ALPB Forum Online

ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: peter_speckhard on December 05, 2018, 08:50:09 AM

Title: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: peter_speckhard on December 05, 2018, 08:50:09 AM
https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2018/12/celebrity-theologian

This is a good article. Please don't respond on this thread unless you read the article.

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 05, 2018, 09:05:55 AM
"But even more worrisome than the episode with those teenagers is the distorted theology that is being spread widely through her public preaching and teaching.  It rejects God’s law, it offers God’s grace without mention of Christ’s atoning work, it promises grace without repentance and amendment of life, and it exhibits contempt for the Great Tradition."

Sadly, there's nothing new under the sun. We see that view promoted even here.   :(
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Benke on December 05, 2018, 09:13:08 AM
Having dutifully read the article, my response is based on the question of ecclesiastical supervision stated/implied in the article. 
First, is there no supervision of the speeches made to the youth gathering in advance?  I would think there is.  And there's where the supervision is initially lacking.  How did this speech make it through the pre-gathering process?
Second, has there been no supervision since the speech was made?  I don't know/we don't know the answer to that, but the lack of any statements from supervisors is implicit endorsement of the speech.  Which is not good.
Both of those items lead to at least the tentative conclusion that Bob Benne makes.  The status of the speaker puts her above the level of the Church's teaching and supervision.  Of course, the next level down is that this IS the denomination's teaching, so it does not need supervision/correction. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: jebutler on December 05, 2018, 09:22:39 AM
Having dutifully read the article, my response is based on the question of ecclesiastical supervision stated/implied in the article. 
First, is there no supervision of the speeches made to the youth gathering in advance?  I would think there is.  And there's where the supervision is initially lacking.  How did this speech make it through the pre-gathering process?
Second, has there been no supervision since the speech was made?  I don't know/we don't know the answer to that, but the lack of any statements from supervisors is implicit endorsement of the speech.  Which is not good.
Both of those items lead to at least the tentative conclusion that Bob Benne makes.  The status of the speaker puts her above the level of the Church's teaching and supervision.  Of course, the next level down is that this IS the denomination's teaching, so it does not need supervision/correction. 

Dave Benke

Since her speech has been posted to the ELCA's YouTube page and since the ELCA Youth Gathering Twitter feed sent out tweets about her speech, linking to that page, then the only conclusion I can come to is that her positions on sexuality are "the denomination's teaching" and do not "need supervision/correction."

I just feed bad for all of the people who thought the ELCA would actually respect the whole bound conscience thing. It's pretty obvious that it doesn't..
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 05, 2018, 09:24:40 AM
I do not always care for Pastor Bolz-Weber's style or content; and it is wrong to assume that she is somehow the "voice" and "presence" of the ELCA. That voice and presence is in the thousands of congregations, pastors, social service agencies and mission projects of the ELCA, not in a person. And I might agree that this could be a time for some ecclesiastical supervision.
I think folks in the LCMS ought to know that at times there are people who make a lot of noise, get a lot of attention, sometimes have a particular influence or impact, and maybe even put a "reform the damn church" agenda into their public presence. They come. They go. The rest of us are still here.
And I do not always care for Dr. Benne's take on the denomination he has abandoned.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: jebutler on December 05, 2018, 10:50:34 AM
I do not always care for Pastor Bolz-Weber's style or content; and it is wrong to assume that she is somehow the "voice" and "presence" of the ELCA. That voice and presence is in the thousands of congregations, pastors, social service agencies and mission projects of the ELCA, not in a person. And I might agree that this could be a time for some ecclesiastical supervision.

So what you are saying is this:

Pr. Bolz-Weber speaks at an official gathering of the ELCA (her second time, no less).
Her speech is then put on the official YouTube page of this gathering.
Her speech is then advertised on the official Twitter page by employees of the ELCA.

Yet, we should not assume that she is the "voice" of the ELCA?

Let's turn this around for a moment.

Let's say that at the LCMS Youth Gathering this summer, a speaker says that the ELCA is apostate and not even Christian, let alone Lutheran.
Her/his speech is then put on YouTube as part of the Gathering page.
The LCMS Twitter account then tweets this speech, linking to the YouTube page.

Are you going to claim that you would not claim that this is the official position of the LCMS? Especially in nothing has been said to correct it and nothing has been said to the speaker about it?

Somehow, I don't think so.

There might be people in the ELCA who disagree with her, but the reality is, her positions reflect those of the ELCA leadership. In that light, she is the voice of the ELCA.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: peterm on December 05, 2018, 10:50:51 AM
I first heard Nadia BW interviewed by Krista Tippet, and found her talk then, more than 8 years ago to be quite solid and very Lutheran with a good grasp of Law and Gospel that seems to be missing from much of her later stuff.  While I would agree with her willingness to ask the hard questions and take on tough topics, especially with the youth, I don't agree with her choice of language and the recent "pushing the envelop for the sake of pushing."
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 05, 2018, 10:51:39 AM
Nuts to that, Pastor Kirchner. I believe Dr. Benne to be a fine theologian, and from the couple of times I have heard him, a rather decent person. But he has left us, and folks here know that I would wish him well, and wonder what he thinks he is accomplishing by lobbing grenades back at us. What's the point? But we digress.

Maybe showing reasons for why he left?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 05, 2018, 11:01:00 AM

Who may legitimately publish criticism of a church body?  Pr. Austin has frequently been critical of Pr. Benne for being publicly critical of the ELCA since he left those ranks, as well as criticizing several posters here on ALPB of being critical of the ELCA after they left.  "Lobbing grenades over their shoulders as they leave."  So, are we to take it that only those who are a part of a church body may legitimately express criticism?


Yet Pr. Austin has frequently been critical of the LCMS for some of our actions, policies, and statements.  But he has never been a part of the LCMS and has dusted off his sandals at us.  He has also been critical of the RCC and conservative Anglicans.


Does that mean that only those who have left a church body should refrain from being publicly critical?  If so, then I may legitimately be critical of the ELCA since I never was in the ELCA or its parent church bodies.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Benke on December 05, 2018, 11:05:41 AM
I first heard Nadia BW interviewed by Krista Tippet, and found her talk then, more than 8 years ago to be quite solid and very Lutheran with a good grasp of Law and Gospel that seems to be missing from much of her later stuff.  While I would agree with her willingness to ask the hard questions and take on tough topics, especially with the youth, I don't agree with her choice of language and the recent "pushing the envelop for the sake of pushing."

This is my take as well. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 05, 2018, 11:06:11 AM
Benne reminds us that both  Bolz-Weber and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton  spoke this past Summer
to the 31,000 at the ELCA Youth Gathering.  Obviously, Bishop Eaton had no problem with what Bolz-Weber
had to say to the youth.  It is disappointing that nobody in the ELCA leadership disapproves of the theology
and language of Bolz-Weber. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: FrPeters on December 05, 2018, 11:10:03 AM
His critique raises a variety of issues, from the specific content of what she delivered to the ELCA Youth Gathering and the presumed approval of her and her content by official ELCAdom to the issue of vulgarity itself to the persona of this rock star status individual to the sexual agenda with which she has identified her overall ministry and purpose.  You do not need to be a member of the ELCA to comment on what is public, officially sanctioned, and without disclaimer what the ELCA approves and promotes.  In some ways I think Benne was rather reserved in what he might have said, especially about the reworked baptismal questions with their unveiled reference to the primacy of desire and feeling in sexual identity and behavior -- since Benne is an ethicist this would be an area natural for him to critique.  I guess I read Bolz-Weber and consider her outlandish language and stance and wonder what on earth this means to the family and friends I have in the Augustana root ELCA parish in my Swedish hometown in Northeastern Nebraska.  In a sense, the challenge is how can a congregation like that co-exist with someone like Bolz-Weber?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Benke on December 05, 2018, 11:16:40 AM
His critique raises a variety of issues, from the specific content of what she delivered to the ELCA Youth Gathering and the presumed approval of her and her content by official ELCAdom to the issue of vulgarity itself to the persona of this rock star status individual to the sexual agenda with which she has identified her overall ministry and purpose.  You do not need to be a member of the ELCA to comment on what is public, officially sanctioned, and without disclaimer what the ELCA approves and promotes.  In some ways I think Benne was rather reserved in what he might have said, especially about the reworked baptismal questions with their unveiled reference to the primacy of desire and feeling in sexual identity and behavior -- since Benne is an ethicist this would be an area natural for him to critique.  I guess I read Bolz-Weber and consider her outlandish language and stance and wonder what on earth this means to the family and friends I have in the Augustana root ELCA parish in my Swedish hometown in Northeastern Nebraska.  In a sense, the challenge is how can a congregation like that co-exist with someone like Bolz-Weber?

The radical misuse of the baptismal questions was of deep offense to me.  Thanks for making that point.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 05, 2018, 11:23:28 AM
Benne reminds us that both  Bolz-Weber and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton  spoke this past Summer
to the 31,000 at the ELCA Youth Gathering.  Obviously, Bishop Eaton had no problem with what Bolz-Weber
had to say to the youth.  It is disappointing that nobody in the ELCA leadership disapproves of the theology
and language of Bolz-Weber.

Interestingly, he says nothing about Jamie Bruesehoff & Rebekah Bruesehoff speaking at the youth gathering: a mother and her transgender daughter. The crowd often cheered during the speech about acceptance of transgender youth.

As I recall, Martin Luther was a bit crude with his language.

We also teach missionaries to learn the language of the people they are trying to reach. Nadia has been very intentional about the type of people she is reaching - and she speaks their language.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 05, 2018, 11:29:49 AM

Might I suggest that Pres. Trump is well aware of the people he is trying to reach and speaks their language?  So why complain about his language?


And yes, Pres. Trump is supposed to speak to all of America, but Pr. Bolz-Weber was supposed to be speaking to all youth at the convention and in other venues to speak to Christians in general, but still uses primarily the specialized language that appeals to one particular segment of the population, the rest of us are supposed to simply accept her language.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: D. Engebretson on December 05, 2018, 01:56:59 PM
We also teach missionaries to learn the language of the people they are trying to reach. Nadia has been very intentional about the type of people she is reaching - and she speaks their language.

If I spoke in the "language" of the firefighters at my department - especially the crudity and misuse of God's name - I can't imagine that I would gain their ultimate respect as their chaplain.  Somehow, even though they may not reflect it, I think they expect me to rise above this and demonstrate the dignity of God's presence.  Bolz-Weber shows a clear disrespect for things holy, and I think that the youth and other young people to whom she appeals will certainly see a not-so-subtle endorsement of their own disregard for things holy.  If she is a "missionary" I fail to see the real Gospel in her proclamation.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: JEdwards on December 05, 2018, 02:19:48 PM
Benne reminds us that both  Bolz-Weber and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton  spoke this past Summer
to the 31,000 at the ELCA Youth Gathering.  Obviously, Bishop Eaton had no problem with what Bolz-Weber
had to say to the youth.  It is disappointing that nobody in the ELCA leadership disapproves of the theology
and language of Bolz-Weber.

Another possibility (and I honestly am not sure which is the more charitable interpretation), is that there are some who disapprove of her theology and language, but are so cowed by fear of being labeled "judgmental" or "LCMS types", that they simply do their best to ignore her.

One of the root challenges facing the ELCA is a widespread rejection of the whole idea of authoritative teaching, with the corollary that any theological opinion expressed by anyone who occasionally attends (or at least has some kind of sentimental attachment to) an ELCA church is ipso facto a Lutheran way of looking at the issue.  While I have no desire for aggressive heresy-hunting and filing of charges, there is a wide middle ground between that option and acquiescence in whatever bizarre or offensive theology might be espoused by anyone purporting to represent the ELCA.

Peace,
Jon
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: gan ainm on December 05, 2018, 02:21:58 PM
This is my best construction response re. NB-W's choice of words, her theology, her future art work, and her probable influence on ELCA youth and adults.  It is also my best construction response on ELCA leadership that permits it.








... gan ainm
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: jebutler on December 05, 2018, 02:44:41 PM
Interestingly, he says nothing about Jamie Bruesehoff & Rebekah Bruesehoff speaking at the youth gathering: a mother and her transgender daughter. The crowd often cheered during the speech about acceptance of transgender youth.

The article is titled "Celebrity Theologian." He is focusing on NBW. The other folks don't have quite the following and ELCA "rock star" status as NBW.


As I recall, Martin Luther was a bit crude with his language.

Yes. And if he jumped off a cliff, should she? Come to think of it, Luther translated the entire New Testament from Greek into German in 11 weeks with a  quill pen. If she can do that, then she can use crude language too. Otherwise, don't.

We also teach missionaries to learn the language of the people they are trying to reach. Nadia has been very intentional about the type of people she is reaching - and she speaks their language.

I spend every Friday in the Norfolk County Jail. If I used profanity in my preaching, the inmates would be horribly offended (even though they are quite fluent in it). They do not want me to talk that way. They expect me to be better than that in my language.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Benke on December 05, 2018, 03:18:29 PM
Interestingly, he says nothing about Jamie Bruesehoff & Rebekah Bruesehoff speaking at the youth gathering: a mother and her transgender daughter. The crowd often cheered during the speech about acceptance of transgender youth.

The article is titled "Celebrity Theologian." He is focusing on NBW. The other folks don't have quite the following and ELCA "rock star" status as NBW.


As I recall, Martin Luther was a bit crude with his language.

Yes. And if he jumped off a cliff, should she? Come to think of it, Luther translated the entire New Testament from Greek into German in 11 weeks with a  quill pen. If she can do that, then she can use crude language too. Otherwise, don't.

We also teach missionaries to learn the language of the people they are trying to reach. Nadia has been very intentional about the type of people she is reaching - and she speaks their language.

I spend every Friday in the Norfolk County Jail. If I used profanity in my preaching, the inmates would be horribly offended (even though they are quite fluent in it). They do not want me to talk that way. They expect me to be better than that in my language.

Good answers, Jim.  My answers to the enclosed sections from Brian:
1)  Same
2) Not the same answer.  Way too many Lutherans give Luther the homeboy excuse (a child of his time) for everything crude and rude, up to and including the late-life rabid Anti-Semitism. And then double down by utilizing the "Lutheran Piety" response as the way to smoke and drink and chew like "real men."   Up to a point, and then beyond the pale. 
3) Sort of in agreement.  Having spent a boatload of time with ex and current offenders as well as on the streets of a particularly mean part of this city, I don't overload the world with F-bombs, and pretty much never with the congregants or kids, so I'm with you.  But stuff does come out under stress.  True confessions, back in the day our church softball team was suspended from the league for throwing F-bombs after an altercation involving an umpire who had a close relative on the other team, and demonstrated that in his calls.  I had to apologize at the altar for that language the next day in order to play the next weekend.  Notably, I had to include myself personally in the apology.  For being an F-bomb tosser. 

I can't imagine that inmates/offenders/ex-offenders would throw you off the island for throwing a few choice words out there once in awhile.  You're still their go-to God guy.  But each context is different.

They did put in an anti-nepotist umpire clause the next year in the softball league, so justice prevailed. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: jebutler on December 05, 2018, 03:28:28 PM
Interestingly, he says nothing about Jamie Bruesehoff & Rebekah Bruesehoff speaking at the youth gathering: a mother and her transgender daughter. The crowd often cheered during the speech about acceptance of transgender youth.

The article is titled "Celebrity Theologian." He is focusing on NBW. The other folks don't have quite the following and ELCA "rock star" status as NBW.


As I recall, Martin Luther was a bit crude with his language.

Yes. And if he jumped off a cliff, should she? Come to think of it, Luther translated the entire New Testament from Greek into German in 11 weeks with a  quill pen. If she can do that, then she can use crude language too. Otherwise, don't.

We also teach missionaries to learn the language of the people they are trying to reach. Nadia has been very intentional about the type of people she is reaching - and she speaks their language.

I spend every Friday in the Norfolk County Jail. If I used profanity in my preaching, the inmates would be horribly offended (even though they are quite fluent in it). They do not want me to talk that way. They expect me to be better than that in my language.

Good answers, Jim.  My answers to the enclosed sections from Brian:
1)  Same
2) Not the same answer.  Way too many Lutherans give Luther the homeboy excuse (a child of his time) for everything crude and rude, up to and including the late-life rabid Anti-Semitism. And then double down by utilizing the "Lutheran Piety" response as the way to smoke and drink and chew like "real men."   Up to a point, and then beyond the pale. 
3) Sort of in agreement.  Having spent a boatload of time with ex and current offenders as well as on the streets of a particularly mean part of this city, I don't overload the world with F-bombs, and pretty much never with the congregants or kids, so I'm with you.  But stuff does come out under stress.  True confessions, back in the day our church softball team was suspended from the league for throwing F-bombs after an altercation involving an umpire who had a close relative on the other team, and demonstrated that in his calls.  I had to apologize at the altar for that language the next day in order to play the next weekend.  Notably, I had to include myself personally in the apology.  For being an F-bomb tosser. 

I can't imagine that inmates/offenders/ex-offenders would throw you off the island for throwing a few choice words out there once in awhile.  You're still their go-to God guy.  But each context is different.

They did put in an anti-nepotist umpire clause the next year in the softball league, so justice prevailed. 

Dave Benke

Thank you, Dave.

As to Q2, I've used it with many of our LCMS brothers who I've called out on their language and behavior on various boards and lists over the years. They almost always point to Luther's crude language. I always point them to Luther's brilliance (his volume of output and translation skills) and note that if they can meet his brilliance, then they can use his crude language. Otherwise, don't.

Q3. I think using profanity "under stress" is one thing. (And nepotistic umpires deserve it. I remember nearly losing it with an umpire during a couple of daughter's softball games back in the day.) The inmates would understand. They would also give me a very hard time about it! But she uses it casually in her preaching and teaching. That's what the inmates would find offensive.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 05, 2018, 03:31:44 PM
Look what popped up on my FB timeline:

https://www.facebook.com/sarcasticlutheran/photos/gm.787067614974952/1998754100231844/?type=3&theater
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 05, 2018, 03:47:07 PM
Concerning Nepotism and Fast-Pitch Softball:


During the Summer following my high school graduation I pitched for our hometown church team
in a Davenport, Iowa Park District League.  Holy Cross Lutheran Church was scheduled to play
Kickapoo Tavern in an 8 pm game under the lights     My father was scheduled to umpire behind
the plate.  He called both managers together and said,"My son is pitching for one team and my
brother is pitching for the other team.  I have decided to umpire the bases and not behind the plate."

Later the Park District official who scheduled umpires apologized to my dad.  The scheduler had always
made certain that my father never umpired any games involving me or my uncle. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on December 05, 2018, 03:52:16 PM
I appreciate the timing of posting this article on the eve of the universal Feast of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra.

Bob Benne has delivered a digital boxing to this latter day Arius. ;D
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 05, 2018, 03:52:49 PM
They had lights back then, Dave?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 05, 2018, 04:01:13 PM
@Don......They not only had lighted fields, they had dugouts for each team, and a public address system,
public toilets, and concession stands.  Of course the fans got to sit in some genuine bleachers and the
players wore their team uniform. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Benke on December 05, 2018, 04:45:58 PM
Interestingly, he says nothing about Jamie Bruesehoff & Rebekah Bruesehoff speaking at the youth gathering: a mother and her transgender daughter. The crowd often cheered during the speech about acceptance of transgender youth.

The article is titled "Celebrity Theologian." He is focusing on NBW. The other folks don't have quite the following and ELCA "rock star" status as NBW.


As I recall, Martin Luther was a bit crude with his language.

Yes. And if he jumped off a cliff, should she? Come to think of it, Luther translated the entire New Testament from Greek into German in 11 weeks with a  quill pen. If she can do that, then she can use crude language too. Otherwise, don't.

We also teach missionaries to learn the language of the people they are trying to reach. Nadia has been very intentional about the type of people she is reaching - and she speaks their language.

I spend every Friday in the Norfolk County Jail. If I used profanity in my preaching, the inmates would be horribly offended (even though they are quite fluent in it). They do not want me to talk that way. They expect me to be better than that in my language.

Good answers, Jim.  My answers to the enclosed sections from Brian:
1)  Same
2) Not the same answer.  Way too many Lutherans give Luther the homeboy excuse (a child of his time) for everything crude and rude, up to and including the late-life rabid Anti-Semitism. And then double down by utilizing the "Lutheran Piety" response as the way to smoke and drink and chew like "real men."   Up to a point, and then beyond the pale. 
3) Sort of in agreement.  Having spent a boatload of time with ex and current offenders as well as on the streets of a particularly mean part of this city, I don't overload the world with F-bombs, and pretty much never with the congregants or kids, so I'm with you.  But stuff does come out under stress.  True confessions, back in the day our church softball team was suspended from the league for throwing F-bombs after an altercation involving an umpire who had a close relative on the other team, and demonstrated that in his calls.  I had to apologize at the altar for that language the next day in order to play the next weekend.  Notably, I had to include myself personally in the apology.  For being an F-bomb tosser. 

I can't imagine that inmates/offenders/ex-offenders would throw you off the island for throwing a few choice words out there once in awhile.  You're still their go-to God guy.  But each context is different.

They did put in an anti-nepotist umpire clause the next year in the softball league, so justice prevailed. 

Dave Benke

Thank you, Dave.

As to Q2, I've used it with many of our LCMS brothers who I've called out on their language and behavior on various boards and lists over the years. They almost always point to Luther's crude language. I always point them to Luther's brilliance (his volume of output and translation skills) and note that if they can meet his brilliance, then they can use his crude language. Otherwise, don't.

Q3. I think using profanity "under stress" is one thing. (And nepotistic umpires deserve it. I remember nearly losing it with an umpire during a couple of daughter's softball games back in the day.) The inmates would understand. They would also give me a very hard time about it! But she uses it casually in her preaching and teaching. That's what the inmates would find offensive.

Agreed on all counts, Jim

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Benke on December 05, 2018, 05:16:04 PM
Look what popped up on my FB timeline:

https://www.facebook.com/sarcasticlutheran/photos/gm.787067614974952/1998754100231844/?type=3&theater

Thanks for this, Don.  This helps me fill out the picture a bit.

a) NBW is going on a fully national book tour.  A lot of mileage is being put on to promote this, because
b) Her last book, Accidental Saints, was an actual NYTimes best-seller.  Hence the whole "Rock Star" appellation, which makes a little more sense, although the rock stars don't usually start with the book
c) I didn't check my instagram yet, but she does have 212,000 Facebook followers and around 200000 likes.  Which is, at least to me, substantial.  (I know - gan ainm, who isn't even identified or identifiable, has probably three million facebook followers, but the rest of us mere mortals struggle along with 121.  In fact, Concordia Publishing House has around 20000 likes, or 1/10 of the NBW total to date) .  Who knew?  Again, more going on there than I knew, which indicates this truth - what do I know?  Not much.
d) however, on the basis of Christian doctrine, she's well out of synch.  And not being corrected by any who are ostensibly in synch.  So there's that.
e) I will say that, not having read it, the narrative of Accidental Saints attracted me - kind of I Corinthians 1/2.  An odd assortment of folks experience God's grace, because it's available to all, and all are pretty much invariably odd.  "Not many of high birth, not many....."  Motley Cru.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: mj4 on December 05, 2018, 10:14:06 PM
I first heard Nadia BW interviewed by Krista Tippet, and found her talk then, more than 8 years ago to be quite solid and very Lutheran with a good grasp of Law and Gospel that seems to be missing from much of her later stuff.  While I would agree with her willingness to ask the hard questions and take on tough topics, especially with the youth, I don't agree with her choice of language and the recent "pushing the envelop for the sake of pushing."

This is my take as well. 

Dave Benke

Mine too.

The comparison with President Trump is apt, I think. Both have achieved a celebrity status such that those who should hold them accountable are intimidated. Sad.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 05, 2018, 11:55:11 PM
I'd guess that there have been a good number of letters written to PB Eaton this summer concerning NBW.  I wrote one myself concerning ULS and whether students holding traditional views on marriage were welcome at ELCA seminaries.  Reports on some of these attempts are available at the CORE website. 

The fact that the PB is silent about NBW is not evidence that no one has complained.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 06, 2018, 07:40:42 AM
Here is my take on the current discussion about Pastor Bolz-Weber (who, BTW, I believe, has a name that deserves respect and should not be minimized to a set of letters).
If you totally reject the ELCA's position on same-gender marriage and acceptance of gays and lesbians....
If you are offended to the pious core of your being by her use of language...
If you are uneasy with the type of people that she speaks of and are in her congregation....
If you insist that at every time and in every place the Whole and Pure Doctrine/Practice of systematic theology be on the table...
If you are disturbed by the whole idea of a "celebrity pastor," especially a Lutheran one...
Then you will never, ever be able to hear or understand what she has to say about grace, about acceptance in the Body of Christ, about forgiveness, about the Gospel and about the Church.
I am not always comfortable with everything she says and wonder if some things she says might have come unmoored from whatever "orthodoxy" is.
I am old. I have learned to live with being uncomfortable because - as I have said before in this modest forum - I am uncomfortable with those whose theology seems welded to the first four centuries of Gospel life and locked into those times or welded to the writings of our friends in the Reformation era or locked into rigid interpretations of certain passages of scripture. I am uncomfortable with those whose Lutheranism is only ecumenical on their "Lutheran" terms or whose sense of mission ignores certain civil and world problems. Sometimes those people drive me crazy and make me think that their part of the Church has lost something essential. In weak moments, I would not want them speaking to a youth gathering.
But I am able to see Gospel, grace, Lutheranism (though not my particular "type"), and value in what they say.
That's one of the problems with this life - it just has too many "ifs" and "maybes". And sometimes it's too darned uncomfortable. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Gary Hatcher on December 06, 2018, 07:59:07 AM
Here is my take on the current discussion about Pastor Bolz-Weber (who, BTW, I believe, has a name that deserves respect and should not be minimized to a set of letters).
If you totally reject the ELCA's position on same-gender marriage and acceptance of gays and lesbians....

Just reminder that the ELCA has voted in Assembly that its policy does include the understanding that same sex unions are not God pleasing and contrary to Scripture. Also, there are those in the ELCA, who are not departing, who regard this as the true understanding of Scripture.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Eileen Smith on December 06, 2018, 08:33:19 AM
Here is my take on the current discussion about Pastor Bolz-Weber (who, BTW, I believe, has a name that deserves respect and should not be minimized to a set of letters).
If you totally reject the ELCA's position on same-gender marriage and acceptance of gays and lesbians....
If you are offended to the pious core of your being by her use of language...
If you are uneasy with the type of people that she speaks of and are in her congregation....
If you insist that at every time and in every place the Whole and Pure Doctrine/Practice of systematic theology be on the table...
If you are disturbed by the whole idea of a "celebrity pastor," especially a Lutheran one...
Then you will never, ever be able to hear or understand what she has to say about grace, about acceptance in the Body of Christ, about forgiveness, about the Gospel and about the Church.
I am not always comfortable with everything she says and wonder if some things she says might have come unmoored from whatever "orthodoxy" is.
I am old. I have learned to live with being uncomfortable because - as I have said before in this modest forum - I am uncomfortable with those whose theology seems welded to the first four centuries of Gospel life and locked into those times or welded to the writings of our friends in the Reformation era or locked into rigid interpretations of certain passages of scripture. I am uncomfortable with those whose Lutheranism is only ecumenical on their "Lutheran" terms or whose sense of mission ignores certain civil and world problems. Sometimes those people drive me crazy and make me think that their part of the Church has lost something essential. In weak moments, I would not want them speaking to a youth gathering.
But I am able to see Gospel, grace, Lutheranism (though not my particular "type"), and value in what they say.
That's one of the problems with this life - it just has too many "ifs" and "maybes". And sometimes it's too darned uncomfortable.

It is always difficult for me to disagree with you for several reasons, not the least of which you are one of the few people on this Forum that I've met and putting a face to a name really does lead to relationship; the second reason is that we are both ELCA and while you are able to celebrate your church body, I honestly mourn what was lost. 

I probably fit most of your points above.  Some explanation follows:

-  I suppose it was Michelle Obama who left us with the tag line of being offended to the core when she spoke of Trump's disrespect of women - yes, the same Michelle Obama who had a rapper to the White House to perform for her children (read the lyrics).   I am offended by her language.  I spent 20 years in a trading room.  Believe me, I've heard worse.  It was during this time that I went through the diakonia program and was set apart as a deacon.  My colleagues were aware of what I was doing and not only encouraged me but gave me a red stole.   I don't write this for bragging rights, but to share that this is a call I took - and still take - seriously.  I didn't fall into the language or off-color humor yet I maintained good relationships with my colleagues and was treated with great respect.  Why didn't I fall into this pattern of language?  Simply because my colleagues saw me as someone whom they would consider (for lack of better word) "religious."  I wanted to live up to that.  Nadia Bolz-Weber is a pastor of the church.  We expect more from her.  Whether the Epistles wee written 2000 years ago or yesterday they are still relevant and those who follow the call to the ordained ministry, on them is placed a higher degree of behavior ... not that they're better but they are shepherds, leading God's people.  Lead faithfully and act like a child of God.

-  Point 3 above is what offends me to the core more than her language.  Because she's bold in her language, because she is outspokenly in favor of not only same gender relationships but fluid genders, etc., because she is covered in tattoos, and because (perhaps) many of her congregation are just like her does not mean that those who criticize her are uncomfortable with people who are in her congregation.  We are not country bumpkins who have never seen a woman like Bolz-Weber, who have never heard such language, who have never seen a same-sex couple.  We are intelligent enough to make a differentiation, to see the fine line between behavior and people.  To say that one cannot interact with those whom they are leading unless they become like them in every way simply holds no water.   Leading and following are not synonymous.  Again, I can only speak to my own experiences of attending parishes in the inner city and in areas of Queens that would not be considered inner city, but close to it.  We had parolees in our congregation, we had a guy in prison who was allowed to come to his mother's funeral and then whisked back, we had homeless -- and all of these people were loved.   One wrote that when she got out of jail she felt that she would never get rid of the smell of prison.   But it was the love of the congregation that became like a perfume to her, erasing that smell of prison.   We were many nationalities, many cultures, all over the economic map as well as educational map - but none of that mattered.   People who lean more to the left need to delineate between behavior and the person. 

-  One of the beautiful aspects of the church is that we do have a faith that has been handed down through those whom God inspired -- those who put God's words into Scripture -- and the Spirit-led inspiration of the early church fathers who left us such a beautiful treasury of faith.  The Reformers carried on that tradition and left us with a gift of theology that we can see paralleling  the early writings of the church.  Whenever the writings of the Fathers or Reformers appear as the 4th reading in For All the Saints - well, it is a joy.  Just the other day an Advent prayer from the 16th century was so moving that I gave it out on small cards at our Advent Lessons & Carols service (with citation, I promise Pastor Schumacher!).  We may think we are wiser today, but we aren't.  We can conform Scripture to our liking, but that isn't faithfulness - or discipleship. 

I fear that Bolz-Weber is no longer the fringe of the ELCA but quickly becoming the mainstream.  She was not the only speaker at the youth gathering to raise eyebrows.  I, too, heard her years ago and she was far more moderate than she is today in both language and theology.  Perhaps her star status brought her to a new level of pastoral style.   T
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 06, 2018, 08:33:56 AM
Though giving his take yesterday, Charles is compelled to do so again, seemingly in order to take shots at others. Again, Charles sets up the straw man and prooceeds to burn it, followed by the ad hominem tu quoque.

A fallacious two-fer, Charles. Again.

But, looking to the positive, it brought forth another excellent response from Ms. Smith, including specifically pointing out the straw man. We can rejoice in that!
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Benke on December 06, 2018, 08:47:10 AM
Here is my take on the current discussion about Pastor Bolz-Weber (who, BTW, I believe, has a name that deserves respect and should not be minimized to a set of letters).
If you totally reject the ELCA's position on same-gender marriage and acceptance of gays and lesbians....
If you are offended to the pious core of your being by her use of language...
If you are uneasy with the type of people that she speaks of and are in her congregation....
If you insist that at every time and in every place the Whole and Pure Doctrine/Practice of systematic theology be on the table...
If you are disturbed by the whole idea of a "celebrity pastor," especially a Lutheran one...
Then you will never, ever be able to hear or understand what she has to say about grace, about acceptance in the Body of Christ, about forgiveness, about the Gospel and about the Church.
I am not always comfortable with everything she says and wonder if some things she says might have come unmoored from whatever "orthodoxy" is.
I am old. I have learned to live with being uncomfortable because - as I have said before in this modest forum - I am uncomfortable with those whose theology seems welded to the first four centuries of Gospel life and locked into those times or welded to the writings of our friends in the Reformation era or locked into rigid interpretations of certain passages of scripture. I am uncomfortable with those whose Lutheranism is only ecumenical on their "Lutheran" terms or whose sense of mission ignores certain civil and world problems. Sometimes those people drive me crazy and make me think that their part of the Church has lost something essential. In weak moments, I would not want them speaking to a youth gathering.
But I am able to see Gospel, grace, Lutheranism (though not my particular "type"), and value in what they say.
That's one of the problems with this life - it just has too many "ifs" and "maybes". And sometimes it's too darned uncomfortable.

It is always difficult for me to disagree with you for several reasons, not the least of which you are one of the few people on this Forum that I've met and putting a face to a name really does lead to relationship; the second reason is that we are both ELCA and while you are able to celebrate your church body, I honestly mourn what was lost. 

I probably fit most of your points above.  Some explanation follows:

-  I suppose it was Michelle Obama who left us with the tag line of being offended to the core when she spoke of Trump's disrespect of women - yes, the same Michelle Obama who had a rapper to the White House to perform for her children (read the lyrics).   I am offended by her language.  I spent 20 years in a trading room.  Believe me, I've heard worse.  It was during this time that I went through the diakonia program and was set apart as a deacon.  My colleagues were aware of what I was doing and not only encouraged me but gave me a red stole.   I don't write this for bragging rights, but to share that this is a call I took - and still take - seriously.  I didn't fall into the language or off-color humor yet I maintained good relationships with my colleagues and was treated with great respect.  Why didn't I fall into this pattern of language?  Simply because my colleagues saw me as someone whom they would consider (for lack of better word) "religious."  I wanted to live up to that.  Nadia Bolz-Weber is a pastor of the church.  We expect more from her.  Whether the Epistles wee written 2000 years ago or yesterday they are still relevant and those who follow the call to the ordained ministry, on them is placed a higher degree of behavior ... not that they're better but they are shepherds, leading God's people.  Lead faithfully and act like a child of God.

-  Point 3 above is what offends me to the core more than her language.  Because she's bold in her language, because she is outspokenly in favor of not only same gender relationships but fluid genders, etc., because she is covered in tattoos, and because (perhaps) many of her congregation are just like her does not mean that those who criticize her are uncomfortable with people who are in her congregation.  We are not country bumpkins who have never seen a woman like Bolz-Weber, who have never heard such language, who have never seen a same-sex couple.  We are intelligent enough to make a differentiation, to see the fine line between behavior and people.  To say that one cannot interact with those whom they are leading unless they become like them in every way simply holds no water.   Leading and following are not synonymous.  Again, I can only speak to my own experiences of attending parishes in the inner city and in areas of Queens that would not be considered inner city, but close to it.  We had parolees in our congregation, we had a guy in prison who was allowed to come to his mother's funeral and then whisked back, we had homeless -- and all of these people were loved.   One wrote that when she got out of jail she felt that she would never get rid of the smell of prison.   But it was the love of the congregation that became like a perfume to her, erasing that smell of prison.   We were many nationalities, many cultures, all over the economic map as well as educational map - but none of that mattered.   People who lean more to the left need to delineate between behavior and the person. 

-  One of the beautiful aspects of the church is that we do have a faith that has been handed down through those whom God inspired -- those who put God's words into Scripture -- and the Spirit-led inspiration of the early church fathers who left us such a beautiful treasury of faith.  The Reformers carried on that tradition and left us with a gift of theology that we can see paralleling  the early writings of the church.  Whenever the writings of the Fathers or Reformers appear as the 4th reading in For All the Saints - well, it is a joy.  Just the other day an Advent prayer from the 16th century was so moving that I gave it out on small cards at our Advent Lessons & Carols service (with citation, I promise Pastor Schumacher!).  We may think we are wiser today, but we aren't.  We can conform Scripture to our liking, but that isn't faithfulness - or discipleship. 

I fear that Bolz-Weber is no longer the fringe of the ELCA but quickly becoming the mainstream.  She was not the only speaker at the youth gathering to raise eyebrows.  I, too, heard her years ago and she was far more moderate than she is today in both language and theology.  Perhaps her star status brought her to a new level of pastoral style.   T

This is a great post, Eileen.  I was thinking about your years and mine in urban and multi-cultural and messy mission and ministry in reflecting on Nadia Bolz-Weber.  Language and attire do not create authenticity.  It comes from within.  On the verbal side what I distrust and what I find people distrust  is sloganeering, from any side of the aisle, because it replaces heart and soul with bromides or catch-phrases.  It's not about speaking after listening, but about speaking prior to listening then - here are the answers; what are your questions?  On the attire side while I don't believe a pastor has to wear a collar to be pastoral, and while I don't believe a tattoo is the devil's handiwork, I don't think it's a bad idea to wear a collar or culturally ignorant to be tattoo-free.   Christ in us, the hope of glory, is who we are and who we speak of and through and who we wear.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: JEdwards on December 06, 2018, 08:47:49 AM
Here is my take on the current discussion about Pastor Bolz-Weber (who, BTW, I believe, has a name that deserves respect and should not be minimized to a set of letters).
I agree with you.  In my view, though, describing the conscience-bound opinions of colleagues in ministry as a "Satanic lie" seems a wee bit more disrespectful than abbreviating a name.

