothing to do with coming to a right understanding of Real Presence or doctrinal unity. It is making sure that the whole body of Christ is able to eat together. It's recognizing that those others people, who came later, are part of the body of Christ and that Christ has invited them to the meal, too.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 13, 2011, 07:27:05 PM
I'm pretty sure that if my parents had waited until I properly understood everything about nutrition and the human digestive system before feeding me, I would have died. Should folks be surprised at how ELCAers react to LCMS's close(d) communion?

Well, if your parents loved you, they also would have taken great care to feed you appropriately at the proper stage of development.  Were you chugging down Coke or beer from your baby bottle?  Consider sin an eternal form of food allergy . . . we should all properly examine ourselves and repent of it before partaking in the Lord's Supper or there will be consequences.  Scripture is clear on this.  God has called pastors to serve in Jesus' stead, so it is their obligation to protect their flock from these consequences.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 07:30:41 PM
I'm pretty sure that if my parents had waited until I properly understood everything about nutrition and the human digestive system before feeding me, I would have died. Should folks be surprised at how ELCAers react to LCMS's close(d) communion?

Well, if your parents loved you, they also would have taken great care to feed you appropriately at the proper stage of development.  Were you chugging down Coke or beer from your baby bottle?  Consider sin an eternal form of food allergy . . . we should all properly examine ourselves and repent of it before partaking in the Lord's Supper or there will be consequences.  Scripture is clear on this.  God has called pastors to serve in Jesus' stead, so it is their obligation to protect their flock from these consequences.

What needs to be examined is one's own attitude towards others who are also part of Christ's body. I believe that the LCMS fails miserably at such an examination of themselves. When they exclude other believers, they are declaring, "You are not part of Christ's body."
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 13, 2011, 07:30:47 PM
As I see it, it is the pastor up front who keeps some folks from receiving the means of grace, not God; and thus, it is an abuse of authority -- taking God's place.

As I see it, it is the pastor up front who neglects the authority he's been entrusted with BY GOD to stand in the stead of Jesus and refuses to heed that which is written in 1 Cor 11 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2011:27-32&version=ESV) that represents the true abuse of authority.

1 Corinthians 11 is about one group who excluded others from the sacrament, because the first group was unwilling to discern that the others (probably the poor laborers who couldn't get to church until after work) were equal parts of the body of Christ. Thus, it was the first group, the excluders, who were bringing judgment upon themselves by excluding the others. Those who saw it as "our own meal" rather than the Lord's meal for all of God's children.

You stopped reading before Paul gave his solution to the problem in v. 33: "So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for (or share with) one another." His solution has nothing to do with coming to a right understanding of Real Presence or doctrinal unity. It is making sure that the whole body of Christ is able to eat together. It's recognizing that those others people, who came later, are part of the body of Christ and that Christ has invited them to the meal, too.

You are welcome to interpret it that way.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 07:32:13 PM
As I see it, it is the pastor up front who keeps some folks from receiving the means of grace, not God; and thus, it is an abuse of authority -- taking God's place.

As I see it, it is the pastor up front who neglects the authority he's been entrusted with BY GOD to stand in the stead of Jesus and refuses to heed that which is written in 1 Cor 11 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2011:27-32&version=ESV) that represents the true abuse of authority.

1 Corinthians 11 is about one group who excluded others from the sacrament, because the first group was unwilling to discern that the others (probably the poor laborers who couldn't get to church until after work) were equal parts of the body of Christ. Thus, it was the first group, the excluders, who were bringing judgment upon themselves by excluding the others. Those who saw it as "our own meal" rather than the Lord's meal for all of God's children.

You stopped reading before Paul gave his solution to the problem in v. 33: "So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for (or share with) one another." His solution has nothing to do with coming to a right understanding of Real Presence or doctrinal unity. It is making sure that the whole body of Christ is able to eat together. It's recognizing that those others people, who came later, are part of the body of Christ and that Christ has invited them to the meal, too.

You are welcome to interpret it that way.

What is your interpretation of v. 33?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 13, 2011, 07:35:15 PM
I believe that the LCMS fails miserably at such an examination of themselves. When they exclude other believers, they are declaring, "You are not part of Christ's body."

I believe some in your denomination fail miserably at examining the Word of God and have quite possibly put themselves outside the body of Christ all on their own (apart from any declaration you assert the LCMS may make on the matter).
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: SKPeterson on January 13, 2011, 07:43:48 PM
 Having been confirmed and assenting to the full and complete statements of belief found in the (Lutheran) Rite of Affirmation of Baptism, I was slightly appalled at being put on hold for 8 weeks to prove my bona fides.

If you don't mind, would you elaborate on the 8 weeks' hold?  What was the purpose of the delay?

It was "Lutheranism 101." Essentially the same as if someone from a Baptist or Presbyterian background wanted to learn more about what Lutherans believe and confess.  So it was more than a new members class which could serve as an introduction to the church, etc.  I like to go to the Lutheranism 101's or whatever they may be called about every 5 years or so - they're good refreshers, but I was a little put out to be asked to go through it.  It was okay though - it was a way for the pastors to understand me and my wife and explain any questions we had.  I was thinking 2 or 3 weeks, though, not 6.  It was 6 - I just realized a typo on my part.  My apologies.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: SKPeterson on January 13, 2011, 07:46:23 PM
Point 6 has been difficult and I'm still working it out, but I will blame that on my secular education; I'm learning to accept more and question differently.  It's not so much that I'm not asking questions, but the questions I'm asking are different in focus and tenor. 

I linked to this in another thread, but I'd like to recommend this Robert Preus article on Biblical Inerrancy to you here.  It may help in the process of accepting more and questioning differently.

They also noted that the idea of infallibility as understood in the 20th century was a product of the late 19th and early 20th century and therefor really had no immediate claim on the Lutheran Church. After that, in the case of some professors, it was pointed out how problematic the view was and sometimes it was offered up as ridiculous and beneath us. You know the drill, "If you think the bible is without error what do you make of  . . . " fill in your own favorite "contradiction."

Robert Preus' article "Luther and Biblical Infallibility" provides a good counterpoint to that attitude.

http://www.christforus.org/Luther%20and%20Biblical%20Infallibility.pdf

Mike

Mike

Thanks, Mike. I appreciate it.

Steven
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: SKPeterson on January 13, 2011, 07:52:53 PM
As a total aside and contribution to thread drift - Are all the Preus's related?  Seems to me like they are brothers, cousins, sons, nephews, etc. and are intimately wrapped up in the course of American Lutheranism from ~1940 to the present day.  Is this the case? Has anyone done a biographical study of the family and their interrelationships, quarrels, theologies, denominational affiliations and everything else?  Seems like a great topic for historical theological research to me.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 13, 2011, 08:10:20 PM
On the need to examine oneself so as to not partake in the Lord's Supper to one's detriment:

For this reason slanderers and those who wickedly judge and despise others cannot but receive death in the sacrament, as St. Paul writes in I Corinthians 11[:29]. For they do not do unto their neighbor what they seek from Christ, and what the sacrament indicates. They begrudge others anything good; they have no sympathy for them; they do not care for others as they themselves desire to be cared for by Christ. And then they fall into such blindness that they do not know what else to do in this sacrament except to fear and honor Christ there present with their own prayers and devotion. When they have done this, they think they have done their whole duty. But Christ has given his holy body for this purpose, that the thing signified by the sacrament—the fellowship, the change wrought by love—may be put into practice. And Christ values his spiritual body, which is the fellowship of his saints, more than his own natural body. To him it is more important, especially in this sacrament, that faith in the fellowship with him and with his saints may be properly exercised and become strong in us; and that we, in keeping with it, may properly exercise our fellowship with one another. This purpose of Christ the blind worshipers do not perceive. In their devoutness they go on daily saying and hearing mass, but they remain every day the same; indeed every day they become worse but do not perceive it.

Therefore take heed. It is more needful that you discern the spiritual than the natural body of Christ; and faith in the spiritual body is more necessary than faith in the natural body. For the natural without the spiritual profits us nothing in this sacrament; a change must occur [in the communicant] and be exercised through love.


Luther, Martin: Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan (Hrsg.) ; Oswald, Hilton C. (Hrsg.) ;  Lehmann, Helmut T. (Hrsg.): Luther's Works, Vol. 35  : Word and Sacrament I. Philadelphia : Fortress Press, 1999, c1960 (Luther's Works 35), S. 35:62
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 13, 2011, 08:16:13 PM
On the need to examine oneself so as to not partake in the Lord's Supper to one's detriment:

For this reason slanderers and those who wickedly judge and despise others cannot but receive death in the sacrament, as St. Paul writes in I Corinthians 11[:29]. For they do not do unto their neighbor what they seek from Christ, and what the sacrament indicates. They begrudge others anything good; they have no sympathy for them; they do not care for others as they themselves desire to be cared for by Christ. And then they fall into such blindness that they do not know what else to do in this sacrament except to fear and honor Christ there present with their own prayers and devotion. When they have done this, they think they have done their whole duty. But Christ has given his holy body for this purpose, that the thing signified by the sacrament—the fellowship, the change wrought by love—may be put into practice. And Christ values his spiritual body, which is the fellowship of his saints, more than his own natural body. To him it is more important, especially in this sacrament, that faith in the fellowship with him and with his saints may be properly exercised and become strong in us; and that we, in keeping with it, may properly exercise our fellowship with one another. This purpose of Christ the blind worshipers do not perceive. In their devoutness they go on daily saying and hearing mass, but they remain every day the same; indeed every day they become worse but do not perceive it.

Therefore take heed. It is more needful that you discern the spiritual than the natural body of Christ; and faith in the spiritual body is more necessary than faith in the natural body. For the natural without the spiritual profits us nothing in this sacrament; a change must occur [in the communicant] and be exercised through love.


Luther, Martin: Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan (Hrsg.) ; Oswald, Hilton C. (Hrsg.) ;  Lehmann, Helmut T. (Hrsg.): Luther's Works, Vol. 35  : Word and Sacrament I. Philadelphia : Fortress Press, 1999, c1960 (Luther's Works 35), S. 35:62

The boldface is exactly what I've been saying.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 13, 2011, 08:29:32 PM
On the need to examine oneself so as to not partake in the Lord's Supper to one's detriment:

For this reason slanderers and those who wickedly judge and despise others cannot but receive death in the sacrament, as St. Paul writes in I Corinthians 11[:29]. For they do not do unto their neighbor what they seek from Christ, and what the sacrament indicates. They begrudge others anything good; they have no sympathy for them; they do not care for others as they themselves desire to be cared for by Christ. And then they fall into such blindness that they do not know what else to do in this sacrament except to fear and honor Christ there present with their own prayers and devotion. When they have done this, they think they have done their whole duty. But Christ has given his holy body for this purpose, that the thing signified by the sacrament—the fellowship, the change wrought by love—may be put into practice. And Christ values his spiritual body, which is the fellowship of his saints, more than his own natural body. To him it is more important, especially in this sacrament, that faith in the fellowship with him and with his saints may be properly exercised and become strong in us; and that we, in keeping with it, may properly exercise our fellowship with one another. This purpose of Christ the blind worshipers do not perceive. In their devoutness they go on daily saying and hearing mass, but they remain every day the same; indeed every day they become worse but do not perceive it.

Therefore take heed. It is more needful that you discern the spiritual than the natural body of Christ; and faith in the spiritual body is more necessary than faith in the natural body. For the natural without the spiritual profits us nothing in this sacrament; a change must occur [in the communicant] and be exercised through love.


