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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Eileen Smith on July 09, 2016, 08:10:10 AM

Title: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Eileen Smith on July 09, 2016, 08:10:10 AM
http://www.elca.org/blacklivesmatter (http://www.elca.org/blacklivesmatter)

If I've not done this properly, you may go to: www.elca.org/blacklivesmatter to see and/or hear the Service of Prayer and Lament led by Bishop Eaton.  The link was shared with people in our congregation and the comments that have come in allow that it was very healing to all who are struggling with the news of yet more Black men killed, and the murder of five police officers. 

This was passed along to me as a very good resource:  http://www.tolerance.org/teaching-about-ferguson (http://www.tolerance.org/teaching-about-ferguson)
 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Eileen Smith on July 09, 2016, 08:11:33 AM
An excerpt from the homily of Pope Francis's on the occasion of his visit to the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, where he mourned the would-be immigrants who have lost their lives trying to get from Africa to Europe.  I thought the words very appropriate for us at this time.

“Adam, where are you?” “Where is your brother?” These are the two questions that God puts at the beginning of the story of humanity, and that He also addresses to the men and women of our time, even to us. But I want to set before us a third question: “Who among us has wept for these things, and things like this?” Who has wept for the deaths of these brothers and sisters? Who has wept for the people who were on the boat? For the young mothers carrying their babies? For these men who wanted something to support their families? We are a society that has forgotten the experience of weeping, of “suffering with”: the globalization of indifference has taken from us the ability to weep! In the Gospel we have heard the cry, the plea, the great lament: “Rachel weeping for her children . . . because they are no more.” Herod sowed death in order to defend his own well-being, his own soap bubble. And this continues to repeat itself. Let us ask the Lord to wipe out [whatever attitude] of Herod remains in our hearts; let us ask the Lord for the grace to weep over our indifference, to weep over the cruelty in the world, in ourselves, and even in those who anonymously make socio-economic decisions that open the way to tragedies like this. “Who has wept?” Who in today’s world has wept?
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Dave Benke on July 09, 2016, 08:55:13 AM
I posted this yesterday on Facebook:

Officer Rafael Ramos lived a block from St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, NY. His children went to our Pre-School. His nephew attends our homework help program. His body was buried less than a mile from our church in 2014. Officer Peter Figoski was killed three blocks from St. Peter's in 2011, and I prayed at his memorial on site last winter. The families of the officers killed and injured in Dallas are part and parcel of the living prayer life of our church.

At the same time, our parishioners and their friends have been profiled, stopped and harassed by the police and by citizens on the street because of the color of their skin, because of their accented English, because of their countries of origin or perceived countries of origin. The families of those killed needlessly and recklessly by police officers, most recently in Baton Rouge and Minnesota, and even in our own neighborhood this past week, are part and parcel of the living prayer life of our church.

Violence begets violence, and the response of communities of faith rings out for justice. "Vengeance is mine," says the Lord; "I will repay." This speaks directly to those who take the law into their own hands, either under auspices of a badge or as those who take reparation with bullets. Neither is blessed or sanctioned by the Almighty.

St. Peter's has hosted two "Gun Buy-Back" events, one the week after Officer Figoski was killed, and the other a week after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Hundreds of weapons were returned, including assault weapons. Positive action by God's faithful is not optional at this time. Our lives matter in God's economy, across all lines of demarcation. We have been baptized for this moment.

Living in New York, and shepherding a racially, ethnically and social-class diverse congregation, I pledge on behalf of God's people at St. Peter's to promote peace at the same time as promoting justice; to live as soldiers of the cross of Christ to bring healing in society and human hearts; to work with law enforcement and community officials; and to "trust not in princes," but in the Prince of Peace.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on July 09, 2016, 08:58:31 AM
Thank you, Bishop.  Fair and balanced.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: DCharlton on July 09, 2016, 12:42:02 PM
Along with confessing our complicity in institutional and systemic racism, I think the ELCA should confess our complicity in allying ourselves with those who engage in violent anti-police rhetoric and misinformation.  I'm speaking specifically of the Black Lives Matter movement.  On at least two occasions, members of the Black Lives Matter movement have been heard chanting violent anti-police messages.  This is the second time police officers have been assassinated by a person claiming to be motivated in part by the BLM movement. 

Like Black Lives Matter, we have failed to apologize for promoting false narratives such as the "hands up don't shoot" meme.  In spite of the fact that DOJ itself disproved the "hand up don't shoot" narrative" we still refer to Ferguson as an example of an police racism and violence. 

We should be able to oppose racism and call for greater accountability for law enforcement without allying ourselves with groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence. 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: MEKoch on July 09, 2016, 02:15:21 PM
Amen. David C.  Amen.   Thankfully there are those in the poor black communities who recognize that all police officers are their friends and protectors.  And the moment there is no police, all Hell breaks loose.

Mike Koch
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Eileen Smith on July 09, 2016, 02:46:10 PM
Clearly this issue is very divisive.  I have seen first-hand how justice does not work in the Black community; on the other hand, I work with a number of police officers and recognize that they have a difficult job and perhaps too often decisions must be made in a split-second which can be deliberated over for decades. 

Perhaps we could, just once, look back on this very sad week in prayer as one in Christ and hold off on the negative ELCA/LCMS rhetoric.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: DCharlton on July 09, 2016, 02:58:00 PM
Clearly this issue is very divisive.  I have seen first-hand how justice does not work in the Black community; on the other hand, I work with a number of police officers and recognize that they have a difficult job and perhaps too often decisions must be made in a split-second which can be deliberated over for decades. 

Perhaps we could, just once, look back on this very sad week in prayer as one in Christ and hold off on the negative ELCA/LCMS rhetoric.

I'm sorry Eileen, I speak as a member of the ELCA not from outside.  What caught my eye was the link that included the name of the particular group in question.  One the other link, I saw resources that continue to teach the false "hands up don't shoot" narrative from Ferguson. 

I think we should be more careful about who we align ourselves with.  We should oppose racism and unjust law enforcement practices.  We should also distance ourselves from groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence. 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on July 09, 2016, 03:31:14 PM
What caught my eye was the link that included the name of the particular group in question.  One the other link, I saw resources that continue to teach the false "hands up don't shoot" narrative from Ferguson. 

I think we should be more careful about who we align ourselves with.  We should oppose racism and unjust law enforcement practices.  We should also distance ourselves from groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence.

Yesterday morning my heart was numb with a grief for the brothers in blue that I had not felt for nearly 15 years.

That grief only intensified when I saw that entirely one-sided headline, placed in the position of prominence of # 1 in the slideshow on the ELCA home page.   I tried to feel anger but the grief was too overpowering.

Naively, I hoped that in view of the events in Dallas that headline slide would be removed, or at least modified to include the overnight tragedy.

When such change did not occur, I confess, I felt as the condemned Pharisee of Luke 18, thanking God that I departed five years ago.

God have mercy on me, the sinner.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Eileen Smith on July 09, 2016, 05:35:38 PM
Clearly this issue is very divisive.  I have seen first-hand how justice does not work in the Black community; on the other hand, I work with a number of police officers and recognize that they have a difficult job and perhaps too often decisions must be made in a split-second which can be deliberated over for decades. 

Perhaps we could, just once, look back on this very sad week in prayer as one in Christ and hold off on the negative ELCA/LCMS rhetoric.

I'm sorry Eileen, I speak as a member of the ELCA not from outside.  What caught my eye was the link that included the name of the particular group in question.  One the other link, I saw resources that continue to teach the false "hands up don't shoot" narrative from Ferguson. 

I think we should be more careful about who we align ourselves with.  We should oppose racism and unjust law enforcement practices.  We should also distance ourselves from groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence.

On that I would agree with you.  I was surprised to see the extension to the link, but I felt the liturgy worth viewing. I am concerned about the organization, "Black Lives Matter" - especially the anti-police message it sends to young people.  Today I heard President Obama's press conference on the occasion of his last NATO meeting.  He said that race relations weren't as bad as some think.  I'm one of those who feel that race relations have deteriorated significantly and I don't think he's been a healing presence.   
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Matt Staneck on July 09, 2016, 06:01:26 PM
Here is what I posted on our church's Facebook page:

As people called by God in Christ Jesus through baptism, we are a people called to prayer. This Sunday, at 10AM, we will hold a short liturgy of the Word and prayer for the recent tragedies in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, and Dallas. The church is a place where all are equal before the throne of God, and that includes civilians and police officers. We will gather in prayer for the families of those who grieve, even as we remember the names of the people who died.

In such tense times we remember that we are a people called to love and mercy, indeed as our gospel text for this coming Sunday teaches us (Luke 10:25-37). This is not a time for taking sides based on tribal markings, whatever they may be. This is a time for us, the baptized people of God in Christ Jesus, to gather before the throne of mercy, irrespective of tribe, and to hold onto each other in his love.

Join us this Sunday at 10AM and stay for our regular liturgy of the Word and Sacrament at 10:30AM. Please share this with anyone who you think may be interested in attending.


M. Staneck
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Fletch on July 09, 2016, 06:14:43 PM
Clearly this issue is very divisive.  I have seen first-hand how justice does not work in the Black community; on the other hand, I work with a number of police officers and recognize that they have a difficult job and perhaps too often decisions must be made in a split-second which can be deliberated over for decades. 

Perhaps we could, just once, look back on this very sad week in prayer as one in Christ and hold off on the negative ELCA/LCMS rhetoric.

