ALPB Forum Online

ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Mike Bennett on November 23, 2018, 12:01:01 PM

Title: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Mike Bennett on November 23, 2018, 12:01:01 PM
Does anybody have useful information about or experience with this body?  I recently became aware of it, but have been unable to learn anything useful, such as where the nearest congregation might be.  The web site says to e-mail to ask, but I am just peeking right now. The main thing I have learned is that there are more than a dozen archbishops. I presume therefore that there must be quite a few congregations.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Charles Austin on November 23, 2018, 12:41:54 PM
I would be wary. And doublecheck everything. The website is of a type that does not inspire confidence. Something about it smells a bit like our late “Archbishop.” In the obsession with apostolic succession.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 23, 2018, 04:32:30 PM
A good source for all things Lutheran is http://www.pastorzip.org/uslutheranlinx.html (http://www.pastorzip.org/uslutheranlinx.html)


The "Lutheran Orthodox Church" is near the bottom - as part of the "Evangelical-Catholic" group. His paraphraph:


The Lutheran Orthodox Church formerly aka "The Catholic Church-Lutheran Rite

"This "Evangelical Catholic" church organized in 2004 when several Bishops of the Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church were consecrated into Apostolic Succession. Part of the formation of the Augustana Evangelical Catholic Communion (above), it quickly resigned and began to ordain women as priests and bishops. Contrary to most Lutherans it has an emphasis on the "Rapture" and Christ's imminent return. The LOC has since reconciled its communion fellowship with the LEPCand it is also in communion with the AIELC. It also has congregations in India, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Charles Austin on November 23, 2018, 04:52:24 PM
I would want to know how these bishops were educated, who ordained them in “apostolic succession” and other things about their parishes.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Mike Bennett on November 23, 2018, 05:11:47 PM
A good source for all things Lutheran is http://www.pastorzip.org/uslutheranlinx.html (http://www.pastorzip.org/uslutheranlinx.html)

I had not thought to look there, but should have. My goodness, there are a bunch of bodies with “Lutheran” in their name.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: David Garner on November 24, 2018, 08:59:23 AM
Founded in 2004?

So basically a small bunch of sectarian Lutherans playing church. Adorable, but I much prefer real Lutherans. The Confessions do not speak against apostolic succession as such, but certainly make the (reasonable) case that the abuse of bishops in the West render it insufficient to guard the faith and therefore unapostolic. I disagree of course, but it is a reasonable case.

That being the case, one wonders why any Lutheran body would find apostolic succession desirous. Based on the little I’ve read of this group, I’ll wager it isn’t because they find the arguments in favor of it compelling. After all, they could easily join a group that already has it.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Pr. Terry Culler on November 25, 2018, 01:33:58 PM
The ELCA now sees its clergy as being in apostolic succession as per its agreement with the Episcopalians.  I believe the church in Sweden also claims such status.  I suspect this group claims this because someone was ordained by a bishop of the Old Catholic Communion which seems to ordain just about anyone who wants to be so.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Charles Austin on November 25, 2018, 03:00:52 PM
No, we are not in apostolic succession in the traditional use of that term. It is agreed that we possess the “historic episcopate” in sufficient measure to satisfy the Episcopal Church that our ordained ministries are “valid” in their eyes.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 25, 2018, 04:26:51 PM
No, we are not in apostolic succession in the traditional use of that term. It is agreed that we possess the “historic episcopate” in sufficient measure to satisfy the Episcopal Church that our ordained ministries are “valid” in their eyes.


As I remember from my seminary days - long before the agreement with the Episcopal Church - we have always been in "apostolic succession" - that is, we continue to teach what the apostles taught. What we didn't have was the visible sign of that succession through the "historical episcopate". This practice, from the fourth century required at least three bishop (in the historic episcopate) to ordain each new bishop; and, all ordination of priests, clergy, etc. are done by bishops. Note: the "historic episcopate" is about our bishops, not our clergy. Even though a bishop didn't officiate at my ordination, I am now able to preside at the table in an Episcopal Church. This was a major concession on their part to enter into our full-communion agreement.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Pr. Terry Culler on November 25, 2018, 04:29:10 PM
I apologize for my poor understanding of the ELCA situation.  But isn't it still much of a muchness if there are rules dictated by an agreement with some other institution? 
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Dave Benke on November 25, 2018, 06:17:28 PM
a) It's interesting to take a peek at the Micro Lutheran Denominations in Pastor Zip's enumeration.  Lots of them are split off of the right edge, either in terms of things like women's voting privileges or kind of the liturgical/eccleisal right - ELDoNA comes to mind.  Many of them seem to me to be one generation denominations - when this generation of pastors retires, who's going to replace them? 
b) Which leads to Apostolic Succession.  Here's the Wikipedia article on the topic, with much to check out when it comes to Lutherans - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostolic_succession.  Since the Apostles' Teaching is what's historically been at the heart of it for Lutherans, it's kind of difficult to get wound up over the other point of view, which is biological and ontological.  And yet many do.  Certainly it's a distinctive for the RCC.
It's one of those inside out things where Lutherans tend to think of it as adiaphora and extra-biblical and those with it, who are accused to adding to the biblical record with (oh, no) the traditions of the church catholic through history point to the Biblical record.  "You are Peter and upon this Rock" is right there in the Bible but we Lutherans interpret the Rock to be Apostolic Teaching based on his confession, even though the resultant gift of binding and loosing is given to Peter in the second person singular - that is to him personally - and not to all the disciples in that passage.  Am I wrong there?  That's the way it reads to me.  So we take our reading off of "They continued steadfast in the apostles' teaching and fellowship" in Acts.