Luther, Martin: Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan (Hrsg.) ; Oswald, Hilton C. (Hrsg.) ;  Lehmann, Helmut T. (Hrsg.): Luther's Works, Vol. 35  : Word and Sacrament I. Philadelphia : Fortress Press, 1999, c1960 (Luther's Works 35), S. 35:62

Again, where does that say that the presiding clergyman must serve as the Lord's bouncer in determining who has and who hasn't examined himself. And, where does that say that simply being a member of the right Lutheran denomination is evidence that someone has indeed examined himself as he is supposed to, or that someone who belongs to the wrong Lutheran denomination has not properly examined himself?

I do not dispute that no one should present himself at the Lord's Altar for communion unless he has examined himself. That's a given. You and I agree on it. There's no need to further convince me, nor should there be any need to convince anyone else that one needs to examine oneself before taking communion.

So, could you please move on to the next issues, which are (1) where is it written that pastors should serve as judgemental gatekeepers, and (2) what does the affiliation of the congregation one is a member of have to do with discerning whether or not someone who presents himself at the altar has properly examined himself?

And if anyone else wants to jump in with an answer to those two questions, please feel free.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 13, 2011, 08:37:55 PM
A little patience, George.

The boldface is exactly what I've been saying.

So am I understanding you to say that pastors who exercise their God-given duty to exclude some from communion are wickedly judging and despising them?  Then your argument is with Luther and others who would say otherwise.  It's one thing for a pastor to deny the Lord's Supper to someone visiting from a church with a confession of faith that has become contrary to Scripture, it's another altogether to deny it on the grounds of a person's outright sin.  Out of curiosity, have you ever exercised the authority of the keys in this manner, Brian?

2. Fellowship is of two kinds, just as there are two things, namely, sign and significance, in the sacrament, as I said in the sermon.  The first kind of fellowship is inward, spiritual, and invisible, for it is in the heart. It means that through faith, hope, and love a man is incorporated into the fellowship of Christ and all the saints—as signified and given in the sacrament. This is the work and power of the sacrament. No man, be he bishop or pope, nor any creature or even angel may either grant or take away such fellowship. Only God himself, through his Holy Spirit, must pour it into the heart of the man who believes in the sacrament, as was said in the sermon.  Here, too, no ban is able to reach or to exist, except the unbelief or sin of man himself. Consequently, he excommunicates himself and separates himself from the grace, life, and blessedness of the community. St. Paul proves this in Romans 8[:35, 38]: “Who shall separate us from the love of God?” Can fear and distress do it? Or hunger and poverty? Or danger, persecution, and the shedding of blood? No, no! “For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else on earth will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And St. Peter, in I Peter 3[:13], “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?”

3. The second fellowship is outward, physical, and visible. It means that a man is allowed to participate in the holy sacrament, to receive it and to partake of it together with others. A bishop or pope may exclude someone from this fellowship and forbid it to him because of his sins. This is called putting someone under the ban. This ban was used frequently some time ago, and is now called the small ban. But the ban goes even further and forbids burial, buying and selling, trading, a certain kind of life and fellowship among men, and finally even (as they say) water and fire. This is called the large ban. Some people are not satisfied with this; beyond all this they use secular power against those under the ban in order to conquer them through sword, fire, and war. However, these are new inventions rather than the true meaning of Scripture. For the use of the sword belongs to the emperor, to kings, princes, and the rulers of the world and by no means to the spiritual estate, whose sword should be a spiritual one, namely, the word of God, as St. Paul says in Ephesians 6[:17], rather than an iron one.

4. Christ instituted this outward ban, small as well as large, according to Matthew 18[:15–17]: “If your brother sins against you, punish him between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word or dealing may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the whole congregation of the church; and if he refuses to listen to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Again, St. Paul, I Corinthians 5[:11], “Do not associate with anyone if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber—do not even eat with such a one.” Again, II Thessalonians 3[:14], “If anyone refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” Again, John in II John [:10–11], “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting for he who greets him shares his wicked work.”

Luther, Martin: Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan (Hrsg.) ; Oswald, Hilton C. (Hrsg.) ;  Lehmann, Helmut T. (Hrsg.): Luther's Works, Vol. 39  : Church and Ministry I. Philadelphia : Fortress Press, 1999, c1970 (Luther's Works 39), S. 39:7
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Kevin C. on January 13, 2011, 09:18:50 PM
Okay, since I brought up that list I will post where I stand, not that you all care, and then disappear into lurker mode, possibly forever.

I wish there was a way I could think of to put Lutheran in Methobapticostal or whatever some of you call it ‘cause that's what I think I am.

Here comes the
"You can't pick and choose."  I just did
"You can't go by what you feel."  I just did.

1) Women's ordination; I can't imagine not having had the influence and care of a couple of women pastors in my life.  I thank God for them.

2) Open communion; I respect the LCMS position and understand what they are saying about common confession.  If that's what they believe that's fine.  However I don't.  I have communed in LCMS churches after speaking with the pastor before hand and was so thankful that I was allowed to do so.   I needed that body and blood.

As to examining myself, I do that.  I don’t need a LCMS pastor to second guess me.

3) Homosexual issue; I know homosexual pastors.  Have they not given their lives to God?  You will say no because of their sexuality.  Are they not pastors?  Same reasons.  
It’s a difficult issue for me.  I know it is not difficult for some of you.  That’s fine.  For me it is a difficult issue.  That’s the way my mind works.

4) Ecumenical agreements; not a difficult issue for me.  My congregation does a lot with churches in our area, Methodist, non-denom, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Moravian, Catholic, Salvation Army, Nazarene, and others I can’t think of right now.  We have joint services.  We worship together.  Now some of you will ask if we are worshipping the same God.  YES!  JESUS is our Savior!

5) Which brings us to number 5, less doctrine.  I need more doctrine than Brian S. or John Petty but definitely not as much as Mike G., Paul  or the LCMS.

6) And number 6.  Most of my friends do not take creation literally.  Not just people my age, almost 60, but younger and older.  Friends in their 80’s and 90’s.  Noah’s ark, Jonah and the whale.  Personally I am not sure but I don’t lose any sleep over it.

7) Abortion.  I can’t believe that the abortion argument is being brought up on the Otten thread.  But then I remember a couple years ago Paul McCain brought it up to Charles about the walk for Right to Life, something about if Charles would support that then Paul would support something Charles wanted.  I can’t remember what it was.  It just seems weird to me that abortion is brought in to the argument on the holocaust.  I guess it has to do with the value of human life in the minds of those bringing it up.

Abortion is not a great choice but it is a choice that is necessary some times.

Well folks, that’s where I stand.  I will go to my ELCA church this weekend, play in the bell choir, sing in the adult choir, worship with my friends, go to the synod assembly, etc.  We will continue on despite all the predictions on this board.

Good luck in all your arguments.  By the way, I just retired from teaching and now I get to decide what to do with the rest of my life.  One thing I will not do is argue endlessly.  I retired to get rid of stress.  Seriously, I wish you all the best in your faith journeys.  This place has been an experience.  Best to all. 

Kevin   :)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 13, 2011, 09:24:09 PM

I'm not aware that The LCMS ever supported the theology, or formation, of the ELCA, or participated in it. I welcome correction.

Peter didn't say that.  Perhaps a couple of modifications to the following would have been helpful:

Yet, there had been a lot of hope in the late 60's and early 70's that the a merger would in a couple of generations bring all three, LCA, ALC, and LCMS into one Lutheran presence in America and would that not have been prettyful. When LCMS pulled out of the LBW project just as it was about to be published it questioned that dream which offended a number of those for whom it was the pirze [sic] and goal and they still don't like LCMS for it.

Part of the '60s and '70s was the Lutheran Council in the USA (LCUSA), which included the LCA, ALC, LCMS, and the SELC.  LCUSA which was the vehicle for considerable joint work among Lutherans, including official studies on the ordination of women and confirmation.  Certainly there were no formal merger discussions at the time -- even the ALC and LCA weren't thinking along those lines until the newly-formed AELC issued the invitation.  But if you had asked in 1968 what North American Lutheranism might look like in, say, 2011, you would have heard hopeful expectations that the LCA, ALC, and LCMS would be on a clear path to coming together into one church.  

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 13, 2011, 09:40:44 PM
Again, where does that say that the presiding clergyman must serve as the Lord's bouncer in determining who has and who hasn't examined himself.

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 1 Corinthians 4:1 (ESV)

Mike

Do you really want to act like a couple of non-denominationals and fire individual verses back and forth? Because I could very easily counter with "5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God." 1st Corinthians 4:5 (ESV).

Isn't it a bit of a stretch to assume that one stray verse in 1st Corinthians 4 means that it's up to the pastor to judge who can and who cannot take communion because of whether or not he has examined himself? Could not Paul be using "us" to describe all Christians and their role relative to pagans and heathens, that in the pagan-rich environment of ancient Corinth, all Christians are bound to be servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God?

Paul doesn't hesitate in his epistles to go into detail when necessary to make a point. So, if he was saying that pastors and priests should enforce his admonishment about self-examination prior to communion, why would he separate those two thoughts by so many pages of text?

More importantly, even if it is the pastor or priest's duty to serve as gatekeeper to prevent those who haven't done proper self-examination prior to communion, where does it say that the evidence that someone has engaged in self-examination within a suitable period of time prior to communion is what denomination the congregation they are a formal member of is affiliated with?

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 13, 2011, 09:47:46 PM
Good luck in all your arguments.

Blessings on your continued enjoyment of retirement, Kevin.  Thank you for your willingness to post here despite your reservations.  I, too, shared agreement in much of what you put forth upthread at one time.  Thanks to very patient and loving theologians and pastors that God brought into my life (and the most patient saint of them all . . . my husband), I now hold God's Word to be inerrant and infallible in its entirety.  If I am to hold any of the teachings of the Bible as myth or legend or just a book of stories, I also then run the risk of saying the same of Jesus and His story contained within the Bible.  My prayer is that you experience the peace that surpasses all understanding in your remaining years.  And as for that abortion issue on the other thread, it was used for illustrative purposes on free speech issues; as for calling it necessary at times, you know how to reach me if you would like to hear some firsthand stories about what that allowance for "necessary" can do to a woman (and her baby, and the father, and the grandparents, etc.).   Blessings to you.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Weedon on January 13, 2011, 09:59:25 PM
Kevin,

Congrats upon the retirement!  Remember that in the Lord there is only "reenlistment" as an option!!!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 13, 2011, 10:14:04 PM
More importantly, even if it is the pastor or priest's duty to serve as gatekeeper to prevent those who haven't done proper self-examination prior to communion, where does it say that the evidence that someone has engaged in self-examination within a suitable period of time prior to communion is what denomination the congregation they are a formal member of is affiliated with?

It's about the confession of faith of a particular church body, George.  That is the reason for the term "altar and pulpit fellowship."  If I were to commune at the rail of an ELCA congregation, I'd be making a common confession (thus, the word communion) with those at the rail that I agree with allowing openly gay pastors to serve the church, that funding abortions for the pastors within my church body with my offerings is acceptable, that I subscribe to women's ordination, etc.  Plus, one can't self-examine without proper catechesis (thus the Small and Large Catechisms which have been passed on through all these years).  Do you really think the Catechism is being taught the same way within the LCMS and the ELCA (if it's even taught at all among some churches)?  I am doubtful.  Should an unrepentant practicing homosexual be allowed to receive the Supper within an LCMS congregation in your opinion (considering he is allowed to within the ELCA)?  This is an example where an LCMS pastor would clearly be exercising the authority of the office of the keys in denying him entrance to the Lord's Table.

