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ALPB => Forum Blogs => Topic started by: Russ Saltzman on March 27, 2007, 11:54:05 AM

Title: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Russ Saltzman on March 27, 2007, 11:54:05 AM
I am a member of the board of directors of Lutherans For Life <www.lutheransforlife.org>. I have been since about a year ago when I was invited to serve on the board, more or less specifically as a pastor of the ELCA, albeit one with a mouth that gets into print now and then.

(Self-Disclosure Moment: I am a terrible board member. So far I have been unable to attend even one board meeting, and the meeting I thought I could attend next month has been trumped by family obligations.)

Of 2,883 members of Lutherans for Life, three are members of the ELCA. Four, counting me. These three are self-identified as members of the ELCA.

There are 547 LFL members who have not disclosed their Lutheran affiliation - could be a few ELCA'ers lurking within that number, but I have my doubts. My assumption is, these 547 unidentified LFL members are all members of the Missouri Synod and they just expect everybody else to know it. (Of the remaining non-LCMS folks paying their dues to LFL, 29 belong to the AFLC, 13 to the AALC, and 14 to the CLBA.)

Lutherans for Life is trying to expand its membership base by becoming more pan-Lutheran. A not unreasonable goal is to see a non-LCMS membership of 5 percent by 2008, doubled to 10 percent by 2010.

Now, harboring the notion that the ELCA has more than four members with pro-life sentiments, what prevents them from joining Lutherans for Life?

I have my thoughts but I would much rather hear yours. You may post a reply here (my preference, since it would generate needful public discussion) but I will also take private replies (resaltzman@sbcglobal.net).

Finally, let me put in a plug for Lutherans for Life. There, consider it plugged.

Russ Saltzman, editor, Forum Letter

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: pastorg1@aol.com on March 27, 2007, 12:04:03 PM
Pax et bonum Christi-

I am a "Life Member" (sic) of Lutherans for Life and a pastor in the ELCA.

I joined Lutheran for Life because of my frustration at having to fund abortions in our ELCA health program. I wanted some of my personal money to go to prevent abortions.

In my confirmation program, my charges and I look at the forming of a moral conscience and the application of said conscience in regard to abortion as we investigate the New Yorker short-story, "Good People."

For the definition and application of said moral conscience, we use the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: # 374. & 375.

God bless you and your work with Lutherans For LIfe,

Sincerely your brother in Christ,

Peter Garrison
Burilngame, California
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 27, 2007, 01:20:41 PM
I am a member of Lutherans for Life (well, I send them money every year, but I'm not sure if they ever sent me an official card) and though I am LCMS I am stunned by the stats Russ Saltzman has posted. At least to my LCMS eyes and ears it never has seemed like an exclusively or even and overtly LCMS organization. If I had been forced to guess before this morning I wold have ventured to say the membership was at least a quarter ELCA. I wonder if the fact that abortion is such an issue for social conservatives in politics that people don't feel they can really publicly identify with or pour themselves into an organization that might in many people's eyes simply exist to help Republicans win elections. (That charge, by the way, was made by a Princeton theology prof. concerning Evangelicals and Catholics Together, too-- "not serious theology, but public propaganda to help elect more Republicans," was I believe how she phrased it). What I'm getting at is that maybe the problem is not an LCMS/ELCA one but because of the nature of the issue, more of a public identification of politics issue.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: pilgrimpriest on March 27, 2007, 02:03:30 PM
I know quite a number of pro-life ELCA folks. Many pastors are also counted among them. Some of those clergy, although they hold a pro-life view, fear to join such organizations or other local ministry efforts "for fear of the Jews," metaphorically speaking. They are afraid that if it becomes too public it will adversely affect their future careers in their parishes and the ELCA. I remember one clergy friend who, after taking a public stand concerning the pension and health issue, was counseled by his former bishop that his stance on abortion might be the result of "unresolved anger issues."

On the other hand, my friends in South Dakota (a clergy-couple) posted a sign on their lawn in support of the recent referendum to make abortion illiegal in the state. There was no question in or outside their community where they stood.

I echo Pr. Saltzman's plug, join LFL and, I would add, support your local Crisis Pregnancy Center. Even if you can only do it as a "concerned individual," your support is gratefully appreciated.

Fr. Bob
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on March 27, 2007, 06:11:51 PM
I, too, am a Life Member, ELCA Pastor (and if I don't show up on your list of 3 ELCA members, someone in the Nevada office isn't keeping the records up very well, for I certainly mark "ELCA" on any membership forms when given the chance), and also the "pastoral advisor" to our local chapter -- of whom all the other active participants are LCMS -- almost since its inception.  I was heartened to see your name, Russ, in the latest LifeDate magazine on the page 3 list of the Board of Directors.  

I'll confess, though, to have first noticed the staff listing on page 2 which made LFL sound like an LCMS organization, albeit one that isn't in the LCMS budget.  And that is an impression that has been reinforced in so many ways, and more and more (particularly at the local and state level through the scheduling of events and dissemination of materials) in the dozen years or so I've been an LFL member.  Some of the materials I've seen for congregational use have a clear LCMS slant to them.  The LCMS link comes on pretty strong in the National conventions and publications, too.  Partly natural when most of the folks involved at the various LFL levels are LCMS, and sometimes of an, uh, "exclusivist" LCMS strain.  

I do not think (okay, I hope not) that it is an intentional thing.   But the "Life Thoughts in the Church Year" page in the newest LifeDate is "based on the appointed readings from Lutheran Service Book."   I know, just how is LFL to do something like this when LCMS folks use lectionaries from TLH, LW, LSB, LBW, 1-year, 3-year, and none at all, while ELCAers are largely RCL, with some LBW and none-at-all thrown in for good measure.  That Thrivent Financial for Lutherans diary for Lutheran clergy can be tricky to decipher sometimes, so I know its not an easy thing to do in an inclusive (sorry, there's got to be a better word) way.  Then again, perhaps using the LSB isn't yet a particularly LCMS-friendly page!

Are any other members of the Board, or the staff, or the speakers bureau, in the ELCA?  Might it be helpful for LFL to consciously define, and intentionally describe, itself as "pan-Lutheran?"  Or to regularly note which Lutheran body conference/convention speakers and article/pamplet authors are part of?  (Planned Parenthood, for example, is very good both locally and nationally about identifying as ELCA those ELCA pastors who speak out on its behalf.)  Could pro-life ELCA voices be identified (and quoted) more often?  It seems as though I've discovered more pro-life ELCA names (lay and clergy) through articles in Touchstone magazine than I have through LFL.

And, yes, in writing all this I'll point fingers in our (as ELCAers in LFL) direction, too.  If we don't stand up to be counted we ought not complain too much when we think we're being ignored.  It's easy to go along for the ride with those few who do the hard work.  And it is not easy to stand up as a pro-life voice in the ELCA.  Maybe more of us ought to go to the Lutherans for Life website (http://www.lutheransforlife.org) (it's been linked from the beginning on Pastor Zip's Lutheran Links (http://homepage.mac.com/pastorzip/lutheranlinx.html#Renewal)) and let 'em know we're here.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Eric_Swensson on March 27, 2007, 06:47:40 PM
Is Brownback the only "right to Life candidate" in the Presidential campaign?

Life is worthy of respect and protection from the moment of conception. I fear that our society has forgotten the value of human life. I believe every life has meaning and purpose, and that the termination of life is taken too lightly in our country today. Abortion ends a human life. It destroys an individual who could have lived, worked, and contributed to our society. And has wiped out nearly an entire generation. I believe we should strive to fully embrace a culture of life through our national politics. I will continue to fight to protect life at every stage. I hope that one day America will remember the value we once placed on human life.

http://www.brownback.com/s/Issues/tabid/60/Default.aspx#Culture
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: MMH on March 27, 2007, 11:10:01 PM
Hi Russ-

At the risk of drawing the ire of some folks, I will say that the problem is not that LFL is too LC-MS, but that ELCA is not enough for Life.  The hierarchy, as constituted by HQ and/or the CoB has yet to to say anything that could be heard as a robust defense of life.

The truth that dare not speak its name is that part of the neo-liberal position has to be pro-abortion.  I can remember the old bumper stciker "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."  Well folks, militant feminists, totally detached from the tradition of Anthony, Stanton, etc., can get pregnant so abortion IS one of the major sacraments of the revisionist Church.  Go to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice website and read.

Notice that EVERY one of our major ecumenical partners as the ELCA are already members of this group.  But I am sure that our denominational silence on abortion is merly coincidental to that fact ;) :'(

Those who choose to proclaim the Gospel of Life know that they run the risk of offending the powers and principalities.

And since we lack a consistant and unitive voice on this, if a parish pastor speaks, it will be brought to his/her attention that "this is a matter of personal opinion, so keep yours to your d*** self. "

And folks- this, more than arguments over homosexual behavior is where we need to be.  The past 15 years of arguments have been the protracted locking of the barn door after the horse has been stolen.

I believe abortion is an ur-sin, because it only works when you get to make a broad class of human beings lebensunwertes leben.  And if you get to do that with unborn children, I get to do it with f*** or d**** or n****** or w******* or c*****  or whatever group.  Its the unspoken bargain.  You get to have your non-humans about whom you don't care, and I get mine.

When I hear some pro-abortion activist speak smugly about MLK or somebody like that, I think of the quote "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" and I want to scream "WAKE UP!"

So- my suggestion is to be more assertive with LFL and get an ad in Partners and The Lutheran.

But then I am one of those mean spirited cranks Charles is always warning us about, so what do I know.

Matt Hummel+
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on March 28, 2007, 06:03:39 AM
Matt Hummel writes:
But then I am one of those mean spirited cranks Charles is always warning us about, so what do I know.

I comment:
From what I have seen of Lutherans for Life, they are not mean-spirited cranks.
As has been stated upstream, the ELCA's statement on abortion also speaks to ways of dealing with unwanted pregnancies or the risk of unwanted pregnancies in ways that will limit the number of abortions. And, to raise the question that exists in Roman Catholic circles, can we believe that abortion is morally wrong (I happened to believe it is), and still believe that a legal proscription against all abortions is bad public policy?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: navyman on March 28, 2007, 07:21:28 AM
I am a member of the board of directors of Lutherans For Life <www.lutheransforlife.org>. I have been since about a year ago when I was invited to serve on the board, more or less specifically as a pastor of the ELCA, albeit one with a mouth that gets into print now and then.

(Self-Disclosure Moment: I am a terrible board member. So far I have been unable to attend even one board meeting, and the meeting I thought I could attend next month has been trumped by family obligations.)

Of 2,883 members of Lutherans for Life, three are members of the ELCA. Four, counting me. These three are self-identified as members of the ELCA.

There are 547 LFL members who have not disclosed their Lutheran affiliation - could be a few ELCA'ers lurking within that number, but I have my doubts. My assumption is, these 547 unidentified LFL members are all members of the Missouri Synod and they just expect everybody else to know it. (Of the remaining non-LCMS folks paying their dues to LFL, 29 belong to the AFLC, 13 to the AALC, and 14 to the CLBA.)

Lutherans for Life is trying to expand its membership base by becoming more pan-Lutheran. A not unreasonable goal is to see a non-LCMS membership of 5 percent by 2008, doubled to 10 percent by 2010.

Now, harboring the notion that the ELCA has more than four members with pro-life sentiments, what prevents them from joining Lutherans for Life?

I have my thoughts but I would much rather hear yours. You may post a reply here (my preference, since it would generate needful public discussion) but I will also take private replies (resaltzman@sbcglobal.net).

Finally, let me put in a plug for Lutherans for Life. There, consider it plugged.

Russ Saltzman, editor, Forum Letter




I must say, I never heard of it!  However, I'll check it out!

Don
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: MMH on March 28, 2007, 08:21:02 AM
As has been stated upstream, the ELCA's statement on abortion also speaks to ways of dealing with unwanted pregnancies or the risk of unwanted pregnancies in ways that will limit the number of abortions. And, to raise the question that exists in Roman Catholic circles, can we believe that abortion is morally wrong (I happened to believe it is), and still believe that a legal proscription against all abortions is bad public policy?

OK- Show me the policy statement, letter to President Bush, or whatever document in which Bp. Hanson or his predecessors, or any of their designees have taken a stance to deal with unwanted pregnancies so as to reduce the # of abortions since abortion is morally wrong.  BTW Charles as someone who prides himself on his writing skills, I am surprised that you are uneconomical in style.  Why say "morally wrong", and use two words where one word, "evil," will suffice?

What has the ELCA done to encourage adoption?  The ELCA Church Council and Board of Pensions has refused point blank to do anything that would enable pastors to adoptand by doing so witness against the evil.

And if abortion is evil, or "morally wrong", why are we in communion with people who think that abortion is "morally good."  Again, everyone, please go to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice website (www.rcrc.org) and read.  And what is up with the UMC allowing someone on their rolls to serve as chaplain to Planned Parenthood?

As for the safe, legal, and rare tapdance, yeah, how much better for our country if we had simply worked over time to eliminate slavery here in the US by lifting up alternatives.  I am sure that by the 1950s or so the last manumission would have occured.  Tough luck for those in slavery, but hey, sudden changes are bad public policy.

I will settle for a compromise.  Can we all call abortion the taking of a human life?  And before CA Brian jumps in with his Scriptural erudition, I will ask anyone if they have seen their children in utero via sonogram?  It is not a potential human life, it is the thing itself.

And then, once we acknoweldge that truth, can we find out why the ELCA has spent so much more money on behalf of convicted killers, rapists and torturers than it has on the unborn?

If everyone on death row in the US was put to death this week, would the #s even come close to those who will be killed by abortion?

We were all horrified by the 2005 tsunami.  There has been one tsunami every 2 months for the past 34 years in this nation.  1/3 of our youth groups, confirmation classes, campus ministry organizations, young adult leaders, are dead.

But God bless Higgins Rd. and its stalwart ability to ignore the h*** out of a crisis when there are so many other important issues like homo        ctivity to support.

But if the same sex lobby in the ELCA and elsewhere get their holy grail of genetic predisposition for the disorder, and it can then be tested for, what do they think is going to happen in in a country where less than a third of children diagnosed with Down's Syndrome are born?

There is a reason the pink triangle is a symbol, folks. And there already is a holocaust going on.

Matt Hummel+



Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Russ Saltzman on March 28, 2007, 10:07:55 AM
Say, folks, this isn't about Brownback, ELCA policy statements, or anything like that. Mine was a simple inquiry about how Lutherans for Life is preceived by pro-life supporters in the ELCA.

I see little reason to organize an ELCA version for a pro-life witness when the wheel - LFL - already is invented. But if LFL is preceived as an LCMS subsidary, that isn't good.

This question is the one that needs to be addressed.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Eric_Swensson on March 28, 2007, 10:16:35 AM
I know this thread is not about Brownback, I just wanted to give him air time  :)

So, are you wondering if ELCA people are afraid of being part of an organization perceived as being identified with LCMS? Perhaps, we seem to be afraid of about everything but mostly about not being nice. But then, some are glad to get any distance they can from the direction of the liberal drift of the ELCA, hence abortion could be a "wedge issue" but only for that 5% or so that speaks up?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: MMH on March 28, 2007, 10:23:21 AM
Say, folks, this isn't about Brownback, ELCA policy statements, or anything like that. Mine was a simple inquiry about how Lutherans for Life is preceived by pro-life supporters in the ELCA.

I see little reason to organize an ELCA version for a pro-life witness when the wheel - LFL - already is invented. But if LFL is preceived as an LCMS subsidary, that isn't good.

This question is the one that needs to be addressed.

Point taken- Not sure if we have made it official, but we have marched with LFL twice as a family.

And my point is that the fault, dear Russell, lies not in LFL, but in ourselves (as ELCA).

Maybe work to get point people in each Synod like ALPB to at least put out flyers at Synod conventions.  I think  the problem is low visibility, not a whiff of Saint Louis.

Matt Hummel+
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Revbert on March 28, 2007, 10:26:18 AM
Is it "too LCMS" for me?  No, can't say that it is.

At the same time, I have a problem with most absolutes.  Abortion is one of them, I'm afraid.  I think there are circumstances where abortion is the correct action, evil as I believe abortion is.

I am also troubled by my own belief that the death penalty is also the correct action in certain circumstances, evil as I believe the death penalty is.

So, I find myself sitting in the uncomfortable place of the middle.  I can't support Planned Parenthood, nor do I support the BOP's decision to fund abortions (but I had to foot the bill of adopting my boys all on my own).  I don't support (financially) LFL or other similar groups because I'm not an absolutist on abortion, even though I have a deep understanding of and appreciation for the sanctity of human life.

Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa...
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 28, 2007, 11:11:07 AM
I think there is plenty of room in LFL for people who find themselves far from an absolutist position on abortion. If in general you think abortion is the taking of an innocent human life then you really should think about joining LFL. If absolutism in is distasteful to you in general, that is yet another reason to join. The status quo in America is about as absolutist a pro-choice position as it is possible to have. There are token laws about this or that, but for all practical purposes anyone can get an abortion any time up to and including during the birth of the baby for absolutely any reason. The time to start worrying about an absolutist anti-abortion problem is still a long way off, though I'm sure it will come, and the genuine disagreements will have to be dealt with. But for now the worry is unfounded. 
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: MaddogLutheran on March 28, 2007, 11:36:58 AM
At the same time, I have a problem with most absolutes.  Abortion is one of them, I'm afraid.  I think there are circumstances where abortion is the correct action, evil as I believe abortion is.

I am also troubled by my own belief that the death penalty is also the correct action in certain circumstances, evil as I believe the death penalty is.

So, I find myself sitting in the uncomfortable place of the middle.  I can't support Planned Parenthood, nor do I support the BOP's decision to fund abortions (but I had to foot the bill of adopting my boys all on my own).  I don't support (financially) LFL or other similar groups because I'm not an absolutist on abortion, even though I have a deep understanding of and appreciation for the sanctity of human life.
Yes, what he said, both on death penalty and abortion.  This is almost exactly where I am (other than I haven't adopted any children), in the middle.  I really wish that the ELCA would put forth a more public pro-life message, and not be so unofficially cozy with the Planned Parenthoods of the world.  It seems to me it could speak such a message in the public arena without necessarily advocating for the Supreme Court to rule that life begins at conception.  Getting more visible ELCA participation in LFL would be a good start for that.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Pilgrim on March 28, 2007, 11:51:57 AM
Art Hebbeler wrote:
At the same time, I have a problem with most absolutes.  Abortion is one of them, I'm afraid.  I think there are circumstances where abortion is the correct action, evil as I believe abortion is.

Tim Christ adds:
I think Art is on the money here. Arguing in the general is always fairly simple, but in the specific it gets real dicey. Years ago I attended a seminar with the Late Bishop Stephen Neill for a week. Among other things, he spoke of ethics...and one of the points he made was that in the specifics of life the question is often not right-wrong, good-evil, but rather lessor-greater. In a fallen and sinful world, we are many times faced with circumstances and situations where the choice is what is the lessor or greater evil, or the lessor or greater good.

On one occasion a question was posed to me during an interview. The questioner was point blank: Do you believe in abortion? I turning the question around: Your daughter is 14, pregnant as the result of a violent rape, the rapist has been caught and there are several genetic predispositions which may be present in the unborn child, and oh, by the way, did I mention the rapist is of a different race? Let me ask you: Do you believe in abortion?

I am pro-life...but that doesn't necessarily include being anti-abortion in any and all circumstances. In the trenches of life...with real saint-sinner people...it's never quite as neat and clean as it appears in cyber-blogs, or official policy statements, or in grandiose pronouncements for called and self-appointed prophets.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 28, 2007, 12:27:11 PM
oh, by the way, did I mention the rapist is of a different race? Let me ask you: Do you believe in abortion?

Indeed, never as neat and clean. But here's my trouble (and I suppose I don't really quite see myself as an "absolutist," though nearly so, and I'm not a member of LFL probably more out of laziness than anything else):

In your example, Tim, I have to say that I don't see what the race of the rapist has to do with anything. But it does point up the fact that when we start saying, "Well, maybe justifiable in this particular situation . . .", we are immediately prone to all the "justifications" which, in fact, don't hold much water. I may have said something here before about a woman in my first parish who aborted her second child because she had been told (prior to the birth of her first child) that she and her husband could not have children. They still believed it to be the case, after the birth of the first child, and so failed to use contraception and then were shocked--SHOCKED!--when she was pregnant again. It was going to be financially inconvenient, so she aborted the child. She thought her reasons were really good.

And so those who hold a "middle ground"--with however much angst they hold it, and I do not minimize that in the least--then have the moral burden to answer two questions:

(1) What circumstances in fact justify an abortion? And, perhaps even more importantly for the "public policy" part of the debate,

(2) Who should decide in a given situation?

The law's de facto position now is, "Virtually any circumstances justify an abortion" and "the pregnant woman is the final arbiter of that decision, and so whatever she says justifies an abortion." I find that troubling. But I've yet to figure out a way that effectively allows for some moral ambiguity and yet filters out really bad moral reasoning.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: MaddogLutheran on March 28, 2007, 12:52:06 PM
The law's de facto position now is, "Virtually any circumstances justify an abortion" and "the pregnant woman is the final arbiter of that decision, and so whatever she says justifies an abortion." I find that troubling. But I've yet to figure out a way that effectively allows for some moral ambiguity and yet filters out really bad moral reasoning.
The problem with the de facto state of things is that the law prevents deciding (in the public policy arena) even the easy questions where there is broad consensus, as Pr. Speckhard indirectly touched on.  Abortion politics does not particulary energize me (which is why I don't belong to the likes of LFL), except for this point:  the school nurse can't give my minor daughter aspirin without my permission, yet the law carves out an age of majority exception for her if she's pregnant to have a medical procedure (abortion) without my knowledge or consent.  Late-term partial birth abortions is another one.  Perhaps if some community judgments would be allowed on such things, without having to battle judicial fiat and slippery slope arguments about women being second class citizens, it would be easier to tackle some of the morally ambiguous questions (ambiguous for those of us in the so-called "middle").

Didn't mean to sidetrack the thread further, but Pr. Johnson posed an interesting question.   If groups such as LFL can help bring changes like this about, it would be a good thing.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: MMH on March 28, 2007, 01:04:59 PM
But I've yet to figure out a way that effectively allows for some moral ambiguity and yet filters out really bad moral reasoning.

Richard-

Here is where I contend that we start by dropping qualifiers like "potential" or circumlocutions like "byproduct of conception" and, as Luther said all good theologians of the Cross should do, "...call the thing what it is."  Life in utero is human life.

Are there times when the taking of a human life may be the least tragic of all choices?  Perhaps.  But it is still human life that is being taken.

I think if we could undo the semantic shell game perpetrated by the abortion-industrial complex then the #s would decrease.

But why do you think there is such enormous pressure on the part of the Left for embryonic stem cell research?  Does anyone whose neocortex is functioning think they care more about people with chronic/terminal diseases  or profound disabilities than do others?

They want embryonic stem cell research so that they can still keep us thinking of the unborn as things and not humans.

Matt Hummel+
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 28, 2007, 02:04:17 PM

On one occasion a question was posed to me during an interview. The questioner was point blank: Do you believe in abortion? I turning the question around: Your daughter is 14, pregnant as the result of a violent rape, the rapist has been caught and there are several genetic predispositions which may be present in the unborn child, and oh, by the way, did I mention the rapist is of a different race? Let me ask you: Do you believe in abortion?

I am pro-life...but that doesn't necessarily include being anti-abortion in any and all circumstances. In the trenches of life...with real saint-sinner people...it's never quite as neat and clean as it appears in cyber-blogs, or official policy statements, or in grandiose pronouncements for called and self-appointed prophets.
This is true of every law. If being able to imagine an exception disallows the law, we would have no laws. The old "if your kids were starving would you steal a loaf of bread" example is not meant to negate laws against theft but to show that there are circumstances when it is justified to break the law. But most thefts do not fall into that category. The vast, vast majority of abortions, like the vast majority of thefts, have no legitimate moral claim to be an exception to the rule. It is the pro-choice side that 100% absolutist in claiming that each woman has the right to make that decision for herself and we must accept millions of abortions because every now and there a circumstance arises in which it might be justified. That is why the only enduring source of this "right" is the judicial invention of a phantom clause concerning "privacy"-- not procreative freedom, liberty, life or anything else, but privacy, meaning "I am the sole arbiter of this". If it is a battle of absolutes, then the absolute prohibition of abortion is far preferable to the current state of things. But it is not battle of absolutes; it is a battle to dislodge the issue from the pro-choice absolutists and being the process of making laws that recognize all people as people. 
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 28, 2007, 04:44:20 PM
Here is where I contend that we start by dropping qualifiers like "potential" or circumlocutions like "byproduct of conception" and, as Luther said all good theologians of the Cross should do, "...call the thing what it is."  Life in utero is human life.

Are there times when the taking of a human life may be the least tragic of all choices?  Perhaps.  But it is still human life that is being taken.

And I agree with you, Matt, 100%.

In fact I just took 30 minutes out of a very busy week to meet with a staff person of our local pro-life pregnancy counseling center to let her bring me up to speed on some new services they are offering.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Russ Saltzman on March 28, 2007, 04:59:30 PM
At the same time, I have a problem with most absolutes. Abortion is one of them, I'm afraid. I think there are circumstances where abortion is the correct action, evil as I believe abortion is.
...

I don't support (financially) LFL or other similar groups because I'm not an absolutist on abortion, even though I have a deep understanding of and appreciation for the sanctity of human life.

You should bite a bullet and send a contribution.

I don't know anyone in the pro-life movement who is an "absolutist," and certainly not in the sense of protecting the baby at the expense of the mother. But just about every other situation is a matter of convenience - and in most cases, the convenience of the boy friend, the live-in male. I forget the exact statistic, but a majority of women with untentional pregnancies would avoid abortion were sufficient support for an alternative available. Providing conditions to create those alternatives is part of what Lutherans for Life is about. You don't have to be an "absolutist" to support reasonable alternatives to abortion. Forgive me for saying so, but I want to drive the point home: a refusal of "absolutes" is mere license for moral inactivity.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on March 28, 2007, 06:39:21 PM
At the risk of drawing the ire of some folks, I will say that the problem is not that LFL is too LC-MS, but that ELCA is not enough for Life. 

Several years ago in a Synod Social Ministry committee meeting, the ELCA lobbyist addressing us described the ELCA as "pro-choice."  I remember being shocked at that assertion, having read our Social Statement on Abortion.  I don't recall offering much of a rebuttal at the meeting, but I've not been as shy since then at contrasting the ELCA's official position with the actions of her leaders.

Meanwhile, there's the lastest press release from Augsburg Fortress:

For Immediate Release
Contact: Bob Todd
toddb@augsburgfortress.org

"With all the shouting in the angry debate about abortion, you would think we possessed God's full understanding about our creation. Clearly, we need a new conversation, and Professor Maguire could move us toward a more civilized, more Christian, discussion."
- John P. Blessington, American Catholic

Controversial Theologian's Opinions Rooted in Recent Writings

Minneapolis (March 23, 2007) - Today's New York Times featured an article about Catholic Bishops criticizing the writings of Catholic theologian and ethicist, Daniel C. Maguire. Eight bishops and two cardinals at the U.S. Catholic Conference in Washington D.C. issued a document on March 22, denouncing professor Maguire for his views on contraception, abortion, and same sex marriage. It is Maguire's position that these issues can be freely debated in the Catholic church and that the bishops are not the only source of nsight on these or other moral issues.

To learn more about the teachings of Maguire one should read his book Sacred Choices: The Right to Contraception and Abortion in Ten World Religions in which he aims to show how ten major religious traditions are "storehouses of good sense and wisdom in the area of sexuality and family planning...more than you expected."

Maguire is Professor of Moral Theology at Marquette University and President of The Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health and Ethics, an organization made up of scholars from the world's major and indigenous religions. With a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, he convened two conferences of outstanding scholars from ten of the world's religions. The research took three years, involved 15 scholars and developed new understanding of the texts and traditions. Sacred Choices examines contraception and abortion in ten religious traditions: Buddhism, Catholicism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Native Religions, Protestantism and Taoism. The project also examines these issues from the perspective of environment, overpopulation, ethics, and human rights.

Endorsements-

"In Sacred Choices, Dan Maguire has changed the debate over reproductive rights forever by conclusively demonstrating that there is a theological basis for the pro-choice position in ten world religions. He effectively challenges moderate religious folks to speak up about how their faith traditions inform their views, so that the public and policy makers will understand that the religious right does not possess the authoritative voice on these issues."
- Rev. Stephen J. Mather, Member, Board of Directors, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

"Sacred Choices is the right choice for anyone who wants to explode the poisonous myth that the world's religions oppose a woman's right to reproductive freedom. With the aid of authoritative theologians on each of the faiths examined, Professor Daniel Maguire has marshaled a wealth of factual information to show how the theologies of ten world religions support the right of a woman to decide whether and when to bear a child. Every bit as remarkable are the considerable wit and wisdom he has brought to the task of creating a breakthrough volume that is easily accessible and a delight to read."
- Rabbi Balfour Brickner, Senior Rabbi, Emeritus, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, New York City

"What Dr. Maguire, with his scholarly guides, does so brilliantly is make the data accessible, lift the shroud of stereotype, and let the reader decide for her/himself."
- Mary E. Hunt, Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual

Other recently published books include:
A Moral Creed for All Christians (2005) in which he urges that Christianity's real relevance for the renewal of American public life lies not in the myopic morality of the Christian Right nor in any particular program of the Left but in the enduring relevance of Jesus and biblical Christianity. He explains Christianity's indispensable moral conviction about God's care, rapport with the earth, the nature of ownership, the bond between justice and peace, the nature of enmity, the illogic of militarism, and the creative potential of the human species.

The Horrors We Bless: Rethinking the Just War Legacy (2007) in which he proposes that state-sponsored violence can only be justified in a community context with legal and internationally enforceable restrictions comparable to the restraints we put upon our police. This understanding of war would put an end to "vigilante war" practiced by Adolph Hitler and others as well as the "preemptive war" policy currently emerging in America.

Daniel C. Maguire is a Professor of Moral Theological Ethics at Marquette University, a Catholic, Jesuit Institution and President of the Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health and Ethics. Dr. Maguire has a degree in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, one of the world's major catholic universities, with special ties to the Vatican.

Dr. Maguire has written over 150 articles printed in publications such as The New York Times, Atlantic, USA Today, The Crisis: Journal of the NAACP, etc. The articles include "Different but Equal: A Moral Assessment of the Woman's Liberation", "The Psychotherapist as Moralist", "The Freedom to Die", "Sex and Ethical Methodology", "The New Look of Death" and "Affirmative Action at Bay".

Of his many honors, he was listed by Ms. Magazine as one of the "40 male heroes of the past decade, men who took chances and made a difference", 1982. His book, The Moral Choice, won "Best Scholarly Book of the Year, 1978. The University of Notre Dame named Maguire one of the ten best teachers, 1983-1984.

Sacred Choices
By Daniel C. Maguire
ISBN: 978- 0-8006-3433-0
$13.00 5.5" x 8.5", paperback, 168 pages
The Horrors We Bless: Rethinking the Just-War Legacy
By Daniel C. Maguire
ISBN: 978-08006-3897-9
$7.00 4.5" X 7", paperback, 144 pages

A Moral Creed for All Christians
By Daniel C. Maguire
ISBN: 978-08006-3761-3
$14.00 5.5" x 8.5", paperback, 208 pages

To order titles by Daniel C. Maguire please call Fortress Press at 1-800-328-4648 or visit the web site at www.fortresspress.com To request review copies or to discuss interviews and speaking engagements please call Bob Todd at 1-800-426-0115 ext. 234 or email toddb@augsburgfortress.org


Alas, that's the kind of ghoulish voice heard as the ELCA's. 

Christe eleison, Steven+
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on March 28, 2007, 06:40:45 PM
Is Brownback the only "right to Life candidate" in the Presidential campaign?

No.

spt+
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: MMH on March 29, 2007, 09:07:44 AM
Steve-

Thanks for the press release.  What a stomach turner. So AFP, with the money we send them, is telling us that we cannot fight against the Islamofacists, but any woman can have abortion if she wants to.  Sigh.  No wonder more of my books have come from Ignatius Press in the past few years than AFP.