Ecclesiology.  A soft spot, a weak spot, a chink in the Lutheran armor.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on November 26, 2018, 10:07:14 AM
I apologize for my poor understanding of the ELCA situation.  But isn't it still much of a muchness if there are rules dictated by an agreement with some other institution?


The "rule" about the ordination of bishops (the historic episcopate) comes from the Council of Nicaea in 325. We, perhaps, should wonder why Lutherans abandoned this practice after over a 1000 years of use.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: RandyBosch on November 26, 2018, 10:47:46 AM
I apologize for my poor understanding of the ELCA situation.  But isn't it still much of a muchness if there are rules dictated by an agreement with some other institution?


The "rule" about the ordination of bishops (the historic episcopate) comes from the Council of Nicaea in 325. We, perhaps, should wonder why Lutherans abandoned this practice after over a 1000 years of use.

Given the Lutheran predilection to reform that which has been abused, corrupted, mutated, et. al., perhaps most Lutherans abandoned this practice because of that -- decades, even centuries of abuse, corruption, mutation, et. al., and a desire to discuss and act upon ways to return the practice to its originally thought to be correct assignment and practice.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on November 26, 2018, 10:55:05 AM
I apologize for my poor understanding of the ELCA situation.  But isn't it still much of a muchness if there are rules dictated by an agreement with some other institution?

The "rule" about the ordination of bishops (the historic episcopate) comes from the Council of Nicaea in 325. We, perhaps, should wonder why Lutherans abandoned this practice after over a 1000 years of use.

One needn't wonder.  Its rather basic European history.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Dan Fienen on November 26, 2018, 11:06:09 AM
I apologize for my poor understanding of the ELCA situation.  But isn't it still much of a muchness if there are rules dictated by an agreement with some other institution?


The "rule" about the ordination of bishops (the historic episcopate) comes from the Council of Nicaea in 325. We, perhaps, should wonder why Lutherans abandoned this practice after over a 1000 years of use.

Wasn't there a problem with getting bishops to ordain Lutherans?
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Eugene Crowner on November 26, 2018, 11:14:47 AM

My father never made any claim about the apostolic succession other than mentioning it a few times as being a point of interest.  He said that since the Swedish Church, as a body, left the Catholic Church, the apostolic succession came down to him through the Swedes and the Augustana Synod.

Eugene Crowner
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Mark Brown on November 26, 2018, 11:42:39 AM
a) It's interesting to take a peek at the Micro Lutheran Denominations in Pastor Zip's enumeration.  Lots of them are split off of the right edge, either in terms of things like women's voting privileges or kind of the liturgical/eccleisal right - ELDoNA comes to mind.  Many of them seem to me to be one generation denominations - when this generation of pastors retires, who's going to replace them? 
b) Which leads to Apostolic Succession.  Here's the Wikipedia article on the topic, with much to check out when it comes to Lutherans - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostolic_succession.  Since the Apostles' Teaching is what's historically been at the heart of it for Lutherans, it's kind of difficult to get wound up over the other point of view, which is biological and ontological.  And yet many do.  Certainly it's a distinctive for the RCC.
It's one of those inside out things where Lutherans tend to think of it as adiaphora and extra-biblical and those with it, who are accused to adding to the biblical record with (oh, no) the traditions of the church catholic through history point to the Biblical record.  "You are Peter and upon this Rock" is right there in the Bible but we Lutherans interpret the Rock to be Apostolic Teaching based on his confession, even though the resultant gift of binding and loosing is given to Peter in the second person singular - that is to him personally - and not to all the disciples in that passage.  Am I wrong there?  That's the way it reads to me.  So we take our reading off of "They continued steadfast in the apostles' teaching and fellowship" in Acts.

Ecclesiology.  A soft spot, a weak spot, a chink in the Lutheran armor.

Dave Benke

That is what is always interesting in teaching confirmation classes on the part of the catechism that in my experience is often skipped - Absolution and the Office of the Keys.