A couple examples from the Large Catechism:

We must, therefore, make a distinction here among men. For those who are wanton and dissolute must be told to stay away; for they are not prepared to receive forgiveness of sin, since they do not desire it and do not wish to be godly. 59] But the others, who are not such callous and wicked people, and desire to be godly, must not absent themselves, even though otherwise they be feeble and full of infirmities, as St. Hilary also has said: If any one have not committed sin for which he can rightly be put out of the congregation and esteemed as no Christian, he ought not stay away from the Sacrament, lest he may deprive himself of life. 60] For no one will make such progress that he will not retain many daily infirmities in flesh and blood.

To be sure, it is true that those who despise it and live in an unchristian manner receive it to their hurt and damnation; for nothing shall be good or wholesome to them, just as with a sick person who from caprice eats and drinks what is forbidden him by the physician. 70] But those who are sensible of their weakness, desire to be rid of it and long for help, should regard and use it only as a precious antidote against the poison which they have in them. For here in the Sacrament you are to receive from the lips of Christ forgiveness of sin, which contains and brings with it the grace of God and the Spirit with all His gifts, protection, shelter, and power against death and the devil and all misfortune.
 

(Excerpted from http://www.bookofconcord.org/lc-7-sacrament.php)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 13, 2011, 10:27:19 PM
George, we believe that where you regularly commune is your public confession of what you believe, teach and confess. If you commune at an ELCA altar, you confess the doctrine and practice of the ELCA. It's no more complex than that.

You may not like this belief. You may think it is wrong.

But this is what we believe, so kindly stop whining about it.


Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 13, 2011, 11:33:50 PM
George, we believe that where you regularly commune is your public confession of what you believe, teach and confess. If you commune at an ELCA altar, you confess the doctrine and practice of the ELCA. It's no more complex than that.

You may not this belief. You may think it is wrong.

But this is what we believe, so kindly stop whining about it.




Nick, I'm not whining. I know full well that you claim to believe it. Fine. You also claim that Scripture is the sole source and norm of your faith. Therefore, if you believe something, there must be a Scriptural foundation to it. If there is no Scriptural foundation, if it's something you just made up, then it's adiaphora, right? So I'm asking for someone to show me where it says in scripture that the denomination that the congregation that you belong to is what determines whether or not you have examined yourself.

Kim made the point that it was about the bit in 1st Corinthians 11:27-32 where the Apostle Paul told use that self-examination prior to communion was necessary. I tried to find how she was lead to that conclusion, and she finally said it was about the confession of faith of a particular church body. So now I'm asking where in Scripture did the idea that different Christian church bodies had different confessions?

I do not doubt or dispute that you believe it. If you say that you believe that all all of the Disciples were right-handed except for Judas, I will not doubt or dispute that you believe it. But if you say that you believe whatever you believe because you found it in Scripture, then show me in Scripture where you found it.

That's not whining. If you say that your belief in Closed Communion comes from Scripture, show where it says that in Scripture. Or, if your belief in Closed Communion comes from a source other than Scripture, just say so.

I'd also like to know how you or Kim can say with a straight face that just because someone is a member of an LC-MS congregation he totally and completely agrees with all the teachings of the LC-MS (in other words, shares a common confession) when you yourself have made comments about LC-MS churches that do not practice what the LC-MS preaches.

I remind you of this recent post of yours.
To be fair, we have too many congregations in The LCMS attempting to attract "seekers" who intentionally skip over the confession of sin, because it is too "negative."

So...it's not simply/only an ELCA problem.

Given what you've said about sharing a common confession, would you communion members of an LC-MS congregation that routinely skipped over the confession of sin because it is too negative?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 13, 2011, 11:35:26 PM
It was written:
If you commune at an ELCA altar, you confess the doctrine and practice of the ELCA.

I muse:
But it is not "an ELCA altar," nor is it an "ELCA sacrament." The altar and the sacrament belong to God. The LCMS has decided that it is an LCMS altar and that the LCMS owns it and can impose strict sectarian rules on who can approach it.
Furthermore, the idea that everyone worshiping in a particular congregation fully and without reservation will say they "confess the doctrine and practice" of the denomination to which that congregation belongs is absurd.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Coach-Rev on January 14, 2011, 12:03:13 AM
Kevin,

Don't feel bad about the apparent lack of concern you have.  Your critique of the forums is appropriate and warranted.

I mentioned, to answer the question which began this thread, that I was entering the LCMS colloquy process several pages ago, and it was met with nary a response at all, suggesting to me that the actual thread topic has little to do with the discussion most seem to wish to have here.
 ::)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 14, 2011, 05:52:57 AM
CoachRev writes:
I mentioned, to answer the question which began this thread, that I was entering the LCMS colloquy process several pages ago, and it was met with nary a response at all, suggesting to me that the actual thread topic has little to do with the discussion most seem to wish to have here.

I comment:
And what would you have us say about your departure? You did not ask for opinions. Perhaps we respect your decision and let it go at that. Or saw the futility of trying to talk you out of it.
I did comment, not long after: And we remember that those leaving the ELCA are not leaving "The Church."  They are not lost to the kingdom. I have always found it a bit ironic that some of those who seem to wail most about the "troubles" of the ELCA and seem to weep about how "diminished" the ELCA will be are those who are leaving it or refusing to give it fair support. If one thinks the ELCA is so wrong that one cannot be a member, then why is there such supposed "sorrow" over how bad off the ELCA is going to be?  
I have said many times here about those leaving for the LCMS or one of the micro-synods, "Godspeed. I am sorry to see you go. But you have made your choice. May you find a church body where you are content."
It is clear that some few ELCAers, probably more laity than clergy, would consider the LCMS. Fine.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: SKPeterson on January 14, 2011, 06:56:19 AM
Kevin,

Don't feel bad about the apparent lack of concern you have.  Your critique of the forums is appropriate and warranted.

I mentioned, to answer the question which began this thread, that I was entering the LCMS colloquy process several pages ago, and it was met with nary a response at all, suggesting to me that the actual thread topic has little to do with the discussion most seem to wish to have here.
 ::)

Sorry I missed that.  Did you have particular reasons for deciding upon the LCMS as opposed to TAALC, or AFLC or WELS or waiting on the NALC? Convenience, conviction, a comfortable mix of the two? How long does the colloquy process take?  I imagine quite a bit longer than for lay transitioners as you may have more "baggage" and bureaucracy to go work through.  

Blessings to you on making this journey.


I forgot to add the two most important questions my wife asked as a child: How old are you?  How much do you weigh?  ;)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Coach-Rev on January 14, 2011, 08:16:31 AM
And what would you have us say about your departure? You did not ask for opinions. Perhaps we respect your decision and let it go at that. Or saw the futility of trying to talk you out of it.
I did comment, not long after: And we remember that those leaving the ELCA are not leaving "The Church."  They are not lost to the kingdom. I have always found it a bit ironic that some of those who seem to wail most about the "troubles" of the ELCA and seem to weep about how "diminished" the ELCA will be are those who are leaving it or refusing to give it fair support. If one thinks the ELCA is so wrong that one cannot be a member, then why is there such supposed "sorrow" over how bad off the ELCA is going to be? 
I have said many times here about those leaving for the LCMS or one of the micro-synods, "Godspeed. I am sorry to see you go. But you have made your choice. May you find a church body where you are content."
It is clear that some few ELCAers, probably more laity than clergy, would consider the LCMS. Fine.

As usual, Charles, you completely miss the point.  the question is asked at the start of the thread:  Would disaffected ELCA'ers consider LCMS?  Rather than be so dismissive (my added underlining), perhaps you should just remain silent and allow me to answer the question posed in  this thread, which is the MAIN TOPIC, in spite of what you may or may not wish.

I answered "yes."  But you, along with most everyone else in this thread, are more content to bash each other over the head, than actually discuss the thread topic.  You seem more content to discuss whose sacrament it is, kind of like Paul's countering of whose baptism it was.  You appear to be more content to merely whine about those who believe the ELCA has made a grave and mortal error in its sins of the 2009 CWA, and offer phony platitudes in "wishing them well" as they leave, or whining about why they stay in the ELCA and complain all the time.  And believe me, the 8th commandment prohibits me from saying what I really want to say right now.

I never asked you to attempt to talk me out of it, nor did I ask for your opinion.  But since the topic of the thread is, "Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS?  Why or Why Not?"  I would expect that the discussion would center on just that:  those who are (me, for one), and those who are not.  I would also expect that you give me the common courtesy you so rudely demand of others and allow me to answer without your snyde and demeaning responses.

Sorry I missed that.  Did you have particular reasons for deciding upon the LCMS as opposed to TAALC, or AFLC or WELS or waiting on the NALC? Convenience, conviction, a comfortable mix of the two? How long does the colloquy process take?  I imagine quite a bit longer than for lay transitioners as you may have more "baggage" and bureaucracy to go work through. 

I did a thoughtful look at all of the major Lutheran denoms, and there are a handful I would consider.   I guess I would have to take a page from Walter Sundberg, and attempt to ascertain who has it right when it comes to Lutheran theology, and I believe the LCMS to be one of those that comes close.  I'm not sure anyone today has it completely right when it comes to Luther, including myself, and most certainly including the fuzzball, Charles.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 14, 2011, 08:18:43 AM
Kevin,

Don't feel bad about the apparent lack of concern you have.  Your critique of the forums is appropriate and warranted.

I mentioned, to answer the question which began this thread, that I was entering the LCMS colloquy process several pages ago, and it was met with nary a response at all, suggesting to me that the actual thread topic has little to do with the discussion most seem to wish to have here.
 ::)

I am very happy for you, Coach-Rev, and did read with pleasure your post.  I have found a most welcoming home within the LCMS.   Not wanting to sound like I was gloating, I refrained from responding.  Now I will.  I've been called a Lutheran cheerleader before, so since you've got that Coach thing going on, here is a cheer for you:

Hi there, hello there, how do you do?
We're the LCMS and we're glad to greet you.
With an H-E-L-L-O,
The LCMS says . . . HELLO!

Praying for you in your transition.  (p.s. - I've got more where that one came from if you ever need it!)  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 14, 2011, 08:24:24 AM
And believe me, the 8th commandment prohibits me from saying what I really want to say right now.

Rah Rah Ree, Kick 'em in the knee
Rah Rah Rass, Kick' em in the . . . . other knee!

Just kidding Charles.  Hugs coming your way.  I just had that cheer thing going and couldn't help myself.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 14, 2011, 08:29:17 AM
Coach-Rev, welcome aboard. I hope all goes well for you in your colloquy meeting. If you would like to chat privately with me about it, off-line, you can contact me at: paul.mccain@cph.org
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 14, 2011, 08:31:32 AM
Kim, were you a cheerleader in days of old?

My wife was, and still occasionally breaks into a cheer much to the chagrin of the teenager in the house.

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 14, 2011, 08:31:44 AM
I'd also like to know how you or Kim can say with a straight face that just because someone is a member of an LC-MS congregation he totally and completely agrees with all the teachings of the LC-MS (in other words, shares a common confession) when you yourself have made comments about LC-MS churches that do not practice what the LC-MS preaches.

I have a straight face as I type this . . . certainly we know that it is sinners who come to the altar, so not everyone agrees completely with everything that is taught for a myriad of reasons to include selfishness, pride, lust, etc.  That is the purpose for ongoing catechesis in any church.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 14, 2011, 08:34:40 AM
Kim, were you a cheerleader in days of old?