Peace,
Jon
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 06, 2018, 09:35:15 AM
"Here is my take on the current discussion about Pastor Bolz-Weber (who, BTW, I believe, has a name that deserves respect and should not be minimized to a set of letters)...."


Rev. Austin, this is particularly rich coming from you, who:

1) frequently misspells names here,
2) often attributes comments to the wrong writer,
3) consistently addresses one of our regular contributors as the Anonymous One despite his having a screen name,
4) regularly responds to other posts by beginning "someone writes...".
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 06, 2018, 09:45:53 AM
Yes, there are plenty of improper characterizations, prejudices, and over-statements flapping around discussions such as this one. Not one of them should be use to justify any other of them.
   I once sat with a group of recovering addicts and alcoholics, about half of them convicted felons and nearly all of them prominently tattooed and heard one guy - a biker - talk about the third step, "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."  He spoke of finding a loving, forgiving God (unlike the God he had been taught about as a child), and about prayer as ways to begin and end a day. Folks here would not like the language he used (and recovery groups often discourage profane language), but there was a message of grace and a witness to faith in what he said. Furthermore, he had the "proof" of 11 years of sobriety and drug-free living to underline how this faith had changed his life.
   I cannot imagine that Fred and guys like him would have found a "faith that works" (another term in recovery programs) faced only with the kind of piety and theologizing that defines most of our Lutheran preaching and piety.
   A few years later, Fred was hit with a terrible form of cancer. I was privileged to be with him and his family the day he died and led his funeral (a fully "Lutheran" service in a Lutheran church). The crowed ranged from his preppy Connecticut brother to his biker and recovery friends. Yes, there were a couple of eulogies and yes, one included a couple of words not normally heard in church.
   (Sometimes, doggone it, I really miss the active ministry. But energies wane and time moves on.)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 06, 2018, 09:51:06 AM
P.S. to Pastor Bohler:
Do you ever respond to actual content or do you remain fixed on your impression of the one posting? (Can you ever, even in eternity, forget that Bishop/Pastor Benke once did something that burned your biscuits?) I apologize for sometimes typing too rapidly and confusing posters that are so similar as to make differentiation difficult. A "screen name" is not a name, and sometimes it is possible to respond to a comment without specifying who said it.
But we digress.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 06, 2018, 09:56:23 AM
P.S. to Pastor Bohler:
Do you ever respond to actual content or do you remain fixed on your impression of the one posting? (Can you ever, even in eternity, forget that Bishop/Pastor Benke once did something that burned your biscuits?) I apologize for sometimes typing too rapidly and confusing posters that are so similar as to make differentiation difficult. A "screen name" is not a name, and sometimes it is possible to respond to a comment without specifying who said it.
But we digress.

Rev. Austin,

Where did I mention Dr. Benke in this thread?  When did I last mention Yankee Stadium on a post here?  Maybe you are the one who has a problem in that area...
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 06, 2018, 10:01:38 AM
"[Charles] spoke to them only in [ad hominems and straw men]."
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DeHall1 on December 06, 2018, 10:08:31 AM
P.S. to Pastor Bohler Charles Austin:
Do you ever respond to actual content or do you remain fixed on your impression of the one posting? (Can you ever, even in eternity, forget that [fill in name here] once did something that burned your biscuits?)....

Fixed it for you.
You're welcome.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 06, 2018, 10:40:21 AM
Interestingly, he says nothing about Jamie Bruesehoff & Rebekah Bruesehoff speaking at the youth gathering: a mother and her transgender daughter. The crowd often cheered during the speech about acceptance of transgender youth.

The article is titled "Celebrity Theologian." He is focusing on NBW. The other folks don't have quite the following and ELCA "rock star" status as NBW.


And yet, if she is so terrible, how did she get that status? Why do thousands buy her books? Why was her congregation growing in numbers when so many others are declining? Why are so many of her members the type of people who didn't "fit" into traditional congregations?

Quote

As I recall, Martin Luther was a bit crude with his language.

Yes. And if he jumped off a cliff, should she? Come to think of it, Luther translated the entire New Testament from Greek into German in 11 weeks with a  quill pen. If she can do that, then she can use crude language too. Otherwise, don't.


Why not? What's the sin in using crude language?

Quote
We also teach missionaries to learn the language of the people they are trying to reach. Nadia has been very intentional about the type of people she is reaching - and she speaks their language.

I spend every Friday in the Norfolk County Jail. If I used profanity in my preaching, the inmates would be horribly offended (even though they are quite fluent in it). They do not want me to talk that way. They expect me to be better than that in my language.


How do you know that they would be "horribly offended"? My hunch is that you would be offended. I'm one who almost never uses profanity in my speech. It isn't authentic speak for me. Conversely, a vice-principal at the high school told me that there are students for whom profanity is such a regular part of their speech, they don't even realize that they are saying those words.


A number of years ago, when I was in the Kansas City area ('82-'87), Unity had a "word for the day" bit on the radio. A neighboring pastor liked to say, "Sometimes the word for the day is 'shit'". Back in seminary, I titled a paper, "God damn him." It was on the word ἀνάθεμα, which, as used by Paul in Galatians and elsewhere, asks God to condemn people who are proclaiming a false gospel. To be condemned by God is to have God damn them. I think that it accurately expresses the meaning of that Greek word.


What command are folks breaking when they use such "four-letter words" in their speech?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 06, 2018, 10:52:16 AM
I fear that Bolz-Weber is no longer the fringe of the ELCA but quickly becoming the mainstream.  She was not the only speaker at the youth gathering to raise eyebrows.  I, too, heard her years ago and she was far more moderate than she is today in both language and theology.  Perhaps her star status brought her to a new level of pastoral style.   T


She included in her first speech to the youth gathering a few years ago a comment that her contract with the organizers included a statement about not using profanity. She didn't.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: D. Engebretson on December 06, 2018, 10:53:52 AM
Interestingly, he says nothing about Jamie Bruesehoff & Rebekah Bruesehoff speaking at the youth gathering: a mother and her transgender daughter. The crowd often cheered during the speech about acceptance of transgender youth.

The article is titled "Celebrity Theologian." He is focusing on NBW. The other folks don't have quite the following and ELCA "rock star" status as NBW.


And yet, if she is so terrible, how did she get that status? Why do thousands buy her books? Why was her congregation growing in numbers when so many others are declining? Why are so many of her members the type of people who didn't "fit" into traditional congregations?

I think that these are good questions that deserves some serious thought.  It falls into the same category as many other 'popular' clergy who write books and speak to large groups, such as Joyce Meyers and Joel Osteen. Popularity is always a risky measure of faithfulness, and loss of followers/members not always a sign of unfaithfulness.  We are studying John in our weekly Bible class and have just begun chapter 6, an interesting commentary on this.  Many began to follow Jesus and then many left, offended by his claims.  Why didn't Jesus change or 'tone down' his message to keep them from leaving?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 06, 2018, 11:15:33 AM

As to language, I make a three way distinction as to "bad" language: cursing, swearing and vulgarity.  Cursing is calling upon God to make bad things happen, including damnation, to the object of the cursing.  Swearing is calling upon God to witness to, attest, and punish deviation from the truth of what is spoken.  Both of these categories have upon rare occasions appropriate uses and when improper involve using the Lord's Name in vain.  The rest is vulgarities such as s***, f***, and similar language and four letter words.  (Let's not forget that golf is a four letter word, and as we enter winter here in Michigan, Minnesota and the rest of the norther tier of states, so is snow.)  While I may not like the casual use of vulgarities, it doesn't really break a commandment.  It may betray a certain lack of imagination and command of language.  I sometimes wonder, if one uses such vulgarities as to make the air blue in regular conversation, what is left to say when one gets really upset.


(In the 1980 movie "Hopscotch" the director of the CIA is played by Ned Beatty as a totally ineffectual character.  One of the ways this is portrayed on screen is his constant use of vulgar language.  He simply cannot express himself without vulgarities - thus demonstrating his incompetence.)


Contrary to what some have come to understand as accepted and normative theology, the acceptance of pre-, post- and extra-marital sexual relationships, same-sex sexual relationships, same-sex marriage and gender fluidity as part of God's plan for human sexuality, accepted by God and to be accepted by all in the same way that heterosexual marital sexual relationships have been accepted has not come to be understood by all as simply orthodox theology with opposition to the same as aberrant theology bordering on heresy (or as close to heresy as this post-modern theologically pluralistic theological environment is willing to allow).  The solemn renunciations of(and pronouncement of anathema upon?) opposition to making same-sex sexual relationships normative I find offensive.  This goes far beyond Pr. Bolz-Weber adapting her language and look to fit with her intended audience.  I would have no place in a church that embraces her take on God's will as normative.  I doubt that I have a place in her version of Christianity, having been anathematized by her.  (Not by name, naturally, but my beliefs having been renounced and cast out.)  Apparently, Pr. Bolz-Weber's theology has evolved along with her style of presentation, from advocating and acceptance of LGBTQ to a rejection and renunciation of any opposition to whatever the LGBTQ community promotes.  Those who disagree are to be excluded.


Might I suggest that this is one reason many of us in the LCMS are not comfortable embracing the idea that the ELCA is just a slightly different flavor of Lutheran and so we should be in altar and pulpit with them.  At least one accepted strand of the ELCA views our beliefs as something to be renounced, not coexisted with.


God loves us and accepts us just as we are, sinners.  But that acceptance does not say to the sinner, "Be of good cheer, yours sins are accepted, no need to repent, go and keep on doing whatever you've been doing."
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DeHall1 on December 06, 2018, 11:24:31 AM
Interestingly, he says nothing about Jamie Bruesehoff & Rebekah Bruesehoff speaking at the youth gathering: a mother and her transgender daughter. The crowd often cheered during the speech about acceptance of transgender youth.

The article is titled "Celebrity Theologian." He is focusing on NBW. The other folks don't have quite the following and ELCA "rock star" status as NBW.


And yet, if she is so terrible, how did she get that status? Why do thousands buy her books? Why was her congregation growing in numbers when so many others are declining? Why are so many of her members the type of people who didn't "fit" into traditional congregations?

Easy answer...
            "You gave me fortune
             You gave me fame
             You gave me power in your own god's name
             I'm every person you need to be
             Oh, I'm the cult of personality..."
             - Living Colour, "Cult of Personality"
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 06, 2018, 11:26:26 AM
Rev. Fienen,,


When I was a child, my parents forbid vulgarities.  As an adult, in the work-place, so did my employers.  As a pastor now, so does my congregation.   So, for me to use vulgarities IS a sin: breaking the Fourth Commandment. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 06, 2018, 11:37:38 AM
Rev. Fienen,,


When I was a child, my parents forbid vulgarities.  As an adult, in the work-place, so did my employers.  As a pastor now, so does my congregation.   So, for me to use vulgarities IS a sin: breaking the Fourth Commandment.



But not the second.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on December 06, 2018, 11:48:27 AM
"While I may not like the casual use of vulgarities, it doesn't really break a commandment.  It may betray a certain lack of imagination and command of language."

some vulgarities deprecate the human body, its function and God-given and blessed sexuality and its expression.  I would assume that is a sin.  To say nothing of applying some vulgarity to a person or personal, throwing it into their face and referencing them thusly.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 06, 2018, 01:56:05 PM
I'm reminded of when I was taught to plot a line Algebra class.  You have a starting point, then a second, third, fourth, etc...  When you are done you can predict fairly well where the next point on the line will be.

If you plot the trajectory of change in the ELCA beginning in 2009 there are multiple plot points.  The starting point is HSGT with its 4 positions.  The second point is the implementing resolutions that were passed at the same assembly, which limited positions 1,2 and 3 to congregations.  Other points include the purging of the faculty at LTSS, he inclusion without discussion of Bisexuality and Transgenderism as orientations that were positively affirmed by the ELCA, the Naked and Ashamed Manifesto, the purging of United Lutheran Seminary, the condemnation of traditional Christian views of marriage at the 2018 Youth Gathering, and now NBW's vagina sculpture.  Anyone who can plot a trajectory can see where we are heading and can predict where we are going.  Only a radical change of course will see NBW rebuked by a bishop of the ELCA and reigned in. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 06, 2018, 02:04:13 PM
Pastor Charlton writes:
Only a radical change of course will see NBW rebuked by a bishop of the ELCA and reigned in.

I comment:
If She is reigned in, does that mean we make her queen?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 06, 2018, 02:09:08 PM
"While I may not like the casual use of vulgarities, it doesn't really break a commandment.  It may betray a certain lack of imagination and command of language."

some vulgarities deprecate the human body, its function and God-given and blessed sexuality and its expression.  I would assume that is a sin.  To say nothing of applying some vulgarity to a person or personal, throwing it into their face and referencing them thusly.

Indeed, Harvey. Not the 2nd? So what, Dan? I recall, something about leading "a chaste and decent life in word and deed."

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Eph 4:29

"Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving." Eph 5:4

"Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him."  Prov 29:20

 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: RevG on December 06, 2018, 02:49:01 PM
Interestingly, he says nothing about Jamie Bruesehoff & Rebekah Bruesehoff speaking at the youth gathering: a mother and her transgender daughter. The crowd often cheered during the speech about acceptance of transgender youth.

The article is titled "Celebrity Theologian." He is focusing on NBW. The other folks don't have quite the following and ELCA "rock star" status as NBW.


And yet, if she is so terrible, how did she get that status? Why do thousands buy her books? Why was her congregation growing in numbers when so many others are declining? Why are so many of her members the type of people who didn't "fit" into traditional congregations?

Easy answer...
            "You gave me fortune
             You gave me fame
             You gave me power in your own god's name
             I'm every person you need to be
             Oh, I'm the cult of personality..."
             - Living Colour, "Cult of Personality"

I'm really excited that someone quoted Living Colour.  I never would've thought such would happen here.  More importantly, though, Living Colour was greatly influenced by the greatest band of all time which, of course, is the Bad Brains.:) I hope Nadia knows of them but then again who knows.  Rastas playing hardcore. Can't go wrong there.  Also, so "multicultural" as the hip Missourians like to say.;D
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 06, 2018, 02:58:31 PM

I don't intend to defend the casual use of vulgarities, its not a good practice for a number of reasons.  But if I were to criticize Pr. Bolz-Weber's presentations and works, her use of vulgarities would be relatively low on my priority list.  It can be argued, as is, as to whether her use of vulgarities is appropriate in order to communicate with her intended audience and what sort of a message her vulgarity conveys.  Personally it seems to me rather condescending as though telling the audience that I don't think that they can understand "polite" language.  (To be continually correcting vulgarities could also be condescending, my preference is to ignore the vulgarities of others and proceed with the conversation.)  If she herself cannot communicate without vulgarities (and apparently earlier she could easily) that would be another problem.


A related problem with speakers who continually use vulgarities is if the use is intended to be rude or itself condescending, as though conversation is not real or authentic if not punctuated with vulgarity.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 06, 2018, 03:11:59 PM
P.S. to Pastor Bohler Charles Austin:
Do you ever respond to actual content or do you remain fixed on your impression of the one posting? (Can you ever, even in eternity, forget that [fill in name here] once did something that burned your biscuits?)....

Fixed it for you.
You're welcome.

Thank you!

spt+
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DeHall1 on December 06, 2018, 04:07:58 PM
Pastor Charlton writes:
Only a radical change of course will see NBW rebuked by a bishop of the ELCA and reigned in.

I comment:
If She is reigned in, does that mean we make her queen?

I comment:
Pretty sure you already have....
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 06, 2018, 04:14:08 PM
Pastor Charlton writes:
Only a radical change of course will see NBW rebuked by a bishop of the ELCA and reigned in.

I comment:
If She is reigned in, does that mean we make her queen?


I think "queen" is too binary.  How about "royal sovereign"? ;)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 06, 2018, 09:43:18 PM
  Obviously, Bishop Eaton had no problem with what Bolz-Weber
had to say to the youth.  It is disappointing that nobody in the ELCA leadership disapproves of the theology
and language of Bolz-Weber.

I'm not sure that either of those statements is correct.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 06, 2018, 09:44:51 PM

Interestingly, he says nothing about Jamie Bruesehoff & Rebekah Bruesehoff speaking at the youth gathering: a mother and her transgender daughter.

He says quite a bit about that in another article in First Things.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 06, 2018, 11:42:42 PM
I'm reminded of when I was taught to plot a line Algebra class.  You have a starting point, then a second, third, fourth, etc...  When you are done you can predict fairly well where the next point on the line will be.

If you plot the trajectory of change in the ELCA beginning in 2009 there are multiple plot points.  The starting point is HSGT with its 4 positions.  The second point is the implementing resolutions that were passed at the same assembly, which limited positions 1,2 and 3 to congregations.  Other points include the purging of the faculty at LTSS, he inclusion without discussion of Bisexuality and Transgenderism as orientations that were positively affirmed by the ELCA, the Naked and Ashamed Manifesto, the purging of United Lutheran Seminary, the condemnation of traditional Christian views of marriage at the 2018 Youth Gathering, and now NBW's vagina sculpture.  Anyone who can plot a trajectory can see where we are heading and can predict where we are going.  Only a radical change of course will see NBW rebuked by a bishop of the ELCA and reigned in.


I would say that the plotting began in 1991 when the ELCA Churchwide assembly passed a resolution: “To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."


This was affirmed at 1995 Churchwide assembly.


In 1999 we approved: "To encourage discerning conversation about homosexuality and the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons 'in our common life and mission.'"


The plotting began 18 years before the 2009 vote.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DeHall1 on December 07, 2018, 05:52:12 PM
I'm really excited that someone quoted Living Colour.  I never would've thought such would happen here.  More importantly, though, Living Colour was greatly influenced by the greatest band of all time which, of course, is the Bad Brains.:) I hope Nadia knows of them but then again who knows.  Rastas playing hardcore. Can't go wrong there.  Also, so "multicultural" as the hip Missourians like to say.;D

Don't get me wrong -- LOVE the Bad Brains.  My vote for greatest band of all time?  Boston's own.....The Modern Lovers.  Followed up by yet another Boston band, The Pixies...

It ALL starts with The Modern Lovers though.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: cssml on December 07, 2018, 06:07:16 PM

I would say that the plotting began in 1991 when the ELCA Churchwide assembly passed a resolution: “To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."

You conveniently skipped over:

CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS October 5–8, 1993
Blessing of Homosexual Relationship CB93.10.25

We, as the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, recognize that there is basis neither in Scripture nor tradition for the establishment of an official ceremony by this church for the blessing of a homosexual relationship. We, therefore, do not approve such a ceremony as an official action of this church's ministry. Nevertheless, we express trust in and will continue dialogue with those pastors and congregations who are in ministry with gay and lesbian persons, and affirm their desire to explore the best ways to provide pastoral care for all to whom they minister.

Quote
This was affirmed at 1995 Churchwide assembly.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: readselerttoo on December 07, 2018, 06:09:26 PM
I'm reminded of when I was taught to plot a line Algebra class.  You have a starting point, then a second, third, fourth, etc...  When you are done you can predict fairly well where the next point on the line will be.

If you plot the trajectory of change in the ELCA beginning in 2009 there are multiple plot points.  The starting point is HSGT with its 4 positions.  The second point is the implementing resolutions that were passed at the same assembly, which limited positions 1,2 and 3 to congregations.  Other points include the purging of the faculty at LTSS, he inclusion without discussion of Bisexuality and Transgenderism as orientations that were positively affirmed by the ELCA, the Naked and Ashamed Manifesto, the purging of United Lutheran Seminary, the condemnation of traditional Christian views of marriage at the 2018 Youth Gathering, and now NBW's vagina sculpture.  Anyone who can plot a trajectory can see where we are heading and can predict where we are going.  Only a radical change of course will see NBW rebuked by a bishop of the ELCA and reigned in.


I would say that the plotting began in 1991 when the ELCA Churchwide assembly passed a resolution: “To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."


This was affirmed at 1995 Churchwide assembly.


In 1999 we approved: "To encourage discerning conversation about homosexuality and the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons 'in our common life and mission.'"


The plotting began 18 years before the 2009 vote.



Notice that in 1991 gay people were affirmed AS INDIVIDUALS CREATED BY GOD.  This is the key.  All individuals are created by God.  It is when gays and lesbians are affirmed, as a  group with agenda, by this church (ELCA) that the issue becomes political and therefore damnable before God.  Not because the individual is that way before God. With each individual the call to repentance and faith goes out. When this church affirms gays and lesbians as a group and support their agenda, ELCA errs in that it now supports political action.  The subtle shift from affirmation of the individual before God;s face to the horizontal acceptance of the gay agenda makes ELCA's mission insidious, imo.

BTW, I have resigned from the roster for ordained clergy in the ELCA.  I am attending Shepherd of the Hills (LCMS) here in San Antonio, now.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: gan ainm on December 07, 2018, 06:24:19 PM
I'm reminded of when I was taught to plot a line Algebra class.  You have a starting point, then a second, third, fourth, etc...  When you are done you can predict fairly well where the next point on the line will be.

If you plot the trajectory of change in the ELCA beginning in 2009 there are multiple plot points.  The starting point is HSGT with its 4 positions.  The second point is the implementing resolutions that were passed at the same assembly, which limited positions 1,2 and 3 to congregations.  Other points include the purging of the faculty at LTSS, he inclusion without discussion of Bisexuality and Transgenderism as orientations that were positively affirmed by the ELCA, the Naked and Ashamed Manifesto, the purging of United Lutheran Seminary, the condemnation of traditional Christian views of marriage at the 2018 Youth Gathering, and now NBW's vagina sculpture.  Anyone who can plot a trajectory can see where we are heading and can predict where we are going.  Only a radical change of course will see NBW rebuked by a bishop of the ELCA and reigned in.


I would say that the plotting began in 1991 when the ELCA Churchwide assembly passed a resolution: “To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."


This was affirmed at 1995 Churchwide assembly.


In 1999 we approved: "To encourage discerning conversation about homosexuality and the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons 'in our common life and mission.'"


The plotting began 18 years before the 2009 vote.



Notice that in 1991 gay people were affirmed AS INDIVIDUALS CREATED BY GOD.  This is the key.  All individuals are created by God.  It is when gays and lesbians are affirmed as a  group with agenda by this church (ELCA) that the issue becomes political and therefore damnable before God.  Not because the individual is that way before God. With each individual the call to repentance and faith goes out. When this church affirms gays and lesbians as a group and support their agenda, ELCA errs in that it now supports political action.  The subtle shift from affirmation of the individual before God;s face to the horizontal acceptance of the gay agenda makes ELCA's mission insidious, imo.

BTW, I have resigned from the roster for ordained clergy in the ELCA.  I am attending Shepherd of the Hills (LCMS) here in San Antonio, now.

Blessings my brother in Christ. The truth will set you free.

John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”  34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: readselerttoo on December 07, 2018, 07:14:59 PM
I'm reminded of when I was taught to plot a line Algebra class.  You have a starting point, then a second, third, fourth, etc...  When you are done you can predict fairly well where the next point on the line will be.

If you plot the trajectory of change in the ELCA beginning in 2009 there are multiple plot points.  The starting point is HSGT with its 4 positions.  The second point is the implementing resolutions that were passed at the same assembly, which limited positions 1,2 and 3 to congregations.  Other points include the purging of the faculty at LTSS, he inclusion without discussion of Bisexuality and Transgenderism as orientations that were positively affirmed by the ELCA, the Naked and Ashamed Manifesto, the purging of United Lutheran Seminary, the condemnation of traditional Christian views of marriage at the 2018 Youth Gathering, and now NBW's vagina sculpture.  Anyone who can plot a trajectory can see where we are heading and can predict where we are going.  Only a radical change of course will see NBW rebuked by a bishop of the ELCA and reigned in.


I would say that the plotting began in 1991 when the ELCA Churchwide assembly passed a resolution: “To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."


This was affirmed at 1995 Churchwide assembly.


In 1999 we approved: "To encourage discerning conversation about homosexuality and the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons 'in our common life and mission.'"


The plotting began 18 years before the 2009 vote.



Notice that in 1991 gay people were affirmed AS INDIVIDUALS CREATED BY GOD.  This is the key.  All individuals are created by God.  It is when gays and lesbians are affirmed as a  group with agenda by this church (ELCA) that the issue becomes political and therefore damnable before God.  Not because the individual is that way before God. With each individual the call to repentance and faith goes out. When this church affirms gays and lesbians as a group and support their agenda, ELCA errs in that it now supports political action.  The subtle shift from affirmation of the individual before God;s face to the horizontal acceptance of the gay agenda makes ELCA's mission insidious, imo.

BTW, I have resigned from the roster for ordained clergy in the ELCA.  I am attending Shepherd of the Hills (LCMS) here in San Antonio, now.

Blessings my brother in Christ. The truth will set you free.

John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”  34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

Thanks.  I do believe that there are courageous folk who remain on the ordained roster yet witness to this church through their rightful critiques.  The ELCA still maintains governing documents which affirm a solid confession of faith based on the unaltered Augsburg Confession and the rest of the Book of Concord.  However their current activity and practice seem to silence that confession or at the most soften the distinctions between law and Gospel so as to de-potentize the great saving address of that uniquely Christian Gospel.  ELCA's mission does not seem clear to me any longer at least for now. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 08, 2018, 01:53:09 AM

I would say that the plotting began in 1991 when the ELCA Churchwide assembly passed a resolution: “To affirm that gay and lesbian people, as individuals created by God, are welcome to participate fully in the life of the congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."

You conveniently skipped over:

CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS October 5–8, 1993
Blessing of Homosexual Relationship CB93.10.25

We, as the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, recognize that there is basis neither in Scripture nor tradition for the establishment of an official ceremony by this church for the blessing of a homosexual relationship. We, therefore, do not approve such a ceremony as an official action of this church's ministry. Nevertheless, we express trust in and will continue dialogue with those pastors and congregations who are in ministry with gay and lesbian persons, and affirm their desire to explore the best ways to provide pastoral care for all to whom they minister.


Yes, I did skip over it - on purpose. It was so ambiguous that both sides took it as supporting their position. The "traditionalists," for lack of a better term, rejoiced that they didn't see scriptures supporting them creating a rite to bless homosexual relationships. The "revisionists," for lack of a better term, were a little disappointed, but also recognized that they did not prohibit them from blessing such relationships as they provided pastoral care with homosexuals. They would have to create their own blessing ceremony.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 08, 2018, 05:43:21 AM
Another apologia pro vita sua. Sigh.
And I must note again that the topic of sexuality has not "taken over" the ELCA, nor have the concerns that the ELCA (and a considerable number of other church bodies) had for issues in our society turned the ELCA into a political party.
   We preach the Gospel.
   We celebrate the sacraments.
   We gather in congregational, synodical and national fellowship around scripture and tradition.
   We work with fellow Lutherans and other Christians around the world in both evangelism and service to those in need.
   As it happens - and this is not something we "made up" or "chose" - our society faces issues such as sexism, racism, economic and social injustice, political and civic unrest . Millions of Christians believe that we cannot live our faith in the world unless as individuals, congregations, synods, a national church body and ecumenical fellowships we directly - and often "politically" - address those issues. We have been led, not by our own desires or selfish whims, but by our life together in the faith to (OMG! NO!) change how we live the faith as we do so.
    Others, some in this modest forum, also believe (I think, I am not always sure), that we should face those issues, but have radically different views on how to live as faithful Christians today.
   We in the ELCA stand on the foundations of our faith, Scripture, the Creeds, our view of Christian tradition, and the intelligence which we believe is a gift from God.
   There are those here who say we have abandoned (or perverted or critically warped) the Christian faith, scripture and tradition in what we are doing and how we are doing it. Even if they express concern about similar issues, the disagreements on those issues outweigh whatever agreements we might have and they judge our faith, our Lutheranism, our place in the Body of Christ as fatally flawed.
   I weary of hearing the judgments and the condemnations and the on-going "battles." They detract from the blessings I receive from my faith and take my energy away from things I should be doing to be faithful.
   My life in the church and active ministry goes back to the 1950s and my ordination in 1967.
   Long, long before 2009, long, long before any of our ecumenical agreements, I saw us "lose" many of our Lutheran brothers and sisters, some of them fine ministers of Word and Sacrament, because we were so weakly engaged in critical life-today issues and were so bound up in "Lutheran" specificity that we were unable to fully join the broader (and much more necessary) Christian mission. I saw us "lose" many because we rejected modern science in favor of what we thought the Bible said about the universe and people in it. I saw us "lose" many because we were more concerned about creation at the "beginning" than creation today, more concerned about defending the past than facing the future.
   I'm willing to bet we "lost" more Lutherans in the years prior to 2009 than we have since that year, people who left us because we were slow to change, slow to engage the world and its issues.
   So again, here we are. I am in a part of the Church that ordains women and partnered homosexuals, that favors today's laws concerning abortion, that uses its social statements to directly (yes, politically) address certain issues, where the Bible is not a science text, where communion fellowship is celebrated with people who don't know the Formula of Concord or think it fully and accurately explains Christianity.
   Some declare a church with those characteristics heretical, heterodox, un-Biblical, un-Lutheran, led by selfish whims, captive to social and political "radicalism" or (as at least one participant here thinks) "satanic." I get that.
   The optimist in me would like to think that my part of the Church could have full and happy relations with those in the parts of the Church who disagree with us on some of the ways we try to be faithful. That part of me is fading. I have recently met a few LCMS Lutherans, active in their congregations, who are more like the ELCA and its concerns than anyone in this modest forum. Life is funny.
    At times I need to remind myself (and others) who I am, where I am in the Church and in faith, lest I allow myself to be defined by those other parts of the Church who are not willing to include me in the fellowship.
   Now will come the usual responses. I can predict whence they come and what they will say. And, sadly, I will find most of them condescending and dishonest.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: FrPeters on December 08, 2018, 09:51:42 AM
Quote
   I'm willing to bet we "lost" more Lutherans in the years prior to 2009 than we have since that year, people who left us because we were slow to change, slow to engage the world and its issues

So why not abandon the creeds to those who cannot confess them or find them offensive, give up the baptismal name in favor of something more relevant to the spiritual but not religious, add or change the Word of God to make it fit modern sensibilities, change the elements of Holy Communion to things people will find more tasty and meaningful and so on and so on. . .   People leave not because you did not change but because they no longer believe or no longer believe as you do as Lutherans but that is hardly a reason to abandon the Word or the Lutheran Confessions unless you, as a church, no longer believe either.  Then by all means change.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 08, 2018, 10:49:55 AM
Once again, you missed the whole point, Pastor Peters! I did not say people left us because they did not believe in the creeds or the sacraments.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 08, 2018, 10:50:53 AM
Quote
   I'm willing to bet we "lost" more Lutherans in the years prior to 2009 than we have since that year, people who left us because we were slow to change, slow to engage the world and its issues

So why not abandon the creeds to those who cannot confess them or find them offensive, give up the baptismal name in favor of something more relevant to the spiritual but not religious, add or change the Word of God to make it fit modern sensibilities, change the elements of Holy Communion to things people will find more tasty and meaningful and so on and so on. . .   People leave not because you did not change but because they no longer believe or no longer believe as you do as Lutherans but that is hardly a reason to abandon the Word or the Lutheran Confessions unless you, as a church, no longer believe either.  Then by all means change.


ICET and ELLC have given us new translations of the creeds, which I believe are more accurate. We have multiple modern translations of the Bible. I haven't used wafers for communion for at least a couple of decades. Many of us have returned to the biblical elements of one loaf and one cup.


None of these changes are abandoning the Word of God or our Lutheran Confessions.


I'm assuming that you believe that your denomination has not abandoned the Word of the Lutheran Confessions. You still deeply believe them; but how does your present-day membership in the denomination compare with the membership in the 1950s or 1960s?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Pastor Ken Kimball on December 08, 2018, 12:20:07 PM
Pastor Austin,
So now that the ELCA has become the church that it wasn't "long long before 2009" and has become the church that addresses issues and has "changed" on all those points you touched on, is it bursting with growth in membership, worship attendance, and financial giving?  Or is it at least not declining any longer?  Yes, statistical measurements may not tell the whole story--but you made a big point about all those lost "long long before."   Are you now regaining those in the culture and society who would align with the ELCA changes?  Or are you discovering that having made the changes for whatever the "cost of justice" was necessary, that those in the secular culture and society with whom the ELCA has aligned its values, just shrug their shoulders, say "that's nice", and go on their way, ignoring your open doors, invitation, and welcome.  The implication of your argument is that the way things were resulted in a huge loss of members and ministers.  Has the ELCA's correction reversed or at least stopped those losses?  Or was it too little, too late? 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 08, 2018, 12:39:53 PM
Pastor Kimball writes:
So now that the ELCA has become the church that it wasn't "long long before 2009" and has become the church that addresses issues and has "changed" on all those points you touched on, is it bursting with growth in membership, worship attendance, and financial giving?
I comment:
No, it is not "bursting" in those areas. But it is bursting with people of faith living out their vocations and applying the Gospel to their lives and the life of the world around them.

Pastor Kimball writes;
Or is it at least not declining any longer?  Yes, statistical measurements may not tell the whole story--but you made a big point about all those lost "long long before."
I comment:
As you may recall from my comments a long time ago, Pastor Kimball, I have often asked why people did not care when we were declining even during the days of the ALC and LCA; and I have asked whether anyone cared about those - faithful pastors and lay people, many of them gay and/or lesbian - who had to leave the LCA or ALC or were driven out. And I asked about those people who studied modern science and cosmology and paleontology and rejected simplistic views of creation and the Bible. I also asked about those who were even afraid to raise questions about such things, faced with rigid pastors and doctrinaire congregations, and quietly walked away from us.

Pastor Kimball:
Are you now regaining those in the culture and society who would align with the ELCA changes?
Me:
Yes, we are, in some places.

Pastor Kimball:
Or are you discovering that having made the changes for whatever the "cost of justice" was necessary, that those in the secular culture and society with whom the ELCA has aligned its values, just shrug their shoulders, say "that's nice", and go on their way, ignoring your open doors, invitation, and welcome.
Me:
Yes, that happens too. Vast numbers of people today are just fed up with the whole "church" thing; often because of the way we taught them and treated them in the past. I have met many of them and it saddens me that we have so wounded them that it is very difficult to get them to "come back."

Pastor Kimball:
The implication of your argument is that the way things were resulted in a huge loss of members and ministers.  Has the ELCA's correction reversed or at least stopped those losses?  Or was it too little, too late?
Me:
There are many reasons why we were declining in the days when things were "they way things were." I do not believe that we made any decisions based on membership numbers. Nor should we measure any of our decisions based on their impact upon the numbers of people in our pews. But you know that.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: pearson on December 08, 2018, 01:47:31 PM

ICET and ELLC have given us new translations of the creeds, which I believe are more accurate.


Just a trivial dissent on this, which I've griped about before here:

From what I've been able to discover, the decision to render homoousios (consubstantialis in the Latin) as "of one Being with the Father," rather than the traditional "of one substance with the Father," had little to do with being "more accurate."  Perhaps "more accurate" to contemporary western theological fashion as expressed by folks like Tillich ("ground of Being") and Heidegger (sein/dasein) than "more accurate" to the traditional language, and linguistic usage, of those who crafted the Nicene Creed.  I continue to think that "of one Being with the Father" was an unfortunate decision, and a bad translation.

Tom Pearson
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: gan ainm on December 08, 2018, 01:54:46 PM

ICET and ELLC have given us new translations of the creeds, which I believe are more accurate.


Just a trivial dissent on this, which I've griped about before here:

From what I've been able to discover, the decision to render homoousios (consubstantialis in the Latin) as "of one Being with the Father," rather than the traditional "of one substance with the Father," had little to do with being "more accurate."  Perhaps "more accurate" to contemporary western theological fashion as expressed by folks like Tillich ("ground of Being") and Heidegger (sein/dasein) than "more accurate" to the traditional language, and linguistic usage, of those who crafted the Nicene Creed.  I continue to think that "of one Being with the Father" was an unfortunate decision, and a bad translation.

Tom Pearson

My pastor says the word "human being" was a construct of the enlightenment as an attempt to get away from the word "creature" since creature implies a Creator and the word BEing focuses on the self rather than an external Creator.  Perhaps the rewrite of the creeds follows the same desire.  Slippery slope?

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on December 08, 2018, 02:21:54 PM
etymological dictionary offer 1620 as the origin of the term HUMAN BEING used in American English and that is early enlightenment; however, where do you, other than a pastor's information/perhaps opinion find the purpose of its use to diminish any creaturely creation by a divine Creator? 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 08, 2018, 02:35:52 PM
etymological dictionary offer 1620 as the origin of the term HUMAN BEING used in American English and that is early enlightenment;

As his pastor stated.

however, where do you, other than a pastor's information/perhaps opinion find the purpose of its use to diminish any creaturely creation by a divine Creator?