Yes, it is often way beyond half the kids, but not the half that needs to hear it; I jump into a big word - hermeneutics - or just method of interpretation.  And that section becomes something of a capstone.  "What you have been doing the past year and a half has been learning a way of living with biblical authority - you interpret it with help from the church and it interprets you as it binds and looses."  It is also a beginning of sorts in that I've literally had the question posed to me "well, what system is our real school teaching us?"  To which I answered, "great question, maybe you should find out." (The real answer as far as I can tell is nothing, modern education is nihilist, the only thing that matters and only for a time is power.)  And the big place is listing out Matt 16:18-19, Matt 18:18 and John 20:23 and asking, what do you do with this?  Forgiveness and binding seems important.  Who has the authority?  Or is this enough of a discrepancy to just pitch the entire thing?  And you walk through what various groups teach.  You bring in the Smalcald Article III.4 on the Gospel. 

It seems like a week spot, ecclesiology, and maybe it is.  But in that conversation, the Lutheran church is the only one that attempts to keep all those truths instead of pitching the rest in favor of the favorite one.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: David Garner on November 26, 2018, 11:43:55 AM
I apologize for my poor understanding of the ELCA situation.  But isn't it still much of a muchness if there are rules dictated by an agreement with some other institution?


The "rule" about the ordination of bishops (the historic episcopate) comes from the Council of Nicaea in 325. We, perhaps, should wonder why Lutherans abandoned this practice after over a 1000 years of use.

Wasn't there a problem with getting bishops to ordain Lutherans?

Correct.  Which is why I said above the Lutheran claim that the historic episcopacy doesn't preserve the Church from falling into Church-dividing error is reasonable.  In fact, the only qualification I would give to that is simply that there are currently separated church bodies (at least four, but honestly many more if one gets into heretical sub-sects) that all claim to have 1) apostolic succession, and 2) the historic succession of bishops back to the Apostles.  So the fact that one such group is in error will be no surprise at all to the other three.  The question really is whether anyone has maintained the Apostolic faith at all, while at the same time maintaining the historic episcopacy.

We certainly contend we have, but I wouldn't expect any Lutheran to agree with that.  Which is why I said, I'd much rather deal honestly with real Lutherans than pretend I have something in common with a sect that is basically playing church.  We have much in common with Lutherans.  This just isn't one of those things.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: David Garner on November 26, 2018, 11:51:29 AM
As a minor side note, Canon 4 of First Nicaea is actually a concession (and this is apparent from the text).  What the Council held was it was preferable for a newly elected bishop to be consecrated by all the bishops in his province, and if only 3 are used (there must be at least 3), then the written consent of the brother bishops is to be obtained prior to consecration.  It also indicates the Metropolitan should ratify the consecration. 

I think as applied to this issue though, the problem is simple.  At least 3 are required, and Lutherans at the time of the Reformation could not find a sufficient number of bishops to canonically consecrate new Lutheran bishops.  The loss of the historic episcopacy was somewhat of an historical accident rather than a feature of Reformation theology.  The Reformers would have been happy to maintain it, but were denied the opportunity.  Whether that denial is right or wrong likely depends on which side of the fence one sits.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on November 26, 2018, 12:16:07 PM
The loss of the historic episcopacy was somewhat of an historical accident rather than a feature of Reformation theology.  The Reformers would have been happy to maintain it, but were denied the opportunity.  Whether that denial is right or wrong likely depends on which side of the fence one sits.
During the 1997 Concordat dispute and 1999 CCM controversy I frequently attempted to point out to the Word Alone folk that in the grand history of Christianity what had happened among Lutherans in losing the historic episcopate was an aberration; however because that aberration had become the "normal" a return to the historic episcopate was being attacked as though that were the real aberration and innovation.

It is difficult to penetrate the illusion that what one considers normal is, in fact, abnormal.

The final words of John 9 come to mind.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Charles Austin on November 26, 2018, 12:18:15 PM
In my experience, those “Lutherans” going all gooey about apostolic succession and seeking it from renegade bishops from the East are 1) schismatics who could not get ordained any other way, 2) clericalists in the worst sense, 3) goofy historical romantics, or 4) just cope-and-miter nuts missing a few theses in their theology. And sometimes just frauds.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Dan Fienen on November 26, 2018, 12:33:12 PM
In my experience, those “Lutherans” going all gooey about apostolic succession and seeking it from renegade bishops from the East are 1) schismatics who could not get ordained any other way, 2) clericalists in the worst sense, 3) goofy historical romantics, or 4) just cope-and-miter nuts missing a few theses in their theology. And sometimes just frauds.

