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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Juan Jeanniton on May 11, 2021, 01:45:32 PM

Title: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 11, 2021, 01:45:32 PM
SOME CASES OF CONSCIENCE ON LUTHERAN CHURCH GOVERNMENT

To all my fellow ALBP forum members!

Now, where it concerns the question of Lutheran Church Government, I now make the following foundational a priori assumptions:

1: That 1 Corinthians 14:34/35 and 1 Timothy 2:11/12 are still in full force today exactly as written and exactly as it reads at face-value; and that it absolutely forbids women to PUBLICLY ADDRESS the ASSEMBLY (includes of course, PREACHING, TEACHING, EXHORTATION, LITURGICALLY READING THE SCRIPTURE, LEADING IN PUBLIC PRAYER, PROPHESYING, SPEAKING IN TONGUES, EXORCISM, ...) and/or put forth questions in a voice LOUD and PUBLIC ENOUGH TO PUBLICLY ADDRESS the ASSEMBLY; and that this precept is a universal and perpetual divine law;

2: That neither CONGREGATIONAL SINGING nor DEVOTIONAL RESPONSES are included in the prohibition;

3: That the REASONS for these prohibitions are universal and of natural moral equity, based on the divine order of creation of the sexes, according to which, the man is the head of the woman; and that this divine order of creation of the sexes is part and parcel of the divinely prescribed perpetual and universal natural law of mankind;

4: That the Lutheran Confessions of Faith are to be subscribed according to a quia and not just merely a quatenus sense, or else one cannot be Lutheran;

5: That C. F. W. Walther's doctrine of the supremacy of the Voter Assembly within the local congregation (to wit, the congregation though its congregational meetings, and through the votes of all adult male members of the congregation in such meetings, are the supreme governing authority in the local congregation, which by the way, was the classical distinctive doctrine of Congregationalism, and which WELS and the CLC continue to hold even today) is the ONLY church polity which agrees with the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions on church government.

Special emphasis will be placed under the fifth assumption. The burden of proof is on those who DENY the fifth assumption which I have made. No wonder that women and children were INELIGIBLE to VOTE in such a Voter Assembly, since C F W Walther officially taught for a DOCTRINE that the Voter Assembly of a given local congregation possesses SUPREME de jure divino ecclesiastical authority and jurisdiction in all matters of the local congregation provided firstly that no doctrine taught in the Bible & Lutheran Confessions should be debated, nor changed, nor relaxed, nor abrogated, nor any NEW doctrines should be added thereunto and secondly that the decision made by the congregation should not be contrary to the laws of God nor to the doctrines taught in the Bible and Lutheran Confession! "Woman Suffrage" + "Voter Supremacy" = HERESY. Woman suffrage and Waltherian Voter Supremacy cannot both be mixed together in the same Voter Assembly of the same local congregation without violating the Divine Order of Creation of the Sexes: Genesis 3:16, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 7-10, 1 Corinthians 14:34 (quoting Genesis 3:16), 1 Timothy 2:11-13.

Now under all 5 of these assumptions:

1: According to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, is the unit of electoral representation in a congregational voter assembly the family or the individual?

2: According to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, are adult sons (i.e. at least 21 years old) living with their father eligible to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their father, or is that contrary to their duty of obedience to their father?

3: In light of the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, especially including that part of the Table of Duties which prescribes it to be the duty of servants to be obedient to their masters, are male servants living in the household of their male master of the house to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their master, or is that a violation of the plain Scriptural precepts which teach that servants MUST obey their masters?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Dave Benke on May 11, 2021, 02:58:02 PM
Are you now, or have you ever been, Jack Cascione?

To be clear:
a) I hope you're not Jack Cascione, because he's from Queens and has received the blessing reserved for Queens natives and residents (yes, that includes both Donald Trump and Andrew Cuomo, and AOC - I know - we all know).
b) None of our male slaves have ever voted in congregational assembly.  Because - what are you even talking about?
c) Moderators - help!

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: D. Engebretson on May 11, 2021, 03:13:26 PM
Dave - Interesting that you should connect this thread with Jack Cascione.  See:https://steadfastlutherans.org/2009/09/rev-jack-cascione-brings-to-light-the-lcms-leaderships-lawsuit-against-four-simple-church-ladies-in-california-by-pr-rossow/comment-page-1/  (https://steadfastlutherans.org/2009/09/rev-jack-cascione-brings-to-light-the-lcms-leaderships-lawsuit-against-four-simple-church-ladies-in-california-by-pr-rossow/comment-page-1/)
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: D. Engebretson on May 11, 2021, 03:17:54 PM
Some insight into this thread's author can also be found in a comment at this site:
http://ihoppe.com/blog/?p=3704 (http://ihoppe.com/blog/?p=3704)
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 11, 2021, 03:50:53 PM
Are you now, or have you ever been, Jack Cascione?

To be clear:
a) I hope you're not Jack Cascione, because he's from Queens and has received the blessing reserved for Queens natives and residents (yes, that includes both Donald Trump and Andrew Cuomo, and AOC - I know - we all know).
b) None of our male slaves have ever voted in congregational assembly.  Because - what are you even talking about?
c) Moderators - help!

Dave Benke


Nope, I am not Jack Cascione. Now, Jack Cascione is the most staunch advocate in this 21st century, of C F W Walther's DOCTRINE of the supremacy of the Voter Assembly, which used to be the historical classical teaching of the LCMS until 1969, and which the WELS and CLC still hold even today.
Some insight into this thread's author can also be found in a comment at this site:
http://ihoppe.com/blog/?p=3704 (http://ihoppe.com/blog/?p=3704)
But on this ALPB forum, I have decided to give C F W Walther the benefit of the doubt on his doctrine of Voter Supremacy.

One of the proof-texts from the Bible & Lutheran Confessions that Walther, Vehse, and Cascione have used in order to support their system of Voter Supremacy is that “In 1 Cor. 3:6, Paul makes ministers equal, and teaches that the Church is above the ministers. Hence superiority or lordship over the Church or the rest of the ministers is not ascribed to Peter [in preference to other apostles]. For he says thus: All things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, i.e., let neither the other ministers nor Peter assume for themselves lordship or superiority over the Church; let them not burden the Church with traditions; let not the authority of any avail more than the Word [of God]; let not the authority of Cephas be opposed to the authority of the other apostles, as they reasoned at that time: "Cephas, who is an apostle of higher rank, observes this; therefore, both Paul and the rest ought to observe this." Paul removes this pretext from Peter, and denies [Not so, says Paul, and makes Peter doff his little hat, namely, the claim] that his authority is to be preferred to the rest or to the Church.” (Canon V, A Treatise on the Power and Supremacy of the Pope, which should be better entitled, A Treatise AGAINST the Pretended and Unjust Power and Supremacy of the Pope.)

Christians must be warned that it is essential for the well-being of both the "Clergy" and the "Laity" that the office of the Pastor and Elders be placed neither too high or too low. For when "it is placed too high it becomes quite easy to shift the balance of rights and duties to the side of the clergy over the congregation, establishing an infringement of their Christian freedom, a misuse in the handling of church hierarchy and other evils. When however the status of the" ordained ministers "is placed too low, usually the emphasis shifts to the side of the congregation with a depreciated esteem for the ministry and public service to God, tied together with a proud, separatist existence, an overstepping of Christian freedom, a great hindering in the exercising of spiritual caregiving and church discipline, and thus confusion and all kinds of sectarian disorder." (The Pastoral Letter of Pastor Grabau of Buffalo from the Year 1840 and the Assembled Correspondence between him and many Lutheran Pastors from Missouri, The Publishing rendered as a Protest against the Assertion of Hierarchical Principles within the Lutheran Church, New York: Printed by H. Ludwig & Co., 70 Vesey Street, 1849, page 6.)

With these two remarks in mind in addition to my 5 cardinal assumptions, what is the true and scriptural answer to my 3 questions on Church Government which I have posed?

1: According to the Reine Lehre pure teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, is the unit of electoral representation in a congregational voter assembly the family or the individual?

2: According to the Reine Lehre pure teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, are adult sons (i.e. at least 21 years old) living with their father eligible to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their father, or is that contrary to their duty of obedience to their father?

3: In light of the Reine Lehre pure teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, especially including that part of the Table of Duties which prescribes it to be the duty of servants to be obedient to their masters, are male servants living in the household of their male master of the house to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their master, or is that a violation of the plain Scriptural precepts which teach that servants must obey their masters?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: peter_speckhard on May 11, 2021, 04:34:08 PM
I guess it depends on the constitution of the congregation. The Bible and Confession say nothing of age 21 being relevant, nor whether one lives in a separate house from one’s parents, nor really anything of the nuts and bolts of voters’ assemblies generally. So it would be a matter of whatever the constitution of the congregation says, which, of course, would itself be something that had to be voted on to take effect, which makes it a chicken/egg kind of question.

Juan, can you PM with some kind of information verifying your identity? We’ve had some problems with people logging on with fake names.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Dave Benke on May 11, 2021, 05:02:04 PM
Dave - Interesting that you should connect this thread with Jack Cascione.  See:https://steadfastlutherans.org/2009/09/rev-jack-cascione-brings-to-light-the-lcms-leaderships-lawsuit-against-four-simple-church-ladies-in-california-by-pr-rossow/comment-page-1/  (https://steadfastlutherans.org/2009/09/rev-jack-cascione-brings-to-light-the-lcms-leaderships-lawsuit-against-four-simple-church-ladies-in-california-by-pr-rossow/comment-page-1/)

Oh, boy.  My bad.  The dreaded last-ditch Lutherquest Invasion of the Last Bastion of Possible Dialog among Lutherans has begun.  My guess is that in the end it will be more of a whimper than a bang, unless there's a throng of folks heretofore unknown willing to die on the hill preventing women from voting in congregational assemblies. 

Personally, I think voting MACHINES should be banned from congregational assemblies because the spirit of Hugo Chavez rests inside the gearboxes of those communist contraptions.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: peter_speckhard on May 11, 2021, 05:06:29 PM
Dave - Interesting that you should connect this thread with Jack Cascione.  See:https://steadfastlutherans.org/2009/09/rev-jack-cascione-brings-to-light-the-lcms-leaderships-lawsuit-against-four-simple-church-ladies-in-california-by-pr-rossow/comment-page-1/  (https://steadfastlutherans.org/2009/09/rev-jack-cascione-brings-to-light-the-lcms-leaderships-lawsuit-against-four-simple-church-ladies-in-california-by-pr-rossow/comment-page-1/)

Oh, boy.  My bad.  The dreaded last-ditch Lutherquest Invasion of the Last Bastion of Possible Dialog among Lutherans has begun.  My guess is that in the end it will be more of a whimper than a bang, unless there's a throng of folks heretofore unknown willing to die on the hill preventing women from voting in congregational assemblies. 