My wife was, and still occasionally breaks into a cheer much to the chagrin of the teenager in the house.



Knowing I'm risking the wrath of the forum nanny for thread drift, yes, I was, but I preferred playing sports.  I love embarrassing my kids with my mad dance skills (not!).  ;D

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on January 14, 2011, 08:42:33 AM
It seems to me that the answer to the opening question (Would dissaffected ELCA'ers conside the LCMS) is SOME WILL, MANY WILL NOT.

Among the reasons "MANY WILL NOT" are all the things that have already been beaten to death.  Some are "real" reasons (ie. disagreement on issues like women's roles in the church, insularity, etc...) others are "misconceptions."  Yada, yada, yada.

Some will consider, and already have, considered the LCMS and have found a happy haven.  I celebrate for them.

I have said before that my reasons are somewhat...uncommon...for not being able find a happy home in "Mother Mo."  I have found myself drawn deeper and deeper into the catholicity of the Church.  I will not leave the ELCA for another protestant body unless it is for a protestant body that expresses the catholicity of the Faith in a richer, more full form than the ELCA allows right now. (And that is shrinking, FWIW.)  I see myself inevitably departing for Rome...  Others on a similar journey see themselves departing for Constanitople or another Orthodox destination.

Anyway...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 14, 2011, 08:48:32 AM
Jerry, how do you understand the ELCA to be expressing the catholic and apostolic faith more rightly and richly than any other "protestant" church body?

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: kls on January 14, 2011, 09:03:36 AM
What is your interpretation of v. 33?

Just saw this question of yours.  When you take the section on the Lord's Supper in 1 Cor 11 as a whole and in context, v. 22 contains an admonishment for eating the meal as if it were the type of meal you'd eat out of hunger at home.  They are not partaking in the meal TOGETHER (v. 21), so v. 33 is urging them to consider the needs of each other so that there is a common participation by the group (AC XXIV 39 (http://bookofconcord.org/augsburgconfession.php#article24.39)).  Common participation would "entail agreement in the Gospel and all its articles (http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=5096)".  We do not have that presently between our two denominations.

I'm quite certain you'll have holes to poke in this, but I will avoid going down that rabbit trail with you today.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 14, 2011, 09:18:48 AM
CoachREv writes:
As usual, Charles, you completely miss the point.  the question is asked at the start of the thread:  Would disaffected ELCA'ers consider LCMS?  Rather than be so dismissive (my added underlining), perhaps you should just remain silent and allow me to answer the question posed in  this thread, which is the MAIN TOPIC, in spite of what you may or may not wish.
I respond:
It's a "duh!" question. Some will. Some won't.

CoachRev:
I answered "yes."  But you, along with most everyone else in this thread, are more content to bash each other over the head, than actually discuss the thread topic.  You seem more content to discuss whose sacrament it is, kind of like Paul's countering of whose baptism it was.
Me:
Well, if it was good enough for Paul...

CoachRev:
You appear to be more content to merely whine about those who believe the ELCA has made a grave and mortal error in its sins of the 2009 CWA, and offer phony platitudes in "wishing them well" as they leave, or whining about why they stay in the ELCA and complain all the time.
Me:
Why do you judge my good wishes as "phony platitudes"? On what basis? And I do not whine about those who stay in the ELCA and work for change. If all they do is complain.... well....

CoachRev:
And believe me, the 8th commandment prohibits me from saying what I really want to say right now.
Me:
I hope your bitterness and anger eases soon. Maybe when the colloquy is finished?

CoachRev:
I never asked you to attempt to talk me out of it, nor did I ask for your opinion.
Me:
Public forum. All is up for response.

CoachRev:
But since the topic of the thread is, "Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS?  Why or Why Not?"  I would expect that the discussion would center on just that:  those who are (me, for one), and those who are not.  I would also expect that you give me the common courtesy you so rudely demand of others and allow me to answer without your snyde and demeaning responses.
Me:
Nothing snide about my responses. Again, it's a public forum. We all get an equal chance to respond or not respond. As to the topic, see above. Some will, probably more laity than clergy. Some won't.
And you can't rile me today.
-Still laughing at a wonderfully creative production of Cymbeline last night; six actors, minimal set, superb presentation of Shakespeare's words and most complex plot. (I think he wrote it just to show us how he could tie things in knots and then untie them in a hilarious way.)
-Two more good Shakespeare productions lie ahead, along with catching up on some Broadway shows we missed while in Europe.
-Booked a house in Cape Cod for a week this summer, and kids and grandchildren will come along.
-Packing for the Dubai trip and the cruise on the Arabian Sea to some interesting places in the United Arab Emirates.
-Looking into a week in Paris in October, after the tourists have gone home.
-Plunging into one challenging writing project, harder work than I thought, but interesting.
So I'm mellow. Not riled up. Intend to stay that way. ;D ;D ;D ;) :)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on January 14, 2011, 09:33:39 AM
Jerry, how do you understand the ELCA to be expressing the catholic and apostolic faith more rightly and richly than any other "protestant" church body?

I don't, Paul...  I consider the ELCA to be sectarian.  But the ELCA, at the current moment, still allows the freedom for me, as an individual Pastor and Christian, to embody and pursue the catholicity of the Faith...  Though the chances for that, in my own reckoning, are shrinking.

What I said was that I would not depart the ELCA for another protestant body...unless that protestant body expressed the catholicity of the Faith more fully than the ELCA.  In other words, I am more driven by the catholicity of the Faith as my primary concern than other factors in where I will eventually find a home.  The reason why I cannot find a "home" in the LCMS (I have "considered"... carefully considered... the LCMS) is that the LCMS does not allow me to become more (small-c) catholic.  And that is not meant as a perjorative statement, but rather a sober and honest assessment of the who the LCMS considers herself to be.  I would not want to change that in her.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Scott6 on January 14, 2011, 09:36:23 AM
The reason why I cannot find a "home" in the LCMS (I have "considered"... carefully considered... the LCMS) is that the LCMS does not allow me to become more (small-c) catholic.

Could you say a bit more about what you mean when you say that the LCMS "does not allow" you to become more catholic?  Do you mean that the LCMS doesn't embrace catholicity any more than the ELCA, or that somehow the LCMS would restrict an individual pastor's growth in that area?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 14, 2011, 11:04:21 AM
Again, where does that say that the presiding clergyman must serve as the Lord's bouncer in determining who has and who hasn't examined himself.

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 1 Corinthians 4:1 (ESV)

Mike

Do you really want to act like a couple of non-denominationals and fire individual verses back and forth? Because I could very easily counter with "5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God." 1st Corinthians 4:5 (ESV).

George,

I liked you when I first joined this forum.  Perhaps I have grown a harder edge and started having more of an LQ attitude or perhaps you have grown more contentious.  I don't know.  The moderators can delete this as too personal.  I thought it needed to be said and within the context of this post.

You know, I don't like proof-texting single verses.  But there are times that I quote whole sections of Scripture and bury my point.  The article of faith that a pastor is appointed to act as a steward of the mysteries -- that is, a steward of the means of grace -- is clearly established by 1 Corinthians 4:1.  1 Corinthians 4, including verse 5 which you cite, goes on to elaborate.  So let's look at it.

 1This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. 3But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 (ESV)

Paul here establishes that it is indeed given to the other apostles he is addressing to judge.  He then goes on to say that he neither fears their judgment or believes himself blameless.  But he implores them to hold off on their judgment of him in this case for all will not be revealed until the Lord comes.

It is indeed a grave responsibility to determine who should properly be admitted to the Lord's Table.  I do not envy it of our pastors.  Those in the ELCA who welcome all abdicate that responsibility of pastoral care.  And those in the LCMS and WELS who admit solely on the basis of denominational affiliation with no regard to the personal confession of those coming to the altar abdicate it as well. 

All that said, yes, of course, only the Lord may judge the purposes of the heart and whether true faith which clings to Him resides there.  That is why pastors are obliged to go by the confession of those who come before them in the Supper.  And to completely disregard the formal confession which one associates himself with is wrong.

I know from many previous conversations here that you do not understand this.  I seem to remember Pastor Speckhard clearly explaining it at one time.  So this poor answer certainly will not satisfy you.  But many of us in this thread, including Dcs. Schave, Rev. McCain,. and myself, have tried to do so.  That you claim we have not simply because you do not fully understand and disagree is dishonest.

Mike

None of you has explained where in Scripture the principle that membership in a congregation that is affiliated with the correct church body is the litmus test that proves worthiness. I know you folks believe this, or at least you teach it as official doctrine. All of the people you mention have explained, at great length, WE BELIEVE THIS. I get it. I understand it. YOU BELIEVE IT. You believe that the church body/denomination that your congregation belongs to is the only evidence needed to determine what a person's individual beliefs (ie. their "confession") are.

But you also say that what you believe always comes from Scripture. So where in scripture is there a mention of denominations or church bodies, and that membership in a denomination or church body is the litmus test that determines what one believes?

There are multiple issues involved here. In a two-part question, it seems you and everyone else wants to just address the easy part and pretend that the difficult part doesn't exist.

This is the part that none of you has addressed:

I'd also like to know how you or Kim can say with a straight face that just because someone is a member of an LC-MS congregation he totally and completely agrees with all the teachings of the LC-MS (in other words, shares a common confession) when you yourself have made comments about LC-MS churches that do not practice what the LC-MS preaches.

I remind you of this recent post of yours.
To be fair, we have too many congregations in The LCMS attempting to attract "seekers" who intentionally skip over the confession of sin, because it is too "negative."

So...it's not simply/only an ELCA problem.

Given what you've said about sharing a common confession, would you communion members of an LC-MS congregation that routinely skipped over the confession of sin because it is too negative?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 14, 2011, 11:11:17 AM
George, respectfully, we have entirely, completely, extensively and repeatedly *explained* everything about the practice of closed communion. Your failure to agree with it does not constitute a lack of explanation on our part. I would simply refer you to all the previous discussions, topics and threads and knowing how anxious you are to prevent "bloat" on this forum, I'm sure you will do as you often direct others to do: read all the previous conversations about this.

I can even recommend a very well done, short, to the point document on this subject, if I do say so myself: Communion Fellowship. (http://shop.logia.org/product.sc?productId=26)


Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 14, 2011, 11:50:18 AM
I'd point out 1 Corinthians 1 and chapters 1o-12 to you; I'd point out Ephesians 4.  I'd point out Acts 2:42-47.

But I know it will do no good.

Go argue with someone else.

Mike

OK, here's 1st Corinthians 1 (ESV) (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=1st+Corinthians+1):

Greeting
1:1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes,

2 To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving
4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— 6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— 7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Divisions in the Church
10 I appeal to you, brothers, [1] by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God
18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, [2] not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being [3] might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him [4] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”


Where does it say that membership in a denomination is the litmus test for an individual's confession?

Here's Chapter 10 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=1+Corinthians+10), Chapter 11 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=1+Corinthians+11), and Chapter 12 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=1+Corinthians+12).

Warning Against Idolatry
10:1 For I want you to know, brothers, [1] that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” 8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ [2] to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel: [3] are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

Do All to the Glory of God
23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else's conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

Head Coverings
2 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife [1] is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but every wife [2] who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. [3] 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.

The Lord's Supper
17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, [4] 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20 When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for [5] you. Do this in remembrance of me.” [6] 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. [7] 31 But if we judged [8] ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined [9] so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

33 So then, my brothers, [10] when you come together to eat, wait for [11] one another— 34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.

Spiritual Gifts
12:1 Now concerning [1] spiritual gifts, [2] brothers, [3] I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

One Body with Many Members
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves [4] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, [5] yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.