By the way- I am still waiting for someone, anyone, please, to show me an example of the leadership of the ELCA standing up and speaking out about the need to reduce abortions in a way that was not heavily qualified.

I would also like to know other people's reactions to RCRC.  In another thread, Charles said if one must speak out against CCM, to do so for legitimate reasons.  Would TEC's support of this group be a legitimate reason according to Pr. Austin's standard of evidence?

Matt Hummel+

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Marshall_Hahn on April 02, 2007, 12:16:40 PM
I joined LFL while at Luther Seminary (some 20 odd years ago), and have been a haphazard member since.  I am probably not on the membership list, although I still receive their mailings.  I have always sensed a subtle hostility toward LFL in the ELCA.  At the seminary we had a small but active group.  We brought in a speaker once, and had to have the event in a basement room in one of the buildings.  It was quite clear that our efforts were not welcome.  Since then, the ELCA colleagues I know who are involved with LFL or even sympathetic to it have been few and far between.  It is good to hear of a few more on this forum!

Marshall Hahn
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: MMH on April 02, 2007, 01:17:44 PM
A useful group from whom to get info on these issues is Life News.  And they just had this in their latest e-news:

http://www.lifenews.com/nat3003.html

It's about Maguire.

Matt Hummel+
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on April 02, 2007, 02:49:10 PM
The Augsburg Fortress press release is in response to the Statement Concerning Two Pamphlets Published by Professor Daniel Maguire (http://www.usccb.org/dpp/twopamphlets.htm) which was developed by the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  Prof. Maguire is published by Augsburg Fortress, the "publishing ministry" of the ELCA.

spt+.

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 20, 2010, 05:17:22 PM
This antique thread deserves a bump.  It is election time, after all.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Evangel on October 20, 2010, 10:08:11 PM
...
Of 2,883 members of Lutherans for Life, three are members of the ELCA. Four, counting me. These three are self-identified as members of the ELCA.

There are 547 LFL members who have not disclosed their Lutheran affiliation - could be a few ELCA'ers lurking within that number, but I have my doubts. My assumption is, these 547 unidentified LFL members are all members of the Missouri Synod and they just expect everybody else to know it. (Of the remaining non-LCMS folks paying their dues to LFL, 29 belong to the AFLC, 13 to the AALC, and 14 to the CLBA.)

Lutherans for Life is trying to expand its membership base by becoming more pan-Lutheran. A not unreasonable goal is to see a non-LCMS membership of 5 percent by 2008, doubled to 10 percent by 2010. ...

How about an update on the numbers Russ?

I would guess there are some changes - I know for a fact there is at least one LCMC member for the last few years and I hope James Lamb spending all the time he has at LCMC conferences in the last few years has resulted in some significant number of members.

Mark
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 20, 2010, 11:17:27 PM
Maybe, given what the LC-MS has said about the ELCA concerning women pastors, interpretation of scripture, ecumenical agreements and other matters, ELCAers do not feel comfortable in a predominantly LC-MS group even if they agree with the premise of that particular group.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 21, 2010, 04:59:43 AM
I really don't think official statements by LC-MS concerning ELCA's departure from historic Lutheranism would keep folks from participating in Lutherans for Life.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 21, 2010, 07:41:48 AM
"Lutherman" writes:
I really don't think official statements by LC-MS concerning ELCA's departure from historic Lutheranism would keep folks from participating in Lutherans for Life.

I comment:
I do. When someone says you are not Lutheran and not biblical, won't fully participate in your worship and won't let you fully participate in theirs; when - as Pastor Tibbets noted upstream - someone crafts an organization completely dominated by their culture, which is not your culture, you just might want to find other ways to express your opposition to current abortion legislation.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 07:42:05 AM
I know they've made it very clear they are reaching out to the ELCA and definitely want to serve her members.  However, how can you expect a church body who teaches one way to still have that many members join a group whose views are completely opposite of their church's teaching?  Last I heard, elective abortions are still on pastors' health plans in the ELCA, no?  I'm greatly hoping to be corrected on this if someone with more detailed knowledge of the ECLA's current position on abortion could post it here.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Matt on October 21, 2010, 07:55:29 AM
Charles,

A simpler explanation is that many in the ELCA are far more interested in liberal political orthodoxy than Christian orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 21, 2010, 07:58:09 AM
Deaconess Schave writes:
 I'm greatly hoping to be corrected on this if someone with more detailed knowledge of the ECLA's current position on abortion could post it here.
I respond:
Go to the ELCA website and read the ELCA's social statement on abortion. It is long, nuanced and detailed. You will not find it as "liberal" as you might think and you will find that it commits us to working toward reducing the number of abortions, and providing guidance for people on matters of sexuality that will, if effective, eliminate the "need" (don't like that term) for abortions.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 21, 2010, 08:01:18 AM
Matthew Jamison writes:
A simpler explanation is that many in the ELCA are far more interested in liberal political orthodoxy than Christian orthodoxy.

I comment:
Many might be that way. Many are not. We are a diverse church body with varied opinions running through our active membership. Yours might be a convenient "simpler explanation," but it is not a simple situation, so it is not helpful.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Scott6 on October 21, 2010, 08:15:33 AM
Deaconess Schave writes:
 I'm greatly hoping to be corrected on this if someone with more detailed knowledge of the ECLA's current position on abortion could post it here.
I respond:
Go to the ELCA website and read the ELCA's social statement on abortion. It is long, nuanced and detailed. You will not find it as "liberal" as you might think and you will find that it commits us to working toward reducing the number of abortions, and providing guidance for people on matters of sexuality that will, if effective, eliminate the "need" (don't like that term) for abortions.

Unless something has changed, the answer to your question, Kim, is yes, the ELCA's health plan covers elective abortions until 20 weeks.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: DeHall on October 21, 2010, 09:56:50 AM

Go to the ELCA website and read the ELCA's social statement on abortion. It is long, nuanced and detailed.....


Better yet, go read the ELCA Health Benefits plan summary.  It's shorter and much more to the point. 
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 21, 2010, 10:43:20 AM
I also find Pastor Austin's comments to be interesting. Perhaps now he can better understand the struggles that we in the LCMS go through in regard to cooperation in externals with the ELCA. It is indeed a clash of cultures.

I would invite any and all members of the ELCA to join with LFL or other pro-life organizations to end the holocaust of the abortuaries.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 21, 2010, 10:44:04 AM
Lutheran Disaster Response, Lutheran World Relief, and Lutheran Social Service agencies are not crafted in the culture of the ELCA. In no way. The LC-MS has been an equal, active partner in those things for years and years, even during the LC-MS schism of the 1970s.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 11:03:23 AM
Lutheran Disaster Response, Lutheran World Relief, and Lutheran Social Service agencies are not crafted in the culture of the ELCA. In no way. The LC-MS has been an equal, active partner in those things for years and years, even during the LC-MS schism of the 1970s.

I can speak to LSS in that some agencies facilitate gay adoptions.  We had a whole thread on that, no need to re-hash it here.  It doesn't mesh with LCMS doctrine.

The experience I have had with LDR has involved joint training with ELCA pastors, deaconesses, laity.  I can assure you, I was not warmly welcomed even before I uttered a word given my known LCMS roots.  Didn't bother me a bit, I know what I used to stand for and why and what God has done to bring me to the understanding I have today about upholding His Word.  It was said in training for disaster response by an ELCA pastor that we don't provide answers when asked about abortion (or something very close to that).  I will provide those answers, even if I'm cooperating in the externals.  I will let an ELCA pastor (male or female) know that up front before I will attempt to cooperate.  If they send me packing because of that, so be it.  I'll simply walk out and head down to the the Catholic or Baptist church that is responding to the disaster.  If there isn't another church, I'll work out of the emergency ops. center with the police like I was invited to do over the summer when responding to a tornado.  I love how a uniform or collar gets you in the door with even secular agencies!

We probably should in the LCMS talk more about cooperating in the externals with these church bodies that on some issues are more closely aligned with our own LCMS Biblical stances . . . most notably abortion and homosexuality.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 11:25:32 AM
From the web site of Lutherans for Life:

An Analysis of the ELCA Statement on Abortion (http://www.lutheransforlife.org/mediafiles/analysis-of-elca-postion-on-abortion.pdf)

I've stated before and will state again that I owe my very life in Christ to the ELCA pastor who baptized and buried my premature twins and took a pro-life position himself (that later helped me move from being ok with "choice" to realizing the devastation of such a view).  I know there are many more like him still around who can call abortion what it is . . . the death of a helpless, innocent baby--a creation lovingly knitted together from day one in a mother's womb by the very hands of God.  Perhaps those of you who might disagree with this fact might want to ask women themselves who sometime after having an abortion came to realize that the guilt, shame and regret are, in fact, very real consequences of having an abortion.  Women are designed to nurture and sustain life, and when that is interrupted (by choice or otherwise), physical, emotional and spiritual consequences ensue.  So endorsing abortion is only the first step towards spiritual harm.  The next is not recognizing the consequences of the "choice" and helping a woman (or man) navigate through them.  Healing from an abortion can only come by way of the Gospel, and if a church doesn't call it a sin, then there is certainly no need for healing from something that isn't wrong.  So if abortion is not wrong, please explain the trauma women experience if what they have done isn't a sin.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 21, 2010, 11:28:33 AM
Lutheran Disaster Response, Lutheran World Relief, and Lutheran Social Service agencies are not crafted in the culture of the ELCA. In no way. The LC-MS has been an equal, active partner in those things for years and years, even during the LC-MS schism of the 1970s.

The predecessor Lutheran bodies with whom the LCMS once worked no longer exist. Even the ELCA no longer really exists as it did 20 years ago. What has happened has resulted from the decisions of the ELCA to radically alter their historic Lutheran culture. The very organizations you name are now different than they once were not because everyone has changed their culture but because the ELCA has done so and, in doing so, imports that new culture into joint organizations. Thus, Missouri must reconsider its participation and the ELCA certainly knew that before heading in the direction they have gone. Too bad it made no difference.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 21, 2010, 11:38:10 AM
I know that no one likes to hear this, especially people in the LC-MS. But, I'll say it once again anyway. Even to ELCA dissident traditionalists who oppose most of the liberal policies of the ELCA and who are disgusted by some of the ELCA's social statements on issues like abortion and homosexuality, the reputation that the LC-MS has regarding acceptance of outsiders is a problem. Some of us, for one reason or another, have come to learn that the reputation of the LC-MS is undeserved and/or a holdover from generations back. But to those who haven't had their eyes opened to the fact that the LC-MS isn't as clannish and unwelcoming as its reputation, the reputation is a stumbling block.

Like it or not (and prior responses to this same basic message indicates most LC-MS people like it not), the burden of dispelling a bad reputation, even one that is totally undeserved, falls on the shoulders of the people who have the bad reputation.

I won't dispute that the LC-MS does not deserve the reputation it has among other Lutherans. But the reputation is there, and it's up to the LC-MS to reach out to those who won't come to them because of mistaken perceptions about the LC-MS.

I only ask two things by way of replies to this post. Please don't remind me that the bad reputation of the LC-MS is based on misunderstandings and misconceptions, and that the negatives that most people think about the LC-MS aren't true. I know that, and I already said that. And please don't tell me about how welcoming people in the LC-MS are to people who enter their churches. Again, I know that to be true, but I'm talking about the people who won't walk into an LC-MS church to encounter that welcome.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 11:41:20 AM
And since nobody from the ELCA is chomping at the bit to provide a link to the ELCA social statement on abortion (http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Social-Issues/Social-Statements/Abortion.aspx), I (from the LCMS) shall do so.

And though I know this site isn't welcomed warmly by those in the ELCA, it's the best I could do on the fly to point to a link on abortions being covered by the ELCA health plan (http://www.exposingtheelca.com/on-abortion.html).  Please provide a better link if you have one.

And we ask how or why LFL is "too LCMS" for ELCA people?  Perhaps it's because they actually value what the Bible says about life, as does the LCMS.

To any ELCA lurkers, I would hold your hand in a heartbeat to make you feel comfortable at an LFL conference, event, etc.  You would be made to feel quite welcome even without that, though.   :)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: James_Gale on October 21, 2010, 12:18:12 PM
I know that no one likes to hear this, especially people in the LC-MS. But, I'll say it once again anyway. Even to ELCA dissident traditionalists who oppose most of the liberal policies of the ELCA and who are disgusted by some of the ELCA's social statements on issues like abortion and homosexuality, the reputation that the LC-MS has regarding acceptance of outsiders is a problem. Some of us, for one reason or another, have come to learn that the reputation of the LC-MS is undeserved and/or a holdover from generations back. But to those who haven't had their eyes opened to the fact that the LC-MS isn't as clannish and unwelcoming as its reputation, the reputation is a stumbling block.

I agree.  

I don't doubt that most LCMS congregations are warm and welcoming.  But LCMS practices keep many other Lutherans from ever visiting an LCMS congregation to learn for themselves.  

The biggest reason, I think, is close(d) communion.  I understand why the LCMS practices close(d) communion and believe that it has every right to do so.  However, we outsiders all have heard stories of Lutherans being turned away at Missouri altars.  Sometimes it's handled well.  Sometimes it's not, causing enormous embarrassment and then anger.  Close(d) communion also has caused serious problems for those planning weddings and funerals for families consisting of Lutherans from different bodies.  I know of circumstances where an LCMS pastor has told all-Lutheran families that they had to choose between having communion that would be shared only by part of the family or not having communion at all.  The bitterness that resulted was palpable.

And then there are the well publicized episodes, such as the action against Bp. Benke.  While some within Missouri think that discipline was warranted, the perceived harshness -- meanness, even -- of the action did not sit well with other orthodox Lutherans.  

Again, I know that arguments can be made supporting these practices.  My only point -- and George's, I think -- is that as a result, other Lutherans seeking a church to visit or join will steer clear of LCMS congregations.  Right or wrong, that's a fact.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Papster on October 21, 2010, 12:19:26 PM
Thanks to LutherMan for bumping up this topic. I missed it when it started and it is interesting to read the flow of the conversation. My wife has been much more active in the pro-life movement than I. I was a quiet supporter from the early seventies, she attended one of the first "March for Life" rallys in the mid seventies. She was a member of the Justice & Social Change Committee of the LCA NE Penn Synod at the time. The committee was considering funding a NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) chapter and she traveled to a NARAL meeting in Philadelphia with another committee member to access the value of offering funding. Later when one of committee members (a pastor) learned that she was pro-life he asked, "What are you doing on this committee?" and walked out of the meeting.

My wife and I authored a memorial to the NE Penn Synod Assembly to memorialize the LCA Church Assembly to revise the LCA Social Statement on Human Sexuality which was ambiguous on abortion. The memorial was passed by the synod, but when it got to the Reference & Counsel of the LCA Assembly it died in the committee before ever reaching the assembly floor for debate.

This year I attended the March for Life in Washington DC on January 22nd for the first time with my wife. I have never in my life experienced an event like that. There were upwards of 350,000 people there. It was supposed to take an hour (2:00 – 3:00 PM) to walk from the Mall Rally near the Smithsonian up Constitution Avenue around the Capitol to the Supreme Court Building for the speeches there at 3:00 PM. It was not a march, it was more like a crawl. We got to the Supreme Court at 4:15 PM long after the speeches, and a third of the crowd was still behind us. We marched with the Lutheran’s For Life group, but I think we were the only ELCA members in the group (several hundred people). What CNN reported was the presence of 60 Pro-Choice members that were holding “Keep Abortion Legal” signs. There was a total news blackout by CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX on the March to my knowledge.

Presently we are active in the NC Chapter of the Lutherans for Life. Right now we are the only ELCA people in the chapter. It is a LCMS dominated group. The chapter members are not that excited about going to the March for Life, they see their mission more as one of education about the issue.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 21, 2010, 12:23:35 PM
Pr. Orovitz,
Thank you and Mrs. Orovitz & God Bless you for caring enough to be involved.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 21, 2010, 12:28:37 PM
Again, I know that arguments can be made supporting these practices.  My only point -- and George's, I think -- is that as a result, other Lutherans seeking a church to visit or join will steer clear of LCMS congregations.  Right or wrong, that's a fact.

Thank you for understanding and reinforcing what I was saying.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Russ Saltzman on October 21, 2010, 12:31:01 PM
from Touchstone archives . . .


Everything Personal

by Russell E. Saltzman on Children Born of Rape or Incest


I belong to an on-line support group (me, in a support group, there’s a picture) composed of adult children born of rape or incest. There are more of us in the former category than the latter. Jennifer is our webmistress, organizer, facilitator, coach, head nanny, chief nag (though very nice about it), and the child of a violent rape. Mostly, I lurk. But for some in the group, I am a kind of unofficial chaplain and sometime pastoral advisor. There are children born before Roe v. Wade as well as children born after Roe v. Wade. The handles adopted by some in the group are evocative: “former fetus,” “unawares angel,” names like that.

We tell stories about how we found out about our birth circumstances, what that knowledge has meant. For every one of us, it was a discovery. No one was raised knowing the circumstances of his birth, but all of us are adoptees who simply wanted to know our origins for medical reasons or just to gain a more complete personal sense of identity. Finding we were children of rape was an incidental outcome, but always a fundamental shock. The biographical fact of adoption, frequently problematic in its own way, can become impossibly complicated with that extra layer of detail squatting on top of it. My conception and birth were the product of stepsibling incest.

If you want a genuine encounter with Angst 101—all the old “why am I here?” questions with none of the sophomoric abstractions attached—our chat room positively wallows in it, and for understandable reasons. These are ordinary people, after all, fairly attuned to the ordinary pulses of good and evil in this world, trying to come to grips with how their life can be the result of something that was so horrifically bad for someone else. Still, as I always ask when that question arises, cannot a child born of rape be an instance of God working good from evil, a lesson that Joseph learned and then taught to his brothers?

We get into discussions about our discussions with pro-choice advocates. There isn’t one of us who hasn’t been told by a pro-choice supporter that support for abortion, especially in those hard cases like rape, is, of course, “nothing personal.” I’m sure the delegates at the Presbyterian Church (USA) meeting in Columbus, Ohio, late last June 2002 would say the same thing. The PCUSA general assembly voted 394 to 112 in support of an unrestricted right to abortion, at least until such time as the fetus can survive outside the womb. Thereafter, abortion should be done only to preserve the life of the mother, to “avoid fetal suffering,” or in cases of rape and incest.

The Presbyterians have adopted a position similar to that of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and like the ELCA, PCUSA’s medical benefits plan for clergy and church workers regards an elective abortion as a reimbursable medical expense. There is no reimbursement for an elective nose job, even if your nose is big enough to qualify as a county in Rhode Island, but that’s just policy, nothing personal. (I am a pastor in the ELCA, but I dropped out of the health plan years ago over its support for abortion.)

Back to Angst 101. Everyone deals with issues of birth and origin—well, they do if they are conscious and sentient. The perilous biologic journey of sperm and egg from conception to zygote to blastocyst to embryo to fetus is just so much random chance that particular questions about the particularity that you represent are inevitable. If somebody had a headache that night, you wouldn’t be here. If the 64-some cells that formed the blastocyst had failed to travel the fallopian tubes, you wouldn’t be here. If the blastocyst had failed to implant itself on the uterine wall, you wouldn’t be here. There are a thousand natural reasons why you should not be here, and the chances of your being here at all are unutterably impossible.

The chances of pregnancy from rape are even chancier. Actual pregnancies resulting from reported rapes are ridiculously minuscule, point-oh-oh-oh-something per thousand. But it is always somebody’s bad luck when they do happen and the “ifs” roll on. If she had stayed out of the parking lot that night; if she had been more aware of her surroundings; if the guy she met hadn’t been a twisted creep; if her stepbrother hadn’t forced her on the sofa. If.

Absent a creator—absent God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth—your conception and birth are exactly that, dumb blind chance. Yet we say that God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, made you. And me. And a very talented, warm-hearted woman named Jennifer, with two sweet kids of her own. Her body itself, and my body, aging though it is, carries a living and breathing rebuke to those who regard human life as a matter of convenience. Against all appearances to the contrary, imagine this: God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, made her, made me, made you. It is more personal than the Presbyterians or the Lutherans will admit.

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Papster on October 21, 2010, 12:41:22 PM
from Touchstone archives . . .


Everything Personal

by Russell E. Saltzman on Children Born of Rape or Incest


.........

We tell stories about how we found out about our birth circumstances, what that knowledge has meant. For every one of us, it was a discovery. No one was raised knowing the circumstances of his birth, but all of us are adoptees who simply wanted to know our origins for medical reasons or just to gain a more complete personal sense of identity. Finding we were children of rape was an incidental outcome, but always a fundamental shock. The biographical fact of adoption, frequently problematic in its own way, can become impossibly complicated with that extra layer of detail squatting on top of it. My conception and birth were the product of stepsibling incest.


My wife never understood why she had such a passion for the pro-life movement. Several years ago she discovered that both she and her sister could have been aborted if they had been conceived after Roe v Wade in 1972. That option would have been encouraged by the Social Service agencies counseling their 16 year-old unwed mother. Instead their father went to jail for six months.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Russ Saltzman on October 21, 2010, 12:53:04 PM
from First Things archive

A Fear of Abandonment

by Russell E. Saltzman


I still enjoy telling the story of my adoption. I was a "gray market" baby in 1947, a private arrangement made between birth mother, doctor, lawyer, and adoptive parents. The attending physician had arranged to telephone the good news to the waiting couple, my parents--something like, "Congratulations. Sixteen years from now you'll have a teenager who wants his driver's license."

Unfortunately the Kansas City, Kansas, telephone operators were on strike. That was back in the days when, upon picking up the receiver, one heard "Number please?" and with the operators out the doctor sent a telegram. "Come quick," it read. "Baby boy born this 9:00 a.m."

The family story of how my adoptive mother left her home and raced two blocks up the hill on north Steward Avenue off Parallel then down a steeper hill to her aunt's house, excitedly waving the doctor's telegram, has become more elaborate year to year, at least in her sister's telling. The gist of it, though, appears that she arrived breathless, grandly flourished the telegram before her sisters and aunt, complained that having a baby was tough work and she needed a rest, whereupon she flopped down on a bed, arms and legs akimbo.

It was happy news for my adoptive parents, but that telegram proved terribly confusing to me. My folks kept it on page one in my baby book. As a young child I thumbed through that book frequently. When other kids started pondering the true origin of babies, I announced my firm conviction--citing documentary evidence--that babies originated with Western Union. Lou Ann, my sixth grade girlfriend, kindly took me aside on the playground to hint at other means, but I didn't believe her.

I've since gleaned more accurate information about where babies come from, but one fact from that telegram remains with me: I am adopted. There was never a time when I did not know I was adopted. It was a given, a fact calmly declared in public and in private, something in which to exult. In my very young years I remember feeling what now seems like a foolish kind of specialness, even a superiority over "ordinary" kids in being adopted. "But how did you find me?" I would plead. And my mother would tell how she and my father picked me, only me, from a huge room simply brimming with babies. They carefully looked at each one--"No, that's not our baby," they would say to each other--until, when they had almost given up, they at last found that one, just that one baby they knew God intended for them. Me.

I did worry about those other babies. What if no one found them quite as delightfully perfect as my parents had found me? What would happen to them? I was reassured to learn that for every baby in that room brimming with babies, special parents and a new home were waiting. Or so my mother told me.

For all the specialness that I and my adoptive parents found, I have yet at the same time always wondered about my birth parents. Just as I cannot remember a time when I did not know I was adopted, I cannot remember a time when I did not speculate about those other people. To say this takes nothing from my parents, my real parents, the ones who adopted, reared, and love me still, and who are well into their seventies, both living active lives. But it is to say that from my earliest years I have mulled over those others who, in different circumstances, would have been my real parents. I have wondered, in short, why I was given up for adoption, and for reasons I cannot explain, my questioning has always concerned my birth mother, seldom my birth father.

I never looked too hard, really, but while in my late twenties I did learn that she lived in Kansas City. The information I gained on my birth father puts my birth mother's decision for adoption in perspective. He was young, a soldier from Ft. Leavenworth. I was conceived in the late summer of 1946, less than a year after the close of World War II. I have their names--Robert and Faye--and their addresses, now fifty years out of date.

This information, little as it was, satisfied me at age twenty-seven. From it I fashioned in my mind a failed romance between a young Kansas City girl, sixteen at my birth, and a lonely, nineteen-year-old left-over World War II enlistee stationed at Ft. Leavenworth. Dashing, they were, Robert and Faye, and evidently star-crossed, as my imagination has pictured them all these years; kids, that's all, just teenagers. She vulnerable and pretty and foolish, obviously vulnerable enough and foolish enough to let her head get turned by--well, he was, wasn't he?--a handsome guy in a uniform. He, again in my imagination, perhaps was far from home, seeking company. Ft. Leavenworth is not a great place for a weekend pass. Kansas City is the place to be, the Kansas side if your pass doesn't let you cross the state line into Missouri. And there they met (at a soda fountain?), a fateful meeting that led to the assignation that led to me. Or perhaps they attended Wyandotte County High School together--Robert was only eighteen in 1946--and being romantically incautious while he was on leave, that was how I came to be. It could have happened like that.

But they were young, too young to take on the responsibilities of a marriage and a child all at once, no matter how desperately they might have wanted it otherwise. So on the best advice of family and friends I was given up, tearfully I imagined, to what they both prayed would be a better life than they, she, could provide. All that was my imagination, never too detailed and just vague enough to avoid more critical questioning.

Some adoptees never get over questioning why they were surrendered for adoption, why their parents could not have kept them and raised them and loved them for their own. No matter the childhood tales of being especially chosen, no matter the practical realities one becomes aware of later that make adoption desirable, the question lingers because it is so intensely personal. What was so bad about me that she did not want me, would not love me? What were the hardships she faced that could not be overcome . . . for me?

For me the fact of adoption still echoes with such questions. There is--I have no other description but one that sounds clichéd--a sometimes deep empty place, a hole into which I fall in times of personal stress. I deal cautiously with people; I am friendly but reserved. A fear of abandonment, I was once told, a fear of rejection, of death. It flairs up unbidden, the slightest of things innocently said nonetheless strikes deep in my being, momentarily overpowering my intellectualizations. It can be very hard on the people I love best and God knows what it contributed to the breakup of my first marriage. All of it comes from knowing that in my earliest moments, they who should have loved me best gave me up to others.

Some years ago, I wrote about being adopted, the first time I had ever made public comments on the subject. In that essay, too, I told of the imaginary scenario I had constructed in my mind: pretty girl, lonely soldier, failed romance, doomed love. Writing about it stimulated all the old, nagging questions I thought settled. They have unexpectedly resurfaced.

I know more now of my birth.

My birth father indeed was a young soldier at Ft. Leavenworth. His family forced his enlistment after he impregnated (raped?) his sixteen-year-old step-sister, my birth mother. I am the result of sexual predation, of step-sibling incest. I never knew why my mother could not keep me, would not keep me. Now I know, and the knowledge has been comforting, in a way. I learned it and, strangely perplexed that this need never arose before, I forgave her.

But the knowledge has also left me uncomfortably disconcerted. No longer was my birth the result of an ill-fated romantic liaison. It was something else, alien and other, distasteful. Now I know beyond question, I was not abandoned to adoption. I was rescued by it.

When I acquired my birth-parents' names and addresses twenty-four years ago I did it thinking to seek out my mother. I decided otherwise, to respect her privacy, to avoid hurting my parents, for a number of reasons. But it was also just after Roe v. Wade, when the enormity of abortion was gaining a sharper clarity. Her privacy was one thing, but there was another reason too. I feared a second rejection, feared hearing in some form or other that had she had the choice in 1947, she would have chosen abortion. With my romantic fiction, I at least had the notion that given a choice she might have chosen me, the child that she and Robert made in love. But I was not made in love, and possibly I was conceived in violence. Would she today have hesitated over abortion?

As the abortion business has become ever bigger in the years since, I have grimly pondered the fate of Faye's pregnancy were it to occur now under circumstances like those of a half century ago. The law then protected me. Not today. Today, hers would be a "problem pregnancy," a "crisis pregnancy," an "unwanted pregnancy."

It was all that of course and more in 1947. Carrying her pregnancy, thinking of me in her womb, might have been awful in different moments. But there were more social supports for young women with "problems" like that. Society may have regarded unmarried pregnant girls with less compassion or tolerance than today, but their babies lived. Whatever the difficulty, the shame, the discomfort, the fear; whatever dread she experienced, whatever she endured was worth it for her, for me, for my own children. I was born. The laws, the courts, the physicians, the churches, all worked to insure that once Faye was pregnant, I would be born.

Not today. Today, not even my own church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is able to say flatly that unborn babies like me should live. No woman has an absolute right to abortion, so my church declares in its social statement on abortion. But it goes on, conversely, to say that no fetus has an absolute right to birth. The woman decides--after of course appropriate moral reflection with sympathetic listeners, but she decides. Pregnancies created in circumstances such as those of Faye and Robert in 1947 are in 1998 fair targets for "morally responsible" abortions, according to my church. Even stranger, were either Robert or Faye or their parents beneficiaries under the ELCA health plan (which means pastors and salaried church workers and their dependents), Faye's 1998 abortion would be a reimbursable medical expense. The ELCA health plan will not pay for an elective breast implant but, under the right conditions, will pay to abort someone like me. When it comes to my birth the church that values my baptism is ambivalent at best about my right to life in the womb.

Abortion is personal to me, as personal as my adoption. It is personal not only to the woman who aborts, but to me; to me, to the unborn children like me, it is personal. It is our person that is in jeopardy.

Fear of abandonment, the psychiatrist told me, fear of rejection, of death. Gosh, whatever gave her that idea?

Copyright (c) 1998 First Things 80 (February 1998). Reproduced with author's permission.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: pastorg1@aol.com on October 21, 2010, 12:55:49 PM
I was, what my mother charmingly called, a "bonus baby."

Happy to be here- and a rarely glimpsed ELCA contributor to Lutherans for Life.

Peter ("Life is a good"- JPII) Garrison
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 12:58:09 PM
My only point -- and George's, I think -- is that as a result, other Lutherans seeking a church to visit or join will steer clear of LCMS congregations.  Right or wrong, that's a fact.

Not in the LCMS churches I've been in, so your statement of "fact" is not 100% factual.   ;D  

Anyone experiencing "anger" over being told they can't commune ought to revisit the scriptures that the LCMS bases this practice on.  The law kills . . . it did so for me, too.  But God did His amazing work and opened my eyes and heart to the truth that comes by way of the Gospel . . . an amazing Savior in whom I receive the body and blood of each week.  I better know what I'm partaking in when I do so.  Thus the policies LCMS churches have.  It's really quite simple, and really quite loving.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Scott6 on October 21, 2010, 01:00:51 PM
Like it or not (and prior responses to this same basic message indicates most LC-MS people like it not), the burden of dispelling a bad reputation, even one that is totally undeserved, falls on the shoulders of the people who have the bad reputation.

Not so fast... We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.

I.e., what you said is only partly true, George.  A person falsely accused of, say, sexual harassment has very few options as to how he can help to clear his reputation; rather, he would have to rely considerably on those who listen to the accusation not giving it credence and speaking well of him.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: James_Gale on October 21, 2010, 01:31:38 PM
My only point -- and George's, I think -- is that as a result, other Lutherans seeking a church to visit or join will steer clear of LCMS congregations.  Right or wrong, that's a fact.

Not in the LCMS churches I've been in, so your statement of "fact" is not 100% factual.   ;D  

Anyone experiencing "anger" over being told they can't commune ought to revisit the scriptures that the LCMS bases this practice on.  The law kills . . . it did so for me, too.  But God did His amazing work and opened my eyes and heart to the truth that comes by way of the Gospel . . . an amazing Savior in whom I receive the body and blood of each week.  I better know what I'm partaking in when I do so.  Thus the policies LCMS churches have.  It's really quite simple, and really quite loving.

You miss my point.  The "fact" is that many non-Missouri Lutherans will not visit LCMS congregations because of what they have heard from others regarding their experiences.  That "fact" is indeed factual. 