Personally, I think voting MACHINES should be banned from congregational assemblies because the spirit of Hugo Chavez rests inside the gearboxes of those communist contraptions.

Dave Benke
The interesting thing about the link is that it repeatedly describes the four ladies as simple. Their simplicity seems to be the main takeaway.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 11, 2021, 06:01:59 PM
Let us not encourage in this forum anything remotely like any discussion, style, representation or “personality“ on that “quest“ site.
It is, in every way, what this form does not want to be.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 11, 2021, 07:09:59 PM
Now, given our 5 assumptions, let us now start of Case of Conscience #1: According to the Reine Lehre pure teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, is the unit of electoral representation in a congregational voter assembly the family or the individual?

More precisely:

Case I - Family Representation and the Voter Assembly: It is written in the Sacred Scriptures that "God setteth the solitary in families" (Psalms 68.6). The majority of conservative historians have come to the conclusion that the political unit of society and of the State is the family. That was the established conventional wisdom of conservative Bible-believing Christians in the 19th Century, However, a certain Lutheran article, over 100 years ago, in The Lutheran Church Review, Volume 18, page 484, 485, opposed the opinion of the then synodical committee that "A congregation violates no Scriptural or Lutheran principle where a family is not otherwise represented by providing for the votes of communicant members without regard to sex" (Engl Min 1898 p 81) as being contrary to the plain teaching of the Scriptures in the New Testament against women usurping ecclesiastical authority over men. The reasons given in that article are: (1) "If the Scriptures recognize us as voters at all, they do not recognize us as families, but as individuals. No one votes for a family, but for himself only." (2) "The "opinion" assumes that "a family" - possibly composed of a number of male and female members - may be "represented" by one male member at a congregational meeting, and one vote would be cast for the whole family. We deny the right of such representation of the female members of the family, but granting this right, for argument's sake, it is very doubtful whether the one vote expresses the views and convictions of all the other members of the family." You only need to read the 3rd and 4th reasons to see that the source agrees that for women to vote in the voter assembly is a usurpation of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction the Scriptures reserves only for (duly qualified, if not also specially appointed) adult males. The source's fifth and last reason is: (5) "It is also a fallacy to suppose, that a wife, who is "represented" by a husband at a congregational meeting thereby exercises more rights and privileges than a widow or single woman, if the latter are debarred from voting. The husband of a wife votes only for himself and not for his wife, depositing only one vote. The wife has, therefore, no more to say in the matter than the widow or single woman. If the right of voting is to be given to the widow and the female members of a family not otherwise represented, as seems to be contemplated in the report of the committee, it must in justice be given to all women, whether single or married." The 1st, 2nd, and 5th reasons of given in that source, however, are contrary to the received conventional wisdom of his time, which held that women are represented by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons at the ballot box, and which held that the family is the political unit. It is the plain teaching of Scripture that a house (including a family) divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3.24/26, Luke 11.17/18). Therefore, it follows that the burden of proof is on those who DENY that the family is the electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation, to prove from the Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions that if "the Scriptures recognize us as voters at all, they do not recognize us as families, but as individuals", and to prove the given 1st, 2nd, and 5th reasons (however, everyone knows that the source's 3rd and 4th reasons are the natural result of C. F. W. Walther's doctrine of Voter Supremacy and the Bible's teaching found in 1 Timothy 2:12). So, is the claim of the article, The Lutheran Church Review, Volume 18, page 484, 485, expressed in its 1st, 2nd, and 5th reasons the true teaching of the Scripture or not on this case of conscience? Please provide a sound theological proof from the Bible and Lutheran Confessions. At least one thing is obvious: "woman suffrage" and "voter supremacy" cannot both be mixed together in the same Voter Assembly of the same local congregation without resulting in a violation of the Divine Order of the Creation.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 11, 2021, 07:44:40 PM
????
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 11, 2021, 08:04:16 PM
????

What is there about Case of Conscience #1 that you don't understand?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Richard Johnson on May 11, 2021, 08:26:49 PM
????

What is there about Case of Conscience #1 that you don't understand?

What is it that you think is worth understanding?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 11, 2021, 08:38:31 PM
Ezekiel 18 removes the family ties. Every individual is responsible for their own lives. (see also Jeremiah 31:29-30). Children are not connected to their parents, nor parents to their children. Every individual is judged on their own merits.


Most of the newer translations of Psalm 68:6a do not translate בַּיִת with "family," but with "house," its more literal meaning. "God settles the lonely in their homes." (CEB)
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 11, 2021, 09:13:05 PM
Until I tried - and failed - to make sense and seek relevance in “case of Conscience #1,” I thought the old goofiness about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin was the dumbest thing to talk about in church circles.
Bye now.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 11, 2021, 09:27:42 PM
????

What is there about Case of Conscience #1 that you don't understand?

What is it that you think is worth understanding?

The Lutheran source (The Lutheran Church Review, Volume 18, page 484, 485) which I quoted, and was written over 120 years ago, and which opposed the very idea of woman suffrage in the local congregation (on the grounds that the act of voting in church is an act of ruling and governing and exercising ecclesiastical authority: but I will get back to that assertion later on), contended that "If the Scriptures recognize us as voters at all, they do not recognize us as families, but as individuals. No one votes for a family, but for himself only"; but the prevailing conventional wisdom of that time, in opposition to woman suffrage, contended that the unit of electoral representation is the family, and that women are already represented by the votes of their adult male relatives in the same family, and therefore there is no need for these women to vote in person. The unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation cannot be both the individual and the family. If you accept the one you must reject the other. So according to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, which one of these two is the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation? The individual, or the family?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: peter_speckhard on May 11, 2021, 09:33:42 PM
????

What is there about Case of Conscience #1 that you don't understand?

What is it that you think is worth understanding?

The Lutheran source (The Lutheran Church Review, Volume 18, page 484, 485) which I quoted, and was written over 120 years ago, and which opposed the very idea of woman suffrage in the local congregation (on the grounds that the act of voting in church is an act of ruling and governing and exercising ecclesiastical authority: but I will get back to that assertion later on), contended that "If the Scriptures recognize us as voters at all, they do not recognize us as families, but as individuals. No one votes for a family, but for himself only"; but the prevailing conventional wisdom of that time, in opposition to woman suffrage, contended that the unit of electoral representation is the family, and that women are already represented by the votes of their adult male relatives in the same family, and therefore there is no need for these women to vote in person. The unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation cannot be both the individual and the family. If you accept the one you must reject the other. So according to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, which one of these two is the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation? The individual, or the family?
Where do you see the Bible or the Confessions addressing the issue of Voter Assemblies? The constitution of the congregation could call for the casting of lots to make decisions rather than taking votes and it would not be contrary to Scripture.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 11, 2021, 10:01:33 PM
Where do you see the Bible or the Confessions addressing the issue of Voter Assemblies? The constitution of the congregation could call for the casting of lots to make decisions rather than taking votes and it would not be contrary to Scripture.

Here is my answer. First, voting is clearly described in the New Testament with the Greek word "cheirotoneo"

KJV Acts 14:23 “And when they had ordained [chose by vote] them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” (We can assume that King James and the Anglican Church translated "cheirotoneo" "ordained" because they didn't want the people to vote.)

KJV 2 Corinthians 8:19 “And not that only, but who was also chosen [by vote] of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:”

Second, a number of translations incorrectly define "cheirotoneo" as "ordain." However, all authoritative Greek lexicons state that the New Testament clearly teaches congregational voting by using the word "cheirotoneo." Translating "cheirotoneo" to "choose," or "appoint," must be understood as "choose by vote" or "appoint by vote."

Third, LCMS theologians have always taught that congregational voting was Biblical including, Pieper , John Fritz, J. T. Mueller, George Perlich, and C. F. W. Walther.

Fourth, Luther's writings in so many places plead earnestly for the right of the congregation to elect their own pastors by popular congregational vote.

"Let this passage be your sure foundation, [1Cor.14:31 because it gives such an overwhelming power to the Christian congregations to preach, to permit preaching, and to call. Especially if there is a need, it [this passage] calls everyone with a special call-without a call for men-so that we should have no doubt that THE CONGREGATION WHICH HAS THE GOSPEL MAY AND SHOULD ELECT AND CALL FROM AMONG ITS MEMBERS someone to teach the word in its place." (LW 39:311)

"The other way of sending is indeed also one by God, but it is done through the instrumentality of man. . . . Now a new way of sending was instituted, which works through man but is not of man. We were sent according to this method; according to it we ELECT AND SEND others, and we install them in their ministry to preach and to administer the Sacraments. This type of sending is also of God and commanded by God. Even though God resorts to our aid and to human agency, it is He Himself who sends laborers into His vineyard." LW22:482

"Let this passage be your sure foundation, [1Cor.14:31] because it gives such an overwhelming power to the Christian congregations to preach, to permit preaching, and to call. Especially if there is a need, it [this passage] calls everyone with a special call-without a call from men-so that we should have no doubt that the congregation which has the gospel may and SHOULD ELECT AND CALL from among its members someone to teach the word in its place." LW39:311

"Neither Titus nor Timothy nor Paul ever instituted a priest without the CONGREGATION'S ELECTION AND CALL." LW39:312

"Moreover, if there were really decent bishops who want to have the gospel and wanted to institute decent preachers, they still could not and should not do so without the will, THE ELECTION, AND CALL OF THE CONGREGATION-except in those cases where need made it necessary so that souls would not perish for lack of the divine word." LW39:312

"Again, we even read in Acts 4 [6:1-6] regarding an even lesser office, that the apostles were not permitted to institute a person as deacon without the knowledge and consent of the congregation. Rather, THE CONGREGATION ELECTED AND CALLED the seven deacons, and the apostles confirmed them." LW39:312

"But the community rights demand that one, or as many as the COMMUNITY CHOOSES, shall be chosen or approved who, in the name of all with these rights, shall perform these functions publicly." LW40:34

"How much more, then, does not a certain community as a whole have both right and command to commit BY COMMON VOTE such an office to one or more, to be exercised in its stead. With the approval of the community these might then delegate the office to others." LW40:36

". . . then it but remains either to let the church perish without the Word or to let those who come together CAST THEIR BALLOTS and elect one or as many as are needed of those who are capable." [2Tim. 2; Acts 18: 24ff; 1Cor.14: 30; Ti.1: 6ff.] LW40:37
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: peter_speckhard on May 11, 2021, 10:42:21 PM
Where do you see the Bible or the Confessions addressing the issue of Voter Assemblies? The constitution of the congregation could call for the casting of lots to make decisions rather than taking votes and it would not be contrary to Scripture.