And I will show you a still more excellent way.


Where is the mention of denominations or church bodies as proof of an individual's confession?

Here's Ephesians 4 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=Ephesians+4)

Unity in the Body of Christ
4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8 Therefore it says,

“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”

9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? [1] 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds [2] and teachers, [3] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, [4] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

The New Life
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, [5] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.


Where is the mention of denominations or church bodies as proof of an individual's confession?

Here's Acts 4:42-47 (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=Acts+2%3A42-47)

The Fellowship of the Believers
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe [1] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.


Where is the mention of denominations or church bodies as proof of an individual's confession?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on January 14, 2011, 12:30:10 PM
The reason why I cannot find a "home" in the LCMS (I have "considered"... carefully considered... the LCMS) is that the LCMS does not allow me to become more (small-c) catholic.

Could you say a bit more about what you mean when you say that the LCMS "does not allow" you to become more catholic?  Do you mean that the LCMS doesn't embrace catholicity any more than the ELCA, or that somehow the LCMS would restrict an individual pastor's growth in that area?

Scott, I want to walk exceedingly carefully here, because I am not trying to rail against the LCMS.  My point is not to try and sleight the LCMS, but merely to point out why "I" cannot find my home there.  First, a bit of anecdotal evidnce of what I see; on this very forum we have (myself included) debates about whether the Pope is the antiChrist, whether or not a eucharistic prayer is propper and "Lutheran," etc...  While I respect the learned opinion of many of my brothers (and sisters, but from the LCMS sector it is my brothers), I find myself puzzled over the continued fighting on these issues and have to admit that I find myself drained by them.  If I were to enter the LCMS, I am afraid that such arguments would only increase, not decrease, and I would find myself ground down by them.

Second, while I agree with the "quia" priciple of subscription to the Lutheran Confessions, I find it's application in the LCMS to be restrictive and reductionalistic, and yes...prohibitive of a catholic practice and understanding of the Faith, because it focusses upon the hard letters of the Confessions rather than a wider understanding of Lutheranism within the wider Church.  While doubtless we must start with the bare letter, to stop with the bare letter prevents (in my reckoning) the faithful from seeing the forrest for the tree.

Third, I believe that the essence of the Lutheran reformation was the reform of the Western Church, not to set apart Lutherans from that Church.  So I cannot really see where finding a permanent home in the reformation exile, instead of continually hoping and striving for the eventual reform and homecoming to our Mother church works for me.  But I know that my conviction on this count is not shared by many Lutherans, either in the LCMS or the ELCA.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry kliner, STS
(PS. I am having trpouble with my computer.. So pardon any typos...)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 14, 2011, 12:31:56 PM
But, Jerry, you would rather stay in the ELCA and argue about homosexuality, abortion, and the flight from dogma that has ruined it, rather than join us and argue about truly interesting and Christian things?

 :)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on January 14, 2011, 12:36:57 PM
But, Jerry, you would rather stay in the ELCA and argue about homosexuality, abortion, and the flight from dogma that has ruined it, rather than join us and argue about truly interesting and Christian things?

 :)

Each of us fight where the battle finds us, Paul.  I am but a grunt.  The General has placed me (much to my perplexity) in this foxhole.  I fight where the battle has found me.  ;)

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Nicholas Amsdorf on January 14, 2011, 12:37:44 PM
Jerry, I understand that, but even a grunt knows when it is time to find a better foxhole from which to fight and will rally his fellow soldiers to follow him to safer ground.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Drive-by Lutheran on January 14, 2011, 12:46:35 PM
1)   Women’s ordination
2)   Open communion
3)   Accepting of homosexual unions and/or ordinations of those in a relationship (about   50/50)
4)   Ecumenical agreements (my congregation and other congregations in my synod like them and encourage them)
5)   Less doctrine oriented, (Jesus is our Savior)
6)   Not literal Bible (inspired not inerrant)
7)   Abortion (not the best choice but is a choice)


Yup, if those are things people do hold to, believe in and want to see in their church body, The LCMS is not for them.

Nick,

If I may, I would like to add these items:

8.)  Evolution
9.)  Lodge Membership

Thanks!
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 14, 2011, 01:25:46 PM
What is your interpretation of v. 33?

Just saw this question of yours.  When you take the section on the Lord's Supper in 1 Cor 11 as a whole and in context, v. 22 contains an admonishment for eating the meal as if it were the type of meal you'd eat out of hunger at home.  They are not partaking in the meal TOGETHER (v. 21), so v. 33 is urging them to consider the needs of each other so that there is a common participation by the group (AC XXIV 39 (http://bookofconcord.org/augsburgconfession.php#article24.39)).  Common participation would "entail agreement in the Gospel and all its articles (http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=5096)".  We do not have that presently between our two denominations.

I'm quite certain you'll have holes to poke in this, but I will avoid going down that rabbit trail with you today.

I agree with most of your interpretation. It is about partaking in the meal TOGETHER. I see "common participation" to refer to participating in the eating and drinking, rather than a "common confession". That is, the waiting is to give other times to arrive -- that the early birds do not receive until others have come.

I do not see LCMSers "waiting" to receive until others have come to a common confession. Rather, they exclude those who have not yet "arrived" at the common confession.

Consider v. 22b: "Do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?" Perhaps that could be interpreted as referring to folks who do not "have" the proper confession, but I'm sure that the intentions of excluding them from the sacrament is not to "humiliate" them -- which is what this verse says happens. It seems much more likely to me that it refers to those who do not "have" much wealth, e.g., the working poor who can't get to the worship service until after their day of work. To be excluded because the others weren't willing to wait, is to humiliate them.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Sandra on January 14, 2011, 01:27:02 PM
Where does it say that membership in a denomination is the litmus test for an individual's confession?


Stupid question, maybe...But why would a person intentionally join or remain a member of a denomination's church if they did not also believe, teach and confess the doctrines believed, taught and confessed there?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: SmithL on January 14, 2011, 01:32:37 PM
Where does it say that membership in a denomination is the litmus test for an individual's confession?


Stupid question, maybe...But why would a person intentionally join or remain a member of a denomination's church if they did not also believe, teach and confess the doctrines believed, taught and confessed there?

They like the Pastor, the music is superb, the building is SO pretty, they use fair-trade coffee, and all the people are really, really friendly.
Church doctrine really doesn't matter much to a lot of people.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 14, 2011, 01:32:44 PM
Where does it say that membership in a denomination is the litmus test for an individual's confession?


Stupid question, maybe...But why would a person intentionally join or remain a member of a denomination's church if they did not also believe, teach and confess the doctrines believed, taught and confessed there?

Because, rightly or wrongly, they see that congregation as my church. In many cases, they have lived through numerous pastors -- some good and some bad. They have lived through periods of fights and peace. In some cases, relatives going back generations were also part of the congregation -- there may even be some of them buried on church property. What often holds someone in a congregation is not the denomination's teachings; but a history of participation.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Weedon on January 14, 2011, 01:36:32 PM
The passage at issue is 1 Corinthians 11:20.  The difficulty arises from the mistranslation of an infinitive.  The KJV is quite accurate here:  “For when ye come together therefore in one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.”  The point of the verse is to reveal the problem in the Corinthian Church:  the people were gathering together, well enough; but they were gathering together for the wrong reason.  Instead of gathering together to eat the Body of the Savior and to drink His most precious Blood, they were having a good old time at the congregational potluck.  Verse 21 shows the result of each doing his own thing there:  one is hungry and another drunk.  Paul seeks to call them back to the “better thing” (literal, vs. 17).

But most modern version simply lose this entire nuance and instead foster a most pernicious doctrine.  Take the ESV as a case in point:  “When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper that you eat.”  The NIV is substantially the same.  (Of modern translations, I believe that only NKJV and NRSV get the correct meaning.)

What the ESV and NIV put forward is that the Corinthians’ ill behavior has the power to destroy the Supper.  What they are eating is then NOT the Lord’s Supper because they are abusing this meal.  But this is utter nonsense.  It quite misses the point that it was the Supper that was most certainly being celebrated, even to the point that their misuse was sickening and killing them (vs. 30).  The Lord’s Body and Blood were there whether they behaved rudely and cruelly to one another or not.  

The Lord’s Body and Blood will indeed bring judgment to all who eat “without examining themselves.”  In other words, it is incumbent on all the guests at the Lord’s table to ask:  “Why am I coming here?  What do I hope to receive?”  For then one behaves with reverence toward the Eucharist, toward one’s fellow-guests, toward the Church of God.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Coach-Rev on January 14, 2011, 01:37:23 PM
Stupid question, maybe...But why would a person intentionally join or remain a member of a denomination's church if they did not also believe, teach and confess the doctrines believed, taught and confessed there?

They like the Pastor, the music is superb, the building is SO pretty, they use fair-trade coffee, and all the people are really, really friendly.
Church doctrine really doesn't matter much to a lot of people.

While those may be reasons people do indeed stay, they are all of the wrong reasons. 

@Charles:  Whatever.  ::)
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Sandra on January 14, 2011, 01:44:18 PM
Because, rightly or wrongly, they see that congregation as my church. In many cases, they have lived through numerous pastors -- some good and some bad. They have lived through periods of fights and peace. In some cases, relatives going back generations were also part of the congregation -- there may even be some of them buried on church property. What often holds someone in a congregation is not the denomination's teachings; but a history of participation.

I understand that, and it was a very difficult decision for me to leave the church I had not only grown up in but my family helped found 5 generations earlier. My grandparents still attend there regularly. But I did it, it was a matter of integrity and consistency for me.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 14, 2011, 02:05:14 PM
Where does it say that membership in a denomination is the litmus test for an individual's confession?


Stupid question, maybe...But why would a person intentionally join or remain a member of a denomination's church if they did not also believe, teach and confess the doctrines believed, taught and confessed there?


Take your pick. I'm sure other people can think of other reasons. It only takes a little imagination.

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Sandra on January 14, 2011, 02:08:33 PM

  • To make their spouse happy.
  • For the kids.
  • Because they don't really know what the church actually teaches. Sitting through long classes only means one has sat through a long class. It doesn't mean one has learned anything.
  • Because they don't really care what the church teaches, it's the church their parents raised them in, and that's that.

Take your pick. I'm sure other people can think of other reasons. It only takes a little imagination.

So this is a GOOD thing, and the standard by which everyone should abide?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 14, 2011, 02:17:52 PM

  • To make their spouse happy.
  • For the kids.
  • Because they don't really know what the church actually teaches. Sitting through long classes only means one has sat through a long class. It doesn't mean one has learned anything.
  • Because they don't really care what the church teaches, it's the church their parents raised them in, and that's that.

Take your pick. I'm sure other people can think of other reasons. It only takes a little imagination.

So this is a GOOD thing, and the standard by which everyone should abide?

Not at all. It is a real thing, which, like it or not, everyone must face without blinders. We are, after all, flawed human beings. I wish it were not so, but wishing something was different doesn't make it different.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Sandra on January 14, 2011, 02:28:55 PM

  • To make their spouse happy.
  • For the kids.
  • Because they don't really know what the church actually teaches. Sitting through long classes only means one has sat through a long class. It doesn't mean one has learned anything.
  • Because they don't really care what the church teaches, it's the church their parents raised them in, and that's that.

Take your pick. I'm sure other people can think of other reasons. It only takes a little imagination.

So this is a GOOD thing, and the standard by which everyone should abide?

Not at all. It is a real thing, which, like it or not, everyone must face without blinders. We are, after all, flawed human beings. I wish it were not so, but wishing something was different doesn't make it different.