He doesn't need to find it anywhere else, for he only stated what his pastor told him. The burden then falls on you, Harvey, to show otherwise.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: gan ainm on December 08, 2018, 02:40:32 PM
etymological dictionary offer 1620 as the origin of the term HUMAN BEING used in American English and that is early enlightenment; however, where do you, other than a pastor's information/perhaps opinion find the purpose of its use to diminish any creaturely creation by a divine Creator?

Don had a good response.  I will expand a bit that may help you understand where I'm coming from.  To me (yes, I'm self-focused when using I, me, mine)  :) ) my pastor's comment about human being vs. creature to describe us makes great sense.  The focus on self is rampant in today's culture.  I think if you ask most people what gives them meaning, identity and security you will not get God as the answer.  They will typically say their meaning, identity and security comes from money, family, home, their intelligence, their children, and/or the like - i.e. that is their god - I believe it is Dr. Robert Kolb who said whatever gives you meaning, identity and security is your god.  Thus the word creature fits reality better than human being as I believe in THE God, Creator of all that is visible and invisible, Redeemer and Sanctifier of me.  Creature seems to fit what we are more so than being, but I too use the term frequently.  It is hard to break the habit instilled in me during my years of indoctrination into the teachings of the enlightenment. 

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 08, 2018, 02:57:15 PM
Pastor Kimball writes:
So now that the ELCA has become the church that it wasn't "long long before 2009" and has become the church that addresses issues and has "changed" on all those points you touched on, is it bursting with growth in membership, worship attendance, and financial giving?
I comment:
No, it is not "bursting" in those areas. But it is bursting with people of faith living out their vocations and applying the Gospel to their lives and the life of the world around them.

Pastor Kimball writes;
Or is it at least not declining any longer?  Yes, statistical measurements may not tell the whole story--but you made a big point about all those lost "long long before."
I comment:
As you may recall from my comments a long time ago, Pastor Kimball, I have often asked why people did not care when we were declining even during the days of the ALC and LCA; and I have asked whether anyone cared about those - faithful pastors and lay people, many of them gay and/or lesbian - who had to leave the LCA or ALC or were driven out. And I asked about those people who studied modern science and cosmology and paleontology and rejected simplistic views of creation and the Bible. I also asked about those who were even afraid to raise questions about such things, faced with rigid pastors and doctrinaire congregations, and quietly walked away from us.

Pastor Kimball:
Are you now regaining those in the culture and society who would align with the ELCA changes?
Me:
Yes, we are, in some places.

Pastor Kimball:
Or are you discovering that having made the changes for whatever the "cost of justice" was necessary, that those in the secular culture and society with whom the ELCA has aligned its values, just shrug their shoulders, say "that's nice", and go on their way, ignoring your open doors, invitation, and welcome.
Me:
Yes, that happens too. Vast numbers of people today are just fed up with the whole "church" thing; often because of the way we taught them and treated them in the past. I have met many of them and it saddens me that we have so wounded them that it is very difficult to get them to "come back."

Pastor Kimball:
The implication of your argument is that the way things were resulted in a huge loss of members and ministers.  Has the ELCA's correction reversed or at least stopped those losses?  Or was it too little, too late?
Me:
There are many reasons why we were declining in the days when things were "they way things were." I do not believe that we made any decisions based on membership numbers. Nor should we measure any of our decisions based on their impact upon the numbers of people in our pews. But you know that.

I have long thought (and said so) that membership numbers (whether numbers in the pews, numbers on the roles, numbers of congregations, numbers of pastors) is a poor metric of faithfulness.  That applies no matter which side is trying to use numbers to bolster their position.  If the change in approach to human sexuality evidenced in the ELCA over the last 30 years or so was an effort either to stem the exodus of numbers or to put more bodies in the pews, that would have been an unworthy motive.  Similarly if the LCMS (or CORE or NALC) holds the line against adopting the changing sexual mores of contemporary society with the intent of keeping members who likely would walk if they changed, or to attract those disaffected by the changes other churches have made, that too would be unworthy motives.  We need to be faithful to God, as winsomely as we can - no extra points for being obnoxiously faithful to God - and let the chips fall where they may.  Godly wisdom is not shown by doing what is popular but what is faithful to God.


Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 08, 2018, 03:00:33 PM
etymological dictionary offer 1620 as the origin of the term HUMAN BEING used in American English and that is early enlightenment; however, where do you, other than a pastor's information/perhaps opinion find the purpose of its use to diminish any creaturely creation by a divine Creator?

Don had a good response.  I will expand a bit that may help you understand where I'm coming from.  To me (yes, I'm self-focused when using I, me, mine)  :) ) my pastor's comment about human being vs. creature to describe us makes great sense.  The focus on self is rampant in today's culture.  I think if you ask most people what gives them meaning, identity and security you will not get God as the answer.  They will typically say their meaning, identity and security comes from money, family, home, their intelligence, their children, and/or the like - i.e. that is their god - I believe it is Dr. Robert Kolb who said whatever gives you meaning, identity and security is your god.  Thus the word creature fits reality better than human being as I believe in THE God, Creator of all that is visible and invisible, Redeemer and Sanctifier of me.  Creature seems to fit what we are more so than being, but I too use the term frequently.  It is hard to break the habit instilled in me during my years of indoctrination into the teachings of the enlightenment.

Maybe so, but I also find another reason why I tend to use the term human people rather than creature.  Creature can apply to anything that has been created, thus included in creature is everything in the universe other than God.  Granted we tend to think of living things more than nonliving as creature, but that still leaves broad stroke to creature.  Human being, on the other hand more specifically applies to people, gender unspecified.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on December 08, 2018, 03:19:44 PM
Yes, Dan, I was going to refer to my four legged creature wearing a collar too.  It is fine to say that you can use a term in thus and so a manner for such and such a reason, but to say that a movement like Enlightenment was the source (construct) of such a term for so and so reasons is a step beyond opinion and should be used as footnote checkable material.  I was just interested in whether it was a somewhat historical fact or opinion or a blaming of a blamable movement for a new term someone did not like.  I like humankind better than mankind and that could be laid at the feet of feminism's attempt at equalizing or some group trying to unisex stuff but etymological issues usually are traced to first printed and verifiable references and so forth... 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: gan ainm on December 08, 2018, 03:55:20 PM
Prs. Mozolak and Fienen, you are focused on the creature in your responses.  My focus was on Creator when I wrote my response; sorry if I was unclear and enabled you to focus on dogs, cats, rocks and insects.    :)

If you agree the word creature implies a Creator, what does the word being imply?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on December 08, 2018, 04:00:37 PM
men and women are beings with bodies
God is a creator without a body.... nah, how about a being without a body
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 08, 2018, 06:12:47 PM
I have a feline being who shares a good bit of my life.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: readselerttoo on December 08, 2018, 06:33:56 PM
Pastor Austin,
So now that the ELCA has become the church that it wasn't "long long before 2009" and has become the church that addresses issues and has "changed" on all those points you touched on, is it bursting with growth in membership, worship attendance, and financial giving?  Or is it at least not declining any longer?  Yes, statistical measurements may not tell the whole story--but you made a big point about all those lost "long long before."   Are you now regaining those in the culture and society who would align with the ELCA changes?  Or are you discovering that having made the changes for whatever the "cost of justice" was necessary, that those in the secular culture and society with whom the ELCA has aligned its values, just shrug their shoulders, say "that's nice", and go on their way, ignoring your open doors, invitation, and welcome.  The implication of your argument is that the way things were resulted in a huge loss of members and ministers.  Has the ELCA's correction reversed or at least stopped those losses?  Or was it too little, too late?

 :)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: readselerttoo on December 08, 2018, 06:41:41 PM
etymological dictionary offer 1620 as the origin of the term HUMAN BEING used in American English and that is early enlightenment; however, where do you, other than a pastor's information/perhaps opinion find the purpose of its use to diminish any creaturely creation by a divine Creator?

The focus on the beingness of the human could limit one's attention to internal origins and a self-imposed reflection rather than the otherness of a creator whom God is and which the scriptures testify.  The issue of relatedness gets clouded, imo, when the analysis remains introverted. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 08, 2018, 06:46:04 PM
Pastor Rahn may your spiritual life be blessed as you attend Shepherd of the Hills  Lutheran Church
in San Antonio. This is still the city where the sunshine of Pastor Guido Merkens still shines.  He preached
the crucified and resurrected Christ with great energy and vigor.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 09, 2018, 10:09:21 AM

ICET and ELLC have given us new translations of the creeds, which I believe are more accurate.


Just a trivial dissent on this, which I've griped about before here:

From what I've been able to discover, the decision to render homoousios (consubstantialis in the Latin) as "of one Being with the Father," rather than the traditional "of one substance with the Father," had little to do with being "more accurate."  Perhaps "more accurate" to contemporary western theological fashion as expressed by folks like Tillich ("ground of Being") and Heidegger (sein/dasein) than "more accurate" to the traditional language, and linguistic usage, of those who crafted the Nicene Creed.  I continue to think that "of one Being with the Father" was an unfortunate decision, and a bad translation.

Tom Pearson


It would be my opinion that the Latin consubstantialis doesn't properly translate the Greek homoousias. The prefix, "Homo-" refers to "the same". The root "ousia" comes from the verb "to be". The Latin root stantialis seems to come from a verb that means "to stand".


The following is the ELLC's comments about that line:


The crucial Nicaean term homoousios is difficult to translate, but "Being" seems preferable to "nature" or "essence" in a statement which tries to express the unity of the Godhead. The technical term "substance" has confusing materialistic overtones in modern English. "Being" here with a capital letter to indicate that this is a noun referring to the uncreated Being of the Godhead, comes nearest to the literal meaning of the Greek philosophical term. The argument of the sentence is that because the Son is not made but begotten, he shares the same uncreated Being as the Father. (Praying Together, p. 25)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: cssml on December 09, 2018, 11:22:23 AM

ICET and ELLC have given us new translations of the creeds, which I believe are more accurate.


Just a trivial dissent on this, which I've griped about before here:

From what I've been able to discover, the decision to render homoousios (consubstantialis in the Latin) as "of one Being with the Father," rather than the traditional "of one substance with the Father," had little to do with being "more accurate."  Perhaps "more accurate" to contemporary western theological fashion as expressed by folks like Tillich ("ground of Being") and Heidegger (sein/dasein) than "more accurate" to the traditional language, and linguistic usage, of those who crafted the Nicene Creed.  I continue to think that "of one Being with the Father" was an unfortunate decision, and a bad translation.

Tom Pearson


It would be my opinion that the Latin consubstantialis doesn't properly translate the Greek homoousias. The prefix, "Homo-" refers to "the same". The root "ousia" comes from the verb "to be". The Latin root stantialis seems to come from a verb that means "to stand".


The following is the ELLC's comments about that line:


The crucial Nicaean term homoousios is difficult to translate, but "Being" seems preferable to "nature" or "essence" in a statement which tries to express the unity of the Godhead. The technical term "substance" has confusing materialistic overtones in modern English. "Being" here with a capital letter to indicate that this is a noun referring to the uncreated Being of the Godhead, comes nearest to the literal meaning of the Greek philosophical term. The argument of the sentence is that because the Son is not made but begotten, he shares the same uncreated Being as the Father. (Praying Together, p. 25)

I'll have to stick with Athanasius, Tertullian, and the council of Nicaea, where the word came from in the first place.  (my bold emphasis below, italics from wiki)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consubstantiality#History_of_term

Latin adjective consubstantialis was coined by Tertullian in Against Hermogenes 44, as a translation of the Greek term homoousios. Since the Latin language lacks a present active participle for the verb "to be", Latin authors rendered the Greek noun "ousia" (being) as "substantia" or "essentia", and the Greek adjective "homoousios" (of the same being) as "consubstantialis" or "coessentialis". Unlike the Greek words, which are etymologically related to the Greek verb "to be" and connote one's own personal inherent character, Latin "substantia", connotes matter as much as it connotes being.

The term consubstantial is also used to describe the common humanity which is shared by all human persons. Thus, Jesus Christ is said to be consubstantial with the Father in his divinity and consubstantial with us in his humanity.[2]

It has also been noted that this Greek term "homoousian" or "consubstantial", which Athanasius of Alexandria favored, and was ratified in the Nicene Council and Creed, was actually a term reported to also be used and favored by the Sabellians in their Christology. And it was a term that many followers of Athanasius were actually uneasy about. The "Semi-Arians", in particular, objected to the word "homoousian". Their objection to this term was that it was considered to be un-Scriptural, suspicious, and "of a Sabellian tendency".[3] This was because Sabellius also considered the Father and the Son to be "one substance". Meaning that, to Sabellius, the Father and Son were "one essential Person". This notion, however, was also rejected at the Council of Nicaea, in favor of the Athanasian formulation and creed, of the Father and Son being distinct yet also co-equal, co-eternal, and con-substantial Persons.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on December 09, 2018, 07:33:24 PM
The current translation used in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is "of one essence with the the Father."
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on December 09, 2018, 08:38:43 PM
somehow there is a oneness beyond our understanding.... possible translation into our understanding lack of understanding....
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 09, 2018, 08:45:37 PM
It is clear why the Greeks would choose "essence," but that is not a word which says to the rest of the world what it says to the Greeks.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on December 09, 2018, 09:36:08 PM
it is an interesting term, essence of the essential, central....

and to have the sub definition, used actually quite often these December days at the department store perfume counter-- the smell of a perfume...

the essence, sweetness of God, like an unseen perfume... 

see poets ought to be allowed to develop and phrase theology...  not.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 09, 2018, 11:01:05 PM

ICET and ELLC have given us new translations of the creeds, which I believe are more accurate.


Just a trivial dissent on this, which I've griped about before here:

From what I've been able to discover, the decision to render homoousios (consubstantialis in the Latin) as "of one Being with the Father," rather than the traditional "of one substance with the Father," had little to do with being "more accurate."  Perhaps "more accurate" to contemporary western theological fashion as expressed by folks like Tillich ("ground of Being") and Heidegger (sein/dasein) than "more accurate" to the traditional language, and linguistic usage, of those who crafted the Nicene Creed.  I continue to think that "of one Being with the Father" was an unfortunate decision, and a bad translation.

Tom Pearson


It would be my opinion that the Latin consubstantialis doesn't properly translate the Greek homoousias. The prefix, "Homo-" refers to "the same". The root "ousia" comes from the verb "to be". The Latin root stantialis seems to come from a verb that means "to stand".


The following is the ELLC's comments about that line:


The crucial Nicaean term homoousios is difficult to translate, but "Being" seems preferable to "nature" or "essence" in a statement which tries to express the unity of the Godhead. The technical term "substance" has confusing materialistic overtones in modern English. "Being" here with a capital letter to indicate that this is a noun referring to the uncreated Being of the Godhead, comes nearest to the literal meaning of the Greek philosophical term. The argument of the sentence is that because the Son is not made but begotten, he shares the same uncreated Being as the Father. (Praying Together, p. 25)

I'll have to stick with Athanasius, Tertullian, and the council of Nicaea, where the word came from in the first place.  (my bold emphasis below, italics from wiki)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consubstantiality#History_of_term (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consubstantiality#History_of_term)

Latin adjective consubstantialis was coined by Tertullian in Against Hermogenes 44, as a translation of the Greek term homoousios. Since the Latin language lacks a present active participle for the verb "to be", Latin authors rendered the Greek noun "ousia" (being) as "substantia" or "essentia", and the Greek adjective "homoousios" (of the same being) as "consubstantialis" or "coessentialis". Unlike the Greek words, which are etymologically related to the Greek verb "to be" and connote one's own personal inherent character, Latin "substantia", connotes matter as much as it connotes being.

The term consubstantial is also used to describe the common humanity which is shared by all human persons. Thus, Jesus Christ is said to be consubstantial with the Father in his divinity and consubstantial with us in his humanity.[2]

It has also been noted that this Greek term "homoousian" or "consubstantial", which Athanasius of Alexandria favored, and was ratified in the Nicene Council and Creed, was actually a term reported to also be used and favored by the Sabellians in their Christology. And it was a term that many followers of Athanasius were actually uneasy about. The "Semi-Arians", in particular, objected to the word "homoousian". Their objection to this term was that it was considered to be un-Scriptural, suspicious, and "of a Sabellian tendency".[3] This was because Sabellius also considered the Father and the Son to be "one substance". Meaning that, to Sabellius, the Father and Son were "one essential Person". This notion, however, was also rejected at the Council of Nicaea, in favor of the Athanasian formulation and creed, of the Father and Son being distinct yet also co-equal, co-eternal, and con-substantial Persons.


I don't know how significant this is, but in the Creed of Nicaea, before being revised at Constantinople, it included this line:     τουτέστιν ἐκ τῆς οὐσίας τοῦ πατρός ("that is, from the being of the father")
Later, comes ὁμοούσιον τῷ πατρί ("same-being with the father")


Boldface added to indicate a connection. (Again, οὐσίας comes from the verb "to be". BDAG
Constantinople removed the first phrase, but kept the second.


BDAG has about οὐσία
(εἰμί "to exist") that which exists and therefore has substance, property, wealth.
It gives as an example from Diog. I., 9, 35 three brothers, one of whom wishes to move to a distant land, divide the οὐσία among them.
It occurs in scriptures at Luke 15:12, 13, which as the quote below indicates, could be understood as estate.


Lowe & Nida
(derivative of εἰμί to exist) that which exists as property and wealth—property, wealth. In most contexts in which οὐσία occurs in non-biblical Greek, the reference is to considerable possessions or wealth, and accordingly it would be appropriate in Lk 15:12 to speak of estate


I don't know if this helps or adds confusion.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 09, 2018, 11:17:36 PM
It has also been noted that this Greek term "homoousian" or "consubstantial", which Athanasius of Alexandria favored, and was ratified in the Nicene Council and Creed, was actually a term reported to also be used and favored by the Sabellians in their Christology. And it was a term that many followers of Athanasius were actually uneasy about. The "Semi-Arians", in particular, objected to the word "homoousian". Their objection to this term was that it was considered to be un-Scriptural, suspicious, and "of a Sabellian tendency".[3] This was because Sabellius also considered the Father and the Son to be "one substance". Meaning that, to Sabellius, the Father and Son were "one essential Person". This notion, however, was also rejected at the Council of Nicaea, in favor of the Athanasian formulation and creed, of the Father and Son being distinct yet also co-equal, co-eternal, and con-substantial Persons.


Did those ecumenical councils ratify both a Greek and Latin version of the Creed? Kelly in Early Christian Creeds only gives Greek versions.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: John_Hannah on December 10, 2018, 06:17:31 AM
It has also been noted that this Greek term "homoousian" or "consubstantial", which Athanasius of Alexandria favored, and was ratified in the Nicene Council and Creed, was actually a term reported to also be used and favored by the Sabellians in their Christology. And it was a term that many followers of Athanasius were actually uneasy about. The "Semi-Arians", in particular, objected to the word "homoousian". Their objection to this term was that it was considered to be un-Scriptural, suspicious, and "of a Sabellian tendency".[3] This was because Sabellius also considered the Father and the Son to be "one substance". Meaning that, to Sabellius, the Father and Son were "one essential Person". This notion, however, was also rejected at the Council of Nicaea, in favor of the Athanasian formulation and creed, of the Father and Son being distinct yet also co-equal, co-eternal, and con-substantial Persons.


Did those ecumenical councils ratify both a Greek and Latin version of the Creed? Kelly in Early Christian Creeds only gives Greek versions.

Only the Greek.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 10, 2018, 09:45:14 AM
It has also been noted that this Greek term "homoousian" or "consubstantial", which Athanasius of Alexandria favored, and was ratified in the Nicene Council and Creed, was actually a term reported to also be used and favored by the Sabellians in their Christology. And it was a term that many followers of Athanasius were actually uneasy about. The "Semi-Arians", in particular, objected to the word "homoousian". Their objection to this term was that it was considered to be un-Scriptural, suspicious, and "of a Sabellian tendency".[3] This was because Sabellius also considered the Father and the Son to be "one substance". Meaning that, to Sabellius, the Father and Son were "one essential Person". This notion, however, was also rejected at the Council of Nicaea, in favor of the Athanasian formulation and creed, of the Father and Son being distinct yet also co-equal, co-eternal, and con-substantial Persons.


Did those ecumenical councils ratify both a Greek and Latin version of the Creed? Kelly in Early Christian Creeds only gives Greek versions.

Only the Greek.

Peace, JOHN


I've also noticed that the Latin translation I got online changed the 1st person plural, "we believe," to 1st person singular, "I believe." The singular was in the SBH. The LBW, following the ICET translation, returned to the plural.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: cssml on December 10, 2018, 10:24:38 AM
It has also been noted that this Greek term "homoousian" or "consubstantial", which Athanasius of Alexandria favored, and was ratified in the Nicene Council and Creed, was actually a term reported to also be used and favored by the Sabellians in their Christology. And it was a term that many followers of Athanasius were actually uneasy about. The "Semi-Arians", in particular, objected to the word "homoousian". Their objection to this term was that it was considered to be un-Scriptural, suspicious, and "of a Sabellian tendency".[3] This was because Sabellius also considered the Father and the Son to be "one substance". Meaning that, to Sabellius, the Father and Son were "one essential Person". This notion, however, was also rejected at the Council of Nicaea, in favor of the Athanasian formulation and creed, of the Father and Son being distinct yet also co-equal, co-eternal, and con-substantial Persons.


Did those ecumenical councils ratify both a Greek and Latin version of the Creed? Kelly in Early Christian Creeds only gives Greek versions.

Only the Greek.

Peace, JOHN


I've also noticed that the Latin translation I got online changed the 1st person plural, "we believe," to 1st person singular, "I believe." The singular was in the SBH. The LBW, following the ICET translation, returned to the plural.

The most recent translation of the Mass returned to "I believe" (credo en unum Deum), as well as "consubstantial".

https://todayscatholic.org/the-new-translation-of-the-holy-mass-8/
http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/order-of-mass/consubstantial-with-the-father.cfm

There were other changes that generated discussion at the time (2011).  For instance. 

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/order-of-mass/six-questions-on-the-translation-of-pro-multis.cfm

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 10, 2018, 10:29:10 AM
And I must note again that the topic of sexuality has not "taken over" the ELCA, nor have the concerns that the ELCA (and a considerable number of other church bodies) had for issues in our society turned the ELCA into a political party.
   We preach the Gospel.
   We celebrate the sacraments.


This is most certainly true in my congregation.  We are not focused on sexuality, nor do we focus on politics. 

Quote
We gather in [...] synodical and national fellowship around scripture and tradition.

This is where your experience and mine differ.  At the last half-dozen synod assemblies that I have attended, the focus of the assembly was the hot political issue of the day.  In 2018, the focus was on the Parkland, the border and what a bastard Donald Trump is.  Scriptural was utilized to bolster those political commitments.  Tradition was present in the form or liturgical vestments, but little else. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 10, 2018, 11:46:23 AM
So dying children, the plight of refugees, and the potential destruction of our republic is only “political“ and of no interest to Christians?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Pr. Terry Culler on December 10, 2018, 11:59:56 AM
So dying children, the plight of refugees, and the potential destruction of our republic is only “political“ and of no interest to Christians?



The question isn't whether these ought to be of interest to Christians but whether they are the proper work of the Church.  Is the work of the Church the proclamation of the Gospel or is the work of the Church the betterment of life in this world?  If it is both, how much time and effort of the Church as Church goes to each?  Just what is our institutional role in the world?  These are not, imo, frivolous questions but get right to the heart of what we are to do going forward.  If the winnowing fork of Christ is indeed in His hand right now, I rather lean toward Gospel work.  It won't get you in the paper, but it will get you a "well done good and faithful servant" on the last day.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 10, 2018, 12:05:05 PM
So dying children, the plight of refugees, and the potential destruction of our republic is only “political“ and of no interest to Christians?

I could ask you a similar question: "So the fact that eugenics is being practiced in Lutheran countries is of no concern to you?"

You know better than that.  What was pollitcal was the rhetoric used by the speakers, which was partisan, self-congratulatory and condemnatory of all who didn't agree with the speaker on the right political solution to those concerns. 

What was also political was the complete absence of reference to any political cause that was right of center, such as the way that Lutheran countries are using abortion for the purpose of eugenics.  No, the resolution that asked the ELCA to reject abortion as a means of eliminating Down's Syndrome people was quietly tabled so as not to cause offense. 

I'm willing to have discussion of political issues in the church as long as we are open to hearing all concerns, and not just the concerns of a narrow slice of American political opinion, and if that talk does not devolve into partisan virtue signaling. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 10, 2018, 01:02:19 PM
Well what should we do, Pastor Charleston, if the large majority of the people in your synod do hold a particular set of views on the issues that concern you? Should their concerns be set aside because, according to you, there was not a strong enough presence of other views?
By the way, I reject this idea that somehow or other we are working for the “betterment of the world.” That is silly. What we work for are ways to serve our neighbors in need. That is part of our vocation as Christians and as caring human beings.
Supposing the Lord were to return and find us neglecting the needs of our neighbors because tackling those problems would be “too political”?
What will happen if we are found arguing over centuries-old definitions on the nature of Christ, but ignoring the poor, the windows, the refugees living among us today? If we have decided quite clearly who cannot commune with us, but can’t figure out how to take care of our suffering neighbors Or keep the greedy people among us from exploiting and destroying God’s creation?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 10, 2018, 02:30:09 PM
Well what should we do, Pastor Charleston, if the large majority of the people in your synod do hold a particular set of views on the issues that concern you? Should their concerns be set aside because, according to you, there was not a strong enough presence of other views?

Perhaps we should take you as an example, Pr. Austin, of what to do if a large majority of the people in an association hold a particular set of views that are contrary to our own.  Complain that our side does not have adequate representation and that those who would have been on our side have been driven out.  At least that is how you have reacted to opposition on this ALPB Forum to your positions.  We just don't have enough people who post here that agree with you and it is our fault for driving them out.  It is apparently our responsibility to show them adequate respect and acceptance and make this a friendly non-oppositional place.

By the way, I reject this idea that somehow or other we are working for the “betterment of the world.” That is silly. What we work for are ways to serve our neighbors in need. That is part of our vocation as Christians and as caring human beings.
Supposing the Lord were to return and find us neglecting the needs of our neighbors because tackling those problems would be “too political”?
What will happen if we are found arguing over centuries-old definitions on the nature of Christ, but ignoring the poor, the windows, the refugees living among us today? If we have decided quite clearly who cannot commune with us, but can’t figure out how to take care of our suffering neighbors Or keep the greedy people among us from exploiting and destroying God’s creation?

The question should not be whether or not we should care for our neighbors in both their spiritual and physical needs.  That needs to be done.  However, questions do remain on what our priorities should be, and how best to care for the physical needs of our neighbors.  Just because some people do not agree with the public policies that you in your Christian educated wisdom deem preferable, does not mean that they do not care for their neighbors, or are unchristian.  Opposition loosening border controls and security, and providing generous benefits to those crossing our borders can be a cover for xenophobia and a lack of concern for strangers and sojourners.  Or it can be a concern for other neighbors who may suffer harm from some who would come to our lands, or concern that the cost of caring for those who would cross our borders in a way that you propose would be an unacceptable hardship to those who already live here.  Jumping to the conclusion that those who do not support your take on the matter therefor are lacking in Christian charity or insight is neither charitable or wise.  The needed vigorous discussion and debate over how best to care for people is not helped by immediately judging one side or the other as stupid, ignorant or lacking in authentic Christian sensibility.

It is arrogance, no matter who is expressing it, to assume that my group are the only ones who care, that our policies are the only Christian or humane ways to care for people, and that those who do not approve of our ideas for caring for others don't care.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DeHall1 on December 10, 2018, 04:07:29 PM
Well what should we do, Pastor Charleston, if the large majority of the people in your synod do hold a particular set of views on the issues that concern you? Should their concerns be set aside because, according to you, there was not a strong enough presence of other views?
By the way, I reject this idea that somehow or other we are working for the “betterment of the world.” That is silly. What we work for are ways to serve our neighbors in need. That is part of our vocation as Christians and as caring human beings.
Supposing the Lord were to return and find us neglecting the needs of our neighbors because tackling those problems would be “too political”?
What will happen if we are found arguing over centuries-old definitions on the nature of Christ, but ignoring the poor, the windows, the refugees living among us today? If we have decided quite clearly who cannot commune with us, but can’t figure out how to take care of our suffering neighbors Or keep the greedy people among us from exploiting and destroying God’s creation?

It's Pastor David CHARLTON.  I mean -- it's right there.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: FrPeters on December 10, 2018, 04:35:24 PM
The FORUM LETTER includes a response from Benne to Johnson and a last word from Johnson, the so-called editor's prerogative.  Interestingly Johnson concludes his rationale for staying by saying Jesus has not yet told him to leave.  It is a curious statement.  It certainly has a life way past Editor Johnson and the ELCA.  In principle, does it matter how far a church may fall from orthodoxy -- as long as no communication is received from Jesus one is duty bound to stay?  I must say that I would not expect Jesus to have to weigh in on whether one remains in a church body or not but on the other hand our Lord has said much about faithfulness, much about those who cry Lord, Lord but know Him not nor does He know them, about the denial of the truth or Him who is the way, the truth, and the life, and about the Word of the Lord that endures forever.  If this is not enough to tell a person it is time to go, what is?  Is the gift of reason and the Word not enough to say pack up and leave for a church closer to the truth than the one you are in?  Should we waiting upon Jesus to direct us also where to go?  Or, again, is His Word already enough? 

I do not mean to disrespect the Editor -- in fact I quite like him and his tenure -- but it came as quite a surprise to hear him say it in this way.  Pastor Johnson is no dullard and can be, in fact, quite eloquent.  I am not sure what to do with his concluding reasons for staying.  Am I to assume if Jesus has said nothing on the subject, that is a vote for staying?  Or could the silence of Jesus on this particular question be the sigh of the Lord who has given us His Word, acted within the living tradition of creed, confession, and people to speak them, and now finds that is not enough?  So I am genuinely shocked by the answer and even more so by the premise.  Does Jesus tell people to stay in a denomination and does Jesus tell them to leave. . . ever?  Does anyone else find this rationale for staying in the ELCA somewhat odd?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 10, 2018, 04:47:15 PM
Well what should we do, Pastor Charleston, if the large majority of the people in your synod do hold a particular set of views on the issues that concern you? Should their concerns be set aside because, according to you, there was not a strong enough presence of other views?
By the way, I reject this idea that somehow or other we are working for the “betterment of the world.” That is silly. What we work for are ways to serve our neighbors in need. That is part of our vocation as Christians and as caring human beings.
Supposing the Lord were to return and find us neglecting the needs of our neighbors because tackling those problems would be “too political”?
What will happen if we are found arguing over centuries-old definitions on the nature of Christ, but ignoring the poor, the windows, the refugees living among us today? If we have decided quite clearly who cannot commune with us, but can’t figure out how to take care of our suffering neighbors Or keep the greedy people among us from exploiting and destroying God’s creation?

Gee, I don't know Pastor Augustine.  What if we are found arguing over politics, but ignoring those who have never heard the Gospel and those who are poor? 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 10, 2018, 05:23:14 PM
Do you contend, Pastor Charlton, (and I cannot imagine the importance of a fuss made over a typographical error or an error resulting from relying too much on dictation), that the ELCA is "ignoring" the proclamation of the Gospel to those who have never heard it? I don't think you do, but I could be wrong about that.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Mark Brown on December 10, 2018, 05:35:36 PM
The FORUM LETTER includes a response from Benne to Johnson and a last word from Johnson, the so-called editor's prerogative.  Interestingly Johnson concludes his rationale for staying by saying Jesus has not yet told him to leave.  It is a curious statement.  It certainly has a life way past Editor Johnson and the ELCA.  In principle, does it matter how far a church may fall from orthodoxy -- as long as no communication is received from Jesus one is duty bound to stay?  I must say that I would not expect Jesus to have to weigh in on whether one remains in a church body or not but on the other hand our Lord has said much about faithfulness, much about those who cry Lord, Lord but know Him not nor does He know them, about the denial of the truth or Him who is the way, the truth, and the life, and about the Word of the Lord that endures forever.  If this is not enough to tell a person it is time to go, what is?  Is the gift of reason and the Word not enough to say pack up and leave for a church closer to the truth than the one you are in?  Should we waiting upon Jesus to direct us also where to go?  Or, again, is His Word already enough? 

I do not mean to disrespect the Editor -- in fact I quite like him and his tenure -- but it came as quite a surprise to hear him say it in this way.  Pastor Johnson is no dullard and can be, in fact, quite eloquent.  I am not sure what to do with his concluding reasons for staying.  Am I to assume if Jesus has said nothing on the subject, that is a vote for staying?  Or could the silence of Jesus on this particular question be the sigh of the Lord who has given us His Word, acted within the living tradition of creed, confession, and people to speak them, and now finds that is not enough?  So I am genuinely shocked by the answer and even more so by the premise.  Does Jesus tell people to stay in a denomination and does Jesus tell them to leave. . . ever?  Does anyone else find this rationale for staying in the ELCA somewhat odd?

Paraphrasing Adam Smith there is quite a but of ruin in a denomination.  Even more so in a liturgical one as one can always tune out the sermon and the gospel is usually still present in the Sacraments.  (Although that argument is much weaker than the people who deploy it think.)  I am sure there are several congregations in the Episcopal church and the ELCA that while lacking the courage to stand up for truth have not submitted to promoting falsehood, at least not actively.  One can avoid rather adroitly the topic of sexuality in most congregations, especially ones that support for sodomy is just assumed.  I can understand not moving.  Especially if I could conceivable run out the clock on my days of pilgrimage.  And there is always the fact of "the grass being greener" fallacy.

But I think this is where Jesus' apocalyptic warnings have merit.  When are we told to flee?  When we see the abomination of desolation.  What does that mean?  Well, it is rather opaque.  But I think you could say it means when you see your hierarchy no longer just being cowardly corrupt, but actively working to advance the corruption.  Jesus has spoken about when we are to flee.  I suppose it is a prudential judgment whether that is the case with the ELCA.  For me 2009 would have been the case.  If not 2009, a liturgy by the largest voiced theologian of the denomination that replaced the typical confirmation pledges with pledges to sodomy would seem to be fairly explicitly abomination like.  Especially when it comes promised with a new bronze statue of a vagina mocking the virtue of chastity.  At some point saying Jesus hasn't told me ends up being like that joke about the couple stuck on the roof in a flood turning down a boat and helicopter.  How do you expect Jesus to tell you?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 10, 2018, 05:38:22 PM
Do you contend, Pastor Charlton, (and I cannot imagine the importance of a fuss made over a typographical error or an error resulting from relying too much on dictation), that the ELCA is "ignoring" the proclamation of the Gospel to those who have never heard it? I don't think you do, but I could be wrong about that.

Yes.  I think we are so focused on political advocacy that we have neglected the Gospel.  I also believe that we also have distorted the meaning of "Gospel" so that what we proclaim is a message of God's acceptance for all, apart from Christ and apart from proclamation.  The Gospel is presented as "God thinks you are perfect the way you are" rather than "your sins are forgiven for Jesus' sake." 

Now that is a qualified "we".  I don't think that applies to all congregations or pastors in the ELCA, perhaps not even a majority.  But in our "synodical" and "churchwide expressions" I do believe that political advocacy has eclipsed the preaching of the Gospel.  In the case of my own synod, I think that political posturing has replaced the Gospel. 

By the way, I have said this to the office of bishop in my synod.  I was not rebuked or reprimanded for my opinion.  I have raised similar concerns with the PB of the ELCA and the Dean of my alma mater, Trinity Lutheran Seminary. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 10, 2018, 06:12:56 PM
It is good that you raised those questions in those places. Were the answers you received sufficient to keep you in the ELCA?
And to me the question of "when do you leave" has always been interesting. And in recent years "why do you stay" is a question that has become interesting.
Early in my ministry, I considered leaving the LCA. I didn't; I was not hearing a clear call to be elsewhere. I did temporarily leave the active ordained ministry.
Some left when the mergers that formed the LCA and ALC happened.
Some left when we begain ordaining women.
Some left when the ELCA was formed.
Some left when we made certain ecumenical agreements.
Some left when the decision were made in 2009.
And in each of those - and many other situations - some who opposed those decisions did not leave, but stayed.
I think a good number stayed and pretended the decisions they opposed were never made or did not affect their life.

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 10, 2018, 08:22:05 PM
It is good that you raised those questions in those places. Were the answers you received sufficient to keep you in the ELCA?

If it was a question of staying or leaving, the answer would be in the negative.  The answers that I received were inadequate.  However, I didn't raise those question in order to help me decide whether to leave or not.  I asked those questions because I thought it was important to ask them.  I don't want an excuse to leave the ELCA, I want the ELCA to live up to its own theological and policy commitments.   
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Keith Falk on December 10, 2018, 08:26:42 PM
In response to Pastors Brown and Peters, I will simply repeat what I wrote a few weeks ago on the same topic of going or staying when you are a pastor under call to a congregation:


"Institutions do not deserve loyalty, true.  But would you have pastors abandon the flocks to which God has called them?  That, ultimately, is what you are suggesting.  I have tremendous regard for those who stay (owning that I assumed I would be one who would stay, but God had other plans).  They are protecting and serving the congregation to which God has called them.  Some are able to patiently teach and preach such that 6 or 7 years after the 2009 decision happened that the congregation came around to leaving.  Some will continue to patiently teach and preach and their congregation will never, ever go.  Is it truly better for a pastor to leave his congregation and go to another denomination, leaving them to who knows what as the next pastor or is it better to stay unless/until a congregational call comes from elsewhere?"
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on December 10, 2018, 10:30:47 PM
Institutions do not deserve loyalty, true.  But would you have pastors abandon the flocks to which God has called them? 