Here is my answer. First, voting is clearly described in the New Testament with the Greek word "cheirotoneo"

KJV Acts 14:23 “And when they had ordained [chose by vote] them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” (We can assume that King James and the Anglican Church translated "cheirotoneo" "ordained" because they didn't want the people to vote.)

KJV 2 Corinthians 8:19 “And not that only, but who was also chosen [by vote] of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:”

Second, a number of translations incorrectly define "cheirotoneo" as "ordain." However, all authoritative Greek lexicons state that the New Testament clearly teaches congregational voting by using the word "cheirotoneo." Translating "cheirotoneo" to "choose," or "appoint," must be understood as "choose by vote" or "appoint by vote."

Third, LCMS theologians have always taught that congregational voting was Biblical including, Pieper , John Fritz, J. T. Mueller, George Perlich, and C. F. W. Walther.

Fourth, Luther's writings in so many places plead earnestly for the right of the congregation to elect their own pastors by popular congregational vote.

"Let this passage be your sure foundation, [1Cor.14:31 because it gives such an overwhelming power to the Christian congregations to preach, to permit preaching, and to call. Especially if there is a need, it [this passage] calls everyone with a special call-without a call for men-so that we should have no doubt that THE CONGREGATION WHICH HAS THE GOSPEL MAY AND SHOULD ELECT AND CALL FROM AMONG ITS MEMBERS someone to teach the word in its place." (LW 39:311)

"The other way of sending is indeed also one by God, but it is done through the instrumentality of man. . . . Now a new way of sending was instituted, which works through man but is not of man. We were sent according to this method; according to it we ELECT AND SEND others, and we install them in their ministry to preach and to administer the Sacraments. This type of sending is also of God and commanded by God. Even though God resorts to our aid and to human agency, it is He Himself who sends laborers into His vineyard." LW22:482

"Let this passage be your sure foundation, [1Cor.14:31] because it gives such an overwhelming power to the Christian congregations to preach, to permit preaching, and to call. Especially if there is a need, it [this passage] calls everyone with a special call-without a call from men-so that we should have no doubt that the congregation which has the gospel may and SHOULD ELECT AND CALL from among its members someone to teach the word in its place." LW39:311

"Neither Titus nor Timothy nor Paul ever instituted a priest without the CONGREGATION'S ELECTION AND CALL." LW39:312

"Moreover, if there were really decent bishops who want to have the gospel and wanted to institute decent preachers, they still could not and should not do so without the will, THE ELECTION, AND CALL OF THE CONGREGATION-except in those cases where need made it necessary so that souls would not perish for lack of the divine word." LW39:312

"Again, we even read in Acts 4 [6:1-6] regarding an even lesser office, that the apostles were not permitted to institute a person as deacon without the knowledge and consent of the congregation. Rather, THE CONGREGATION ELECTED AND CALLED the seven deacons, and the apostles confirmed them." LW39:312

"But the community rights demand that one, or as many as the COMMUNITY CHOOSES, shall be chosen or approved who, in the name of all with these rights, shall perform these functions publicly." LW40:34

"How much more, then, does not a certain community as a whole have both right and command to commit BY COMMON VOTE such an office to one or more, to be exercised in its stead. With the approval of the community these might then delegate the office to others." LW40:36

". . . then it but remains either to let the church perish without the Word or to let those who come together CAST THEIR BALLOTS and elect one or as many as are needed of those who are capable." [2Tim. 2; Acts 18: 24ff; 1Cor.14: 30; Ti.1: 6ff.] LW40:37
I've always understood our various theologians to be justifying call/ordination via congregational voters' bodies as Scripturally permissible (especially given recalcitrant, anti-Gospel bishops), not Scripturally mandated as the only permissible way for a church to be organized. What is the history of congregational voters' assemblies between Constantine and Luther? Would it be Scripturally permissible to require, say, a two thirds majority to pass any motion, which would in theory empower a minority to get its way? Could they have allowed teenagers to vote? It just seems to me highly anachronistic to read the modern idea of a congregational voter assembly into the whole of church history. I know anabaptist congregations go by consensus such that an overwhelming majority must agree to do anything before the community does it. I get that anabaptists have a lot of theological problems, but is that arrangement one of them?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Michael Slusser on May 11, 2021, 10:53:20 PM
As an outsider, I'm still stuck on your thread title. Exactly what problem troubles your conscience? Or are you asking us to advise other people's consciences, people who are not asking us for help?

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 12, 2021, 12:29:28 AM
As an outsider, I'm still stuck on your thread title. Exactly what problem troubles your conscience? Or are you asking us to advise other people's consciences, people who are not asking us for help?

Peace,
Michael

I arrived at this case of conscience when thinking about the question of woman suffrage in congregational affairs. The standard syllogism, in the form Celarent, used by those who OPPOSE woman suffrage in the congregation is this:

Major Premise (Ce): No acts of church government are lawful for women to exercise. (No As are Bs.) 

Minor Premise (La): But all acts of voting in congregational affairs are acts of church government. (But all Cs are As.) 

Ergo (Rent): No acts of voting in congregational affairs are lawful for women to exercise. (Ergo, no Cs are Bs.)

Now, I affirm and confirm the Major Premise (Genesis 3:16, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 7-10, 1 Corinthians 14:34, 1 Timothy 2:11-13). The question is now, is the Minor Premise true or false?

The Minor Premise is confirmed by a 16th century "roman catholic" cardinal, who lays down the same principle as does the Minor Premise, in arguing against the right of the Christian people to vote for their own pastor: “Eligere pastores ad gubernationem et regimen pertinere certissimum est, non igitur populo convenit pastores eligere” - in English: To elect pastors is certainly a prerogative of rule and government, therefore it is unseemly for the people to choose their own pastor! (Cardinal Bellarmine, de Clericis, c. vii., tom. II., p. 981.) The historical classical doctrine of the pre-1969 old German Missouri Synod is precisely the Minor Premise, and the WELS affirms the Minor Premise even today.

But there are many in the WELS who, in their attempts to restrict the congregational vote to adult males, contend that the electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly is the family and not the individual, and that all the female members of the family are already represented by the votes of the adult male members of that same family and therefore the females don't even NEED to vote in person. But the Lutheran source (The Lutheran Church Review, Volume 18, page 484, 485) which I quoted, and was written over 120 years ago, and which opposed the very idea of woman suffrage in the local congregation precisely on the grounds that the act of voting in church is an act of ruling and governing and exercising ecclesiastical authority, contended that "If the Scriptures recognize us as voters at all, they do not recognize us as families, but as individuals. No one votes for a family, but for himself only", and therefore the only Scripturally warrantable electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly is the individual.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 12, 2021, 03:08:29 AM
KJV Acts 14:23 “And when they had ordained [chose by vote] them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” (We can assume that King James and the Anglican Church translated "cheirotoneo" "ordained" because they didn't want the people to vote.)


χειροτονέω in Acts 14:23 does not indicate that the congregations voted for their elders, but, in that context, the word means "to choose," or "to appoint." These are meanings given in the Greek-English Lexicons of BDAG, Lowe & Nida, and even the classical lexicon of Lindell & Scott.

Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Michael Slusser on May 12, 2021, 09:40:10 AM
As an outsider, I'm still stuck on your thread title. Exactly what problem troubles your conscience? Or are you asking us to advise other people's consciences, people who are not asking us for help?

I arose that this case of conscience when thinking about the question of woman suffrage in congregational affairs. The standard syllogism, in the form Celarent, used by those who OPPOSE woman suffrage in the congregation is this:

Major Premise (Ce): No acts of church government are lawful for women to exercise. (No As are Bs.) 

Minor Premise (La): But all acts of voting in congregational affairs are acts of church government. (But all Cs are As.) 

Ergo (Rent): No acts of voting in congregational affairs are lawful for women to exercise. (Ergo, no Cs are Bs.)

Now, I affirm and confirm the Major Premise (Genesis 3:16, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 7-10, 1 Corinthians 14:34, 1 Timothy 2:11-13). The question is now, is the Minor Premise true or false?

The Minor Premise is confirmed by a 16th century "roman catholic" cardinal, who lays down the same principle as does the Minor Premise, in arguing against the right of the Christian people to vote for their own pastor: “Eligere pastores ad gubernationem et regimen pertinere certissimum est, non igitur populo convenit pastores eligere” - in English: To elect pastors is certainly a prerogative of rule and government, therefore it is unseemly for the people to choose their own pastor! (Cardinal Bellarmine, de Clericis, c. vii., tom. II., p. 981.) The historical classical doctrine of the pre-1969 old German Missouri Synod is precisely the Minor Premise, and the WELS affirms the Minor Premise even today.

But there are many in the WELS who, in their attempts to restrict the congregational vote to adult males, contend that the electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly is the family and not the individual, and that all the female members of the family are already represented by the votes of the adult male members of that same family and therefore the females don't even NEED to vote in person. But the Lutheran source (The Lutheran Church Review, Volume 18, page 484, 485) which I quoted, and was written over 120 years ago, and which opposed the very idea of woman suffrage in the local congregation precisely on the grounds that the act of voting in church is an act of ruling and governing and exercising ecclesiastical authority, contended that "If the Scriptures recognize us as voters at all, they do not recognize us as families, but as individuals. No one votes for a family, but for himself only", and therefore the only Scripturally warrantable electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly is the individual.
And what is the case of  conscience that you face (if I may be so bold)? What are you tempted to do, or as to what decision do you wonder about what you should do?

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 12, 2021, 11:09:23 AM
As an outsider, I'm still stuck on your thread title. Exactly what problem troubles your conscience? Or are you asking us to advise other people's consciences, people who are not asking us for help?

I arose that this case of conscience when thinking about the question of woman suffrage in congregational affairs. The standard syllogism, in the form Celarent, used by those who OPPOSE woman suffrage in the congregation is this:

Major Premise (Ce): No acts of church government are lawful for women to exercise. (No As are Bs.) 

Minor Premise (La): But all acts of voting in congregational affairs are acts of church government. (But all Cs are As.) 

Ergo (Rent): No acts of voting in congregational affairs are lawful for women to exercise. (Ergo, no Cs are Bs.)

Now, I affirm and confirm the Major Premise (Genesis 3:16, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 7-10, 1 Corinthians 14:34, 1 Timothy 2:11-13). The question is now, is the Minor Premise true or false?