I'm sorry Eileen, I speak as a member of the ELCA not from outside.  What caught my eye was the link that included the name of the particular group in question.  One the other link, I saw resources that continue to teach the false "hands up don't shoot" narrative from Ferguson. 

I think we should be more careful about who we align ourselves with.  We should oppose racism and unjust law enforcement practices.  We should also distance ourselves from groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence.

On that I would agree with you.  I was surprised to see the extension to the link, but I felt the liturgy worth viewing. I am concerned about the organization, "Black Lives Matter" - especially the anti-police message it sends to young people.  Today I heard President Obama's press conference on the occasion of his last NATO meeting.  He said that race relations weren't as bad as some think.  I'm one of those who feel that race relations have deteriorated significantly and I don't think he's been a healing presence.

Eileen, I agree wholeheartedly with you that race relations have deteriorated significantly and our current president and congress has done little to heal.  I really think race relations have deteriorated greatly since I was in high school in the early 1960s when blacks and whites just got along, at least in my school and my area.  It seems the more we talk about making things better, the worse it becomes.  It seems similar to advertising; the more something is advertised, the more likely there is a reason it has to be advertised, it just isn't a good product so everyone tries to make believe it is the greatest thing going.  I think the problems began when we aggressively tried to remove God from much we do.  I was blessed to have my formative years when we still read the Bible in school, said the pledge of allegiance, spoke highly of our founding documents, had not rewritten history to covertly reflect the USA as evil, and prayed aloud, together.   While we have made great strides in technology and most of our citizens have a far better standard of living than their predecessors, we increasingly complain and want more; unfortunately, what we want more of is ultimately unsatisfying and harmful.  We have thrown the authority of Scripture out the window and only revere the parts we want.  No way do we want to hear about things that say some actions are sinful.  We have indeed tried to become our own gods, back to Genesis 3 one more time, rinse, recycle, repeat.  Thanks be to God that Jesus came to save us, those who have been chosen to hear and believe His promises, from ourselves and from the one who is prowling to lead us astray, .  My prayer is that we would help spread the Gospel and help others to know that vengance belongs to God and respect those he has placed in the kingdom of the left to reduce chaos and restore order, so we can worship the one true God in peace.  I must remember, I am baptized!  I am a child of God. 

... Fletch

Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: DCharlton on July 09, 2016, 07:12:35 PM
Clearly this issue is very divisive.  I have seen first-hand how justice does not work in the Black community; on the other hand, I work with a number of police officers and recognize that they have a difficult job and perhaps too often decisions must be made in a split-second which can be deliberated over for decades. 

Perhaps we could, just once, look back on this very sad week in prayer as one in Christ and hold off on the negative ELCA/LCMS rhetoric.

I'm sorry Eileen, I speak as a member of the ELCA not from outside.  What caught my eye was the link that included the name of the particular group in question.  One the other link, I saw resources that continue to teach the false "hands up don't shoot" narrative from Ferguson. 

I think we should be more careful about who we align ourselves with.  We should oppose racism and unjust law enforcement practices.  We should also distance ourselves from groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence.

On that I would agree with you.  I was surprised to see the extension to the link, but I felt the liturgy worth viewing. I am concerned about the organization, "Black Lives Matter" - especially the anti-police message it sends to young people.  Today I heard President Obama's press conference on the occasion of his last NATO meeting.  He said that race relations weren't as bad as some think.  I'm one of those who feel that race relations have deteriorated significantly and I don't think he's been a healing presence.

Thank you, Eileen.  I apologize again if I derailed the thread. 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: readselerttoo on July 09, 2016, 07:36:41 PM
Clearly this issue is very divisive.  I have seen first-hand how justice does not work in the Black community; on the other hand, I work with a number of police officers and recognize that they have a difficult job and perhaps too often decisions must be made in a split-second which can be deliberated over for decades. 

Perhaps we could, just once, look back on this very sad week in prayer as one in Christ and hold off on the negative ELCA/LCMS rhetoric.

I'm sorry Eileen, I speak as a member of the ELCA not from outside.  What caught my eye was the link that included the name of the particular group in question.  One the other link, I saw resources that continue to teach the false "hands up don't shoot" narrative from Ferguson. 

I think we should be more careful about who we align ourselves with.  We should oppose racism and unjust law enforcement practices.  We should also distance ourselves from groups that engage in misinformation and incitement to violence.

I agree.  I think the ELCA is too quick to ally itself to causes which have not run their full course.  Yes, racism continues to be a problem for us but it is too easy to judge without the full course and the full picture.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: DCharlton on July 09, 2016, 09:37:58 PM
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars? 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: readselerttoo on July 09, 2016, 10:06:15 PM
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?


As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice. 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 10, 2016, 03:17:39 AM
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?


As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice.


The ELCA's public voice is heard in thousands of pulpits each week. What you pastors saying about it? We are the ELCA. It certainly is in my sermon based on the Good Samaritan text. One of the points in the parable is racism. There's no other reason for Jesus to make the third man a Samaritan. The normal three-some in some OT passages is priest, Levite, and Israelite. Amy-Jill Levine suggests that it's like hearing Larry and Moe, and our minds now expect Curley; but when the third man is Osama bin Laden (her illustration) or a member of ISIS (mine), it gives the jarring effect that "Samaritan" would have Jesus or Luke's Jewish audience.


How do blacks and whites learn to become neighbor to each other? How do civilians and police learn to become neighbor to each other? I believe that in most communities and among many, many people, they already are. How do we together get rid of the evil that is on the road beating up and robbing travellers?
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: readselerttoo on July 10, 2016, 07:50:56 AM
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?


As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice.


The ELCA's public voice is heard in thousands of pulpits each week. What you pastors saying about it? We are the ELCA. It certainly is in my sermon based on the Good Samaritan text. One of the points in the parable is racism. There's no other reason for Jesus to make the third man a Samaritan. The normal three-some in some OT passages is priest, Levite, and Israelite. Amy-Jill Levine suggests that it's like hearing Larry and Moe, and our minds now expect Curley; but when the third man is Osama bin Laden (her illustration) or a member of ISIS (mine), it gives the jarring effect that "Samaritan" would have Jesus or Luke's Jewish audience.


How do blacks and whites learn to become neighbor to each other? How do civilians and police learn to become neighbor to each other? I believe that in most communities and among many, many people, they already are. How do we together get rid of the evil that is on the road beating up and robbing travellers?


The parable of the Good Samaritan is also addressed to a lawyer who is seeking self-justification in his dealings with a neighbor.  It is not being addressed to the disciples.  Jesus is saying that if you only have ears for the law here is how you deal with the neighbor.  And you better be dealing with the neighbor this way totally and all the time. Yes, if you only have ears for the law, as the lawyer does, "Go and do likewise."   BTW, the law always accuses.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Team Hesse on July 10, 2016, 08:26:33 AM
As is also true of the "rich young ruler" of Mark 10. Ears only for the law need to hear the law in its full impact. There is no salvation there, only accusation.


Lou
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Eileen Smith on July 10, 2016, 08:29:24 AM
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?


As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice.

I am regretful of starting this thread.  Going to bed several nights ago with the knowledge of two men killed and waking up to hear of five police officers killed was overwhelming.  As I said to someone (with my liturgical hat on) I may not have chosen all of those hymns, but the communal sense of worship brought me peace. 

The words of Pastor Charlton and a conversation with a police officer in town made me realize that perhaps this service was a bit too hasty.  Prayer - yes, judgment - no. 

My pastor has certainly addressed issues such major issues in his sermons without becoming political.  Several weeks ago, right after Orlando, he was away for our Saturday night service and a neighboring pastor did politicize the tragedy making it one of gun control.  I hope all our pastors keep politics out of the pulpit this current tragedy and do not blame this on racism.  As I said earlier on this thread, police officers have a split second to make a decision - a decision that could affect whether the officer lives or dies -- and the public has decades to analyze it. The Minnesota governor has already judged and condemned the officer.  Let us not do the same but pray for those who have lost their lives and not pronounce judgement on our police.  Let us not teach our congregations, especially our children, to fear - even hate - authority.   This will be investigated by professionals in law enforcement.   

Does this happen more frequently to Black people?  I would think so.  But this is a generational problem that exists in the realm of the social psychology of the Black community and that underlying is what needs to be addressed.  Just skimming the surface, people in these communities need hope.  They need parents - two of them.  We need to support the family structure across all races, not tear it down.  President Obama had eight years to offer hope in pointing to not only himself, but two AG's, countless congressmen and women, and police chiefs in large cities, many of whom are Black.  He had the opportunity to offer a vision of what could be - not for all, but for some - but at least a vision. That wasn't the road he chose.  But, again, so much of this goes to family structure or the lack of it.  Rather than address this, our leaders, such as the one in Minnesota, chose to separate races by fueling the flame of discord.

 

 





Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Team Hesse on July 10, 2016, 08:41:25 AM
When issues like this arise, I find myself being drawn to the end of Joshua 5. "Are you for us or against us?" "No, but I am the commander of the Lord's army. Now I have come."


Maranatha,


Lou
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on July 10, 2016, 09:37:06 AM

The families of those killed needlessly and recklessly by police officers, most recently... Minnesota...

St. Peter's has hosted two "Gun Buy-Back" events, one the week after Officer Figoski was killed, and the other a week after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Dave Benke

It is ignorant statements like that, including Mark Dayton's shortly after the shooting, that foment hatred and violence, resulting in the deaths of police officers and others and violent protests like the one in St Paul last night, about a mile from where we are staying.

As to gun buy-backs, as shown the last time you touted your action, they do little but make the hosts feel good about themselves.