Yes, I think we all realize this is a real thing. The problem we're having is that you seem to be saying that in spite of the list above we should NOT even use a person's denominational membership as a starting point to determine what a person believes before just up and allowing them to commune, possibly to their detriment (to put it lightly). In your mind, is there EVER an occasion when someone should be instructed to discuss their beliefs with the pastor before communing somewhere (which may or may not require more than 5 minutes before the service)? Not because the pastor is the "bouncer", but because he is the one the Lord is going to hold accountable on the last day for giving someone the Lord's Body and Blood to their harm.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 14, 2011, 02:45:46 PM
Stupid question, maybe...But why would a person intentionally join or remain a member of a denomination's church if they did not also believe, teach and confess the doctrines believed, taught and confessed there?

They like the Pastor, the music is superb, the building is SO pretty, they use fair-trade coffee, and all the people are really, really friendly.
Church doctrine really doesn't matter much to a lot of people.

While those may be reasons people do indeed stay, they are all of the wrong reasons. 

How many times do folks leave a congregation for the wrong reasons?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave Benke on January 14, 2011, 03:07:39 PM
You know, that is such a vivid image of what people who leave the Missouri Synod (and I will add to that the Wisconsin Synod) have described to me - the Pastor as Bouncer.  Here's the church of my childhood, all those memories.  Here's my mom, buried from that same place where I made my confirmation vows, even though I've moved far away.   Here we come as a family to the altar. 

Whoops!  There's a Bouncer - when did that happen?  I didn't even know they had one.  And it's the Pastor!! 

I'm outta here.

Of course this doesn't have to do with closed communion, close communion, confessional subscription, or doctrinal adherence in a primary way as far as I'm concerned.  It has to do with pastoral discretion and judgment, or rather lack thereof.

Dave Benke

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Weedon on January 14, 2011, 03:14:18 PM
Bouncer?  Really.  Think through the implications of AC 24:36.  Surely you are not saying that this idea of the Pastor as the responsible steward for the mysteries in that place as St. John Chrysostom describes it is in any way inimical to the Gospel???
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 14, 2011, 03:24:33 PM
Yes, I think we all realize this is a real thing. The problem we're having is that you seem to be saying that in spite of the list above we should NOT even use a person's denominational membership as a starting point to determine what a person believes before just up and allowing them to commune, possibly to their detriment (to put it lightly). In your mind, is there EVER an occasion when someone should be instructed to discuss their beliefs with the pastor before communing somewhere (which may or may not require more than 5 minutes before the service)? Not because the pastor is the "bouncer", but because he is the one the Lord is going to hold accountable on the last day for giving someone the Lord's Body and Blood to their harm.

No, I'm saying to not use denominational affiliation as an ENDING point to determine what a person believes. Or, to be more precise, to use it as the ONLY point to determine what a person believes.

And, I'm also saying that what I've been shown, so far, hasn't convinced me that proper stewardship on the part of the pastor is not satisfied with clear instruction prior to the service on what constitutes eligibility to share in communion, and leaving it to the pewsitter's conscience and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to determine if he should come forward or not. I do not believe that God would hold a pastor any more accountable for giving communion to the wrong person after doing what I describe than God would hold a pastor accountable if he simply asked "are you LC-MS?" and accepted it if the communicant lied and said, "Yes".

Perhaps, if the catechesis in the LC-MS consisted of rigorous instruction that included an annual written test on doctrine and theology that someone had to pass in order to be certified as eligible for communion, then I would react differently. I cannot see how simply telling people what they need to believe and have done prior to communion and trusting them to choose properly is that much different from saying "do you believe as we do" and accepting any sort of affirmative answer without verifying it. I've met too many former LC-MS members who didn't have much of a clue about doctrine and theology to believe that mere membership in an LC-MS congregation automatically resolves all issues of confession and self-examination.

Does anyone in here contend that if I were to visit 9 out of 10 LC-MS churches in the United States, and if the pastor asked me when I came to the altar if I was a member of an LC-MS church and I said, "Yes", the pastor would still require me to provide some sort of proof beyond just my word? I'd react differently if every member of an LC-MS congregation were given a photo ID that they had to display before communing at another LC-MS congregation as a visitor.

Bouncer?  Really.  Think through the implications of AC 24:36.  Surely you are not saying that this idea of the Pastor as the responsible steward for the mysteries in that place as St. John Chrysostom describes it is in any way inimical to the Gospel???

You cite the confessions. Where in Scripture does it say that a pastor must turn away someone seeking to receive communion for no reason other than he is a member of the wrong congregation, church body, or denomination, which means that his beliefs are suspect? And what of those people who, though members of an LC-MS congregation, are functionally unaware of the details of what the LC-MS confesses? 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Weedon on January 14, 2011, 03:47:54 PM
George,

Of course I cite the Symbols, but what I cited did not say what you said it said.  That's why we do well to attend to them.  Too often we think we know what they say without hearing what they say.  What that passage from the Symbol that marks a man as a Lutheran says is that the priest gives or withholds the Sacrament, that is, that he has a stewardship of God's mysteries and that he must give answer as best he may to Him whose mystery it is for how he dispenses it.  There is nothing about denominations in the citation.  So where I would direct your attention in Scripture is to 1 Corinthians 4, where St. Paul teaches the Corinthian Christians how they ought to regard him and Apollos and Sosthenes:  "as servants [ministers] of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God."  Mysteries of God in Greek lingo and theological language is what we in the West call sacraments.  "It is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy."  He has a stewardship to fulfill which he knows he must give answer for to Him whose mysteries they are.

The first document we have outside of the NT is the Didache.  And it already has closed communion going on.  It appeals to Matthew 7:  "Do not give the holy thing [technical term already for the Supper:  "The holy things for the holy ones!"] to the dogs."  The dogs are the unbaptized.  The stewardship of the Lord's Supper entrusted to the priests for the sake of Christ's body is not to be given to those outside that body who are not washed in Christ's washing.  Next big document comes along is Justin Martyr's Apology, and there we find closed communion again, this time with an addition to the baptism requirement:  "Those who hold what we teach as truth and who live accordingly."  

So the Eucharist is for the baptized, no question.  But early on the Church recognized that it was possible for a baptized person to hold onto serious error or scandalous living, and try to bring that to the koinonia of the Supper!  When that took place, then the Sacrament was denied to them by the priests as part of their stewardship of the divine mysteries:  "not even to eat with such a one."  This was also for their benefit, since the Supper brings judgment to the one who eats it in an unworthy manner.  It gets murkier and murkier as errors and bad living proliferate and comes back to a bit of clarity when the Small Catechism teaches that what makes a person truly worthy and well prepared is, after all, faith in the promises of God.  Without such faith, then the Sacrament brings not blessing, but judgment.  The stewardship of the sacrament entrusted to the priests is for the purpose of aiding a blessed reception and preventing a reception unto judgment. 

We in the LCMS do not hold that one's membership in a Church body is the sole constituting factor of their confession; we do hold that it is a significant constituting factor, for when you receive at an altar you are "amening" the faith that is confessed, taught, lived from that altar.  Our congregation's communion statement has, as I've told you before, no reference whatsoever to denominational affiliation.  It notes instead that at our parish the Sacrament is ordinarily only given to those baptized Christians who have been examined and absolved and publicly confessed the faith professed at this altar.  And we ask those who have not communed here before to please speak to the pastor before approaching the holy table.  This allows for the pastor to be a steward of the mysteries, to ascertain as best he can if the person approaching the altar is coming in the faith that receives it as a blessing.  He is not there to be a bouncer, but he is there as steward and it is to the Master he must give account.  The pastor who takes this task seriously will find himself at odds with those who try to close the table entirely along the lines of denominational affiliation as with those who insist that such is absolutely irrelevant and open the table to all - in effect denouncing their own stewardship.  
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 14, 2011, 04:28:26 PM
George,

Of course I cite the Symbols, but what I cited did not say what you said it said.  That's why we do well to attend to them.  Too often we think we know what they say without hearing what they say.  What that passage from the Symbol that marks a man as a Lutheran says is that the priest gives or withholds the Sacrament, that is, that he has a stewardship of God's mysteries and that he must give answer as best he may to Him whose mystery it is for how he dispenses it.  There is nothing about denominations in the citation.  So where I would direct your attention in Scripture is to 1 Corinthians 4, where St. Paul teaches the Corinthian Christians how they ought to regard him and Apollos and Sosthenes:  "as servants [ministers] of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God."  Mysteries of God in Greek lingo and theological language is what we in the West call sacraments.  "It is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy."  He has a stewardship to fulfill which he knows he must give answer for to Him whose mysteries they are.

...

We in the LCMS do not hold that one's membership in a Church body is the sole constituting factor of their confession; we do hold that it is a significant constituting factor, for when you receive at an altar you are "amening" the faith that is confessed, taught, lived from that altar.  Our congregation's communion statement has, as I've told you before, no reference whatsoever to denominational affiliation.  It notes instead that at our parish the Sacrament is ordinarily only given to those baptized Christians who have been examined and absolved and publicly confessed the faith professed at this altar.  And we ask those who have not communed here before to please speak to the pastor before approaching the holy table.  This allows for the pastor to be a steward of the mysteries, to ascertain as best he can if the person approaching the altar is coming in the faith that receives it as a blessing.  He is not there to be a bouncer, but he is there as steward and it is to the Master he must give account.  The pastor who takes this task seriously will find himself at odds with those who try to close the table entirely along the lines of denominational affiliation as with those who insist that such is absolutely irrelevant and open the table to all - in effect denouncing their own stewardship.  

I realize that the total teaching of the LC-MS is more detailed and nuanced, but in actual practice on Sunday mornings, when a visitor approaches the altar at an LC-MS church, the visitor is asked "are you a member of an LC-MS congregation?", and a "yes" answer means the person gets communion. Is that not how it works in most LC-MS churches? When you say "The pastor who takes this task seriously will find himself at odds with those who try to close the table entirely along the lines of denominational affiliation", are you referring to an isolated handful of LC-MS pastors, or with a great many of them? You and I have had more than a few exchanges where you've noted that the congregation you serve is atypical, and not an example by which most others can be evaluated. Can you say that in all of the LC-MS congregations out there, the decision of who to commune and who not to commune doesn't usually boil down to whether or not the person seeking communion is a member of an LC-MS church? Can you say that in the majority of LC-MS congregations (not just yours) that the entire membership is well-catechized, including being examined to make sure that just because they sat through a class, they actually learned what was being taught?

For what it is worth, no other LC-MS pastor besides you has actually attempted to explain the closed communion policies in the context of Scripture. Most LC-MS pastors and lay people have simply said, "This is what we believe because we believe it." Does that not indicate that the degree to which the greater issues of suitability for communion that you've enumerated are not treated as being as important as you indicate the LC-MS teaches that they should be?

To take that a step further, how often does an LC-MS pastor withhold communion from one of his own parishioners if the pastor is aware that the parishioner has expressed an opinion that is at variance with what the LC-MS confesses? If you overhear one of your parishioners say in conversation, "Maybe we should ordain women", do you excommunicate him until he repents and returns to confessional purity? How seriously are all of the issues of confessional conformity generally enforced throughout the LC-MS?

Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave Benke on January 14, 2011, 04:29:13 PM
I didn't invent "bouncer," Pr. W.  The prior post-er did.  