The Minor Premise is confirmed by a 16th century "roman catholic" cardinal, who lays down the same principle as does the Minor Premise, in arguing against the right of the Christian people to vote for their own pastor: “Eligere pastores ad gubernationem et regimen pertinere certissimum est, non igitur populo convenit pastores eligere” - in English: To elect pastors is certainly a prerogative of rule and government, therefore it is unseemly for the people to choose their own pastor! (Cardinal Bellarmine, de Clericis, c. vii., tom. II., p. 981.) The historical classical doctrine of the pre-1969 old German Missouri Synod is precisely the Minor Premise, and the WELS affirms the Minor Premise even today.

But there are many in the WELS who, in their attempts to restrict the congregational vote to adult males, contend that the electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly is the family and not the individual, and that all the female members of the family are already represented by the votes of the adult male members of that same family and therefore the females don't even NEED to vote in person. But the Lutheran source (The Lutheran Church Review, Volume 18, page 484, 485) which I quoted, and was written over 120 years ago, and which opposed the very idea of woman suffrage in the local congregation precisely on the grounds that the act of voting in church is an act of ruling and governing and exercising ecclesiastical authority, contended that "If the Scriptures recognize us as voters at all, they do not recognize us as families, but as individuals. No one votes for a family, but for himself only", and therefore the only Scripturally warrantable electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly is the individual.
And what is the case of  conscience that you face (if I may be so bold)? What are you tempted to do, or as to what decision do you wonder about what you should do?

Peace,
Michael

The first case of conscience which I face is the question of whether the electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the individual or the family. I am trying to resolve it with sound theological reasons on the grounds of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions. The doctrine and morality of a true Christian Church ultimately rests on the teachings of her Divine Founder, which He had entrusted unto the Apostolic College, and which they taught in every local congregation at that time, and which the duly ordained and called public and official ministers of the Word and Sacrament in the said local congregations taught to their respective congregations. Every true Christian Church obeys her Lord's teachings not because they appear to be expedient or inexpedient, diplomatic or undiplomatic, but because she KNOWS that these are the Lord's teachings.

The Lutheran Church believes, teaches, and confesses that those teachings of the Lord are only to be found in the Holy Scriptures, and that the Lutheran Confessions are the true and correct Scriptural teaching concerning the very points discussed in the Lutheran Confessions themselves.

Again, the first case of conscience which I face is the question of whether the electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the individual or the family. It is not lawful for me or anybody else to accept on this question, any decision running contrary to the teachings of the Bible; nor it is lawful for any professing Lutheran on this question to accept or make any decision contrary to the Bible and Lutheran Confessions or else he ceases to be Lutheran! 
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 12, 2021, 11:29:40 AM
Juan Jeanniton writes (my emphasis added):
The doctrine and morality of a true Christian Church ultimately rests on the teachings of her Divine Founder, which He had entrusted unto the Apostolic College, and which they taught in every local congregation at that time, and which the duly ordained and called public and official ministers of the Word and Sacrament in the said local congregations taught to their respective congregations.
I comment:
You obviously do not know church history. There was wide variety of teachings and practices in the early church and a good number of those differences in teaching and practice continued for hundreds of years, most of those differences in teaching and practice remaining part of the Church catholic.
I sincerely doubt whether anyone here has ever heard of or contended that "the family" is the voting unit in a congregation. 
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: peter_speckhard on May 12, 2021, 11:32:13 AM
That's a strange crisis of conscience. It seems at least one step removed, possibly more, from any possibility of being involved in anything immoral or sinful. What would be the scenario by which the question of whether the voter assembly unit was the family or the individual would make the difference between the decision being God-pleasing or disobedient? Doesn't the vote itself, i.e. the motion voted on, have to be for something unscriptural or sinful for this to come into play at all? Or is the mere fact of a vote occurring without a clear sense of who is voting on behalf of whom itself sinful?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 12, 2021, 02:00:16 PM
That's a strange crisis of conscience. It seems at least one step removed, possibly more, from any possibility of being involved in anything immoral or sinful. What would be the scenario by which the question of whether the voter assembly unit was the family or the individual would make the difference between the decision being God-pleasing or disobedient? Doesn't the vote itself, i.e. the motion voted on, have to be for something unscriptural or sinful for this to come into play at all? Or is the mere fact of a vote occurring without a clear sense of who is voting on behalf of whom itself sinful?

That is no excuse for refusing to accept the Bible's teaching about what the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is; and it makes no difference whether the particular AFFAIR or QUESTION that the voter assembly is voting on is intrinsically sinful or not. Even if the particular DECISION that the congregation made by majority vote on a particular affair on which they had been voting had been lawful or right, it still wouldn't make it right for any member of the Voter Assembly to deny the Bible's clear teaching about what the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is.

If the Bible clearly and plainly teaches that the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the individual, well then we must accept that teaching and reject all other opinions to the contrary. Even if the particular DECISION that the congregation made by majority vote on a particular affair on which they had been voting had been lawful or right, it still wouldn't make it right for any member of the Voter Assembly to deny the Bible's clear teaching about whether the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the individual or the family.

If the Bible clearly and plainly teaches that the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the family, well then we must accept that teaching and reject all other opinions to the contrary. Even if the particular DECISION that the congregation made by majority vote on a particular affair on which they had been voting had been lawful or right, it still wouldn't make it right for any member of the Voter Assembly to deny the Bible's clear teaching about whether the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the individual or the family.

My first case of conscience which I proposed, actually turns out to be CRUCIAL for deciding the OTHER two cases of conscience to wit:

2: According to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, are adult sons (i.e. at least 21 years old) living with their father eligible to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their father, or is that contrary to their duty of obedience to their father?

3: In light of the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, especially including that part of the Table of Duties which prescribes it to be the duty of servants to be obedient to their masters, are male servants living in the household of their male master of the house to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their master, or is that a violation of the plain Scriptural precepts which teach that servants MUST obey their masters?

But here is a more precise and fully detailed statement of Cases 2 and 3 of Conscience:

Case II - Voter Assemblies and the Case of Adult Children living with their Fathers: A male member of some Confessional Lutheran congregation is a Voting Member of that congregation, and he has a wife, but no daughters, but only two sons, both of which are of the minimum age necessary to be eligible to vote in the congregation. But both of them are still living with their father and neither of these two sons has yet found a woman he would like to marry, and they are still searching. The Bible prescribes that sons (and daughters) should obey their fathers as head of the home. Thus, according to the teachings of the Bible, Lutheran Confessions, and the doctrinal teachings of C. F. W. Walther on Church Polity, will these two sons be eligible to be members of the Voter Assembly and vote in the congregation alongside with their father? Or will that be contrary to their duty of obedience to their father? Explain why or why not, using sound proofs of the Bible, Lutheran Confessions, and the writings of C. F. W. Walther & the writings of the old German LC-MS synod before the year 1969.

Case III - Voter Assemblies and the Relationship between Masters and Domestic Servants living in the same Household: In some confessional Lutheran congregation, there is a married male head of the home with a wife, children (all of them minor children and too young to vote in the Voter Assembly), hired and paid manservants and maidservants (and all the manservants are old enough to vote in the voter assembly), and he himself is a voting member of the congregation in good ecclesiastical standing. Now, the Bible teaches in so many plain and explicit precepts that it is the duty of the manservants and maidservants to obey their master. One day, there is an important voter assembly in his congregation, and all the adult manservants, having finished all their household duties for the day, decide to attend the voter assembly with their master of the house. Now, according to the teachings of the Bible, Lutheran Confessions, and the doctrinal teachings of C. F. W. Walther on Church Polity, will these adult manservants be eligible to be members of the Voter Assembly and vote in the congregation alongside with their master? Or will that be contrary to their duty of subjection and obedience to the master of the house? Also, is not the master of the house the fittest member of the house to represent the whole household by his votes in the voter assembly? And if so, does that not prove that the extra votes of the manservants are needless and superfluous; and also that if these manservants decide to vote against their master, does that not prove that they are divided against their master? Have you never read in that Bible: a house (including a family) divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3.24/26, Luke 11.17/18)? Thus in light of these considerations, it is lawful according to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions for the local congregation to give these manservants the right to vote in the local congregation's voter assembly along with their master? Or is that a violation of the plain precepts which teach that servants must obey their masters? Explain why or why not, using sound proofs of the Bible, Lutheran Confessions, and the writings of C. F. W. Walther & the writings of the old German LC-MS synod before the year 1969.

Now, if the Bible (and Lutheran Confessions!) clearly teaches that the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the family, well then it follows that since every family needs one head (indeed a two-headed creature is a monster!), that head and that head alone is idoneous and suitable to electorally represent not only himself but his whole household / family at the Voter Assembly. Any other member of the family who dares presume to vote at the same Voter Assembly of the same local congregation is usurping the representative role of their only lawful head of that family, and that is contrary to the Table of Duties.

And again, either these two members vote the same at the same Voter Assembly of the same local congregation, or they vote contrary to each other. If they vote the same, then that only proves the extra vote of the other member is needless and superfluous to represent the electoral opinions of the family, and if they vote contrary to each other, well then that proves that this extra member is divided against the head of the same family. The Sacred Scripture plainly states word-for-word that a house (including a family) divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3.24/26, Luke 11.17/18)?

Therefore if the Bible (and Lutheran Confessions!) clearly teaches that the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the family, well then it follows firstly that adult sons (i.e. at least 21 years old) living with their father are NOT eligible to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their father, or else they are guilty of usurping the prerogatives of their father as head of their home; and secondly, that male servants living in the household of their male master of the house are INELIGIBLE to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their master, or else they are guilty of violating the plain Scriptural precepts which teach that servants must obey their masters.

The answer to the Case of Conscience #1 is more decisive for the other two cases of conscience than you might think.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: peter_speckhard on May 12, 2021, 02:16:39 PM
That's a strange crisis of conscience. It seems at least one step removed, possibly more, from any possibility of being involved in anything immoral or sinful. What would be the scenario by which the question of whether the voter assembly unit was the family or the individual would make the difference between the decision being God-pleasing or disobedient? Doesn't the vote itself, i.e. the motion voted on, have to be for something unscriptural or sinful for this to come into play at all? Or is the mere fact of a vote occurring without a clear sense of who is voting on behalf of whom itself sinful?

That is no excuse for refusing to accept the Bible's teaching about what the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is; and it makes no difference whether the particular AFFAIR or QUESTION that the voter assembly is voting on is intrinsically sinful or not. Even if the particular DECISION that the congregation made by majority vote on a particular affair on which they had been voting had been lawful or right, it still wouldn't make it right for any member of the Voter Assembly to deny the Bible's clear teaching about what the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is.

If the Bible clearly and plainly teaches that the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the individual, well then we must accept that teaching and reject all other opinions to the contrary. Even if the particular DECISION that the congregation made by majority vote on a particular affair on which they had been voting had been lawful or right, it still wouldn't make it right for any member of the Voter Assembly to deny the Bible's clear teaching about whether the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the individual or the family.