The allusion to the "Good Shepherd discourse" of John 10 haunts me, because that pericope is the Matins Gospel appointed for the feast day of nearly every Hierarch commemorated by the Orthodox Church.   Most recently I heard this on the Feast of St. Nicholas.

As I had also heard it nearly seven years ago on the Feast of the Three Hierarchs (January 30) during my very first visit to the Greek Orthodox congregation which has now become home.

For some of that journey that Gospel served as an injunction against leaving the flock; yet, as it grew increasingly clear that this shepherd's voice would not be followed there was considerable inward distress about becoming as the hireling who flees.   That inner conflict resolved when some of the sheep shed their fleece and exposed themselves as ravenous wolves,

To change metaphors:   It is one thing when the Captain abandons ship, as did the pilot of the Costa Condordia.   It is an entirely different thing when the crew is in mutiny.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Pastor Ken Kimball on December 10, 2018, 11:40:07 PM
In response to Pastors Brown and Peters, I will simply repeat what I wrote a few weeks ago on the same topic of going or staying when you are a pastor under call to a congregation:


"Institutions do not deserve loyalty, true.  But would you have pastors abandon the flocks to which God has called them?  That, ultimately, is what you are suggesting.  I have tremendous regard for those who stay (owning that I assumed I would be one who would stay, but God had other plans).  They are protecting and serving the congregation to which God has called them.  Some are able to patiently teach and preach such that 6 or 7 years after the 2009 decision happened that the congregation came around to leaving.  Some will continue to patiently teach and preach and their congregation will never, ever go.  Is it truly better for a pastor to leave his congregation and go to another denomination, leaving them to who knows what as the next pastor or is it better to stay unless/until a congregational call comes from elsewhere?"
I think Keith that your story of how you realized and experienced that "God had other plans" for you regarding the question of staying/leaving, would be of interest and might be of help to others.  As a colleague in the NALC, I am grateful that you were led to join us.  When I saw and heard you lead the response and question and answer time at the Theological Conference in Denver in August as part of the NALC's Lutheran Week, I thanked God again for bringing you into the NALC. 

I appreciate and have supported colleagues who remained in the ELCA in order to care for divided flocks that would not be able to leave (and I still do).  I hold those like Pastor Charlton and Pastor Tibbetts in extremely high regard.  However well served and protected congregations may be in the ELCA that are served by confessionally faithful pastors who remain opposed to the road down which the ELCA has traveled (and it has gone much farther down that road since 2009), the likelihood of those congregations finding an orthodox confessional pastor has shrunk considerably.  It is not likely that progressive bishops and synods (even ones where the progressive bishops tolerate the few remaining traditional pastors) will help those congregations find a confessionally faithful pastor whose confessional faithfulness includes opposition to the acids of 2009. 

As far as orthodox pastors who retire but remain on the ELCA roster, some find a place of refuge like Pastor Johnson has.  Others, like another STS pastor friend of mine serves regularly as an interim.  He does not agree with or support where the ELCA has gone.  The congregations he serves as an interim receive faithful preaching and teaching; however most of the time, the pastor then called by the congregation is a committed ELCA company-person aligned with the progressive baggage.   He also is in a synod where it is pretty much a desert as far as either LCMC or NALC options.  However, I do think that the inertia of comfort and convenience may also be a real temptation.  It's easy enough to see the warts and imperfections of the NALC, LCMC, and LCMS, and prefer the long habit of being a skeptical observer and commentator on what's going on in the ELCA but at the same time conclude that the hassle of leaving is not worth it. 

The NALC has been receiving an increasing number of queries from lay leaders and congregations this past year.  About half are from those appalled by the ELCA's National Youth Gathering (many who had youth and often times their own children who attended and disliked what they experienced as pressure, even bullying).  The other half are from congregations where confessionally faithful but quiet pastors have shielded them from what has been going on in the ELCA.  Upon their pastor's retirement, they have experienced a rude awakening to the realities of the ELCA and available pastoral candidates. 

Ken Kimball
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 11, 2018, 04:12:35 AM
Times and situations have a considerable effect on language.
   I am wondering if it is possible to avoid the "faithful" and "not-faithful" language when speaking about our friends and colleagues in the ELCA.
   The terminology "confessionally faithful" or "orthodox" or the combined "orthodox confessional" is also vague and can lead to further unrest and conflict that is perhaps unnecessary.
Is it possible for those who oppose the decisions of 2009 to refer to those who support them as "faithful"? Or does supporting those decisions automatically make one "unfaithful"? If this is not possible, the prospect of any collegiality dims.

Pastor Kimball writes:
It is not likely that progressive bishops and synods (even ones where the progressive bishops tolerate the few remaining traditional pastors) will help those congregations find a confessionally faithful pastor whose confessional faithfulness includes opposition to the acids of 2009.
I comment:
This is the kind of language that makes any kind of rapprochement very difficult.

Pastor Kimball writes:
As far as orthodox pastors who retire but remain on the ELCA roster, some find a place of refuge like Pastor Johnson has.
I comment:
I worry also about the "refuge" language, as unnecessarily divisive.
   When I recently moved, I knew that some active and exciting ELCA congregations in my area had as their "main" service a type of "contemporary" worship that did things liturgically, pastorally and theologically that were not to my liking. So I did not join one of those parishes. But I was not seeking "refuge" from the life of those congregations; and I do not consider those congregations "unfaithful" or not "orthodox." I even attend one once in a while.
   I would have no problem attending Steven's congregation, nor would I write it off as "unfaithful."
  But there are those who share his views who loudly declare other pastors and congregations including the one where I belong "unfaithful."

Pastor Kimball writes of a pastor:
The congregations he serves as an interim receive faithful preaching and teaching; however most of the time, the pastor then called by the congregation is a committed ELCA company-person aligned with the progressive baggage.
I comment:
And there again is the language problem. "Faithful preaching and teaching" by Pastor Kimball's friend, but "company-person" and "progressive baggage" describes the ELCA pastor likely to succeed him.

Pastor Kimball writes (re leaving):
However, I do think that the inertia of comfort and convenience may also be a real temptation.  It's easy enough to see the warts and imperfections of the NALC, LCMC, and LCMS, and prefer the long habit of being a skeptical observer and commentator on what's going on in the ELCA but at the same time conclude that the hassle of leaving is not worth it.
I comment:
If the "hassle of leaving is not worth it," then - I have long contended - perhaps we do not have as cataclysmic a crisis of faith as we think. If the current situation in the ELCA is so odious and "unfaithful," as to taint the entire denomination and all its parishes, or - as Pastor Kimball suggests - means that the future will be even worse; then why stay? (Retirees might be different. It is possible for us to remain and not have - or avoid - any call or duties that would require us to embrace that which we oppose.)
   And what is the "hassle of leaving"? You write your bishop a letter which says "I resign," and you join another congregation. Yes, you may have to look for another "job," move, or explain things to family and colleagues, but welcome to the world. Our lay people do it all the time.

Pastor Kimball writes (of those asking questions about his church body):
The other half are from congregations where confessionally faithful but quiet pastors have shielded them from what has been going on in the ELCA.  Upon their pastor's retirement, they have experienced a rude awakening to the realities of the ELCA and available pastoral candidates.
I comment:
As Pastor Kimball might suspect, I find this particularly sad and more than a little irritating.
   If a pastor believes that he or she has to "shield" parishioners from what is happening in the church body he or she serves and to which that congregation sends mission support, we have a serious problem.
   First, that pastor is not allowing parishioners to be in on the discussion and make up their own minds about where they stand and what the critical situation may be. That, in my not so humble opinion, is lousy pastoral care and poor pastoral leadership.
   Then, if that "faithful" pastor just lays low and keeps people uninformed until he or she can get another call, take "refuge" somewhere, or retire, the next pastor faces an almost impossible situation. And today (or even in the years prior to the ELCA merger), the pastor who wants to "shield" the congregation from things in the ELCA is just foolish. And a poor leader.
   A pew-sitter would have a right to be darned mad at the pastor who kept them in the dark.
   I have long hoped, during the run-up to 2009 and in the years following, for some kind of "balance" or détente between those favoring the decisions of that year and those opposing them. I know that language all around has been harsh. (So do not remind me about what is being said by supporters of the 2009 actions). I know that many may be surprised to find how "progressive" the ELCA is or will be in the future.
   But is there anything we can do to avoid narrowing the measurements for who is "faithful" and who isn't?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 11, 2018, 07:13:15 AM
Pr. Austin, with the beliefs of those who disagreed with the 2009 decisions formally renounced by one of the main speakers at the recent national youth gathering and leading the youth to join in the renunciation, I just don’t see that as an effort to avoid narrowing the measurement of who is and who is not faithful.


For that matter calling those who do not agree with the progressive political agenda and do not fervently oppose Pres. Trump foolish and in need of repentance of their unchristian attitudes does little to welcome those of differing ideas and assure them that they have a place in your church.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: FrPeters on December 11, 2018, 09:23:40 AM
Quote
This is the kind of language that makes any kind of rapprochement very difficult.

What rapprochement are you talking about?  The only one I can think of is when the pastors and congregations finally get behind the ELCA.  Whether they are at the front edge of its direction of tailing along behind, the ELCA is not about to change its direction and so those out of step will either become accustomed to being out of step and isolated at least in terms of synod and national church OR find a point where they will have to leave.

I have great respect for pastors who remain to care for those in their care but I do not believe that this is a tenable position for more than the short term.

That said, the point of my original post bringing this all up again was the idea that Jesus had not yet told Pastor Johnson to leave.  Is that something Pastor Johnson (or anyone in his position) should await or is that even a thing?  Does not the direction of a church body and its public confession constitute enough to make the decision to leave?  Should anyone expect or require more than this (not simply for the ELCA but for any church body that has embraced modernity with respect to GLBTQ and etc... or departed from Scripture, creed, and confession or refused to rein in error?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 11, 2018, 09:55:59 AM
Pastor Fienen writes:
Pr. Austin, with the beliefs of those who disagreed with the 2009 decisions formally renounced by one of the main speakers at the recent national youth gathering and leading the youth to join in the renunciation, I just don’t see that as an effort to avoid narrowing the measurement of who is and who is not faithful.
I comment:
For heaven's sake! A speaker, whether main or minor, at any kind of gathering, whether youth or geezers, is not the whole deal. We can and do disagree with speakers. I consider some of the language that has curled the toes of folk here unfortunate, and - were I a pastor with kids there - might have had some discussions. But... It ain't all or nothing with a single speaker.

Pastor Fienen:
For that matter calling those who do not agree with the progressive political agenda and do not fervently oppose Pres. Trump foolish and in need of repentance of their unchristian attitudes does little to welcome those of differing ideas and assure them that they have a place in your church.
Me:
Let's consider a little "separation of powers" or "two (or three) kingdoms" or some common sense here. I'm allowed to have some extreme opinions and I readily admit they should not all be expressed in my own charmingly forceful way in every place and at every time. Don't you, Pastor Fienen, spout a few words having brews with the bros after a district meeting that you would not lay upon the tea table of the LWML meeting? (And of course, no on here has ever understood rhetorical hyperbole.)

Pastor Peters writes:
What rapprochement are you talking about?  The only one I can think of is when the pastors and congregations finally get behind the ELCA.
I comment:
If by "get behind the ELCA," you mean take part in synodical and ELCA events; send appropriate mission support, use ELCA materials (mostly), honor the pastor trained in ELCA or ELCA-related seminaries, and be proud of our mission and social service work; well, yes, I believe every congregation ought to "get behind the ELCA."
If by that phrase you mean agree with everything the ELCA does or every word in every social statement ("teaching documents", remember, not doctrine) or every word said in every place by any ELCA person, then no; that's silly.
And if a pastor or congregation cannot and does not - in any way - support the ELCA and its work, who is responsible for the break?

Pastor Peters writes:
Whether they are at the front edge of its direction of tailing along behind, the ELCA is not about to change its direction and so those out of step will either become accustomed to being out of step and isolated at least in terms of synod and national church OR find a point where they will have to leave.
I comment:
Well, this humble correspondent is, perhaps, "out of step and isolated" when it comes to what might be (but probably isn't) the prevailing political opinion in our land; but I'm not contemplating emigration. (Switzerland is too expensive, and I have this "loyal American" thing going on in me.)

Pastor Peters:
That said, the point of my original post bringing this all up again was the idea that Jesus had not yet told Pastor Johnson to leave.  Is that something Pastor Johnson (or anyone in his position) should await or is that even a thing?
Me:
Richard can speak for himself; but what is so strange about expecting, wanting, getting and responding to a word or guidance from Jesus (or the Holy Spirit or the Heavenly Father)? And we also have a difficulty with phrases like "embraced modernity" (not always a b-a-a-d thing), and "departed from Scripture, creed and confession."
Departed how? And on what issue? And to what end or for what purpose? The LCMS pastor who, for pastoral reasons, allows non-LCMS or even ELCA people or (OMG! NO!) Presbyterians to commune has "departed" from something a lot of you seem to hold sacred. But....?
I'm back to my favorite phrase of 2018. Life is complicated.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: peterm on December 11, 2018, 10:09:07 AM
In some ways this whole conversation reminds me of a statement that Roy Harrisville made in class shortly before his retirement from Luther Seminary in 1994.  He noted that when he started teaching at Luther he was considered by many to be a young radical, and now all those years later he was considered to be conservative- all without changing his position and understanding all that radically.  Each era has its own issues, whether predestination, or sexuality or what have you.  The pendulum swings, sometimes in distressing directions yet the church remains....
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 11, 2018, 10:13:11 AM
Pr. Austin, with the beliefs of those who disagreed with the 2009 decisions formally renounced by one of the main speakers at the recent national youth gathering and leading the youth to join in the renunciation, I just don’t see that as an effort to avoid narrowing the measurement of who is and who is not faithful.


I've stated this before. I believe that you are putting the worst construction on Nadia's speech. You are reading more into it than what she actually said. She said nothing about homosexual behaviors. "Queerness," as I understand the term, refers to being homosexual. Positions 1 & 2 do not speak against being homosexual, rather position 1 is quite clear: "same-gender sexual behavior is sinful" (boldface added).


If you are promoting the opposite of what Nadia said, that queerness is ugly, then you are not following our Statement.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 11, 2018, 10:21:18 AM
Peterm writes:
Each era has its own issues, whether predestination, or sexuality or what have you.
I comment:
Interesting observation, and I agree. Many of the things considered "radical" or troublesome or even non-Lutheran and non-Biblical in my younger days - interpretation of Genesis, ecumenism, "social action," liturgical reform, even racial integration and resistance to government policies and knee-jerk patriotism  - are not necessarily as divisive as they were in 1963 or 1967. I took heat in 1968 when I invited a Roman Catholic priest to share in leading a Bible study in my parish. (He was also teaching students at Wartburg seminary, but…)
It is a curious world, a curious church. And the Church survives.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 11, 2018, 10:23:11 AM
I ask Pastor Austin again: Why do you assume that the questions I raised with synod, seminary and Presiding Bishop had anything to do with staying in or leaving the ELCA?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 11, 2018, 10:45:08 AM

Pastor Kimball writes:
It is not likely that progressive bishops and synods (even ones where the progressive bishops tolerate the few remaining traditional pastors) will help those congregations find a confessionally faithful pastor whose confessional faithfulness includes opposition to the acids of 2009.
I comment:
This is the kind of language that makes any kind of rapprochement very difficult.


It does seem to be true, however.  What language would you suggest to say something that appears to be true?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 11, 2018, 10:52:30 AM

That said, the point of my original post bringing this all up again was the idea that Jesus had not yet told Pastor Johnson to leave.  Is that something Pastor Johnson (or anyone in his position) should await or is that even a thing?  Does not the direction of a church body and its public confession constitute enough to make the decision to leave?  Should anyone expect or require more than this (not simply for the ELCA but for any church body that has embraced modernity with respect to GLBTQ and etc... or departed from Scripture, creed, and confession or refused to rein in error?

First, I didn't use the word "yet" and thus didn't mean to imply that I anticipate Jesus might tell me to leave at any moment now, or some time in the future.

Second, perhaps I should have stated my point more positively. How about if I had phrased it (as the Methodist friend I cited) as "Jesus told me to stay" rather than "Jesus hasn't told me to leave"? Would that satisfy you?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 11, 2018, 10:53:00 AM
In some ways this whole conversation reminds me of a statement that Roy Harrisville made in class shortly before his retirement from Luther Seminary in 1994.  He noted that when he started teaching at Luther he was considered by many to be a young radical, and now all those years later he was considered to be conservative- all without changing his position and understanding all that radically.  Each era has its own issues, whether predestination, or sexuality or what have you.  The pendulum swings, sometimes in distressing directions yet the church remains....

I can relate.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 11, 2018, 12:23:14 PM
I don’t assume they had anything to do with staying or leaving, Pastor Charlton. However it is logical to think that the answers you received would have some bearing on your thoughts on the subject as time goes by.  And you’re still with us. That’s good.  I think.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: FrPeters on December 11, 2018, 01:19:06 PM
Quote
First, I didn't use the word "yet" and thus didn't mean to imply that I anticipate Jesus might tell me to leave at any moment now, or some time in the future.

Second, perhaps I should have stated my point more positively. How about if I had phrased it (as the Methodist friend I cited) as "Jesus told me to stay" rather than "Jesus hasn't told me to leave"? Would that satisfy you?

Richard,

My apologies for adding the word "yet" -- I presumed from the way you spoke that such a time might indeed come.  My error.

No, the issue is not whether Jesus told you or me to stay or to leave but the whole idea that we would await such a revelation from on high.  I had never anticipated such a revelation coming to do either but had presumed that such a thing would be an individual's deliberate and conscious evaluation of what the public teaching and confession of a church body was and when (or if) a time came when you could no longer in good conscience remain in such a body.  I did not consider this the voice of Jesus, perhaps it is, but rather saw it as an exercise of reason and conscience. 

To be clear, I would likewise not say nor have I ever said that Jesus told me to leave a congregation and accept a call to another or to remain in a congregation and return the call to the other.  After prayerful deliberation, it remains my choice.  Perhaps I am off base in this or even out of step with my own church body.  If Jesus is telling you, then the consequences can easily be blamed upon Him.  If it is your own best effort to discern God's purpose and make an appropriate decision based upon circumstances, then, good or ill, the consequences remain the fruits of your own prayerful choice.

I guess I was not clear in what I was raising -- namely, the idea that Jesus would tell us to do either (leave or stay) and that our response would be either to disobey or obey such a divine command.

Again, it was not meant to stir up much of what followed or to impugn the character of those who make different choices but to deal with the particular issue of whether or not a pastor should await a voice from on high to tell him what to do when it comes to a church body that may be heading in a very different direction than you, the pastor (and perhaps the parish under your care) is heading.  I have to admit I had never ever thought of such.  Perhaps I am the oddity but that is the point I was trying, not very successfully, to make.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: FrPeters on December 11, 2018, 01:26:55 PM
Quote
If by "get behind the ELCA," you mean take part in synodical and ELCA events; send appropriate mission support, use ELCA materials (mostly), honor the pastor trained in ELCA or ELCA-related seminaries, and be proud of our mission and social service work; well, yes, I believe every congregation ought to "get behind the ELCA."

But isn't that the point?  If you disagree with the direction and decisions of your church body, it is surely but a matter of time when it is impossible to participate in the events of the larger church (synod or national), send your kids to youth gatherings, send $$ to support missions that will stand for something you cannot, use ELCA materials (even The Living Lutheran) that clearly support and articulate support for every decision and stance the ELCA takes, honor ELCA trained clergy who cannot agree with what does not parallel what they have been taught, and be proud of the ELCA witness.  That was my point.  To get behind the ELCA is to embrace most of those decisions and the direction that body has chosen.  This is true of any church body.  The LCMS cannot countenance those who advocate the ordination of women, the acceptance of GLBTQ relationships and lifestyles as the same as marriage between one man and one woman, or open communion for that matter.  We stand for certain things.  Eventually those who disagree and do so publicly will either find it untenable to remain or will be asked to remain quiet or leave.  Surely you are not saying that the ELCA does not care what people believe or advocate for -- the dust up over the United Seminary President seems to be an obvious case to show that certain disagreements cannot be tolerated in the ELCA.  If an ELCA seminary president came out against abortion or against the ecumenical relationships of the ELCA, would that be tolerated?  I don't see how it could be.  Am I wrong in this? 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 11, 2018, 02:03:21 PM
Pastor Peters writes:
If you disagree with the direction and decisions of your church body, it is surely but a matter of time when it is impossible to participate in the events of the larger church (synod or national)…
I comment:
That depends, I am trying to say, on what direction, and what decisions are involved. And the level of the disagreement matters also. Personally, I believe the ELCA is weak, very weak, on pacifism and related war/peace matters. But it's not a deal breaker for me.

Pastor Peters writes:
If an ELCA seminary president came out against abortion or against the ecumenical relationships of the ELCA, would that be tolerated?  I don't see how it could be.  Am I wrong in this? 
I comment:
On the abortion matter, it ought to be tolerated, although I suspect the seminary president would take some heat. Disagreement on ecumenical relationships might impact how that seminary president did his or her work, given our cooperation with other seminaries. But why would someone who disagreed with our ecumenical policies want to be a seminary president? Or why would we pick one who did?
Here's my starry-eyed, naive, cock-eyed optimist view.
-You do not believe women should be ordained. I do.
-You do not approve of same-sex marriage. I do.
-You oppose current laws concerning abortion. For the most part, I support them.
-You may be a "young-earth creationist". I accept the billions and billions and evolution view of creation.
-You oppose communing with Presbyterians. I support it.
-Your views may line up mostly with Republican platforms. I probably line up mostly with Democrats.
   Now, can it be possible for the two of us to be in the same church body? To be in the same ministerium? To be in the same parish? I think that ought to be possible, at least to some extent.
   I do not denounce your views - listed above - as "un-Biblical," or "non-Christian," or Satanic. I say you can be a Christian and hold those views. Can you say the same of me, coming from "your side"?
   I say we could be in the same church together, both confessing the Creed on Sunday mornings, both celebrating the Eucharist together, because on those matters of essential Christian doctrine confessed in the creed and celebrated in the sacraments, we (generally and mostly) agree. 
   But perhaps lines are too thickly-drawn and life is too complex for that to happen.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: FrPeters on December 11, 2018, 02:38:15 PM
Thank you for your reasoned response.

Quote
On the abortion matter, it ought to be tolerated, although I suspect the seminary president would take some heat. Disagreement on ecumenical relationships might impact how that seminary president did his or her work, given our cooperation with other seminaries. But why would someone who disagreed with our ecumenical policies want to be a seminary president? Or why would we pick one who did?

This goes to the heart of the issue.  Why would you pick one who disagreed with about any of the ELCA decisions and choices?  You would not.  Neither would the LCMS.  To be fair, how then can people in the pew co-exist in this way if the leaders cannot.


Here's my starry-eyed, naive, cock-eyed optimist view.
-You do not believe women should be ordained. I do.

I believe that this is not a practice but a doctrinal decision with some serious consequences.  It represents a serious disconnect with the faith and expectations of the Lutheran Symbols and the claim of catholicity that is made therein.

-You do not approve of same-sex marriage. I do.

I believe that this is not a practice but a doctrinal decision with some serious consequences with respect to what the Scriptures clearly say and that it is not possible to hold to the authority of Scripture and disagree so obviously with what it says.
 
-You oppose current laws concerning abortion. For the most part, I support them.

It is not that I oppose current laws but find them in opposition to God's law.

-You may be a "young-earth creationist". I accept the billions and billions and evolution view of creation.

Again, whatever the age of the earth you determine, if Adam and Eve are mythological, then we must look at what other things Jesus said that either accept mythology or promote what is not truth and fact.

-You oppose communing with Presbyterians. I support it.

I have no particular view toward the Presbyterians but I do hold that any communion must be preceded by the clear and unmistakable confession of what the supper is and the real presence body and blood of Christ clearly confessed in something more specific than the language of the current communion sharing agreements the ELCA has.

-Your views may line up mostly with Republican platforms. I probably line up mostly with Democrats.

I would say that I am not mostly Republican but rather independent and somewhat suspicious of both parties.

   Now, can it be possible for the two of us to be in the same church body? To be in the same ministerium? To be in the same parish? I think that ought to be possible, at least to some extent. 

Probably there are those in the LCMS who silently disagree with what we publicly teach but to publicly disagree or teach contrary is not possible.

   I do not denounce your views - listed above - as "un-Biblical," or "non-Christian," or Satanic. I say you can be a Christian and hold those views. Can you say the same of me, coming from "your side"?

I do not need to denounce your views.  They are obviously a disconnect with what Scripture says, the Confessions uphold, and the catholic tradition behind them.  Even the ELCA admits that the ordination of women, the adoption of GLBTQ agenda, and a host of other things are a departure from what went before it.

   I say we could be in the same church together, both confessing the Creed on Sunday mornings, both celebrating the Eucharist together, because on those matters of essential Christian doctrine confessed in the creed and celebrated in the sacraments, we (generally and mostly) agree.

Mostly agree is the problem.  Where does such a fluid line fall?

   But perhaps lines are too thickly-drawn and life is too complex for that to happen.

Yes, they are thickly drawn but by both sides.  The ELCA does not want to talk to those who disagree and we don't either -- unless there is a realistic chance of changing the mind.  At this point there is none.  That does not mean I dislike you or condemn you to hell (always God's job and never mine) but that we realistically confess different faiths.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 11, 2018, 03:33:01 PM
I don’t assume they had anything to do with staying or leaving, Pastor Charlton. However it is logical to think that the answers you received would have some bearing on your thoughts on the subject as time goes by.  And you’re still with us. That’s good.  I think.

I'm with ya'll. Are ya'll with me is the question.  Are ya'll willing to be faithful to the commitments made to people like me in 2009 and in the ELCA governing documents.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 11, 2018, 03:44:42 PM
Pr. Austin, with the beliefs of those who disagreed with the 2009 decisions formally renounced by one of the main speakers at the recent national youth gathering and leading the youth to join in the renunciation, I just don’t see that as an effort to avoid narrowing the measurement of who is and who is not faithful.


I've stated this before. I believe that you are putting the worst construction on Nadia's speech. You are reading more into it than what she actually said. She said nothing about homosexual behaviors. "Queerness," as I understand the term, refers to being homosexual. Positions 1 & 2 do not speak against being homosexual, rather position 1 is quite clear: "same-gender sexual behavior is sinful" (boldface added).


If you are promoting the opposite of what Nadia said, that queerness is ugly, then you are not following our Statement.

As I wasn't there, and I'm not ELCA, I can't really tell.  Having participated in the youth gathering and having listened to the plenary speakers including Pr. Bolz-Weber, would your average youth have left the youth gathering with the impression that those who held positions 1 or 2 as specified in HSGT were welcome and valued as members of the ELCA?  Was the distinction clearly made that while the LGBTQ sexual orientation was to be accepted, it was OK to believe that LGBTQ sexual activity was wrong?  Would an average youth (not necessarily trained to carefully parse the distinction between orientation and activity and carefully delineate which was being discussed - that is a fairly sophisticated distinction) whose parents had taught him or her that same sex marriage and sexual activity was wrong leave with the understanding that what his parents had taught him was acceptable in the church to which they belonged, or that he had renounced what his parents had taught him and that those beliefs were simply wrong, his parents were wrong?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 11, 2018, 03:51:11 PM
So, is ya'll the ELCA spelling of y'all?   ;) How is that pronounced? Ya' ill ?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 11, 2018, 04:41:56 PM
So, is ya'll the ELCA spelling of y'all?   ;) How is that pronounced? Ya' ill ?


Ya + all = ya'll.  It's pronounced with a double, not a single a:  yaall ;)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 11, 2018, 04:51:36 PM
Thank you. Pastor Peters, for your response. I have heard these things before, of course, but you state them more graciously than others who respond to these subjects.
   I think - to state things much too simply - that we both have a "recipe" for our faith, that is, a list of "ingredients" and a means of preparation. Some are obvious and necessary; if you are making banana bread, you have to have bananas in it. If you're making veal parmesan, a calf has to die. But our recipes differ with regard to spicing, additional ingredients, the nature of the sauce, butter or oil, and how much of each. I like to think that these matters don't necessarily ruin the recipe and that our final product will taste essentially the same; maybe a little spicier when it comes out of my oven. Your Bolognese sauce is red; mine has no tomatoes in it. Does it matter?
    The issue of scripture looms large, of course. You contend that a "mythical" Adam and Eve undercuts Jesus. I don't.
    You require more specificity for ecumenical fellowship that I think is needed or possible.
    You write "I do not need to denounce your views.  They are obviously a disconnect with what Scripture says, the Confessions uphold, and the catholic tradition behind them."
    I do not think you understand how this sounds to us. It is a denunciation of our views and a declaration that you have the fullness of God's intent and we don't. I contend that neither of us fully grasps God's mind.
   It is true that we admit "the ordination of women, the adoption of GLBTQ agenda, and a host of other things are a departure from what went before it," but as you know the church has changed and "departed from what went before" at various times in its temporal history.
    You see a line between my "mostly agree" that is too fluid. I see a gap in your search for agreement that is too wide.
   The ELCA has wanted to talk to those with whom we disagree. We had decades of dialogue with other Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Methodists, Anglicans and the Reformed. You say "The ELCA does not want to talk to those who disagree and we don't either - unless there is a realistic chance of changing the mind." There is a boatload of trouble in your last phrase.
   I do not think we dialogue to seek to change the mind of the other or to have our minds changed; we dialogue to find a different mind, a more collegial, agreeable mind. And we have done so.
  We would also have long discussions on the reasons for our disagreements and the purposes of the views we hold dear. How does what we do help or hurt the mission of the Church? How does what we do make it easier or harder for people to hear the Gospel and experience the Christian fellowship in the Body of Christ? What will help people of today hear God's word, more arguments over precise definitions of Real Presence or more sacramental experiences in fellowship together? More arguments over bishops or a simple understanding that Anglicans have a certain "kind" of bishop and Lutherans have another kind (actually several different kinds, depending upon where you are in the world).
   Nonetheless, thanks for your response.



Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 11, 2018, 05:15:44 PM
I have to admit I had never ever thought of such.  Perhaps I am the oddity but that is the point I was trying, not very successfully, to make.

No offense taken. But isn't the case that Jesus speaks to us in all kinds of ways? And perhaps in different ways to different people? And with different messages? We struggle to be attentive to the ways in which he speaks to us, and surely it is through all the ways you suggest, and sometimes perhaps with an audible voice.

But really my point is that consideration of all those things, reflecting and praying the Scripture, seeking Christ's will, talking and praying with others--none of that has made it clear to me that I should leave.

It is, of course, possible that I am stubborn and stiff-necked. In my sermon yesterday I noted that I had once done a study on the phrase "not listen," which appears some hundred times in the Bible and almost always is about people not listening to God. Maybe that's true of me in this instance. But not as far as I'm able to discern. And I bear no ill will and harbor no judgement against Bob Benne or anyone else who has discerned something different for themselves. But I wish they wouldn't think they can discern it for me, because they can't.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Richard Johnson on December 11, 2018, 05:22:21 PM
(even The Living Lutheran)

A minor point, but there's no definite article in the title. I think "Living" is intended to be a progressive verb, not an adjective. (What would be the point of a magazine for dead Lutherans?)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 11, 2018, 05:26:51 PM
So, is ya'll the ELCA spelling of y'all?   ;) How is that pronounced? Ya' ill ?

Ya + all = ya'll.  It's pronounced with a double, not a single a:  yaall ;)

Ah, as I suspected. It's the Swedish version as opposed to the Southern American English you + all = y'all. So, is it a contraction of saying yes/ya to any and all being addressed? ;-)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 11, 2018, 06:07:10 PM
As a Christian is fortified by Word and Sacrament, he or she seeks to do God's Will on a daily basis.
With total trust in God, Christians make big decisions and little decisions in their life.  A strong devotional
life of listening to God on the pages of Holy Scripture and talking to God in prayer prepare us to make
God-pleasing decisions.  Complete confidence in God allows us to rely on Him as the foundation of our life.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 11, 2018, 06:14:42 PM
I have to admit I had never ever thought of such.  Perhaps I am the oddity but that is the point I was trying, not very successfully, to make.

No offense taken. But isn't the case that Jesus speaks to us in all kinds of ways? And perhaps in different ways to different people? And with different messages? We struggle to be attentive to the ways in which he speaks to us, and surely it is through all the ways you suggest, and sometimes perhaps with an audible voice.

But really my point is that consideration of all those things, reflecting and praying the Scripture, seeking Christ's will, talking and praying with others--none of that has made it clear to me that I should leave.

It is, of course, possible that I am stubborn and stiff-necked. In my sermon yesterday I noted that I had once done a study on the phrase "not listen," which appears some hundred times in the Bible and almost always is about people not listening to God. Maybe that's true of me in this instance. But not as far as I'm able to discern. And I bear no ill will and harbor no judgement against Bob Benne or anyone else who has discerned something different for themselves. But I wish they wouldn't think they can discern it for me, because they can't.
You express this very well.  I know that in considering calls I always sought to discern (hear) God’s will in the matter although I never expected to hear a booming voice telling me what to do.  Absent a clear (to me) inclination on way or the other my default was to continue the status quo.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: FrPeters on December 11, 2018, 07:16:28 PM
Quote
There is a boatload of trouble in your last phrase.

There probably is a boatload of trouble in this phrase but the reality is that the breakdown in communication between the ELCA and Missouri has not been and is not now one sided.  Just as Missouri is not interested in hearing the ELCA promote its point of view without possibility of compromise on such things as Scripture, ordination of women, or GLBTQ and its associated issues, neither is the ELCA interested in hearing Missouri's complaints.  So, for all intents and purposes, we no longer do much talking to each other (at least officially).  I am not sure that this is the worst possible thing but I agree it is not good.

Quote
  I do not think you understand how this sounds to us. It is a denunciation of our views and a declaration that you have the fullness of God's intent and we don't. I contend that neither of us fully grasps God's mind.

When I wrote that I did not mean that either me or those in Missouri were denouncing the ELCA but that the ELCA admits that it has taken positions neither envisioned by or consistent with the Lutheran Symbols and the catholic tradition.  The willingness to admit this is its own denunciation of what went before and of those who still hold to the tradition.  I was not trying to gloat over this.  Indeed, I grieve over the distance between us. 

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 11, 2018, 07:21:55 PM
So, is ya'll the ELCA spelling of y'all?   ;) How is that pronounced? Ya' ill ?

Ya + all = ya'll.  It's pronounced with a double, not a single a:  yaall ;)

Ah, as I suspected. It's the Swedish version as opposed to the Southern American English you + all = y'all. So, is it a contraction of saying yes/ya to any and all being addressed? ;-)

Definitely not the Swedish version.  Possibly the German version, via Jacksonville, Florida.     
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 11, 2018, 07:35:34 PM
   The ELCA has wanted to talk to those with whom we disagree.

I remember when I took this for granted, and was proud of how open we are.  I am not longer convinced this is true.

Only 10 years ago, the promise was made that the ELCA was committed to "continuing the conversation" and "journeying together faithfully" in spite of our disagreements over important issues.  That commitment seemed to dry up rather quickly after the 2009 CWA.  The complaint that I have made to my bishop, the dean of my seminary, and the Presiding Bishop is that there appears to be no room in the ELCA for people who hold traditional views on human sexuality or whose political views are moderate to conservative.  I received cordial replies from all, but none where willing to make a unequivocal commitment to making room for traditional or conservative voices. 

If we are not committed to talking to each other, how credible is it when we claim we want to talk to the LCMS?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 11, 2018, 07:46:24 PM
I've stated this before. I believe that you are putting the worst construction on Nadia's speech. You are reading more into it than what she actually said. She said nothing about homosexual behaviors. "Queerness," as I understand the term, refers to being homosexual.

Once again, Brian, you understand this wrongly.  "Queer" is a subset of "homosexuality" that includes types of attitudes and behaviors.  It is not simply "being homosexual."  Nadia knows this, as does much of her (intended) audience, even if you do not.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on December 11, 2018, 09:18:16 PM
The complaint that I have made to my bishop, the dean of my seminary, and the Presiding Bishop is that there appears to be no room in the ELCA for people who hold traditional views on human sexuality or whose political views are moderate to conservative.  I received cordial replies from all, but none where willing to make a unequivocal commitment to making room for traditional or conservative voices. 

When I began studies for the Master of Divinity degree at the Lancaster Theological Seminary in 1981 there was a strident, full court press to mandate "inclusive language", and specifically to banish referring to the Holy Trinity by the name given in Matthew 28 of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

There were some of us who attempted to expose the hypocrisy that the so-called "inclusive" language was not inclusive of those who believed that God should be named in the manner that He has revealed Himself to us. 

As I look back, the trajectory to Orthodoxy was launched in Santee Chapel
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2018, 12:11:07 AM
Pr. Austin, with the beliefs of those who disagreed with the 2009 decisions formally renounced by one of the main speakers at the recent national youth gathering and leading the youth to join in the renunciation, I just don’t see that as an effort to avoid narrowing the measurement of who is and who is not faithful.