The wonderful ministries of individual LCMS congregations is beside the point.  As is the argument in support of close(d) communion.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 21, 2010, 01:33:30 PM
Like it or not (and prior responses to this same basic message indicates most LC-MS people like it not), the burden of dispelling a bad reputation, even one that is totally undeserved, falls on the shoulders of the people who have the bad reputation.

I won't dispute that the LC-MS does not deserve the reputation it has among other Lutherans. But the reputation is there, and it's up to the LC-MS to reach out to those who won't come to them because of mistaken perceptions about the LC-MS.


George,

I do not dispute the assertion that the LCMS does not have the most welcoming of reputations among the ELCA. Years ago, as a member of the LCA, I thought the same thing. And then I visited LCMS parishes and found out the the common wisdom was, welll...... a common lie. I'm not sure how one defends oneself from malicious untruths except to keep doing what is good and right in the face of those falsehoods.  

That false images are perpetuated among some is not anything that the LCMS can do to change. People will believe what they want to believe especially if they never check it out from themselves. What they will find in almost every place are Lutherans who will welcome them. No, we will not compromise on issues like women's ordination or close/d communion in order to appear more likeable. But our parishes would welcome anyone who comes to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: James_Gale on October 21, 2010, 01:38:50 PM
Russ --

Thanks for sharing your articles.  Thanks very much.

Jim
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: James_Gale on October 21, 2010, 01:58:54 PM
That false images are perpetuated among some is not anything that the LCMS can do to change. People will believe what they want to believe especially if they never check it out from themselves. What they will find in almost every place are Lutherans who will welcome them. No, we will not compromise on issues like women's ordination or close/d communion in order to appear more likeable. But our parishes would welcome anyone who comes to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I think that closed Communion is considered the big hang-up among these people.  Even though it is the historical teaching of the Christian church that Scripture teaches that the Eucharist is a manifestation of unity in confession, those who have not indicated a willingeness to join in the LCMS' confession in what we believe and teach are then insulted when we do not admit them to the Supper.

Mike

I think you're right -- mostly.  I don't know that people feel insulted.  I think that they feel unwelcome.  Most Lutherans don't expect to receive communion at an RC parish.  But to be Lutheran denied communion in a Lutheran church is something different.

In saying this, I'm not trying to get into an argument about the propriety of close(d) communion.  I understand the supporting argument and respect the LCMS's right to live out its convictions.  I'm simply describing why many non-Missouri Lutherans are reluctant to worship in an LCMS congregation.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 02:17:49 PM
You miss my point.  The "fact" is that many non-Missouri Lutherans will not visit LCMS congregations because of what they have heard from others regarding their experiences.  That "fact" is indeed factual. 

The wonderful ministries of individual LCMS congregations is beside the point.  As is the argument in support of close(d) communion.

But I'm telling you ELCA folks visit LCMS congregations quite frequently in my experience.  Maybe in your world they don't, in mine, they do.  What point did I miss, because I'm still missing it.   ???

And beyond what we say or do, God gets people where He wants them when He wants them whether we initially like a particular church's teaching or not.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: James_Gale on October 21, 2010, 02:24:57 PM
You miss my point.  The "fact" is that many non-Missouri Lutherans will not visit LCMS congregations because of what they have heard from others regarding their experiences.  That "fact" is indeed factual. 

The wonderful ministries of individual LCMS congregations is beside the point.  As is the argument in support of close(d) communion.

But I'm telling you ELCA folks visit LCMS congregations quite frequently in my experience.  Maybe in your world they don't, in mine, they do.  What point did I miss, because I'm still missing it.   ???

And beyond what we say or do, God gets people where He wants them when He wants them whether we initially like a particular church's teaching or not.

I'm sure that some do.  But many -- perhaps most -- would not.  And that includes a number of the "conservatives" who are in the ELCA or who have recently left it.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 02:29:13 PM
But to be Lutheran denied communion in a Lutheran church is something different.

We are similar in name only.  This very "denial" (which really isn't a denial at all) of the Lord's Supper can ultimately bring people to realize what it truly means to commune and hold a common confession.  We do not share a common confession with the ELCA.  I've witnessed people leave a worship service angry once they've read the communion policy, and it's a shame since they've missed the Gospel coming to them by way of the preaching and liturgy.

The LCMS holds a position doctrinally that places itself in a position to be serving God, not the desires of man.  Some may not visit the LCMS because of it's reputation, some will.  I'll take criticism any day over our adherence to Scripture versus the reputations other church bodies have for their lack of the same.   ;)

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 21, 2010, 02:31:09 PM
My only point -- and George's, I think -- is that as a result, other Lutherans seeking a church to visit or join will steer clear of LCMS congregations.  Right or wrong, that's a fact.

Not in the LCMS churches I've been in, so your statement of "fact" is not 100% factual.   ;D  

Anyone experiencing "anger" over being told they can't commune ought to revisit the scriptures that the LCMS bases this practice on.  The law kills . . . it did so for me, too.  But God did His amazing work and opened my eyes and heart to the truth that comes by way of the Gospel . . . an amazing Savior in whom I receive the body and blood of each week.  I better know what I'm partaking in when I do so.  Thus the policies LCMS churches have.  It's really quite simple, and really quite loving.

Did you not read this?

Quote
I only ask two things by way of replies to this post. Please don't remind me that the bad reputation of the LC-MS is based on misunderstandings and misconceptions, and that the negatives that most people think about the LC-MS aren't true. I know that, and I already said that. And please don't tell me about how welcoming people in the LC-MS are to people who enter their churches. Again, I know that to be true, but I'm talking about the people who won't walk into an LC-MS church to encounter that welcome.

It is a fact that many Lutherans will not walk into an LC-MS church at all because they believe (rightly or wrongly) that they will be embarrased to be turned away at the altar. What is done at your congregation to make visitors feel welcome only affects the people the come into your church. It does nothing to convince those who will not enter to change their minds.

Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp?

Like it or not (and prior responses to this same basic message indicates most LC-MS people like it not), the burden of dispelling a bad reputation, even one that is totally undeserved, falls on the shoulders of the people who have the bad reputation.

I won't dispute that the LC-MS does not deserve the reputation it has among other Lutherans. But the reputation is there, and it's up to the LC-MS to reach out to those who won't come to them because of mistaken perceptions about the LC-MS.


George,

I do not dispute the assertion that the LCMS does not have the most welcoming of reputations among the ELCA. Years ago, as a member of the LCA, I thought the same thing. And then I visited LCMS parishes and found out the the common wisdom was, welll...... a common lie. I'm not sure how one defends oneself from malicious untruths except to keep doing what is good and right in the face of those falsehoods.  

That false images are perpetuated among some is not anything that the LCMS can do to change. People will believe what they want to believe especially if they never check it out from themselves. What they will find in almost every place are Lutherans who will welcome them. No, we will not compromise on issues like women's ordination or close/d communion in order to appear more likeable. But our parishes would welcome anyone who comes to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Please see my reply to Kim (above).

You miss my point.  The "fact" is that many non-Missouri Lutherans will not visit LCMS congregations because of what they have heard from others regarding their experiences.  That "fact" is indeed factual.  

The wonderful ministries of individual LCMS congregations is beside the point.  As is the argument in support of close(d) communion.

But I'm telling you ELCA folks visit LCMS congregations quite frequently in my experience.  Maybe in your world they don't, in mine, they do.  What point did I miss, because I'm still missing it.   ???

And beyond what we say or do, God gets people where He wants them when He wants them whether we initially like a particular church's teaching or not.

There are millions of people in the ELCA. There are probably hundreds of thousands of them who want to leave but who have no alternative place to go. Are your "quite frequent" visits sufficient to welcome hundreds of thousands of people?

And the assertion that "God gets people where He wants them when He wants them" is the universal cop-out for shirking responsibility for evangelism. The Great Commission wasn't "Go therefore and sit back and watch as I make disciples of all nations."
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 02:32:01 PM
I'm sure that some do.  But many -- perhaps most -- would not.  And that includes a number of the "conservatives" who are in the ELCA or who have recently left it.

If you can back up these claims with facts, then I'll buy it.  Until then, your use of the word "most" just doesn't fly.  It doesn't mesh with my experience, sorry.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Lutheranistic on October 21, 2010, 02:32:27 PM
You miss my point.  The "fact" is that many non-Missouri Lutherans will not visit LCMS congregations because of what they have heard from others regarding their experiences.  That "fact" is indeed factual. 

The wonderful ministries of individual LCMS congregations is beside the point.  As is the argument in support of close(d) communion.

But I'm telling you ELCA folks visit LCMS congregations quite frequently in my experience.  Maybe in your world they don't, in mine, they do.  What point did I miss, because I'm still missing it.   ???

And beyond what we say or do, God gets people where He wants them when He wants them whether we initially like a particular church's teaching or not.
At the risk of sounding like a resolution coming out of a chuchwide assembly, I think that both Mr. Gale and Dcs. Schave are correct. Kim, I think what Mr. Gale (and I) see are those who don't show up in your church because of perceived lack of "welcome". No doubt some are either willing to take the risk, or a particular LCMS congregation (such as yours) has the reputation of being particularly welcoming, whether or not practicing a strict communion policy. Many don't get that far, and that's really unfortunate for both the LCMS and for those who might otherwise find a loving, orthodox home there.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 02:44:43 PM
Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp?

Because you present no facts to back up your over-arching claims that "most" people won't come to an LCMS church.  You're making broad generalizations based on your own experience in your circle of influence, presumably.  In my little circle, the facts are quite different.

Quote
There are millions of people in the ELCA. There are probably hundreds of thousands of them who want to leave but who have no alternative place to go. Are your "quite frequent" visits sufficient to welcome hundreds of thousands of people?

What???  If hundreds of thousands of people showed up at our church door in Cincinnati, well I suppose my pastor would have to tell them all to go down to the Ohio River where he'd cast himself out on a boat so they all could hear him.  He'd explain our communion policy in a way that they would understand that it's out of his love for them that he must first talk to them.  Hopefully he would have remembered to bring a fishing net to feed them all, too.   ;)

Quote
And the assertion that "God gets people where He wants them when He wants them" is the universal cop-out for shirking responsibility for evangelism. The Great Commission wasn't "Go therefore and sit back and watch as I make disciples of all nations."
Maybe others use that as a cop-out, I sure don't.  I love nothing more than evangelizing.  I can't hold the Good News in . . . it's just too darned exciting not to share.

So back to the thread topic, women considering abortion or suffering from post-abortion syndrome need this Good News!  ELCA members can help accomplish this by looking into Lutherans for Life a little more.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 21, 2010, 03:08:40 PM
Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp?

Because you present no facts to back up your over-arching claims that "most" people won't come to an LCMS church.  You're making broad generalizations based on your own experience in your circle of influence, presumably.  In my little circle, the facts are quite different.

In the thread (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3315.0) about what ELCA dissidents plan to do, there was a poll. Of the 45 who identified themselves in the ELCA, 29 indicated that they had either left or wanted to leave, or 64%. If that's double the actual percentage churchwide, that's still around one-third of the people in the ELCA have either left or want to leave. If the percentage of people (like me) who say that they want to leave but haven't found a new place to go is accurate, that's one-third of the people in the ELCA. Of that third of the ELCA's millions of members who want to leave but can't find an alternative to move to, most of them are in geographic proximity to LC-MS congregations. And yet, for some reason, they don't want to be affiliated or associated with LC-MS congregations.

This issue has come up in many, many threads in here over the past year. I'm not the only one who has mentioned how misperceptions of the LC-MS that the LC-MS does nothing proactive to dispel are one of the main reasons.

If up to one-third of ELCA pewsitters would rather be in a non-ELCA church but are staying put because they don't see that they have a viable alternative, even though there are plenty of LC-MS congregations out there that they could join, what do you think is the reason?

So back to the thread topic, women considering abortion or suffering from post-abortion syndrome need this Good News!  ELCA members can help accomplish this by looking into Lutherans for Life a little more.

And apparently the excuse -- oops, I mean, reason -- that those in the ELCA are so reluctant to do so is because we are so "unloving" especially with our closed Communion practices.

And I'm hoping that we don't give into the pressure to change in order to get more ELCA participation in Lutherans For Life.  For open communion is a lot more unloving.

Mike

I'll wager that most people don't even know about "Lutherans for Life" unless they hear about it in their church. So, if you want to recruit ELCA people for Lutherans for Life, you'll need to inform the ELCA pewsitters that it exists, and then convince them that they will be welcomed as something other than observers who are only allowed on the sidelines.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 03:10:03 PM
And apparently the excuse -- oops, I mean, reason -- that those in the ELCA are so reluctant to do so is because we are so "unloving" especially with our closed Communion practices.

And I'm hoping that we don't give into the pressure to change in order to get more ELCA participation in Lutherans For Life.  For open communion is a lot more unloving.

Mike

I can attest as a former ELCA member that it is indeed unloving to let anything fly.  It was the abortion issue that brought me into the LCMS, and I don't look back with anything but gratitude to that day when that particular LCMS pastor told me I couldn't commune until I talked to him first (angry as I was at first!).  
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 21, 2010, 03:13:15 PM
And apparently the excuse -- oops, I mean, reason -- that those in the ELCA are so reluctant to do so is because we are so "unloving" especially with our closed Communion practices.

And I'm hoping that we don't give into the pressure to change in order to get more ELCA participation in Lutherans For Life.  For open communion is a lot more unloving.

Mike

I can attest as a former ELCA member that it is indeed unloving to let anything fly.  It was the abortion issue that brought me into the LCMS, and I don't look back with anything but gratitude to that day when that particular LCMS pastor told me I couldn't commune until I talked to him first (angry as I was at first!).  

Conversely, when my wife, who grew up LCMS, confirmed LCMS, has a degree from an LCMS college, was told by her parent's pastor that she couldn't receive communion because she belonged to the ELCA, became quite bitter towards the LCMS, and encouraged her parents to find another Lutheran Church (which they have done).
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 21, 2010, 03:22:35 PM
Conversely, when my wife, who grew up LCMS, confirmed LCMS, has a degree from an LCMS college, was told by her parent's pastor that she couldn't receive communion because she belonged to the ELCA, became quite bitter towards the LCMS, and encouraged her parents to find another Lutheran Church (which they have done).
Yes, and this must be the zillionth time you have told us that.

Can we please get this thread back on topic?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 03:25:08 PM
If up to one-third of ELCA pewsitters would rather be in a non-ELCA church but are staying put because they don't see that they have a viable alternative, even though there are plenty of LC-MS congregations out there that they could join, what do you think is the reason?

I don't know until I personally meet them.  Some of the ones I HAVE personally met, including some who didn't at all like our communion policy, ultimately came to the same conclusion that I did (once it was taught correctly), that it is indeed a loving policy.  What parent lets their child do whatever they want, especially when spiritual harm may come to them (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1 Corinthians+11:27&version=NIV)?  You have to say "no" to some things until a proper understanding is obtained. 

We had a former-Baptist member join our church about a year or so ago who was so enamored with the fact that she wasn't able to commune until she received the proper instruction on the LCMS beliefs.  It was a PRIVILEGE for her to be able to do so, not a right.  I wish I would have written down her words that day she communed for the first time . . . they were beautiful in describing what it was like for her.

Enough on communion . . . as far as I know, LFL doesn't hold worship services with communion distribution at their events, so communion cannot be used as an excuse where LFL is concerned.  You either support the Sanctity of Human Life or you don't.  There is a common bond among people who do which crosses ALL denominational lines.  Local pregnancy resource centers are an amazing example of this.  People from all faiths come together for the sake of helping both mother and child in the name of Jesus.  What an amazing ministry to be a part of!
 
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 21, 2010, 03:26:29 PM
Conversely, when my wife, who grew up LCMS, confirmed LCMS, has a degree from an LCMS college, was told by her parent's pastor that she couldn't receive communion because she belonged to the ELCA, became quite bitter towards the LCMS, and encouraged her parents to find another Lutheran Church (which they have done).
Yes, and this must be the zillionth time you have told us that.

No, it's now 1 zillion and 1.

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Can we please get this thread back on topic?

Isn't giving a reason why an ELCA person despises the LCMS part of this topic?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: J.L. Precup on October 21, 2010, 03:27:46 PM
But to be Lutheran denied communion in a Lutheran church is something different.

We are similar in name only.  This very "denial" (which really isn't a denial at all) of the Lord's Supper can ultimately bring people to realize what it truly means to commune and hold a common confession.  We do not share a common confession with the ELCA.  I've witnessed people leave a worship service angry once they've read the communion policy, and it's a shame since they've missed the Gospel coming to them by way of the preaching and liturgy.

The LCMS holds a position doctrinally that places itself in a position to be serving God, not the desires of man.  Some may not visit the LCMS because of it's reputation, some will.  I'll take criticism any day over our adherence to Scripture versus the reputations other church bodies have for their lack of the same.   ;)



When it comes to the Sacraments, it is not "a position to be serving God."  It is a position of God serving people.  That is one of the concepts of an altar.  We do not place things on it to please God, but God places His own Son on it to serve us.  The pastor at the Lord's table is a servant, the one who serves what the Host has prepared, not one who checks ID cards.

You are correct, it is the Lord's Supper.  That means it is not ours.  Closed communion means it is a meal for Christians.  Period.  Even the LCMS for all of its bluster recognizes this on one level.  Our "joint Lutheran" congregations around the world (of which there are only a few), offer the Lord's Supper to all Lutherans.  I know because I served one for six years...then 26 years as a chaplain in which we not only could, but were urged to serve all Lutherans with Word and Sacrament.  It is the Lord's Supper!  Today, I respond to His invitation to eat and drink when I worship in a LCMS congregation or an ELCA congregation.  This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our sight.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 03:33:15 PM
Isn't giving a reason why an ELCA person despises the LCMS part of this topic?

And I've been at the receiving end of some pretty spiteful ELCA folks at joint disaster training events.  Fortunately, some ladies of the ELCA from this forum (pastors even!) have helped me to change my opinion of the ELCA somewhat.  Some of you men would do well to talk to them about how to build some bridges.  Let us all beware of pots, kettles and the color black, shall we? 

For the record, Lutherans for Life (http://www.lutheransforlife.org/) also involves the WELS. 
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 21, 2010, 03:35:07 PM
If up to one-third of ELCA pewsitters would rather be in a non-ELCA church but are staying put because they don't see that they have a viable alternative, even though there are plenty of LC-MS congregations out there that they could join, what do you think is the reason?

I don't know until I personally meet them.  Some of the ones I HAVE personally met, including some who didn't at all like our communion policy, ultimately came to the same conclusion that I did (once it was taught correctly), that it is indeed a loving policy.  What parent lets their child do whatever they want, especially when spiritual harm may come to them (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1 Corinthians+11:27&version=NIV)?  You have to say "no" to some things until a proper understanding is obtained. 

We had a former-Baptist member join our church about a year or so ago who was so enamored with the fact that she wasn't able to commune until she received the proper instruction on the LCMS beliefs.  It was a PRIVILEGE for her to be able to do so, not a right.  I wish I would have written down her words that day she communed for the first time . . . they were beautiful in describing what it was like for her.

Enough on communion . . . as far as I know, LFL doesn't hold worship services with communion distribution at their events, so communion cannot be used as an excuse where LFL is concerned.  You either support the Sanctity of Human Life or you don't.  There is a common bond among people who do which crosses ALL denominational lines.  Local pregnancy resource centers are an amazing example of this.  People from all faiths come together for the sake of helping both mother and child in the name of Jesus.  What an amazing ministry to be a part of!
 

You STILL don't get it. You are telling me (and the people in here) why the LC-MS closed communion policy is a good one. We aren't the ones who need to be told. What is the LC-MS doing proactively, as a nationwide church body, to dispel the misconceptions among other Lutherans and among unchurched Christians in general that the LC-MS isn't as bad as its reputation?

There are other issues with the LC-MS that causes people pause, such as the overuse of acronyms and other "inside" jargon. I notice that you didn't address what I think is a key issue, which is that the main way that people find out about Lutherans for Life is through LC-MS congregations. If you don't get the folks into your congregations, then they won't see the brochures in the display stand in the narthex, will they? You can wax eloquently about how "amazing" the ministry his, but hiding that light under a bushel doesn't accomplish much, does it?

What is the LC-MS and/or Lutherans for Life doing proactively to reach out to people to let them know that the organization exists and what sort of work it does? And please, don't tell me about preaching to the choir inside LC-MS churches. That's a good thing, but it does nothing to reach people who aren't in the buildings.

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 03:40:33 PM
When it comes to the Sacraments, it is not "a position to be serving God."  It is a position of God serving people.  That is one of the concepts of an altar.  We do not place things on it to please God, but God places His own Son on it to serve us.  The pastor at the Lord's table is a servant, the one who serves what the Host has prepared, not one who checks ID cards.

I wasn't referring to the Lord's Supper, I was referring to our doctrine as a whole being rooted in Scripture; we uphold God's teachings, not cave to man's desires.

So somebody in the ELCA that is chiming in here please, please, please tell me if you would join a pro-life organization that was geared only to ELCA members?  I believe we're talking circles around the abortion issue by pegging the LCMS as an evil participant in Lutherans for Life.  Can we help it if it took an amazing pastor that happens to be LCMS to lead this great organization?  Dr. Lamb is one of the most pastoral men I've ever met in a position such that he is in; the devil doesn't take too kindly to people exposing his deception and works a lot of overtime to bring them down.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Scott6 on October 21, 2010, 03:45:33 PM
What is the LC-MS and/or Lutherans for Life doing proactively to reach out to people to let them know that the organization exists and what sort of work it does? And please, don't tell me about preaching to the choir inside LC-MS churches. That's a good thing, but it does nothing to reach people who aren't in the buildings.

Sorry, I'd rather witness to the truly lost who have never heard the Gospel or who have rejected it than cater to the delicate sensibilities of ELCA dissidents who think the LCMS is too unloving.

If they come into my congregation, then I will be as warm and welcoming to them as I am to any other visitor.

But I'm not going to look to steal sheep or wish the LCMS to compromise its confession to accommodate those who hold a bad impression of the LCMS.

Mike

I suppose we could start some commercials with fluffy kittens and folks smooching dolphins with the tag line: "See, we don't all pull the wings off butterflies."
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 21, 2010, 03:50:21 PM
Just a couple of more comments then back to lurk mode.

LFL is not a Synod or a parish. It is an organization for Lutherans who believe in the sanctity of life and choose to speak publicly on this issue. Anyone who supports life is welcome to participate.

In terms of the thread drift, I would question what it is that the LCMS can do to advertise itself among ELCA people? Take out ads in newspapers? Spam them via e-mail? Steal congregational rosters and go knock on doors?

You need to understand that we walk a tight-rope on this. We do not want to give the appearance of "sheep stealing". Yet a Christian who is forced to endure a non-biblical approach to homosexuality and other issues can be said to not have a true undershepherd anyway.

I wonder how many of those ELCA members who have such a dim image of Missouri have visited one of our parishes?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 03:53:59 PM
Dearest George, please tell me what you've done to support ANY type of pro-life work before I respond to your last comment.  I don't want to lay out a laundry list of my experience and accomplishments on this issue unnecessarily.  I also don't like to look like a braggart, but if you're asking me to compare notes with you on what I have done as a Lutheran on the issue and what I know many, many Lutherans are doing, I'll gladly go there with you.

Say what you want about people on this forum already knowing what the LCMS position is and why we hold it, but for every one of our posts, I by earlier counts showed at least 10 readings of the post.  I don't stay on here and argue because it is fun (sometimes it is), it's because I hope someone who may have been duped into believing un-Scriptural teachings such I was may learn something and delve more deeply into their Bibles.  There are lots of lurkers on this forum, and that is one reason this lone little LCMS member chooses to stay active on here in order to dispel the rumors (or better explain the truth, I should say) about my church body.

I have been blessed with off-thread contacts from people who have encouraged me to continue speaking my mind on here, otherwise the negativity would have driven me away long ago.

Thanks for letting me know where you want to go with the ABORTION issue, George.  Your move . . .
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: J.L. Precup on October 21, 2010, 03:59:53 PM
What is the LC-MS and/or Lutherans for Life doing proactively to reach out to people to let them know that the organization exists and what sort of work it does? And please, don't tell me about preaching to the choir inside LC-MS churches. That's a good thing, but it does nothing to reach people who aren't in the buildings.

Sorry, I'd rather witness to the truly lost who have never heard the Gospel or who have rejected it than cater to the delicate sensibilities of ELCA dissidents who think the LCMS is too unloving.

If they come into my congregation, then I will be as warm and welcoming to them as I am to any other visitor.

But I'm not going to look to steal sheep or wish the LCMS to compromise its confession to accommodate those who hold a bad impression of the LCMS.

Mike

George, you have to understand that the LCMS is not unloving.  We have only labeled you as heterodox, and fenced off our altars to you in a very loving way.  Now won't  you please come support us?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Scott6 on October 21, 2010, 04:07:33 PM
What is the LC-MS and/or Lutherans for Life doing proactively to reach out to people to let them know that the organization exists and what sort of work it does? And please, don't tell me about preaching to the choir inside LC-MS churches. That's a good thing, but it does nothing to reach people who aren't in the buildings.

Sorry, I'd rather witness to the truly lost who have never heard the Gospel or who have rejected it than cater to the delicate sensibilities of ELCA dissidents who think the LCMS is too unloving.

If they come into my congregation, then I will be as warm and welcoming to them as I am to any other visitor.

But I'm not going to look to steal sheep or wish the LCMS to compromise its confession to accommodate those who hold a bad impression of the LCMS.

Mike

George, you have to understand that the LCMS is not unloving.  We have only labeled you as heterodox, and fenced off our altars to you in a very loving way.  Now won't  you please come support us?

Yes, we have a culture that equates love with affirmation.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 04:08:28 PM
George, you have to understand that the LCMS is not unloving.  We have only labeled you as heterodox, and fenced off our altars to you in a very loving way.  Now won't  you please come support us?

And yet you remain a rostered LCMS pastor?  Baffling . . .

ABORTION, people!  I am guessing all the hostility and thread drift is because it's just easier to brush the truth under the rug as to why ELCA members won't actually participate in great numbers in LFL.  Please, for the love of God, somebody from the ELCA address the abortion issue instead of side-stepping it?  Can you?  Won't you?  Thanks.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 21, 2010, 04:10:22 PM
Please, for the love of God, somebody from the ELCA address the abortion issue instead of side-stepping it?  Can you?  Won't you?  Thanks.
Abortion, like homosexuality seems to not be sinful behavior in the ELCA.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 04:22:40 PM
Please, for the love of God, somebody from the ELCA address the abortion issue instead of side-stepping it?  Can you?  Won't you?  Thanks.
Abortion, like homosexuality seems to not be sinful behavior in the ELCA.

I suppose that's what I've been driving at.  It's a shame.  So the thread question is answered as I suspected it would be.  The LCMS can't be blamed as much as the fact that the ELCA lacks pro-life people.  For any that might happen to be reading this, bless you!  You will find yourself among friends at an LFL gathering (and in an LCMS church).   ;)  Had to put that one in there.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 21, 2010, 04:31:26 PM
What is the LC-MS and/or Lutherans for Life doing proactively to reach out to people to let them know that the organization exists and what sort of work it does? And please, don't tell me about preaching to the choir inside LC-MS churches. That's a good thing, but it does nothing to reach people who aren't in the buildings.

Sorry, I'd rather witness to the truly lost who have never heard the Gospel or who have rejected it than cater to the delicate sensibilities of ELCA dissidents who think the LCMS is too unloving.

If they come into my congregation, then I will be as warm and welcoming to them as I am to any other visitor.

But I'm not going to look to steal sheep or wish the LCMS to compromise its confession to accommodate those who hold a bad impression of the LCMS.

Mike

A national campaign to convince all and sundry that the LC-MS was loving and a good place to hear the Gospels rightly preached and the Sacraments properly administered would be heard by the truly lost who have never heard the Gospel or who have rejected it and the ELCA dissidents who have the wrong idea about the LC-MS. I don't see how a proactive education campaign could possibly only extend to any one segment of the population without also reaching all the rest. Could you possibly tell me how you could only communicate to ELCA dissidents without also communicating to the truly lost who have never heard the Gospel or who have rejected the Gospel?

And I really wish everyone could get over worrying about "stealing sheep". If anyone is honestly convinced that the pile of non-scriptural crap that the ELCA has adopted in its various Social Statements is wrong, then encouraging people to leave a place where they're being fed false teachings is not stealing sheep, it is rescuing them. If you don't believe that what the ELCA teaches is wrong, you shouldn't hesitate to rescue people from it. On the other hand, if the people at ELCA churches aren't being taught wrong doctrines, then they should be welcome at your altars. You can't have it both ways.

I suppose we could start some commercials with fluffy kittens and folks smooching dolphins with the tag line: "See, we don't all pull the wings off butterflies."

Actually, you had a good thing going with just your first five words, "I suppose we could start". Just starting would be a positive step in the right direction.

Thanks for letting me know where you want to go with the ABORTION issue, George.  Your move . . .

The title of the thread is "Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?". I was addressing the question of whether "Lutherans for Life" was "too LC-MS" to appeal to "ELCA Pro-Life People". What are you addressing?

Please, for the love of God, somebody from the ELCA address the abortion issue instead of side-stepping it?  Can you?  Won't you?  Thanks.
Abortion, like homosexuality seems to not be sinful behavior in the ELCA.

The ELCA is a "big tent". In fact, it's too ____ big. It stands for everything, and therefore stands for nothing. There are plenty of people who are members of ELCA congregations who either don't know what the ELCA's Social Statement on abortion says, or who do know and totally disagree. The ELCA is big on keeping people on the membership rolls who don't agree with some of all of the ELCA's Social Statements in the name of unity.

And if you're going to quote the ELCA's position on homosexuality, at least get it right. The ELCA teaches that homosexuality is both wrong and right, and it's OK to believe either position, so long as you respect the bound conscience of others to accept or reject whatever the teachings are or aren't.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Lutheranistic on October 21, 2010, 04:36:05 PM
So somebody in the ELCA that is chiming in here please, please, please tell me if you would join a pro-life organization that was geared only to ELCA members?
Ok, Kim, I'll bite. As a  20 plus-year (albeit former) ELCA clergy spouse, there is nothing about Lutherans for Life that would preclude me joining. If that were an issue in which I decided to invest time, talent or dollars, (and as an adoptee I believe it is), the importance of the issue would outweigh any doctrinal difference I would have with other members.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 21, 2010, 04:39:28 PM
One of my parishioners and her children, in Detroit to tend to her dying father, picked the closest Lutheran church to go to on Christmas Eve. She expressed satisfaction that the service was a eucharist, but an usher asked her if she was LC-MS. No, she said, she was ELCA. So the usher and pastor told her that she could not receive the sacrament on Christmas Eve, with a dying father in a nearby hospital. Imagine the effect this had on the woman and her two teen-age sons.

Other LC-MS pastors have assured me that they would have communed that family, but...
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 04:41:39 PM
One of my parishioners and her children, in Detroit to tend to her dying father, picked the closest Lutheran church to go to on Christmas Eve. She expressed satisfaction that the service was a eucharist, but an usher asked her if she was LC-MS. No, she said, she was ELCA. So the usher and pastor told her that she could not receive the sacrament on Christmas Eve, with a dying father in a nearby hospital. Imagine the effect this had on the woman and her two teen-age sons.

Other LC-MS pastors have assured me that they would have communed that family, but...

LIFE is the topic!
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: J.L. Precup on October 21, 2010, 04:43:42 PM
One of my parishioners and her children, in Detroit to tend to her dying father, picked the closest Lutheran church to go to on Christmas Eve. She expressed satisfaction that the service was a eucharist, but an usher asked her if she was LC-MS. No, she said, she was ELCA. So the usher and pastor told her that she could not receive the sacrament on Christmas Eve, with a dying father in a nearby hospital. Imagine the effect this had on the woman and her two teen-age sons.

Other LC-MS pastors have assured me that they would have communed that family, but...

LIFE is the topic!