Lord have mercy.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Team Hesse on July 10, 2016, 10:34:13 AM

The families of those killed needlessly and recklessly by police officers, most recently... Minnesota...

St. Peter's has hosted two "Gun Buy-Back" events, one the week after Officer Figoski was killed, and the other a week after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Dave Benke

It is ignorant statements like that, including Mark Dayton's shortly after the shooting, that foment hatred and violence, resulting in the deaths of police officers and others and violent protests like the one in St Paul last night, about a mile from where we are staying.

As to gun buy-backs, as shown the last time you touted your action, they do little but make the hosts feel good about themselves.

Lord have mercy.


Indeed, the quick to judgment folks need to revisit Luther's Large Catechism, the eighth.....particularly the "do you smell the roast?" portion.


Lou
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 10, 2016, 11:03:56 AM
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?


As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice.


The ELCA's public voice is heard in thousands of pulpits each week. What you pastors saying about it? We are the ELCA. It certainly is in my sermon based on the Good Samaritan text. One of the points in the parable is racism. There's no other reason for Jesus to make the third man a Samaritan. The normal three-some in some OT passages is priest, Levite, and Israelite. Amy-Jill Levine suggests that it's like hearing Larry and Moe, and our minds now expect Curley; but when the third man is Osama bin Laden (her illustration) or a member of ISIS (mine), it gives the jarring effect that "Samaritan" would have Jesus or Luke's Jewish audience.


How do blacks and whites learn to become neighbor to each other? How do civilians and police learn to become neighbor to each other? I believe that in most communities and among many, many people, they already are. How do we together get rid of the evil that is on the road beating up and robbing travellers?


The parable of the Good Samaritan is also addressed to a lawyer who is seeking self-justification in his dealings with a neighbor.  It is not being addressed to the disciples.  Jesus is saying that if you only have ears for the law here is how you deal with the neighbor.  And you better be dealing with the neighbor this way totally and all the time. Yes, if you only have ears for the law, as the lawyer does, "Go and do likewise."   BTW, the law always accuses.


I disagree. I don't think that the problem is the law. Interestingly, the First Reading paired with the Good Samaritan, Deuteronomy 30:9-14, includes these sentences: "This commandment that I'm giving you right now is definitely not too difficult for you. It isn't unreachable.… Not at all! The word is very close to you. It's in your mouth and in your heart, waiting for you to do it." (vv. 11, 14 CEB) Besides Deuteronomy 30, Amy-Jill Levine (Short Stories by Jesus) also points out Leviticus 18:5: "You must keep my rules and my regulations, by doing them one will live, I am the LORD." (CEB) She writes: "The imperative 'do' focuses not on a single action, but on an ongoing relationship.… The point is to 'live now' and not be focused on 'eternal life.'" (p. 83) I note that the commands in the parable "do this" and "do likewise" (vv. 28, 37) are present tense that imply ongoing or repeated actions, e.g., "keep on doing this."


The lawyer's problems are: (1) as we used to say: "he was so heavenly minded that he was no earthly good," and (2) (mis)using the law to try and justify himself.


Either God's word in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are true, or God lied. We are expected to do it. "By the pursuit of which human beings shall live" to use the Jewish Publication translation of Lev 18:5). We are to live by them. A Jewish annotation on this says: "The Torah affirms life. By obeying God's law, humankind lives well and meaningfully - and will be rewarded by long life. Nachmanides thinks the phrase refers to such legal sections as in Exodus 21-23, which provide for an orderly and peaceful society. Luzzatto takes it as alluding to the provisions of this chapter, the restrictions of which constitute the basis for stable and happy family life)." (The Torah: A Modern Commentary, pp. 776-777). I believe that Luther affirms this understanding through the first use of the law. Obeying the law is necessary for an orderly and peaceful society - including one's homelife. Luther states that we can obtain a measure of civil righteousness. When the law is used as a means of justifying one's self before God, it always accuses (the second use). 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on July 10, 2016, 11:19:10 AM
I encourage all to read some articles closer to the situation and get both sides of the story.

http://www.twincities.com/

For example, I wonder how many folks, nationally, know that the Minnesota police officer is a person of color? I am glad that the Ramsey County Attorney, also a person of color, has taken a less reactionary approach, not jumping to conclusions and waiting for the MN BCA to do it's job, complete their investigation, and go from there.

http://www.twincities.com/2016/07/08/philando-castiles-death-prosecutor-needs-time-to-decide-on-grand-jury/
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: readselerttoo on July 10, 2016, 02:16:51 PM
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?


As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice.


The ELCA's public voice is heard in thousands of pulpits each week. What you pastors saying about it? We are the ELCA. It certainly is in my sermon based on the Good Samaritan text. One of the points in the parable is racism. There's no other reason for Jesus to make the third man a Samaritan. The normal three-some in some OT passages is priest, Levite, and Israelite. Amy-Jill Levine suggests that it's like hearing Larry and Moe, and our minds now expect Curley; but when the third man is Osama bin Laden (her illustration) or a member of ISIS (mine), it gives the jarring effect that "Samaritan" would have Jesus or Luke's Jewish audience.


How do blacks and whites learn to become neighbor to each other? How do civilians and police learn to become neighbor to each other? I believe that in most communities and among many, many people, they already are. How do we together get rid of the evil that is on the road beating up and robbing travellers?


The parable of the Good Samaritan is also addressed to a lawyer who is seeking self-justification in his dealings with a neighbor.  It is not being addressed to the disciples.  Jesus is saying that if you only have ears for the law here is how you deal with the neighbor.  And you better be dealing with the neighbor this way totally and all the time. Yes, if you only have ears for the law, as the lawyer does, "Go and do likewise."   BTW, the law always accuses.


I disagree. I don't think that the problem is the law. Interestingly, the First Reading paired with the Good Samaritan, Deuteronomy 30:9-14, includes these sentences: "This commandment that I'm giving you right now is definitely not too difficult for you. It isn't unreachable.… Not at all! The word is very close to you. It's in your mouth and in your heart, waiting for you to do it." (vv. 11, 14 CEB) Besides Deuteronomy 30, Amy-Jill Levine (Short Stories by Jesus) also points out Leviticus 18:5: "You must keep my rules and my regulations, by doing them one will live, I am the LORD." (CEB) She writes: "The imperative 'do' focuses not on a single action, but on an ongoing relationship.… The point is to 'live now' and not be focused on 'eternal life.'" (p. 83) I note that the commands in the parable "do this" and "do likewise" (vv. 28, 37) are present tense that imply ongoing or repeated actions, e.g., "keep on doing this."


The lawyer's problems are: (1) as we used to say: "he was so heavenly minded that he was no earthly good," and (2) (mis)using the law to try and justify himself.


Either God's word in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are true, or God lied. We are expected to do it. "By the pursuit of which human beings shall live" to use the Jewish Publication translation of Lev 18:5). We are to live by them. A Jewish annotation on this says: "The Torah affirms life. By obeying God's law, humankind lives well and meaningfully - and will be rewarded by long life. Nachmanides thinks the phrase refers to such legal sections as in Exodus 21-23, which provide for an orderly and peaceful society. Luzzatto takes it as alluding to the provisions of this chapter, the restrictions of which constitute the basis for stable and happy family life)." (The Torah: A Modern Commentary, pp. 776-777). I believe that Luther affirms this understanding through the first use of the law. Obeying the law is necessary for an orderly and peaceful society - including one's homelife. Luther states that we can obtain a measure of civil righteousness. When the law is used as a means of justifying one's self before God, it always accuses (the second use).


Yes, a measure of civil righteousness but righteousness only before the face of others.  This does not validate before God's face.  I think that you are mingling the issues of the law with those of the gospel here.  Jesus in the Good Samaritan parable is speaking to a lawyer and others who only have ears for the law.  THe parable is not addressed to the disciples, et. al.  You are not paying attention to the context, imo.   "...with the law comes the knowledge of sin.  You speak as if the Hebrew Scriptures have the same validity for us as the New Testament.  They don't. 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: DCharlton on July 10, 2016, 02:24:45 PM
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?

As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice.

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, but my question was intended to imply an affirmative.  Yes, we have something to say to this situation! 

Who is my neighbor?  Jesus Christ, the one who ministered to me when I lay beaten, stripped naked, and nearly dead at the hands of sin, death, the devil and my own sinful flesh.  What shall I do?  Go and do likewise.  Preach the Gospel of the one who has the power to overcome evil.  Have the same mind among yourselves that was in Christ Jesus.  (The Good Samaritan is Law when seen as an example of good works, Gospel when seen as the mission of the man who was often called a Samaritan.)

I don't think the temptation to choose sides in the culture ways is a problem specific to the ELCA.  Instead, it seems nearly universal.  I think it is partially responsible for the decline of the Church in the United States.  Liberal and conservative churches have both fallen victim to this temptation.

By the way, we need to address all of the things I mentioned earlier, immigration, refugees, racism, police reform, but without the tendency to make others into the hated Samaritan.  And distinguishing between the work of doing justice and the preaching of the Gospel.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: DCharlton on July 10, 2016, 02:35:08 PM
The ELCA's public voice is heard in thousands of pulpits each week.