I've stated this before. I believe that you are putting the worst construction on Nadia's speech. You are reading more into it than what she actually said. She said nothing about homosexual behaviors. "Queerness," as I understand the term, refers to being homosexual. Positions 1 & 2 do not speak against being homosexual, rather position 1 is quite clear: "same-gender sexual behavior is sinful" (boldface added).


If you are promoting the opposite of what Nadia said, that queerness is ugly, then you are not following our Statement.

As I wasn't there, and I'm not ELCA, I can't really tell.  Having participated in the youth gathering and having listened to the plenary speakers including Pr. Bolz-Weber, would your average youth have left the youth gathering with the impression that those who held positions 1 or 2 as specified in HSGT were welcome and valued as members of the ELCA?  Was the distinction clearly made that while the LGBTQ sexual orientation was to be accepted, it was OK to believe that LGBTQ sexual activity was wrong?  Would an average youth (not necessarily trained to carefully parse the distinction between orientation and activity and carefully delineate which was being discussed - that is a fairly sophisticated distinction) whose parents had taught him or her that same sex marriage and sexual activity was wrong leave with the understanding that what his parents had taught him was acceptable in the church to which they belonged, or that he had renounced what his parents had taught him and that those beliefs were simply wrong, his parents were wrong?

I would venture to guess that most youth have accepted homosexuality and same-sex relationships as normative long before the youth gathering. Back in the 90's when this was being discussed, I made a statement that I didn't believe it was an issue among the youth at that time. That is what I had been reading, and I also checked with my sons who were in high school at the time. It was a non-issue with them. They knew who were the gay students in high school. Not an issue.

When we had a same-sex couple attending our church (it was before I was called to serve here), a member did leave. His three high-school / college aged daughters stayed. What the father believed and had taught his daughters was not what they believed about homosexual relationships.

Even more common: parents of my generation are finding that their children do not agree with them about living together before marriage. The norm among youth today is to live together then get married. Sometimes they even have children before getting the marriage license. This is not what parents and the church have been teaching them for years. Teenagers and young adults have been making up their own minds about all kinds of things often in conflict with the beliefs of their parents.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2018, 12:22:57 AM
I've stated this before. I believe that you are putting the worst construction on Nadia's speech. You are reading more into it than what she actually said. She said nothing about homosexual behaviors. "Queerness," as I understand the term, refers to being homosexual.

Once again, Brian, you understand this wrongly.  "Queer" is a subset of "homosexuality" that includes types of attitudes and behaviors.  It is not simply "being homosexual."  Nadia knows this, as does much of her (intended) audience, even if you do not.


I'll have to let the editors of my dictionary know that they need to be corrected to Tibbetts. I looked up "queerness" before I posted. This is what it has:

1 the state or condition of being strange: the queerness of it gave me a kind of fright.

2 informal, often offensive homosexuality.
• the quality or characteristic of having a sexual or gender identity that does not correspond to established ideas of sexuality and gender, especially heterosexual norms: in the conversation about identity, queerness, and the trans experience there's a lot that many of us have to learn.

There's nothing about behaviors in the dictionary definition.

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 12, 2018, 03:41:11 AM
I have said before, years ago in this modest forum, that I sadly believe there would be little point at this time of having formal "dialogue" between the ELCA and the LCMS. Even before 2009, the LCMS spent a good bit of energy making sure we understood how much they disapproved of what we were doing. LCMS presidents even spoke strong words against us as "greetings" when they came to our assemblies. (We understand why they did that. Some were criticized within the LCMS for even coming to our assemblies.)
So for years now, my simple concern has been use of time and energy.
The LCMS makes it clear that dialogue means reaching agreement on terms they have already defined. In our opinion the preconditions for "dialogue" mean that there can be little point of seeking consensus or a new way of theological expression.
When our dialogues were still "inter-Lutheran," the LCMS was taking part. But after 1969, LCMS participants would issue "minority reports" to dialogue conclusions or otherwise undercut the ecumenical consensus expressed by ALC and LCA participants.
We have ecumenical partners, relationships that are solid and advancing. We have come a long way in our fellowship with others and have congregations that are Lutheran/Episcopalian or  Lutheran/Reformed, and we have found other ways to live and work together in fellowship and mission with non-Lutherans.
Better to focus our attention there than with the LCMS.
However, since I still believe the decisions that anger you are - to borrow your term - "God-pleasing," I can hope that somewhere out there things will be better between us. I just don't think we should spend time working on that now. 
(And I know that there are many members of the LCMS who, in their personal lives of faith, do not oppose the ELCA and its decisions and do find ways to fellowship with us. It's a start.)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 12, 2018, 06:49:37 AM
Pr. Austin, with the beliefs of those who disagreed with the 2009 decisions formally renounced by one of the main speakers at the recent national youth gathering and leading the youth to join in the renunciation, I just don’t see that as an effort to avoid narrowing the measurement of who is and who is not faithful.


I've stated this before. I believe that you are putting the worst construction on Nadia's speech. You are reading more into it than what she actually said. She said nothing about homosexual behaviors. "Queerness," as I understand the term, refers to being homosexual. Positions 1 & 2 do not speak against being homosexual, rather position 1 is quite clear: "same-gender sexual behavior is sinful" (boldface added).


If you are promoting the opposite of what Nadia said, that queerness is ugly, then you are not following our Statement.

As I wasn't there, and I'm not ELCA, I can't really tell.  Having participated in the youth gathering and having listened to the plenary speakers including Pr. Bolz-Weber, would your average youth have left the youth gathering with the impression that those who held positions 1 or 2 as specified in HSGT were welcome and valued as members of the ELCA?  Was the distinction clearly made that while the LGBTQ sexual orientation was to be accepted, it was OK to believe that LGBTQ sexual activity was wrong?  Would an average youth (not necessarily trained to carefully parse the distinction between orientation and activity and carefully delineate which was being discussed - that is a fairly sophisticated distinction) whose parents had taught him or her that same sex marriage and sexual activity was wrong leave with the understanding that what his parents had taught him was acceptable in the church to which they belonged, or that he had renounced what his parents had taught him and that those beliefs were simply wrong, his parents were wrong?

I would venture to guess that most youth have accepted homosexuality and same-sex relationships as normative long before the youth gathering. Back in the 90's when this was being discussed, I made a statement that I didn't believe it was an issue among the youth at that time. That is what I had been reading, and I also checked with my sons who were in high school at the time. It was a non-issue with them. They knew who were the gay students in high school. Not an issue.

When we had a same-sex couple attending our church (it was before I was called to serve here), a member did leave. His three high-school / college aged daughters stayed. What the father believed and had taught his daughters was not what they believed about homosexual relationships.

Even more common: parents of my generation are finding that their children do not agree with them about living together before marriage. The norm among youth today is to live together then get married. Sometimes they even have children before getting the marriage license. This is not what parents and the church have been teaching them for years. Teenagers and young adults have been making up their own minds about all kinds of things often in conflict with the beliefs of their parents.
What a marvelous way to assure people that they are welcome and respected.  Their kids already suspect that they’re nuts for being uptight about homosexuality and their church body reinforces that.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: John_Hannah on December 12, 2018, 07:01:16 AM
Charles is right. The LCMS has always found ways to disagree with the ELCA and its predecessors. 2009 changed nothing; it simply added one more complaint to a list of hundreds.

2009 did give an added advantage for the right wing of Missouri. Opposition to open endorsement of homosexuality is easier to sell politically than say, closed communion. Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that powerful Missouri clique.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: gan ainm on December 12, 2018, 08:00:00 AM
Charles is right. The LCMS has always found ways to disagree with the ELCA and its predecessors. 2009 changed nothing; it simply added one more complaint to a list of hundreds.

2009 did give an added advantage for the right wing of Missouri. Opposition to open endorsement of homosexuality is easier to sell politically than say, closed communion. Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that important Missouri group.   :)

Peace, JOHN

I think there is a huge difference between 1. The LCMS disagrees with ELCA doctrine, and 2. The LCMS says God's Word, Holy Scripture, disagrees with ELCA doctrine. 

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 12, 2018, 09:34:55 AM
I would venture to guess that most youth have accepted homosexuality and same-sex relationships as normative long before the youth gathering.

"Sexual minority" youth are 3.5 times more likely to attempt suicide according to a recently released study.  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-lgbt-teen-suicide/lgbt-youth-at-higher-risk-for-suicide-attempts-idUSKCN1MI1SL

Also, you don't need to make such a concerted effort to convince people that homosexuality is "norrmal" if nearly everyone actually believes it.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Coach-Rev on December 12, 2018, 10:33:46 AM
So, is ya'll the ELCA spelling of y'all?   ;) How is that pronounced? Ya' ill ?


Ya + all = ya'll.  It's pronounced with a double, not a single a:  yaall ;)

Actually, it's the contraction between "you" and "all," and therefore "y'all."  Used so much around my parts that I've picked it up as well!   ;D ;)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: FrPeters on December 12, 2018, 11:09:26 AM
Quote
I think there is a huge difference between 1. The LCMS disagrees with ELCA doctrine, and 2. The LCMS says God's Word, Holy Scripture, disagrees with ELCA doctrine.

Exactly.  It matters little if the LCMS disagrees with the ELCA.  What matters a great deal is when the ELCA (or Missouri) disagrees with Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions, and the catholic principle that Augustana indicates is the lens through which our Confessions are to be read.  That is what I meant when I said that we do not have to denounce the ELCA, the ELCA admits that it has chosen to leave behind Scripture, the Confessions, and to depart from the catholic tradition in matters of the ordination of women and the GLBTQ issues, to name but two.  If Missouri says it disagrees with the ELCA, the ELCA is fully okay in telling Missouri to stick it in its ear.  If the ELCA disagrees with Scripture, the Confessions, and departs from the catholic tradition, then it is time for review, repentance, and the restoration of the faith.  The same is true of WELS, ELS, LCMS or any other combination of initials that represents a Lutheran body.  If you are not like us, so what.  If you have abandoned Scripture, the Confessions, and the catholic tradition, that is the serious issue and the folks who should be holding the group accountable are the clergy, the theologians, and the folks in the pew -- and only then Lutherans outside that particular fold when the clergy, theologians, and folks in the pew do not object to such a departure.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Benke on December 12, 2018, 11:15:05 AM
Charles is right. The LCMS has always found ways to disagree with the ELCA and its predecessors. 2009 changed nothing; it simply added one more complaint to a list of hundreds.

2009 did give an added advantage for the right wing of Missouri. Opposition to open endorsement of homosexuality is easier to sell politically than say, closed communion. Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that important Missouri group.   :)

Peace, JOHN

I think there is a huge difference between 1. The LCMS disagrees with ELCA doctrine, and 2. The LCMS says God's Word, Holy Scripture, disagrees with ELCA doctrine.

Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that powerful Missouri clique.   :)

This forum and the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau itself  are by any account  the best/last available options for conversations on a practical and theological basis among Lutherans, lay and clergy.  Isolationists at both ends of the spectrum would rather each group stay to itself. 

Out here on the right side of the Hudson, we do find many opportunities both for conversation and for collaborative work in appropriate areas, but I'm not sure there are a lot of places left where that level of interactivity takes place on the ground. 


Dave Benke
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 12, 2018, 11:37:50 AM
Pastor Peters writes:
 the ELCA admits that it has chosen to leave behind Scripture, the Confessions, and to depart from the catholic tradition in matters of the ordination of women and the GLBTQ issues, to name but two.
I ask:
Can you show me, Pastor Peters, where we have said - "admitted" - that we leave behind Scripture? Please cite our documents, our ecumenical agreements or statement of faith to prove your assertion. Having been closely involved with both those issues, I remember quite a large amount of discussion concerning Scripture, the confessions and the "catholic tradition." Of course, we do not define those things with the crimped, scrunchy rigidity that marks much - but not all - of the theologizing in the LCMS.
As for that "catholic tradition," that is one of those vagaries which is virtually meaningless. The LCMS has departed from the "catholic tradition" in my not-so-humble opinion because you do not recognize the authority of canonical bishops or the pope.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Mark Brown on December 12, 2018, 12:27:55 PM
Pastor Peters writes:
 the ELCA admits that it has chosen to leave behind Scripture, the Confessions, and to depart from the catholic tradition in matters of the ordination of women and the GLBTQ issues, to name but two.
I ask:
Can you show me, Pastor Peters, where we have said - "admitted" - that we leave behind Scripture? Please cite our documents, our ecumenical agreements or statement of faith to prove your assertion. Having been closely involved with both those issues, I remember quite a large amount of discussion concerning Scripture, the confessions and the "catholic tradition." Of course, we do not define those things with the crimped, scrunchy rigidity that marks much - but not all - of the theologizing in the LCMS.
As for that "catholic tradition," that is one of those vagaries which is virtually meaningless. The LCMS has departed from the "catholic tradition" in my not-so-humble opinion because you do not recognize the authority of canonical bishops or the pope.

"Within the last decades, this church has begun to understand and experience in new ways the need of same-gender-oriented individuals to seek relationships of  lifelong companionship and commitment as well as public accountability and legal support for those commitments." - 2009 Social Statement p 18.

It would much easier to have a Mormon prophet who could just come out and say "I've had a vision".  But after 17 pages of vague throat clearing, it finally comes out and says it.  We've got new ways that are necessary.  So we are going to bend our entire heritage and deposit to accept it.

It then continues to define the ways that the new order will deal with those who haven't quite caught the vision, at least for a time.  That time appears to be drawing to a close.  One who holds to anything rather than view #4, the new order, is outside the circle of trust and relationship cannot really be maintained with them.  This is a matter of protecting children for whom exposing them to the idea believed since Moses came down the mountain that homosexual activity is against the natural law of God is child abuse.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: John_Hannah on December 12, 2018, 12:39:39 PM
Charles is right. The LCMS has always found ways to disagree with the ELCA and its predecessors. 2009 changed nothing; it simply added one more complaint to a list of hundreds.

2009 did give an added advantage for the right wing of Missouri. Opposition to open endorsement of homosexuality is easier to sell politically than say, closed communion. Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that important Missouri group.   :)

Peace, JOHN

I think there is a huge difference between 1. The LCMS disagrees with ELCA doctrine, and 2. The LCMS says God's Word, Holy Scripture, disagrees with ELCA doctrine.

Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that powerful Missouri clique.   :)

This forum and the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau itself  are by any account  the best/last available options for conversations on a practical and theological basis among Lutherans, lay and clergy.  Isolationists at both ends of the spectrum would rather each group stay to itself. 

Out here on the right side of the Hudson, we do find many opportunities both for conversation and for collaborative work in appropriate areas, but I'm not sure there are a lot of places left where that level of interactivity takes place on the ground. 


Dave Benke

So it will remain.   

. . . until that clique is out of power. Remember Hillary what's her name.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Likeness on December 12, 2018, 12:49:49 PM
It is a problematic issue when you discuss ELCA pastors teaching youth confirmation classes.
Do they tell youth that God approves of homosexual practice and sodomy or do they boldly
declare that homosexual practice and sodomy is a sin against God?

Do they tell youth that transgender surgery is an option for them or do they boldly declare
that God created them to be the gender they were born with?

Do they tell youth that bisexual activity is an option for them or do they boldly declare that
God wants us to remain faithful to our marital spouse?

Do they tell youth that "marriage" between two lesbians is a good thing or do they boldly declare
that God instituted marriage between one man and one woman?

Bottom Line: You cannot water down the 6th Commandment in youth confirmation classes and
still teach the truth of God's Word.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 12, 2018, 01:11:07 PM
It is a problematic issue when you discuss ELCA pastors teaching youth confirmation classes.
Do they tell youth that God approves of homosexual practice and sodomy or do they boldly
declare that homosexual practice and sodomy is a sin against God?

Do they tell youth that transgender surgery is an option for them or do they boldly declare
that God created them to be the gender they were born with?

Do they tell youth that bisexual activity is an option for them or do they boldly declare that
God wants us to remain faithful to our marital spouse?

Do they tell youth that "marriage" between two lesbians is a good thing or do they boldly declare
that God instituted marriage between one man and one woman?

Bottom Line: You cannot water down the 6th Commandment in youth confirmation classes and
still teach the truth of God's Word.

We haven't discussed transgender surgery, but on all the others they have been taught marriage is the only appropriate place for sexual activity and that  marriage is between one man and one woman.  They have been told that what the Bible teaches is different from what our culture teaches and that they cannot take for granted that everyone agrees with us.  The greater stumbling block from the student perspective would probably be the prohibition of pre-marital sex and divorce. 

The majority of my colleagues might well be horrified if they knew I taught in that way, but ELCA policy gurantees me the right to do so.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 12, 2018, 01:16:59 PM
So, is ya'll the ELCA spelling of y'all?   ;) How is that pronounced? Ya' ill ?


Ya + all = ya'll.  It's pronounced with a double, not a single a:  yaall ;)

Actually, it's the contraction between "you" and "all," and therefore "y'all."  Used so much around my parts that I've picked it up as well!   ;D ;)

I contend that it is a double contraction.  "You" is shortened to "ya" and then added to "all".   Think of how a person would say, "How are you doing?"  Where I come from it would be pronounced "How're ya doin" or even "How ya doin?" 

(I know I misspelled the word, I'm just kidding.)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Pastor Ken Kimball on December 12, 2018, 01:37:43 PM
Pastor Peters writes:
 the ELCA admits that it has chosen to leave behind Scripture, the Confessions, and to depart from the catholic tradition in matters of the ordination of women and the GLBTQ issues, to name but two.
I ask:
Can you show me, Pastor Peters, where we have said - "admitted" - that we leave behind Scripture? Please cite our documents, our ecumenical agreements or statement of faith to prove your assertion. Having been closely involved with both those issues, I remember quite a large amount of discussion concerning Scripture, the confessions and the "catholic tradition." 
I'm not Pastor Peters, but I was at the 2009 CWA.  The social statement as passed by the CWA acknowledged the acceptance of homosexual  relationships “differs from the historic Christian tradition and the Lutheran Confessions,” Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust  p. 29 lines 740-741
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: FrPeters on December 12, 2018, 02:09:08 PM
Quote
Of course, we do not define those things with the crimped, scrunchy rigidity that marks much - but not all - of the theologizing in the LCMS

Not to mention the theologizing of the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church who approach the ordination of women and the normalizing of the GLBTQ relationships and sanctioning GLBTQ clergy just like Missouri -- not to mention close(d) communion!  Missouri, warts and all, is not a pretty mess.  I thoroughly admit to it.  This is not about a couple of cows fighting over who is the king of the manure pile.  This is simply about faithfulness, consistency, and the hermeneutic of continuity that should mark who we are and about our own failures that come back to accuse us when we are not.

Thanks, Ben, because that was exactly the quote I was going to post.  It was there in black and white for all those at CWA 2009 and all the ELCA in the pews and pulpits, and anyone else to see.  Yes, we know what we are going to do differs from and goes against the historic Christian tradition and the Lutheran Confessions, but we still think it is the right thing to do.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: readselerttoo on December 12, 2018, 02:17:28 PM
Pastor Peters writes:
 the ELCA admits that it has chosen to leave behind Scripture, the Confessions, and to depart from the catholic tradition in matters of the ordination of women and the GLBTQ issues, to name but two.
I ask:
Can you show me, Pastor Peters, where we have said - "admitted" - that we leave behind Scripture? Please cite our documents, our ecumenical agreements or statement of faith to prove your assertion. Having been closely involved with both those issues, I remember quite a large amount of discussion concerning Scripture, the confessions and the "catholic tradition." Of course, we do not define those things with the crimped, scrunchy rigidity that marks much - but not all - of the theologizing in the LCMS.
As for that "catholic tradition," that is one of those vagaries which is virtually meaningless. The LCMS has departed from the "catholic tradition" in my not-so-humble opinion because you do not recognize the authority of canonical bishops or the pope.

"Within the last decades, this church has begun to understand and experience in new ways the need of same-gender-oriented individuals to seek relationships of  lifelong companionship and commitment as well as public accountability and legal support for those commitments." - 2009 Social Statement p 18.

It would much easier to have a Mormon prophet who could just come out and say "I've had a vision".  But after 17 pages of vague throat clearing, it finally comes out and says it.  We've got new ways that are necessary.  So we are going to bend our entire heritage and deposit to accept it.

It then continues to define the ways that the new order will deal with those who haven't quite caught the vision, at least for a time.  That time appears to be drawing to a close.  One who holds to anything rather than view #4, the new order, is outside the circle of trust and relationship cannot really be maintained with them.  This is a matter of protecting children for whom exposing them to the idea believed since Moses came down the mountain that homosexual activity is against the natural law of God is child abuse.

When the ELCA mentions "this church" it means this organization.  The use of the word "church" is simply an identifier.  Unfortunate use of terms but nevertheless this organization (ELCA) chooses to use them.  What gets my goat is how can political and social mores become more of a priority for organizational maintenance rather than direct Chritian mission?  Unless this becomes more publicly emphasized (ie. Christian mission) ELCA ought to call itself something other than church.  Because it acts in public as if it is simply one more political action committee or social service agency.  ELCA has become ineffective on the mission front, imo.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: readselerttoo on December 12, 2018, 02:20:19 PM
It is a problematic issue when you discuss ELCA pastors teaching youth confirmation classes.
Do they tell youth that God approves of homosexual practice and sodomy or do they boldly
declare that homosexual practice and sodomy is a sin against God?

Do they tell youth that transgender surgery is an option for them or do they boldly declare
that God created them to be the gender they were born with?

Do they tell youth that bisexual activity is an option for them or do they boldly declare that
God wants us to remain faithful to our marital spouse?

Do they tell youth that "marriage" between two lesbians is a good thing or do they boldly declare
that God instituted marriage between one man and one woman?

Bottom Line: You cannot water down the 6th Commandment in youth confirmation classes and
still teach the truth of God's Word.

Correct. You cannot have God and mammon as well.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: peterm on December 12, 2018, 02:24:03 PM
It is a problematic issue when you discuss ELCA pastors teaching youth confirmation classes.
Do they tell youth that God approves of homosexual practice and sodomy or do they boldly
declare that homosexual practice and sodomy is a sin against God?

Do they tell youth that transgender surgery is an option for them or do they boldly declare
that God created them to be the gender they were born with?

Do they tell youth that bisexual activity is an option for them or do they boldly declare that
God wants us to remain faithful to our marital spouse?

Do they tell youth that "marriage" between two lesbians is a good thing or do they boldly declare
that God instituted marriage between one man and one woman?

Bottom Line: You cannot water down the 6th Commandment in youth confirmation classes and
still teach the truth of God's Word.

We haven't discussed transgender surgery, but on all the others they have been taught marriage is the only appropriate place for sexual activity and that  marriage is between one man and one woman.  They have been told that what the Bible teaches is different from what our culture teaches and that they cannot take for granted that everyone agrees with us.  The greater stumbling block from the student perspective would probably be the prohibition of pre-marital sex and divorce. 

The majority of my colleagues might well be horrified if they knew I taught in that way, but ELCA policy gurantees me the right to do so.

Same here
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: readselerttoo on December 12, 2018, 02:26:42 PM
It is a problematic issue when you discuss ELCA pastors teaching youth confirmation classes.
Do they tell youth that God approves of homosexual practice and sodomy or do they boldly
declare that homosexual practice and sodomy is a sin against God?

Do they tell youth that transgender surgery is an option for them or do they boldly declare
that God created them to be the gender they were born with?

Do they tell youth that bisexual activity is an option for them or do they boldly declare that
God wants us to remain faithful to our marital spouse?

Do they tell youth that "marriage" between two lesbians is a good thing or do they boldly declare
that God instituted marriage between one man and one woman?

Bottom Line: You cannot water down the 6th Commandment in youth confirmation classes and
still teach the truth of God's Word.

We haven't discussed transgender surgery, but on all the others they have been taught marriage is the only appropriate place for sexual activity and that  marriage is between one man and one woman.  They have been told that what the Bible teaches is different from what our culture teaches and that they cannot take for granted that everyone agrees with us.  The greater stumbling block from the student perspective would probably be the prohibition of pre-marital sex and divorce. 

The majority of my colleagues might well be horrified if they knew I taught in that way, but ELCA policy gurantees me the right to do so.

Same here

You are of the courageous ones.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 12, 2018, 03:35:16 PM

I'll have to let the editors of my dictionary know that they need to be corrected to Tibbetts. I looked up "queerness" before I posted. This is what it has:

1 the state or condition of being strange: the queerness of it gave me a kind of fright.

2 informal, often offensive homosexuality.
• the quality or characteristic of having a sexual or gender identity that does not correspond to established ideas of sexuality and gender, especially heterosexual norms: in the conversation about identity, queerness, and the trans experience there's a lot that many of us have to learn.

There's nothing about behaviors in the dictionary definition.

Go ahead and read your dictionaries, Brian. 

Don't interact with people, secular or religious, who actually use, study, and/or propagate "queer" except as we used it on the playground when we were kids in the '60s.  Don't listen to anyone who identifies with "the LGBTQ community" as they use the word "Queer" in distinction form lesbian or gay.  ReconcilingWorks (http://www.reconcilingworks.org/) has not been the Lutherans Concerned you, Jim Lokken (of blessed memory), Charles Austin, and I talked about 20 years ago on LutherLink for a long time. 

When you read/hear LSTC theologians speak (or preach) of "Queer Theology" they are not talking simply about the theology of people whose (to use your usual sterile, clinical language) sexual fantasies are with persons of the same sex.  The "Q" in "LGBTQ" is not just a non-binary alternate for "gay" or "lesbian," or a less clinical word for "homosexual," or part of an in-family use of otherwise-derogatory slurs for feminine guys or butch gals. 

But it helps your (singular) cause to actually not ask Nadia Bolz-Weber (or any of her allies) what she means when she glorifies "Queerness" at the ELCA Youth Gathering, because it allows you (singular) to continue your (singular) little word games pretending that it is all of little true consequence. 

Fraternally, Steven+
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2018, 05:33:59 PM
Charles is right. The LCMS has always found ways to disagree with the ELCA and its predecessors. 2009 changed nothing; it simply added one more complaint to a list of hundreds.

2009 did give an added advantage for the right wing of Missouri. Opposition to open endorsement of homosexuality is easier to sell politically than say, closed communion. Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that important Missouri group.   :)

Peace, JOHN

I think there is a huge difference between 1. The LCMS disagrees with ELCA doctrine, and 2. The LCMS says God's Word, Holy Scripture, disagrees with ELCA doctrine.


No, there is essentially no difference. The second is still the LCMS’s interpretation of Holy Scriptures
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: gan ainm on December 12, 2018, 05:42:49 PM
Charles is right. The LCMS has always found ways to disagree with the ELCA and its predecessors. 2009 changed nothing; it simply added one more complaint to a list of hundreds.

2009 did give an added advantage for the right wing of Missouri. Opposition to open endorsement of homosexuality is easier to sell politically than say, closed communion. Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that important Missouri group.   :)

Peace, JOHN

I think there is a huge difference between 1. The LCMS disagrees with ELCA doctrine, and 2. The LCMS says God's Word, Holy Scripture, disagrees with ELCA doctrine.


No, there is essentially no difference. The second is still the LCMS’s interpretation of Holy Scriptures

Another perspective is the first is more inwardly focused (as Luther would say, bent inward) and could be perceived as judgemental, the second is more externally focused on God who says judgement is mine.   8)

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2018, 05:47:25 PM
Pastor Peters writes:
 the ELCA admits that it has chosen to leave behind Scripture, the Confessions, and to depart from the catholic tradition in matters of the ordination of women and the GLBTQ issues, to name but two.
I ask:
Can you show me, Pastor Peters, where we have said - "admitted" - that we leave behind Scripture? Please cite our documents, our ecumenical agreements or statement of faith to prove your assertion. Having been closely involved with both those issues, I remember quite a large amount of discussion concerning Scripture, the confessions and the "catholic tradition." 
I'm not Pastor Peters, but I was at the 2009 CWA.  The social statement as passed by the CWA acknowledged the acceptance of homosexual  relationships “differs from the historic Christian tradition and the Lutheran Confessions,” Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust  p. 29 lines 740-741


This is part of a paragraph related to same-sex marriage. It is true that Christian tradition did not allow them.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2018, 06:10:48 PM
It is a problematic issue when you discuss ELCA pastors teaching youth confirmation classes.
Do they tell youth that God approves of homosexual practice and sodomy or do they boldly
declare that homosexual practice and sodomy is a sin against God?


Yup, just like wearing cloth made of two kinds of fabric.

Quote
Do they tell youth that bisexual activity is an option for them or do they boldly declare that
God wants us to remain faithful to our marital spouse?


We declare that folks are to remain faithful to their spouses. We've done that for centuries. I notice that our teachings hasn't slowed the number of divorces one bit.

Quote
Do they tell youth that "marriage" between two lesbians is a good thing or do they boldly declare
that God instituted marriage between one man and one woman?


Any youth who has read the Old Testament knows that marriages was not between one man and one woman.

Quote
Bottom Line: You cannot water down the 6th Commandment in youth confirmation classes and
still teach the truth of God's Word.


Not watered down one iota. Marriages (whether heterosexual or homosexual) are governed by the commandment. All are to "lead pure and decent lives in word and deed." All are to "love and honor our spouses."
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2018, 06:13:56 PM
Charles is right. The LCMS has always found ways to disagree with the ELCA and its predecessors. 2009 changed nothing; it simply added one more complaint to a list of hundreds.

2009 did give an added advantage for the right wing of Missouri. Opposition to open endorsement of homosexuality is easier to sell politically than say, closed communion. Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that important Missouri group.   :)

Peace, JOHN

I think there is a huge difference between 1. The LCMS disagrees with ELCA doctrine, and 2. The LCMS says God's Word, Holy Scripture, disagrees with ELCA doctrine.


No, there is essentially no difference. The second is still the LCMS’s interpretation of Holy Scriptures

Another perspective is the first is more inwardly focused (as Luther would say, bent inward) and could be perceived as judgemental, the second is more externally focused on God who says judgement is mine.   8)


Nope, your "externally focused" gets filtered through one's own inwards. Both the ELCA and LCMS look to scriptures and our confessions to guide our decisions; yet, because we have different ways of interpreting them, we, over the centuries, have come to different conclusions about what they say and mean.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: gan ainm on December 12, 2018, 08:36:14 PM
Charles is right. The LCMS has always found ways to disagree with the ELCA and its predecessors. 2009 changed nothing; it simply added one more complaint to a list of hundreds.

2009 did give an added advantage for the right wing of Missouri. Opposition to open endorsement of homosexuality is easier to sell politically than say, closed communion. Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that important Missouri group.   :)

Peace, JOHN

I think there is a huge difference between 1. The LCMS disagrees with ELCA doctrine, and 2. The LCMS says God's Word, Holy Scripture, disagrees with ELCA doctrine.


No, there is essentially no difference. The second is still the LCMS’s interpretation of Holy Scriptures

Another perspective is the first is more inwardly focused (as Luther would say, bent inward) and could be perceived as judgemental, the second is more externally focused on God who says judgement is mine.   8)


Nope, your "externally focused" gets filtered through one's own inwards. Both the ELCA and LCMS look to scriptures and our confessions to guide our decisions; yet, because we have different ways of interpreting them, we, over the centuries, have come to different conclusions about what they say and mean.

Gosh, the LCMS and ELCA have been around far longer than I thought.   ;)  Or, did WE suddenly jump from the context of this discussion to  a different WE by YOUR interpretation?   :o  And, for the difference in interpretation of Scripture between THEE and ME, I'm not willing to bet my eternity on your method of Scripture interpretation that rewrites Christian doctrine of the past two thousand years, are you?

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 12, 2018, 10:27:18 PM
Charles is right. The LCMS has always found ways to disagree with the ELCA and its predecessors. 2009 changed nothing; it simply added one more complaint to a list of hundreds.

2009 did give an added advantage for the right wing of Missouri. Opposition to open endorsement of homosexuality is easier to sell politically than say, closed communion. Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that important Missouri group.   :)

Peace, JOHN

I think there is a huge difference between 1. The LCMS disagrees with ELCA doctrine, and 2. The LCMS says God's Word, Holy Scripture, disagrees with ELCA doctrine.


No, there is essentially no difference. The second is still the LCMS’s interpretation of Holy Scriptures

Another perspective is the first is more inwardly focused (as Luther would say, bent inward) and could be perceived as judgemental, the second is more externally focused on God who says judgement is mine.   8)


Nope, your "externally focused" gets filtered through one's own inwards. Both the ELCA and LCMS look to scriptures and our confessions to guide our decisions; yet, because we have different ways of interpreting them, we, over the centuries, have come to different conclusions about what they say and mean.

Gosh, the LCMS and ELCA have been around far longer than I thought.   ;)  Or, did WE suddenly jump from the context of this discussion to  a different WE by YOUR interpretation?   :o  And, for the difference in interpretation of Scripture between THEE and ME, I'm not willing to bet my eternity on your method of Scripture interpretation that rewrites Christian doctrine of the past two thousand years, are you?


Who has rewritten Christian doctrine. I've stressed over and over and over again the core Christian doctrine since Paul established it: We are sinners saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ.


I believe that it's those folks who insist that a particular opinion about abortion or homosexual relationships are required for salvation who are messing with the traditional doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. I don't believe that one's eternity is determined by a particular position on those two issues. Do you?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 12, 2018, 10:50:06 PM
The Anonymous One writes:
And, for the difference in interpretation of Scripture between THEE and ME, I'm not willing to bet my eternity on your method of Scripture interpretation that rewrites Christian doctrine of the past two thousand years, are you?

I comment:
See above.
On second thought. Never mind.
I think I am closer to knowing the identity of the Anonymous One. And it is so disturbing that I believe I am probably wrong.
The cowardly poster has stated that Judgment belongs to God.
So since the AO so relishes pronouncing judgment, therefore.....
But no. The Christian God is a God of mercy and love and there is not a whiff of that in any of AO's postings.
The AO is not God.
But thinks he is. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 13, 2018, 12:42:47 AM
So, is ya'll the ELCA spelling of y'all?   ;) How is that pronounced? Ya' ill ?

Ya + all = ya'll.  It's pronounced with a double, not a single a:  yaall ;)

Actually, it's the contraction between "you" and "all," and therefore "y'all."  Used so much around my parts that I've picked it up as well!   ;D ;)

Yes, as I stated. We received a thank you from Eric Johnson, President of the LCMS Southern District for our disaster relief door offering/donation. He hand wrote: "Wow! Y'all are great!" That's LA.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: gan ainm on December 13, 2018, 08:05:32 AM
Charles is right. The LCMS has always found ways to disagree with the ELCA and its predecessors. 2009 changed nothing; it simply added one more complaint to a list of hundreds.

2009 did give an added advantage for the right wing of Missouri. Opposition to open endorsement of homosexuality is easier to sell politically than say, closed communion. Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that important Missouri group.   :)

Peace, JOHN

I think there is a huge difference between 1. The LCMS disagrees with ELCA doctrine, and 2. The LCMS says God's Word, Holy Scripture, disagrees with ELCA doctrine.


No, there is essentially no difference. The second is still the LCMS’s interpretation of Holy Scriptures

Another perspective is the first is more inwardly focused (as Luther would say, bent inward) and could be perceived as judgemental, the second is more externally focused on God who says judgement is mine.   8)


Nope, your "externally focused" gets filtered through one's own inwards. Both the ELCA and LCMS look to scriptures and our confessions to guide our decisions; yet, because we have different ways of interpreting them, we, over the centuries, have come to different conclusions about what they say and mean.

Gosh, the LCMS and ELCA have been around far longer than I thought.   ;)  Or, did WE suddenly jump from the context of this discussion to  a different WE by YOUR interpretation?   :o  And, for the difference in interpretation of Scripture between THEE and ME, I'm not willing to bet my eternity on your method of Scripture interpretation that rewrites Christian doctrine of the past two thousand years, are you?


Who has rewritten Christian doctrine. I've stressed over and over and over again the core Christian doctrine since Paul established it: We are sinners saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ.


I believe that it's those folks who insist that a particular opinion about abortion or homosexual relationships are required for salvation who are messing with the traditional doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. I don't believe that one's eternity is determined by a particular position on those two issues. Do you?

An eternity separated from God will happen only to we sinners if there is no repentance and a turning back to God's Word.  Repent and remember your baptism at least daily is a good practice to follow. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 13, 2018, 08:48:25 AM
Charles is right. The LCMS has always found ways to disagree with the ELCA and its predecessors. 2009 changed nothing; it simply added one more complaint to a list of hundreds.

2009 did give an added advantage for the right wing of Missouri. Opposition to open endorsement of homosexuality is easier to sell politically than say, closed communion. Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that important Missouri group.   :)

Peace, JOHN

I think there is a huge difference between 1. The LCMS disagrees with ELCA doctrine, and 2. The LCMS says God's Word, Holy Scripture, disagrees with ELCA doctrine.

No, there is essentially no difference. The second is still the LCMS’s interpretation of Holy Scriptures

Another perspective is the first is more inwardly focused (as Luther would say, bent inward) and could be perceived as judgemental, the second is more externally focused on God who says judgement is mine.   8)


Nope, your "externally focused" gets filtered through one's own inwards. Both the ELCA and LCMS look to scriptures and our confessions to guide our decisions; yet, because we have different ways of interpreting them, we, over the centuries, have come to different conclusions about what they say and mean.