"LIFE is the topic!"  Then why ignore it?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Scott6 on October 21, 2010, 05:00:21 PM
One of my parishioners and her children, in Detroit to tend to her dying father, picked the closest Lutheran church to go to on Christmas Eve. She expressed satisfaction that the service was a eucharist, but an usher asked her if she was LC-MS. No, she said, she was ELCA. So the usher and pastor told her that she could not receive the sacrament on Christmas Eve, with a dying father in a nearby hospital. Imagine the effect this had on the woman and her two teen-age sons.

Other LC-MS pastors have assured me that they would have communed that family, but...

And the relevance of that to this thread?

Mike

Well, it seems that the topic is ways to combat a rejection of LCMS views.  So while it may have initially been about LFL being "too LCMS" (protecting the unborn and all), it is now a referendum on how the LCMS either actually functions (Charles) or is perceived to function (George).  Not that either is much of a distraction from the idea of protecting unborn folks, but if you focus hard enough, it could be.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: J.L. Precup on October 21, 2010, 05:02:57 PM
One of my parishioners and her children, in Detroit to tend to her dying father, picked the closest Lutheran church to go to on Christmas Eve. She expressed satisfaction that the service was a eucharist, but an usher asked her if she was LC-MS. No, she said, she was ELCA. So the usher and pastor told her that she could not receive the sacrament on Christmas Eve, with a dying father in a nearby hospital. Imagine the effect this had on the woman and her two teen-age sons.

Other LC-MS pastors have assured me that they would have communed that family, but...

And the relevance of that to this thread?

Mike

It's rather obvious, isn't it, Mike?  Easy to love babies, but very difficult to love people.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 21, 2010, 05:03:46 PM
George, you have to understand that the LCMS is not unloving.  We have only labeled you as heterodox, and fenced off our altars to you in a very loving way.  Now won't  you please come support us?

Have you considered colloquizing into the ELCA? I wonder if you might not be happier there than associated with the positions of the LCMS.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Lutheranistic on October 21, 2010, 05:09:50 PM
So somebody in the ELCA that is chiming in here please, please, please tell me if you would join a pro-life organization that was geared only to ELCA members?
Ok, Kim, I'll bite. As a  20 plus-year (albeit former) ELCA clergy spouse, there is nothing about Lutherans for Life that would preclude me joining. If that were an issue in which I decided to invest time, talent or dollars, (and as an adoptee I believe it is), the importance of the issue would outweigh any doctrinal difference I would have with other members.
I tried....I really tried...way back in post #95. Sigh.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: J.L. Precup on October 21, 2010, 05:15:43 PM
George, you have to understand that the LCMS is not unloving.  We have only labeled you as heterodox, and fenced off our altars to you in a very loving way.  Now won't  you please come support us?

Have you considered colloquizing into the ELCA? I wonder if you might not be happier there than associated with the positions of the LCMS.

No, but you are free to wonder.  If you wish to hold all recent positions of a church body without question, have you ever considered becoming Roman Catholic?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 21, 2010, 05:49:36 PM
One of my parishioners and her children, in Detroit to tend to her dying father, picked the closest Lutheran church to go to on Christmas Eve. She expressed satisfaction that the service was a eucharist, but an usher asked her if she was LC-MS. No, she said, she was ELCA. So the usher and pastor told her that she could not receive the sacrament on Christmas Eve, with a dying father in a nearby hospital. Imagine the effect this had on the woman and her two teen-age sons.

Other LC-MS pastors have assured me that they would have communed that family, but...
We have heard this as often as we have heard Pr. Stoffregan's wife story.   ::)
Can't you guys dredge up fresher material to use to bash us for our close communion policy?

I could also cite the example of my Jewish friend Sherri who loves Christmas Hymns, but is not a Christ-Believer, who sings beautifully, so a mutual ELCA friend invited her to sing in the choir for the Christmas season.  She went up for communion with the full knowledge of the pastor and choir director, knowing she wasn't Christian.  When I asked Sherri why she did that, she said "Because everyone else was doing it" and the ELCA pastor didn't seem to mind. 
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Scott6 on October 21, 2010, 06:03:34 PM
George, you have to understand that the LCMS is not unloving.  We have only labeled you as heterodox, and fenced off our altars to you in a very loving way.  Now won't  you please come support us?

Have you considered colloquizing into the ELCA? I wonder if you might not be happier there than associated with the positions of the LCMS.

No, but you are free to wonder.  If you wish to hold all recent positions of a church body without question, have you ever considered becoming Roman Catholic?

No, really.  What about the LCMS appeals to you more than the ELCA?  FWIW, I really don't know as based upon your posts here, you seem quite dissatisfied w/ the LCMS' views and quite happy w/ the ELCA's views.
Title: Lutherans invited to join Jan. 24 life march in D.C.
Post by: LutherMan on October 21, 2010, 06:04:54 PM
http://www.lcms.org/pages/rpage.asp?NavID=17887

Lutherans invited to join Jan. 24 life march in D.C.


As in past years, Lutherans are invited to join the annual "March for Life," Jan. 24 in Washington, D.C., which includes the offer of free lodging for travelers in the homes of Washington-area Lutheran church members.

The march -- next year's is the 38th -- protests the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion and attests to the God-given value of human life.

Dennis Di Mauro is organizer of the Lutheran delegation for the 13th year and leader of the Lutherans For Life (LFL) chapter in northern Virginia.
<snip>
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 21, 2010, 06:21:12 PM
One of my parishioners and her children, in Detroit to tend to her dying father, picked the closest Lutheran church to go to on Christmas Eve. She expressed satisfaction that the service was a eucharist, but an usher asked her if she was LC-MS. No, she said, she was ELCA. So the usher and pastor told her that she could not receive the sacrament on Christmas Eve, with a dying father in a nearby hospital. Imagine the effect this had on the woman and her two teen-age sons.

Other LC-MS pastors have assured me that they would have communed that family, but...

LIFE is the topic!

To repeat what I said earlier, the title is, "Is Lutherans For Life 'too LCMS' for ELCA Pro-Life People". The answers to that question are the topic. If you want to have a thread about Life, start one!

http://www.lcms.org/pages/rpage.asp?NavID=17887

Lutherans invited to join Jan. 24 life march in D.C.


As in past years, Lutherans are invited to join the annual "March for Life," Jan. 24 in Washington, D.C., which includes the offer of free lodging for travelers in the homes of Washington-area Lutheran church members.

The march -- next year's is the 38th -- protests the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion and attests to the God-given value of human life.

Dennis Di Mauro is organizer of the Lutheran delegation for the 13th year and leader of the Lutherans For Life (LFL) chapter in northern Virginia.
<snip>

Who got to read that, aside from people who visit the LC-MS website? Where is that invitation published, aside from the LC-MS website?

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 21, 2010, 06:25:29 PM
Who got to read that, aside from people who visit the LC-MS website? Where is that invitation published, aside from the LC-MS website?
YOU did, George.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: J.L. Precup on October 21, 2010, 06:39:01 PM
George, you have to understand that the LCMS is not unloving.  We have only labeled you as heterodox, and fenced off our altars to you in a very loving way.  Now won't  you please come support us?

Have you considered colloquizing into the ELCA? I wonder if you might not be happier there than associated with the positions of the LCMS.

No, but you are free to wonder.  If you wish to hold all recent positions of a church body without question, have you ever considered becoming Roman Catholic?

No, really.  What about the LCMS appeals to you more than the ELCA?  FWIW, I really don't know as based upon your posts here, you seem quite dissatisfied w/ the LCMS' views and quite happy w/ the ELCA's views.

I am trying to answer the question of this thread with, yes, and to give some examples of why. 

For me personally, it's not a matter of appeal/happiness/dissatisfaction.  That I would find some ELCA views congenial, and some LCMS views not, may put me in a minority position in regards to the LCMS.  And for that I must leave? 

That's all I'll say so as not to get this thread off topic.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Scott6 on October 21, 2010, 06:44:38 PM
George, you have to understand that the LCMS is not unloving.  We have only labeled you as heterodox, and fenced off our altars to you in a very loving way.  Now won't  you please come support us?

Have you considered colloquizing into the ELCA? I wonder if you might not be happier there than associated with the positions of the LCMS.

No, but you are free to wonder.  If you wish to hold all recent positions of a church body without question, have you ever considered becoming Roman Catholic?

No, really.  What about the LCMS appeals to you more than the ELCA?  FWIW, I really don't know as based upon your posts here, you seem quite dissatisfied w/ the LCMS' views and quite happy w/ the ELCA's views.

I am trying to answer the question of this thread with, yes, and to give some examples of why.  

For me personally, it's not a matter of appeal/happiness/dissatisfaction.  That I would find some ELCA views congenial, and some LCMS views not, may put me in a minority position in regards to the LCMS.  And for that I must leave?  

That's all I'll say so as not to get this thread off topic.

Never said you must leave.  But what I am curious about is what, given your expressed views, attracts you more to the LCMS than the ELCA?  Which is to say that your positions are not particularly surprising or noteworthy but simply quite typical for mainstream ELCA (and, as you may not know, I have a Masters from Luther Sem and was a member of an ELCA congregation for some years, along with my mom being an ELCA pastor).  Though I would imagine that expressing the views you do, you would garner some attention from LCMS circles.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: J.L. Precup on October 21, 2010, 06:57:15 PM
George, you have to understand that the LCMS is not unloving.  We have only labeled you as heterodox, and fenced off our altars to you in a very loving way.  Now won't  you please come support us?

Have you considered colloquizing into the ELCA? I wonder if you might not be happier there than associated with the positions of the LCMS.

No, but you are free to wonder.  If you wish to hold all recent positions of a church body without question, have you ever considered becoming Roman Catholic?

No, really.  What about the LCMS appeals to you more than the ELCA?  FWIW, I really don't know as based upon your posts here, you seem quite dissatisfied w/ the LCMS' views and quite happy w/ the ELCA's views.

I am trying to answer the question of this thread with, yes, and to give some examples of why.  

For me personally, it's not a matter of appeal/happiness/dissatisfaction.  That I would find some ELCA views congenial, and some LCMS views not, may put me in a minority position in regards to the LCMS.  And for that I must leave?  

That's all I'll say so as not to get this thread off topic.

Never said you must leave.  But what I am curious about is what, given your expressed views, attracts you more to the LCMS than the ELCA?  Which is to say that your positions are not particularly surprising or noteworthy but simply quite typical for mainstream ELCA (and, as you may not know, I have a Masters from Luther Sem and was a member of an ELCA congregation for some years, along with my mom being an ELCA pastor).  Though I would imagine that expressing the views you do, you would garner some attention from LCMS circles.

OK, one more, and then I will let others discuss this topic, and I can only do it by analogy.  Suppose you left home for a long while and returned not only to find that things have changed (something to be expected), but also found it to be a place so foreign from what you knew that you can barely navigate what should be familiar territory.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 21, 2010, 07:06:20 PM
Chappy,
If you wanted to be honest, you'd go with Pr. James Hallerberg and Resurrection, Coronado..
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 21, 2010, 07:15:24 PM
George, you have to understand that the LCMS is not unloving.  We have only labeled you as heterodox, and fenced off our altars to you in a very loving way.  Now won't  you please come support us?

Have you considered colloquizing into the ELCA? I wonder if you might not be happier there than associated with the positions of the LCMS.

No, but you are free to wonder.  If you wish to hold all recent positions of a church body without question, have you ever considered becoming Roman Catholic?

No. I found my home when I left the LCA and joined a congregation of the LC-MS. For 26 years I have had the amazing privilege of serving in her Ministerium - a joy and privilege because, despite Missouri's imperfections, I agree with and delight in her teachings and practice. This is my Synod not because I was born and raised in Missouri but because it is where I belong. It is a blessing to not be at odds with those with whom I share confessional fellowship.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 07:16:42 PM
So somebody in the ELCA that is chiming in here please, please, please tell me if you would join a pro-life organization that was geared only to ELCA members?
Ok, Kim, I'll bite. As a  20 plus-year (albeit former) ELCA clergy spouse, there is nothing about Lutherans for Life that would preclude me joining. If that were an issue in which I decided to invest time, talent or dollars, (and as an adoptee I believe it is), the importance of the issue would outweigh any doctrinal difference I would have with other members.
I tried....I really tried...way back in post #95. Sigh.

Ooh, ooh, I saw it!  I did!  Sorry about that.  Thank you for your input.  It's very much appreciated!
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 07:50:17 PM
OK, one more, and then I will let others discuss this topic, and I can only do it by analogy.  Suppose you left home for a long while and returned not only to find that things have changed (something to be expected), but also found it to be a place so foreign from what you knew that you can barely navigate what should be familiar territory.

Sort of like Jesus stepping out of heaven to dwell on earth for a time with us sinners?  Imagine what it must have been like for HIM considering His presence at Creation then living in the midst of such a fallen world for those 30 odd years.  He willingly walked this path to save us from our sins.  People can't quite be saved from their sin if they're not told what that sin is.  What's the point of Jesus' atoning work on the cross when we no longer point out what He saved us from?  Why are some so afraid of being told they're wrong based on the teachings of Scripture?  Why are some so afraid of telling others they're wrong using God's Word as the basis?  What a blessing to be lovingly admonished by a pastor!  Abortion is wrong, it's a sin, and it can and should be lovingly admonished.  Lutherans for Life has great resources available for ALL Christians (not just Lutherans) to help people understand the consequences of this sin before it becomes a reality (and even after the fact if it does become a reality).  A woman who has had an abortion can find forgiveness and relief from the shame and guilt.  The recognition of the act as sinful is the first step to forgiveness; somebody has to help her see this.  If you don't choose to look towards Lutherans for Life for information, by all means, get some information from your local pregnancy resource center (http://www.optionline.org/get-help/) in order to help her.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Scott6 on October 21, 2010, 07:52:54 PM
George, you have to understand that the LCMS is not unloving.  We have only labeled you as heterodox, and fenced off our altars to you in a very loving way.  Now won't  you please come support us?

Have you considered colloquizing into the ELCA? I wonder if you might not be happier there than associated with the positions of the LCMS.

No, but you are free to wonder.  If you wish to hold all recent positions of a church body without question, have you ever considered becoming Roman Catholic?

No, really.  What about the LCMS appeals to you more than the ELCA?  FWIW, I really don't know as based upon your posts here, you seem quite dissatisfied w/ the LCMS' views and quite happy w/ the ELCA's views.

I am trying to answer the question of this thread with, yes, and to give some examples of why. 

For me personally, it's not a matter of appeal/happiness/dissatisfaction.  That I would find some ELCA views congenial, and some LCMS views not, may put me in a minority position in regards to the LCMS.  And for that I must leave? 

That's all I'll say so as not to get this thread off topic.

Never said you must leave.  But what I am curious about is what, given your expressed views, attracts you more to the LCMS than the ELCA?  Which is to say that your positions are not particularly surprising or noteworthy but simply quite typical for mainstream ELCA (and, as you may not know, I have a Masters from Luther Sem and was a member of an ELCA congregation for some years, along with my mom being an ELCA pastor).  Though I would imagine that expressing the views you do, you would garner some attention from LCMS circles.

OK, one more, and then I will let others discuss this topic, and I can only do it by analogy.  Suppose you left home for a long while and returned not only to find that things have changed (something to be expected), but also found it to be a place so foreign from what you knew that you can barely navigate what should be familiar territory.

Interesting that you bring up this particular analogy.  After having lived in Africa for 4 years (and traveled another year or so to 20+ other countries), I am frequently amazed at how tough it is to navigate what should be familiar territory.

Though attending St. Mark's as opposed to Immanuel in Charlottesville really doesn't compare (especially if one corresponds to my current viewpoint and the other doesn't).
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 21, 2010, 08:27:46 PM
Maybe, given what the LC-MS has said about the ELCA concerning women pastors, interpretation of scripture, ecumenical agreements and other matters, ELCAers do not feel comfortable in a predominantly LC-MS group even if they agree with the premise of that particular group.


I comment:
From what I have seen of Lutherans for Life, they are not mean-spirited cranks.


Tibbetts wonders which has changed more in the three years reflected in this thread: LFL or Pastor Austin's attitude towards it?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 21, 2010, 09:39:44 PM

And though I know this site isn't welcomed warmly by those in the ELCA, it's the best I could do on the fly to point to a link on abortions being covered by the ELCA health plan (http://www.exposingtheelca.com/on-abortion.html).  Please provide a better link if you have one.

...

To any ELCA lurkers, I would hold your hand in a heartbeat to make you feel comfortable at an LFL conference, event, etc.  You would be made to feel quite welcome even without that, though.   :)

Sister Kim: abortion, the ELCA, and its medical plan has been the subject of many threads of this forum over the years.  Here is one place I offer (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=1145.msg39560#msg39560) a description of the sordid tale of how abortions are covered without question during the first 20 weeks of a pregnancy.  Examples continuing in the ELCA Social Statement vs. ELCA practices vein are referred to here (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=2445.msg125703#msg125703), here (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=1571.msg70505#msg70505), here (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=1709.msg73183#msg73183), and here (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3153.msg173217#msg173217).  The post after that last link speaks of an informal "Pro-Life Network of ELCA Rostered Leaders and Church Professionals" (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3153.msg173221#msg173221) that has been quiet since the last Churchwide Assembly.

I would gladly let you hold my hand, though I know it would net be a necessary expression of the graciousness I have always received from LFL compatriots in person, such as at the LCMS Conference on Mercy, when Dr. Lamb addressed the local Winkel last year, and their presence at the Lutheran CORE Convocation last August.  

Nevertheless, while I know that no offense is intended, it is all too frequent that LFL communications, both nationally and locally, forget that there are non-LCMS Lutherans in and supportive of LFL.  For instance, the form thank you letter my (ELCA) congregation received for participating (as we have from the beginning) in the Mother's Day "Diaper Shower" that gladly reported the number of diapers received by "local LCMS congregations," even though the author knows we are an ELCA congregation.  It is a minor annoyance, an understandable thoughlessness given the despicable record of ELCA officialdom, but an annoyance nonetheless.  

Which is why I'd make it a point to holds hands with you.   :)

Pax, Steven+
Life Member, Lutherans for Life
formerly Pastoral Advisor (for most of its history), Peoria Area Lutherans for Life
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 21, 2010, 09:50:27 PM

And though I know this site isn't welcomed warmly by those in the ELCA, it's the best I could do on the fly to point to a link on abortions being covered by the ELCA health plan (http://www.exposingtheelca.com/on-abortion.html).  Please provide a better link if you have one.

...

To any ELCA lurkers, I would hold your hand in a heartbeat to make you feel comfortable at an LFL conference, event, etc.  You would be made to feel quite welcome even without that, though.   :)

Sister Kim: abortion, the ELCA, and its medical plan has been the subject of many threads of this forum over the years.  Here is one place I offer (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=1145.msg39560#msg39560) a description of the sordid tale of how abortions are covered without question during the first 20 weeks of a pregnancy.  Examples continuing in the ELCA Social Statement vs. ELCA practices vein are referred to here (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=2445.msg125703#msg125703), here (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=1571.msg70505#msg70505), here (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=1709.msg73183#msg73183), and here (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3153.msg173217#msg173217).  The post after that last link speaks of an informal "Pro-Life Network of ELCA Rostered Leaders and Church Professionals" (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3153.msg173221#msg173221) that has been quiet since the last Churchwide Assembly.

I would gladly let you hold my hand, though I know it would net be a necessary expression of the graciousness I have always received from LFL compatriots in person, such as at the LCMS Conference on Mercy, when Dr. Lamb addressed the local Winkel last year, and their presence at the Lutheran CORE Convocation last August.  

Nevertheless, while I know that no offense is intended, it is all too frequent that LFL communications, both nationally and locally, forget that there are non-LCMS Lutherans in and supportive of LFL.  For instance, the form thank you letter my (ELCA) congregation received for participating (as we have from the beginning) in the Mother's Day "Diaper Shower" that gladly reported the number of diapers received by "local LCMS congregations," even though the author knows we are an ELCA congregation.  It is a minor annoyance, an understandable thoughlessness given the despicable record of ELCA officialdom, but an annoyance nonetheless.  

Which is why I'd make it a point to holds hands with you.   :)

Pax, Steven+
Life Member, Lutherans for Life
formerly Pastoral Advisor (for most of its history), Peoria Area Lutherans for Life

Maybe someone will point out this thread to their leadership and your next letter will be more customized!  I am thankful for your dedication and adherence to the truth on this subject.  I'm sure your congregation and others you come into contact with are blessed to be under your pastoral care.  I think we'd all be completely shocked about how many of our parishioners are sitting in our pews longing to hear that forgiveness is theirs.  Though some of you who have labored long and hard on this issue already know that!
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 21, 2010, 10:07:30 PM
Can we help it if it took an amazing pastor that happens to be LCMS to lead this great organization?  


LFL was founded (http://www.lutheransforlife.org/about/) in 1977 by pastors and laity (including theologians!) of the LCA, ALC, AELC, and LCMS.  Since the mid-'80s, WELS has had its own prolife organization, originally called "WELS Lutherans for Life," now called Christian Life Resources (http://www.christianliferesources.com/?/aboutus/index.php)."

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: G.Edward on October 22, 2010, 07:05:02 AM

And, yes, in writing all this I'll point fingers in our (as ELCAers in LFL) direction, too.  If we don't stand up to be counted we ought not complain too much when we think we're being ignored.  It's easy to go along for the ride with those few who do the hard work.  And it is not easy to stand up as a pro-life voice in the ELCA.  Maybe more of us ought to go to the Lutherans for Life website (http://www.lutheransforlife.org) (it's been linked from the beginning on Pastor Zip's Lutheran Links (http://homepage.mac.com/pastorzip/lutheranlinx.html#Renewal)) and let 'em know we're here.

Pax, Steven+

Steven, it is through your blog & links that I first found LFL.  I think it's not well publicized in ELCA circles.  If our LCMS brothers & sisters would talk with their ELCA neighbors once in a while they might find substantial support among the rank and file as well as a segment of pastors who don't even realize there is a Lutheran Pro-Life organization.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 22, 2010, 08:48:07 AM
I still do not consider LFL people "mean-spirited cranks," though I suspect some of them might be.  ;D I still oppose abortion and consider the decision to have an abortion tainted by sin. I wish there were no abortions, and that every pregnancy was accepted as a gift from God and resulted in a child to be reared by loving parents. I pray that the number of abortions declines. I pray that no mothers die in childbirth, as did my father's first wife.
I favor free, full and readily accessible birth control information and appropriate sex education in public schools.
I favor additional sex education our churches, exploring all the aspects of human sexuality and the morals and ethics involved in expressing our sexuality. Some of this education is likely to be counter to what is being taught in some public schools.
I have no first-hand experience with the ambiance or culture of LFL, but apparently Pastor Tibbetts does and I trust his words. I do not think I would find LFL a congenial way to express my opposition to abortion or to work for ways to reduce the number of abortions.

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Erma S. Wolf on October 22, 2010, 09:17:50 AM
     I am an ELCA pastor who is opposed to abortion as it is too often practiced who has not joined or gotten involved in Lutherans for Life.  My reason is that I have good reason to think that my presence in a local chapter of LFL would be distracting and possibly disrupting to the (mainly) LCMS members of LFL in this area, especially since I am a woman pastor.  I just don't have the energy for that right now, and I make no apologies for that.  I could join LFL and contribute money without getting involved locally and personally, but that just does not appeal to me.  I prefer to work on this issue in other ways.  (And I am not saying that all LCMS folk involved in any local LFL chapter would find me disruptive, nor that I would be treated rudely or badly.  But I know what tends to happen when I am in any grouping with LCMS people, especially clergy, in my own local area.  It is just a lot better to limit that exposure, given previous experience.)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 22, 2010, 10:58:17 AM
What is the LC-MS and/or Lutherans for Life doing proactively to reach out to people to let them know that the organization exists and what sort of work it does? And please, don't tell me about preaching to the choir inside LC-MS churches. That's a good thing, but it does nothing to reach people who aren't in the buildings.

Sorry, I'd rather witness to the truly lost who have never heard the Gospel or who have rejected it than cater to the delicate sensibilities of ELCA dissidents who think the LCMS is too unloving.

If they come into my congregation, then I will be as warm and welcoming to them as I am to any other visitor.

But I'm not going to look to steal sheep or wish the LCMS to compromise its confession to accommodate those who hold a bad impression of the LCMS.

Mike

George, you have to understand that the LCMS is not unloving.  We have only labeled you as heterodox, and fenced off our altars to you in a very loving way.  Now won't  you please come support us?
Rev. Precup, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You say upstream, emphatically, that the Lord's Supper is for all Christians. Period. Then you justify limiting it to Lutherans. As a Lutheran, you call, say, Anabaptists heterodox and fence off your altar to them without being unloving to them, yet you mock the LCMS saying the same thing in regard to our communion policy, and do it from within the LCMS. If calling someone heterodox and not communing with them is so unloving, you are in no position to mock-- you are either guilty of being unloving BY CONFESSION as a Lutheran toward Mennonites and many others, or you are guilty of lying by claiming a confessions as your own that you don't really hold and then mocking those who really do hold that confession.

The fact is, a heterodox label is a diagnosis. It can be right or wrong, but loving/unloving is not a category that applies. If someone tells me I look ill, they might be loving or not loving, but the fact that I look ill to them is no indication. What the LCMS has done in regard to the ELCA is say "you look ill to us, and in fact we have reasons to think you are ill." That isn't to say we don't have out own illnesses. That isn't to say we're the official doctor. It is to say, to our blood relatives whom we love, you are ill. Finding a second opinion because you don't trust the first one is just fine, but seeking a second a opinion because you think it was mean and unloving of someone to say you were sick is foolishness.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 22, 2010, 11:04:31 AM
I suspect that Lutherans for Life would not agree with the ELCA's Social Statement on Abortion. For the many of us who do agree with it would we find a welcome in Lutherans for Life?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 22, 2010, 11:21:45 AM
Lutherans for Life is not a political organization like National Right to Life. We focus on how to minister to people affected by the reality of abortion. But the premise is that the reality of abortion is a tragedy and unjustifiable in light of the truth of the Christian faith. So we work with charities that give away diapers and formula to poor mothers. We work with counseling pregnant women (and men) about the value of every life. We work with those who have been deceived into approving, having, or paying for an abortion and now are overwhelmed with guilt and regret. And we seek to have human life protected by law. In short, and contra the snide and ill-informed comments upstream about loving babies vs. loving people, it is precisely because we love people of all ages and conditions that we do what we do, and we refuse to treat a baby in the womb as less human or less worthy of life than a two year old or a twenty year old. And we love the two year olds and twenty-year olds and hundred-and-two year-olds with real love, one that forgives rather than assuages the very real guilt of murder, one that serves concrete need with concrete help, one that does not demand that anyone justify their life with usefulness. That's why euthanasia and assisted-suicide, not just abortion, are part of the mission of Lutherans for Life.
Title: A Call for a Public Apology for Slanderous Remarks
Post by: ptmccain on October 22, 2010, 11:25:40 AM
I still do not consider LFL people "mean-spirited cranks," though I suspect some of them might be.

Charles, slapping a smiley face at the end of a brutal slander is not funny, whimsical or otherwise. So, spare us yet another, "My effort at whimsy failed" cop-out excuse.  Your comment is simply, and only, mean-spirited passive-aggresive behavior. You say: "I suspect some of them might be." On what basis do you "suspect" this? Either provide proof for your "suspicion" or withdraw it, and apologize for the remark.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 22, 2010, 11:26:29 AM
Lutherans for Life is not a political organization like National Right to Life. We focus on how to minister to people affected by the reality of abortion. But the premise is that the reality of abortion is a tragedy and unjustifiable in light of the truth of the Christian faith. So we work with charities that give away diapers and formula to poor mothers. We work with counseling pregnant women (and men) about the value of every life. We work with those who have been deceived into approving, having, or paying for an abortion and now are overwhelmed with guilt and regret. And we seek to have human life protected by law. In short, and contra the snide and ill-informed comments upstream about loving babies vs. loving people, it is precisely because we love people of all ages and conditions that we do what we do, and we refuse to treat a baby in the womb as less human or less worthy of life than a two year old or a twenty year old. And we love the two year olds and twenty-year olds and hundred-and-two year-olds with real love, one that forgives rather than assuages the very real guilt of murder, one that serves concrete need with concrete help, one that does not demand that anyone justify their life with usefulness. That's why euthanasia and assisted-suicide, not just abortion, are part of the mission of Lutherans for Life.

In addition, their statements include the six-day creation and inerrancy of scripture -- beliefs that are not the norms in the ELCA -- although there are ELCA folks with those beliefs. Just based on those paragraphs, I would say that they are too LCMS for many ELCAers.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 22, 2010, 11:37:49 AM
It was nothing but a mean-spirited, vile, cheap shot, from a man who said in the same post: "I have no first-hand experience with the ambiance or culture of LFL."
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 22, 2010, 12:20:05 PM

And, yes, in writing all this I'll point fingers in our (as ELCAers in LFL) direction, too.  If we don't stand up to be counted we ought not complain too much when we think we're being ignored.  It's easy to go along for the ride with those few who do the hard work.  And it is not easy to stand up as a pro-life voice in the ELCA.  Maybe more of us ought to go to the Lutherans for Life website (http://www.lutheransforlife.org) (it's been linked from the beginning on Pastor Zip's Lutheran Links (http://homepage.mac.com/pastorzip/lutheranlinx.html#Renewal)) and let 'em know we're here.

Pax, Steven+

Steven, it is through your blog & links that I first found LFL.  I think it's not well publicized in ELCA circles.  If our LCMS brothers & sisters would talk with their ELCA neighbors once in a while they might find substantial support among the rank and file as well as a segment of pastors who don't even realize there is a Lutheran Pro-Life organization.

I think that is a totally correct and accurate statement. I think that the issues regarding attendance at each others' churches is a smoke screen. As long as it is not well publicized amongst Lutherans in denominations other than the LC-MS (and maybe also WELS), then relatively few Lutherans from the other denominations will even know about it. And, of those few who do know about it, then the misconceptions about the LC-MS will play a part in keeping some from joining.

For the life of me, I cannot understand any anti-abortion organization not devoting large amounts of their operating budget to mass publicity. The #1 single thing that will reduce or even stop abortions is large-scale, persuasive advertising. Hammer the message that "Abortion is wrong" often enough and loudly enough, and that will influence voters to elect legislators who'll pass laws to limit or even end abortion. Any anti-abortion group that hides its light under a bushel (I know, I used that allusion earlier) isn't do all it can do to fight abortion.

I see those goofy "COEXIST (http://www.coexistbumpersticker.com/)" bumper stickers all the time. "Lutherans For Life" bumper stickers should be just as ubiquitous. If that happened, then you would see a lot Lutherans from all denominations approaching Lutherans For Life.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 22, 2010, 12:22:00 PM
Who got to read that, aside from people who visit the LC-MS website? Where is that invitation published, aside from the LC-MS website?
YOU did, George.

No, I didn't. I saw the link and read the except, but I didn't follow the link.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 22, 2010, 12:26:13 PM
George, LFL has a massive publicity machine and regularly mails information out throughout The LCMS and the ELCA.

Is it really any surprise that, by and large, there are less ELCA pastors and congregations involved in Lutherans for Life than Lutherans from church bodies that do not condone abortion, and pay for it, for any reason, in their health plans up to twenty weeks?

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 22, 2010, 01:17:20 PM
Steven, it is through your blog & links that I first found LFL.  I think it's not well publicized in ELCA circles.  If our LCMS brothers & sisters would talk with their ELCA neighbors once in a while they might find substantial support among the rank and file as well as a segment of pastors who don't even realize there is a Lutheran Pro-Life organization.

(Let's note that this thread began 3 years ago.)  

As an ELCA congregation we receive materials from LFL 2-3 times a year -- in fact the promotion for Life Sunday 2011 (January 16) arrived in the mail this week.  And our chapter's mailings to congregations go to ELCA congregations, too.  Though at times that continued only because I was at the meetings and rather insisted -- for we rarely got any feedback one way or another from the local ELCA congregations, even from the couple of strongly pro-life pastors!