But it adequatedly expresses the sensation as presented to me of people at a family event (often funeral) when they are dis-admitted to the Eucharistic table even though they were baptized, confirmed, married at a specific altar but moved away.  The serious quesiton is in the area of your passage quote, however.  What kind of stewardship of the mysteries of God sends those in spiritual hunger at the loss of a loved one away empty?  

My answer would be stewardship lacking in discernment.  

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Weedon on January 14, 2011, 04:48:36 PM
George,

The Synod isn't about enforcement.  Never has been, truthfully.  We are not here to police, but to serve.  And if I find a member holds an opinion that disagrees with our Symbols, you better believe that I work on attempting to convince them (from the Scriptures) that the position put forward in the Symbol is in actual fact so.  I've never had a single member in my entire ministry disagree with women's ordination, for example, at least none that ever expressed it to me - and I have had some very outspoken members!  That's just not a huge issue for us - this list makes it appear bigger than it is.  

I keep getting the impression that you find our desire to maintain pure doctrine something that is foolish or silly, as though we were some sort of pure doctrine cult? That's certainly not my experience.  We recognize the value of pure doctrine - to quote Walther - the same way a farmer recognizes the value of good seed.  And what is the opposite?  A lack of concern with whether what one is teaching is true and accords with God's revelation in the Sacred Scripture!  Surely that's not something that is desirable.  

I suspect that when it comes to communion practice, St. Paul's is actually squarely middle of the road LCMS - where there are pastoral exceptions made and acknowledged as such, but where we generally follow the practice of only communing those who have publicly professed the faith we profess at this altar (which, by the way, is a reference to the AC and SC and the rest of the Symbols).  And, yes, I have forbidden the Sacrament to members before - only for persistent, unrepented sin and only after tears and prayer.

Bishop,

I'm not familiar enough with the situation to render an opinion that would have any worth.  I have made such an exemption after a funeral myself; but depending on a differing set of circumstances I might well have gone the other way.  There's a lot to factor in, and the better one knows the family and the situation the better able one is to exercise that responsible stewardship which is our goal.  But I do believe that we have the obligation to explain the pastor's actions in the kindest way - which is that he judged the situation not to be such that the pastoral exemption had a place.  God bless him for seeking to be faithful, and I'd say this even if I'd have decided differently - and I'd trust he'd do the same for me.  
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dave Benke on January 14, 2011, 05:12:44 PM
First of all, this isn't "a" situation, Pr. W., but many multiples of situations.  Why do people speak to me about these things?  You can take a guess, and you'll probably hit it on the head.  But most of them, as most of us in the Missouri Synod, are midwestern-based. 

Secondly, as an ecclesiastical supervisor I have a double responsibility - to the flocks under pastoral charge, and to the pastors who are shepherding them.  If "one of these little ones" is led away from Christ and the cross, and from the precious meal of life, then around whose neck will that millstone be placed?  The little ones should mean something to us in our stewardship of the mysteries. 

You don't hear me speaking about no conversation, or no explanation, or no listening/dialog.  Not at all.  What has been recounted to me is that after the prospective communicants had explained their belief confirmed at that same altar as in the Abiding Presence of Christ, they were still turned away.  Because they were no longer attending a Missouri Synod parish.  Bad discernment.  Little ones endangered.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Scott6 on January 14, 2011, 05:17:16 PM
Quick and general question to LCMS'ers out there.  If a female ELCA pastor presented herself at your congregation for communion and knowing that outside of two issues (women's ordination and fellowship question) she was basically in agreement with the LCMS, what would you do (and yes, I already have my own view on the question but I'd like to hear what other folks might say)?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Charles_Austin on January 14, 2011, 05:22:30 PM
And how much, Pastor Weedon, is packed into the self-examination? Teachings related to the Sacrament? Teachings related to justification? Church order? Interpretation of Scripture?
My tradition has always emphasized - for sacramental fellowship - belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the bread and the wine, as sort of the touchstone for fellowship.
But for you, I ask if more is required?
I come to your parish, you know me as a member of the ELCA, I say to you that I believe precisely what the LCMS teaches about the presence of Christ in the sacrament. But you know that, as a member of the ELCA, I also support ordination for women and some interpretations of scripture that might not square with the LCMS view.
Am I admitted, or not?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Weedon on January 14, 2011, 05:23:15 PM
Granted, Bishop, but there is always also the danger of being led away from Christ by confirming a person in their error.  Would I offer the Sacrament to a baptized, confirmed member of St. Paul's, who in later life joined a Baptist congregation, got baptized "again" and affirm that what they are receiving at St. Paul's is a nice memorial meal where we remember Jesus?  Heck, no!  I wouldn't want to pretend the very destructive teachings they've embraced are not a matter of import.  And given the way that things have gone with our sisters and brothers in the ELCA, I think you can understand, can you not?, why it's BECAUSE a pastor loves the person before them that they might withhold the Sacrament - if it can get them thinking about the fellowship they've chosen to embrace when they departed from the Synod. I'm just not willing to judge those pastors who withhold the Sacrament in circumstances that neither you nor I can know fully.  I will err on the side of believing that my brothers in office seek to be both loving and faithful and that they practice their stewardship of God's mysteries in such a way as they best can answer to Him whose they are.  

Finally, the regional chauvinism wears very thin.  Can we drop it?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 14, 2011, 05:25:11 PM
Here we are again, arguing over Close(d) Communion.

I find it interesting that Pr. Stoffregen is so insistant that LCMS has their interpretation of Scripture wrong.  When the discussion was on the propriety of ordaining individuals in PALMSGRs I do not remember him insisting that his and only his (and those who agreed with him and with whom he agreed) interpretation of the Scriptural witness concerning homosexuality was correct, namely that Scripture does not say anything about PALMSGR, the Biblical condemnation were concerning other types of relationships (promiscuous, non-consensual, or the like).  His argument, as I recall was that his was a defensible interpretation, therefore legitimately Lutheran.  Unless I misunderstood, that was also the position of the HSGT Social Statement, that several interpretations were current within the ELCA and no consensus was achieved, therefore all of them would be accepted as legitimate within the ELCA.

It seems to me that the way we in the LCMS have interpretated the Scriptural witness concerning communion hospitality while not convincing to all is defensible and therefore a legitimate Lutheran interpretation and as suitable as a basis for action as one or the other of the disputed interpretations of homosexuality listed in HSGT.

You may not, do not, agree with us but why should that make our interpretation any less Lutheran than yours?

Now, George, the Bible does not deal with denominations as we know them today because they did not exist then.  Does that mean that we cannot take the current existence of denominations when we establish policy and practice or must we pretend that nothing exists today that is not mentioned in the Bible?  If you (or anyone) really wants to discuss how we deal with denominations, I would really suggest reading "Admission to the Lord's Supper: Basics of Biblical and Confessional Teaching" CTCR, 1999, http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/CTCR/admisup.pdf (http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/CTCR/admisup.pdf).  This is not a topic very well suited to short electron bites.

Quote
“Christians as Confessors”
The second proposition that undergirds the practice of withholding communion fellowship when doctrinal unity does not exist among those who commune is this: Christians are not to be seen merely as “individuals” but also as “confessors” of the doctrine of their own church body. In a time of rampant individualism when people “do their own thing” even when joining a church, this notion seems precarious at best to some. It also must be readily admitted that people often join a denomination for reasons other than its doctrine. Indeed, the very notion of “joining a denomination” is probably not even present in the minds of some church members, especially those who freely “church hop” from one to the other. Is it possible in such a context to maintain the idea that individual Christians represent and “confess” the doctrine of their church body?

It is not only possible; it is necessary. If the church ceases to insist that individuals represent the public confession of their church body, at least five dangers immediately present themselves.

In the first place, the current erosion of the importance of doctrine would be accelerated to an alarming extent. Many voices in our present context assert that all truth is relative and that all perspectives are equally valid. Standing against the culture, Christ’s church must hold firmly to the truth that doctrine—propositional truth—will be either true and good, or false and evil. Many people, including members of our own congregations, will be baffled by this classic approach. When we encounter these reactions, we must be prepared to explain ourselves in winsome and patient ways. We must also continue to hold high the standards for our own catechetical instruction of doctrine. Abbreviated programs of instruction, either for young people or for adults, that neglect the teaching of Lutheran doctrine will only accelerate the slide into an indifference to God’s revealed truth in Holy Scripture.

In the second place, if the doctrinal confession of one’s own church body can be ignored, then it must follow that heterodoxy poses no danger to the spiritual lives of Christians. The question stated directly is this: Does it matter, or does it not matter, that a church’s confession proclaims that the Bible is only “a faithful witness” to the truth and is not completely inspired and inerrant, or that the Lord’s Supper does not offer the true body and blood of Christ, or that the good works of Christians attain merit before God, or that baptism is merely an outward “symbol” of an inner reality?

In the sixteenth century the three major theological “camps” were the Lutherans, the Reformed, and the church of Rome. Major differences in confession separated these three camps, and still separate them today.

Perhaps the most difficult issue for the LCMS today is its relationship with the ELCA. But the recent actions of the ELCA in establishing full communion with the Reformed and the Episcopalians on the one hand, and in endorsing the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification with Rome on the other hand, have made our relationship with the ELCA both more sorrowful and more obvious.   We must insist that false doctrine does matter, because ultimately it turns sinners away from Christ alone and from the means by and through which He and His benefits may with certainty be found.

In the third place, if individual church members are not seen as “confessors” of their church body’s doctrine, then the concept of church membership is watered down to the point of meaninglessness. The rationale for any catechesis in the traditional sense of the term vanishes, and there emerges a resounding contradiction between our own confirmation process and the attitude with which we view members of other denominations. Indeed, there would be no theological rejoinder possible to a member of an adult membership class in one of our churches who publicly rejected (for example) the Lutheran doctrine of baptism and still wanted to join the congregation.

Fourth, unless individual Christians can be seen as “confessors” of their church body’s doctrine, Scripture’s teaching concerning altar and pulpit fellowship as historically confessed by the LCMS becomes virtually meaningless. It is true that one could maintain that on the denominational or even congregational levels, there should not be joint communion services. But if any of the individuals in those services could–at least in theory and under ordinary circumstances—commune together, then the formal practice would be emptied of all real meaning.

Fifth and finally, the crucial passage, 1 Cor. 11:17–34, places only a minor emphasis (at least explicitly) on the need for doctrinal unity among those who commune together. But we must remember that Paul is dealing with an intra-congregational situation and that elsewhere in the letter he corrects the Corinthians’ errors in matters of both doctrine and personal morality. Moreover, the apostle quite emphatically states that those who commune at the Lord’s Table are engaging in an act of proclamation: it is the Lord’s death that they are proclaiming until he comes again. Heterodox teaching threatens and contradicts to a greater or lesser extent the pure proclamation of the death of Christ for us, even as the Corinthians’ social and personal divisions at their community meals also contradicted the Lord’s death for them all. The Eucharist is the congregation’s sacrament of unity. Differences of confession cannot be a matter of indifference when seeking the unity presupposed by the Lord’s Supper, the very unity that the Supper is given to maintain and preserve.

This summarizes our thoughts about why we take one's church membership into account when making decisions about communion hospitality.  It is not a flippant or thoughtless judgement on our part.  We take church membership seriously.  Someone who leaves the fellowship of the Missouri Synod for whatever reason has discontinued their loyalty and commitment for the Missouri Synod and what it stands for and placed their loyalty and commitment elsewhere.  If they take that as insignificant, we do not.  If they consider that since they once pledged at our altar faithfulness and since wandered away, it takes a bit of chutzpah to expect that we will be loyal and owe them fellowship simply because they show up while their true loyalty lies elsewhere.  To be a bit crass, but also to use a bit of Biblical metaphor, it seems to us much like someone who was married, divorced, remarried someone else to show up at the door and expect to be welcomed back into the marrital bed that they left for another.