Gosh, the LCMS and ELCA have been around far longer than I thought.   ;)  Or, did WE suddenly jump from the context of this discussion to  a different WE by YOUR interpretation?   :o  And, for the difference in interpretation of Scripture between THEE and ME, I'm not willing to bet my eternity on your method of Scripture interpretation that rewrites Christian doctrine of the past two thousand years, are you?

Who has rewritten Christian doctrine. I've stressed over and over and over again the core Christian doctrine since Paul established it: We are sinners saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

I believe that it's those folks who insist that a particular opinion about abortion or homosexual relationships are required for salvation who are messing with the traditional doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. I don't believe that one's eternity is determined by a particular position on those two issues. Do you?

Yes, I do. You're right back into your antinomian view, Brian, failing to properly distinguish Law and Gospel. Perhaps Tim Pauls can help you out.

http://scholia.net/files/sermons_adventchristmas/14%20Series%203%20Absolution%20Del.%20fr.%20Judgment%20John%2012%20v.%2046-50%20(TJP).pdf

Your view is the rationalizing of sin about which he speaks, thereby hanging on to a particular sin, rejecting God's grace, and that's the one that'll get you.

"Thesis XIX.

In the fifteenth place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when the preacher speaks of certain sins as if there were not of a damnable, but of a venial nature." [ Walther's Law and Gospel]
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 13, 2018, 10:25:17 AM
So, is ya'll the ELCA spelling of y'all?   ;) How is that pronounced? Ya' ill ?

Ya + all = ya'll.  It's pronounced with a double, not a single a:  yaall ;)

Actually, it's the contraction between "you" and "all," and therefore "y'all."  Used so much around my parts that I've picked it up as well!   ;D ;)

Yes, as I stated. We received a thank you from Eric Johnson, President of the LCMS Southern District for our disaster relief door offering/donation. He hand wrote: "Wow! Y'all are great!" That's LA.

Ya mean you sent help to the Panhandle of Florida, Lower Alabama?  What a coincidence.  That would be right where I live.  Niceville, Florida.  I've been to Panama City three times sense Hurricane Michael.    Y'all are taking this way too seriously.  I know I misspelled the word, I just think its funny to have two guys from the north instruct me on what y'all means.  I've been using that contraction my whole life. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2018, 10:45:30 AM
Charles is right. The LCMS has always found ways to disagree with the ELCA and its predecessors. 2009 changed nothing; it simply added one more complaint to a list of hundreds.

2009 did give an added advantage for the right wing of Missouri. Opposition to open endorsement of homosexuality is easier to sell politically than say, closed communion. Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that important Missouri group.   :)

Peace, JOHN

I think there is a huge difference between 1. The LCMS disagrees with ELCA doctrine, and 2. The LCMS says God's Word, Holy Scripture, disagrees with ELCA doctrine.

No, there is essentially no difference. The second is still the LCMS’s interpretation of Holy Scriptures

Another perspective is the first is more inwardly focused (as Luther would say, bent inward) and could be perceived as judgemental, the second is more externally focused on God who says judgement is mine.   8)


Nope, your "externally focused" gets filtered through one's own inwards. Both the ELCA and LCMS look to scriptures and our confessions to guide our decisions; yet, because we have different ways of interpreting them, we, over the centuries, have come to different conclusions about what they say and mean.

Gosh, the LCMS and ELCA have been around far longer than I thought.   ;)  Or, did WE suddenly jump from the context of this discussion to  a different WE by YOUR interpretation?   :o  And, for the difference in interpretation of Scripture between THEE and ME, I'm not willing to bet my eternity on your method of Scripture interpretation that rewrites Christian doctrine of the past two thousand years, are you?

Who has rewritten Christian doctrine. I've stressed over and over and over again the core Christian doctrine since Paul established it: We are sinners saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

I believe that it's those folks who insist that a particular opinion about abortion or homosexual relationships are required for salvation who are messing with the traditional doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. I don't believe that one's eternity is determined by a particular position on those two issues. Do you?

Yes, I do. You're right back into your antinomian view, Brian, failing to properly distinguish Law and Gospel. Perhaps Tim Pauls can help you out.

http://scholia.net/files/sermons_adventchristmas/14%20Series%203%20Absolution%20Del.%20fr.%20Judgment%20John%2012%20v.%2046-50%20(TJP).pdf (http://scholia.net/files/sermons_adventchristmas/14%20Series%203%20Absolution%20Del.%20fr.%20Judgment%20John%2012%20v.%2046-50%20(TJP).pdf)

Your view is the rationalizing of sin about which he speaks, thereby hanging on to a particular sin, rejecting God's grace, and that's the one that'll get you.

"Thesis XIX.

In the fifteenth place, the Word of God is not rightly divided when the preacher speaks of certain sins as if there were not of a damnable, but of a venial nature." [ Walther's Law and Gospel]


Nope. I'm not talking about someone who has had an abortion or who is homosexual. I'm talking about the self-righteous people who judge those who have had abortions or who engage in same-sex marriages (and those who support such decisions) as being unchristian. Such judgers have made these two issues into a doctrine of salvation in their own minds.


Do you consider it a sin to condemn homosexual who engage in sexual behaviors? Do you repent of that sin?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 13, 2018, 11:55:30 AM
Nope. I'm not talking about someone who has had an abortion or who is homosexual. I'm talking about the self-righteous people who judge those who have had abortions or who engage in same-sex marriages (and those who support such decisions) as being unchristian. Such judgers have made these two issues into a doctrine of salvation in their own minds.

Nope, they have not. Being an enabler of sin is sinful.

Do you consider it a sin to condemn homosexual who engage in sexual behaviors?

I'm not going to play your word games, Brian. If you mean is it a sin to warn homosexuals that engaging in unrepentant same-sex sexual behavior  puts their salvation in jeopardy, no it is not.

Do you repent of that sin?

NA
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 13, 2018, 02:47:31 PM
Charles is right. The LCMS has always found ways to disagree with the ELCA and its predecessors. 2009 changed nothing; it simply added one more complaint to a list of hundreds.

2009 did give an added advantage for the right wing of Missouri. Opposition to open endorsement of homosexuality is easier to sell politically than say, closed communion. Missouri's right wing often has problems convincing lay people of the need for its isolationist practices. 2009 was a real gift from the ELCA to that important Missouri group.   :)

Peace, JOHN

I think there is a huge difference between 1. The LCMS disagrees with ELCA doctrine, and 2. The LCMS says God's Word, Holy Scripture, disagrees with ELCA doctrine.


No, there is essentially no difference. The second is still the LCMS’s interpretation of Holy Scriptures

Another perspective is the first is more inwardly focused (as Luther would say, bent inward) and could be perceived as judgemental, the second is more externally focused on God who says judgement is mine.   8)


Nope, your "externally focused" gets filtered through one's own inwards. Both the ELCA and LCMS look to scriptures and our confessions to guide our decisions; yet, because we have different ways of interpreting them, we, over the centuries, have come to different conclusions about what they say and mean.

Gosh, the LCMS and ELCA have been around far longer than I thought.   ;)  Or, did WE suddenly jump from the context of this discussion to  a different WE by YOUR interpretation?   :o  And, for the difference in interpretation of Scripture between THEE and ME, I'm not willing to bet my eternity on your method of Scripture interpretation that rewrites Christian doctrine of the past two thousand years, are you?


Who has rewritten Christian doctrine. I've stressed over and over and over again the core Christian doctrine since Paul established it: We are sinners saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ.


I believe that it's those folks who insist that a particular opinion about abortion or homosexual relationships are required for salvation who are messing with the traditional doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. I don't believe that one's eternity is determined by a particular position on those two issues. Do you?

Who has re-written Christian doctrine?  You.  You can't just say that this part of Christian doctrine is unchangeable and that part may be changed.  It is a unified whole.  It is ALL God's Word to us.  What you consider unchangeable, another may just as well consider optional or changeable.  Why is YOUR version better than his?  Or God's?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2018, 04:02:20 PM
Nope. I'm not talking about someone who has had an abortion or who is homosexual. I'm talking about the self-righteous people who judge those who have had abortions or who engage in same-sex marriages (and those who support such decisions) as being unchristian. Such judgers have made these two issues into a doctrine of salvation in their own minds.

Nope, they have not. Being an enabler of sin is sinful.

Do you consider it a sin to condemn homosexual who engage in sexual behaviors?

I'm not going to play your word games, Brian. If you mean is it a sin to warn homosexuals that engaging in unrepentant same-sex sexual behavior  puts their salvation in jeopardy, no it is not.


OK, I get it. Salvation comes from refraining from improper sexual behaviors. All of us who have lusted in our hearts are in danger.


When say that it puts their salvation in jeopardy, I see that as condemning them. It is looking at the speck in their eyes whle ignoring the log in your own - and I'm probably doing the same thing by typing the sentence.

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2018, 04:05:09 PM
Who has re-written Christian doctrine?  You.  You can't just say that this part of Christian doctrine is unchangeable and that part may be changed.  It is a unified whole.  It is ALL God's Word to us.  What you consider unchangeable, another may just as well consider optional or changeable.  Why is YOUR version better than his?  Or God's?


I'm stating that Christian doctrine has not been changed one iota. It's your additions to Christian doctrine that I'm objecting two - that one is saved by one's opinion about abortions and/or homosexual relationships. I don't believe those are doctrinal issues of our Christian faith. They are not mentioned in any creeds.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 13, 2018, 04:05:43 PM
Nope. I'm not talking about someone who has had an abortion or who is homosexual. I'm talking about the self-righteous people who judge those who have had abortions or who engage in same-sex marriages (and those who support such decisions) as being unchristian. Such judgers have made these two issues into a doctrine of salvation in their own minds.

Nope, they have not. Being an enabler of sin is sinful.

Do you consider it a sin to condemn homosexual who engage in sexual behaviors?

I'm not going to play your word games, Brian. If you mean is it a sin to warn homosexuals that engaging in unrepentant same-sex sexual behavior  puts their salvation in jeopardy, no it is not.


OK, I get it. Salvation comes from refraining from improper sexual behaviors. All of us who have lusted in our hearts are in danger.


When say that it puts their salvation in jeopardy, I see that as condemning them. It is looking at the speck in their eyes whle ignoring the log in your own - and I'm probably doing the same thing by typing the sentence.

No, you don't get it, Brian. Perhaps it would help to go back and read Tim Pauls' sermon on Absolution and Judgment to which I linked above, for you never seem to have understood the proper distinction between Law and Gospel. You confirm that in your response to Steve Bohler, immediately above.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: MaddogLutheran on December 13, 2018, 04:06:06 PM
Nope. I'm not talking about someone who has had an abortion or who is homosexual. I'm talking about the self-righteous people who judge those who have had abortions or who engage in same-sex marriages (and those who support such decisions) as being unchristian. Such judgers have made these two issues into a doctrine of salvation in their own minds.

Nope, they have not. Being an enabler of sin is sinful.

Do you consider it a sin to condemn homosexual who engage in sexual behaviors?

I'm not going to play your word games, Brian. If you mean is it a sin to warn homosexuals that engaging in unrepentant same-sex sexual behavior  puts their salvation in jeopardy, no it is not.


OK, I get it. Salvation comes from refraining from improper sexual behaviors. All of us who have lusted in our hearts are in danger.


When say that it puts their salvation in jeopardy, I see that as condemning them. It is looking at the speck in their eyes whle ignoring the log in your own - and I'm probably doing the same thing by typing the sentence.
Again, you really need to stop misrepresenting what other people are saying.  You've done this repeatedly on this topic over the years by insisting that what I have bolded.  This is fundamentally dishonest and you should be ashamed, but instead you revel in it.   >:(


Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: MaddogLutheran on December 13, 2018, 04:08:27 PM
Who has re-written Christian doctrine?  You.  You can't just say that this part of Christian doctrine is unchangeable and that part may be changed.  It is a unified whole.  It is ALL God's Word to us.  What you consider unchangeable, another may just as well consider optional or changeable.  Why is YOUR version better than his?  Or God's?


I'm stating that Christian doctrine has not been changed one iota. It's your additions to Christian doctrine that I'm objecting two - that one is saved by one's opinion about abortions and/or homosexual relationships. I don't believe those are doctrinal issues of our Christian faith. They are not mentioned in any creeds.
And here it is again, the claim of an absolute/objective truth, even as you regularly deny that they exist when others attempt to raise them.  Especially about doctrine...it's like clockwork with you to try and win an argument.  Such hypocrisy.   :P
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2018, 04:12:52 PM
Nope. I'm not talking about someone who has had an abortion or who is homosexual. I'm talking about the self-righteous people who judge those who have had abortions or who engage in same-sex marriages (and those who support such decisions) as being unchristian. Such judgers have made these two issues into a doctrine of salvation in their own minds.

Nope, they have not. Being an enabler of sin is sinful.

Do you consider it a sin to condemn homosexual who engage in sexual behaviors?

I'm not going to play your word games, Brian. If you mean is it a sin to warn homosexuals that engaging in unrepentant same-sex sexual behavior  puts their salvation in jeopardy, no it is not.


OK, I get it. Salvation comes from refraining from improper sexual behaviors. All of us who have lusted in our hearts are in danger.


When say that it puts their salvation in jeopardy, I see that as condemning them. It is looking at the speck in their eyes whle ignoring the log in your own - and I'm probably doing the same thing by typing the sentence.
Again, you really need to stop misrepresenting what other people are saying.  You've done this repeatedly on this topic over the years by insisting that what I have bolded.  This is fundamentally dishonest and you should be ashamed, but instead you revel in it.   >:(


Maybe that's not what you're saying, but it is certainly what I am hearing. In addition, your attacks against me and others who support choice, confirm my statement. For those who are pro-choice, they are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. For those who are anti-abortion, they are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. The same is true for folks on both sides of the homosexual issue.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2018, 04:14:14 PM
Who has re-written Christian doctrine?  You.  You can't just say that this part of Christian doctrine is unchangeable and that part may be changed.  It is a unified whole.  It is ALL God's Word to us.  What you consider unchangeable, another may just as well consider optional or changeable.  Why is YOUR version better than his?  Or God's?


I'm stating that Christian doctrine has not been changed one iota. It's your additions to Christian doctrine that I'm objecting two - that one is saved by one's opinion about abortions and/or homosexual relationships. I don't believe those are doctrinal issues of our Christian faith. They are not mentioned in any creeds.
And here it is again, the claim of an absolute/objective truth, even as you regularly deny that they exist when others attempt to raise them.  Especially about doctrine...it's like clockwork with you to try and win an argument.  Such hypocrisy.   :P


Yup, I'm a forgiven hypocrite. And you?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 13, 2018, 04:41:40 PM

I'm not going to play your word games, Brian. If you mean is it a sin to warn homosexuals that engaging in unrepentant same-sex sexual behavior  puts their salvation in jeopardy, no it is not.

OK, I get it. Salvation comes from refraining from improper sexual behaviors. All of us who have lusted in our hearts are in danger.


No, you don't "get it."  No one here, except you, has written anything like, "Salvation comes from refraining from improper [insert just about any noun, verb,or participle here]."  And Jesus himself teaches that anyone who lusts in his heart is in danger losing salvation.


Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: MaddogLutheran on December 13, 2018, 04:47:15 PM
Nope. I'm not talking about someone who has had an abortion or who is homosexual. I'm talking about the self-righteous people who judge those who have had abortions or who engage in same-sex marriages (and those who support such decisions) as being unchristian. Such judgers have made these two issues into a doctrine of salvation in their own minds.

Nope, they have not. Being an enabler of sin is sinful.

Do you consider it a sin to condemn homosexual who engage in sexual behaviors?

I'm not going to play your word games, Brian. If you mean is it a sin to warn homosexuals that engaging in unrepentant same-sex sexual behavior  puts their salvation in jeopardy, no it is not.


OK, I get it. Salvation comes from refraining from improper sexual behaviors. All of us who have lusted in our hearts are in danger.


When say that it puts their salvation in jeopardy, I see that as condemning them. It is looking at the speck in their eyes whle ignoring the log in your own - and I'm probably doing the same thing by typing the sentence.
Again, you really need to stop misrepresenting what other people are saying.  You've done this repeatedly on this topic over the years by insisting that what I have bolded.  This is fundamentally dishonest and you should be ashamed, but instead you revel in it.   >:(


Maybe that's not what you're saying, but it is certainly what I am hearing. In addition, your attacks against me and others who support choice, confirm my statement. For those who are pro-choice, they are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. For those who are anti-abortion, they are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. The same is true for folks on both sides of the homosexual issue.

First of all, I am not attacking your choice here.  Another misrepresentation by you.  I go out of my way to point out that there isn't any sin that can't be forgiven by God.  I've pointed out to you that at my synod's most recent assembly, it was suggested that this church exercise the office of the keys and NOT forgive the sins of those who perpetuate racism--there was not any nuance about whether the sinner was penitent, which is something else you have had trouble with here in discussion over the years, but I digress.  This attitude is the very thing you attack when put forth by Missouri Synod people, even as it is happening in our own body.

But to reiterate my point, NO ONE is suggesting that salvation is dependent on having the correct doctrine, such as being pro-life.  You yourself insist that there is correct doctrine, that same-sex relationships are God pleasing and those who disagree are wrong, is exactly why you are a hypocrite.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: MaddogLutheran on December 13, 2018, 04:55:12 PM
Who has re-written Christian doctrine?  You.  You can't just say that this part of Christian doctrine is unchangeable and that part may be changed.  It is a unified whole.  It is ALL God's Word to us.  What you consider unchangeable, another may just as well consider optional or changeable.  Why is YOUR version better than his?  Or God's?


I'm stating that Christian doctrine has not been changed one iota. It's your additions to Christian doctrine that I'm objecting two - that one is saved by one's opinion about abortions and/or homosexual relationships. I don't believe those are doctrinal issues of our Christian faith. They are not mentioned in any creeds.
And here it is again, the claim of an absolute/objective truth, even as you regularly deny that they exist when others attempt to raise them.  Especially about doctrine...it's like clockwork with you to try and win an argument.  Such hypocrisy.   :P


Yup, I'm a forgiven hypocrite. And you?
I know I am forgiven.  Any time you want to point out to me that I'm being hypocritical, be my guest.  Just make sure you are honestly and accurately representing my position--something you historically have had problems doing accurately.  I am acutely aware of many of my sins, but Jesus command to the woman caught in adultery speaks to all of us:  go and sin no more.  As in being penitent and changing our ways when our sins are called out to us.  In your case, that means acknowledging that you believe there are absolute objective truths about certain doctrines, as your words on this thread demonstrate.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 13, 2018, 05:12:15 PM
Who has re-written Christian doctrine?  You.  You can't just say that this part of Christian doctrine is unchangeable and that part may be changed.  It is a unified whole.  It is ALL God's Word to us.  What you consider unchangeable, another may just as well consider optional or changeable.  Why is YOUR version better than his?  Or God's?


I'm stating that Christian doctrine has not been changed one iota. It's your additions to Christian doctrine that I'm objecting two - that one is saved by one's opinion about abortions and/or homosexual relationships. I don't believe those are doctrinal issues of our Christian faith. They are not mentioned in any creeds.

What does the word "doctrine" mean, O famous studier of words?  Teaching, right?  And the Bible -- therefore God -- teaches that things like homosexual relations and abortion are sinful.  It also teaches that those who refuse to repent are in jeopardy. 

You want to reduce doctrine to just the Gospel, but that is NOT how God does it.  He speaks, teaches, indoctrinates using Law AND Gospel.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 13, 2018, 06:20:59 PM
And does God "speak," Pastor Bohler, only through the words of the Bible, only through how you view the words of the Bible, only through the words of the Bible from a particular manuscript, a particular version?
Does God ever speak through the Christian community?
Through human intelligence?
Through science?
Through the faith of committed, faithful Christians?
Through the collective experience and "mind" of the Church or some manifestation of the Body of Christ?
Never mind. I know your answer.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2018, 06:29:05 PM

I'm not going to play your word games, Brian. If you mean is it a sin to warn homosexuals that engaging in unrepentant same-sex sexual behavior  puts their salvation in jeopardy, no it is not.

OK, I get it. Salvation comes from refraining from improper sexual behaviors. All of us who have lusted in our hearts are in danger.


No, you don't "get it."  No one here, except you, has written anything like, "Salvation comes from refraining from improper [insert just about any noun, verb,or participle here]."  And Jesus himself teaches that anyone who lusts in his heart is in danger losing salvation.


No! Jesus teaches that lust is the sin of adultery. Adultery is not the unforgivable sin. It doesn't cause believers to lose their salvation.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: mj4 on December 13, 2018, 06:46:14 PM
Both the ELCA and LCMS look to scriptures and our confessions to guide our decisions; yet, because we have different ways of interpreting them, we, over the centuries [sic, years], have come to different conclusions about what they say and mean.

So in 1993 the ELCA Conference of Bishops offered their pastoral guidance by expressing their opposition to blessing homosexual relationships, finding nothing in scripture or the confessions to warrant such a blessing. So now we are all in for same sex marriages and if we follow Pr. Bolz-Weber we are approaching the idea of just ditching the whole idea of marriage altogether. In her words, "Burn it down and start all over". I wonder what interpretive tools or exegetical resources we employed to make such a shift in "interpretation".

Oh yeah. We had a decades long campaign largely funded by the Ahmanson Foundation and the bullying and marginalization of those adhering to the pastoral guidance of 1993. That's how we do "interpretation" now.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2018, 06:50:21 PM
Who has re-written Christian doctrine?  You.  You can't just say that this part of Christian doctrine is unchangeable and that part may be changed.  It is a unified whole.  It is ALL God's Word to us.  What you consider unchangeable, another may just as well consider optional or changeable.  Why is YOUR version better than his?  Or God's?


I'm stating that Christian doctrine has not been changed one iota. It's your additions to Christian doctrine that I'm objecting two - that one is saved by one's opinion about abortions and/or homosexual relationships. I don't believe those are doctrinal issues of our Christian faith. They are not mentioned in any creeds.
And here it is again, the claim of an absolute/objective truth, even as you regularly deny that they exist when others attempt to raise them.  Especially about doctrine...it's like clockwork with you to try and win an argument.  Such hypocrisy.   :P


Yup, I'm a forgiven hypocrite. And you?
I know I am forgiven.  Any time you want to point out to me that I'm being hypocritical, be my guest.  Just make sure you are honestly and accurately representing my position--something you historically have had problems doing accurately.  I am acutely aware of many of my sins, but Jesus command to the woman caught in adultery speaks to all of us:  go and sin no more.  As in being penitent and changing our ways when our sins are called out to us.  In your case, that means acknowledging that you believe there are absolute objective truths about certain doctrines, as your words on this thread demonstrate.


I present the truth as what I believe - and what I believe the Bible and my church teaches. Because it comes from my belief, it is subjective. I could also argue from scriptures, e.g., James, 1 John, and even Luke 3:7-18 for this Sunday that works matter.


"Go and sin no more?" What do you think that means? If we could do that, we wouldn't need Jesus.


Jesus says much the same thing to the man by the pool (John 5:14), where he makes it sound like his sickness and suffering was caused by his sin. Sinning would bring him worse suffering (contrary to what Jesus says about the man born blind in ch. 9).


We also have statements in 1 John that indicate believers do not sin (3:6, 9; 5:18) and that we do sin (1:10; 2:1; 5:16).
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2018, 06:54:38 PM
Both the ELCA and LCMS look to scriptures and our confessions to guide our decisions; yet, because we have different ways of interpreting them, we, over the centuries [sic, years], have come to different conclusions about what they say and mean.

So in 1993 the ELCA Conference of Bishops offered their pastoral guidance by expressing their opposition to blessing homosexual relationships, finding nothing in scripture or the confessions to warrant such a blessing. So now we are all in for same sex marriages and if we follow Pr. Bolz-Weber we are approaching the idea of just ditching the whole idea of marriage altogether. In her words, "Burn it down and start all over". I wonder what interpretive tools or exegetical resources we employed to make such a shift in "interpretation".

Oh yeah. We had a decades long campaign largely funded by the Ahmanson Foundation and the bullying and marginalization of those adhering to the pastoral guidance of 1993. That's how we do "interpretation" now.


My interpretation of the 1993 decision is different than yours. They were opposed to the ELCA creating an official blessing of homosexual relationships. They left it up to local pastors in offering care to homosexual partners to create their own blessing of the relationship.


I know that some of those bishops were not opposed to blessing homosexual relationships.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2018, 07:00:22 PM
Who has re-written Christian doctrine?  You.  You can't just say that this part of Christian doctrine is unchangeable and that part may be changed.  It is a unified whole.  It is ALL God's Word to us.  What you consider unchangeable, another may just as well consider optional or changeable.  Why is YOUR version better than his?  Or God's?


I'm stating that Christian doctrine has not been changed one iota. It's your additions to Christian doctrine that I'm objecting two - that one is saved by one's opinion about abortions and/or homosexual relationships. I don't believe those are doctrinal issues of our Christian faith. They are not mentioned in any creeds.

What does the word "doctrine" mean, O famous studier of words?  Teaching, right?  And the Bible -- therefore God -- teaches that things like homosexual relations and abortion are sinful.  It also teaches that those who refuse to repent are in jeopardy.
 


No, I do not see anywhere in scriptures that says same-sex marriages or abortions are sinful.


We are called to repent. I just led a study of Zephaniah who proclaimed during the time of Josiah (so we also studied him). His repentance and commitment fo obey the Torah that was found in the temple spared the nation from the destruction God was planning.

Quote
You want to reduce doctrine to just the Gospel, but that is NOT how God does it.  He speaks, teaches, indoctrinates using Law AND Gospel.


I'm not reducing doctrine to just the Gospel. I'm stating that doctrine is not the Gospel. Doctrine does not save us. When we talk about our salvation, it is totally up to God's grace. It's God's thinking, which is far beyond our ability to comprehend, that brings salvation. Our doctrines are our attempts to try and understand God's ways with us; but our understanding of them is not the same as God's ways.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: mj4 on December 13, 2018, 07:02:34 PM
Both the ELCA and LCMS look to scriptures and our confessions to guide our decisions; yet, because we have different ways of interpreting them, we, over the centuries [sic, years], have come to different conclusions about what they say and mean.

So in 1993 the ELCA Conference of Bishops offered their pastoral guidance by expressing their opposition to blessing homosexual relationships, finding nothing in scripture or the confessions to warrant such a blessing. So now we are all in for same sex marriages and if we follow Pr. Bolz-Weber we are approaching the idea of just ditching the whole idea of marriage altogether. In her words, "Burn it down and start all over". I wonder what interpretive tools or exegetical resources we employed to make such a shift in "interpretation".

Oh yeah. We had a decades long campaign largely funded by the Ahmanson Foundation and the bullying and marginalization of those adhering to the pastoral guidance of 1993. That's how we do "interpretation" now.


My interpretation of the 1993 decision is different than yours. They were opposed to the ELCA creating an official blessing of homosexual relationships. They left it up to local pastors in offering care to homosexual partners to create their own blessing of the relationship.


I know that some of those bishops were not opposed to blessing homosexual relationships.

Clearly, you were not alone in how you understood the 1993 statement, but the Bishop's statement encouraged offering pastoral care, not a blessing. There is a difference.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 13, 2018, 07:11:38 PM
Both the ELCA and LCMS look to scriptures and our confessions to guide our decisions; yet, because we have different ways of interpreting them, we, over the centuries [sic, years], have come to different conclusions about what they say and mean.

So in 1993 the ELCA Conference of Bishops offered their pastoral guidance by expressing their opposition to blessing homosexual relationships, finding nothing in scripture or the confessions to warrant such a blessing. So now we are all in for same sex marriages and if we follow Pr. Bolz-Weber we are approaching the idea of just ditching the whole idea of marriage altogether. In her words, "Burn it down and start all over". I wonder what interpretive tools or exegetical resources we employed to make such a shift in "interpretation".

Oh yeah. We had a decades long campaign largely funded by the Ahmanson Foundation and the bullying and marginalization of those adhering to the pastoral guidance of 1993. That's how we do "interpretation" now.


My interpretation of the 1993 decision is different than yours. They were opposed to the ELCA creating an official blessing of homosexual relationships. They left it up to local pastors in offering care to homosexual partners to create their own blessing of the relationship.


I know that some of those bishops were not opposed to blessing homosexual relationships.

Clearly, you were not alone in how you understood the 1993 statement, but the Bishop's statement encouraged offering pastoral care, not a blessing. There is a difference.


In discussions I had with other clergy, many concluded that pastoral care could include a blessing ritual. The language of the statement was left ambiguous so that it could be approved by the conference. In a similar way, there were bishops who used the "may" rubric of discipline to allow them to privately admonish non-compliant clergy (namely, homosexuals in a relationship) without removing them from their Calls or the clergy roster.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: mj4 on December 13, 2018, 07:27:03 PM
The language of the statement was left ambiguous...

Ambiguous or duplicitous?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Mark Brown on December 13, 2018, 08:53:30 PM
It gets much easier when you realize that Pr. Stoffregen is part of a gnostic cult, probably of one.  You can only be admitted to the higher knowledge and the true readings when you submit to his esoterica. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 13, 2018, 10:32:06 PM
Who has re-written Christian doctrine?  You.  You can't just say that this part of Christian doctrine is unchangeable and that part may be changed.  It is a unified whole.  It is ALL God's Word to us.  What you consider unchangeable, another may just as well consider optional or changeable.  Why is YOUR version better than his?  Or God's?


I'm stating that Christian doctrine has not been changed one iota. It's your additions to Christian doctrine that I'm objecting two - that one is saved by one's opinion about abortions and/or homosexual relationships. I don't believe those are doctrinal issues of our Christian faith. They are not mentioned in any creeds.

What does the word "doctrine" mean, O famous studier of words?  Teaching, right?  And the Bible -- therefore God -- teaches that things like homosexual relations and abortion are sinful.  It also teaches that those who refuse to repent are in jeopardy.
 


No, I do not see anywhere in scriptures that says same-sex marriages or abortions are sinful.


We are called to repent. I just led a study of Zephaniah who proclaimed during the time of Josiah (so we also studied him). His repentance and commitment fo obey the Torah that was found in the temple spared the nation from the destruction God was planning.

Quote
You want to reduce doctrine to just the Gospel, but that is NOT how God does it.  He speaks, teaches, indoctrinates using Law AND Gospel.


I'm not reducing doctrine to just the Gospel. I'm stating that doctrine is not the Gospel. Doctrine does not save us. When we talk about our salvation, it is totally up to God's grace. It's God's thinking, which is far beyond our ability to comprehend, that brings salvation. Our doctrines are our attempts to try and understand God's ways with us; but our understanding of them is not the same as God's ways.

1. I did not say "same-sex marriage".  I said homosexual relations.  And if you do not know of any prohibitions in Scripture (Old AND New Testaments) against such, then you are one sorry excuse for a so-called Biblical scholar.

2) As to abortion: "Thou shalt not kill".  There are others, but that one suffices.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 13, 2018, 11:30:41 PM

I'm not going to play your word games, Brian. If you mean is it a sin to warn homosexuals that engaging in unrepentant same-sex sexual behavior  puts their salvation in jeopardy, no it is not.

OK, I get it. Salvation comes from refraining from improper sexual behaviors. All of us who have lusted in our hearts are in danger.


No, you don't "get it."  No one here, except you, has written anything like, "Salvation comes from refraining from improper [insert just about any noun, verb,or participle here]."  And Jesus himself teaches that anyone who lusts in his heart is in danger losing salvation.

No! Jesus teaches that lust is the sin of adultery. Adultery is not the unforgivable sin. It doesn't cause believers to lose their salvation.

[Especially in light of your post in this subject 31 minutes later (https://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=7121.msg454838#msg454838):] Huh? 

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 14, 2018, 12:06:34 AM
Both the ELCA and LCMS look to scriptures and our confessions to guide our decisions; yet, because we have different ways of interpreting them, we, over the centuries [sic, years], have come to different conclusions about what they say and mean.

So in 1993 the ELCA Conference of Bishops offered their pastoral guidance by expressing their opposition to blessing homosexual relationships, finding nothing in scripture or the confessions to warrant such a blessing. So now we are all in for same sex marriages and if we follow Pr. Bolz-Weber we are approaching the idea of just ditching the whole idea of marriage altogether. In her words, "Burn it down and start all over". I wonder what interpretive tools or exegetical resources we employed to make such a shift in "interpretation".


My interpretation of the 1993 decision is different than yours. They were opposed to the ELCA creating an official blessing of homosexual relationships. They left it up to local pastors in offering care to homosexual partners to create their own blessing of the relationship.


Earlier in this century in a LutherLink meeting Brian offered this "interpretation" of the Bishops' statement.  Among the participants who responded that Brian's "interpretation" was utter nonsense was Bishop Ken Sauer, who in 1993 was the Chair of the Conference of Bishops.  One can read similarly in the article "1993 bishops statement: 'No ambiguity,' no blessings, says then-chairperson Sauer" in the May-June 2005 issue (http://archives.wordalone.com/newsletters/2005/MayJune05.pdf) of the WordAlone Network News

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 14, 2018, 12:08:49 AM
The language of the statement was left ambiguous...

Ambiguous or duplicitous?

Are you asking this of the Conference of Bishops or Pastor Stoffregen?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 14, 2018, 02:02:08 AM

I'm not going to play your word games, Brian. If you mean is it a sin to warn homosexuals that engaging in unrepentant same-sex sexual behavior  puts their salvation in jeopardy, no it is not.

OK, I get it. Salvation comes from refraining from improper sexual behaviors. All of us who have lusted in our hearts are in danger.


No, you don't "get it."  No one here, except you, has written anything like, "Salvation comes from refraining from improper [insert just about any noun, verb,or participle here]."  And Jesus himself teaches that anyone who lusts in his heart is in danger losing salvation.

No! Jesus teaches that lust is the sin of adultery. Adultery is not the unforgivable sin. It doesn't cause believers to lose their salvation.

[Especially in light of your post in this subject 31 minutes later (https://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=7121.msg454838#msg454838):] Huh?


What's the problem? The ancient Israelites repeatedly sinned against God. They were punished for their idolatry; but they never ceased being God's Chosen People. God's promises to Abraham and his offspring would be fulfilled in spite of the people's sinfulness.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 14, 2018, 02:06:33 AM
Both the ELCA and LCMS look to scriptures and our confessions to guide our decisions; yet, because we have different ways of interpreting them, we, over the centuries [sic, years], have come to different conclusions about what they say and mean.

So in 1993 the ELCA Conference of Bishops offered their pastoral guidance by expressing their opposition to blessing homosexual relationships, finding nothing in scripture or the confessions to warrant such a blessing. So now we are all in for same sex marriages and if we follow Pr. Bolz-Weber we are approaching the idea of just ditching the whole idea of marriage altogether. In her words, "Burn it down and start all over". I wonder what interpretive tools or exegetical resources we employed to make such a shift in "interpretation".


My interpretation of the 1993 decision is different than yours. They were opposed to the ELCA creating an official blessing of homosexual relationships. They left it up to local pastors in offering care to homosexual partners to create their own blessing of the relationship.


Earlier in this century in a LutherLink meeting Brian offered this "interpretation" of the Bishops' statement.  Among the participants who responded that Brian's "interpretation" was utter nonsense was Bishop Ken Sauer, who in 1993 was the Chair of the Conference of Bishops.  One can read similarly in the article "1993 bishops statement: 'No ambiguity,' no blessings, says then-chairperson Sauer" in the May-June 2005 issue (http://archives.wordalone.com/newsletters/2005/MayJune05.pdf) of the WordAlone Network News.


He's entitled to his opinion. I have mine, based on conversations with other bishops (who wouldn't be writing articles for WordAlone). In addition, I don't know of any pastors being disciplined for blessing a same-sex relationships. Such blessings happened. If the interpretation is as Bishop Sauer said, why weren't such pastors removed from the clergy roster? Maybe you know some who were. I don't.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 14, 2018, 02:28:52 AM
1. I did not say "same-sex marriage".  I said homosexual relations.  And if you do not know of any prohibitions in Scripture (Old AND New Testaments) against such, then you are one sorry excuse for a so-called Biblical scholar.


Rape is a sexual relationship, too; and it is quite different than a marriage relationship. One we have laws against. The other we promote. Leviticus forbids a man from marrying his brother's wife; while Deuteronomy commands him to marry her if the brother has died without children. There are conditions under which the prohibitions in Leviticus can be broken.

Quote
2) As to abortion: "Thou shalt not kill".  There are others, but that one suffices.


If that's how you read the command (rather than thou shalt not murder,) how do you explain all the killing that takes place in the Bible? God kills all the humans except eight. David kills Goliath and thousands and thousands of others. Joshua kills all the people in Jericho and Ai. The list of people killed, often at God's command or God's help goes on and on.


The one command that talks about causing a death in the womb, it is not treated as murder.


If you are going to follow OT Laws, since homosexual relationships involves capital punishment, the rule in Deuteronomy 17:6-7 applies: at least two people have to witness the offense - at least two people would have to witness the man lying with one as with a woman. Then those witness have to participate in the execution.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: mj4 on December 14, 2018, 02:42:30 AM
The language of the statement was left ambiguous...

Ambiguous or duplicitous?

Are you asking this of the Conference of Bishops or Pastor Stoffregen?