Like all mailings it has to go through the various filters -- Parish Secretary, Pastor(s), Social Ministry Committee, etc.  If any one of those is hostile to LFL, forget it.  Even many who are strongly pro-life will be gun shy about drawing too much attention.  You might say that there are many who are hostile to the possibility of raising a controversy, especially if they've not expressed a strong point-of-view on social issues.  Or at least who prefer to not open up the possibility of the kind of sniping we can count on getting here from a few ELCAers whenever this subject is raised.  

And if it does make it to a general announcement, we all know how well people pay attention to general announcements.  

The feedback our local LFL chapter has gotten from ELCA congregations over 15 years is esentially nil.  I think I'm the only ELCAer who has actually ever shown up for meetings.  (For many of our years, of them, I've been the only pastor who's showed up, except for the founding pastors inthe early years, one of whom moved, the other who has other priorities -- with the current pastoral advisor being a retired LCMS pastor who is able to attend the meetings more regularly than I.)   We are the only ELCA congregation that consistently participates in their general activities (and this is because I've been encouraged by the quiet LFL members in my congregation), though in the past a couple of others have joined in once or twice for one-time events.  

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 22, 2010, 01:21:55 PM

I have no first-hand experience with the ambiance or culture of LFL, but apparently Pastor Tibbetts does and I trust his words.

It would have been easier to believe your "trust" if you hadn't immediately followed with:

Quote
I do not think I would find LFL a congenial way to express my opposition to abortion or to work for ways to reduce the number of abortions.


spt+
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 22, 2010, 01:28:19 PM
If I might chime back in again as someone who is very passionate on this issue, there are really three ways that I see it by which Christians can get involved in pro-life work.

1.  Political - Right to Life organizations (national, state, local chapters); you lobby at the political level to effect change
2.  Informational - You collect and disseminate information on the subject.  LFL falls into this category.
3.  Counseling - You support or volunteer at a local pregnancy resource center or pro-life medical clinic to be the caring hands, feet and face of Jesus for women contemplating abortion (or seeking recovery from one)

Picketing an abortion clinic can fall in either 1 or 3, I suppose, but I prefer #3 to them all, personally.  Regardless of whether Lutherans for Life seems like an organization that you feel you could or couldn't get involved with, your local pregnancy center is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.  They're the last line of defense against Satan and his deceptive tactics, so if you are pro-life, visit yours today and see first hand the good they're doing.  If you or someone you know needs help recovering from an abortion, Lutherans for Life sponsors a ministry that can help (Word of Hope (http://www.word-of-hope.org/)), otherwise, they're typically more of an informational ministry.

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 22, 2010, 01:38:27 PM
George, LFL has a massive publicity machine and regularly mails information out throughout The LCMS and the ELCA.

And just how well is that working for you?  Remember, between 2002 and 2008, I was in the narthex of around two dozen different ELCA churches a year. Many of them were churches with no pastor who had lay people taking care of business. I don't recall ever seing a Lutherans For Life brochure in any narthex literature stand.

Is it really any surprise that, by and large, there are less ELCA pastors and congregations involved in Lutherans for Life than Lutherans from church bodies that do not condone abortion, and pay for it, for any reason, in their health plans up to twenty weeks?


Considering how many ELCA pastors don't accept the BS that the ELCA puts out about abortion, I would be surprised if a large number of ELCA pastors didn't make that information available. You seem to be operating under the assumption that the clergy and pewsitters all follow the stuff that comes out of Higgins Road as if it actually meant something.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Russ Saltzman on October 22, 2010, 01:59:34 PM
When I originally posted this inquiry way back in lo! 2007 I was a board member of Lutherans for Life. I was asked to join more or less because I was an ELCA pastor and there was interest in expanding the LFL membership to include more ELCA Lutherans. I think the numbers of then-current ELCA members I reported was way, way off, and I cannot say why. It is perhaps because, my impression, LFL doesn't keep track of Lutheran affiliations among the members very well. Or maybe I just got hold of the wrong statistical set.

I am no longer a board member. I wisely resigned a year into it . . . because I was a lousy board member. LFL deserved someone with a longer attention span, fewer family obligations at home, and a lively interest in being made to discuss things in a committee. On those grounds, I was uniquely unqualified.

However, the people I met through LFL were, first of all, pro-life, and second, Lutheran, and so far as I could tell, only incidentally Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. No one I ever met thought of LFL as a uniquely LCMS outfit. Nor do their hiring practices necessarily reflect that.

In 2009 I was one of the workshop leaders at the LFL national convention in St. Louis. The featured speaker for the evening was a Roman Catholic, and I shared a dinner table with four different kinds of Lutherans, by my count, including one of the LFL staffers, an ELCA lay woman. Several ELCA people attended my workshop.

I didn't meet any nuts, crazy people, or other assortments of unlikable sorts.

Bottom line for me, there is no other Lutheran organization for pro-life Lutherans.

I think - an opinion, but I hope a not uninformed opinion - the low number of ELCA members in Lutherans for Life reflects an ELCA denominational culture that ignores abortion and dismisses pro-life efforts as socially divisive. An ELCA member who tried to create an LFL congregational chapter would be unwelcome in most ELCA congregations. I doubt very much that any ELCA congregation would carry LFL pro-life inserts - or pro-life inserts of any sort - in Sunday's bulletin. But I do know of at least two that have carried Planned Parenthood materials.

The ELCA statement on abortion - which I once described as "theological road kill" - and the practice of the ELCA health plan in treating elective abortion as a reimbursable medical expense precludes the possibility of most ELCA pastors from doing anything publicly in the congregation to support, endorse, or encourage LFL membership. It prevents them from offering any public encouragement for any opposition to abortion.

(An aside, I am no longer a member of the health plan; I quit in the early 1990s when the ELCA church council forced the Board of Pensions into the business of paying for elective abortions. My private health insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas City, will not pay for an elective abortion.)

My in-laws in South Carolina are the Roman Catholic diocesan representatives to Forty Days for Life. It is a heavily ecumenical outfit. There are no ELCA congregations participating, nor any ELCA Lutherans individually that I am aware of.

In 2002 at the Central States Synod assembly a number of us produced a resolution forming a task force to gather resource materials for women who might be seeking an alternative to abortion. We were attacked, viciously I think, from the floor by an array of people who each more or less suggested that even providing such material was a denial of a woman's right to choose. (The resolution passed, narrowly.)

Gregory Davidson suggests above that LCMS folks themselves start talking to ELCA people. That's not bad, but I am doubtful. I would like to hear of any one Lutherans for Life representative being allowed to introduce LFL to an ELCA council meeting.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: RevSteve on October 22, 2010, 02:07:33 PM

OK maybe this is a stupid question but just how does one "join" Lutherans for Life? I have gone to the web-site and have not found anything about membership.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 22, 2010, 02:28:41 PM

No one I ever met thought of LFL as a uniquely LCMS outfit. Nor do their hiring practices necessarily reflect that.

Let me confirm this.  

Quote
I think - an opinion, but I hope a not uninformed opinion - the low number of ELCA members in Lutherans for Life reflects an ELCA denominational culture that ignores abortion and dismisses pro-life efforts as socially divisive. An ELCA member who tried to create an LFL congregational chapter would be unwelcome in most ELCA congregations. I doubt very much that any ELCA congregation would carry LFL pro-life inserts - or pro-life inserts of any sort - in Sunday's bulletin.

Spot on, Russ, regarding the "ELCA denominational culture."  However Zion, Peoria, is one ELCA congregation that does carry LFL bulletin inserts -- thanks to the Peoria Area Lutherans for Life who provide them to all the area Lutheran congregations 2-3 times a year.  We also have copies of the LFL brochure on stem cell research in the tract rack (along with brochures from the Women's Pregnancy Center (http://www.peoriapregnancychoices.com/) in Peoria).  I am confident that, while there are likely not many, we are not unique.

And while our mid-'90s Central/Southern Illinois Synod Assembly discussions on abortion were the most disheartening things I had exerienced in the ELCA (until the last couple of years), let me find a copy of a resolution adopted a couple of years ago by the Northern Illinois Synod Assembly to post here.

Pax, Steven+  
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 22, 2010, 02:42:18 PM

OK maybe this is a stupid question but just how does one "join" Lutherans for Life? I have gone to the web-site and have not found anything about membership.

Click the "give (http://www.lutheransforlife.org/give/)" links.  There is a http://www.lutheransforlife.org/membership/ page that you'll find from there that tells of membership benefits.  

And, yes, you might drop them an e-mail and tell them that "Join" ought to be a prominent word on the front page.  And in looking at the front page, it occurs to me that having CPH as the distributor of LFL materials is be a double-edged sword.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: A Call for a Public Apology for Slanderous Remarks
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 22, 2010, 03:01:59 PM
I still do not consider LFL people "mean-spirited cranks," though I suspect some of them might be.

Charles, slapping a smiley face at the end of a brutal slander is not funny, whimsical or otherwise. So, spare us yet another, "My effort at whimsy failed" cop-out excuse.  Your comment is simply, and only, mean-spirited passive-aggresive behavior. You say: "I suspect some of them might be." On what basis do you "suspect" this? Either provide proof for your "suspicion" or withdraw it, and apologize for the remark.

Overreaction of the week award. I suspect some people in any given group might be mean-spirited cranks. I know I sat next to one on an airplane recently.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 22, 2010, 03:03:45 PM
ptmccain wrote:
Charles, slapping a smiley face at the end of a brutal slander is not funny, whimsical or otherwise. So, spare us yet another, "My effort at whimsy failed" cop-out excuse.  Your comment is simply, and only, mean-spirited passive-aggresive behavior. You say: "I suspect some of them might be." On what basis do you "suspect" this? Either provide proof for your "suspicion" or withdraw it, and apologize for the remark.

I respond:
For heaven's sake! I suspect this because there are a lot of mean-spirited cranks in the world and it is likely that some of them may have joined LFL. Lighten up. It's nowhere near a "brutal slander."
I say every chance that I get that the LC-MS is a Lutheran Church in which the Gospel is preached and the sacraments are administered; that it is a church with a lot of good ideas and some flaws.
I readily admit that there are some mean-spirited cranks in the ELCA, even as I suspect there may be some in the LC-MS. Do you?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 22, 2010, 03:04:15 PM
I tried to start a chapter of LFL in Georgia a few years ago, and even the LCMS congregations were not interested in participating.  The issue was just "too political" from what I was told, and we were already in the Bible belt where everybody knows it is wrong.  Yet abortions were performed every day in the state, even on Christian girls.

Personally, I have only known of one ELCA congregation active in supporting the two pregnancy resource centers I've been a part of.  It might be interesting to note that this congregation has since left the ELCA.  Hmmmmm . . . .
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 22, 2010, 05:27:22 PM
And just how well is that working for you?

The faults rests entirely on ELCA pastors or congregation leaders who refused to share information about LFL with their congregations.

So, George, how is it going for you starting a LFL chapter in your congregation?

There is a very high percentage of ELCA pastors *who do* in fact support the liberal abortion policies of the ELCA, the laity? Not as high.

  
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on October 22, 2010, 05:29:32 PM
Lutherans for Life is not a political organization like National Right to Life. We focus on how to minister to people affected by the reality of abortion. But the premise is that the reality of abortion is a tragedy and unjustifiable in light of the truth of the Christian faith. So we work with charities that give away diapers and formula to poor mothers. We work with counseling pregnant women (and men) about the value of every life. We work with those who have been deceived into approving, having, or paying for an abortion and now are overwhelmed with guilt and regret. And we seek to have human life protected by law. In short, and contra the snide and ill-informed comments upstream about loving babies vs. loving people, it is precisely because we love people of all ages and conditions that we do what we do, and we refuse to treat a baby in the womb as less human or less worthy of life than a two year old or a twenty year old. And we love the two year olds and twenty-year olds and hundred-and-two year-olds with real love, one that forgives rather than assuages the very real guilt of murder, one that serves concrete need with concrete help, one that does not demand that anyone justify their life with usefulness. That's why euthanasia and assisted-suicide, not just abortion, are part of the mission of Lutherans for Life.

In addition, their statements include the six-day creation and inerrancy of scripture -- beliefs that are not the norms in the ELCA -- although there are ELCA folks with those beliefs. Just based on those paragraphs, I would say that they are too LCMS for many ELCAers.

By God, I agree with Brian on something...  I believe in a SEVEN DAY creation!  :D

But then again, I have always admitted that I am not in the "norm" of the ELCA...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 22, 2010, 05:52:47 PM
It sure seemed slanderous to me, but then I am a dumb layman being led through LCMS doctrine by wise pastors.   ;)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 22, 2010, 06:51:59 PM
And just how well is that working for you?

The faults rests entirely on ELCA pastors or congregation leaders who refused to share information about LFL with their congregations.

So, George, how is it going for you starting a LFL chapter in your congregation?

There is a very high percentage of ELCA pastors *who do* in fact support the liberal abortion policies of the ELCA, the laity? Not as high.

  

Where did I ever say or imply that I had any intention of starting or joining a Lutherans For Life chapter?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 22, 2010, 06:57:53 PM
Then stop whining and making ridiculous claims that it is the LFL's fault that ELCA pastors and congregations are not more involved. George, you are just being a pill.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 22, 2010, 07:13:17 PM
There is a very high percentage of ELCA pastors *who do* in fact support the liberal abortion policies of the ELCA, the laity? Not as high.

And you know this how?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 22, 2010, 07:18:56 PM
Then stop whining and making ridiculous claims that it is the LFL's fault that ELCA pastors and congregations are not more involved. George, you are just being a pill.

But the success or failure of Lutherans For Life, or any other organization like it, is the responsibility of the organization. If it is succeeding, then the credit goes to the organization. If it is failing, then the blame also goes to the organization.

And, for the record, I haven't been whining. That was nothing but a low blow, cheap shot on your part.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 22, 2010, 07:21:54 PM
Lutherans for Life is doing just fine. The fact that ELCA pastors and congregations refuse to participate is indicative of the ELCA's position on abortion.

It's that simple, George.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 22, 2010, 07:39:45 PM
Lutherans for Life is doing just fine. The fact that ELCA pastors and congregations refuse to participate is indicative of the ELCA's position on abortion.

It's that simple, George.

If you're content with just "fine", more power to you.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 22, 2010, 10:10:28 PM
The ELCA's social statement on abortion was adopted years ago. I know of no serious effort to rescind it or dissent from it. So ptmccain's declarations about what the ELCA laity believe seem ridiculous.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 23, 2010, 01:36:59 AM
The ELCA's social statement on abortion was adopted years ago. I know of no serious effort to rescind it or dissent from it. So ptmccain's declarations about what the ELCA laity believe seem ridiculous.

Well, Charles, when every attempt to get the ELCA to actually implement it for itself has been suppressed, why seek to rescind a social statement that clearly has no meaning?

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 23, 2010, 01:03:14 PM
The ELCA's social statement on abortion was adopted years ago. I know of no serious effort to rescind it or dissent from it. So ptmccain's declarations about what the ELCA laity believe seem ridiculous.

Well, Charles, when every attempt to get the ELCA to actually implement it for itself has been suppressed, why seek to rescind a social statement that clearly has no meaning?

I would guess that a vast majority of folks on the ELCA Health Plan follow the guidelines in our Social Statement.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on October 23, 2010, 01:07:53 PM
The ELCA's social statement on abortion was adopted years ago. I know of no serious effort to rescind it or dissent from it. So ptmccain's declarations about what the ELCA laity believe seem ridiculous.

More to the point, I think the Social Statement is ignored or mis-represented.  Why rescind something or dissent from something if you don't pay attention to it or bother to even read it?

For example, at a forum regarding the upcoming (disasterous) statement on Genetics, the official convenor (an ELCA pastor who is active on our Synod's "Church and Society" committee) remarked, vis-a-vis the Abortion Statement that "the ELCA said in the Abortion Social Statement that we would not be involved in legislating the issue."  Which prompted me to ask "Have you read the statement?"  The answer was "Well, no, but I know that it said..."  In fact the statement leans exactly the opposite direction, supposedly commiting the ELCA to a legislative agenda that would reduce the number of abortions by addressing the social causes of abortion and by making it the "option of last resort."  

Or the pastor who got so very angry at me for being anti-abortion, claiming that the Social Statement commited the ELCA to advocating for abortion on demand, with as few legal complications as possible.  Again, did she read the statement?  The answer has to be "NO," because you will not find that type of ethic anywhere in the statement itself.  But why bother dissenting from a statement if you don't even bother to read the darn thing.  Why bother rescinding something if you can just ignore it or try and bend it to say what you want it to say?

The one's who argued vociferously against the Social Statement and opposed it were the ones who believe that abortion is never a morally allowable option.  Most of those people have long since gone from the ELCA.  Some of us newer types have stepped up to try and hold the line.  But again, why bother rescinding something that is widely ignored anyway?  Talking about tilting at windmills...

It says a lot about where we (the ELCA) have come to when the Social Statement on Abortion can be looked at as being a "conservative" stance and even as a model of what a Social Statement might dare to do.  It also says a lot about where we are at that most people don't bother to know that we even have such a statement, or don't bother caring to read what it actually says.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on October 23, 2010, 01:08:43 PM
The ELCA's social statement on abortion was adopted years ago. I know of no serious effort to rescind it or dissent from it. So ptmccain's declarations about what the ELCA laity believe seem ridiculous.

Well, Charles, when every attempt to get the ELCA to actually implement it for itself has been suppressed, why seek to rescind a social statement that clearly has no meaning?

I would guess that a vast majority of folks on the ELCA Health Plan follow the guidelines in our Social Statement.

Huh?

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 23, 2010, 01:11:48 PM
Explain, Pastor Tibbetts, the allegedly failed attempts to "implement" the social statement. That implementation, of course, is in the hands of pastors, congregations, synods and social service agencies.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 01:19:13 PM
Does the ELCA "Social Statement" provide justification for the ELCA's health plan providing unlimited and unrestricted coverage for abortions up to twenty weeks?

Why?
Why not?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 23, 2010, 01:32:26 PM
Does the ELCA "Social Statement" provide justification for the ELCA's health plan providing unlimited and unrestricted coverage for abortions up to twenty weeks?

The ELCA Social Statement tells our people how they should respond to an unwanted pregnancy, regardless of what a health plan might provide.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 02:00:36 PM
Repeating:

Does the ELCA "Social Statement" provide justification for the ELCA's health plan providing unlimited and unrestricted coverage for abortions up to twenty weeks?

Why?
Why not?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 23, 2010, 02:20:21 PM
Does the ELCA "Social Statement" provide justification for the ELCA's health plan providing unlimited and unrestricted coverage for abortions up to twenty weeks?

The ELCA Social Statement tells our people how they should respond to an unwanted pregnancy, regardless of what a health plan might provide.

I think this line from your social statement is appropriate here:

We confess our sin as a community of faith.

Wish you all would for the sake of all those women walking around hurting and confused about why they feel so badly from something that wasn't supposedly wrong.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 23, 2010, 02:37:03 PM
Repeating:

Does the ELCA "Social Statement" provide justification for the ELCA's health plan providing unlimited and unrestricted coverage for abortions up to twenty weeks?

Why?
Why not?

The "justification" I have heard is that there are procedures, such as Dilation and Curettage (D&C) which can be used for an abortion, but are more often used for other health issues, falls under the insurance coding with abortions. As such, the "justification" has nothing to do with the Social Statement, which is meant to teach people (not BlueCross BlueShield).
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 02:40:04 PM
Dodging the question, continues, as per the usual.

The ELCA health plans provided unlimited, unrestricted and unqualified coverage for abortions, up to twenty weeks.

What in the Social Statement justifies this coverage for abortion?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 23, 2010, 02:42:40 PM
[The "justification" I have heard is that there are procedures, such as Dilation and Curettage (D&C) which can be used for an abortion, but are more often used for other health issues, falls under the insurance coding with abortions. As such, the "justification" has nothing to do with the Social Statement, which is meant to teach people (not BlueCross BlueShield).

Nice try, Brian.  You don't give people much credit for being intelligent thinkers, do you?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 23, 2010, 02:51:34 PM
Does the ELCA "Social Statement" provide justification for the ELCA's health plan providing unlimited and unrestricted coverage for abortions up to twenty weeks?

The ELCA Social Statement tells our people how they should respond to an unwanted pregnancy, regardless of what a health plan might provide.

I think this line from your social statement is appropriate here:

We confess our sin as a community of faith.

Wish you all would for the sake of all those women walking around hurting and confused about why they feel so badly from something that wasn't supposedly wrong.

I have not heard anyone in the ELCA say that abortion is not wrong. I have heard folks say that it is the lesser of evils, e.g., to save the life of the mother. We all are people who have discovered that we have sinned when we thought that what we were doing wasn't supposedly wrong. The pastoral care, opportunity for confession and forgiveness, given to someone who has had an abortion should be no different from what we offer any sinner.

My hunch is that if you underlined every sentence in our Social Statement that you agree with, there would be a lot of them -- perhaps even more sentences of agreement than of disagreements.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 02:55:20 PM
Was that young teenage girl you "counseled" with her parents having an abortion to "save her life"? As you have told the story, in various versions, you basically sat there and handed them the ELCA social statement, and sent them on their way, dooming that unborn child to his/her death.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 23, 2010, 03:06:12 PM
Dodging the question, continues, as per the usual.

The ELCA health plans provided unlimited, unrestricted and unqualified coverage for abortions, up to twenty weeks.

What in the Social Statement justifies this coverage for abortion?

Because we are pro-choice and anti-abortion (in most instances). Our Statement basically leaves the choice of continuing a pregnancy or ending it with the mother. The "guidance" given in the Statement is that the woman should seek "support and counsel from family members, pastors, professionals, and confidants whom they trust and respect." We "encourage" women with unintended pregnancies to continue to pregnancy and raise the child of possible or put the child up for adoption.

We "recognize" that there can be "sound reasons for ending a pregnancy." We provide guidance for making that decision. The first guide is one that I find many agree with: "An abortion is morally responsible in those cases in which continuation of a pregnancy presents a clear threat to the physical life of the woman."

The two other situations may have less support from anti-abortionists: in cases of rape or incest, and when "circumstances of extreme fetal abnormality, which will result in severe suffering and very early death of an infant." Then we state that an abortion may be a morally responsible choice.

We do not dictate the choice a woman must make. We provide "guidance". It is possible that a woman under the ELCA health plan could make a choice not in line with our guidance, we have agreed to pay for such choices.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 23, 2010, 03:08:52 PM
Oh, Brian. Such utter and total deceit, you should be ashamed of yourself, but tragically, you are not.

Was that young teenage girl you "counseled" with her parents having an abortion to "save her life"? As you have told the story, in various versions, you basically sat there and handed them the ELCA social statement, and sent them on their way, dooming that unborn child to his/her death.

I suppose I will be told that I'm being "rude" to you by saying this.

After reading our Social Statement on Abortion, they believed that their choice was within the guidelines our church has set for making a morally responsible choice. Because of issues of confidentially I do not want to go into more details. If you think I'm rude for not fully disclosing the details to you, so be it.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 03:09:02 PM
Really, Brian?

"We "encourage" women with unintended pregnancies to continue to pregnancy and raise the child of possible or put the child up for adoption."

Is that what you did when that family came to you with questions about an abortion for their daughter who had become pregnant? You've told us several times that you basically patted them on the heads, made them feel better about their decision to seek an abortion, and sent them on their way with a copy of the ELCA Social Statement. As for "not wanting to go into details" — you already have, several times on this forum.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 23, 2010, 04:25:52 PM
The "guidance" given in the Statement is that the woman should seek "support and counsel from family members, pastors, professionals, and confidants whom they trust and respect."

Sorry, Brian, when she realizes (if she hasn't already) what a dreadful mistake she made in taking the life of an unborn baby, "trust" and "respect" are not going to be her words of choice for her pastor.  I strongly urge you to research information relating to post-abortion syndrome and seek her out for additional counsel.  It is the loving and pastoral thing to do, even if you neglected these duties on the front end. 

http://www.word-of-hope.org/index.php/what-may-happen-after-an-abortion
http://www.word-of-hope.org/index.php/understanding-abortions-aftermath
http://www.word-of-hope.org/index.php/your-church-can-help-with-post-abortion
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 23, 2010, 04:33:03 PM
We do not dictate the choice a woman must make. We provide "guidance". It is possible that a woman under the ELCA health plan could make a choice not in line with our guidance, we have agreed to pay for such choices.

Neither do we "dictate the choice a woman must make." But God does. I pray that all who will not speak His word of life on behalf of the voiceless unborn will come to repentance.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 23, 2010, 04:40:33 PM
I am reminded to pray for the very salvation of some of the Lutheran pastors who participate in this forum.  It never ceases to amaze me or fill me with incredulity that I feel compelled to do so.
I also invite anyone so motivated, to pray for me.   I can always use general prayer.
Especially for obedience to the commandments.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 23, 2010, 04:45:51 PM
We do not dictate the choice a woman must make. We provide "guidance". It is possible that a woman under the ELCA health plan could make a choice not in line with our guidance, we have agreed to pay for such choices.

Neither do we "dictate the choice a woman must make." But God does. I pray that all who will not speak His word of life on behalf of the voiceless unborn will come to repentance.

Indeed.  Silence is acceptance, and even worse, bankrolling is encouragement!
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 23, 2010, 07:17:01 PM
"Pro-choice and anti-abortion" is an intellectually lazy and morally reprehensible position. Why be anti-abortion? Why make them rare? If the death of a baby is a factor in answering that, the pro-choice position crumbles under the weight of its own folly.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 23, 2010, 07:49:08 PM
"Pro-choice and anti-abortion" is an intellectually lazy and morally reprehensible position. Why be anti-abortion? Why make them rare? If the death of a baby is a factor in answering that, the pro-choice position crumbles under the weight of its own folly.

The argument for pro-choice and still anti-abortion is based on whether or not the Kingdom of the Right should demand that the Kingdom of the Left enforce God's law. One can disagree about demanding that the Kingdom of the Left compels everyone to conform to God's Law, including those who do not believe in God. But it seems a bit excessive to call such a position "intellectually lazy and morally reprehensible position". No one should call a position of being "pro charity for the poor but anti government redistribution of wealth programs" an "intellectually lazy and morally reprehensible position". It can be seen as an issue of who is the proper authority to enforce God's Law, God's church or human political institutions.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 08:08:35 PM
The argument for pro-choice and still anti-abortion is based on whether or not the Kingdom of the Right should demand that the Kingdom of the Left enforce God's law. One can disagree about demanding that the Kingdom of the Left compels everyone to conform to God's Law, including those who do not believe in God. But it seems a bit excessive to call such a position "intellectually lazy and morally reprehensible position". No one should call a position of being "pro charity for the poor but anti government redistribution of wealth programs" an "intellectually lazy and morally reprehensible position". It can be seen as an issue of who is the proper authority to enforce God's Law, God's church or human political institutions.

George, do you think that people have to believe in God before they can recognize killing another human being is wrong?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 23, 2010, 08:11:10 PM
The argument for pro-choice and still anti-abortion is based on whether or not the Kingdom of the Right should demand that the Kingdom of the Left enforce God's law. One can disagree about demanding that the Kingdom of the Left compels everyone to conform to God's Law, including those who do not believe in God. But it seems a bit excessive to call such a position "intellectually lazy and morally reprehensible position". No one should call a position of being "pro charity for the poor but anti government redistribution of wealth programs" an "intellectually lazy and morally reprehensible position". It can be seen as an issue of who is the proper authority to enforce God's Law, God's church or human political institutions.

George, do you think that people have to believe in God before they can recognize killing another human being is wrong?
That's the point. Are you really against all laws prohibiting murder merely because the Fifth Commandment is God's Law?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 23, 2010, 08:33:11 PM
George, the whole point of those arguing against abortion is because of the love and compassion we have for an innocent child.  We also have love and compassion for the mother (and father) who will suffer greatly when she comes to the realization that she has killed her child.  As was just stated, we have laws put into place by our government to protect us all from being murdered.  That should carry over to the infants in a mothers' womb, and sadly, your church body could care less about both mother and child when they look the other way on the issue of abortion.  I will put forth this link (http://www.ehd.org/movies.php?mov_id=204) to a video of a child at 8 weeks' gestation for anyone who still doubts that a child being formed in the womb is any less worthy of protection by our laws than you or I.  (This site even claims "bioethical neutrality" . . . interesting phrase.)  Maybe it's time the ELCA's position on abortion catch up with the technology.  The lies are becoming more difficult to hide behind with each new technological advance we see within the medical community.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 23, 2010, 08:51:08 PM
The argument for pro-choice and still anti-abortion is based on whether or not the Kingdom of the Right should demand that the Kingdom of the Left enforce God's law. One can disagree about demanding that the Kingdom of the Left compels everyone to conform to God's Law, including those who do not believe in God. But it seems a bit excessive to call such a position "intellectually lazy and morally reprehensible position". No one should call a position of being "pro charity for the poor but anti government redistribution of wealth programs" an "intellectually lazy and morally reprehensible position". It can be seen as an issue of who is the proper authority to enforce God's Law, God's church or human political institutions.

George, do you think that people have to believe in God before they can recognize killing another human being is wrong?

I never said that. I never said that it was my personal position that the Kingdom of the Left shouldn't prevail upon the Kingdom of the Right to enforce God's laws. I was talking about the statement that the argument was an "intellectually lazy and morally reprehensible position". I believe that dismissing a valid but non-compelling argument in such a cavalier fashion is excessive and inaccurate. My point was that there is too much merit in that argument to dismiss it as an "intellectually lazy and morally reprehensible position". The worst that I believe that can be said about that position is that even though it has some merit, it doesn't have sufficient merit to prevail over the more compelling argument that all means are appropriate when innocent life is at stake.

And though I don't think people have to believe in God before they can recognize that killing another human being is wrong, I also know that there are many, many people who do not believe killing another human being is wrong, they only believe that they'll be punished for it if they are caught. I'll wager that there are many people who regard many issues as not being a question of right or wrong, but merely a question of legal or illegal.

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 09:10:04 PM
George, what is your point, and what does it have to do with the discussion going on in this topic?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 23, 2010, 09:12:13 PM
George, what is your point, and what does it have to do with the discussion going on in this topic?

I believe that dismissing a valid but non-compelling argument in such a cavalier fashion is excessive and inaccurate. My point was that there is too much merit in that argument to dismiss it as an "intellectually lazy and morally reprehensible position". The worst that I believe that can be said about that position is that even though it has some merit, it doesn't have sufficient merit to prevail over the more compelling argument that all means are appropriate when innocent life is at stake.


What part of those sentences did you not understand?

And, regarding the topic, to have someone in the LC-MS dismiss an opinion held by many in the ELCA in such a rude and cavalier fashion can inhibit some ELCA people from being willing to work alongside LC-MS people on that cause. They might work separately towards the same goal, but that's not the same as working together.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 09:28:24 PM
George, again, your perspective on this is utterly baffling.

You really think a person like Brian Stoffregen would, or could, ever support an organization that teaches that abortion is the sinful murder of a child and would never, in a million years, support how he handled the situation he has described several times on this forum, the family who came to him for advice/counsel on seeking an abortion for their daughter?

Who else has advocated the kind of absurd opinion, you now seem to think is somehow compatible with any aspect of Lutheran for Life's work?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 23, 2010, 09:28:51 PM
And, regarding the topic, to have someone in the LC-MS dismiss an opinion held by many in the ELCA in such a rude and cavalier fashion can inhibit some ELCA people from being willing to work alongside LC-MS people on that cause. They might work separately towards the same goal, but that's not the same as working together.

Can you provide some examples of how the ELCA is working towards upholding the sanctity of human life in such a separate manner as you suggest?  If Lutherans for Life isn't welcoming enough because they're too LCMS-ish, then just what are these pro-life ELCA members doing?  I would love to hear about their efforts, truly.  I am of the mindset that not much is happening because of the overall position taken by the ELCA, but I would love to be proven wrong.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 23, 2010, 10:40:07 PM
George, again, your perspective on this is utterly baffling.

You really think a person like Brian Stoffregen would, or could, ever support an organization that teaches that abortion is the sinful murder of a child and would never, in a million years, support how he handled the situation he has described several times on this forum, the family who came to him for advice/counsel on seeking an abortion for their daughter?