Nor is this the whole story.  We recognize that the confession that an individual makes in church membership is not the whole story.  That for another post.

Dan  
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: FrPeters on January 14, 2011, 05:28:42 PM
To Jerry I would like to say that the LCMS would, indeed, allow you freedom to be more catholic than the ELCA -- theologically, liturgically, and in practice.  In fact, the esteem given to the Confessions guarantee that this freedom not only exists but cannot be compromised.  The more congregational nature of Missouri, while allowing the things I do not like, allows me the very freedom to keep the confessional ideal of being both evangelical and catholic.  Do not let us loud mouths on this forum paint you a picture of Missouri where people are spying on you from the pews or interrogating your theological positions on this or that.  It just does not happen (oh, sure, somebody somewhere will find a single parish or some pastor somewhere who tries to be thorn in somebody's flesh, but that is not the typical or usual state of affairs in the average Missouri parish).

To those in the ELCA, I have repeatedly asked if your dispute and conflict is just about sex or not.  Some of you have admitted that it is primarily about sex (at least now) and that you were not willing to give up women's ordination or open communion or reconciled diversity as ecumenical principle (none of which are catholic positions or practices).  Others of you have indicated that it is not just about sex.  So what would it take for Missouri to be an option for you?  Are you judging Missouri by some of us loud mouths on this forum?  I would say that structurally you might find some need for adjustment but in a very practical sense you might find this a very comfortable fit (that is, for those who are evangelical and catholic in identity and practice).

Just a few thoughts
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Weedon on January 14, 2011, 05:28:57 PM
Scott,

A question of clarification:  are you picturing the situation where the woman continues to believe that women may be ordained or that she has come to believe that that was a false move that did a disservice to her?
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Weedon on January 14, 2011, 05:31:39 PM
Right on, Fr. Peters. 
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 14, 2011, 05:39:53 PM
Here is what that same CTCR document has to say concerning the limitations of treating individuals as confessors of the the church to which they belong:

Quote

“Christians as Individuals” in Other Church Bodies
Significant dangers threaten when the church succumbs to the modern spirit and regards the official confession of an individual Christian as a matter of no importance. But these are not the only dangers that threaten and the LCMS has always recognized this. Even as the LCMS’ biblical and confessional teaching has denied admission to the Lord’s Supper to those of a different confession, the Synod has also consistently held that there can be exceptions to this ordinary way of proceeding and that such exceptions are best left up to ad hoc pastoral discretion. Why is this so? This is because of the dangers that emerge should our pastors and congregations view individual Christians of differing confessions only as “confessors” and not at all as “individuals.” We can list at least four of these dangers.

First, if Christians are viewed only as “confessors,” then denominational membership can become a substitute for genuine faith as the sole requirement for worthy communing. This position is hard to maintain, for as the periodic surveys show and as every honest person already knows, some official members of the LCMS do not understand, cannot articulate, and tragically do not believe our own doctrine. A simplistic use of “denominational membership” as the sole criterion for communion admission, unaccompanied by exhortation and teaching, would be a caricature of biblical and confessional teaching.

In the second place, if individual communicants are viewed only as “confessors,” the temptation arises to ask “how orthodox” their confession is. Even in the case of members of our own congregations, pastors who view communicants in this way and only in this way might be tempted to conduct “interviews of theological orthodoxy” and to ban from the Lord’s Supper those who cannot give a “good” confession or one that is “good enough.” This kind of approach shifts the entire matter of confession away from the church body onto the shoulders of the individual in an extreme and dangerous way.

Third, viewing communicants only as confessors of official doctrine runs the danger of intellectualizing “faith in these words” (cf. SC VI, 5–10; Tappert, 352). The cognitive and intellectual element of faith is  present, of course. But the simple faith by which the Christian becomes a worthy communicant is not a matter of theological sophistication and precise articulation. Such faith is the heart’s trust in the words of Christ and in the saving gifts He offers through his own Supper.

Fourth and perhaps most important, if individual Christians are viewed only as confessors of the ecclesiastical doctrine with which they are associated, there may result an unwillingness on the part of our pastors to struggle with those rare and genuinely difficult situations of unusual personal need and pastoral care. In times of emergency, of war, of severe illness or intense personal crisis, and in situations involving individuals who are in a state of confession, we must be willing to search for the balance between personal faith and need on the one hand, and the corporate dimensions and unity implied in and demanded by the Lord’s Supper on the other hand.

This willingness to deal with individuals reflects the view found in the Preface to the Book of Concord that individual members of heterodox church bodies may nevertheless be open to the biblical and confessional teaching about the Lord’s Supper: But we have no doubt at all that one can find many pious, innocent people even in those churches which have up to now admittedly not come to agreement with us. These people go their way in the simplicity of their hearts, do not understand the issues, and take no  pleasure in blasphemies against the Holy Supper as it is celebrated in our churches according to Christ’s institution and as we concordantly teach about it on the basis of the words of his testament. It is furthermore to be hoped that when they are rightly instructed in this doctrine, they will, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, turn to the infallible truth of the divine Word and unite with us and our churches and schools. (Preface; Tappert, 11–12)

It will never be possible to compile a list of “acceptable exceptions.” Life in this present evil age will not allow for such simplicity and precision. The Synod has always recognized this and we must allow the tension to remain. We must engage one another in respectful mutual conversation over the controverted specifics of the “situations of emergency, and special cases of pastoral care, or extraordinary situations and circumstances” which call for “the necessity of exercising responsible pastoral care.”{see footnote}


Quote

Footnote
1998 Resolution 3–05 “To Reaffirm Our Practice of Admission to the Lord’s Supper” (see Preamble), Convention Proceedings, 115. See 1986 Resolution 3–08 “To Maintain Practice of Close Communion,” Convention Proceedings, 143, and 1995 Resolution 3–08 “To Reaffirm Practice of Close[d] Communion,” Convention Proceedings, 121–22. In this latter resolution the Synod recommended to its member congregations for guidance the following Communion Card statement prepared by the CTCR:

The Lord’s Supper is celebrated at this congregation in the confession and glad confidence that, as He says, our Lord gives into our mouths not only bread and wine but His very body and blood to eat and to drink for the forgiveness of sins and to strengthen our union with Him and with one another. Our Lord invites to His table those who trust in His words, repent of all sin, and set aside any refusal to forgive and love as He forgives and loves us, that they may show forth His death until He comes.

Because those who eat and drink our Lord’s body and blood unworthily do so to their great harm and because Holy Communion is a confession of the faith which is confessed at this altar, any who are not yet instructed, in doubt, or who hold a confession differing from that of this congregation and The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, and yet desire to receive the Sacrament, are asked first to speak with the Pastor or an usher. For further study, see Matt. 5:23ff; 10:32ff; 18:15–35; 26:26–29; 1 Cor. 11:17–34.

Dan
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Weedon on January 14, 2011, 05:41:30 PM
P.S. One more thing, George.  Most of the time, in my experience anyway, a visitor is not asked anything before approaching an LCMS altar.  Most parishes rely on statements in the bulletin to inform visitors regarding our practice.  I do, of course, teach my members that when they go to another parish, they should introduce themselves to the pastor prior to the service, and request permission to receive the Sacrament.  A friend of mine (who is now an Orthodox priest) used to tell his parishioners:  the pastor can ask you anything he wants; be prepared to answer.  You may ask him two questions:  what do you hold in your hand?  what do you place in my mouth?  If he doesn't answer Christ's body and blood, he told his parishioners not to commune and to leave.  He was a good student of Luther! (The letter to the Christians at Frankfurt am Main).
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: George Erdner on January 14, 2011, 05:44:03 PM
George,

The Synod isn't about enforcement.  Never has been, truthfully.  We are not here to police, but to serve.  And if I find a member holds an opinion that disagrees with our Symbols, you better believe that I work on attempting to convince them (from the Scriptures) that the position put forward in the Symbol is in actual fact so.  I've never had a single member in my entire ministry disagree with women's ordination, for example, at least none that ever expressed it to me - and I have had some very outspoken members!  That's just not a huge issue for us - this list makes it appear bigger than it is.  

I keep getting the impression that you find our desire to maintain pure doctrine something that is foolish or silly, as though we were some sort of pure doctrine cult? That's certainly not my experience.  We recognize the value of pure doctrine - to quote Walther - the same way a farmer recognizes the value of good seed.  And what is the opposite?  A lack of concern with whether what one is teaching is true and accords with God's revelation in the Sacred Scripture!  Surely that's not something that is desirable.  


No, it is not my desire or intention to make the LC-MS look foolish. However, based on the posts in here, those people in the LC-MS who have a "desire to maintain pure doctrine" are a minority compared to those who insist, "Rules is rules, so there!".

And, in the context of "Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS?  Why or Why Not?", this sub-thread seems to me to indicate that to many of us the answer is "no" and the reason is because too many we encounter in the LC-MS are the "Rules is rules, so there!" group, and not very many are those who simply a "desire to maintain pure doctrine".

I also have a small amount of trouble with having the Scriptures, which aren't that difficult to read and understand, confused and obfuscated with repeated cross references to secondary writings. Perhaps I'm wrong about it, but I have trouble believing that God would hide what He wants and expects of us within scripture so deeply that the clear, plain words on the page don't tell us what we need to know. I find myself confounded by the revisionists in the ELCA who manage to twist a clear prohibition in scripture against a certain activity into an endorsement of a perverse relationship. But I find myself equally confounded by those in the LC-MS who can justify using denominational affiliation as a sole litmus test for taking communion. And while I acknowledge and accept that in your congregation, you don't take the lazy way out and simply resort to denominational affiliation as the sole test, I cannot reconcile statements I have heard from many other Lutherans that in many, many other LC-MS congregations it is quite different than it is in your church.

Perhaps the problem lies in, "The Synod isn't about enforcement." Apparently the ELCA isn't about enforcement, either. Both bodies seem to want things to be the way they want things to be, but neither body wants to actually do anything about making things the way that they want them to be.

Maybe the path to doctrinal purity requires enforcement.
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on January 14, 2011, 05:47:03 PM

9.)  Lodge Membership


FWIW, ELCA clergy and lay rostered members are not permitted to be members of the Lodge.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 14, 2011, 05:54:45 PM
Part of this whole problem is also about practicality.  I have Bible Class before church, often it runs over.  (Should we be surprised?)  So I show up in the Narthex shortly before the service is to start.  People show up at the last minute before church (I would say that proves them Lutheran but I am told that other groups of Christians also behave that way.)  There is no time for a 15 minute discussion and teaching session before church.  Not that 15 minutes would likely be enough for some since their idea of discussion seems to be that either you convince me that I am wrong or just admit that you are wrong do it my way.  There is also the attitude, evidenced by some even in this discussion group that says, "I want what I want and you have to give it to me or you're just a meany, you, your church, your denomination, and your little dog, too."

Dan
Title: Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
Post by: ddrebes on January 14, 2011, 06:38:30 PM
To Jerry I would like to say that the LCMS would, indeed, allow you freedom to be more catholic than the ELCA -- theologically, liturgically, and in practice.  In fact, the esteem given to the Confessions guarantee that this freedom not only exists but cannot be compromised.  The more congregational nature of Missouri, while allowing the things I do not like, allows me the very freedom to keep the confessional ideal of being both evangelical and catholic.  Do not let us loud mouths on this forum paint you a picture of Missouri where people are spying on