More so Pr Stoffregen. Though I remember at the time of the statement thinking that the pastoral care part of the statement could be used in ways not intended by the Conference. If Pr Stoffregen is right about this actually having been the intent of some bishops, then certainly that was duplicitous.

This reminds me of the experience I had many years ago in the Episcopal Church. Some priests would use the House Blessing service in the Occasional Services book to essentially bless the relationships of a gay or lesbian couple. I attended several of these. Of course everybody there knew exactly what was going on.

In the same way Pr Stoffregen and others took the pastoral care provision and used it in ways contrary to the meaning of the statement.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: mj4 on December 14, 2018, 03:05:28 AM
If the interpretation is as Bishop Sauer said, why weren't such pastors removed from the clergy roster? Maybe you know some who were. I don't.

To anybody who actually lived through this era in the ELCA this is a silly question. The absence of discipline and accountability that marked this era is truly astounding. We are a million members away from that time though. Water under the bridge.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 14, 2018, 08:52:45 AM
We have to remember that this was in the 1990s, of which "that depends on what the definition of 'is' is" was the apotheosis.  The real question is whether that the notion of multiple but equally valid interpretations was an honest attempt at a solution, or just a will to power. 

I admit to enjoying the irony when a bishop acts shocked that pastors and congregations think they can interpret the constitutions and policies of the ELCA any way they choose. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 14, 2018, 11:35:53 AM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 14, 2018, 12:37:26 PM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 14, 2018, 12:44:58 PM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

It does not state that it was a chapel service, daily or otherwise. That said, this particular incident is not less than it appears to be.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 14, 2018, 02:06:41 PM
In the same way Pr Stoffregen and others took the pastoral care provision and used it in ways contrary to the meaning an interpretation of the statement.


Those who blessed homosexual unions did it under the revised statement above. The Conference of Bishops could have stated clearly, "The blessing of same-sex unions is prohibited." They did not say that. Their statement allowed for them under a reasonable interpretation of the words that they used.


I have not had the opportunity to bless (or marry) a same-sex couple. I do have friends who are married homosexuals. I support their committed relationships.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 14, 2018, 02:11:30 PM
If the interpretation is as Bishop Sauer said, why weren't such pastors removed from the clergy roster? Maybe you know some who were. I don't.

To anybody who actually lived through this era in the ELCA this is a silly question. The absence of discipline and accountability that marked this era is truly astounding. We are a million members away from that time though. Water under the bridge.


Huh? At one point 5 out of 25 clergy in the Denver area were removed for misconduct. Some of these were long-time friends of the Bishop who had served in the area before his election as bishop. A few years ago, I received notice of a retired pastor who was removed because of an affair he had in his earlier years. Another pastor in our synod was immediately removed from his call when it was discovered he was addicted to pornography. Maybe nothing happened in your neck of the ELCA, but I've seen many clergy removed for misconduct.


An almost specialized ministry has been created for "after pastors". These are the interims who go into a congregation after a pastor has been removed for misconduct.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 14, 2018, 06:43:42 PM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

It does not state that it was a chapel service, daily or otherwise. That said, this particular incident is not less than it appears to be.

Let's say that I jumped to conclusions when I read the headline.   I thought it was part of a chapel service until I read more closely.  I agree that the use of the Chapel for such a routine is improper and offensive. 

On the other hand, I think the fact that it was part of a lip sync competition provides the seminary with cover.  They'll say that men dressing up as women and lip syncing for the sake of comedy is as old as Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby in White Christmas. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 14, 2018, 08:28:28 PM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

It does not state that it was a chapel service, daily or otherwise. That said, this particular incident is not less than it appears to be.

Let's say that I jumped to conclusions when I read the headline.   I thought it was part of a chapel service until I read more closely.  I agree that the use of the Chapel for such a routine is improper and offensive. 

On the other hand, I think the fact that it was part of a lip sync competition provides the seminary with cover.  They'll say that men dressing up as women and lip syncing for the sake of comedy is as old as Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby in White Christmas.

And that brings it back to the chapel, a place dedicated to the Lord. Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby were in a night club.

Cover? If you think that desecration of the Luther Chapel is cover...
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 15, 2018, 12:08:52 AM
Since a chapel is not “sacred” anyway, it cannot be desecrated.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 15, 2018, 12:18:35 AM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

It does not state that it was a chapel service, daily or otherwise. That said, this particular incident is not less than it appears to be.

Let's say that I jumped to conclusions when I read the headline.   I thought it was part of a chapel service until I read more closely.  I agree that the use of the Chapel for such a routine is improper and offensive. 

On the other hand, I think the fact that it was part of a lip sync competition provides the seminary with cover.  They'll say that men dressing up as women and lip syncing for the sake of comedy is as old as Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby in White Christmas.

And that brings it back to the chapel, a place dedicated to the Lord. Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby were in a night club.

Cover? If you think that desecration of the Luther Chapel is cover...

I made it clear that I agree with you about the desecration of the chapel.  And I don't say that I think anything is cover for the activity.  I say what I think will be used as cover by people other than me.  You can probably guess who those people will be.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 15, 2018, 12:50:09 AM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel (https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel)

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

It does not state that it was a chapel service, daily or otherwise. That said, this particular incident is not less than it appears to be.

Let's say that I jumped to conclusions when I read the headline.   I thought it was part of a chapel service until I read more closely.  I agree that the use of the Chapel for such a routine is improper and offensive. 

On the other hand, I think the fact that it was part of a lip sync competition provides the seminary with cover.  They'll say that men dressing up as women and lip syncing for the sake of comedy is as old as Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby in White Christmas.

And that brings it back to the chapel, a place dedicated to the Lord. Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby were in a night club.

Cover? If you think that desecration of the Luther Chapel is cover...


I don't know about Luther Seminary, but at two congregations I served, we only had one large space. It was used for worship. It was used for potluck meals, it was used for programs.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 15, 2018, 09:22:46 AM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel (https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel)

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

It does not state that it was a chapel service, daily or otherwise. That said, this particular incident is not less than it appears to be.

Let's say that I jumped to conclusions when I read the headline.   I thought it was part of a chapel service until I read more closely.  I agree that the use of the Chapel for such a routine is improper and offensive. 

On the other hand, I think the fact that it was part of a lip sync competition provides the seminary with cover.  They'll say that men dressing up as women and lip syncing for the sake of comedy is as old as Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby in White Christmas.

And that brings it back to the chapel, a place dedicated to the Lord. Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby were in a night club.

Cover? If you think that desecration of the Luther Chapel is cover...

I don't know about Luther Seminary...

Exactly.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 15, 2018, 09:28:26 AM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

It does not state that it was a chapel service, daily or otherwise. That said, this particular incident is not less than it appears to be.

Let's say that I jumped to conclusions when I read the headline.   I thought it was part of a chapel service until I read more closely.  I agree that the use of the Chapel for such a routine is improper and offensive. 

On the other hand, I think the fact that it was part of a lip sync competition provides the seminary with cover.  They'll say that men dressing up as women and lip syncing for the sake of comedy is as old as Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby in White Christmas.

And that brings it back to the chapel, a place dedicated to the Lord. Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby were in a night club.

Cover? If you think that desecration of the Luther Chapel is cover...

I made it clear that I agree with you about the desecration of the chapel.  And I don't say that I think anything is cover for the activity.  I say what I think will be used as cover by people other than me.  You can probably guess who those people will be.

Indeed.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 15, 2018, 10:22:40 AM
Since a chapel is not “sacred” anyway, it cannot be desecrated.

What an observation about the Chapel of the Incarnation on the Luther Seminary campus, especially by a Lutheran minister. Our spiritual ancestors who gave of their toil and treasure to build and dedicate such sacred space for worship as well as those who presently do so would be truly saddened by such an anti-Christian comment.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 15, 2018, 04:27:17 PM
Since a chapel is not “sacred” anyway, it cannot be desecrated.

What an observation about the Chapel of the Incarnation on the Luther Seminary campus, especially by a Lutheran minister. Our spiritual ancestors who gave of their toil and treasure to build and dedicate such sacred space for worship as well as those who presently do so would be truly saddened by such an anti-Christian comment.

According to their website, this chapel space is part of "Olson Campus Center". It says of this building.

This main building on campus contains the Chapel of the Incarnation, Center for Lifelong Learning, Cafeteria and main Dining Room. The Campus Center is also the location for the campus Information Desk and main switchboard.

Lower Level - Lecture hall and seminar meeting rooms.

Ground Floor - Chapel of the Incarnation, Center for Lifelong Learning, cafeteria and main dining room, Information Desk.
Upper Level - Charles and Sharon Olson Commons and Cafe, faculty lounge, Olson Dining Room, Offices for the Seminary Pastor   

Is this whole building "sacred" or only the one room?


What I'm still looking for and haven't found is whether or not they have another place where a large program could take place. At Wartburg we had an annual "crude arts festival," but we had a venue other than the chapel for this talent (or untalent) show).
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 15, 2018, 04:41:37 PM
Since a chapel is not “sacred” anyway, it cannot be desecrated.

What an observation about the Chapel of the Incarnation on the Luther Seminary campus, especially by a Lutheran minister. Our spiritual ancestors who gave of their toil and treasure to build and dedicate such sacred space for worship as well as those who presently do so would be truly saddened by such an anti-Christian comment.

According to their website, this chapel space is part of "Olson Campus Center". It says of this building.

This main building on campus contains the Chapel of the Incarnation, Center for Lifelong Learning, Cafeteria and main Dining Room. The Campus Center is also the location for the campus Information Desk and main switchboard.

Lower Level - Lecture hall and seminar meeting rooms.

Ground Floor - Chapel of the Incarnation, Center for Lifelong Learning, cafeteria and main dining room, Information Desk.
Upper Level - Charles and Sharon Olson Commons and Cafe, faculty lounge, Olson Dining Room, Offices for the Seminary Pastor   

Is this whole building "sacred" or only the one room?

What I'm still looking for and haven't found is whether or not they have another place where a large program could take place.

The Chapel of the Incarnation is sacred space.

Try, e.g., the NW Auditorium, the dining rooms, etc. There's no need to desecrate sacred space.

What you are still looking for and haven't found is a cover for what took place.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 15, 2018, 05:52:11 PM
 I’m not looking for a cover for what took place. Only God is sacred.  Not buildings.  We may have emotional ties to them, even spiritual ties, but they are not Holy.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 15, 2018, 06:08:04 PM
I’m not looking for a cover for what took place. Only God is sacred.  Not buildings.  We may have emotional ties to them, even spiritual ties, but they are not Holy.

1. That's why Jesus didn't care about what happened in the Temple, when He saw the money-changers and animal sellers.
2. That's why Moses was told to keep his sandals on his feet, for he stood on not-holy ground.
3. That's why none of our agenda have an order for the dedication of a new church building, or for the disposition of one that is closing.

Wait.  None of that is true.  Huh.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 15, 2018, 06:18:39 PM
I’m not looking for a cover for what took place. Only God is sacred.  Not buildings.  We may have emotional ties to them, even spiritual ties, but they are not Holy.

1. That's why Jesus didn't care about what happened in the Temple, when He saw the money-changers and animal sellers.
2. That's why Moses was told to keep his sandals on his feet, for he stood on not-holy ground.
3. That's why none of our agenda have an order for the dedication of a new church building, or for the disposition of one that is closing.

Wait.  None of that is true.  Huh.

Reminds me of Dr Masaki telling of the early Christian martyrs in Japan who refused to stomp on and desecrate a crucifix  and chose to die rather than do so. A crucifix is not God. The fools!

Oh wait, a crucifix can even be a means of grace. Those martyrs suffered a blessed end.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Eileen Smith on December 15, 2018, 06:28:12 PM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

I'm not convinced it matters where on campus this was held.  It should not have taken place at all.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Eileen Smith on December 15, 2018, 06:34:52 PM
I’m not looking for a cover for what took place. Only God is sacred.  Not buildings.  We may have emotional ties to them, even spiritual ties, but they are not Holy.

I would say its sacred space in the sense that we dedicate our buildings, paraments, candles - all that we use in worship to God's glory.  It's not simply a building, it is a building dedicated to preaching God's word and sharing in his sacrament.   If one doesn't see this as sacred space at least they might respect the space for what happens there. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: D. Engebretson on December 15, 2018, 06:54:15 PM
I have always understood "sacred space" or "holy space" as that set aside for holy things (Word and Sacrament).  God is "holy" in that He is sinless and perfect.  Holy is understood in different ways.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: readselerttoo on December 15, 2018, 07:10:25 PM
I’m not looking for a cover for what took place. Only God is sacred.  Not buildings.  We may have emotional ties to them, even spiritual ties, but they are not Holy.

So God didn't create that space is what you are inferring.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 15, 2018, 08:51:14 PM
Ok. You win. I was wrong. It’s sacred space. I agree.
 :o  ;D   ;D ;D
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 15, 2018, 09:40:33 PM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

I'm not convinced it matters where on campus this was held.  It should not have taken place at all.

You're opposed to having a lip sync battle anywhere on campus?  When I was in seminary between 1988 and 1992. Each class held a "class party" in the cafeteria/community center.  That makes one in the fall, winter and spring.  The parties included a series of skits and other comedic elements, including parodies of popular music. A lip sync battle would have fit right in.  No one ever dressed in drag, but when I was in college, I remember three male professors dressing in hula skirts for comedic effect.  (We would not have been allowed to hold a class party in the Gloria Dei Chapel.  Nor would it have been acceptable to wear costumes in the chapel.  One Halloween, some students wore their costumes in chapel and were reprimanded.)

Should the event have been held in the chapel?  No.  Should it have included a drag act?  Probably not, especially if it had a sexual content.  Was it wrong to hold a lip sync contest on campus?  I don't think so. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Mike Bennett on December 15, 2018, 10:25:39 PM
Pastor Bolz-Weber (who, BTW, I believe, has a name that deserves respect and should not be minimized to a set of letters).

FDR, JFK, LBJ, and RFK are others who have been similarly disrespected.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 15, 2018, 10:46:30 PM
When a relatively small-time Lutheran pastor reaches the "status" of a U.S. President or Attorney General, we can think about that particular initial-defined honorific.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 15, 2018, 11:45:18 PM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel (https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel)

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

I'm not convinced it matters where on campus this was held.  It should not have taken place at all.

You're opposed to having a lip sync battle anywhere on campus?  When I was in seminary between 1988 and 1992. Each class held a "class party" in the cafeteria/community center.  That makes one in the fall, winter and spring.  The parties included a series of skits and other comedic elements, including parodies of popular music. A lip sync battle would have fit right in.  No one ever dressed in drag, but when I was in college, I remember three male professors dressing in hula skirts for comedic effect.  (We would not have been allowed to hold a class party in the Gloria Dei Chapel.  Nor would it have been acceptable to wear costumes in the chapel.  One Halloween, some students wore their costumes in chapel and were reprimanded.)

Should the event have been held in the chapel?  No.  Should it have included a drag act?  Probably not, especially if it had a sexual content.  Was it wrong to hold a lip sync contest on campus?  I don't think so.


I agree about the chapel.
My question: Why was it held in the chapel?
Possible answer (that was shot down): That was the only space large enough.
What are other possible answers?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Eileen Smith on December 16, 2018, 07:38:11 AM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

I'm not convinced it matters where on campus this was held.  It should not have taken place at all.

You're opposed to having a lip sync battle anywhere on campus?  When I was in seminary between 1988 and 1992. Each class held a "class party" in the cafeteria/community center.  That makes one in the fall, winter and spring.  The parties included a series of skits and other comedic elements, including parodies of popular music. A lip sync battle would have fit right in.  No one ever dressed in drag, but when I was in college, I remember three male professors dressing in hula skirts for comedic effect.  (We would not have been allowed to hold a class party in the Gloria Dei Chapel.  Nor would it have been acceptable to wear costumes in the chapel.  One Halloween, some students wore their costumes in chapel and were reprimanded.)

Should the event have been held in the chapel?  No.  Should it have included a drag act?  Probably not, especially if it had a sexual content.  Was it wrong to hold a lip sync contest on campus?  I don't think so.

Of course not.  We had an older gentleman in our congregation who would put on a yearly show and for those who performed and those who simply watched it was a lot of fun.

I think the content of the song was inappropriate and I will admit that reading the one or two Facebook posts from the future pastor were also inappropriate.  I will admit that I let the posts guide my thoughts as to his performance.  An infraction of the Eighth?  Perhaps.  Yet don't we take the entirety of what we know about a situation to judge the situation. 

In a call committee went through a candidates social media postings and found this, would you consider him for leading a congregation?   I hope call committees are savvy enough to do this and I'm sure many are.  It's done in business every day and decisions often are weighted to what appears on-line. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 16, 2018, 08:01:00 AM
A couple of questions from this young man's Facebook posts:

1) In one post, he mentions that he was finishing up his internship year and, on his last Sunday there, was going to write his own communion liturgy and preside at the Supper.  Is this common/normal in ELCA churches?

2) In another post, he writes of officiating at a wedding (with photos) but I was under the impression he was not yet ordained.  Is that correct?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 16, 2018, 10:39:24 AM
Pastor Bohler writes:
1) In one post, he mentions that he was finishing up his internship year and, on his last Sunday there, was going to write his own communion liturgy and preside at the Supper.  Is this common/normal in ELCA churches?
I comment:
No, it is not; and this seminarian is out of line. However, I have heard of un-ordained seminarians being authorized by the bishop to preside. I am among those who find this unfortunate and probably in violation of our normal policies. But it happens.

Pastor Bohler writes:
2) In another post, he writes of officiating at a wedding (with photos) but I was under the impression he was not yet ordained.  Is that correct?
I comment:
In many places, one does not have to be ordained to legally preside at a wedding.
In cases like these, my elderly mind flashes back to the early- and mid-1960s when there was a flurry of liturgical "experimentation," involving hand-crafted liturgies, prayers and rites so tied to the themes of the day that they may have lost their connection to the classic rites and concerns of the Church. These things flared up, caused a stir and generally faded away. Some of the "new" music lasted, but not very much of it. We had talk in my seminary days - 1963-1967 - about who should preside and under what circumstances. Perhaps we were more "obedient," because I do not think any of us transgressed the rules or policies.
So, Pastor Bohler, do not (no matter how much you might like to do so) characterize the ELCA by the actions of a particular seminarian. We know very little about this seminarian, what status might be held with a candidacy committee or what synodical or seminary guidance might be given.

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 16, 2018, 11:42:48 AM
Pastor Bohler writes:
1) In one post, he mentions that he was finishing up his internship year and, on his last Sunday there, was going to write his own communion liturgy and preside at the Supper.  Is this common/normal in ELCA churches?
I comment:
No, it is not; and this seminarian is out of line. However, I have heard of un-ordained seminarians being authorized by the bishop to preside. I am among those who find this unfortunate and probably in violation of our normal policies. But it happens.

Pastor Bohler writes:
2) In another post, he writes of officiating at a wedding (with photos) but I was under the impression he was not yet ordained.  Is that correct?
I comment:
In many places, one does not have to be ordained to legally preside at a wedding.
In cases like these, my elderly mind flashes back to the early- and mid-1960s when there was a flurry of liturgical "experimentation," involving hand-crafted liturgies, prayers and rites so tied to the themes of the day that they may have lost their connection to the classic rites and concerns of the Church. These things flared up, caused a stir and generally faded away. Some of the "new" music lasted, but not very much of it. We had talk in my seminary days - 1963-1967 - about who should preside and under what circumstances. Perhaps we were more "obedient," because I do not think any of us transgressed the rules or policies.
So, Pastor Bohler, do not (no matter how much you might like to do so) characterize the ELCA by the actions of a particular seminarian. We know very little about this seminarian, what status might be held with a candidacy committee or what synodical or seminary guidance might be given.

Thank you, Rev. Austin.  That helps me to understand the, shall we say, unusual aspect of this.  Things unusual happen in the LCMS too!
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Pr. Terry Culler on December 16, 2018, 12:45:58 PM
In Maryland a person is considered a pastor if he or she is deemed by those being married to be a pastor.  It is actually a much better system than in states where the state gets to determine who is or is not clergy for marriage purposes.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 16, 2018, 01:02:56 PM
In Maryland a person is considered a pastor if he or she is deemed by those being married to be a pastor.  It is actually a much better system than in states where the state gets to determine who is or is not clergy for marriage purposes.

So, what if one of the couple later changes their mind and deems him NOT to be a pastor?  Is the marriage invalid? :)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 16, 2018, 01:17:06 PM
In Maryland a person is considered a pastor if he or she is deemed by those being married to be a pastor. 

Is that the view of a particular religious order or body?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 16, 2018, 04:33:34 PM
The legality of the marriage has to do with the filing of the papers with the city or county clerk, it has nothing to do with who presides at the ceremony.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 16, 2018, 07:54:25 PM
The legality of the marriage has to do with the filing of the papers with the city or county clerk, it has nothing to do with who presides at the ceremony.

Well, you think about that for a bit. I hope you will realize that who presides and the filing of the Certificate of Marriage are not mutually exclusive but, rather, importantly connected.

Think about it rather than react.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: DCharlton on December 16, 2018, 08:44:19 PM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

I'm not convinced it matters where on campus this was held.  It should not have taken place at all.

You're opposed to having a lip sync battle anywhere on campus?  When I was in seminary between 1988 and 1992. Each class held a "class party" in the cafeteria/community center.  That makes one in the fall, winter and spring.  The parties included a series of skits and other comedic elements, including parodies of popular music. A lip sync battle would have fit right in.  No one ever dressed in drag, but when I was in college, I remember three male professors dressing in hula skirts for comedic effect.  (We would not have been allowed to hold a class party in the Gloria Dei Chapel.  Nor would it have been acceptable to wear costumes in the chapel.  One Halloween, some students wore their costumes in chapel and were reprimanded.)

Should the event have been held in the chapel?  No.  Should it have included a drag act?  Probably not, especially if it had a sexual content.  Was it wrong to hold a lip sync contest on campus?  I don't think so.

Of course not.  We had an older gentleman in our congregation who would put on a yearly show and for those who performed and those who simply watched it was a lot of fun.

I think the content of the song was inappropriate and I will admit that reading the one or two Facebook posts from the future pastor were also inappropriate.  I will admit that I let the posts guide my thoughts as to his performance.  An infraction of the Eighth?  Perhaps.  Yet don't we take the entirety of what we know about a situation to judge the situation. 

In a call committee went through a candidates social media postings and found this, would you consider him for leading a congregation?   I hope call committees are savvy enough to do this and I'm sure many are.  It's done in business every day and decisions often are weighted to what appears on-line.

Okay.  I see that we had different questions in mind.  I was referring to the event itself, while you were referring to the a particular performance. 

I agree with you on the inappropriateness of the performance,  I also think the seminary can be faulted for holding the event in the chapel.  What I don't know is whether the seminary was aware in advance of the nature of the performance and/or whether it approved of the performance. 

My initial concern was that the way it was presented on Dan Skogen's website may have given the wrong impression.  It is not clear that the seminary approved of the content of the performance or was promoting a drag show.  A student did an inappropriate performance. The seminary made the mistake of holding a social event in the chapel.  But was the seminary promoting the inappropriate performance?  That is still not clear.  I would be glad to find out that the seminary was caught off guard.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 16, 2018, 09:27:29 PM
I am not always wrong, Pastor Kirchner.
In New York City, All you have to do to “qualify” to preside at a marriage is to register at the city clerks office. That’s all.
In many states all a couple has to do To “marry” is to file papers in the clerks office. The state has no involvement in determining who is “religiously” qualified to preside at a wedding.
There are freelance wedding officiants all over the country who Will happily preside at whatever kind of service you want to have.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 16, 2018, 09:39:27 PM
I am not always wrong, Pastor Fienen.
In New York City, All you have to do to “qualify” to preside at a marriage is to register at the city clerks office. That’s all.
In many states all a couple has to do To “marry” is to file papers in the clerks office. The state has no involvement in determining who is “religiously” qualified to preside at a wedding.
There are freelance wedding officiants all over the country who Will happily preside at whatever kind of service you want to have.

Charles,

You can't even get the name right. Pastor Fienen hasn't posted anything on alpb since Friday afternoon and nothing on this thread since Wed morning.   ::)

Then you go on to prove that it does make a difference as to who presides for the legality of a marriage, e.g., that in NYC one must first be registered with the city clerk, and only certain persons are eligible to register.

"New York State Law requires any person who performs a Marriage Ceremony within the City of New York to register with the City Clerk. Registration is done in our Manhattan office located at 141 Worth Street, New York, NY 10013.

If you are planning to wed anywhere within the five boroughs of New York City, you should ask the person who is performing your Marriage Ceremony if they have registered.

The registration requirement does not apply to Marriage Ceremonies performed anywhere else in the State of New York...

Who is Eligible to Register

Section 11 of the Domestic Relations Law of the State of New York shows the list of people who are eligible to perform Marriage Ceremonies within the State of New York.
Read this section of the law
Generally, the following people may register:
Clergy members or ministers of any religion;
Leaders of the Society of Ethical Culture;
The Mayor or any former Mayor of the City of New York;
Federal, state, or local judges or justices, elected or appointed in the State of New York, who are currently serving or retired;
The Clerk of the Appellate Division of the First or Second Department; and
The County Clerk of any of the five counties in the City of New York. "

https://www.cityclerk.nyc.gov/html/marriage/officiant_reg.shtml


in your present home state:

 "Minn. Stat. § 517.04 - PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM CIVIL MARRIAGES

Civil marriages may be solemnized throughout the state by an individual who has attained the age of 21 years and is a judge of a court of record, a retired judge of a court of record, a court administrator, a retired court administrator with the approval of the chief judge of the judicial district, a former court commissioner who is employed by the court system or is acting pursuant to an order of the chief judge of the commissioner's judicial district, the residential school superintendent of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf and the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind, a licensed or ordained minister of any religious denomination, or by any mode recognized in section Minn. Stats. § 517.18. For purposes of this section, a court of record includes the Office of Administrative Hearings under Minn. Stat. § 14.48

Minn. Stat. § 517.05 CREDENTIALS OF MINISTER

Ministers of any religious denomination, before they are authorized to solemnize a civil marriage, shall file a copy of their credentials of license or ordination or, if their religious denomination does not issue credentials, authority from the minister's spiritual assembly, with the local registrar of a county in this state, who shall record the same and give a certificate of filing thereof. The place where the credentials are recorded shall be endorsed upon and recorded with each certificate of civil marriage granted by a minister. "

In Maryland:

 "§2–406.

    (a)    (1)    In this subsection, “judge” means:

            (i)    a judge of the District Court, a circuit court, the Court of Special Appeals, or the Court of Appeals;

            (ii)    a judge approved under Article IV, § 3A of the Maryland Constitution and § 1–302 of the Courts Article for recall and assignment to the District Court, a circuit court, the Court of Special Appeals, or the Court of Appeals;

            (iii)    a judge of a United States District Court, a United States Court of Appeals, or the United States Tax Court; or

            (iv)    a judge of a state court if the judge is active or retired but eligible for recall.

        (2)    A marriage ceremony may be performed in this State by:

            (i)    any official of a religious order or body authorized by the rules and customs of that order or body to perform a marriage ceremony;

            (ii)    any clerk;

            (iii)    any deputy clerk designated by the county administrative judge of the circuit court for the county; or

            (iv)    a judge.

    (b)    Within 6 months after a license becomes effective, any authorized official may perform the marriage ceremony of the individuals named in the license.

    (c)    (1)    An individual may not perform a marriage ceremony unless the individual is authorized to perform a marriage ceremony under subsection (a) of this section. "

As you can see, the legality of the marriage has a lot to do with who presides at the ceremony. So yes, you are wrong.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 16, 2018, 10:47:21 PM
That word, "generally," which precedes the list is an important word, Pastor Kirchner. I have been in the New York City Clerk's office and had discussion with people there on this subject. And I have has some minimal contact with those in the "officiant" biz, that is, people who will provide weddings, child things, funerals, and other ceremonies made-to-order for the client.
Anyone can walk into the clerk's office and fill out the form. If you are clergy in a "regular" denomination, you list that. If you are not, you don't have to list anything. I have seen it done and talked to people who have done it. So don't think your quick reading of some laws or regs give you the whole deal.
The state has no valid interest in the religious credentials of anyone who presides, and indeed couples can marry if no one presides. They just get a license and fill it out, have it witnessed and that's it.
But we quibble trivialities here, in Pastor Kirchner's (did I get that right) frenzy to prove me wrong.
He'll take the last word, as usual.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 16, 2018, 11:08:48 PM
The state has no valid interest in the religious credentials of anyone who presides, and indeed couples can marry if no one presides. They just get a license and fill it out, have it witnessed and that's it.

That is... How do you put it... codswallop.

You simply don't know what you're talking about, Charles. You even confuse a marriage license with a certificate of marriage.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 16, 2018, 11:13:25 PM
Marriage laws and requirements vary from state to state and change over time.  A pastor friend of mine served a parish outside of Chicago.  At that time couples were required to be married in the county where they obtained the license. He had couples who would get their license during lunch at the Cook County courthouse in Chicago.  He then would need to have the couple stop on the way to the reception in the parking lot of a shopping center across the county line into Cook Co. to make it legal.


It’s always good when coming to a new place to check on the local laws.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 16, 2018, 11:51:58 PM
Pastor Kirchner, I am very close to leaving this board. And you are one of the reasons.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Eileen Smith on December 17, 2018, 08:28:01 AM
That word, "generally," which precedes the list is an important word, Pastor Kirchner. I have been in the New York City Clerk's office and had discussion with people there on this subject. And I have has some minimal contact with those in the "officiant" biz, that is, people who will provide weddings, child things, funerals, and other ceremonies made-to-order for the client.
Anyone can walk into the clerk's office and fill out the form. If you are clergy in a "regular" denomination, you list that. If you are not, you don't have to list anything. I have seen it done and talked to people who have done it. So don't think your quick reading of some laws or regs give you the whole deal.
The state has no valid interest in the religious credentials of anyone who presides, and indeed couples can marry if no one presides. They just get a license and fill it out, have it witnessed and that's it.
But we quibble trivialities here, in Pastor Kirchner's (did I get that right) frenzy to prove me wrong.
He'll take the last word, as usual.

NYC is the only area of NY that one needs credentials and the credentials are easy to obtain.  Simply go into Google and type, "on-line ordination" and fill out the form.  With more and more wedding venues popping up that offer one-stop-shopping; that is, rooms for the wedding party to ready themselves, photography, ceremony, and reception a few steps a way less and less people are marrying in a church.  Some pastors/priests will go to the site, others will not.  Often it becomes a best friend or close relative.   
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: D. Engebretson on December 17, 2018, 08:56:21 AM
That word, "generally," which precedes the list is an important word, Pastor Kirchner. I have been in the New York City Clerk's office and had discussion with people there on this subject. And I have has some minimal contact with those in the "officiant" biz, that is, people who will provide weddings, child things, funerals, and other ceremonies made-to-order for the client.
Anyone can walk into the clerk's office and fill out the form. If you are clergy in a "regular" denomination, you list that. If you are not, you don't have to list anything. I have seen it done and talked to people who have done it. So don't think your quick reading of some laws or regs give you the whole deal.
The state has no valid interest in the religious credentials of anyone who presides, and indeed couples can marry if no one presides. They just get a license and fill it out, have it witnessed and that's it.
But we quibble trivialities here, in Pastor Kirchner's (did I get that right) frenzy to prove me wrong.
He'll take the last word, as usual.

NYC is the only area of NY that one needs credentials and the credentials are easy to obtain.  Simply go into Google and type, "on-line ordination" and fill out the form.  With more and more wedding venues popping up that offer one-stop-shopping; that is, rooms for the wedding party to ready themselves, photography, ceremony, and reception a few steps a way less and less people are marrying in a church.  Some pastors/priests will go to the site, others will not.  Often it becomes a best friend or close relative.   

In the state of Wisconsin where I reside you are required to be an ordained pastor of a church.  That said, in the 18 years I have been here, no one has checked or asked for evidence or proof of that credential.  I simply sign the form with my title and all is well.  I am seeing people I know obtain their "credentials" online.  I think they like the idea of having a "pastor" officiate without the religious trappings, given that many of their clients are probably unchurched.  I also find it interesting that we are threatened with fines or brief jail time for being late filing the marriage license, but nothing is said of falsifying ones credentials.  For my chaplaincy position with the city's fire department I was required to provide a copy of my ordination certificate.  Likewise with the local police and sherrif's department where I also applied.  The government's interests vary on this. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Benke on December 17, 2018, 09:15:48 AM
That word, "generally," which precedes the list is an important word, Pastor Kirchner. I have been in the New York City Clerk's office and had discussion with people there on this subject. And I have has some minimal contact with those in the "officiant" biz, that is, people who will provide weddings, child things, funerals, and other ceremonies made-to-order for the client.
Anyone can walk into the clerk's office and fill out the form. If you are clergy in a "regular" denomination, you list that. If you are not, you don't have to list anything. I have seen it done and talked to people who have done it. So don't think your quick reading of some laws or regs give you the whole deal.
The state has no valid interest in the religious credentials of anyone who presides, and indeed couples can marry if no one presides. They just get a license and fill it out, have it witnessed and that's it.
But we quibble trivialities here, in Pastor Kirchner's (did I get that right) frenzy to prove me wrong.
He'll take the last word, as usual.

NYC is the only area of NY that one needs credentials and the credentials are easy to obtain.  Simply go into Google and type, "on-line ordination" and fill out the form.  With more and more wedding venues popping up that offer one-stop-shopping; that is, rooms for the wedding party to ready themselves, photography, ceremony, and reception a few steps a way less and less people are marrying in a church.  Some pastors/priests will go to the site, others will not.  Often it becomes a best friend or close relative.   

In the state of Wisconsin where I reside you are required to be an ordained pastor of a church.  That said, in the 18 years I have been here, no one has checked or asked for evidence or proof of that credential.  I simply sign the form with my title and all is well.  I am seeing people I know obtain their "credentials" online.  I think they like the idea of having a "pastor" officiate without the religious trappings, given that many of their clients are probably unchurched.  I also find it interesting that we are threatened with fines or brief jail time for being late filing the marriage license, but nothing is said of falsifying ones credentials.  For my chaplaincy position with the city's fire department I was required to provide a copy of my ordination certificate.  Likewise with the local police and sherrif's department where I also applied.  The government's interests vary on this.

I have not been following this latest discussion except here at the end; Charles and Eileen correctly identify the New York City process with regard to filing with the City Clerk to perform a wedding.  When the newly ordained and installed come to the city, we (the Atlantic District office) advise them to complete the form online or at the clerk's office right away.

Chaplaincies at the state level here may have changed over the last ten years, but when I was in district office, there were denominational roster requirements for paid chaplains, and we had a few men attempt to go through our colloquy process who had been self-ordained and denied the paid chaplain position.  None of them made it through the entrance gate for colloquy on our end. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: D. Engebretson on December 17, 2018, 09:51:44 AM
That word, "generally," which precedes the list is an important word, Pastor Kirchner. I have been in the New York City Clerk's office and had discussion with people there on this subject. And I have has some minimal contact with those in the "officiant" biz, that is, people who will provide weddings, child things, funerals, and other ceremonies made-to-order for the client.
Anyone can walk into the clerk's office and fill out the form. If you are clergy in a "regular" denomination, you list that. If you are not, you don't have to list anything. I have seen it done and talked to people who have done it. So don't think your quick reading of some laws or regs give you the whole deal.
The state has no valid interest in the religious credentials of anyone who presides, and indeed couples can marry if no one presides. They just get a license and fill it out, have it witnessed and that's it.
But we quibble trivialities here, in Pastor Kirchner's (did I get that right) frenzy to prove me wrong.
He'll take the last word, as usual.

NYC is the only area of NY that one needs credentials and the credentials are easy to obtain.  Simply go into Google and type, "on-line ordination" and fill out the form.  With more and more wedding venues popping up that offer one-stop-shopping; that is, rooms for the wedding party to ready themselves, photography, ceremony, and reception a few steps a way less and less people are marrying in a church.  Some pastors/priests will go to the site, others will not.  Often it becomes a best friend or close relative.   

In the state of Wisconsin where I reside you are required to be an ordained pastor of a church.  That said, in the 18 years I have been here, no one has checked or asked for evidence or proof of that credential.  I simply sign the form with my title and all is well.  I am seeing people I know obtain their "credentials" online.  I think they like the idea of having a "pastor" officiate without the religious trappings, given that many of their clients are probably unchurched.  I also find it interesting that we are threatened with fines or brief jail time for being late filing the marriage license, but nothing is said of falsifying ones credentials.  For my chaplaincy position with the city's fire department I was required to provide a copy of my ordination certificate.  Likewise with the local police and sherrif's department where I also applied.  The government's interests vary on this.

I have not been following this latest discussion except here at the end; Charles and Eileen correctly identify the New York City process with regard to filing with the City Clerk to perform a wedding.  When the newly ordained and installed come to the city, we (the Atlantic District office) advise them to complete the form online or at the clerk's office right away.

Chaplaincies at the state level here may have changed over the last ten years, but when I was in district office, there were denominational roster requirements for paid chaplains, and we had a few men attempt to go through our colloquy process who had been self-ordained and denied the paid chaplain position.  None of them made it through the entrance gate for colloquy on our end. 