Who else has advocated the kind of absurd opinion, you now seem to think is somehow compatible with any aspect of Lutheran for Life's work?

Brian Stoffregen is only one person in the ELCA, and certainly not typical of those in the ELCA. Frankly, he's more an embarrassment to many of us in the ELCA who know him than he is a candidate to be the ELCA's poster boy. It's rather baffling to me why you'd pick a "black sheep" of the ELCA as an example of a typical member.

I also never said that the position that I half-heartedly defended as something that shouldn't be dismissed in such a cavalier fashion was universally held by all members of the ELCA. It is a position held by some, in an organization that has no core, no foundation, no mutually accepted positions that all members accept or deny. Those in the ELCA who hold that opinion, wrong though it may be, are only a segment of the total membership of laity and clergy. There are plenty of others who think that position is wrong, who do not hold it, but who nevertheless would think twice about working with an organization in which many of the leaders would make such an attack on a position they disagree with. If that's how the people in the LC-MS dismiss other Lutherans they disagree with on one thing, how will they dismiss others they disagree with? For example, a member of the ELCA who wants to fight abortion might wonder would they be as rude and dismissive of them if they suggested that buying radio spots was a better and more effective use of funds than printing brochures that will sit in a literature bin for weeks and weeks without being read.

And, regarding the topic, to have someone in the LC-MS dismiss an opinion held by many in the ELCA in such a rude and cavalier fashion can inhibit some ELCA people from being willing to work alongside LC-MS people on that cause. They might work separately towards the same goal, but that's not the same as working together.

Can you provide some examples of how the ELCA is working towards upholding the sanctity of human life in such a separate manner as you suggest?  If Lutherans for Life isn't welcoming enough because they're too LCMS-ish, then just what are these pro-life ELCA members doing?  I would love to hear about their efforts, truly.  I am of the mindset that not much is happening because of the overall position taken by the ELCA, but I would love to be proven wrong.

No, I cannot. I do my best to ignore what Higgins Road does. But, I'm sure that if I was interested in finding out, it would be as difficult finding any information about that than it is finding information about what the ELCA actually believes, as in the thread about the Genios comparison of the ELCA and LC-MS.

And personally, I am supporting several candidates for elective office who oppose abortion being legal. I find that single-issue pressure groups tend to be ineffective at getting things accomplished, even when it's things I agree with. Campaigns to persuade people already in elected office to change their minds on any issue is a very difficult task compared with simply replacing them with different people whose minds don't need to be changed. 
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 10:51:08 PM
George, anyone who thinks he can be pro-choice and pro-life would never be able to support the aims of Lutherans for Life, so again, what's the point of your remarks?

You are simply making no sense.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 23, 2010, 10:58:09 PM
There are plenty of others who think that position is wrong, who do not hold it, but who nevertheless would think twice about working with an organization in which many of the leaders would make such an attack on a position they disagree with. If that's how the people in the LC-MS dismiss other Lutherans they disagree with on one thing, how will they dismiss others they disagree with? For example, a member of the ELCA who wants to fight abortion might wonder would they be as rude and dismissive of them if they suggested that buying radio spots was a better and more effective use of funds than printing brochures that will sit in a literature bin for weeks and weeks without being read.

So they'll dismiss working with an organization that does share their Biblical view on the sanctity of life, but they'll remain part of an organization that completely goes against their view on the same issue (the ELCA church body).  That's logic I just can't wrap my little brain around, George.  It's easy for me to say that, I suppose, since I left the ELCA mostly over this issue.

You keep talking about the proverbial literature sitting in a bin unread.  As with this forum, today's youth (and the not so youthful) navigate the web for their information needs.  The most accessible form of information that LFL puts out can be found on their web site (http://www.lutheransforlife.org/).  I'm not even sure radio advertising is as an effective medium these days.

As has been said on here by both LCMS folks and a couple of ELCA folks who have first-hand knowledge of LFL, nobody would mistreat an ELCA person interested in joining LFL or participating in an LFL event.  As I have mentioned previously on this thread, in all the realms of human care work that I've been a part of, no ministry is more unifying among Christians of ALL denominations than pro-life ministry (specifically a pregnancy resource center).  Hands down.  God works in amazing ways through those volunteers that are the last line of defense from Satan and his schemes.  Life or death hangs in the balance every day, and these people set aside their theological differences for the sake of sharing the love of Christ with mother and child (and dad if he comes). 
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 11:00:33 PM
Again, I don't know what George is driving at with his participation in this topic.

He says that it is the LFL's fault that more ELCA congregations and pastors are not involved.
He says he won't lift a finger to start a LFL chapter in his own congregation.

No idea what he is talking about.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 23, 2010, 11:28:58 PM
George, anyone who thinks he can be pro-choice and pro-life would never be able to support the aims of Lutherans for Life, so again, what's the point of your remarks?

You are simply making no sense.

No one said "pro-choice and pro-life". What was said was "Pro choice and anti-abortion". That's something different.

And it's not about Lutherans For Life convincing people who are "Pro choice and anti-abortion" to join them. It is that dismissing and ridiculing any who hold the position of being "Pro choice and anti-abortion" can tend to make people in the ELCA who are both anti-abortion and anti-choice look for another, less rude and judgemental group of people to work with. It's not like there's a shortage of other alternative groups to work with.

There are plenty of others who think that position is wrong, who do not hold it, but who nevertheless would think twice about working with an organization in which many of the leaders would make such an attack on a position they disagree with. If that's how the people in the LC-MS dismiss other Lutherans they disagree with on one thing, how will they dismiss others they disagree with? For example, a member of the ELCA who wants to fight abortion might wonder would they be as rude and dismissive of them if they suggested that buying radio spots was a better and more effective use of funds than printing brochures that will sit in a literature bin for weeks and weeks without being read.

So they'll dismiss working with an organization that does share their Biblical view on the sanctity of life, but they'll remain part of an organization that completely goes against their view on the same issue (the ELCA church body).  That's logic I just can't wrap my little brain around, George.  It's easy for me to say that, I suppose, since I left the ELCA mostly over this issue.


Understand, Lutherans For Life ain't the only anti-abortion game in town. You folks don't have a monopoly on fighting abortion. There are lots and lots of organizations people can join to fight against abortion. If there are 47 other anti-abortion groups one can join to work on fighting against abortion, and someone joins one of them, that doesn't mean that they've "rejected" the other 46. You don't even have to join an organization to fight against abortion. You can do what I do and support candidates who include opposition to abortion among the many things that they stand for, and work on getting them elected.

I know more than a few people who are strongly anti-abortion who are atheists, secular humanists, or members of religions other than Christianity. Between them and all of the Christian people I know who oppose abortion and want to work against it, the primary factor in deciding which group to work with is which group they've heard of has the best track record of getting things accomplished. If I thought the most effective group to work with to fight abortion was the local chapter of the B'nai B'rith, then they're the people I'd work with.

As has been said on here by both LCMS folks and a couple of ELCA folks who have first-hand knowledge of LFL, nobody would mistreat an ELCA person interested in joining LFL or participating in an LFL event.  As I have mentioned previously on this thread, in all the realms of human care work that I've been a part of, no ministry is more unifying among Christians of ALL denominations than pro-life ministry (specifically a pregnancy resource center).  Hands down.  God works in amazing ways through those volunteers that are the last line of defense from Satan and his schemes.  Life or death hangs in the balance every day, and these people set aside their theological differences for the sake of sharing the love of Christ with mother and child (and dad if he comes). 

You're pushing me really close to that breaking point we discussed in another thread. I don't care about what people with first hand knowledge know. What matters most to people deciding whether or not to work with a group that's strongly identified with the LC-MS is what the people doing the deciding think they know about the LC-MS. I don't know how many times I can repeat that it's not about what the people who've entered through your door think about you, it's what the people who won't go through your door because of their misconceptions that are caused by things like Pastor Speckhard's insult to those who don't share his views. And I realize that he only said it in here, not to the world at large. But it is typical of the kind of statements that come from people in the LC-MS that perpetuate the bad reputation the LC-MS has to deal with.

The real question is why should anyone who has a plethora of choices of anti-abortion groups to join venture over into unknown territory to an organization with a bad reputation just to see if the reputation is true or not?

In less than five minutes I found these 17 organizations:

American Life League—Judy Brown's pro-life organization, parent to several other organizations
Americans United for Life—Defending life through litigation, legislation and education
Feminists for Life—Promoting authentic feminism that respects life and motherhood, honorary chair Patricia Heaton
Human Life International—Pro-life organization operating in countries around the world
L.E.A.R.N., Inc.—(Life Education and Resource Network) African-American pro-life group
Life Decisions International—Dedicated to fighting Planned Parenthood's anti-life agenda worldwide
Life Principles—Healing the culture by nurturing the princples that underlie the pro-life philosophy, founded by Robert Spitzer, SJ
March for Life—National headquarters for the annual March for Life on the Washington Mall
National Right to Life—One of the Nation's oldest pro-life education and lobbying organizations
Personhood USA—Advocating for pre-born children by coordinating efforts to establish legal "personhood" through peaceful activism and legislative efforts
Pharmacists For Life International—The 100% pro-life pharmicists group
Precious Life—Fighting to keep abortion out of Northern Ireland and shut down abortion-referral organizations
Roe No More Ministries—Website of Norma McCorvey, aka "Roe" from Roe v Wade
Silent Scream—Information and pictures on abortion and fetal development
STOPP Planned Parenthood—ALL's campaign to confront Planned Parenthood's pro-abortion, anti-chastity efforts
The Center for Bioethical Reform— Using graphic images to fight abortion
Vida Humana Internacional—HLI's Spanish language outreach, with comprehensive abortion information, crisis pregnancy resources and pro-life materials

Why should someone from the ELCA join Lutherans For Life when they can join any of those above, and the dozens and dozens of other groups anyone could find with a little bit more effort? You keep making impassioned pleas for people to fight abortion. OK, you've made your point. Now that I'm convinced I need to be a soldier in that war, convince me why I should enlist in Lutherans For Life instead of one of those other groups. What advantage is there to working through Lutherans For Life instead of some other group?

Has Lutherans For Life gotten more anti-abortion candidates elected to Congress? Has Lutherans For Life gotten any new judges appointed? What's Lutherans For Life's track record for accomplishment?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2010, 11:39:23 PM
George, which anti-abortion effort are you personally involved in and support with your time, talent and treasure? If LFL is not your personal cup of tea, care to share which one is, and why?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 24, 2010, 12:05:04 AM
George, which anti-abortion effort are you personally involved in and support with your time, talent and treasure? If LFL is not your personal cup of tea, care to share which one is, and why?

Asked and answered earlier.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 12:19:26 AM
Sorry, Brian, when she realizes (if she hasn't already) what a dreadful mistake she made in taking the life of an unborn baby, "trust" and "respect" are not going to be her words of choice for her pastor.  I strongly urge you to research information relating to post-abortion syndrome and seek her out for additional counsel.  It is the loving and pastoral thing to do, even if you neglected these duties on the front end. 

Isn't is possible for a woman to believe that she made the right decision to have an abortion -- especially when the decision was inline with her church's guidance?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 12:21:12 AM
We do not dictate the choice a woman must make. We provide "guidance". It is possible that a woman under the ELCA health plan could make a choice not in line with our guidance, we have agreed to pay for such choices.

Neither do we "dictate the choice a woman must make." But God does.

From the beginning of creation, God gave humans the right to make choices -- even if they are wrong ones -- and when we do that, God has offered us forgiveness.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 24, 2010, 12:42:27 AM
Explain, Pastor Tibbetts, the allegedly failed attempts to "implement" the social statement. That implementation, of course, is in the hands of pastors, congregations, synods and social service agencies.

Thursday night (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=424.msg183342#msg183342) and three pages earlier in this topic are too long ago for you to recall, eh?



Meanwhile, the following resolution was approved by the 2009 Northern Illinois Synod Assembly:

Quote
Prayer for the Unborn and for Women Facing Problematic Pregnancies

Whereas: “A Social Statement on Abortion” adopted by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in 1991 affirmed that “our love for neighbor embraces especially those who are most vulnerable, including both the pregnant woman and the life in her womb;” and

Whereas:  Prayer is an indispensable aspect of Christian love for the neighbor – a fact elucidated by one Lutheran theologian when he wrote: “For by prayer love of neighbor is integrated into believers’ relation to God as participation in his love for the world.  Prayer prevents the practice of neighborly love from becoming simply our own moral work” (Wolfhart Pannenberg, Systematic Theology 3, p.205); and

Whereas:  A common resource for intercessory prayer in the liturgies of ELCA congregations, Sundays and Seasons, rarely if ever includes the unborn or women facing problematic pregnancies among the vulnerable for whom we are encouraged to pray;

Therefore Be It Resolved, that each year the congregations of this synod shall be reminded and encouraged, through Walking Together, to include on the Sunday nearest to March 25, The Annunciation of Our Lord, intercessions for the unborn and for women and their partners facing problematic pregnancies.

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 24, 2010, 01:13:01 AM
Sorry, Brian, when she realizes (if she hasn't already) what a dreadful mistake she made in taking the life of an unborn baby, "trust" and "respect" are not going to be her words of choice for her pastor.  I strongly urge you to research information relating to post-abortion syndrome and seek her out for additional counsel.  It is the loving and pastoral thing to do, even if you neglected these duties on the front end. 

Isn't is possible for a woman to believe that she made the right decision to have an abortion -- especially when the decision was inline with her church's guidance?

It's possible for anyone to believe anything, no matter how wrong it might be, for any number of reasons. Look at your own often stated judgements and interpretations.
Title: Ohio Judge Lets Pregnant Teen Marry Without Consent After Bride Says Parents Wou
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2010, 06:33:37 AM
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/10/23/ohio-mom-angry-judge-let-year-old-daughter-marry/

Ohio Judge Lets Pregnant Teen Marry Without Consent After Bride Says Parents Would Force Abortion

COLUMBUS, Ohio –  An Ohio judge allowed a pregnant 17-year-old to get married without her parents' consent after the bride-to-be said she could be forced to have an abortion if she stayed at home.
<snip>
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 24, 2010, 06:39:01 AM
Sounds like the court supported the young woman's right to choose.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 24, 2010, 06:59:24 AM
Isn't is possible for a woman to believe that she made the right decision to have an abortion -- especially when the decision was inline with her church's guidance?

Absolutely! Many do.  And they've been deceived by Satan just as Eve was that it was a good and salutary thing to do.  Then, if you review the post-abortion links I provided upthread, you'd come to understand how the guilt and shame manifests itself.  It may take years and years, but it happens.  Period.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 24, 2010, 07:00:28 AM
We do not dictate the choice a woman must make. We provide "guidance". It is possible that a woman under the ELCA health plan could make a choice not in line with our guidance, we have agreed to pay for such choices.

Neither do we "dictate the choice a woman must make." But God does.

From the beginning of creation, God gave humans the right to make choices -- even if they are wrong ones -- and when we do that, God has offered us forgiveness.

And being sorry for our sins doesn't fit into the equation?  Hmmmm . . . what a nice pastor you must be.  I'll bet everyone likes you.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 24, 2010, 07:04:42 AM
Deaconess Schave writes (re Pastor Stoffregen):
And being sorry for our sins doesn't fit into the equation?  Hmmmm . . . what a nice pastor you must be.  I'll bet everyone likes you.

I comment:
Cheap shot, deaconess. Unworthy of you.

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2010, 07:09:02 AM
 And they've been deceived by Satan just as Eve was that it was a good and salutary thing to do.  

Ahhh, but belief in Satan is 'optional' in the ELCA.  Some believe this, while others believe that.
Quote
http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/New-or-Returning-to-Church/Dig-Deeper/Satan.aspx
Satan
 
Does this evil being exist?

We must begin by saying that there are ELCA Lutherans who understand Satan (or the Devil) to be a very real being, author of evil, prompter of sin, destroyer of humankind. Other ELCA Lutherans view Satan metaphorically — as the personification of evil forces in this world that oppose and obstruct God’s will in every age, be they human or spiritual. Adherents of both views would agree that sinful, evil forces do exist and oppose God’s will for humankind, that in God’s plan for humankind these forces were defeated on the cross, are under God’s power and authority, and will ultimately be destroyed under God’s judgement.
<snip>
 
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 24, 2010, 07:12:39 AM
Understand, Lutherans For Life ain't the only anti-abortion game in town. You folks don't have a monopoly on fighting abortion.

I put forth the types of pro-life organizations above in another post.  LFL is an information clearinghouse for the most part.  THE TOPIC OF THIS THREAD relates to LFL, so that is the organization being discussed.  Not yet has anyone said it's the only game in town.  And you say people don't get your point?

That's great that you support candidates who will work against those who are in favor of legalized abortion on demand.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 24, 2010, 07:21:01 AM
Deaconess Schave writes (re Pastor Stoffregen):
And being sorry for our sins doesn't fit into the equation?  Hmmmm . . . what a nice pastor you must be.  I'll bet everyone likes you.

I comment:
Cheap shot, deaconess. Unworthy of you.



I'm learning from the best on here!  Unworthy of me?  Please . . . how many times have I said what a wretched sinner I am?  Very impressive that you'll point out my perceived sin since my point is the following:  my husband/pastor has had to deal with some pretty irrate people through the last several years for calling out their sin in order to bring them to repentance.  If a pastor isn't making members angry at times (through a loving admonishment for sinful behavior), I question his ability to bring them to a true understanding of repentance.  What is the reason for this Jesus we're preaching about if we can't recognize our sinful state?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 24, 2010, 07:26:34 AM
Deaconess Schave writes:
What is the reason for this Jesus we're preaching about if we can't recognize our sinful state?
I comment:
Been down this road before. We preach about Jesus so that people know about God's grace. First. Foremost. Finally. All else follows.
You seem to enjoy the "calling out sin" and making people irate because you do so. O.k with me, I guess, if it works for you.

But your shot at Pastor Stoffregen was still out of line.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 24, 2010, 07:31:34 AM
You're pushing me really close to that breaking point we discussed in another thread.

Am I to understand you have a few choice words waiting in your arsenal for me?  Threats and name calling bother me little.  I've probably been called every name known to man (and woman) in my lifetime.  Give it your best shot, though.   ;)

Quote
I don't care about what people with first hand knowledge know. What matters most to people deciding whether or not to work with a group that's strongly identified with the LC-MS is what the people doing the deciding think they know about the LC-MS. I don't know how many times I can repeat that it's not about what the people who've entered through your door think about you, it's what the people who won't go through your door because of their misconceptions that are caused by things like Pastor Speckhard's insult to those who don't share his views. And I realize that he only said it in here, not to the world at large. But it is typical of the kind of statements that come from people in the LC-MS that perpetuate the bad reputation the LC-MS has to deal with.

And you make for such the ambassador of the organizations you represent based on your behavior on this forum.  It goes both ways, George, honestly.

Quote
The real question is why should anyone who has a plethora of choices of anti-abortion groups to join venture over into unknown territory to an organization with a bad reputation just to see if the reputation is true or not?

Only a couple of people on this forum are equating the LCMS-ness of LFL to mean it's a "bad" organization.

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 24, 2010, 07:33:40 AM
Deaconess Schave writes:
What is the reason for this Jesus we're preaching about if we can't recognize our sinful state?
I comment:
Been down this road before. We preach about Jesus so that people know about God's grace. First. Foremost. Finally. All else follows.
You seem to enjoy the "calling out sin" and making people irate because you do so. O.k with me, I guess, if it works for you.

But your shot at Pastor Stoffregen was still out of line.

If there had been a tongue-in-cheek emoticon, it would have been used.  You are so funny and make me laugh, though.  How easy it is to point out others' bad behavior.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 24, 2010, 07:40:09 AM
Has Lutherans For Life gotten more anti-abortion candidates elected to Congress? Has Lutherans For Life gotten any new judges appointed? What's Lutherans For Life's track record for accomplishment?

Again, George, they are an EDUCATIONAL organization working within the church.  They are not political, and they are not the hands-on ministry that other pro-life organizations are.  Their purpose is very specific.  Their record of accomplishment will likely only be known in heaven.  Not everyone will feel called to support this organization.  It remains as a viable source of information for the Lutheran churches and members who wish to make us of it.  For those who don't wish to, they simply don't need to.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 24, 2010, 07:49:06 AM
Deaconess Schave writes:
What is the reason for this Jesus we're preaching about if we can't recognize our sinful state?
I comment:
Been down this road before. We preach about Jesus so that people know about God's grace. First. Foremost. Finally. All else follows.

What do we need God's grace for?  If it isn't from our sinful state, than I don't understand your point.  Can you help me me understand?

And truly, what you call a "shot" at Brian was really a compliment.  I'm sure he is liked if he doesn't make the tough call with parishioners as in the case of how he counseled a woman contemplating abortion on this thread.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 24, 2010, 08:24:48 AM
Understand, Lutherans For Life ain't the only anti-abortion game in town. You folks don't have a monopoly on fighting abortion.

I put forth the types of pro-life organizations above in another post.  LFL is an information clearinghouse for the most part.  THE TOPIC OF THIS THREAD relates to LFL, so that is the organization being discussed.  Not yet has anyone said it's the only game in town.  And you say people don't get your point?

That's great that you support candidates who will work against those who are in favor of legalized abortion on demand.


I realize that other anti-abortion groups aren't the topic, but your persistent hammering away at the point that if one didn't join Lutherans For Life one wasn't against abortion could only be addressed by pointing out that it wasn't the only game in town.

Has Lutherans For Life gotten more anti-abortion candidates elected to Congress? Has Lutherans For Life gotten any new judges appointed? What's Lutherans For Life's track record for accomplishment?

Again, George, they are an EDUCATIONAL organization working within the church.  They are not political, and they are not the hands-on ministry that other pro-life organizations are.  Their purpose is very specific.  Their record of accomplishment will likely only be known in heaven.  Not everyone will feel called to support this organization.  It remains as a viable source of information for the Lutheran churches and members who wish to make us of it.  For those who don't wish to, they simply don't need to.

Then the third degree Pastor McCain has been giving me about what I'm doing personally makes even less sense. If Lutherans For Life is only an educational organization, then what difference does it make if many people participate. When all is said and done about working against abortion, what is said matters little. Only what is done really matters.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2010, 10:17:29 AM
Isn't is possible for a woman to believe that she made the right decision to have an abortion -- especially when the decision was inline with her church's guidance?

Absolutely! Many do.  And they've been deceived by Satan just as Eve was that it was a good and salutary thing to do.  Then, if you review the post-abortion links I provided upthread, you'd come to understand how the guilt and shame manifests itself.  It may take years and years, but it happens.  Period.

So, in your opinion it is better to save the life of the child than the mother, because the abortion will cause the mother to be full of guilt and shame.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 24, 2010, 01:33:43 PM
Sorry, Brian, when she realizes (if she hasn't already) what a dreadful mistake she made in taking the life of an unborn baby, "trust" and "respect" are not going to be her words of choice for her pastor.  I strongly urge you to research information relating to post-abortion syndrome and seek her out for additional counsel.  It is the loving and pastoral thing to do, even if you neglected these duties on the front end. 

Isn't is possible for a woman to believe that she made the right decision to have an abortion -- especially when the decision was inline with her church's guidance?
It is indeed possible to believe anything, especially when it is in keeping with church guidance. Which is why it is important for church guidance to be true.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 24, 2010, 01:56:12 PM
So, in your opinion it is better to save the life of the child than the mother, because the abortion will cause the mother to be full of guilt and shame.

First of all Brian, please let me know if I owe you an apology for my snarkiness earlier.  Charles points out that I made a cheap shot at you.  I've since participated in the Divine Service and thought I should probably reconcile this with you.  I honestly meant that you are probably a very likable guy if you don't have to point out sin to people.  I have been personally angry at pastors who have pointed out where I'm wrong in the past.  I was a little annoyed with Charles this morning as a matter of fact, but I respect that he's a pastor who wanted to point out that I may have sinned against you.  If there is a need for me to seek your forgiveness, I'd love for you to tell me so.  It wouldn't quite be right for me to rail on you guys for not pointing out sin if I am not willing to make things right as a result of my own.

To your question, I love the mom, dad and baby and hope for nothing more than to be able to offer counsel from the perspective of all three of them when I'm priviliged to be in a situation to discuss the alternatives they're considering.  I've seen doctors misdiagnose threatening conditions for a mother only to be proven incorrect by 2nd opinions from other physicians, so this reason for having an abortion can be problematic.  

This is a link to the position a group of physicians takes on this scenario.  They can speak better than I can as to the true medical necessity of an abortion given the level of risk to the mother's life.

http://www.prolifephysicians.org/rarecases.htm

In the end, the author and creator of life picks who lives and who dies in my mind.  If in our sinful state we take matters into our own hands, the same forgiveness available to us all for the myriad of other sins we all commit every day is available.  Abortion is not an unforgivable sin by any means.  
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 24, 2010, 03:51:17 PM
For anyone who is interested, allow me to share how I moved from being a pro-choice feminist who happened to be a member of the ELCA to the pro-mom/dad/baby woman of God that I am today who by the grace of God found a church home in the LCMS.  I know this is far too long for a typical post, but I hoped it might clarify why I am so passionate on this issue and don’t hesitate to call abortion a sin.

I grew up outside the church, finally convinced my parents to begin attending an ALC church close to our home where my mother had attended as a kid.  I was baptized and confirmed at the age of 18.  My parents and I attended off and on until I graduated and left for Army basic training later that year.  It was nice to know I was in the club if I happened to die, basically.  I grew up somehow believing in God and being taught about Jesus on the occasion that I went to church with friends or a VBS at a local church.   I remember one time deciding with a friend that we’d memorize the Lord’s Prayer together from the little Gideon Bible we acquired from somewhere.  She wasn’t a church-goer either.  Those were my only experiences with God as a kid.

Both before and after my baptism I participated in helping friends make decisions to get abortions.  At that age, the world is ending if you don’t solve your immediate problem . . . you certainly can’t see that this too, shall pass.  My particular circle of friends at certain times didn’t have parents they felt they could trust or pastors to turn to for wise counsel.  There was still actually shame in the 80’s for being known as sexually active, which isn’t exactly the case these days in most secular circles.  Abortion was fine in my mind, what difference did it really make, it’s just a blob of tissue that gets vacuumed out in a procedure simpler than having your tonsils taken out, right?  More power to any woman who wants to exercise her right to choose what’s best for her body.

Fast forward about eight years to 1995 when I was blessed to be carrying the future left and right guards for The Ohio State University as my husband and I would so lovingly joke.  It was totally out of the blue; twins do not run in either of our families.  Twin boys were on the way, and my husband couldn’t be more proud as a dad.  The big items were purchased, the nursery was ready, we hadn’t quite gotten to the point that we had showers scheduled, yet out of the blue at work one day I started feeling rather ill and subsequently lost a lot of fluid.  I was 24 weeks’ into my pregnancy, we had known for only about 2 weeks we were expecting twins, and the dream all came crashing down in just one day.  I met my doctor at Christ Hospital (I cherish this hospital name yet today), then was transferred by ambulance to the nearest research hospital for an emergency C-section . . . it was too late to stop labor.  I found much comfort in the Biblical number of 7 on that July 7, 1995, day.

The only recourse for a mother at that point is to beg and plead with God to save her children.  I think I bargained in every way I could think of with him while I was still conscious on the operating room table.  I offered to dedicate them both to His service if God would allow them to live (I’m guessing the readings at church that week must have been based on 1 Samuel (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20samuel%201:21-28&version=ESV) and were fresh in my mind, I don’t know).   In the end, He would not grant that (or so it seemed at the time).

My one pound boys who could fit in the palm of our hands,  named Joshua and Zachary, lived for one day.  My husband has better recall than I do of all that happened in those 24 hours.  I tried to get down to the NICU once and ended up throwing up all over; I never made it back to see them.  Today I think it’s because God was protecting me from the memories I’d still have today of how fragile they must have looked hooked up to all the equipment.   My perfectly formed little blessings each had 10 perfect little fingers, 10 perfect little toes, handsome little faces, quite a bit of hair, and were simply created perfect in every way.  I wanted these little babies more than anything in the world, and for whatever reason, God said “no.”  To say I was a little angry with Him would be an understatement!  Our faithful pastor baptized the boys in my husband’s presence in their little incubators; I was not able to witness it, but I cling to the assurance of this gift nonetheless.   

When it was time to take them off life-support, they were lovingly swaddled and brought to us so we could say good-bye.  I had to that point never seen anything in my life as precious as those little bundles.  We had about an hour or so to check out their little fingers and toes before we knew it was time to say good-bye.  There is a discoloration that takes place when the oxygen levels decrease as babies die, and that point had come.  Their tiny little noses started bleeding, and I’ll never forget wiping them with the greatest amount of love a mother can muster.  My favorite scene in the Mel Gibson “The Passion of the Christ” movie is when Mary is wiping up her son’s precious blood  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFQAusbaw04)from the ground with a stark white piece of cloth.  His blood was simply not fit to be left there.  From the perspective of a mother, this just cannot be described, only experienced.

In the weeks following, after my father-in-law took down the nursery before I came home, after the tombstone and burial plot were picked out, after the graveside service, after the negotiating of final hospital bills, my pastor kept me focused on a very loving Father who allowed His own Son die to for my sake.  This Father had the power to stop the abuse His own son would endure, but He loved us so much that He chose not to stop it.  Oh, that pastors in all church bodies, especially the ELCA as this pastor was, would recognize the gift of Life.  He had lost his own child to cancer and knew all too well what we were experiencing.  Losing a child certainly gives you perspective on how much our society has come to devalue life.  Right around the time of my loss, the newspapers were awash in the story of Susan Smith drowning her children.  The unfairness of it all . . . one kills her sons while I want nothing more than for mine to live.

But wait, what about those years I didn’t really seem to care so much about the lives I had so easily told my friends not to concern themselves with?  I had some tough lessons to learn in those months and years following my loss, but despite the harshness of those lessons, God was there at every turn with the assurance that only comes through His Word, and for every deceitful whisper I’d hear from Satan, God’s Word came through all the more loudly.

THIS is why I’m an ardent defender of the unborn.  For another person to have to go through what I did to learn this lesson, well, I just wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  For generations of women, men and children who haven’t been taught how precious the gift of Life is, I dedicate my remaining years to try to help others come to understand it.

In the end, God did allow my sons to live.  They live eternally with a loving Jesus because of God’s gift of grace through the waters of Holy Baptism.  My insistence on helping others view Life with the same regard that I have come to have is my way of dedicating their lives to something important, I suppose.  They did not live nor die in vain if I am able to help one mother save the life of her own baby (and also save her from a lifetime of pain).  This is why I’m not afraid to call abortion a sin.  This is why I am pro-baby, pro-mother and pro-father (and ultimately, pro-God). 
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2010, 04:01:08 PM
Wow.  Thank you for sharing.
God's Richest Blessings to you and yours.
Title: Wow...what a personal witness
Post by: ptmccain on October 24, 2010, 04:02:34 PM
Deaconess/Sister Schave, wow, thank you for your powerful personal witness and confession, and thanks for honoring us all by sharing it here.

I'd like to post it to my blog site, may I have your permission to do so?

Paul
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Maryland Brian on October 24, 2010, 04:09:52 PM
Thank you for the integrity, courage, and faith to share your story.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2010, 04:12:45 PM
We now are home to the most notorious baby-slayer in the nation since Tiller the Killer was killed.  His clinic is practically across the street from St. Mary's Catholic Church of Bellevue.
Quote

http://www.drcarhart.com/

With the assassination of Dr. George R. Tiller on May 31, 2009, ACCON and Dr. Carhart took on the responsibility to provide all abortions, as protected, by the "Roe v. Wade" and "Doe v. Bolton” decisions rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States on January 22, 1973.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 24, 2010, 06:33:39 PM

So, in your opinion it is better to save the life of the child than the mother, because the abortion will cause the mother to be full of guilt and shame.

Incredible, Brian, simply incredible.  And, alas, completely in character.

Sister Kim, while Charles may label it "a cheap shot," to me you are calling a thing what it is.