Yes.  Our primary public voice should take the form of preaching the Law and the Gospel to our culture.  That's what I sought to do today.  Hopefully, with God's help, I did so. 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: readselerttoo on July 10, 2016, 02:47:31 PM
When we or others question the law and those who enforce it, we are actually spitting into God's face.  Those who do not let the legal system run its course are interfering with God's management of his righteousness.  Certainly we have opinions but when opinion is taken to the streets it can be misused.  In some places this is happening today in America.  Recent events confirm for me that history is not progress but struggle of the stong over the weak, etc.  And if the weak are the winners, they become the new strong and can overwhelm opposition.  It leads to more oppression and inequity.  Come Lord Jesus!
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 10, 2016, 07:24:09 PM

Yes, a measure of civil righteousness but righteousness only before the face of others.


That's what civil righteousness is.



Quote
This does not validate before God's face.


I never said it did.


Quote
I think that you are mingling the issues of the law with those of the gospel here.


I didn't say anything about gospel, only the two uses of the law. One promotes civil righteousness: order and harmony in society - and we can achieve a measure of civil righteousness; the other convicts of sin. Neither makes us righteous before God.

Quote
Jesus in the Good Samaritan parable is speaking to a lawyer and others who only have ears for the law.  THe parable is not addressed to the disciples, et. al.



By including the story, Luke wants all of us to hear it. There is nothing wrong with the Law. It is God's Word to us and for us. The problem is when we (mis)use to make ourselves righteous before God. Luke makes that clear when he adds a narrator's comment in 10:29, "He, wishing to justify himself, said …." It is this desire to justify one's self by obedience to the law that is the problem. Not the Law itself.


Quote
You are not paying attention to the context, imo.   "...with the law comes the knowledge of sin." 


Nope, I've read over the passage and the context a number of times, and it never says, "with the law comes the knowledge of sin." You're pulling that in from some other context. It's not in the parable, nor the context around it. Luke's use of νόμος is pretty slim. In chapter 2 (vv. 22, 23, 24, 27, 39) the holy family is pictured as one who obeys the Law. It's never seen as accusing them of sin, but rituals that they practice. In 10:26 Jesus asks about what is written in the law and how does the lawyer interpret/read it. (Interpreting it as a means of self-justification is wrong. Interpreting it as ways of showing mercy to neighbors is good.) It occurs twice In chapter 16, where Pharisees seek to justify themselves (16:15). Jesus talks about the Law and the Prophets that were in the past, but now there is also the good news of the kingdom (16:16). However, the Gospel doesn't abrogate the Law and the Prophets, because immediately Jesus says: "It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of the law to drop out."


Quote
You speak as if the Hebrew Scriptures have the same validity for us as the New Testament.  They don't.


That's only true if you're a Marcionist. Jesus seems quite clear that nothing, not even a small mark of the pen, of the law is to drop out. For Jesus and the apostles, the Old Testament was their Scriptures. See Jesus' use of "Law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms" in Luke 24:44.


Luke's issue is about using the law as a means of self-justification. He is clear that Mary and Joseph were very good at obeying the Law. If the Law were not important (as properly used) Luther would have no reason to put it first in the Small Catechism. Luther expects us to help and support our neighbors in all of their needs (5th Commandment). It's not given just for us to feel bad about failing to do it; but it is also given to encourage us to obey it. Otherwise, we become like the priest and Levite who walk by on the other side of the road.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: readselerttoo on July 10, 2016, 07:38:10 PM

Yes, a measure of civil righteousness but righteousness only before the face of others.


That's what civil righteousness is.



Quote
This does not validate before God's face.


I never said it did.


Quote
I think that you are mingling the issues of the law with those of the gospel here.


I didn't say anything about gospel, only the two uses of the law. One promotes civil righteousness: order and harmony in society - and we can achieve a measure of civil righteousness; the other convicts of sin. Neither makes us righteous before God.

Quote
Jesus in the Good Samaritan parable is speaking to a lawyer and others who only have ears for the law.  THe parable is not addressed to the disciples, et. al.



By including the story, Luke wants all of us to hear it. There is nothing wrong with the Law. It is God's Word to us and for us. The problem is when we (mis)use to make ourselves righteous before God. Luke makes that clear when he adds a narrator's comment in 10:29, "He, wishing to justify himself, said …." It is this desire to justify one's self by obedience to the law that is the problem. Not the Law itself.


Quote
You are not paying attention to the context, imo.   "...with the law comes the knowledge of sin." 


Nope, I've read over the passage and the context a number of times, and it never says, "with the law comes the knowledge of sin." You're pulling that in from some other context. It's not in the parable, nor the context around it. Luke's use of νόμος is pretty slim. In chapter 2 (vv. 22, 23, 24, 27, 39) the holy family is pictured as one who obeys the Law. It's never seen as accusing them of sin, but rituals that they practice. In 10:26 Jesus asks about what is written in the law and how does the lawyer interpret/read it. (Interpreting it as a means of self-justification is wrong. Interpreting it as ways of showing mercy to neighbors is good.) It occurs twice In chapter 16, where Pharisees seek to justify themselves (16:15). Jesus talks about the Law and the Prophets that were in the past, but now there is also the good news of the kingdom (16:16). However, the Gospel doesn't abrogate the Law and the Prophets, because immediately Jesus says: "It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of the law to drop out."


Quote
You speak as if the Hebrew Scriptures have the same validity for us as the New Testament.  They don't.


That's only true if you're a Marcionist. Jesus seems quite clear that nothing, not even a small mark of the pen, of the law is to drop out. For Jesus and the apostles, the Old Testament was their Scriptures.


Luke's issue is about using the law as a means of self-justification. He is clear that Mary and Joseph were very good at obeying the Law. If the Law were not important (as properly used) Luther would have no reason to put it first in the Small Catechism. Luther expects us to help and support our neighbors in all of their needs (5th Commandment). It's not given just for us to feel bad about failing to do it; but it is also given to encourage us to obey it. Otherwise, we become like the priest and Levite who walk by on the other side of the road.


I import the Romans passage as an interpretive key, I grant you that.  I do that because as a Christian I see the law's limitation and what it does and doesn't do.  I agree with St. Paul that with the law comes the knowledge of sin and that is all the law can be and do.  The Gospel does abrogate the law in that in Jesus the law is completely fulfilled and then set aside.  The Gospel is about forgiveness of sin(s).  Otherwise Christianity is simply a revision of the Old Testament and the Gospel serves only to clarify the law and the law becomes the goal, as what Barth and Calvinism assert.  No, the Gospel is something different, completely and uniquely (one-of-a-kind) different.  The parable about the Good Samaritan is for those who only have ears for the law, like the lawyer or any of us who choose some way of life other than the Gospel.  Certainly mercy trumps life under the law as the parable indicates.  But it does this only in a case by case fashion.  It can't be used as a general guide for behavior, imo.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 10, 2016, 08:21:09 PM
I import the Romans passage as an interpretive key, I grant you that.  I do that because as a Christian I see the law's limitation and what it does and doesn't do.  I agree with St. Paul that with the law comes the knowledge of sin and that is all the law can be and do.  The Gospel does abrogate the law in that in Jesus the law is completely fulfilled and then set aside.  The Gospel is about forgiveness of sin(s).  Otherwise Christianity is simply a revision of the Old Testament and the Gospel serves only to clarify the law and the law becomes the goal, as what Barth and Calvinism assert.  No, the Gospel is something different, completely and uniquely (one-of-a-kind) different.  The parable about the Good Samaritan is for those who only have ears for the law, like the lawyer or any of us who choose some way of life other than the Gospel.  Certainly mercy trumps life under the law as the parable indicates.  But it does this only in a case by case fashion.  It can't be used as a general guide for behavior, imo.


Do you drive the speed limit? Why? Do you stop at red lights? Why? The law does more than just give the knowledge of sin. It brings order to society. Does the stop sign give you knowledge of sin, or help you drive safely - and trust that others also obey the laws for your safety?


For what reason did Jesus tell the lawyer, "You have answered correctly. Do this and live."? Why did Jesus also give the same two commands as the great commandment. I don't believe Jesus expected his followers to ignore those OT commands.


Mercy is what the law commanded that priest and Levite should do - which they failed to do. They didn't not consider the man in the ditch to be a neighbor that they should love as themselves.


I'm not sure that there is anything in the gospel that isn't already in the Old Testament. The grace and promises that God had given his people Israel, are not extended to all people through Jesus.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: readselerttoo on July 10, 2016, 09:37:14 PM
I import the Romans passage as an interpretive key, I grant you that.  I do that because as a Christian I see the law's limitation and what it does and doesn't do.  I agree with St. Paul that with the law comes the knowledge of sin and that is all the law can be and do.  The Gospel does abrogate the law in that in Jesus the law is completely fulfilled and then set aside.  The Gospel is about forgiveness of sin(s).  Otherwise Christianity is simply a revision of the Old Testament and the Gospel serves only to clarify the law and the law becomes the goal, as what Barth and Calvinism assert.  No, the Gospel is something different, completely and uniquely (one-of-a-kind) different.  The parable about the Good Samaritan is for those who only have ears for the law, like the lawyer or any of us who choose some way of life other than the Gospel.  Certainly mercy trumps life under the law as the parable indicates.  But it does this only in a case by case fashion.  It can't be used as a general guide for behavior, imo.


Do you drive the speed limit? Why? Do you stop at red lights? Why? The law does more than just give the knowledge of sin. It brings order to society. Does the stop sign give you knowledge of sin, or help you drive safely - and trust that others also obey the laws for your safety?


For what reason did Jesus tell the lawyer, "You have answered correctly. Do this and live."? Why did Jesus also give the same two commands as the great commandment. I don't believe Jesus expected his followers to ignore those OT commands.


Mercy is what the law commanded that priest and Levite should do - which they failed to do. They didn't not consider the man in the ditch to be a neighbor that they should love as themselves.