I have far less experience than you do with these groups, but I wouldn't doubt your assessment.  For those seeking a legitimacy that they can't get from being a part of a major denomination, I can see where hitching onto an offshoot of the historic episcopacy would be attractive.  Also a kind of finger in the eye of those snooty large denomination types who lack that distinction.


The idea of the historic apostolic succession was good as a kind of insurance against going off the tracks.  The bishops as a whole would teach and authorize new bishops and hopefully weed out aberrant theology along the way.  What I would reject is the idea of some sort of contagious mystical authority that is transmitted by  personal contact.  Unfortunately, it doesn't really guarantee against doctrinal drift, especially when it evolved into a rather rigid top down hierarchy where if the top bishop drifted, everyone else was pulled along.
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Mike Bennett on November 26, 2018, 03:28:31 PM

My father never made any claim about the apostolic succession other than mentioning it a few times as being a point of interest.  He said that since the Swedish Church, as a body, left the Catholic Church, the apostolic succession came down to him through the Swedes and the Augustana Synod.

Eugene Crowner

He was a bishop?
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: JEdwards on November 26, 2018, 10:11:37 PM
As a minor side note, Canon 4 of First Nicaea is actually a concession (and this is apparent from the text).  What the Council held was it was preferable for a newly elected bishop to be consecrated by all the bishops in his province, and if only 3 are used (there must be at least 3), then the written consent of the brother bishops is to be obtained prior to consecration.  It also indicates the Metropolitan should ratify the consecration. 

I think as applied to this issue though, the problem is simple.  At least 3 are required, and Lutherans at the time of the Reformation could not find a sufficient number of bishops to canonically consecrate new Lutheran bishops.  The loss of the historic episcopacy was somewhat of an historical accident rather than a feature of Reformation theology.  The Reformers would have been happy to maintain it, but were denied the opportunity.  Whether that denial is right or wrong likely depends on which side of the fence one sits.
I am certainly not an expert, but my understanding of the RC view is that while a single bishop could theoretically consecrate another bishop, the canonical requirement for 3 consecrating bishops functions as a sort of insurance policy against the possibility that one consecrating bishop might later be found to have a defect of intention or some irregularity in his own consecration.

When the schismatic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre illegally ordained bishops for the Society of St Pius X, only one additional bishop (de Castro Mayer) served as co-consecrator.  Nevertheless, Rome does not appear to question the validity of these consecrations (even though she considers the bishops as having no jurisdiction for episcopal ministry).

Peace,
Jon
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: Eugene Crowner on November 27, 2018, 11:51:31 AM

My father never made any claim about the apostolic succession other than mentioning it a few times as being a point of interest.  He said that since the Swedish Church, as a body, left the Catholic Church, the apostolic succession came down to him through the Swedes and the Augustana Synod.

Eugene Crowner




He was a bishop?

No, simply a faithful parish pastor.  Sorry if I am unfamiliar with the intricacies of church politics.

Eugene Crowner
Title: Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
Post by: David Garner on November 27, 2018, 12:02:04 PM
As a minor side note, Canon 4 of First Nicaea is actually a concession (and this is apparent from the text).  What the Council held was it was preferable for a newly elected bishop to be consecrated by all the bishops in his province, and if only 3 are used (there must be at least 3), then the written consent of the brother bishops is to be obtained prior to consecration.  It also indicates the Metropolitan should ratify the consecration. 

I think as applied to this issue though, the problem is simple.  At least 3 are required, and Lutherans at the time of the Reformation could not find a sufficient number of bishops to canonically consecrate new Lutheran bishops.  The loss of the historic episcopacy was somewhat of an historical accident rather than a feature of Reformation theology.  The Reformers would have been happy to maintain it, but were denied the opportunity.  Whether that denial is right or wrong likely depends on which side of the fence one sits.
I am certainly not an expert, but my understanding of the RC view is that while a single bishop could theoretically consecrate another bishop, the canonical requirement for 3 consecrating bishops functions as a sort of insurance policy against the possibility that one consecrating bishop might later be found to have a defect of intention or some irregularity in his own consecration.

When the schismatic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre illegally ordained bishops for the Society of St Pius X, only one additional bishop (de Castro Mayer) served as co-consecrator.  Nevertheless, Rome does not appear to question the validity of these consecrations (even though she considers the bishops as having no jurisdiction for episcopal ministry).

Peace,
Jon

I am also not well-versed in the Roman Catholic view.  I think it might help to look at the elevation of bishops as encompassing three things:

1)  Election
2)  Consecration
3)  Reception

One can have a valid election, and even a valid consecration, without reception.  Meaning, until the bishop is seen by his brothers as such, his validity is in question, even as his election and consecration might otherwise be considered valid.  This seems to square with your observation regarding the Society of St. Pius X bishops being considered validly consecrated, and yet not received into the Church, but like you, I hesitate to speak for Catholics and their view.