Dave Benke

For the last 4 or 5 years now the synod has had an endorsement process for emergency service chaplains.  When I started nearly 16 years ago there was nothing like this in place.  I am now going to 'work back' and complete the paperwork, although it seems I already have over 3/4 of the requirements met.  I think it is a good thing and raises the legitimacy of our work in the government realm.  When I founded the volunteer program in my area, I insisted that they write to my DP to receive an endorsement.  I thought it was good practice and set a standard for future chaplains.  When you are the first you need to set the bar a bit higher.  My fellow firefighters (I am also a trained firefighter) have educational and training requirements set by the state.  I think chaplains would seek to have some kind of standard to demonstrate their own professionalism and competence. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Pr. Terry Culler on December 17, 2018, 09:55:40 AM
In Maryland a person is considered a pastor if he or she is deemed by those being married to be a pastor. 

Is that the view of a particular religious order or body?


Not sure, but certainly it is possible for a congregation (of 2 maybe) can raise up for themselves a pastor.  The point is that the state has no place in determining who is or is not a true pastor
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Gary Hatcher on December 17, 2018, 10:06:22 AM
That word, "generally," which precedes the list is an important word, Pastor Kirchner. I have been in the New York City Clerk's office and had discussion with people there on this subject. And I have has some minimal contact with those in the "officiant" biz, that is, people who will provide weddings, child things, funerals, and other ceremonies made-to-order for the client.
Anyone can walk into the clerk's office and fill out the form. If you are clergy in a "regular" denomination, you list that. If you are not, you don't have to list anything. I have seen it done and talked to people who have done it. So don't think your quick reading of some laws or regs give you the whole deal.
The state has no valid interest in the religious credentials of anyone who presides, and indeed couples can marry if no one presides. They just get a license and fill it out, have it witnessed and that's it.
But we quibble trivialities here, in Pastor Kirchner's (did I get that right) frenzy to prove me wrong.
He'll take the last word, as usual.
Charles, two things, you have some fairly strong opinions on the use of names in this forum. Yet, you seem careless about the correct spelling of folks' names or even attributing the right person to the right post. It makes your protests about others use of pen names less credible. In the above quote, why did you feel it necessary to fire the parting shot at Pr. Kirchner? It come across as peevish.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 17, 2018, 10:25:17 AM
Pastor Kirchner, I am very close to leaving this board. And you are one of the reasons.

This would be a far, far less contentious forum and we would more likely be able to address matters on the subject line.  I would miss you, nonetheless.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: ptom on December 17, 2018, 10:30:32 AM
Actually, in the state of Wisconsin since 2013, you do not have to be ordained to sign the license as the officiant.  State statute 765.16 states that an officiant can be
1. an ordained member of the clergy of a denomination or religious society who continues to be an ordained member of the clergy

2.  a licentiate of a denominational body or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular member of the clergy of any church of the denomination to which the member of the clergy belongs, if not restrained from doing so by the discipline of the church or denomination

3.the 2 parties themselves, by mutual declaration that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect, to which either of the parties may belong.

4. any judge of a court of record or reserve judge appointed under 753.075

5.any court commissioner or supplemental commissioner

6. any municipal  court judge


You do not have to be registered in the county where the ceremony takes place.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: D. Engebretson on December 17, 2018, 10:37:11 AM
Actually, in the state of Wisconsin since 2013, you do not have to be ordained to sign the license as the officiant.  State statute 765.16 states that an officiant can be
1. an ordained member of the clergy of a denomination or religious society who continues to be an ordained member of the clergy

2.  a licentiate of a denominational body or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular member of the clergy of any church of the denomination to which the member of the clergy belongs, if not restrained from doing so by the discipline of the church or denomination

3.the 2 parties themselves, by mutual declaration that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect, to which either of the parties may belong.

4. any judge of a court of record or reserve judge appointed under 753.075

5.any court commissioner or supplemental commissioner

6. any municipal  court judge


You do not have to be registered in the county where the ceremony takes place.

Thank you.  I was not current on this law in my own state.  The state, it seems, does still insist on some form of official acknowledgement and credentialing.  That said, I have yet to have local officials check on this.  They all simply seem to assume all is in order according to the law you just quoted.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: ptom on December 17, 2018, 10:45:32 AM
While this is true ( the state wanting it) they are not going to require it.  As long as the couple acknowledge that the person has the authority to do the service.
There are many on-line ordained who are doing the services.  Sometime the couple (who are clueless as to proper procedure) in looking for a venue are told by the place that they have a person (who has been ordained on-line) who can do the wedding, so they don't need to involve a clergy person ( and of course the cost for such is included in their package of services)


Tom Myhre
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 17, 2018, 11:14:35 AM
Pastor Hatcher, I am peevish at times. I am aging, not always in A+ or A-1+ physical shape; and struggling to adjust to radically new living situations without that which has provided me comfort, colleagues and meaning for the past 38 years.
That, of course, is no excuse for rudeness; but, as is well-known here, I do not care for the "quote" function and its long, descending nests of purplish boxes; so I do not use it.
I mean no disrespect with the occasional (or even frequent) typographic error; and I do admit that Pastor Fienen and Pastor Kirchner "sound" alike to me and I must be more careful to distinguish.
A "pen name" is different from anonymity, because everyone knows the "real" person. My complaint about anonymity here focuses on the one who is frequently judgmental, personal, and uses posts to specifically denounce individuals. That is offensive to me and ought to be offensive to everyone. (But some here apparently claim to know who is posting anonymously.)
I am almost certain I know who the anonymous one is, and I believe that, if unrestrained, the postings from this person could radically damage this modest forum. I almost feel sorry for what I perceive to be this person's "militarism" with regard to faith and certain elements of life.
Nonetheless, cheers to all (or almost all)  ;) ;D
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 17, 2018, 12:04:11 PM
In several places that I’ve served I can’t recall ever having my credentials to perform marriages questioned.  But applying to visit prisoners in the county lockup has involved providing copies of ordination and even copy of the call document to the local congregation.  I’m not what if anything that says about the importance attached to regulating who performs weddings.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dave Benke on December 17, 2018, 04:08:31 PM
That word, "generally," which precedes the list is an important word, Pastor Kirchner. I have been in the New York City Clerk's office and had discussion with people there on this subject. And I have has some minimal contact with those in the "officiant" biz, that is, people who will provide weddings, child things, funerals, and other ceremonies made-to-order for the client.
Anyone can walk into the clerk's office and fill out the form. If you are clergy in a "regular" denomination, you list that. If you are not, you don't have to list anything. I have seen it done and talked to people who have done it. So don't think your quick reading of some laws or regs give you the whole deal.
The state has no valid interest in the religious credentials of anyone who presides, and indeed couples can marry if no one presides. They just get a license and fill it out, have it witnessed and that's it.
But we quibble trivialities here, in Pastor Kirchner's (did I get that right) frenzy to prove me wrong.
He'll take the last word, as usual.

NYC is the only area of NY that one needs credentials and the credentials are easy to obtain.  Simply go into Google and type, "on-line ordination" and fill out the form.  With more and more wedding venues popping up that offer one-stop-shopping; that is, rooms for the wedding party to ready themselves, photography, ceremony, and reception a few steps a way less and less people are marrying in a church.  Some pastors/priests will go to the site, others will not.  Often it becomes a best friend or close relative.   

In the state of Wisconsin where I reside you are required to be an ordained pastor of a church.  That said, in the 18 years I have been here, no one has checked or asked for evidence or proof of that credential.  I simply sign the form with my title and all is well.  I am seeing people I know obtain their "credentials" online.  I think they like the idea of having a "pastor" officiate without the religious trappings, given that many of their clients are probably unchurched.  I also find it interesting that we are threatened with fines or brief jail time for being late filing the marriage license, but nothing is said of falsifying ones credentials.  For my chaplaincy position with the city's fire department I was required to provide a copy of my ordination certificate.  Likewise with the local police and sherrif's department where I also applied.  The government's interests vary on this.

I have not been following this latest discussion except here at the end; Charles and Eileen correctly identify the New York City process with regard to filing with the City Clerk to perform a wedding.  When the newly ordained and installed come to the city, we (the Atlantic District office) advise them to complete the form online or at the clerk's office right away.

Chaplaincies at the state level here may have changed over the last ten years, but when I was in district office, there were denominational roster requirements for paid chaplains, and we had a few men attempt to go through our colloquy process who had been self-ordained and denied the paid chaplain position.  None of them made it through the entrance gate for colloquy on our end. 

Dave Benke

For the last 4 or 5 years now the synod has had an endorsement process for emergency service chaplains.  When I started nearly 16 years ago there was nothing like this in place.  I am now going to 'work back' and complete the paperwork, although it seems I already have over 3/4 of the requirements met.  I think it is a good thing and raises the legitimacy of our work in the government realm.  When I founded the volunteer program in my area, I insisted that they write to my DP to receive an endorsement.  I thought it was good practice and set a standard for future chaplains.  When you are the first you need to set the bar a bit higher.  My fellow firefighters (I am also a trained firefighter) have educational and training requirements set by the state.  I think chaplains would seek to have some kind of standard to demonstrate their own professionalism and competence.

Very true.  I was the floor committee chair at the convention that brought that process forward for emergency service. 

I am the certified "supervisor of fire alarm systems" at our church and day care center.  Certified by FDNY on a three year basis.  The test for certification was NOT open book, and was based on an enormous manual with skatey-eight thousand regulations.  I studied like crazy for it.  And when I was done, I was convinced neither I nor anyone else in that building had passed.  Of course, it's all highly necessary stuff (in the same way the food-handling certificate or the facility management certificates are highly necessary), but on the tougher side of tough.  Anyway, I got an 80, which is the lowest grade I have received in anything throughout my academic career.  By a long shot.  And I was very very happy with it, because it was a passing grade.  So to you,  a trained firefighter, congratulations!

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: peterm on December 18, 2018, 09:38:44 AM
There's no stopping this runaway train...   :(

https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel (https://www.exposingtheelca.com/exposed-blog/drag-performance-in-luther-seminarys-chapel)

The thing is that many of the members are unaware of the extent of this stuff. My wife's cousin and close childhood friend, married to a Seminex guy/retired ELCA pastor, posted on her FB timeline an announcement about Nadia's scheduled program at Gloria Dei Lutheran in St. Paul. I simply commented with the link to Benne's article. Within 10 minutes Leona had taken down the announcement. I'm sure she didn't realize the extent of the vulgar, sexual content.

Do you know whether this was a chapel service?  There is some note about a lip sync battle, suggesting it is a social event.  Why that event would be held in the chapel is another question.  I raise this not to minimize the problem in the ELCA, but because this particular incident might be less than it appears to be.

Sadly, NBW's golden vagina sculpture is not part of a comedy routine.

I'm not convinced it matters where on campus this was held.  It should not have taken place at all.

You're opposed to having a lip sync battle anywhere on campus?  When I was in seminary between 1988 and 1992. Each class held a "class party" in the cafeteria/community center.  That makes one in the fall, winter and spring.  The parties included a series of skits and other comedic elements, including parodies of popular music. A lip sync battle would have fit right in.  No one ever dressed in drag, but when I was in college, I remember three male professors dressing in hula skirts for comedic effect.  (We would not have been allowed to hold a class party in the Gloria Dei Chapel.  Nor would it have been acceptable to wear costumes in the chapel.  One Halloween, some students wore their costumes in chapel and were reprimanded.)

Should the event have been held in the chapel?  No.  Should it have included a drag act?  Probably not, especially if it had a sexual content.  Was it wrong to hold a lip sync contest on campus?  I don't think so.


I agree about the chapel.
My question: Why was it held in the chapel?
Possible answer (that was shot down): That was the only space large enough.
What are other possible answers?

Northwestern Hall and Stub hall no longer belong to Luther they were sold awhile ago, if I'm reading the website correctly.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: FrPeters on December 18, 2018, 05:22:44 PM
Quote
In several places that I’ve served I can’t recall ever having my credentials to perform marriages questioned.

When you sign a marriage license in TN (and it could be in many other places, your signature is part of your credential -- you are attesting to the fact that you are a minister of religion authorized by your church to perform marriages.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 18, 2018, 05:59:20 PM
Again, the state cannot care about or require that religion has anything to do with the marriage ceremony.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 18, 2018, 06:08:35 PM
Again, the state cannot care about or require that religion has anything to do with the marriage ceremony.

And no one is stating that the state requires that religion has anything to do with the marriage ceremony. But it does care about it when it does have anything to do with the marriage ceremony, as Fr. Peters states and as Tennessee law confirms.

"36-3-301. Persons who may solemnize marriages.

(a)  (1)  All regular ministers, preachers, pastors, priests, rabbis and other spiritual leaders of every religious belief, more than eighteen (18) years of age, having the care of souls, and all members of the county legislative bodies, county mayors, judges, chancellors, former chancellors and former judges of this state, former county executives or county mayors of this state, former members of quarterly county courts or county commissions, the governor, the speaker of the senate and former speakers of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and former speakers of the house of representatives, the county clerk of each county and the mayor of any municipality in the state may solemnize the rite of matrimony. For the purposes of this section, the several judges of the United States courts, including United States magistrates and United States bankruptcy judges, who are citizens of Tennessee are deemed to be judges of this state. The amendments to this section by Acts 1987, ch. 336, which applied provisions of this section to certain former judges, do not apply to any judge who has been convicted of a felony or who has been removed from office.

     (2)  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 18, 2018, 06:15:00 PM
Quote
In several places that I’ve served I can’t recall ever having my credentials to perform marriages questioned.

When you sign a marriage license in TN (and it could be in many other places, your signature is part of your credential -- you are attesting to the fact that you are a minister of religion authorized by your church to perform marriages.


A friend officiated at her daughter's wedding. She said that in Kansas, if the bride and groom agree on an officiant, that's sufficient.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 18, 2018, 06:22:47 PM
Pastor Kirchner quotes a Tennessee law:
   (2)  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

I comment:
And I strongly believe that if anybody wanted to challenge the “religious” aspect of that paragraph, it would fall faster than a bag of rocks.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 18, 2018, 06:24:22 PM
Quote
In several places that I’ve served I can’t recall ever having my credentials to perform marriages questioned.

When you sign a marriage license in TN (and it could be in many other places, your signature is part of your credential -- you are attesting to the fact that you are a minister of religion authorized by your church to perform marriages.

A friend officiated at her daughter's wedding. She said that in Kansas, if the bride and groom agree on an officiant, that's sufficient.

They probably didn't even need the friend.

"23-2504. Solemnizing marriage; persons authorized to officiate. (a) Marriage may be validly solemnized and contracted in this state, after a license has been issued for the marriage, in the following manner: By the mutual declarations of the two parties to be joined in marriage, made before an authorized officiating person and in the presence of at least two competent witnesses over 18 years of age, other than the officiating person, that they take each other as husband and wife.

(b) The following are authorized to be officiating persons:

(1) Any currently ordained clergyman or religious authority of any religious denomination or society;

(2) any licentiate of a denominational body or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular clergyman of any church of the denomination to which the licentiate or appointee belongs, if not restrained from so doing by the discipline of that church or denomination;

(3) any judge or justice of a court of record;

(4) any municipal judge of a city of this state; and

(5) any retired judge or justice of a court of record.

(c) The two parties themselves, by mutual declarations that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect to which either of the parties belong, may be married without an authorized officiating person."

The question remains: To whom do they make these "mutual declarations"?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 18, 2018, 06:27:05 PM
Pastor Kirchner quotes a Tennessee law:
   (2)  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

I comment:
And I strongly believe that if anybody wanted to challenge the “religious” aspect of that paragraph, it would fall faster than a bag of rocks.

How do you put it, Charles?  Oh yeah, "What codswallop!"
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 18, 2018, 06:37:01 PM
So you are telling me that the law would stand if it required an atheist couple to have someone "ordained" or otherwise certified by a religious organization preside at their wedding?
The law you cite says:
  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

I comment:
This is 1) stupid; 2) unnecesary; 3) vague and 4) unenforceable. What of the couple who wants no "church, temple, or other religious group or organization" involved in their exchange of vows? And who is the state to say that a religious organization must "provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."?
Finally, why do we in the church care how the state structures the "legality" of a marriage? And why do we think that "our" structure of marriage should be forced on non-believers?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 18, 2018, 06:42:41 PM
Re the state and marriage:
If a couple wants no "religion" involved in their union ceremony, they should be able to go to the clerk's office, sign some papers, have the signings witnessed and notarized and - boom! - in the eyes of the state, they are married. Maybe they'll go to a church for a blessing or something, maybe Uncle Max will preside at some ceremony before a festive dinner; or maybe they'll go home and watch television.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on December 18, 2018, 06:45:48 PM
Pastor Kirchner quotes a Tennessee law:
   (2)  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

I comment:
And I strongly believe that if anybody wanted to challenge the “religious” aspect of that paragraph, it would fall faster than a bag of rocks.


There may be another part of the law that addresses civil marriage services. (Perhaps not called "rite of matrimony.") In California, I had a member who was a lawyer who was authorized to officiate at weddings, but she told me that she couldn't incorporate anything religious when she officiated. It had to be a civil ceremony without religious content.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 18, 2018, 07:24:15 PM
Again, the state cannot care about or require that religion has anything to do with the marriage ceremony.

Since, in our nation, the states formally grant certain civil responsibilities to the holders of religious office simply because they hold such an office, clearly the state does care.  And it has, at least thus far with regard to marriage, done so without infringing upon the right to freedom of religion.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 18, 2018, 07:30:29 PM

There may be another part of the law that addresses civil marriage services. (Perhaps not called "rite of matrimony.") In California, I had a member who was a lawyer who was authorized to officiate at weddings, but she told me that she couldn't incorporate anything religious when she officiated. It had to be a civil ceremony without religious content.

I -- OMG!!! -- agree with Brian.

And this is a clear description of the state caring about or requiring that religion have anything to do with a marriage ceremony.

spt+
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven W Bohler on December 18, 2018, 08:41:51 PM
So you are telling me that the law would stand if it required an atheist couple to have someone "ordained" or otherwise certified by a religious organization preside at their wedding?
The law you cite says:
  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

I comment:
This is 1) stupid; 2) unnecesary; 3) vague and 4) unenforceable. What of the couple who wants no "church, temple, or other religious group or organization" involved in their exchange of vows? And who is the state to say that a religious organization must "provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."?
Finally, why do we in the church care how the state structures the "legality" of a marriage? And why do we think that "our" structure of marriage should be forced on non-believers?

Rev. Austin,

If I understand your post correctly, then you are not reading the law correctly: it does not require ordained clergy but rather that if a clergyman DOES perform the wedding, then he must be ordained/authorized by a recognized religious organization.  That is, the couple is free to have someone other than a clergyman perform the wedding, but if they choose to have a clergyman then it must be one who meets the criteria outlined.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 18, 2018, 08:47:53 PM
So you are telling me that the law would stand if it required an atheist couple to have someone "ordained" or otherwise certified by a religious organization preside at their wedding?
The law you cite says:
  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

I comment:
This is 1) stupid; 2) unnecesary; 3) vague and 4) unenforceable. What of the couple who wants no "church, temple, or other religious group or organization" involved in their exchange of vows? And who is the state to say that a religious organization must "provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."?
Finally, why do we in the church care how the state structures the "legality" of a marriage? And why do we think that "our" structure of marriage should be forced on non-believers?

Charles,

Stop. Count to ten. Then go back and read the law. No one is telling you "that the law would stand if it required an atheist couple to have someone 'ordained' or otherwise certified by a religious organization preside at their wedding." Because the law doesn't require it.

Read the law rather than react.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: mj4 on December 18, 2018, 09:03:30 PM
Pastor Kirchner quotes a Tennessee law:
   (2)  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

I comment:
And I strongly believe that if anybody wanted to challenge the “religious” aspect of that paragraph, it would fall faster than a bag of rocks.

I would read part (2) here differently than you. In light of part (1), part (2) offers more detail as regards to who (under the free exercise clause) may solemnize a marriage in addition to civil authorities. It simply requires them to represent a religious community in some recognizably formal way if they are claiming to perform a wedding on behalf of that community. As Pr. Kirchner points out, nobody is required to have a religious wedding. A couple can even be married by a bankruptcy judge. Ha!
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Dan Fienen on December 18, 2018, 10:48:19 PM
Pastor Kirchner quotes a Tennessee law:
   (2)  In order to solemnize the rite of matrimony, any such minister, preacher, pastor, priest, rabbi or other spiritual leader must be ordained or otherwise designated in conformity with the customs of a church, temple or other religious group or organization; and such customs must provide for such ordination or designation by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act."

I comment:
And I strongly believe that if anybody wanted to challenge the “religious” aspect of that paragraph, it would fall faster than a bag of rocks.

I would read part (2) here differently than you. In light of part (1), part (2) offers more detail as regards to who (under the free exercise clause) may solemnize a marriage in addition to civil authorities. It simply requires them to represent a religious community in some recognizably formal way if they are claiming to perform a wedding on behalf of that community. As Pr. Kirchner points out, nobody is required to have a religious wedding. A couple can even be married by a bankruptcy judge. Ha!

How about going to a divorce court judge?
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Eileen Smith on December 19, 2018, 07:15:21 AM
This article seems to give a bit of color to the law.  It allows for a religious or civil ceremony but if religious it must be a pastor/priest from a recognized religious body and not the Universal Life Church.  I can't say I see much sense in the law, along with Pastor Austin.   I've seen too many couples have a religious ceremony simply to please grandma or get married in a beautiful church setting with no intent to actively participate in the life of the congregation even though they may technically be members of the congregation.   I'd say that many European countries have a good system where there is a civil ceremony and then a religious ceremony, should the couple desire.  Reading the article allows me to wonder if there's a bit more to this law other than keeping with the seriousness of the marriage commitment -- be it an issue with the ULC or the legalization of gay marriage.
https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2018/03/12/memphis-case-highlights-potential-pitfalls-marriages-online-minsters/415390002/ (https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2018/03/12/memphis-case-highlights-potential-pitfalls-marriages-online-minsters/415390002/)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 19, 2018, 07:52:09 AM
This article seems to give a bit of color to the law.  It allows for a religious or civil ceremony but if religious it must be a pastor/priest from a recognized religious body and not the Universal Life Church.  I can't say I see much sense in the law, along with Pastor Austin.   I've seen too many couples have a religious ceremony simply to please grandma or get married in a beautiful church setting with no intent to actively participate in the life of the congregation even though they may technically be members of the congregation.   I'd say that many European countries have a good system where there is a civil ceremony and then a religious ceremony, should the couple desire.  Reading the article allows me to wonder if there's a bit more to this law other than keeping with the seriousness of the marriage commitment -- be it an issue with the ULC or the legalization of gay marriage.
https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2018/03/12/memphis-case-highlights-potential-pitfalls-marriages-online-minsters/415390002/ (https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2018/03/12/memphis-case-highlights-potential-pitfalls-marriages-online-minsters/415390002/)

Now, before Charles again overreacts, keep in mind what Larry Rice, a nationally-respected family law attorney (I've attended his seminar and read his articles) says about the Tennessee law:

"Tennessee takes marriages seriously," Rice said. "There are enormous responsibilities created as a result of that one agreement. You don't have to married by a minister, so it's not a religious thing. You can go get a judge to marry you, but you can't get a joke to marry you. Universal Life Church is a joke."
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 19, 2018, 09:25:20 AM
That’s Tennessee. Then there’s the rest of the country. As I see it, the state has one interest in the matter namely: did the two people make valid, witnessed vows to be together? Did they create the social - not religious, but social and civil and legal - contract to be a unit, a family, a “married” couple?  That has an impact on such things as children, finances, property, and access to State services.
For that all you need are witnessed signatures, not a religious ceremony.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: readselerttoo on December 19, 2018, 09:46:05 AM
That’s Tennessee. Then there’s the rest of the country. As I see it, the state has one interest in the matter namely: did the two people make valid, witnessed vows to be together? Did they create the social - not religious, but social and civil and legal - contract to be a unit, a family, a “married” couple?  That has an impact on such things as children, finances, property, and access to State services.
For that all you need are witnessed signatures, not a religious ceremony.

And yet marriage vows are made before the Judge behind the judges.  Unless you don't believe in the God of Genesis 1, 2, 3 and beyond.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Michael Slusser on December 19, 2018, 09:50:15 AM
That’s Tennessee. Then there’s the rest of the country. As I see it, the state has one interest in the matter namely: did the two people make valid, witnessed vows to be together? Did they create the social - not religious, but social and civil and legal - contract to be a unit, a family, a “married” couple?  That has an impact on such things as children, finances, property, and access to State services.
For that all you need are witnessed signatures, not a religious ceremony.
Common-law marriage, where state recognition comes ex post facto if at all, has served in many places including the U.S.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 19, 2018, 09:56:49 AM
As I see it, the state has one interest in the matter namely: did the two people make valid, witnessed vows to be together? Did they create the social - not religious, but social and civil and legal - contract to be a unit, a family, a “married” couple?  That has an impact on such things as children, finances, property, and access to State services.
For that all you need are witnessed signatures, not a religious ceremony.

No one has suggested otherwise. You've come a long way, Charles, from:

The legality of the marriage has to do with the filing of the papers with the city or county clerk, it has nothing to do with who presides at the ceremony.

To which I responded:

Well, you think about that for a bit. I hope you will realize that who presides and the filing of the Certificate of Marriage are not mutually exclusive but, rather, importantly connected.

Think about it rather than react.

You finally thought about it. Thank you.

Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 19, 2018, 10:18:35 AM
You have agreed with the point I was originally making. Thank you.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 19, 2018, 10:34:02 AM
<sigh>

Unfortunately, you are still wrong, Charles. The state does have an interest in who "presides," whether it is a minister, a judge, or the witnesses and clerk who verifies the Certificate of Marriage.

Gotta connect the dots, Charles. It's a both/and, not an either/or.

Even in a common law marriage, a provision was/is that the couple publicly hold themselves out as married for the requisite time. The community, therefore, validates the marriage, and it it becomes a legal issue, the court verifies.

To interpret laws and their public policy, etc one must think like a lawyer, Charles. You've never learned to do that. So, if you're going to interpret the law, don't commit malpractice.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 19, 2018, 11:16:38 AM
We have far overdone this teeny bit of hoodoo, Pastor Kirchner, but what the heck; I'll add a final tidbit.
When I was chairman of the town's Ethics Board (a state-mandated body), we handled a case brought against the mayor, who had done some deceptive things with his financial disclosure statement. I "presided" over six weeks of hearings, I signed subpoenas, I swore in witnesses; and I chaired the six-member panel as we considered the matter.
The attorney hired for our Ethics Board asked whether I had ever gone to law school.
I said no, and asked why.
He said "because you think like a lawyer."
I said that in theology, we considered things that were like "precedents," we considered old data and "laws" which had to be interpreted or re-interpreted for the current day, and we considered how those things matched or didn't match the issue at hand.
He said that was thinking like a lawyer.
Done here, I hope.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Eileen Smith on December 19, 2018, 11:51:50 AM
This article seems to give a bit of color to the law.  It allows for a religious or civil ceremony but if religious it must be a pastor/priest from a recognized religious body and not the Universal Life Church.  I can't say I see much sense in the law, along with Pastor Austin.   I've seen too many couples have a religious ceremony simply to please grandma or get married in a beautiful church setting with no intent to actively participate in the life of the congregation even though they may technically be members of the congregation.   I'd say that many European countries have a good system where there is a civil ceremony and then a religious ceremony, should the couple desire.  Reading the article allows me to wonder if there's a bit more to this law other than keeping with the seriousness of the marriage commitment -- be it an issue with the ULC or the legalization of gay marriage.
https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2018/03/12/memphis-case-highlights-potential-pitfalls-marriages-online-minsters/415390002/ (https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2018/03/12/memphis-case-highlights-potential-pitfalls-marriages-online-minsters/415390002/)

Now, before Charles again overreacts, keep in mind what Larry Rice, a nationally-respected family law attorney (I've attended his seminar and read his articles) says about the Tennessee law:

"Tennessee takes marriages seriously," Rice said. "There are enormous responsibilities created as a result of that one agreement. You don't have to married by a minister, so it's not a religious thing. You can go get a judge to marry you, but you can't get a joke to marry you. Universal Life Church is a joke."

I am not convinced that the ULC is a joke.  It is not what we, as Lutherans, would consider an ordination.  But I am in agreement with Pastor Austin.   The interest of the state is that the t's are crossed and i's are dotted and not who presides.  I'd rather attend a wedding where Aunt Betty, a devout Christian, presides over the wedding than to one where I know the couple will not be back until the baptism of their first child - despite all the promises in counseling sessions to the contrary.  And these days, baptism is even in question.   Every situation is different.  Yes, there are some who register withe the ULC (and other such mills) simply to make a few bucks but there are others who do so very intentionally, perhaps for a family wedding.  It's not for the state to determine if the presider is a 'joke' or not. 
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 19, 2018, 12:06:21 PM
This article seems to give a bit of color to the law.  It allows for a religious or civil ceremony but if religious it must be a pastor/priest from a recognized religious body and not the Universal Life Church.  I can't say I see much sense in the law, along with Pastor Austin.   I've seen too many couples have a religious ceremony simply to please grandma or get married in a beautiful church setting with no intent to actively participate in the life of the congregation even though they may technically be members of the congregation.   I'd say that many European countries have a good system where there is a civil ceremony and then a religious ceremony, should the couple desire.  Reading the article allows me to wonder if there's a bit more to this law other than keeping with the seriousness of the marriage commitment -- be it an issue with the ULC or the legalization of gay marriage.
https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2018/03/12/memphis-case-highlights-potential-pitfalls-marriages-online-minsters/415390002/ (https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2018/03/12/memphis-case-highlights-potential-pitfalls-marriages-online-minsters/415390002/)

Now, before Charles again overreacts, keep in mind what Larry Rice, a nationally-respected family law attorney (I've attended his seminar and read his articles) says about the Tennessee law:

"Tennessee takes marriages seriously," Rice said. "There are enormous responsibilities created as a result of that one agreement. You don't have to married by a minister, so it's not a religious thing. You can go get a judge to marry you, but you can't get a joke to marry you. Universal Life Church is a joke."

I am not convinced that the ULC is a joke.  It is not what we, as Lutherans, would consider an ordination.  But I am in agreement with Pastor Austin.   The interest of the state is that the t's are crossed and i's are dotted and not who presides.  I'd rather attend a wedding where Aunt Betty, a devout Christian, presides over the wedding than to one where I know the couple will not be back until the baptism of their first child - despite all the promises in counseling sessions to the contrary.  And these days, baptism is even in question.   Every situation is different.  Yes, there are some who register withe the ULC (and other such mills) simply to make a few bucks but there are others who do so very intentionally, perhaps for a family wedding.  It's not for the state to determine if the presider is a 'joke' or not.

Ms. Smith,

I don't care if Aunt Betty or someone from the ULC presides either. But it appears that most states do. And in all cases the state does care that there is someone who can validate a marriage.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 19, 2018, 12:07:19 PM
We have far overdone this teeny bit of hoodoo, Pastor Kirchner, but what the heck; I'll add a final tidbit.
When I was chairman of the town's Ethics Board (a state-mandated body), we handled a case brought against the mayor, who had done some deceptive things with his financial disclosure statement. I "presided" over six weeks of hearings, I signed subpoenas, I swore in witnesses; and I chaired the six-member panel as we considered the matter.
The attorney hired for our Ethics Board asked whether I had ever gone to law school.
I said no, and asked why.
He said "because you think like a lawyer."
I said that in theology, we considered things that were like "precedents," we considered old data and "laws" which had to be interpreted or re-interpreted for the current day, and we considered how those things matched or didn't match the issue at hand.
He said that was thinking like a lawyer.

So, after he stroked you, he then submitted his bill to you, right?   ;)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 19, 2018, 12:25:26 PM
To the town, not to This humble correspondent.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 19, 2018, 12:28:15 PM
To the town, not to This humble correspondent.

Indeed.   ;)
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: jebutler on December 19, 2018, 12:46:23 PM
This article seems to give a bit of color to the law.  It allows for a religious or civil ceremony but if religious it must be a pastor/priest from a recognized religious body and not the Universal Life Church.  I can't say I see much sense in the law, along with Pastor Austin.   I've seen too many couples have a religious ceremony simply to please grandma or get married in a beautiful church setting with no intent to actively participate in the life of the congregation even though they may technically be members of the congregation.   I'd say that many European countries have a good system where there is a civil ceremony and then a religious ceremony, should the couple desire.  Reading the article allows me to wonder if there's a bit more to this law other than keeping with the seriousness of the marriage commitment -- be it an issue with the ULC or the legalization of gay marriage.
https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2018/03/12/memphis-case-highlights-potential-pitfalls-marriages-online-minsters/415390002/ (https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2018/03/12/memphis-case-highlights-potential-pitfalls-marriages-online-minsters/415390002/)

Now, before Charles again overreacts, keep in mind what Larry Rice, a nationally-respected family law attorney (I've attended his seminar and read his articles) says about the Tennessee law:

"Tennessee takes marriages seriously," Rice said. "There are enormous responsibilities created as a result of that one agreement. You don't have to married by a minister, so it's not a religious thing. You can go get a judge to marry you, but you can't get a joke to marry you. Universal Life Church is a joke."

I am not convinced that the ULC is a joke.  It is not what we, as Lutherans, would consider an ordination.  But I am in agreement with Pastor Austin.   The interest of the state is that the t's are crossed and i's are dotted and not who presides.  I'd rather attend a wedding where Aunt Betty, a devout Christian, presides over the wedding than to one where I know the couple will not be back until the baptism of their first child - despite all the promises in counseling sessions to the contrary.  And these days, baptism is even in question.   Every situation is different.  Yes, there are some who register withe the ULC (and other such mills) simply to make a few bucks but there are others who do so very intentionally, perhaps for a family wedding.  It's not for the state to determine if the presider is a 'joke' or not.

I have to agree: the ULC is a joke. I know. My friend had his dog ordained in that body.

The only reason the ULC (and some other bodies of its ilk) exists is because some states required some people to be Justices of the Peace, Judges, or ordained clergy to preside at a wedding. The first two were difficult to get; the second took a couple of letters and a few stamps. I recall reading articles back in the day about people who were married and the presider had just received her/his credentials from the ULC or some other mill.

Even with ordained clergy, different states have different laws. Massachusetts requires clergy to "re-up" each year. Our District office takes care of that notification for us. A friend of mine had to send a copy of his ordination certificate to the state. Other states, like Missouri, don't require any notification at all.

Crossing state lines can be even more interesting. When I did a wedding in New Hampshire I had to send in $25 and a copy of my ordination certificate. In return, I received a "foreigner permit" to conduct a wedding in that state, which I had to affix to the license when I sent it in. Missouri didn't require me to do anything as long as I was on the LCMS roster.

So, as near as I can tell, it looks to me like the state has an interest in who can, and cannot, preside at weddings.

Personally, I think every state should follow the example of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Anyone over the age of 21 may conduct a wedding. All the presider needs to do is fill out an application (city clerk or online) and pay a $25 fee. They are then given a permit to conduct that marriage that day. The presider then attaches the one day permit to the marriage license when she/he sends it in. Clergy are exempt from the fee. This way, Uncle Joe, Aunt Bee, Cousin Oliver, Brother Son or Sister Moon or any other person the couple chooses can preside at their wedding.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: scott9 on December 19, 2018, 04:39:46 PM
I have to agree: the ULC is a joke. I know. My friend had his dog ordained in that body.

One of my dad's friends has a last name of "Tuck" and was an avowed non-believer.  Rather than going with the usual joke of him being a "Friar," he decided it would be fun to get ordained to a higher office through a mail-order (at the time) church like the ULC.  Rather than being arrogant and becoming a Cardinal, however, he settled on an Arch-Bishop.  They sent him the appropriate documentation.

Oh, and as a BTW, I just went to the ULC's website, submitted my dog's information, and he is now ordained.  It took less time than it did to type this sentence.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 19, 2018, 04:54:23 PM
Yup, nothing to it!

https://www.themonastery.org/credentials/ordination-certificate-QmV0aGFueSBLaXJjaG5lcl4xMi8xOS8yMDE4XmxhcmdlXmZyZWVe.jpg

BTW, Bethany is our KuneKune.

https://sites.google.com/site/americankunekunebreeders/Home/kunekune-pigs

I'm sure Bethy would eat the marriage license!
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on December 19, 2018, 09:24:05 PM

He said that was thinking like a lawyer.
Done here, I hope.

Then you ought to be able to demonstrate that thinking here.  Alas, not done here.  Yet, by you.

spt+
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Charles Austin on December 19, 2018, 09:33:55 PM
I have encountered, over many years, a lot of lawyers; some of them politicians, some of them attorneys for towns or zoning boards, some of them prosecutors or defense attorneys.
There are "types," maybe even "denominations" which seem to guide how they function.
It is, as I often say, complicated.
Title: Re: Benne on Bolz-Weber
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on December 19, 2018, 11:41:44 PM
I have encountered, over many years, a lot of lawyers; some of them politicians, some of them attorneys for towns or zoning boards, some of them prosecutors or defense attorneys.
There are "types," maybe even "denominations" which seem to guide how they function.
It is, as I often say, complicated.

But all types would deem your reply to Pastor Tibbetts to be non-responsive, Charles.