I'm not sure that there is anything in the gospel that isn't already in the Old Testament. The grace and promises that God had given his people Israel, are not extended to all people through Jesus.
Yes.  I stop at red lights for a number of reasons.   One of them is to not get a ticket, a very self-interested position.  The lawyer in today's gospel reading was all about self-interest.    "...with the law is the knowledge of sin."

Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 11, 2016, 03:50:11 AM
I import the Romans passage as an interpretive key, I grant you that.  I do that because as a Christian I see the law's limitation and what it does and doesn't do.  I agree with St. Paul that with the law comes the knowledge of sin and that is all the law can be and do.  The Gospel does abrogate the law in that in Jesus the law is completely fulfilled and then set aside.  The Gospel is about forgiveness of sin(s).  Otherwise Christianity is simply a revision of the Old Testament and the Gospel serves only to clarify the law and the law becomes the goal, as what Barth and Calvinism assert.  No, the Gospel is something different, completely and uniquely (one-of-a-kind) different.  The parable about the Good Samaritan is for those who only have ears for the law, like the lawyer or any of us who choose some way of life other than the Gospel.  Certainly mercy trumps life under the law as the parable indicates.  But it does this only in a case by case fashion.  It can't be used as a general guide for behavior, imo.


Do you drive the speed limit? Why? Do you stop at red lights? Why? The law does more than just give the knowledge of sin. It brings order to society. Does the stop sign give you knowledge of sin, or help you drive safely - and trust that others also obey the laws for your safety?


For what reason did Jesus tell the lawyer, "You have answered correctly. Do this and live."? Why did Jesus also give the same two commands as the great commandment. I don't believe Jesus expected his followers to ignore those OT commands.


Mercy is what the law commanded that priest and Levite should do - which they failed to do. They didn't not consider the man in the ditch to be a neighbor that they should love as themselves.


I'm not sure that there is anything in the gospel that isn't already in the Old Testament. The grace and promises that God had given his people Israel, are not extended to all people through Jesus.
Yes.  I stop at red lights for a number of reasons.   One of them is to not get a ticket, a very self-interested position.  The lawyer in today's gospel reading was all about self-interest.    "...with the law is the knowledge of sin."


What about not getting in an accident, or killing another person. It's not totally self-interest, but also, I suspect, some concern for other drivers and pedestrians on the road. It could also be following the golden rule - you obey traffic laws as you expect others to obey them.


The police officer doesn't care if you are obeying them because of self interest or because of the safety of others. Your motivation doesn't matter for him not giving you a ticket because you obeyed the law. However, should you be stopped, how you answer can influence the police officer. As one told me, "I've never had someone talk me out of a ticket, but I have had people talk me into giving them a ticket."


The law can help you love and care for your neighbors. The law tells you God's will.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Fletch on July 11, 2016, 07:04:04 AM
I import the Romans passage as an interpretive key, I grant you that.  I do that because as a Christian I see the law's limitation and what it does and doesn't do.  I agree with St. Paul that with the law comes the knowledge of sin and that is all the law can be and do.  The Gospel does abrogate the law in that in Jesus the law is completely fulfilled and then set aside.  The Gospel is about forgiveness of sin(s).  Otherwise Christianity is simply a revision of the Old Testament and the Gospel serves only to clarify the law and the law becomes the goal, as what Barth and Calvinism assert.  No, the Gospel is something different, completely and uniquely (one-of-a-kind) different.  The parable about the Good Samaritan is for those who only have ears for the law, like the lawyer or any of us who choose some way of life other than the Gospel.  Certainly mercy trumps life under the law as the parable indicates.  But it does this only in a case by case fashion.  It can't be used as a general guide for behavior, imo.


Do you drive the speed limit? Why? Do you stop at red lights? Why? The law does more than just give the knowledge of sin. It brings order to society. Does the stop sign give you knowledge of sin, or help you drive safely - and trust that others also obey the laws for your safety?


For what reason did Jesus tell the lawyer, "You have answered correctly. Do this and live."? Why did Jesus also give the same two commands as the great commandment. I don't believe Jesus expected his followers to ignore those OT commands.


Mercy is what the law commanded that priest and Levite should do - which they failed to do. They didn't not consider the man in the ditch to be a neighbor that they should love as themselves.


I'm not sure that there is anything in the gospel that isn't already in the Old Testament. The grace and promises that God had given his people Israel, are not extended to all people through Jesus.
Yes.  I stop at red lights for a number of reasons.   One of them is to not get a ticket, a very self-interested position.  The lawyer in today's gospel reading was all about self-interest.    "...with the law is the knowledge of sin."


What about not getting in an accident, or killing another person. It's not totally self-interest, but also, I suspect, some concern for other drivers and pedestrians on the road. It could also be following the golden rule - you obey traffic laws as you expect others to obey them.


The police officer doesn't care if you are obeying them because of self interest or because of the safety of others. Your motivation doesn't matter for him not giving you a ticket because you obeyed the law. However, should you be stopped, how you answer can influence the police officer. As one told me, "I've never had someone talk me out of a ticket, but I have had people talk me into giving them a ticket."


The law can help you love and care for your neighbors. The law tells you God's will.

BPS, your responses above indicate to me you have a greater belief in karma than you do in the Gospel.

... Fletch
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 11, 2016, 11:07:02 AM
I import the Romans passage as an interpretive key, I grant you that.  I do that because as a Christian I see the law's limitation and what it does and doesn't do.  I agree with St. Paul that with the law comes the knowledge of sin and that is all the law can be and do.  The Gospel does abrogate the law in that in Jesus the law is completely fulfilled and then set aside.  The Gospel is about forgiveness of sin(s).  Otherwise Christianity is simply a revision of the Old Testament and the Gospel serves only to clarify the law and the law becomes the goal, as what Barth and Calvinism assert.  No, the Gospel is something different, completely and uniquely (one-of-a-kind) different.  The parable about the Good Samaritan is for those who only have ears for the law, like the lawyer or any of us who choose some way of life other than the Gospel.  Certainly mercy trumps life under the law as the parable indicates.  But it does this only in a case by case fashion.  It can't be used as a general guide for behavior, imo.


Do you drive the speed limit? Why? Do you stop at red lights? Why? The law does more than just give the knowledge of sin. It brings order to society. Does the stop sign give you knowledge of sin, or help you drive safely - and trust that others also obey the laws for your safety?


For what reason did Jesus tell the lawyer, "You have answered correctly. Do this and live."? Why did Jesus also give the same two commands as the great commandment. I don't believe Jesus expected his followers to ignore those OT commands.


Mercy is what the law commanded that priest and Levite should do - which they failed to do. They didn't not consider the man in the ditch to be a neighbor that they should love as themselves.


I'm not sure that there is anything in the gospel that isn't already in the Old Testament. The grace and promises that God had given his people Israel, are not extended to all people through Jesus.
Yes.  I stop at red lights for a number of reasons.   One of them is to not get a ticket, a very self-interested position.  The lawyer in today's gospel reading was all about self-interest.    "...with the law is the knowledge of sin."


What about not getting in an accident, or killing another person. It's not totally self-interest, but also, I suspect, some concern for other drivers and pedestrians on the road. It could also be following the golden rule - you obey traffic laws as you expect others to obey them.


The police officer doesn't care if you are obeying them because of self interest or because of the safety of others. Your motivation doesn't matter for him not giving you a ticket because you obeyed the law. However, should you be stopped, how you answer can influence the police officer. As one told me, "I've never had someone talk me out of a ticket, but I have had people talk me into giving them a ticket."


The law can help you love and care for your neighbors. The law tells you God's will.

BPS, your responses above indicate to me you have a greater belief in karma than you do in the Gospel.


No, I believe that Lutherans have the first use of the law that we are to obey. It doesn't exist to expose sin, but to keep order in society. It doesn't care if one obeys for selfish or altruistic reasons - just that one obeys. The second use might convict us of our selfishness in obedience, but that use doesn't change the necessity of the first use.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Team Hesse on July 11, 2016, 12:03:15 PM

No, I believe that Lutherans have the first use of the law that we are to obey. It doesn't exist to expose sin, but to keep order in society. It doesn't care if one obeys for selfish or altruistic reasons - just that one obeys. The second use might convict us of our selfishness in obedience, but that use doesn't change the necessity of the first use.


Last spring for a term paper at ILT I spent quite a bit of time investigating the "uses" of the law from a Lutheran perspective, particularly in some of our most recent theologians. I read Wingren, Prenter, Bayer, Jenson, Hinlicky, Lazareth, Elert, Althaus, Luther, Melanchthon, Engelbrecht, even some Barth, and some Roman Catholics. None of the Lutherans make any use other than what is considered second use (shows us our need for a Redeemer) the most important use of the law. There is an argument among Lutherans about "third use" but none join Barth, the Calvinists, and many Roman Catholics in saying we are ultimately charged with keeping the law and the Gospel enables us to do so. The law is to curb sin. "Curbing" is a long way from "to be obeyed." The law cannot be fulfilled perfectly except in Jesus who is the end of the law (Romans 10:4, and elsewhere). Even those Lutherans who are adamant about the language of third use will insist it is never fulfilled, only striven for, this side of the eschaton.


I really do not know where to classify your confession. It is so idiosyncratic as to be almost unique. But I am willing to state you are a long way from Lutheran understanding.


Lou
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 11, 2016, 03:07:03 PM

No, I believe that Lutherans have the first use of the law that we are to obey. It doesn't exist to expose sin, but to keep order in society. It doesn't care if one obeys for selfish or altruistic reasons - just that one obeys. The second use might convict us of our selfishness in obedience, but that use doesn't change the necessity of the first use.