If the Bible clearly and plainly teaches that the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the family, well then we must accept that teaching and reject all other opinions to the contrary. Even if the particular DECISION that the congregation made by majority vote on a particular affair on which they had been voting had been lawful or right, it still wouldn't make it right for any member of the Voter Assembly to deny the Bible's clear teaching about whether the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the individual or the family.

My first case of conscience which I proposed, actually turned out to be CRUCIAL for deciding the OTHER two cases of conscience to wit:

2: According to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, are adult sons (i.e. at least 21 years old) living with their father eligible to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their father, or is that contrary to their duty of obedience to their father?

3: In light of the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, especially including that part of the Table of Duties which prescribes it to be the duty of servants to be obedient to their masters, are male servants living in the household of their male master of the house to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their master, or is that a violation of the plain Scriptural precepts which teach that servants MUST obey their masters?

But here is a more precise and fully detailed statement of Cases 2 and 3 of Conscience:

Case II - Voter Assemblies and the Case of Adult Children living with their Fathers: A male member of some Confessional Lutheran congregation is a Voting Member of that congregation, and he has a wife, but no daughters, but only two sons, both of which are of the minimum age necessary to be eligible to vote in the congregation. But both of them are still living with their father and neither of these two sons has yet found a woman he would like to marry, and they are still searching. The Bible prescribes that sons (and daughters) should obey their fathers as head of the home. Thus, according to the teachings of the Bible, Lutheran Confessions, and the doctrinal teachings of C. F. W. Walther on Church Polity, will these two sons be eligible to be members of the Voter Assembly and vote in the congregation alongside with their father? Or will that be contrary to their duty of obedience to their father? Explain why or why not, using sound proofs of the Bible, Lutheran Confessions, and the writings of C. F. W. Walther & the writings of the old German LC-MS synod before the year 1969.

Case III - Voter Assemblies and the Relationship between Masters and Domestic Servants living in the same Household: In some confessional Lutheran congregation, there is a married male head of the home with a wife, children (all of them minor children and too young to vote in the Voter Assembly), hired and paid manservants and maidservants (and all the manservants are old enough to vote in the voter assembly), and he himself is a voting member of the congregation in good ecclesiastical standing. Now, the Bible teaches in so many plain and explicit precepts that it is the duty of the manservants and maidservants to obey their master. One day, there is an important voter assembly in his congregation, and all the adult manservants, having finished all their household duties for the day, decide to attend the voter assembly with their master of the house. Now, according to the teachings of the Bible, Lutheran Confessions, and the doctrinal teachings of C. F. W. Walther on Church Polity, will these adult manservants be eligible to be members of the Voter Assembly and vote in the congregation alongside with their master? Or will that be contrary to their duty of subjection and obedience to the master of the house? Also, is not the master of the house the fittest member of the house to represent the whole household by his votes in the voter assembly? And if so, does that not prove that the extra votes of the manservants are needless and superfluous; and also that if these manservants decide to vote against their master, does that not prove that they are divided against their master? Have you never read in that Bible: a house (including a family) divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3.24/26, Luke 11.17/18)? Thus in light of these considerations, it is lawful according to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions for the local congregation to give these manservants the right to vote in the local congregation's voter assembly along with their master? Or is that a violation of the plain precepts which teach that servants must obey their masters? Explain why or why not, using sound proofs of the Bible, Lutheran Confessions, and the writings of C. F. W. Walther & the writings of the old German LC-MS synod before the year 1969.

Now, if the Bible (and Lutheran Confessions!) clearly teaches that the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the family, well then it follows that since every family needs one head (indeed a two-headed creature is a monster!), that head and that head alone is idoneous and suitable to electorally represent not only himself but his whole household / family at the Voter Assembly. Any other member of the family who dares presume to vote at the same Voter Assembly of the same local congregation is usurping the representative role of their only lawful head of that family, and that is contrary to the Table of Duties.

And again, either these two members vote the same at the same Voter Assembly of the same local congregation, or they vote contrary to each other. If they vote the same, then that only proves the extra vote of the other member is needless and superfluous to represent the electoral opinions of the family, and if they vote contrary to each other, well then that proves that this extra member is divided against the head of the same family. The Sacred Scripture plainly states word-for-word that a house (including a family) divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3.24/26, Luke 11.17/18)?

Therefore if the Bible (and Lutheran Confessions!) clearly teaches that the unit of electoral representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the family, well then it follows firstly that adult sons (i.e. at least 21 years old) living with their father are NOT eligible to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their father, or else they are guilty of usurping the prerogatives of their father as head of their home; and secondly, male servants living in the household of their male master of the house are INELIGIBLE to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their master, or else they are guilty of violating the plain Scriptural precepts which teach that servants must obey their masters.

The answer to the Case of Conscience #1 is more decisive for the other two cases of conscience than you might think.
Does the fact that you are asking the question strike you as an answer in itself as to whether "clear" and "clearly" are good modifiers? Either it is not clear or you already know the clear answer. Why not just tell us what you think the Scriptures clearly teach or admit that maybe they don't teach it so clearly?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 12, 2021, 02:25:12 PM
Juan Jeanniton writes:
The answer to the Case of Conscience #1 is more decisive for the other two cases of conscience than you might think.
I muse:
OK, I get it.
1. You have happened upon some obscure aspect of Lutheran writing in some previous age and you have constructed certain things from your oddball interpretation of those writings. Now you bring those things to us as an example of how silly whack-doodle scenarios lie in wait for people who jump into the deep end of those writings. You warn us of the nutty stuff out there.
2. Or you are an aspiring humorist, a wannabe Jim Gaffigan hoping to be discovered.
3. You are just being you.
As for #1, we are warned. As for #2, don’t give up your day job if you have one. As for #3, see your pastor. Now.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 12, 2021, 06:41:21 PM
Does the fact that you are asking the question strike you as an answer in itself as to whether "clear" and "clearly" are good modifiers? Either it is not clear or you already know the clear answer. Why not just tell us what you think the Scriptures clearly teach or admit that maybe they don't teach it so clearly?

I posed my Case of Conscience #1, hoping that there would be somebody else on this ALPB forum who knows the answer to the question: "According to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, is the electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the individual or is it the family?", and is able to prove it from the Bible and Lutheran Confessions.

So far:
Ezekiel 18 removes the family ties. Every individual is responsible for their own lives. (see also Jeremiah 31:29-30). Children are not connected to their parents, nor parents to their children. Every individual is judged on their own merits.

Most of the newer translations of Psalm 68:6a do not translate בַּיִת with "family," but with "house," its more literal meaning. "God settles the lonely in their homes." (CEB)

T0: Thesis. In the New Testament, salvation is identified by baptism and belief, and nobody can be baptized on behalf of another, or be regenerated on behalf of another, and salvation is a free gift given individually to the individual professing Christian irrespective of family connections or affinity and it is not by virtue of the fact that the male head of the home is saved that anybody else in that family is automatically saved. In Israel, only males were circumcised, and females did not need to be circumcised in order to keep the law. Even in the cases in which the New Testament refers to salvation of the whole family, yet each individual member of the family, sooner or later, had to be baptized. The Israelite concept of family, which is directed by Mosaic law, is not just merely a question of male headship per se: it is an organization of society and the State in which in which the 3 lowest de jure and/or de facto political divisions from lower to higher are families, clans, and tribes, and where certain adult males only are the heads of the said families, clans, and tribes; and especially where these heads are not just heads in a family and kinship sense, but also often if not always in a civil, political, and juridical sense, like any head of state or civil magistrate. But this tribal and gentilicious organization of society is not an essential constitutive element of New Testament soteriology or ecclesiology.

Now, according to the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, are the claims made in that above Thesis T0 true or false, and if they are all true, then are they sufficient grounds for considering the electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly of the local congregation to be the individual rather than the family?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: peter_speckhard on May 12, 2021, 07:19:58 PM
My point is that if you need someone to answer the question because you can’t figure it out, then we know going in that all your uses of “plain,” “clear,” and “clearly” cannot meaningfully apply. If either answer were clearly and/or plainly the teaching of Scripture you wouldn’t need to ask.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 12, 2021, 07:50:18 PM
Does the fact that you are asking the question strike you as an answer in itself as to whether "clear" and "clearly" are good modifiers? Either it is not clear or you already know the clear answer. Why not just tell us what you think the Scriptures clearly teach or admit that maybe they don't teach it so clearly?

I posed my Case of Conscience #1, hoping that there would be somebody else on this ALPB forum who knows the answer to the question: "According to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, is the electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the individual or is it the family?", and is able to prove it from the Bible and Lutheran Confessions.

So far:
Ezekiel 18 removes the family ties. Every individual is responsible for their own lives. (see also Jeremiah 31:29-30). Children are not connected to their parents, nor parents to their children. Every individual is judged on their own merits.

Most of the newer translations of Psalm 68:6a do not translate בַּיִת with "family," but with "house," its more literal meaning. "God settles the lonely in their homes." (CEB)

T0: Thesis. In the New Testament, salvation is identified by baptism and belief, and nobody can be baptized on behalf of another, or be regenerated on behalf of another, and salvation is a free gift given individually to the individual professing Christian irrespective of family connections or affinity and it is not by virtue of the fact that the male head of the home is saved that anybody else in that family is automatically saved. In Israel, only males were circumcised, and females did not need to be circumcised in order to keep the law. Even in the cases in which the New Testament refers to salvation of the whole family, yet each individual member of the family, sooner or later, had to be baptized. The Israelite concept of family, which is directed by Mosaic law, is not just merely a question of male headship per se: it is an organization of society and the State in which in which the 3 lowest de jure and/or de facto political divisions from lower to higher are families, clans, and tribes, and where certain adult males only are the heads of the said families, clans, and tribes; and especially where these heads are not just heads in a family and kinship sense, but also often if not always in a civil, political, and juridical sense, like any head of state or civil magistrate. But this tribal and gentilicious organization of society is not an essential constitutive element of New Testament soteriology or ecclesiology.

Now, according to the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, are the claims made in that above Thesis T0 true or false, and if they are all true, then are they sufficient grounds for considering the electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly of the local congregation to be the individual rather than the family?


Where do you find "family" as a unit in the Bible? As far as I can tell, neither the Hebrew nor the Greek of the Bible have a word that means "nuclear family." Two words that the NRSV does translate (sometimes) with "family" in the New Testament are γενός and πατρία.


While πατρία is translated "family" or "families" all three times in the NRSV, it refers to a group much larger than mom, dad, and children. Luke 2:4 it refers to "the family of David" all the offspring from David's time down to Joseph. Acts 3:25, quoting Genesis 12:3, refers to "all the families of the earth." Similarly, Ephesians 3:15 refers to "every family in heaven and on earth."