Pax et bonum, Steven+
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 24, 2010, 06:35:45 PM
Thank you Steven. My words failed. Your's did not
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 24, 2010, 06:43:21 PM
For anyone who is interested, allow me to share how I moved from...


Thank you, Sister.

Pax, Steven+

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Lutheranistic on October 24, 2010, 07:02:48 PM
So somebody in the ELCA that is chiming in here please, please, please tell me if you would join a pro-life organization that was geared only to ELCA members?
Ok, Kim, I'll bite. As a  20 plus-year (albeit former) ELCA clergy spouse, there is nothing about Lutherans for Life that would preclude me joining. If that were an issue in which I decided to invest time, talent or dollars, (and as an adoptee I believe it is), the importance of the issue would outweigh any doctrinal difference I would have with other members.
So...I'll repost this in an attempt to get us back on track. And then, to possibly derail it further:

I was born of an unmarried woman and adopted through Lutheran Social Service in 1953.
My wife and I adopted two children in in 1999 and 2000 through LSS.
Anyone who wants to see pictures of the kids can "friend" me on Facebook, and anyone who thinks any of the three of us would have been better off disposed of as "medical waste" can disregard the pictures and post #95. For some of us, this is very, very personal.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2010, 07:07:51 PM
So somebody in the ELCA that is chiming in here please, please, please tell me if you would join a pro-life organization that was geared only to ELCA members?
Ok, Kim, I'll bite. As a  20 plus-year (albeit former) ELCA clergy spouse, there is nothing about Lutherans for Life that would preclude me joining. If that were an issue in which I decided to invest time, talent or dollars, (and as an adoptee I believe it is), the importance of the issue would outweigh any doctrinal difference I would have with other members.
So...I'll repost this in an attempt to get us back on track. And then, to possibly derail it further:

I was born of an unmarried woman and adopted through Lutheran Social Service in 1953.
My wife and I adopted two children in in 1999 and 2000 through LSS.
Anyone who wants to see pictures of the kids can "friend" me on Facebook, and anyone who thinks any of the three of us would have been better off disposed of as "medical waste" can disregard the pictures and post #95. For some of us, this is very, very personal.
You are a dear and valued brother-in-Christ.  I don't have a dog in this hunt, except for Jesus' Little Lambs, whom are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Lord be with you, brother!
Title: "I Am Jesus' Little Lamb"
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2010, 07:14:12 PM
"I Am Jesus' Little Lamb"
by Henrietta L. von Hayn, 1724-1782

1. I am Jesus' little lamb,
Ever glad at heart I am;
For my Shepherd gently guides me,
Knows my need, and well provides me,
Loves me every day the same,
Even calls me by my name.

2. Day by day, at home, away,
Jesus is my Staff and Stay.
When I hunger, Jesus feeds me,
Into pleasant pastures leads me;
When I thirst, He bids me go
Where the quiet waters flow.

3. Who so happy as I am,
Even now the Shepherd's lamb?
And when my short life is ended,
By His angel host attended,
He shall fold me to His breast,
There within His arms to rest.

Hymn #648
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: John 21:15
Author: Henriette L. von Hayn, 1778
Translated by: composite
Titled: "Weil ich Jesu Schaeflein bin"
1st Published in: Brueder Choral-Buch, 1784
Tune: "Weil ich Jesu Schaeflein bin"
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on October 24, 2010, 07:21:25 PM
Deaconess,

I join the others in thanking you for honoring us with your powerful testimony to the beauty of life and the power of the Gospel in the darkest days of human life. May you always be a voice for those who cannot speak. God bless you, your husband and all your children - both those in heaven and those on earth.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Lutheranistic on October 24, 2010, 07:30:23 PM
Deaconess,

I join the others in thanking you for honoring us with your powerful testimony to the beauty of life and the power of the Gospel in the darkest days of human life. May you always be a voice for those who cannot speak. God bless you, your husband and all your children - both those in heaven and those on earth.
Amen...and amen (from the [mostly] ELCA side of the aisle).
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2010, 07:38:43 PM

See what a valuable voice yours is on this forum, Deaconesss?  Who knows how many countless lurkers will be taught and brought to the foot of the cross by your theological musings?  Someone has got to challenge Pr. Stoffregan's heterodoxy...
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: G.Edward on October 25, 2010, 12:45:21 AM
THIS is why I’m an ardent defender of the unborn.  For another person to have to go through what I did to learn this lesson, well, I just wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  For generations of women, men and children who haven’t been taught how precious the gift of Life is, I dedicate my remaining years to try to help others come to understand it.

So, what some might view as an limiting and judgmental position (by current curltural standards) is actually one of deepest, most profound mercy and respect.  Thank you for sharing your story, and helping us all understand better what some of us will never experience directly.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 25, 2010, 08:02:54 AM
Deaconess Schave, thanks for your kind permission to use your words posted here on abortion, on my blog site. And thanks for the link to the powerful photo of your sons' grave. After I put the post up this morning, I noticed that only a minute or two later, my scheduled post for the Commemoration of Dorcas, Lydia and Phoebe: Faithful Women appeared. Perfect timing, indeed.

Here's a link to the blog post:

http://cyberbrethren.com/2010/10/25/my-one-pound-boys-could-fit-in-the-palm-of-my-hands-%e2%80%94-a-mothers-witness-against-abortion/
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 25, 2010, 10:14:34 AM
Deaconess Schave, thanks for your kind permission to use your words posted here on abortion, on my blog site. And thanks for the link to the powerful photo of your sons' grave. After I put the post up this morning, I noticed that only a minute or two later, my scheduled post for the Commemoration of Dorcas, Lydia and Phoebe: Faithful Women appeared. Perfect timing, indeed.

Here's a link to the blog post:

http://cyberbrethren.com/2010/10/25/my-one-pound-boys-could-fit-in-the-palm-of-my-hands-%e2%80%94-a-mothers-witness-against-abortion/

I'm still feeling totally insecure today for sharing such personal information on such a public forum, so I thank you all for your gracious comments (and my new facebook friend's supportive comments, as well).  I even skipped that amazing Browns game yesterday to put my thoughts down.   ;D

What I hope beyond anything else is that people can see that what some define as an "unloving" act is really the most loving thing we can do for a person.  Only people/pastors who care and love you will take the risk of pointing out the error of your ways.  It's easy to judge a church body like the LCMS as unloving and uncaring for standing firm on the Word of God in the politically correct culture we live in today.  However, I can attest to the fact that it's the most loving and caring group of people I've encountered.  I'm not part of the old guard of the LCMS and in my experience have not encountered the situations that some say we're reputed for.  I've simply encountered sinners saved by grace who work to uphold a Confession that's persisted and persevered through the years because of the ultimate freedom in Christ it brings.

And if I have to get that personal to stand up to a few bullies here and there, so be it.   ;)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 25, 2010, 04:10:38 PM
I forgot to offer my thanks to Pastor Austin for prompting my long post above.  Had he not pointed out my sin of being rude to a fellow brother in Christ, I would not have pondered as much as I did during the Divine Service yesterday whether I was providing a helpful enough witness on the issue at hand.  I'm at about what would be the 15th anniversary of my due date for those little boys this week, and it was a great exercise in continuing to work through the grief.  You did me a great favor, Charles!
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 25, 2010, 04:39:34 PM
Here is a para-synodical organization of the WELS.
http://www.christianliferesources.com/
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 25, 2010, 04:51:18 PM
We all learn from moving personal stories, Deaconess. A story like yours is inspiring and instructive. So are certain stories that go other directions, some of which you might not approve.
Best wishes,
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 25, 2010, 05:36:10 PM
What I hope beyond anything else is that people can see that what some define as an "unloving" act is really the most loving thing we can do for a person.  Only people/pastors who care and love you will take the risk of pointing out the error of your ways.  It's easy to judge a church body like the LCMS as unloving and uncaring for standing firm on the Word of God in the politically correct culture we live in today.  However, I can attest to the fact that it's the most loving and caring group of people I've encountered.  I'm not part of the old guard of the LCMS and in my experience have not encountered the situations that some say we're reputed for.  I've simply encountered sinners saved by grace who work to uphold a Confession that's persisted and persevered through the years because of the ultimate freedom in Christ it brings.

Thank you for your story. I have argued for the necessity for personal testimonies in our witness to Christ. (Others tend to discount personal experiences -- y'know that swallowing the Spirit feathers and all.)

Having worked as a chaplain in an alcoholic rehab hospital, I'm very aware of the importance of "tough love," which can be perceived at first, as very "unloving." At the same time, I've been criticized by some folks whose love came through their harsh words -- and I've received criticisms that seemed to emanate from other motivations.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 25, 2010, 09:19:13 PM
Anyone who does not like the options of a medical care plan does not have to be a part of that plan. It's that simple.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: G.Edward on October 25, 2010, 09:30:21 PM
Anyone who does not like the options of a medical care plan does not have to be a part of that plan. It's that simple.

Ah, yes!  The delightfully sensitive liberal "if you don't like it you don't have to watch it / buy it / patronize it / participate" argument that is just a way of brow-beating conservatives into quiet acquiesence.  The point is it this is a Christian organization with a health care plan that victimizes "the least of these."  I think Jesus had something to say about how we treat "the least of these," but maybe I'm overreaching.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 26, 2010, 12:41:22 AM
Anyone who does not like the options of a medical care plan does not have to be a part of that plan. It's that simple.

Actually, Charles, since medical care in this nation is largely paid for by employers or the government, and since state and federal legislators and bureaucracies like to regulate what medical plans must include, it isn't that simple.  

This nation would be a lot better off, however, if it were.

Pax, Steven+
for whom the old bumper sticker,"America: Love it or leave it," comes into mind....
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 26, 2010, 03:23:16 AM
My apologies. "Simple" was not the correct word. There are ways for one to extract oneself from policies or programs that they believe violate their conscience. Or people can accept the complexity of a situation and live within a system while attempting to change it.
I oppose the state lottery. I do not buy lottery tickets. I would probably vote for a candidate supporting legislation to abolish it. But I have to admit that a portion of my taxes goes to support the lottery and - all too infrequently - at times lottery money goes to something I like, such as environmental protection.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steverem on October 26, 2010, 09:01:40 AM
Anyone who does not like the options of a medical care plan slavery does not have to be a part of that plan own slaves. It's that simple.

Charles' argument, circa 1800.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Kurt Weinelt on October 26, 2010, 09:54:59 AM
My apologies. "Simple" was not the correct word. There are ways for one to extract oneself from policies or programs that they believe violate their conscience. Or people can accept the complexity of a situation and live within a system while attempting to change it.
I oppose the state lottery. I do not buy lottery tickets. I would probably vote for a candidate supporting legislation to abolish it. But I have to admit that a portion of my taxes goes to support the lottery and - all too infrequently - at times lottery money goes to something I like, such as environmental protection.
Were it that simple. Usually lotteries are earmarked for particular causes to sell the voters on the idea. But usually what happens is that states underfund those budget items because the lottery will now fund them. Of course, lottery tickets are purchased by the people who can least likely afford them, so in effect it can be viewed as a tax on poverty.

Don't care what the cause a lottery may fund; "whatever it is, I'm against it" because lotteries predate on the poor.

Now back to your regular programming.....
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Kurt Weinelt on October 26, 2010, 09:55:49 AM
Anyone who does not like the options of a medical care plan slavery does not have to be a part of that plan own slaves. It's that simple.
Charles' argument, circa 1800.

Nicely done! :D
Kurt
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 28, 2010, 11:16:11 PM
Wonder if there is an LFL chapter in this part of Michigan.  And this is medical progress . . . sick!

http://www.wilx.com/news/headlines/17_Aborted_Fetuses_Allegedly_Discarded_In_Dumpster_105820008.html
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: G.Edward on October 31, 2010, 07:29:43 PM
We all learn from moving personal stories, Deaconess. A story like yours is inspiring and instructive. So are certain stories that go other directions, some of which you might not approve. Best wishes,


One of the finest backhanded "compliments" I've seen in years and a fine lesson in "pastoral care." 

Despicable at worst.  Ignorant at best.  Time for you to retire and be put out to pasture.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 31, 2010, 08:43:24 PM
We all learn from moving personal stories, Deaconess. A story like yours is inspiring and instructive. So are certain stories that go other directions, some of which you might not approve. Best wishes,


One of the finest backhanded "compliments" I've seen in years and a fine lesson in "pastoral care." 

Despicable at worst.  Ignorant at best.  Time for you to retire and be put out to pasture.

It's OK . . . I've come to realize that Charles just needs more love!  I get mad at him, get snippy in response, then realize that the best thing I can do is try to love him through it.   :D
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 31, 2010, 08:43:56 PM
I tell Deaconess Schave that her story is "inspiring and instructive."

Then Gregory Davidson writes:
Despicable at worst.  Ignorant at best.  Time for you to retire and be put out to pasture.

He does this simply - repeat simply - because I say that other stories, some of which are not like hers, can also be inspiring and instructive. Someone explain to me why I should not take offense at Gregory Davidson's comment that I should be "put out to pasture" or that my words are "ignorant" or "despicable".
Please. This is really outrageous.
But - as is often the case - we digress.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 31, 2010, 08:51:26 PM
Well, you weren't really very pastoral in your post...
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 31, 2010, 08:55:48 PM
I tell Deaconess Schave that her story is "inspiring and instructive."

Then Gregory Davidson writes:
Despicable at worst.  Ignorant at best.  Time for you to retire and be put out to pasture.

He does this simply - repeat simply - because I say that other stories, some of which are not like hers, can also be inspiring and instructive. Someone explain to me why I should not take offense at Gregory Davidson's comment that I should be "put out to pasture" or that my words are "ignorant" or "despicable".
Please. This is really outrageous.
But - as is often the case - we digress.

Charles:  I think you were in your own way trying to put me in my place, and perhaps others picked up on that.  You can't even imagine the positive feedback I've received on writing what I did, even though I did it out of anger and spite towards you (wrongly).  I took your comment to mean that others choose to abort and find some sort of peace and presumably God (?) through so doing.  I am doubtful anyone who takes the life of a precious, defenseless infant EVER truly finds peace unless and until they reconcile their action with God.  You are welcome to clarify what you meant by your comment if it was not this.

My dear sir, I'm beginning to think you are one who can dish it out but can't take it.   But I will continue to pray for patience and the ability to love you through your snarkiness.   :)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 31, 2010, 09:01:21 PM
Deaconess Schave writes:
I took your comment to mean that others choose to abort and find some sort of peace and presumably God (?) through so doing. 

I comment:
I think you choose to read something ugly in that process. I (and tens of thousands of others) will say that it is possible for a people to choose to have an abortion and find peace, forgiveness and newness of life through that difficult decision, tainted by sin as are all our decisions. Their stories, also painful, can also be instructive and inspiring.

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 31, 2010, 09:06:44 PM
Someone explain to me why I should not take offense at Gregory Davidson's comment that I should be "put out to pasture" or that my words are "ignorant" or "despicable".


Because, Charles, his point is valid. As a general rule--and of course there are always exceptions--a pastoral response to someone sharing a story of deep personal meaning does NOT include comparing that person's experience with others, and particular with the assertion that "you might not approve" of those experiences. Whatever you intended, your comment came off as sounding less like "that was a moving story" than like "you know, lots of people have moving stories, and yours isn't so special." People who exercise pastoral care learn that there are times, lots of times, when the best thing is just to say "thank you for sharing that" and to keep the moralizing to themselves. Because it's not, well, pastoral.

But I have to think that you know this.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 31, 2010, 09:10:18 PM
Deaconess Schave writes:
I took your comment to mean that others choose to abort and find some sort of peace and presumably God (?) through so doing. 

I comment:
I think you choose to read something ugly in that process. I (and tens of thousands of others) will say that it is possible for a people to choose to have an abortion and find peace, forgiveness and newness of life through that difficult decision, tainted by sin as are all our decisions. Their stories, also painful, can also be instructive and inspiring.

I agree, but only once they come to recognize that they are in need of forgiveness for their action.  Any woman who thinks otherwise is suppressing a whole lot of guilt and shame.  The law is written on our hearts, and she knows instinctively that she has broken it.  Her body and soul both react to the unnatural act of an abortion because it goes against how she was created by God.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on October 31, 2010, 09:15:29 PM
I am learning to just forgive Pastor Austin on the spot rather than get angry.   ;D 
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on October 31, 2010, 09:19:14 PM
I'll betcha' underneath that grumpy exterior, somewhere, is a likable pussycat.   ;)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on October 31, 2010, 10:06:20 PM
So, now is it time to shut this topic down?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on October 31, 2010, 10:08:39 PM
So, now is it time to shut this topic down?

Why do you insist on trying to get threads shut down? If people stop posting in them, they die without intervention.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 31, 2010, 10:41:05 PM
Esteemed moderator Richard writes (to me):
But I have to think that you know this.

I comment:
Actually, yes, I do. But there are times when....
But I have to think that you know this.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 07:14:40 AM
Esteemed moderator Richard writes (to me):
But I have to think that you know this.

I comment:
Actually, yes, I do. But there are times when....
But I have to think that you know this.

Maybe we could keep the thread alive a little longer since there appears to be yet another insult leveled at me by Charles.  I love the number seven given my twin's birthdate is 7/7 and all, but this forgiveness 70 times 7 thing is awfully hard, Charles.   ;D  So Charles, what exactly about my story posted upthread warrants that it was one of those "times when"?  Please help us to unlock the secret code of ELCA pastoral response hidden in your comments that apparently Pastor Johnson is privy to, as well.  It cracks me up that every time now on this forum when I've forgiven your nastiness or encouraged your better behavior, you respond with another insult.  If this is ELCA pastoral care, I sure hope others will step up on here to make up for your approach.  You make me so thankful that God brought me out of your church body when He did if this is what parishioners can expect from their pastor.  Or perhaps it's as simple as this being a case of when the truth hurts, and the only thing some people can do in response to that hurt is lash back.

I was humbled by a thank you yesterday at our joint Reformation service for my story above by an LFL board member who I've invited to take a look at this thread . . . maybe he'll chime in about their efforts to reach out to the ELCA.

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 01, 2010, 07:34:38 AM
One more time.
Deaconess Schave, I have the highest regard for your story, your faith and your witness. It is, as I have said several times now, instructive and inspiring.
I will say it again. It is instructive and inspiring. It is special. Your are obviously a woman of faith who knows how to act on her faith.

Deaconess Schave writes (to me):
If this is ELCA pastoral care, I sure hope others will step up on here to make up for your approach.  
I comment:
I am not your pastor. I am not pastor to anyone in this discussion. And you are not my parishioner. We are supposedly colleagues of equal standing in a theological discussion. This is not a place for pastoral care, except in rare, limited ways.

The deaconess writes:
You make me so thankful that God brought me out of your church body when He did if this is what parishioners can expect from their pastor.  
I comment:
See above. See also my earlier reference to Luke 18:9-14.

Ironically, people on this forum (not you) have mocked and derided the faith stories of others, especially gays, who have struggled their way through immense difficulties and come out stronger in faith and with a desire to serve Jesus Christ. They (not you) have said that when such people speak at Assemblies, we should turn away.
I only suggest here - with no insult, derision, or "un-pastoral" attitude - that other women who have taken a different course than yours, women who might not agree with your stance on abortion, are also women of faith with stories that can be inspiring and instructive.
That's all. I do not know how else I can counter the hostility to my remarks.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 10:37:03 AM
See also my earlier reference to Luke 18:9-14.

I'll leave it up to the reader to determine who is the Pharisee and who is the tax collector in this instance.  It certainly wasn't out of pride that I put myself out there for the cyber world to take note of my past sins so that others might be spared from the same destructive path I took.  From the hundreds of women I've been blessed to counsel on either abortion prevention or post-abortion stress, I doubt they'd characterize our conversations as anything close to what you set forth in your reference to Luke 18.

But OK, Charles, I get that you don't see it as your duty to be pastoral even on such a public forum as this.  I guess I've come to expect more out of pastors based on the ones I've been blessed to know through the years.  Let's call a cease-fire and be done.  Diaconally speaking, I continue to love you in Christ no matter how much you dislike my message, which is really God's . . .

Jeremiah 1:4 (ESV)
The Call of Jeremiah
Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

For a church body that is supposedly a champion of women's rights, sadly, the rights of tiny little girls who would become women aren't considered a bit.  Glad Jeremiah got to live!  Now I have these words of his (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%203:6-25&version=ESV) to comfort me.  God's mercy is available to all sinners who come to Him in humble repentance, even me.

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: DeHall on November 01, 2010, 10:56:22 AM
I only suggest here - with no insult, derision, or "un-pastoral" attitude - that other women who have taken a different course than yours, women who might not agree with your stance on abortion, are also women of faith with stories that can be inspiring and instructive.
That's all. I do not know how else I can counter the hostility to my remarks.


Find one, and have them post their story here.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 01, 2010, 10:57:37 AM
Any woman who thinks otherwise is suppressing a whole lot of guilt and shame.  The law is written on our hearts, and she knows instinctively that she has broken it.  Her body and soul both react to the unnatural act of an abortion because it goes against how she was created by God.

It is a comment like this, not your personal story, that spurs Charles and me to respond (and his biblical reference). You are judging all women who have had an abortion. You make unproven assumptions about all women who have had an abortion. Even if all the women whom you have counseled have a lot of guilt and shame -- the fact that they are coming for counseling indicates that they are not a random sampling of all women who have had an abortion.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Scott6 on November 01, 2010, 11:06:03 AM
Any woman who thinks otherwise is suppressing a whole lot of guilt and shame.  The law is written on our hearts, and she knows instinctively that she has broken it.  Her body and soul both react to the unnatural act of an abortion because it goes against how she was created by God.

It is a comment like this, not your personal story, that spurs Charles and me to respond (and his biblical reference). You are judging all women who have had an abortion. You make unproven assumptions about all women who have had an abortion. Even if all the women whom you have counseled have a lot of guilt and shame -- the fact that they are coming for counseling indicates that they are not a random sampling of all women who have had an abortion.

First of all, the comments that are objectionable were not responses to the post you quote but to Kim's very personal story.  It was that which spawned Charles' less-than-charitable comment, and then an even less charitable -- actually quite offensive -- comment in response to Richard's admonition.

Second, Kim makes a claim re: the preaching of the law.  There is no doubt that there are many secure sinners.  Just as there are many that are terrified.  Those are certainly two responses to hearing the Law, with the latter receiving the pronouncement of forgiveness and the former continue to need to hear the Law.  If you object to this approach, then you are objecting to what is very basic to Lutheran thought -- the proclamation of Law and Gospel.

Third, Kim is indeed making another move, which is to say that if folks stop to reflect on what they've done (or even if they don't, it's still there awaiting reflection), then they regret taking what is most obviously a life as opposed to believing the popular line that it's only a bit of flesh.  If you disagree with this, fine.  But given that it's an observable phenomenon, the way to counter it would be to hear from someone who feels quite secure in their decision to have an abortion and see the picture of a life that yields.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on November 01, 2010, 11:26:14 AM
Kim,

I wanted to let you know that your courageous sharing of your story has already been such a blessing to many. When I posted it on my blog and Facebook wall, I heard from a LOT of women who have struggled with similar issues. The stories came pouring out and the opportunity for sharing the comfort and hope found only, and always, in Christ were powerful and deeply moving to me.

So, thanks again for your powerful witness.

Blessings,
Paul
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 01, 2010, 11:57:13 AM
Deaconess Schave writes:
But OK, Charles, I get that you don't see it as your duty to be pastoral even on such a public forum as this. 
I comment:
Nonsense again. It is my duty to be "pastoral" to those with whom I have a pastoral relationship. I might choose to do that in some other situations, but I have not "duty" to do that.
n.b. Nothing in the following paragraph is intended to apply to the personal situation of Deaconess Schave.
FWIW, about 80 percent of the women with difficult pregnancies that I have dealt with over 40+ years had the baby, and usually gave it up for adoption. I have in mind one of those women who, 20 years later, experienced such anxiety over having done that that she needed serious counseling and medication. And I know women who did not carry the pregnancy full term who - while I think they understand all the sinfulness involved in the matter (they certainly heard it from me) - accept God's forgiveness and live full lives of faith, neither haunted by that particular deed, nor making it the focal point for God's grace in their life.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 12:09:10 PM
Any woman who thinks otherwise is suppressing a whole lot of guilt and shame.  The law is written on our hearts, and she knows instinctively that she has broken it.  Her body and soul both react to the unnatural act of an abortion because it goes against how she was created by God.

It is a comment like this, not your personal story, that spurs Charles and me to respond (and his biblical reference). You are judging all women who have had an abortion. You make unproven assumptions about all women who have had an abortion. Even if all the women whom you have counseled have a lot of guilt and shame -- the fact that they are coming for counseling indicates that they are not a random sampling of all women who have had an abortion.


Brian,

Are you familiar with post-abortion research?  It's an honest question.  If you're not, I'll point some out to you.  I suspect many, if not most, women feel a tremendous amount of relief when the crisis is averted in the immediate aftermath.  It is what I know about the long-term consequences of abortion that prompts me to make this claim.  Beyond my own claims, however, it is upon the Word of God that I base any and all claims I may make on this subject.  If someone can show me within Scripture that it is or ever was pleasing to God that the life of a child be taken before or after birth (apart from His command to do so when punishing un-Godly nations), I'll gladly consider the evidence.  So far as I have read, child sacrifice was not not looked upon favorably by Him.  Had un-Godly rulers prevailed in their quest to destroy a generation of infants, we wouldn't have the likes of the Baby Moses or the Christ Child, among others.

If there is a woman out there who has found God and His peace that surpasses all understanding post-abortion with no guilt for her action at all (i.e. she felt no need for repentance), I would love to hear her story.  I personally have never come across a case such as this in all my years of counseling on the issue (nor have I ever read about one).  I'm not as stubborn as I might appear; I can admit when I'm wrong.   ;)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Scott6 on November 01, 2010, 12:25:16 PM
Kim,

I wanted to let you know that your courageous sharing of your story has already been such a blessing to many. When I posted it on my blog and Facebook wall, I heard from a LOT of women who have struggled with similar issues. The stories came pouring out and the opportunity for sharing the comfort and hope found only, and always, in Christ were powerful and deeply moving to me.

So, thanks again for your powerful witness.

Blessings,
Paul

I join Paul in thanking you for it as it also brought to mind the children we've lost without ever being able to hold them.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 12:31:05 PM
I join Paul in thanking you for it as it also brought to mind the children we've lost without ever being able to hold them.

Oh, but the comfort we have knowing Jesus is holding them for us.   :)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Mike Bennett on November 01, 2010, 12:31:51 PM

There is no doubt that there are many secure sinners.  Just as there are many that are terrified.  Those are certainly two responses to hearing the Law, with the latter receiving the pronouncement of forgiveness and the former continue to need to hear the Law.  If you object to this approach, then you are objecting to what is very basic to Lutheran thought -- the proclamation of Law and Gospel.


This reminder is one of the best things I've read in the past week.  And I've read a depressingly large amount of all sorts of stuff in the past week.

Thanks Scott.

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 12:44:26 PM

There is no doubt that there are many secure sinners.  Just as there are many that are terrified.  Those are certainly two responses to hearing the Law, with the latter receiving the pronouncement of forgiveness and the former continue to need to hear the Law.  If you object to this approach, then you are objecting to what is very basic to Lutheran thought -- the proclamation of Law and Gospel.


This reminder is one of the best things I've read in the past week.  And I've read a depressingly large amount of all sorts of stuff in the past week.

Thanks Scott.

Mike Bennett

And this is a shining example of what I mentioned upthread about being blessed to know some pretty great pastors, though I don't officially "know" Pastor Yakimow apart from this forum.  It's not easy calling people to repentance or warning them of their errant ways.  I have firsthand knowledge that he is gifted in this art.   ;)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 01, 2010, 12:46:14 PM
Whoever said that Christian women who choose to have an abortion do not repent of their sins?
But other related issues loom, and I choose not to go there.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: DeHall on November 01, 2010, 12:50:32 PM
Whoever said that Christian women who choose to have an abortion do not repent of their sins?
But other related issues loom, and I choose not to go there.

No one.  If you've read the entries here and have come to the conclusion that SOMEONE has said this, I suggest you read the posts again.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 12:53:34 PM
Whoever said that Christian women who choose to have an abortion do not repent of their sins?
But other related issues loom, and I choose not to go there.

Charles, I am thankful that you qualified your experience with women for me.  I appreciate the witness and pastoral care that you provided them with if they were able to find forgiveness.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Lutheranistic on November 01, 2010, 01:03:13 PM
If I might make an attempt to get this thread back toward Pr. Salzman's original intent (I think): With all the talk of not "cooperating in externals" on the part of some LC-MS folk, and the concerns expressed that working together might simply be too difficult, I'm wondering if an ELCA someone completely and unambiguously pro-life would find LFL completely welcoming, or would there be other issues (not related to abortion), theological,social or political, for which there might be unspoken yet perceptible disapproval?

I really don't know...just trying to get us back on track a bit.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: George Erdner on November 01, 2010, 01:21:35 PM
If I might make an attempt to get this thread back toward Pr. Salzman's original intent (I think): With all the talk of not "cooperating in externals" on the part of some LC-MS folk, and the concerns expressed that working together might simply be too difficult, I'm wondering if an ELCA someone completely and unambiguously pro-life would find LFL completely welcoming, or would there be other issues (not related to abortion), theological,social or political, for which there might be unspoken yet perceptible disapproval?

I really don't know...just trying to get us back on track a bit.

There are far more issues at stake than whether Lutherans for Life appears "welcoming" to people from the ELCA. Given that so many who know what Lutherans for Life actually does, I suspect that there are some in both the LC-MS and ELCA who are strongly anti-abortion who wouldn't care whether or not Lutherans for Life is welcoming or not. They might choose to become involved with some alternative anti-abortion organization that was more activist and less informational. When all is said and done, it's not the people who said things that have accomplished anything, it's the people who've done things.

I suspect (though I cannot prove it) that if someone who is anti-abortion were to sit down and decide which anti-abortion organization to affiliate with to reduce or eliminate abortions, and they made their own ranked list of what characteristics and anti-abortion group needs to be effective, and then evaluated all of the groups out there against that matrix of characteristics to select the best one to join, groups that were "mostly informational" might not be near the top. I also suspect (though I cannot prove it) that denominational affiliation would be pretty far down the list of characteristics, well below things like track record of effectiveness.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 01, 2010, 01:33:00 PM
Are you familiar with post-abortion research?  It's an honest question.

No, I'm not.

Quote
I suspect many, if not most, women feel a tremendous amount of relief when the crisis is averted in the immediate aftermath.  It is what I know about the long-term consequences of abortion that prompts me to make this claim.  

"Many, if not most" is quite a different claim from "all". It's the "all" that I objected to. I can agree with the assessment that many, if not most, have long-term consequences.

Quote
Beyond my own claims, however, it is upon the Word of God that I base any and all claims I may make on this subject.  If someone can show me within Scripture that it is or ever was pleasing to God that the life of a child be taken before or after birth (apart from His command to do so when punishing un-Godly nations), I'll gladly consider the evidence.

Why would killing the children of ungodly nations be any different? I'm sure that you wouldn't say that abortion for non-believers is OK.

Consider Deut. 2:34: "At that time we [Moses and his army] took all his towns and completely destroyed them -- men, women and children. We left no survivors" (NRSV).

Or Deut. 3:6 "And we utterly destroyed them, as we had done to King Sihon of Heshbon, in each city utterly destroying men, women, and children" (NRSV).

Joshua's army destroyed every living thing in Jericho -- "men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys" (Josh 6:21). While neither "children" nor "the young" are mentioned in the destruction of Ai, we are told that all who lived in Ai were destroyed (Josh 8:26).

The reason for the entire destruction of these cities and their people was not because they were ungodly (even though they probably worshiped pagan gods,) but because of ḥerem, a Hebrew word that carries the idea of "to place under the ban," "to utterly destroy," "to be devoted to destruction." We are also told in Deut 2:30b before the destruction: "For the LORD your God had hardened his [King Sihon of Heshbon's] spirit and made his heart defiant in order to hand him over to you, as he has now done."