Last spring for a term paper at ILT I spent quite a bit of time investigating the "uses" of the law from a Lutheran perspective, particularly in some of our most recent theologians. I read Wingren, Prenter, Bayer, Jenson, Hinlicky, Lazareth, Elert, Althaus, Luther, Melanchthon, Engelbrecht, even some Barth, and some Roman Catholics. None of the Lutherans make any use other than what is considered second use (shows us our need for a Redeemer) the most important use of the law. There is an argument among Lutherans about "third use" but none join Barth, the Calvinists, and many Roman Catholics in saying we are ultimately charged with keeping the law and the Gospel enables us to do so. The law is to curb sin. "Curbing" is a long way from "to be obeyed." The law cannot be fulfilled perfectly except in Jesus who is the end of the law (Romans 10:4, and elsewhere). Even those Lutherans who are adamant about the language of third use will insist it is never fulfilled, only striven for, this side of the eschaton.


I really do not know where to classify your confession. It is so idiosyncratic as to be almost unique. But I am willing to state you are a long way from Lutheran understanding.


If it's not "to be obeyed" are you saying that it is "to be disobeyed"? For my "Lutheran" position I refer you to the Apology XVIII, in particular this statement (boldface added):

Therefore, it is helpful to distinguish between civil righteousness, which is ascribed to the free will, and spiritual righteousness, which is ascribed to the operation of the Holy Spirit[1] in the regenerate. In this way outward discipline is preserved, because all people alike ought to know that God requires civil righteousness and that to some extent we are able to achieve it.
 
 [1] Jonas’s German translation adds: “alone.”


While the second use might be the more important use, the first use is still necessary. (You might search for all the other occurrences of "civil righteousness" in the Apology.)
   
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Team Hesse on July 11, 2016, 03:23:06 PM

No, I believe that Lutherans have the first use of the law that we are to obey. It doesn't exist to expose sin, but to keep order in society. It doesn't care if one obeys for selfish or altruistic reasons - just that one obeys. The second use might convict us of our selfishness in obedience, but that use doesn't change the necessity of the first use.


Last spring for a term paper at ILT I spent quite a bit of time investigating the "uses" of the law from a Lutheran perspective, particularly in some of our most recent theologians. I read Wingren, Prenter, Bayer, Jenson, Hinlicky, Lazareth, Elert, Althaus, Luther, Melanchthon, Engelbrecht, even some Barth, and some Roman Catholics. None of the Lutherans make any use other than what is considered second use (shows us our need for a Redeemer) the most important use of the law. There is an argument among Lutherans about "third use" but none join Barth, the Calvinists, and many Roman Catholics in saying we are ultimately charged with keeping the law and the Gospel enables us to do so. The law is to curb sin. "Curbing" is a long way from "to be obeyed." The law cannot be fulfilled perfectly except in Jesus who is the end of the law (Romans 10:4, and elsewhere). Even those Lutherans who are adamant about the language of third use will insist it is never fulfilled, only striven for, this side of the eschaton.


I really do not know where to classify your confession. It is so idiosyncratic as to be almost unique. But I am willing to state you are a long way from Lutheran understanding.


If it's not "to be obeyed" are you saying that it is "to be disobeyed"?


While the second use might be the more important use, the first use is still necessary. (You might search for all the other occurrences of "civil righteousness" in the Apology.)
 


Yes, of course, I only think in black and white terms. No nuance, no degrees, no notion of striving toward an unattainable goal, no notion of civil righteousness at all. I am totally opposed to the law being taught in any form whatsoever .....there used to be a time when you and I could engage meaningfully when I first arrived on this forum but now it seems everything with you is black and white extremities. I give up. I have rocks to pick, a congregation to serve. Have a nice day. In the words of my Lord, "truly, truly I say to you, you have your reward."


Lou
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Fletch on July 11, 2016, 04:58:33 PM
Enjoy yesterday's podcast from the White Horse Inn - Karma vs. Grace: 

https://www.whitehorseinn.org/show/karma-vs-grace/

"What’s your view of ultimate justice? If you do a lot of bad things throughout the course of your life, will you have to pay for it somehow in the next? We recently asked college students questions like these, and throughout this program the hosts interact with their answers as they discuss the increasing popularity of karma in our time, and contrast it with the Christian concept of grace."

... Fletch

Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: readselerttoo on July 11, 2016, 09:22:06 PM
I import the Romans passage as an interpretive key, I grant you that.  I do that because as a Christian I see the law's limitation and what it does and doesn't do.  I agree with St. Paul that with the law comes the knowledge of sin and that is all the law can be and do.  The Gospel does abrogate the law in that in Jesus the law is completely fulfilled and then set aside.  The Gospel is about forgiveness of sin(s).  Otherwise Christianity is simply a revision of the Old Testament and the Gospel serves only to clarify the law and the law becomes the goal, as what Barth and Calvinism assert.  No, the Gospel is something different, completely and uniquely (one-of-a-kind) different.  The parable about the Good Samaritan is for those who only have ears for the law, like the lawyer or any of us who choose some way of life other than the Gospel.  Certainly mercy trumps life under the law as the parable indicates.  But it does this only in a case by case fashion.  It can't be used as a general guide for behavior, imo.


Do you drive the speed limit? Why? Do you stop at red lights? Why? The law does more than just give the knowledge of sin. It brings order to society. Does the stop sign give you knowledge of sin, or help you drive safely - and trust that others also obey the laws for your safety?


For what reason did Jesus tell the lawyer, "You have answered correctly. Do this and live."? Why did Jesus also give the same two commands as the great commandment. I don't believe Jesus expected his followers to ignore those OT commands.


Mercy is what the law commanded that priest and Levite should do - which they failed to do. They didn't not consider the man in the ditch to be a neighbor that they should love as themselves.


I'm not sure that there is anything in the gospel that isn't already in the Old Testament. The grace and promises that God had given his people Israel, are not extended to all people through Jesus.
Yes.  I stop at red lights for a number of reasons.   One of them is to not get a ticket, a very self-interested position.  The lawyer in today's gospel reading was all about self-interest.    "...with the law is the knowledge of sin."


What about not getting in an accident, or killing another person. It's not totally self-interest, but also, I suspect, some concern for other drivers and pedestrians on the road. It could also be following the golden rule - you obey traffic laws as you expect others to obey them.


The police officer doesn't care if you are obeying them because of self interest or because of the safety of others. Your motivation doesn't matter for him not giving you a ticket because you obeyed the law. However, should you be stopped, how you answer can influence the police officer. As one told me, "I've never had someone talk me out of a ticket, but I have had people talk me into giving them a ticket."


The law can help you love and care for your neighbors. The law tells you God's will.

The law doesn't help me do anything for my neighbor.  It demands that I love and care for my neighbor.  The law is there because if I had my way I wouldn't want to love and care for my neighbor freely.  That is why the law is there. 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 12, 2016, 03:11:50 AM
The law doesn't help me do anything for my neighbor.  It demands that I love and care for my neighbor.  The law is there because if I had my way I wouldn't want to love and care for my neighbor freely.  That is why the law is there.


I disagree. I've seen a lot of people who may not be Christians or even motivated by the great commandment, do a lot of good things for their neighbors. Consider the police officers who were being shot at and still trying to help the citizens in Dallas - or the citizens who helped the wounded police officers. Just a couple of weeks ago, two people stopped and helped our oldest member who had fallen in her front yard. There was no law compelling them to offer their help, and probably many people drove right by her.


Actually my desires are to try and help my neighbors as much as possible, but what I want to do isn't always what I end up doing; or am able to do.


What do you supposed caused the Samaritan to stop and help the man on the side of the road?
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: readselerttoo on July 12, 2016, 09:32:41 AM
The law doesn't help me do anything for my neighbor.  It demands that I love and care for my neighbor.  The law is there because if I had my way I wouldn't want to love and care for my neighbor freely.  That is why the law is there.


I disagree. I've seen a lot of people who may not be Christians or even motivated by the great commandment, do a lot of good things for their neighbors. Consider the police officers who were being shot at and still trying to help the citizens in Dallas - or the citizens who helped the wounded police officers. Just a couple of weeks ago, two people stopped and helped our oldest member who had fallen in her front yard. There was no law compelling them to offer their help, and probably many people drove right by her.


Actually my desires are to try and help my neighbors as much as possible, but what I want to do isn't always what I end up doing; or am able to do.


What do you supposed caused the Samaritan to stop and help the man on the side of the road?


You seem to be describing exterior events and by your scientific observation come to terms with value.  I come to terms with value through self-observation.  Both methods skew conclusions and rightly so in that you and I are sinners.  The law either way always accuses.

God intervened and the Samaritan drew near.  Do you really think the Samaritan by his own will itself stopped and helped?
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: SomeoneWrites on July 12, 2016, 09:58:45 AM
The law doesn't help me do anything for my neighbor.  It demands that I love and care for my neighbor.  The law is there because if I had my way I wouldn't want to love and care for my neighbor freely.  That is why the law is there.


I disagree. I've seen a lot of people who may not be Christians or even motivated by the great commandment, do a lot of good things for their neighbors. Consider the police officers who were being shot at and still trying to help the citizens in Dallas - or the citizens who helped the wounded police officers. Just a couple of weeks ago, two people stopped and helped our oldest member who had fallen in her front yard. There was no law compelling them to offer their help, and probably many people drove right by her.


Actually my desires are to try and help my neighbors as much as possible, but what I want to do isn't always what I end up doing; or am able to do.