γενός is much more complex.
Three times it is translated "family" (Acts 4:6; 7:13; 13:26) referring to an extended family - perhaps better translated "clan".


Four times it is translated "kind."
"kind of fish" (Matthew 13:47)
"this kind" (of unclean spirit) (Mark 9:29)
"kinds of tongues" (1 Corinthians 12:10, 28)
"kinds of sounds" (1 Corinthians 14:10)


Three times with "native" (Acts 4:13; 18:2, 24)
Three times with "people" (2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 1:14; Philippians 3:5)
Twice with "race" (Acts 7:19; 1 Peter 2:9)
Twice with "offspring" (Acts 17:28, 29)
Once with "origin" (Mark 7:26)
Once with "descendant" (Revelation 22:11)


Neither of these words carries quite the same meaning as the English word, "family," especially as you are using it in reference to a nuclear family of mom, dad, and children.


I also don't believe that you'll find the concept of a democracy in the Bible. The biblical world was not a democratic world.


We don't read about any sort of vote at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. After a period of discussion, where Peter, Paul, and Barnabas, and perhaps others have their say, James declares what the church will do. In fact, he says, "I conclude …" or "I judge …" (v. 19). James made the decision for the whole church.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 12, 2021, 08:17:47 PM
My point is that if you need someone to answer the question because you can’t figure it out, then we know going in that all your uses of “plain,” “clear,” and “clearly” cannot meaningfully apply. If either answer were clearly and/or plainly the teaching of Scripture you wouldn’t need to ask.
What I meant by “plain,” “clear,” and “clearly” is that I was hoping somebody on this ALPB forum would be able to figure out the case #1 of conscience, using sound proofs from the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, but without using tactics or methods which tend to deny or evade the doctrine of the divine inspiration, divine authority, infallibility, inerrancy, irreformability, and perspicuity of the Bible.

Only by strict adherence and exact conformity to the doctrine of the divine inspiration, divine authority, infallibility, inerrancy, irreformability, and perspicuity of the Bible can we claim the moral high ground for our answer to this case of conscience.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 12, 2021, 09:38:11 PM
You claim to read the Lutheran confessions. But you sure don’t write like any Lutheran I ever knew.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 12, 2021, 09:53:53 PM
Where do you find "family" as a unit in the Bible? As far as I can tell, neither the Hebrew nor the Greek of the Bible have a word that means "nuclear family." Two words that the NRSV does translate (sometimes) with "family" in the New Testament are γενός and πατρία.

While πατρία is translated "family" or "families" all three times in the NRSV, it refers to a group much larger than mom, dad, and children. Luke 2:4 it refers to "the family of David" all the offspring from David's time down to Joseph. Acts 3:25, quoting Genesis 12:3, refers to "all the families of the earth." Similarly, Ephesians 3:15 refers to "every family in heaven and on earth."

γενός is much more complex.
Three times it is translated "family" (Acts 4:6; 7:13; 13:26) referring to an extended family - perhaps better translated "clan".

Four times it is translated "kind."
"kind of fish" (Matthew 13:47)
"this kind" (of unclean spirit) (Mark 9:29)
"kinds of tongues" (1 Corinthians 12:10, 28)
"kinds of sounds" (1 Corinthians 14:10)

Three times with "native" (Acts 4:13; 18:2, 24)
Three times with "people" (2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 1:14; Philippians 3:5)
Twice with "race" (Acts 7:19; 1 Peter 2:9)
Twice with "offspring" (Acts 17:28, 29)
Once with "origin" (Mark 7:26)
Once with "descendant" (Revelation 22:11)

Neither of these words carries quite the same meaning as the English word, "family," especially as you are using it in reference to a nuclear family of mom, dad, and children.

I also don't believe that you'll find the concept of a democracy in the Bible. The biblical world was not a democratic world.

We don't read about any sort of vote at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. After a period of discussion, where Peter, Paul, and Barnabas, and perhaps others have their say, James declares what the church will do. In fact, he says, "I conclude …" or "I judge …" (v. 19). James made the decision for the whole church.
There is one mistake you have made. You have forgotten the Greek terms οἶκος and οἰκία to express the idea of a household, especially with respect to the family that lives there and whose head of that family is the head of that household. What does the usage of these terms (οἶκος, οἰκία) in the Bible say about whether the electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the individual or the family?

Again, Luther's writings in so many places plead earnestly for the right of the congregation to elect their own pastors by popular congregational vote.

"Let this passage be your sure foundation, [1Cor.14:31 because it gives such an overwhelming power to the Christian congregations to preach, to permit preaching, and to call. Especially if there is a need, it [this passage] calls everyone with a special call-without a call for men-so that we should have no doubt that THE CONGREGATION WHICH HAS THE GOSPEL MAY AND SHOULD ELECT AND CALL FROM AMONG ITS MEMBERS someone to teach the word in its place." (LW 39:311)

"The other way of sending is indeed also one by God, but it is done through the instrumentality of man. . . . Now a new way of sending was instituted, which works through man but is not of man. We were sent according to this method; according to it we ELECT AND SEND others, and we install them in their ministry to preach and to administer the Sacraments. This type of sending is also of God and commanded by God. Even though God resorts to our aid and to human agency, it is He Himself who sends laborers into His vineyard." LW22:482

"Let this passage be your sure foundation, [1Cor.14:31] because it gives such an overwhelming power to the Christian congregations to preach, to permit preaching, and to call. Especially if there is a need, it [this passage] calls everyone with a special call-without a call from men-so that we should have no doubt that the congregation which has the gospel may and SHOULD ELECT AND CALL from among its members someone to teach the word in its place." LW39:311

"Neither Titus nor Timothy nor Paul ever instituted a priest without the CONGREGATION'S ELECTION AND CALL." LW39:312

"Moreover, if there were really decent bishops who want to have the gospel and wanted to institute decent preachers, they still could not and should not do so without the will, THE ELECTION, AND CALL OF THE CONGREGATION-except in those cases where need made it necessary so that souls would not perish for lack of the divine word." LW39:312

"Again, we even read in Acts 4 [6:1-6] regarding an even lesser office, that the apostles were not permitted to institute a person as deacon without the knowledge and consent of the congregation. Rather, THE CONGREGATION ELECTED AND CALLED the seven deacons, and the apostles confirmed them." LW39:312

"But the community rights demand that one, or as many as the COMMUNITY CHOOSES, shall be chosen or approved who, in the name of all with these rights, shall perform these functions publicly." LW40:34

"How much more, then, does not a certain community as a whole have both right and command to commit BY COMMON VOTE such an office to one or more, to be exercised in its stead. With the approval of the community these might then delegate the office to others." LW40:36

". . . then it but remains either to let the church perish without the Word or to let those who come together CAST THEIR BALLOTS and elect one or as many as are needed of those who are capable." [2Tim. 2; Acts 18: 24ff; 1Cor.14: 30; Ti.1: 6ff.] LW40:37
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 12, 2021, 09:59:04 PM
All these words, spilled and wasted, over a nutty and meaningless triviality about “household” voting.
Can we just stop it?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: peter_speckhard on May 12, 2021, 10:28:14 PM
All these words, spilled and wasted, over a nutty and meaningless triviality about “household” voting.
Can we just stop it?

It is a separate thread. Ignore it.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 12, 2021, 11:16:50 PM
OK But having crud like this online dishonors and demeans the ALPB forum.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: RDPreus on May 13, 2021, 01:10:16 AM
You claim to read the Lutheran confessions. But you sure don’t write like any Lutheran I ever knew.

That's because he isn't a Lutheran.  In his profile on Luther Quest he identifies his denomination as SDA. 
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 13, 2021, 03:18:03 AM
Elsewhere online someone with that name claims a PhD in “physical chemistry,” and there are writings on quantum mechanics under that name. There are also articles claiming the church requires a total “male headship.”
Over on that other site, he contends that a layman can never lead “public prayer.”
But if a Seventh-day Adventist, not a Lutheran, and repeatedly using “our” setting and asking “proof”  from the confessions and posting voluminously, he is a toxic, invasive troll. The postings dishonor and demean the ALPB forum.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 13, 2021, 03:43:37 AM
There is one mistake you have made. You have forgotten the Greek terms οἶκος and οἰκία to express the idea of a household, especially with respect to the family that lives there and whose head of that family is the head of that household. What does the usage of these terms (οἶκος, οἰκία) in the Bible say about whether the electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is the individual or the family?


 Yes, οἶκος and οἰκία can mean "household". When it does, it refers to all the people living within the house; including servants. Very seldom are they translated "family." Again, I ask, where does the Bible talk about the nuclear family of mom, dad, and children?

Quote
Again, Luther's writings in so many places plead earnestly for the right of the congregation to elect their own pastors by popular congregational vote.

"Let this passage be your sure foundation, [1Cor.14:31 because it gives such an overwhelming power to the Christian congregations to preach, to permit preaching, and to call. Especially if there is a need, it [this passage] calls everyone with a special call-without a call for men-so that we should have no doubt that THE CONGREGATION WHICH HAS THE GOSPEL MAY AND SHOULD ELECT AND CALL FROM AMONG ITS MEMBERS someone to teach the word in its place." (LW 39:311)

"The other way of sending is indeed also one by God, but it is done through the instrumentality of man. . . . Now a new way of sending was instituted, which works through man but is not of man. We were sent according to this method; according to it we ELECT AND SEND others, and we install them in their ministry to preach and to administer the Sacraments. This type of sending is also of God and commanded by God. Even though God resorts to our aid and to human agency, it is He Himself who sends laborers into His vineyard." LW22:482

"Let this passage be your sure foundation, [1Cor.14:31] because it gives such an overwhelming power to the Christian congregations to preach, to permit preaching, and to call. Especially if there is a need, it [this passage] calls everyone with a special call-without a call from men-so that we should have no doubt that the congregation which has the gospel may and SHOULD ELECT AND CALL from among its members someone to teach the word in its place." LW39:311

"Neither Titus nor Timothy nor Paul ever instituted a priest without the CONGREGATION'S ELECTION AND CALL." LW39:312

"Moreover, if there were really decent bishops who want to have the gospel and wanted to institute decent preachers, they still could not and should not do so without the will, THE ELECTION, AND CALL OF THE CONGREGATION-except in those cases where need made it necessary so that souls would not perish for lack of the divine word." LW39:312

"Again, we even read in Acts 4 [6:1-6] regarding an even lesser office, that the apostles were not permitted to institute a person as deacon without the knowledge and consent of the congregation. Rather, THE CONGREGATION ELECTED AND CALLED the seven deacons, and the apostles confirmed them." LW39:312

"But the community rights demand that one, or as many as the COMMUNITY CHOOSES, shall be chosen or approved who, in the name of all with these rights, shall perform these functions publicly." LW40:34

"How much more, then, does not a certain community as a whole have both right and command to commit BY COMMON VOTE such an office to one or more, to be exercised in its stead. With the approval of the community these might then delegate the office to others." LW40:36

". . . then it but remains either to let the church perish without the Word or to let those who come together CAST THEIR BALLOTS and elect one or as many as are needed of those who are capable." [2Tim. 2; Acts 18: 24ff; 1Cor.14: 30; Ti.1: 6ff.] LW40:37


Luther's Works have no official standing. They are not our confessional writings.