Israel's treatment of the children of some of those they conquered was not good.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on November 01, 2010, 01:37:54 PM
Oh. My. Goodness.

 >:(
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Richard Johnson on November 01, 2010, 01:39:32 PM
Oh. My. Goodness.

 >:(

That's pretty much what I thought, too.   :P
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 01, 2010, 01:40:54 PM
Oh. My. Goodness.

 >:(

That's pretty much what I thought, too.   :P

Should I apologize for quoting scriptures? Are either of you willing to argue that Israel's conquest of the land did not include the killing of children at God's command and because God hardened hearts?

If folks insist on taking passages of Leviticus literally, why not these passages in Deuteronomy and Joshua?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Richard Johnson on November 01, 2010, 01:43:58 PM
Are you referring to this case, or more generally? If the former, absolutely. If the latter, probably.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 01:46:28 PM
Should I apologize for quoting scriptures?

Only for quoting them out of context.  I did invite an LFL board member to read this thread just yesterday.  Whether or not he'll contribute to the discussion or not, I'm not sure, but I'm sure he'll take what he reads here back to the organization and make them aware of what has been said.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on November 01, 2010, 01:48:35 PM
Oh. My. Goodness.

 >:(

That's pretty much what I thought, too.   :P

Richard, can I nominate myself for the "Most Improved in Showing Admirable Restraint" category here on ALPB?

 :)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 01, 2010, 01:52:04 PM
Should I apologize for quoting scriptures?

Only for quoting them out of context.

What is out of context about the quotes? I answered your question if it can be shown in scriptures that God approved the killing of children (after birth). Of course, you can present arguments why these texts do not say that the Israelite army really killed children. (I can argue that, but it comes from the use of critical tools that LCMS eschews.)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: G.Edward on November 01, 2010, 01:54:11 PM
If I might make an attempt to get this thread back toward Pr. Salzman's original intent (I think): With all the talk of not "cooperating in externals" on the part of some LC-MS folk, and the concerns expressed that working together might simply be too difficult, I'm wondering if an ELCA someone completely and unambiguously pro-life would find LFL completely welcoming, or would there be other issues (not related to abortion), theological,social or political, for which there might be unspoken yet perceptible disapproval?

I really don't know...just trying to get us back on track a bit.

Well, I decided to test the the waters.  I looked through the LFL web site http://www.lutheransforlife.org/ (http://www.lutheransforlife.org/) and it looked legitimate, respectful, and truthful.  So I searched for a chapter in my area.  The closest seems to be about an hour away - not too bad for living in the middle of nowhere.  Next I thought I'd give the national office a call (1-888-364-LIFE) and found everyone I talked with to be pleasant, patient, and welcoming.  They're sending me some information on building awareness and starting a chapter.  I'll post again when it comes.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: G.Edward on November 01, 2010, 01:56:13 PM
Oh. My. Goodness.

 >:(

That's pretty much what I thought, too.   :P

Richard, can I nominate myself for the "Most Improved in Showing Admirable Restraint" category here on ALPB?

 :)

You've got my vote!
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on November 01, 2010, 01:58:28 PM
I am trying. I hope people notice!

Bishop Barbie's ministrations have been so helpful.

Butterfly kisses to all.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 02:27:20 PM
Well, I decided to test the the waters.  I looked through the LFL web site http://www.lutheransforlife.org/ (http://www.lutheransforlife.org/) and it looked legitimate, respectful, and truthful.  So I searched for a chapter in my area.  The closest seems to be about an hour away - not too bad for living in the middle of nowhere.  Next I thought I'd give the national office a call (1-888-364-LIFE) and found everyone I talked with to be pleasant, patient, and welcoming.  They're sending me some information on building awareness and starting a chapter.  I'll post again when it comes.

Wow, just wow!   ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 02:35:05 PM
"Many, if not most" is quite a different claim from "all". It's the "all" that I objected to. I can agree with the assessment that many, if not most, have long-term consequences.

No, I assure you all have long-term consequences.  They either deal with their guilt and grief and seek forgiveness or they do not.  Those who do not seek it have far more greater than long-term consequences to deal with . . . they have eternal consequences.  Do you think I stay on here and argue with you fine gents for any other reason than this?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 02:43:18 PM
Are you familiar with post-abortion research?  It's an honest question.

No, I'm not.

Here are some links for you then:

Neutral:
http://www.afterabortion.com/faq.html

Lutheran:
http://www.word-of-hope.org/what-are-the-symptoms-of-distress.html

Christian in General:
http://www.inourmidst.com/reactions_effects.htm#pas

I would hope any caring pastor would warn a woman of this before having an abortion, even if he or she accepts abortion on demand.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 03:22:40 PM
Should I apologize for quoting scriptures?

Only for quoting them out of context.

What is out of context about the quotes? I answered your question if it can be shown in scriptures that God approved the killing of children (after birth). Of course, you can present arguments why these texts do not say that the Israelite army really killed children. (I can argue that, but it comes from the use of critical tools that LCMS eschews.)

Uh, because God commanded this to be done.  Perhaps Sodom and Gomorrah was still pretty fresh in God's mind.  God gives life and can command it to be taken away.  I maintain that I do not have this authority, and if I try to exert it myself, I'm no better than Eve in wanting to be like God.  Of course, I believe Eve is a real example for us, not just a nice story to go back to now and again.  I choose to learn from her example (when my own pesky sin doesn't get in the way).
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Mike Bennett on November 01, 2010, 03:35:22 PM

Why would killing the children of ungodly nations be any different? I'm sure that you wouldn't say that abortion for non-believers is OK.

Consider Deut. 2:34: "At that time we [Moses and his army] took all his towns and completely destroyed them -- men, women and children. We left no survivors" (NRSV).

Or Deut. 3:6 "And we utterly destroyed them, as we had done to King Sihon of Heshbon, in each city utterly destroying men, women, and children" (NRSV).

Joshua's army destroyed every living thing in Jericho -- "men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys" (Josh 6:21). While neither "children" nor "the young" are mentioned in the destruction of Ai, we are told that all who lived in Ai were destroyed (Josh 8:26).

The reason for the entire destruction of these cities and their people was not because they were ungodly (even though they probably worshiped pagan gods,) but because of ḥerem, a Hebrew word that carries the idea of "to place under the ban," "to utterly destroy," "to be devoted to destruction." We are also told in Deut 2:30b before the destruction: "For the LORD your God had hardened his [King Sihon of Heshbon's] spirit and made his heart defiant in order to hand him over to you, as he has now done."

Israel's treatment of the children of some of those they conquered was not good.

Oh my goodness, Pastor.  "The reason was not because they were ungodly?"  "They probably worshipped pagan gods?"

It happens my Sunday School class had a lesson yesterday on the battle of Jericho, which I chose to extend to include Joshua 1-6, with an added preview of "Why did God order the destruction of all those Canaanites, and is that His command for all time?"  And then in the p.m. started preparing for next week's lesson on Deborah.  So I'm fairly freshly studied up on the answer to your riddle.

Do the words "First Commandment" (the foundation of alll the Commandments) and "Gross Idolotry" ring a bell?  Canaanite fertility cults, ritual prostitution, cult of the dead, and sacrifice of children?  And the accounts throughout Joshua, Judges, and the rest of the OT of Israel's disobedience to the command, because they wanted to be "good neighbors" don't you know (sound like Scandanavian Lutherans for goodness sake) and the consequences (which God knew about in advance) of living cheek by jowl with idoloters? 

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 03:55:14 PM
Dearest friends and faithful remnant within the ELCA, please do consider availing yourself of LFL's website (http://www.lutheransforlife.org/life-issues/abortion-and-the-church/) to become better informed on the issue, even if you don't have an interest in joining this or any other pro-life group.  We just celebrated Reformation yesterday whereby we can be thankful that God put the Bible into the hands of the common man through Martin Luther's efforts.  Please open yours and compare it to what your pastor is teaching.  Thank him or her for their faithfulness if they support Life in their preaching and teaching.  It's not an easy job in some circles as I'm finding out both on and off this forum.

Here's a link to an article that takes a look at the history of abortion being known as a sin within the early church.
http://www.lutheransforlife.org/article/abortion-and-the-message-of-the-church/
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 01, 2010, 04:45:14 PM
Deaconess Schave writes:
Dearest friends and faithful remnant within the ELCA, please do consider availing yourself of LFL's website....
I ask:
Only the "faithful remnant" or could those of us deemed "unfaithful" visit as well?

Deaconess Schave writes:
Please open yours and compare it to what your pastor is teaching.  Thank him or her for their faithfulness if they support Life in their preaching and teaching.
I comment:
I "support Life" in my preaching and teaching. I have raised the abortion issue, the capital punishment issue, and the issue of our militarism and use of deadly force domestically and internationally.
And yet I do not oppose the current abortion laws, except for the ones that would withhold contraceptive information to teenagers and others.
I don't think I have ever "lost" a parishioner because I did not "support life" strongly enough.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on November 01, 2010, 05:25:21 PM
I ask:
Only the "faithful remnant" or could those of us deemed "unfaithful" visit as well?
I suppose you could, but when you say this, why bother?
Quote
And yet I do not oppose the current abortion laws, except for the ones that would withhold contraceptive information to teenagers and others.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 01, 2010, 05:48:47 PM
Oh my goodness, Pastor.  "The reason was not because they were ungodly?"  "They probably worshipped pagan gods?"

My point is that I don't find anything in the text -- in fact, I just read Joshua 1-6 -- and still find nothing that declares they were ungodly or that they worshipped pagan gods. Maybe they did. Maybe they didn't.

What I did read is: Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, their hearts melted in fear and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites" (Josh 5:1 TNIV).

Who might be more sinful than a prostitute who had her own house of prostitution? And she is a liar, albeit she lies to save the Israelite spies. Yet, if Rahab can be saved, why couldn't all the other sinners in Jericho? We've already been told that they don't want to the fight the Israelites.

Quote
Do the words "First Commandment" (the foundation of alll the Commandments) and "Gross Idolotry" ring a bell?  Canaanite fertility cults, ritual prostitution, cult of the dead, and sacrifice of children? 

Where in Joshua 1-6 are we told that the people of Jericho or Ai were doing all of this?

Quote
And the accounts throughout Joshua, Judges, and the rest of the OT of Israel's disobedience to the command, because they wanted to be "good neighbors" don't you know (sound like Scandanavian Lutherans for goodness sake) and the consequences (which God knew about in advance) of living cheek by jowl with idoloters? 

Compare Joshua with his army coming into the foreign land and Jonah coming into the Assyrian (a traditional enemy of Israel) capital city of Ninevah by himself. Joshua kills everyone. Jonah converts everyone (even when Jonah didn't want to).
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Mike Bennett on November 01, 2010, 05:59:57 PM
Oh my goodness, Pastor.  "The reason was not because they were ungodly?"  "They probably worshipped pagan gods?"

My point is that I don't find anything in the text -- in fact, I just read Joshua 1-6 -- and still find nothing that declares they were ungodly or that they worshipped pagan gods. Maybe they did. Maybe they didn't.


If you were only permitted to read Joshua 1-6 you could in good conscience say "Maybe they did.  Maybe they didn't."  But we get to read the rest of Scripture.  And we get to read outside Scripture too.  So we can't in good conscience say, "Maybe they didn't."

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Mike Bennett on November 01, 2010, 06:02:03 PM
Oh my goodness, Pastor.  "The reason was not because they were ungodly?"  "They probably worshipped pagan gods?"

What I did read is: Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, their hearts melted in fear and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites" (Josh 5:1 TNIV).


Yep.  And Judas Iscariot didn't have the courage to even live after he did what he did.  St. Peter repented after he'd done his bad.

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 06:02:53 PM

I don't think I have ever "lost" a parishioner because I did not "support life" strongly enough.

No, just a potential future parishioner (or more).   ;)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Mike Bennett on November 01, 2010, 06:06:37 PM

Compare Joshua with his army coming into the foreign land and Jonah coming into the Assyrian (a traditional enemy of Israel) capital city of Ninevah by himself. Joshua kills everyone. Jonah converts everyone (even when Jonah didn't want to).


And the key difference I find is that God commanded Joshua to do one thing and Jonah to do another.  

We can read further in each account to learn what happened after (a) Israel stopped obeying God's command regarding Canaan and (b) Jonah (kicking and screaming) did obey God's command regarding Ninevah.

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Richard Johnson on November 01, 2010, 06:23:13 PM
Oh. My. Goodness.

 >:(

That's pretty much what I thought, too.   :P

Richard, can I nominate myself for the "Most Improved in Showing Admirable Restraint" category here on ALPB?

 :)

Well, it's a free country . . .  ;D
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on November 01, 2010, 06:25:08 PM
Oh. My. Goodness.

 >:(

That's pretty much what I thought, too.   :P

Richard, can I nominate myself for the "Most Improved in Showing Admirable Restraint" category here on ALPB?

 :)

Well, it's a free country . . .  ;D
His polemics have been softer and less harsh.  Them butterfly kisses seem to be paying off.   ;D
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on November 01, 2010, 07:31:37 PM
If this is ELCA pastoral care, I sure hope others will step up on here to make up for your approach. 


Please remember, Sister Kim, should you skim through the responses to your testimony in this topic that among those who thanked you for your powerful story were other ELCA pastors, even some of whom participate in Lutherans for Life. 

And, alas, some of whom receive similar back-handed "compliments" from colleagues in other settings when we share similar stories.

Christe eleison, Steven+
simul iustus et peccator
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on November 01, 2010, 07:37:04 PM

Should I apologize for quoting scriptures?


Satan quoted the scriptures to Jesus, too.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on November 01, 2010, 07:40:19 PM
Comment win!
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Dan Fienen on November 01, 2010, 08:25:09 PM
Oh my goodness, Pastor.  "The reason was not because they were ungodly?"  "They probably worshipped pagan gods?"

My point is that I don't find anything in the text -- in fact, I just read Joshua 1-6 -- and still find nothing that declares they were ungodly or that they worshipped pagan gods. Maybe they did. Maybe they didn't.

What I did read is: Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, their hearts melted in fear and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites" (Josh 5:1 TNIV).

Who might be more sinful than a prostitute who had her own house of prostitution? And she is a liar, albeit she lies to save the Israelite spies. Yet, if Rahab can be saved, why couldn't all the other sinners in Jericho? We've already been told that they don't want to the fight the Israelites.

Quote
Do the words "First Commandment" (the foundation of alll the Commandments) and "Gross Idolotry" ring a bell?  Canaanite fertility cults, ritual prostitution, cult of the dead, and sacrifice of children? 

Where in Joshua 1-6 are we told that the people of Jericho or Ai were doing all of this?

Quote
And the accounts throughout Joshua, Judges, and the rest of the OT of Israel's disobedience to the command, because they wanted to be "good neighbors" don't you know (sound like Scandanavian Lutherans for goodness sake) and the consequences (which God knew about in advance) of living cheek by jowl with idoloters? 

Compare Joshua with his army coming into the foreign land and Jonah coming into the Assyrian (a traditional enemy of Israel) capital city of Ninevah by himself. Joshua kills everyone. Jonah converts everyone (even when Jonah didn't want to).
I'm not sure that you could find a court that would want jurisdiction, but if you want to accuse God of being unfair to the Canaanites and indict Him for murder and attempted genocide - go for it.  You would have plenty of company.  It is on the militant atheistic hit parade.

Or perhaps you are using this to argue that we cannot really trust the Bible to give us history.  Or that God is OK with murder as long as it serves a practical purpose (as arbortion would usually be considered to be - a practical and relatively easy solution to a problem).  Or, what are you getting at.

Or are these just comments that really are there to serve no purpose other than to rile others up and to show how independently minded you are?

What is your point or are these points pointless?

Dan
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 01, 2010, 09:06:05 PM

Should I apologize for quoting scriptures?


Satan quoted the scriptures to Jesus, too.

And Jesus quoted some back. So, if I am in the role of Satan, others should be quoting scriptures to show where anything I've said is wrong.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 01, 2010, 09:07:34 PM
What is your point or are these points pointless?

The question was asked if God ever approved the killing of children. I quoted scriptures where the answer has to be "yes".
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 09:14:16 PM
If this is ELCA pastoral care, I sure hope others will step up on here to make up for your approach. 


Please remember, Sister Kim, should you skim through the responses to your testimony in this topic that among those who thanked you for your powerful story were other ELCA pastors, even some of whom participate in Lutherans for Life. 

And, alas, some of whom receive similar back-handed "compliments" from colleagues in other settings when we share similar stories.

Christe eleison, Steven+
simul iustus et peccator

Yikes . . . begging your pardon!  I generalized while in the midst of seeing red and responding.  Forgive me . . .  Please know how thankful I am for you all and your commitment to Life!
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 01, 2010, 09:15:34 PM
What is your point or are these points pointless?

The question was asked if God ever approved the killing of children. I quoted scriptures where the answer has to be "yes".

That was not MY question . . .
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on November 01, 2010, 09:25:05 PM

And Jesus quoted some back. So, if I am in the role of Satan, others should be quoting scriptures to show where anything I've said is wrong.


Not for the first time...

What comes to mind is the account of Jesus and the man born blind in John 9 (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/r/rsv/rsv-idx?type=citation&book=John&chapno=9&startverse=1&endverse=41).  Especially the conclusion:

Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind."

Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, "Are we also blind?"

Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains."

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on November 01, 2010, 09:26:20 PM
This is precisely where the concept (promulgated by John Paul the Great) about a "culture of life" versus a "culture of death" comes into play.  

As I understand it, a Culture of Life focuses upon the God-given dignity of life and seeks to honor that dignity in every facet of our communal life together, and protests any influence that seeks to deny or destroy that dignity.

On the other hand, a Culture of death is nihilistic, seeking only to marginalize or destroy the dignity of life, looking for any excuse to degrade and destroy life.

The Deaconess asks a question out of the context of extolling the God given dignity of life.
Pr. Stoffregen asks a question about God demanding and sanctioning the death of children.

Draw your own conclusions.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: A Catholic Lutheran on November 01, 2010, 09:36:55 PM
By the way...  I have always been somewhat shocked at the way that certain people can argue that they "support life" by protesting capital punishment but then go on to say that they support current abortion laws.  First, capital punishment is a violation of life, but so is abortion.  That being said, there is NO moral equivelence between the two.  Capital punishment happens relatively rarely, as oppossed to abortion which occurrs every day.  Second, there is a stringent legal process that leads up to the imposition of capital punishment--a process that must be followed even when the offender has admitted their guilt and sometimes desire the punishment--but there are few, if any, legal roadblocks to abortion. (And while there are evermore challenges and roadblocks to capital punishment, there is a push to liberalize access to abortion.)  Thirdly, the premise of capital punishment is that the perpetrator has committed a heinous crime, while abortion is executed on a completely innocent victim.  Finally, when the lives of the innocent are wantonly taken, it is an assault on the very bedrock of humanity and human rights, whereas capital punishment is an assault, not upon the bedrock of human values but upon something much higher.

Abortion is the primary evil, capital punishment is a secondary evil.  If you are going to be outraged about one, it should be abortion.  The Roman Catholic Church is outraged about both.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 02, 2010, 01:37:02 AM
What is your point or are these points pointless?

The question was asked if God ever approved the killing of children. I quoted scriptures where the answer has to be "yes".

That was not MY question . . .

Your exact statement was: "If someone can show me within Scripture that it is or ever was pleasing to God that the life of a child be taken before or after birth (apart from His command to do so when punishing un-Godly nations), I'll gladly consider the evidence."

My first response was: "Why would killing of ungodly nations be any different? I'm sure that you wouldn't say that abortion for non-believers is OK."

My second response was to show where the Israelites killed children in response to commands from God. Was that pleasing to God or not?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 02, 2010, 01:44:48 AM

And Jesus quoted some back. So, if I am in the role of Satan, others should be quoting scriptures to show where anything I've said is wrong.


Not for the first time...

What comes to mind is the account of Jesus and the man born blind in John 9 (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/r/rsv/rsv-idx?type=citation&book=John&chapno=9&startverse=1&endverse=41).  Especially the conclusion:

Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind."

Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, "Are we also blind?"

Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains."


Of course that would apply if I were stating what I see or what I believe. I've asked questions. Did it please God when Moses and Joshua killed children in obedience to God's command as they returned to the Promised Land as Deuteronomy and Joshua state?
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: kls on November 02, 2010, 06:26:45 AM
Your exact statement was: "If someone can show me within Scripture that it is or ever was pleasing to God that the life of a child be taken before or after birth (apart from His command to do so when punishing un-Godly nations), I'll gladly consider the evidence."

My first response was: "Why would killing of ungodly nations be any different? I'm sure that you wouldn't say that abortion for non-believers is OK."

My second response was to show where the Israelites killed children in response to commands from God. Was that pleasing to God or not?

You haven't put forth any evidence to prove what was put forth in my question.  You've merely pointed out instances where God specifically commanded the lives of children to be taken, thus my qualification in parenthesis.  Again, God chose to take these lives for reasons that are His alone.

Is it pleasing to God to do such things?  How would I know?  I suppose anyone trying to get into the mind of God may want to re-read the last few chapters of Job to get a sense of how dangerous that can be.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 02, 2010, 06:33:49 AM
Let us say that God is sorrowful about those militaristic commands given to the Israelites that resulted in the death of children.
Maybe God suffers with people who have to make difficult decisions today and the shared suffering is part of the way God identifies with us and brings us comfort.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Scott6 on November 02, 2010, 08:14:54 AM
Let us say that God is sorrowful about those militaristic commands given to the Israelites that resulted in the death of children.
Maybe God suffers with people who have to make difficult decisions today and the shared suffering is part of the way God identifies with us and brings us comfort.

Yeah, I tried using Moltmann as comfort once to an Afghan teenager in Rawalpindi, Pakistan during the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban, letting him know that God is suffering with him.

A complete whiff -- even when dealing with an affliction whose cause is forces beyond his control -- but as I had received my most recent theological training from Luther at that point, it was all I had.

While Christ does indeed suffer with us when we are oppressed by outside forces, that is not and cannot be the end of the story.  A God who only suffers does no one any good.  That's why there's a resurrection.  The path from the cross to the resurrection may be inscrutable and there may never be a satisfactory answer to the "why?" question this side of the eschaton (and maybe not even then), yet we do know that God is with us, Immanuel, especially in suffering, even as we know that suffering is not the final answer.  Resurrection is.  Suffering and the grave cannot frustrate the love of our God, and He is not satisfied to leave us in that condition.  Rather, he overcomes suffering and the grave, whether in this temporal life or beyond.  Healing does not come through suffering; healing comes through resurrection.

Yet there are times -- most of the time, I would say -- where our problem results precisely not from outside forces but from ourselves.  When our suffering is self-inflicted as we turn in upon ourselves, seeking what we think is our good in contradistinction to God.  It's called sin.  And here, it is God who is the problem.  It is God who afflicts us, and He does so with His Law, written on our hearts, operative in nature, and revealed in Scripture.  Here, it is God who causes us to suffer, who seeks to kill this deformed creature before Him, this creature twisted by sin.  This is God's "alien work," but it is still God's work.  He puts that creature to death in baptism, in confession and absolution, in the Lord's Supper.  Wherever forgiveness is offered and received, a death occurs.  But like before, not simply a death but a resurrection.  A new creature comes forth, fully cleansed of his sin even as he still bears the scars of his affliction in this life, awaiting for the full redemption and healing that is to come.

Which is all to say that a proclamation of a God who suffers with and comforts us in our suffering, if that's all there is, has little to do with the Law and Gospel, the cross and the empty tomb.  It is anemic.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Scott6 on November 02, 2010, 08:19:14 AM
Let us say that God is sorrowful about those militaristic commands given to the Israelites that resulted in the death of children.
Maybe God suffers with people who have to make difficult decisions today and the shared suffering is part of the way God identifies with us and brings us comfort.

Now, to the point of the thread, if the difficult decision that causes God to suffer with us is that made to kill His gift of a child, then, no.  Here, it's God who is the problem.  And that's why confession and absolution -- true, robust, full-throated forgiveness, not paper hopes that no one really buys when the chips are down -- is needed.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 02, 2010, 09:06:06 AM
I am in general, though probably not complete agreement with what Scott just posted. Good words.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Mike Bennett on November 02, 2010, 10:08:37 AM
What is your point or are these points pointless?

The question was asked if God ever approved the killing of children. I quoted scriptures where the answer has to be "yes".

It's interesting that the Canaanites, whose killing God commanded, had their own chapter of Planned Parenthood sacrificing children to Molech.  So I'm not sure your mischievous response led you in a direction you would have wanted to go.

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Scott6 on November 02, 2010, 11:02:00 AM
Let us say that God is sorrowful about those militaristic commands given to the Israelites that resulted in the death of children.
Maybe God suffers with people who have to make difficult decisions today and the shared suffering is part of the way God identifies with us and brings us comfort.

Now, to the point of the thread, if the difficult decision that causes God to suffer with us is that made to kill His gift of a child, then, no.  Here, it's God who is the problem.  And that's why confession and absolution -- true, robust, full-throated forgiveness, not paper hopes that no one really buys when the chips are down -- is needed.

I know that you may have already said all that there is to say on this in this post and the one immediately preceding it.

But if you can walk me through the relationship between God's alien work in His hidden will where He commands the destruction of pagan nations or false prophets and so on to that of true, robust, full-throated forgiveness, then I would find that helpful.

I have always had to stop with Dcs. Schave's counsel that we cannot know the mind of God and that the clay may not judge the Potter.

Combined, of course, with Luke 13 and thoughts that "Am I any less sinful or worthy of destruction? Then I should repent."  Perhaps that is where the repentance and the preaching of rue, robust, full-throated forgiveness comes in?

Mike

There are a number of places to look, but one good one is Luther's sermon on St. Thomas day in 1516:

But He cannot come to this his proper work unless he undertakes a work that is alien and contrary to himself, as Isa. 28 [:21] says: An alien work is his that he may work his own work. His alien work, however, is to make men sinners, unrighteous, liars, miserable, foolish, lost. Not that he actually makes them such himself, but that the pride of men, although they are such, will not let them become or be such, so much so that God makes use of a greater disturbance, indeed, he uses this work solely to show them that they are such, in order that they may become in their own eyes, what they are in God’s eyes. Therefore, since he can make just only those who are not just, he is compelled to perform an alien work in order to make them sinners, before he performs his proper work of justification. Thus he says, “I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal” [Deut. 32:39]. But they who deem themselves just and wise and think they are somebody are most violently hostile to this alien work, which is the cross of Christ and our Adam. For they do not want what is theirs to be despised and regarded as foolish and evil, that is, they do not want their Adam to be killed. So they do not come to God’s proper work, which is justification or the resurrection of Christ.

God’s alien work, therefore, is the suffering of Christ and sufferings in Christ, the crucifixion of the old man and the mortification of Adam. God’s proper work, however, is the resurrection of Christ, justification in the Spirit, and the vivification of the new man, as Rom. 4 [:25] says: Christ died for our sins and was raised for our justification. Thus, conformity with the image of the Son of God [cf. Rom. 8:29] includes both of these works. This is what I said not long ago concerning John [the Baptist] and the gospel of which he is a figure. For just as the work of God is twofold, namely, proper and alien, so also the office of the gospel is twofold. The proper office of the gospel is to proclaim the proper work of God, i.e. grace, through which the Father of mercies freely gives to all men peace, righteousness and truth, mitigating all his wrath. Therefore it is called a good, delightful, sweet, friendly gospel, and he who hears it finds it impossible not to rejoice. But this happens whenever the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to grieving consciences, as Rom. 10 [:15] says: “How beautiful,” that is, how amiable, delightful, and, as the Hebrew reads, desirable [cf. Isa. 52:7], “are the feet of those who preach the gospel,” that is, those who bring the good and pleasant news, who proclaim peace, and therefore, not the law and the threats of the law, not something which must still be fulfilled and performed, but rather the forgiveness of sins, peace of conscience, the message that the law has been fulfilled, etc. “Who preach good news,” that is, the altogether sweet and delightful mercy of God the Father, the Christ who is given to us. (LW 51:19-20)

Or again, in his commentary on Psalm 90:

God indeed also claims for Himself the work of slaying man, as we have heard above (v. 13). In Scripture God expressly says: “I kill and I make alive” (Deut. 32:39). But Isaiah distinguishes between these works of God and says that some are His “alien” works and others his “natural” works (Is. 28:21).
The latter are God’s works of grace, according to which He forgives sins, pronounces sinners just, and saves those who believe in Christ.

God’s “alien” works are these: to judge, to condemn, and to punish those who are impenitent and do not believe. God is compelled to resort to such “alien” works and to call them His own because of our pride. By manifesting these works He aims to humble us that we might regard Him as our Lord and obey His will. (LW 13:135)

Or on the 4th Thesis of the Heidelberg Disputation:

4. Although the works of God always seem unattractive and appear evil, they are nevertheless really eternal merits.

That the works of God are unattractive is clear from what is said in Isa. 53[:2], “He had no form of comeliness,” and in I Sam. 2[:6], “The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.” This is understood to mean that the Lord humbles and frightens us by means of the law and the sight of our sins so that we seem in the eyes of men, as in our own, as nothing, foolish, and wicked, for we are in truth that. Insofar as we acknowledge and confess this, these is no form or beauty in us, but our life is hidden in God (i.e. in the bare confidence in his mercy), finding in ourselves nothing but sin, foolishness, death, and hell, according to that verse of the Apostle in II Cor. 6[:9–10], “As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as dying, and behold we live.” And that it is which Isa. 28[:21] calls the alien work of God that he may do his work (that is, he humbles us thoroughly, making us despair, so that he may exalt us in his mercy, giving us hope), just as Hab. 3[:2] states, “In wrath remember mercy.” Such a man therefore is displeased with all his works; he sees no beauty, but only his ugliness. Indeed, he also does those things which appear foolish and disgusting to others. (LW 31:44)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: LutherMan on November 03, 2010, 06:19:02 PM
Abortion is the primary evil, capital punishment is a secondary evil.  If you are going to be outraged about one, it should be abortion.  The Roman Catholic Church is outraged about both.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
And we are not the Roman Catholic Church, we are Lutherans.  A CTCR statement of the LCMS says we can freely support, or oppose capital punishment.   There is none such wrt abortion.

Not that I need CTCR statements to help me decide this.
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: ptmccain on November 03, 2010, 06:57:16 PM
No, to be precise, The LCMS position on capital punishment is that whereas one can oppose it on various grounds, one can NOT say that the act of capital punishment is, in itself, contrary to God's Word.

The Lutheran Confessions reflect the Scripture's teaching that it is given to government to bear the sword and punish law breakers.

This is not to say there is no room for arguments against it based on issues of fairness, justice, judicual procedure, etc.

My brother-in-law used to be the Assistant Attorney General for the State of TN and we used to get into fascinating debates over the death penalty. He opposed based on the principle that it was not evenly and fairly applied. I supported it based on the reason that if, rightly convicted, a man who kills another is put to death it is a just act.

He found that the only argument that made any sense, for it, and I found his argument the only that made any sense, against it.

Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 03, 2010, 07:58:23 PM
What is your point or are these points pointless?

The question was asked if God ever approved the killing of children. I quoted scriptures where the answer has to be "yes".

It's interesting that the Canaanites, whose killing God commanded, had their own chapter of Planned Parenthood sacrificing children to Molech.  So I'm not sure your mischievous response led you in a direction you would have wanted to go.

Whether or not Canaanites actually sacrificed children to Molech is up for debate. (Just Google it.)
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Mike Bennett on November 03, 2010, 10:03:07 PM
What is your point or are these points pointless?

The question was asked if God ever approved the killing of children. I quoted scriptures where the answer has to be "yes".

It's interesting that the Canaanites, whose killing God commanded, had their own chapter of Planned Parenthood sacrificing children to Molech.  So I'm not sure your mischievous response led you in a direction you would have wanted to go.

Whether or not Canaanites actually sacrificed children to Molech is up for debate. (Just Google it.)

Today everything is up for debate. 

Mike Bennett
Title: Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
Post by: Charles_Austin on November 03, 2010, 10:06:49 PM
Which does not mean we should end debate.