What do you supposed caused the Samaritan to stop and help the man on the side of the road?


You seem to be describing exterior events and by your scientific observation come to terms with value.  I come to terms with value through self-observation.  Both methods skew conclusions and rightly so in that you and I are sinners.  The law either way always accuses.

God intervened and the Samaritan drew near.  Do you really think the Samaritan by his own will itself stopped and helped?


I think this quoted exchange really gets at the crux of the matter. 

I'm currently lead to believe that the Christian perspective would be to draw from
http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/8-18.htm
and also remember the essential parallel of http://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm

so that it is the will of the Samaritan to intervene, by the strength and grace of God. 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 12, 2016, 12:52:17 PM

You seem to be describing exterior events and by your scientific observation come to terms with value.  I come to terms with value through self-observation.  Both methods skew conclusions and rightly so in that you and I are sinners.  The law either way always accuses.


I think that the first use of the law is about exterior events. One is not arrested, tried, and convicted for having angry thoughts. One doesn't get a ticket for wanting to drive 120 mph. The purpose of this use is not to accuse people of sins, but to keep order in society by curbing evil behaviors and promoting good behaviors. Why a person acts righteously - i.e., in accord with the law - doesn't matter.


It is the second use of the law that digs deep into our lives to convict us of sins.

Quote
God intervened and the Samaritan drew near.  Do you really think the Samaritan by his own will itself stopped and helped?


I'm certain that the Jews would not think that God had directed the Samaritan, because, from their viewpoint, Samaritans had a faulty view of God. If God guided the Samaritan, then God is behind every good act regardless of a person's belief. If that is your position, then you take away the free will concerning "things below" that Luther says that we have.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 12, 2016, 12:56:29 PM
I think this quoted exchange really gets at the crux of the matter. 

I'm currently lead to believe that the Christian perspective would be to draw from
http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/8-18.htm (http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/8-18.htm)
and also remember the essential parallel of http://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm (http://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm)

so that it is the will of the Samaritan to intervene, by the strength and grace of God.


These are addressed to believers. We can say that God is in our minds and hearts and lives directing us to love our neighbors (and enemies) as ourselves. What about non-believers? Do we say that God is directing their lives, too? Do we have no free will in regards to living our lives on earth? Or that our free will can only choose to hate and do bad to neighbors?
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: SomeoneWrites on July 12, 2016, 06:52:57 PM
I think this quoted exchange really gets at the crux of the matter. 

I'm currently lead to believe that the Christian perspective would be to draw from
http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/8-18.htm (http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/8-18.htm)
and also remember the essential parallel of http://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm (http://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm)

so that it is the will of the Samaritan to intervene, by the strength and grace of God.


These are addressed to believers. We can say that God is in our minds and hearts and lives directing us to love our neighbors (and enemies) as ourselves. What about non-believers? Do we say that God is directing their lives, too? Do we have no free will in regards to living our lives on earth? Or that our free will can only choose to hate and do bad to neighbors?

These are questions I cannot really speak to - not for my current position, but for my failure to understand the role of free will and predestination.  I can tell you what I think Luther would say in regards to my interpretation of bondage of the will.  Or I could tell you what I think you would say regarding the sin that would be intrinsic to their actions.  Or I could make a case that their will to do good is entirely selfish.  Or I could talk about the position that God directs even the "bad people" like the way he makes Satan his monkey. 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 12, 2016, 07:33:47 PM
I think this quoted exchange really gets at the crux of the matter. 

I'm currently lead to believe that the Christian perspective would be to draw from
http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/8-18.htm (http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/8-18.htm)
and also remember the essential parallel of http://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm (http://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm)

so that it is the will of the Samaritan to intervene, by the strength and grace of God.


These are addressed to believers. We can say that God is in our minds and hearts and lives directing us to love our neighbors (and enemies) as ourselves. What about non-believers? Do we say that God is directing their lives, too? Do we have no free will in regards to living our lives on earth? Or that our free will can only choose to hate and do bad to neighbors?

These are questions I cannot really speak to - not for my current position, but for my failure to understand the role of free will and predestination.  I can tell you what I think Luther would say in regards to my interpretation of bondage of the will.  Or I could tell you what I think you would say regarding the sin that would be intrinsic to their actions.  Or I could make a case that their will to do good is entirely selfish.  Or I could talk about the position that God directs even the "bad people" like the way he makes Satan his monkey.


And I quoted and referred folks to the Apology about Free Will. More quotes:


   Even though civil works, that is, the outward works of the law, can be carried out to some extent without Christ and without the Holy Spirit,…

   Therefore, even though we concede to free will the freedom and power to perform external works of the law, …

   Therefore, it is helpful to distinguish between civil righteousness, which is ascribed to the free will, and spiritual righteousness, which is ascribed to the operation of the Holy Spirit[1] in the regenerate.
 
 [1] Jonas’s German translation adds: “alone.”

I also have in my memory, that Luther made a distinction between "things above" (where we have no free will) and "things below" (where we have some free will). We are free to choose who we marry, where we work, where we live, whether to have eggs scrambled, poached, or over easy, etc. Among such decisions, our wills are not bound to make the wrong choices. Sometimes we make right choices and love and remain faithful to our spouses until death, love and enjoy our vocation and place of residence, etc.
   
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: SomeoneWrites on July 12, 2016, 07:45:21 PM
I think this quoted exchange really gets at the crux of the matter. 

I'm currently lead to believe that the Christian perspective would be to draw from
http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/8-18.htm (http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/8-18.htm)
and also remember the essential parallel of http://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm (http://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm)

so that it is the will of the Samaritan to intervene, by the strength and grace of God.


These are addressed to believers. We can say that God is in our minds and hearts and lives directing us to love our neighbors (and enemies) as ourselves. What about non-believers? Do we say that God is directing their lives, too? Do we have no free will in regards to living our lives on earth? Or that our free will can only choose to hate and do bad to neighbors?

These are questions I cannot really speak to - not for my current position, but for my failure to understand the role of free will and predestination.  I can tell you what I think Luther would say in regards to my interpretation of bondage of the will.  Or I could tell you what I think you would say regarding the sin that would be intrinsic to their actions.  Or I could make a case that their will to do good is entirely selfish.  Or I could talk about the position that God directs even the "bad people" like the way he makes Satan his monkey.


And I quoted and referred folks to the Apology about Free Will. More quotes:


   Even though civil works, that is, the outward works of the law, can be carried out to some extent without Christ and without the Holy Spirit,…

   Therefore, even though we concede to free will the freedom and power to perform external works of the law, …

   Therefore, it is helpful to distinguish between civil righteousness, which is ascribed to the free will, and spiritual righteousness, which is ascribed to the operation of the Holy Spirit[1] in the regenerate.
 
 [1] Jonas’s German translation adds: “alone.”

I also have in my memory, that Luther made a distinction between "things above" (where we have no free will) and "things below" (where we have some free will). We are free to choose who we marry, where we work, where we live, whether to have eggs scrambled, poached, or over easy, etc. Among such decisions, our wills are not bound to make the wrong choices. Sometimes we make right choices and love and remain faithful to our spouses until death, love and enjoy our vocation and place of residence, etc.
 

And it was more to my point that It's still God working through people.  Solo dei gloria. 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on July 12, 2016, 09:02:18 PM
I think this quoted exchange really gets at the crux of the matter. 

I'm currently lead to believe that the Christian perspective would be to draw from
http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/8-18.htm (http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/8-18.htm)
and also remember the essential parallel of http://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm (http://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm)

so that it is the will of the Samaritan to intervene, by the strength and grace of God.


These are addressed to believers. We can say that God is in our minds and hearts and lives directing us to love our neighbors (and enemies) as ourselves. What about non-believers? Do we say that God is directing their lives, too? Do we have no free will in regards to living our lives on earth? Or that our free will can only choose to hate and do bad to neighbors?

These are questions I cannot really speak to - not for my current position, but for my failure to understand the role of free will and predestination.  I can tell you what I think Luther would say in regards to my interpretation of bondage of the will.  Or I could tell you what I think you would say regarding the sin that would be intrinsic to their actions.  Or I could make a case that their will to do good is entirely selfish.  Or I could talk about the position that God directs even the "bad people" like the way he makes Satan his monkey.


And I quoted and referred folks to the Apology about Free Will. More quotes:


   Even though civil works, that is, the outward works of the law, can be carried out to some extent without Christ and without the Holy Spirit,…

   Therefore, even though we concede to free will the freedom and power to perform external works of the law, …

   Therefore, it is helpful to distinguish between civil righteousness, which is ascribed to the free will, and spiritual righteousness, which is ascribed to the operation of the Holy Spirit[1] in the regenerate.
 
 [1] Jonas’s German translation adds: “alone.”

I also have in my memory, that Luther made a distinction between "things above" (where we have no free will) and "things below" (where we have some free will). We are free to choose who we marry, where we work, where we live, whether to have eggs scrambled, poached, or over easy, etc. Among such decisions, our wills are not bound to make the wrong choices. Sometimes we make right choices and love and remain faithful to our spouses until death, love and enjoy our vocation and place of residence, etc.
 

And it was more to my point that It's still God working through people.  Solo dei gloria.


Is God controlling their wills? Can sinful humans decide to be good people, live righteous lives (according to civil laws), help their neighbors, without God interfering with their wills? If God is involved in all people's lives, whether or not the people want God there or believe in God, isn't that a form of universalism?
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: readselerttoo on July 12, 2016, 10:15:28 PM
I think this quoted exchange really gets at the crux of the matter. 