I believe Luther is wrong about calling the choice of the seven an "election". They were "chosen," and when that word is used, like God choosing us, it's not through an election process.


I also believe that his application of 1 Corinthians 14:31 is faulty. What does: "You can all prophesy one at a time so that everyone can learn and be encouraged" (CEB) have to do with elections or even calling a pastor? In addition, "prophesying," within that context, like within the contemporary charismatic movement, had a very specific meaning. It was/is seen essentially as the same thing as speaking in tongues, but rather being a language that wasn't understood, the Spirit used an understandable language when empowering someone to prophesy. It is not like spending hours studying a text, then composing a sermon; which is what pastors do every week.


I'm also curious what the German (or Latin) word Luther used that was translated "elected".
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: D. Engebretson on May 13, 2021, 09:53:57 AM
The postings dishonor and demean the ALPB forum.

I have had no real interest in the premise of this thread. So, except for this post I haven't posted much of a response.  But how do these postings "dishonor and demean the ALPB forum"? Considering the rather biting political commentary we endured here during the election, this thread seems rather tame by comparison.  My impression was that the forum was a place of discussion that permitted a wide range of topics and issues and participants.  From time to time threads are closed down by moderators for a variety of reasons, and recently the ALPB leaders established some additional directions on discussions and participants, including one on anonymous posters. But this poster has a name and the topic, while seeming somewhat confusing and esoteric to some, doesn't necessarily seem to be offensive or combative or attacking, unless I'm missing something.   
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: peter_speckhard on May 13, 2021, 10:50:53 AM
The postings dishonor and demean the ALPB forum.

I have had no real interest in the premise of this thread. So, except for this post I haven't posted much of a response.  But how do these postings "dishonor and demean the ALPB forum"? Considering the rather biting political commentary we endured here during the election, this thread seems rather tame by comparison.  My impression was that the forum was a place of discussion that permitted a wide range of topics and issues and participants.  From time to time threads are closed down by moderators for a variety of reasons, and recently the ALPB leaders established some additional directions on discussions and participants, including one on anonymous posters. But this poster has a name and the topic, while seeming somewhat confusing and esoteric to some, doesn't necessarily seem to be offensive or combative or attacking, unless I'm missing something.   
Agreed. It is a strange topic, but related to Lutheran theology for those who are interested in it and easily ignorable by those who aren't.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 13, 2021, 10:55:22 AM
Mr. Austin, you said:
Elsewhere online someone with that name claims a PhD in “physical chemistry,” and there are writings on quantum mechanics under that name. There are also articles claiming the church requires a total “male headship.”
Over on that other site, he contends that a layman can never lead “public prayer.”
I am not actually the one contending that it is unlawful for laymen to lead public prayer in church. The true origin of the source of that claim, namely that it is unlawful for laymen to lead in public prayer, is Pages 307, 323, and 324 of The Lutheran Witness, Volume 37, which shows and documents objectively, that it was the historical position of the Missouri Synod around the year 1915 - 1920 that laymen cannot ordinarily lead public prayer. In fact, here is also another confessional Lutheran source which also makes the same claim that it is for laymen to lead public prayer in church:

A letter from C.F.W. Walther to Pastor Ottesen of the Norwegian Synod, as given in Walther Speaks to the Church, Selected Letters by C.F.W. Walther, edited by Carl S. Meyer, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis London, 1973:
Quote
When the essay Kirke und Amt, page 24, says: "A layman shall not presume to teach in the presence of bishops, except when they themselves request it of him," this does not say there could not be cases in which such a demand is justified. Who will deny that there could be such cases! The question is whether such an arrangement might be made according to which the pastor would grant the layman as a right occasionally to teach the people publicly in his stead and to lead them publicly in prayer, and when this is done customarily. Such action is so absolutely diametrically opposed to the Scriptural doctrine of the office (1 Cor. 12:29; Acts 6:4; Titus 1:5) and to Article XIV of the Augsburg Confession, to all testimonies of pure teachers and against the constant practice of our church, that we cannot comprehend how a person who is otherwise grounded in God's Word and fairly well at home in the orthodox church can for one moment be in confusion. To based such a matter on the spiritual priesthood of Christians is nonsense, for if that procedure were followed, nobody would have any reason to pay any attention to the calling of the pastor [Herr Pfarrer]. Much less can such a procedure be based on a special call, for the church cannot create a call according to its own discretion but can issue only that call which God has instituted and which He alone recognizes, not, however, through a human contract for a few hours and days. Moreover, the matter cannot be founded, as is clear, on the case of necessity.

Finally, you said 'But if a Seventh-day Adventist, not a Lutheran, and repeatedly using “our” setting and asking “proof”  from the confessions and posting voluminously, he is a toxic, invasive troll. The postings dishonor and demean the ALPB forum'.

There are several logical fallacies you have committed in your last comment. First, you have committed an ad hominem attack on my personal character. Secondly, in trying to discredit the information I am giving you, you have committed what is known as the "genetic fallacy" or a "poisoning the well". An ad hominem "a rhetorical strategy where the speaker attacks the character, motive, or some other attribute of the person making an argument rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself" (Wikipedia on ad hominem). Here is how it occurs: A makes a certain claim Q, but the opponents B claim that the very fact that A has attributes that B doesn't like constitutes the definitive and decisive proof that the claim Q is false. The genetic fallacy occurs when a claim is rejected merely on account of the source of the evidence. Poisoning the well occurs when "adverse information about a target is preemptively presented to an audience, with the intention of discrediting or ridiculing something that the target person is about to say" (Wikipedia on Poisoning the Well). Here is the form of Poisoning the Well: Adverse information about a person making a certain claim C is presented preemptively just as if the mere truth of such information constituted the definitive and decisive PROOF that the claim C is false. There is also another fallacy you have committed, and that is straw-man. You claim that I teach and believe it is unlawful for laymen to lead in public prayer. That is not my actual claim. My actual claim is that the historical position of the Missouri Synod has been that it is unlawful for laymen to lead in public prayer. The sources I have used to prove my actual claim are GENUINE Lutheran sources.

Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Dave Likeness on May 13, 2021, 11:16:40 AM
It might be helpful to those on this thread to understand what is a CONSTRUCTIVE argument.

A CONSTRUCTIVE argument focuses on the issues involved in the argument.

A DESTRUCTIVE argument verbally attacks the other person involved in the argument.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 13, 2021, 11:22:00 AM
I guess I will try to take Peter’s advice, and ignore what goes on in this thread.
I have been in online discussions since 1983, and I think I have learned how to recognize Trollish, infantile, and unbalanced behavior. We have seen it a few times before in this modest forum, and I think we’re seeing it again. And let us remember, Dave Likeness, some persons need to be “verbally attacked.” My only advice to the one laying this junk on us: Get a life. Get help.
But carry-on.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: RDPreus on May 13, 2021, 11:57:36 AM
It really is possible to ignore threads and posts that we find annoying, but it isn't easy.  I understand.  You are a radical liberal and I am a stick in the mud dead orthodox conservative, but we are both argumentative at heart.  So, concerning posts that annoy, let me, in the words of former President Bill Clinton, say to you: "I feel your pain."   :)
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Dave Benke on May 13, 2021, 12:24:49 PM
My advice to me is as follows:

This is a person, I guess not a bot, who migrated over from Lutherquest because he was too strange for that site. 
The best working tactic is to ignore both the thread and any contributions from the thread-bearer on any other thread.
A thread-bare approach.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: D. Engebretson on May 13, 2021, 12:35:18 PM
I think it is helpful, also, to realize that this is a discussion board.  A place, I would think, to share ideas, debate the merits of those ideas, endeavor at times to learn, hope at other times to enlighten.  It is a small corner of the world.  We are not going to move mountains here.  And we are not called to engage everything.  We are not all equally gifted or blessed with the same knowledge and insight. Sometimes I think it's easy to get waaaay to worked up here.  Walk away. Take a breath. And since this is the holy Ascensiontide, go to church and receive God's gifts!  You will gain much more.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 13, 2021, 02:17:16 PM
I've replied (to no one's surprise) because I enjoy the personal study it takes to support my arguments. I learn things.


The latest learning, whatever Luther meant by "election" in his works, it was not likely to be a democratic type election (like we have in our congregations and church bodies). According to Wiki, Germany didn't become democratic until 1919.


It seems more likely that the meaning behind "election" (whatever German or Latin word Luther used,) was like God's "election" of Israel. It was not a democratic decision, but God's choice. Their election means that they are "the Chosen People."


ἐκλέγομαι and related words, ἐκλεκτός, ἐκλογή, can and are are translated, "the elect," "election," but it's not an election like in a democracy. The words, refer to making a choice. Frequently, it is about God choosing, e.g., The Chosen people, the Chosen Son; God chose you; Jesus chose the Twelve. Sometimes its about a human choice: guests choosing places of honor at a banquet; the Jerusalem council choosing representatives to send to the Gentile converts.


What is clear to me, especially when used in terms of God's choice, is that the words do not refer to a democratic election.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 14, 2021, 12:44:39 AM
I've replied (to no one's surprise) because I enjoy the personal study it takes to support my arguments. I learn things.

The latest learning, whatever Luther meant by "election" in his works, it was not likely to be a democratic type election (like we have in our congregations and church bodies). According to Wiki, Germany didn't become democratic until 1919.

It seems more likely that the meaning behind "election" (whatever German or Latin word Luther used,) was like God's "election" of Israel. It was not a democratic decision, but God's choice. Their election means that they are "the Chosen People."

ἐκλέγομαι and related words, ἐκλεκτός, ἐκλογή, can and are are translated, "the elect," "election," but it's not an election like in a democracy. The words, refer to making a choice. Frequently, it is about God choosing, e.g., The Chosen people, the Chosen Son; God chose you; Jesus chose the Twelve. Sometimes its about a human choice: guests choosing places of honor at a banquet; the Jerusalem council choosing representatives to send to the Gentile converts.

What is clear to me, especially when used in terms of God's choice, is that the words do not refer to a democratic election.