I'm currently lead to believe that the Christian perspective would be to draw from
http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/8-18.htm (http://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/8-18.htm)
and also remember the essential parallel of http://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm (http://biblehub.com/ephesians/2-8.htm)

so that it is the will of the Samaritan to intervene, by the strength and grace of God.


These are addressed to believers. We can say that God is in our minds and hearts and lives directing us to love our neighbors (and enemies) as ourselves. What about non-believers? Do we say that God is directing their lives, too? Do we have no free will in regards to living our lives on earth? Or that our free will can only choose to hate and do bad to neighbors?

These are questions I cannot really speak to - not for my current position, but for my failure to understand the role of free will and predestination.  I can tell you what I think Luther would say in regards to my interpretation of bondage of the will.  Or I could tell you what I think you would say regarding the sin that would be intrinsic to their actions.  Or I could make a case that their will to do good is entirely selfish.  Or I could talk about the position that God directs even the "bad people" like the way he makes Satan his monkey.


And I quoted and referred folks to the Apology about Free Will. More quotes:


   Even though civil works, that is, the outward works of the law, can be carried out to some extent without Christ and without the Holy Spirit,…

   Therefore, even though we concede to free will the freedom and power to perform external works of the law, …

   Therefore, it is helpful to distinguish between civil righteousness, which is ascribed to the free will, and spiritual righteousness, which is ascribed to the operation of the Holy Spirit[1] in the regenerate.
 
 [1] Jonas’s German translation adds: “alone.”

I also have in my memory, that Luther made a distinction between "things above" (where we have no free will) and "things below" (where we have some free will). We are free to choose who we marry, where we work, where we live, whether to have eggs scrambled, poached, or over easy, etc. Among such decisions, our wills are not bound to make the wrong choices. Sometimes we make right choices and love and remain faithful to our spouses until death, love and enjoy our vocation and place of residence, etc.
 

And it was more to my point that It's still God working through people.  Solo dei gloria.


Is God controlling their wills? Can sinful humans decide to be good people, live righteous lives (according to civil laws), help their neighbors, without God interfering with their wills? If God is involved in all people's lives, whether or not the people want God there or believe in God, isn't that a form of universalism?

If you say God is not in control then God is out of the picture as Creator and Preserver.  Within existence, ie. after the Fall, there are a host of other players besides God:   sinners and Satan himself.  So who is to say who is involved here?  If humans have free will then it is against God's will because it is the will of a sinner.  If God is all-controlling then destiny has a face.  It is not univeralism because I view universalism as a subject within the theme of redemption.  In terms of the Creator/Hidden God of history there is no place God isn't.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Eileen Smith on July 20, 2016, 08:45:58 PM
Once again, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has written a beautiful word of comfort, this time addressing the killing of police officers.  I'm sharing here words below:


Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s statement follows:

My soul is bereft of peace: I have forgotten what happiness is. (Lamentations 3:17)

Too often in the past months we have been stunned by violence. Last Sunday in Baton Rouge, La., and earlier this month in Dallas, police were the target. Many in our congregations serve in law enforcement. These are our brothers and sisters, children of God who dedicate their lives to keeping our communities safe, who risk their lives for strangers.

Acts of violence, at home and abroad, are all too frequent. Each is evidence of a broken world. Lutherans understand this and believe that the state has the authority and obligation to protect its citizens. Good government and peace are among the things we ask for when we pray “Give us today our daily bread.”

Not all citizens have the same experience with law enforcement. We are working on that as a nation and a church. But the targeting and assassination of police officers is a threat to all of us. Nothing is solved by this violence.

Working in law enforcement is an honorable way to live one’s baptismal vocation. Many of us know police who are members of our congregations. They serve with dedication to the common good even at the risk of their lives. Police and other first responders see the best and the worst of human nature, and they do that on your behalf and mine.

Officers killed in the line of duty leave behind families, comrades and friends. We continue to hold those who mourn in our prayers. But a little bit of us has died too. “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (I Corinthians 12:26).

Although broken, our world is also a redeemed one. God’s answer to hatred and violence is the love and life revealed in the death and resurrection of Jesus. In Christ, God reconciles the world to God’s self. We are called to that ministry of healing and reconciliation in our hearts, in our homes and in our communities. God is ever faithful. We are held as one people in God’s love and that love will never let us go. 

 But this I call to mind, and therefore have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning … .  (Lamentations 3:21-23)

In Christ’s peace,

 ElizabethEatonSignature0715
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: DCharlton on July 20, 2016, 08:52:21 PM
Once again, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has written a beautiful word of comfort, this time addressing the killing of police officers.  I'm sharing here words below:


Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s statement follows:

My soul is bereft of peace: I have forgotten what happiness is. (Lamentations 3:17)

Too often in the past months we have been stunned by violence. Last Sunday in Baton Rouge, La., and earlier this month in Dallas, police were the target. Many in our congregations serve in law enforcement. These are our brothers and sisters, children of God who dedicate their lives to keeping our communities safe, who risk their lives for strangers.

Acts of violence, at home and abroad, are all too frequent. Each is evidence of a broken world. Lutherans understand this and believe that the state has the authority and obligation to protect its citizens. Good government and peace are among the things we ask for when we pray “Give us today our daily bread.”

Not all citizens have the same experience with law enforcement. We are working on that as a nation and a church. But the targeting and assassination of police officers is a threat to all of us. Nothing is solved by this violence.

Working in law enforcement is an honorable way to live one’s baptismal vocation. Many of us know police who are members of our congregations. They serve with dedication to the common good even at the risk of their lives. Police and other first responders see the best and the worst of human nature, and they do that on your behalf and mine.

Officers killed in the line of duty leave behind families, comrades and friends. We continue to hold those who mourn in our prayers. But a little bit of us has died too. “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (I Corinthians 12:26).

Although broken, our world is also a redeemed one. God’s answer to hatred and violence is the love and life revealed in the death and resurrection of Jesus. In Christ, God reconciles the world to God’s self. We are called to that ministry of healing and reconciliation in our hearts, in our homes and in our communities. God is ever faithful. We are held as one people in God’s love and that love will never let us go. 

 But this I call to mind, and therefore have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning … .  (Lamentations 3:21-23)

In Christ’s peace,

 ElizabethEatonSignature0715

Thank you for alerting us to this Eileen.  I looked a couple days ago, hoping to find a statement, but hadn't been back to check since.  It looks like it was released just a few hours ago.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Steven W Bohler on July 20, 2016, 09:03:10 PM
It is very good, indeed!
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: readselerttoo on July 20, 2016, 10:07:37 PM
Certainly this is good to read.  But why did it take so long for Higgins Road to acknowledge this?  Once again the liberal left has the majority bias.   
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Charles Austin on July 20, 2016, 10:22:33 PM
Maybe, Pastor Rahn, our Presiding Bishop wanted to think, pray, consult with others and issue a helpful word rather than a quick word. How ironic it is that Presiding Bishop Hanson took much heat from the "right" for speaking too quickly and now you say she spoke too slowly. For some dissidents, the ELCA can't do anything right.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: RPG on July 20, 2016, 10:41:30 PM
Maybe, Pastor Rahn, our Presiding Bishop wanted to think, pray, consult with others and issue a helpful word rather than a quick word. How ironic it is that Presiding Bishop Hanson took much heat from the "right" for speaking too quickly and now you say she spoke too slowly. For some dissidents, the ELCA can't do anything right.

Dissidents?  This is how you choose to refer to an ELCA colleague?  >:(

But I guess inclusion, big tent, radical welcome, and all that...   :'(

RPG+
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on July 20, 2016, 10:52:28 PM
++Elizabeth has written very well.

Now if she could order the removal of the BLM banner which is still in the # 1 position in the slideshow on the homepage of elca.org....
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Charles Austin on July 20, 2016, 10:56:36 PM
"Dissident" is not a pejorative word nor is it an insult or put down. The ELCA needs dissidents and I am glad they speak up. But as they criticize thise of us who (generally) support ELCA "stuff", they have to be willing to be criticized as well.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: DCharlton on July 20, 2016, 11:59:41 PM
I am simply glad that PB Eaton addresses the assassination of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: peter_speckhard on July 21, 2016, 09:32:57 AM
++Elizabeth has written very well.

Now if she could order the removal of the BLM banner which is still in the # 1 position in the slideshow on the homepage of elca.org....
Speaking of "damned if you do, damned if you don't," here we have an ELCA person lamenting the formal association of his church with BLM. When I as an LCMS person said I hoped there would be no association of the LCMS with BLM many people lamented the lack of such a connection.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on July 21, 2016, 10:50:54 AM
... here we have an ELCA person lamenting the formal association of his church with BLM.

Ex-ELCA, as of 2010-2011 when the congregation I was serving and I departed for the LCMC.

Doubly ex now as per my signature block.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: Charles Austin on July 21, 2016, 11:28:50 AM
 What we have here is another example of someone who has left the ELCA throwing a grenade back over the wall long after he has left.
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: DCharlton on July 21, 2016, 01:22:35 PM
As an ELCA pastor, let me say that one of the reasons that I am grateful for PB Eaton's letter is that it begins to address the previous blind spot.  I'd like to think that this indicates that PB Eaton may have been listening to some of our concerns. 
Title: Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
Post by: RPG on July 21, 2016, 01:23:33 PM
As an ELCA pastor, let me say that one of the reasons that I am grateful for PB Eaton's letter is that it begins to address the previous blind spot.  I'd like to think that this indicates that PB Eaton may have been listening to some of our concerns.

Amen.