But here is the historical teaching of the Missouri Synod (which I have put in red):

"With the keys of the kingdom of heaven every Evangelical Lutheran LOCAL CONGREGATION HAS ALL THE CHURCH POWER it needs, that is, the power and authority to do all things that are necessary for its administration." (Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W Walther, CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.24

"Finally the congregation is represented as the SUPREME TRIBUNAL, Matt.18:15-18.... Passage quoted" Note 7 on p 29 refers to this using the term 'highest jurisdiction' and referring in turn to the "Power and Primacy Of Pope," 'highest and final jurisdiction to the church... (Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W Walther, CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.24

"In public church affairs nothing should be concluded without a vote and consent of the congregation." (Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W Walther, CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.48)

(Under the topic of what kinds of things may be decided on in Voters) " In Matt. 18 the Lord Christ entrusts not to secular government but to HIS CONGREGATION THE SUPREME JUDGEMENT AND POWER to matters pertaining to the church, among which are: the election and calling of pastors, the judgment of doctrine, and the power to depose unfaithful teachers." (Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W Walther, quotes Hesshusius CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.54)

"To the church the final decision must be entrusted." (Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W Walther, quotes Dannhaus, CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.56)

"SINCE THE RIGHT TO VOTE BELONGS TO THE WHOLE CONGREGATION, the voting, of course, must be done by those who represent the congregation." (Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W Walther, CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.66)

"Though the constitution made the congregation the possessor of all church power and the HIGHEST TRIBUNAL, it did safeguard the ministry in various ways. The tenure of office was made permanent. No calls to pastors providing for a time limit were tolerated in the Missouri Synod." ("Government in the Missouri Synod" by Carl Mundinger, 1947, CPH, page 196)

"The Congregation, Not the Pastor, Has Supreme and Final Jurisdiction.--In according with the Scriptures (see texts quoted in previous paragraph) [These passages are printed at the end of this article after the *.] Our Confessions say:--"CHRIST GIVES SUPREME AND FINAL JURISDICTION to the church when he says: "Tell it unto the church'" (Smalcald Articles, Of the Power and Primacy of the Pope. Trigl.,p.511.) ("Pastoral Theology", John Fritz, CPH 1932, page 314)

Walther also regularly quotes Matthew 18:15-20 as textual proof for the divine institution of the Congregation in addition to the divine institution of the Voters' Assembly. He writes in his pastoral theology: "Since, ACCORDING TO GOD'S WORD, THE CONGREGATION IS THE HIGHEST COURT WITHIN ITS CIRCLE (Matt.18:17 Col. 4:17), and the preacher has church authority only in common with the congregation (Matt. 20-25-26; 23:8; 1Peter.5:1-3; 2Cor.8:8), the preacher must be concerned that the congregational assembly, both regular and special ones as needed at times, be held in Christian order to consider and carry out what is necessary for its governing (Matt. 18:17; 1Cor. 5:4;2 2Cor.2;6 Acts 6:20 15:1-4, 30; 21:17-22; 1Tim.5:20)." (Pastoral Theology by C.F.W. Walther, CN New Haven Mo., 5th Edition 1906 page 257)

"Therefore, I say that neither the pope nor a bishop nor any other person has the authority to prescribe to a Christian even the least command unless he consents to it. Whatever else is done stems from a tyrannical spirit" (Babylonian Captivity of the Church 1520 Luther) Walther, Church and Ministry Page 314

"History shows, too, that for a long time in the Church of the first centuries public ministers were appointed by congregational vote. The remark of the Smalcald Articles: 'Formerly the people elected pastors and bishops.' (Trigl. 525, ibid, 70), can be proved to be historically correct." (Pieper Vol. III Page 453)

The burden of proof is on those who say that any one of the above teachings of the Missouri Synod are CONTRARY to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 14, 2021, 02:12:08 AM
I've replied (to no one's surprise) because I enjoy the personal study it takes to support my arguments. I learn things.

The latest learning, whatever Luther meant by "election" in his works, it was not likely to be a democratic type election (like we have in our congregations and church bodies). According to Wiki, Germany didn't become democratic until 1919.

It seems more likely that the meaning behind "election" (whatever German or Latin word Luther used,) was like God's "election" of Israel. It was not a democratic decision, but God's choice. Their election means that they are "the Chosen People."

ἐκλέγομαι and related words, ἐκλεκτός, ἐκλογή, can and are are translated, "the elect," "election," but it's not an election like in a democracy. The words, refer to making a choice. Frequently, it is about God choosing, e.g., The Chosen people, the Chosen Son; God chose you; Jesus chose the Twelve. Sometimes its about a human choice: guests choosing places of honor at a banquet; the Jerusalem council choosing representatives to send to the Gentile converts.

What is clear to me, especially when used in terms of God's choice, is that the words do not refer to a democratic election.

But here is the historical teaching of the Missouri Synod (which I have put in red):

"With the keys of the kingdom of heaven every Evangelical Lutheran LOCAL CONGREGATION HAS ALL THE CHURCH POWER it needs, that is, the power and authority to do all things that are necessary for its administration." (Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W Walther, CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.24

"Finally the congregation is represented as the SUPREME TRIBUNAL, Matt.18:15-18.... Passage quoted" Note 7 on p 29 refers to this using the term 'highest jurisdiction' and referring in turn to the "Power and Primacy Of Pope," 'highest and final jurisdiction to the church... (Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W Walther, CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.24

"In public church affairs nothing should be concluded without a vote and consent of the congregation." (Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W Walther, CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.48)

(Under the topic of what kinds of things may be decided on in Voters) " In Matt. 18 the Lord Christ entrusts not to secular government but to HIS CONGREGATION THE SUPREME JUDGEMENT AND POWER to matters pertaining to the church, among which are: the election and calling of pastors, the judgment of doctrine, and the power to depose unfaithful teachers." (Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W Walther, quotes Hesshusius CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.54)

"To the church the final decision must be entrusted." (Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W Walther, quotes Dannhaus, CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.56)

"SINCE THE RIGHT TO VOTE BELONGS TO THE WHOLE CONGREGATION, the voting, of course, must be done by those who represent the congregation." (Form of the Christian Congregation, C.F.W Walther, CPH, St. Louis, 1989, p.66)

"Though the constitution made the congregation the possessor of all church power and the HIGHEST TRIBUNAL, it did safeguard the ministry in various ways. The tenure of office was made permanent. No calls to pastors providing for a time limit were tolerated in the Missouri Synod." ("Government in the Missouri Synod" by Carl Mundinger, 1947, CPH, page 196)

"The Congregation, Not the Pastor, Has Supreme and Final Jurisdiction.--In according with the Scriptures (see texts quoted in previous paragraph) [These passages are printed at the end of this article after the *.] Our Confessions say:--"CHRIST GIVES SUPREME AND FINAL JURISDICTION to the church when he says: "Tell it unto the church'" (Smalcald Articles, Of the Power and Primacy of the Pope. Trigl.,p.511.) ("Pastoral Theology", John Fritz, CPH 1932, page 314)

Walther also regularly quotes Matthew 18:15-20 as textual proof for the divine institution of the Congregation in addition to the divine institution of the Voters' Assembly. He writes in his pastoral theology: "Since, ACCORDING TO GOD'S WORD, THE CONGREGATION IS THE HIGHEST COURT WITHIN ITS CIRCLE (Matt.18:17 Col. 4:17), and the preacher has church authority only in common with the congregation (Matt. 20-25-26; 23:8; 1Peter.5:1-3; 2Cor.8: 8) , the preacher must be concerned that the congregational assembly, both regular and special ones as needed at times, be held in Christian order to consider and carry out what is necessary for its governing (Matt. 18:17; 1Cor. 5:4;2 2Cor.2;6 Acts 6:20 15:1-4, 30; 21:17-22; 1Tim.5:20)." (Pastoral Theology by C.F.W. Walther, CN New Haven Mo., 5th Edition 1906 page 257)

"Therefore, I say that neither the pope nor a bishop nor any other person has the authority to prescribe to a Christian even the least command unless he consents to it. Whatever else is done stems from a tyrannical spirit" (Babylonian Captivity of the Church 1520 Luther) Walther, Church and Ministry Page 314

"History shows, too, that for a long time in the Church of the first centuries public ministers were appointed by congregational vote. The remark of the Smalcald Articles: 'Formerly the people elected pastors and bishops.' (Trigl. 525, ibid, 70), can be proved to be historically correct." (Pieper Vol. III Page 453)

The burden of proof is on those who say that any one of the above teachings of the Missouri Synod are CONTRARY to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions.


I am not LCMS. Walther has almost no significance in the ELCA (or its predecessor bodies).
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 14, 2021, 11:25:50 AM
I am not LCMS. Walther has almost no significance in the ELCA (or its predecessor bodies).
You call yourself a Lutheran. Do you subscribe to the Lutheran Confessions in a quia or just merely a quatenus sense? Now if in a quia sense, well then on what just and lawful and Scriptural authority do you reject Luther's Works as if they were anti-Scriptural, when it comes to the question of congregational voting? (I have put Luther's theses on Congregational Voting in blue.)
 
"The other way of sending is indeed also one by God, but it is done through the instrumentality of man. . . . Now a new way of sending was instituted, which works through man but is not of man. We were sent according to this method; according to it we ELECT AND SEND others, and we install them in their ministry to preach and to administer the Sacraments. This type of sending is also of God and commanded by God. Even though God resorts to our aid and to human agency, it is He Himself who sends laborers into His vineyard." LW22:482

"Let this passage be your sure foundation, [1Cor.14:31] because it gives such an overwhelming power to the Christian congregations to preach, to permit preaching, and to call. Especially if there is a need, it [this passage] calls everyone with a special call-without a call from men-so that we should have no doubt that the congregation which has the gospel may and SHOULD ELECT AND CALL from among its members someone to teach the word in its place." LW39:311

"Neither Titus nor Timothy nor Paul ever instituted a priest without the CONGREGATION'S ELECTION AND CALL." LW39:312

"Moreover, if there were really decent bishops who want to have the gospel and wanted to institute decent preachers, they still could not and should not do so without the will, THE ELECTION, AND CALL OF THE CONGREGATION-except in those cases where need made it necessary so that souls would not perish for lack of the divine word." LW39:312

"Again, we even read in Acts 4 [6:1-6] regarding an even lesser office, that the apostles were not permitted to institute a person as deacon without the knowledge and consent of the congregation. Rather, THE CONGREGATION ELECTED AND CALLED the seven deacons, and the apostles confirmed them." LW39:312

"But the community rights demand that one, or as many as the COMMUNITY CHOOSES, shall be chosen or approved who, in the name of all with these rights, shall perform these functions publicly." LW40:34

"How much more, then, does not a certain community as a whole have both right and command to commit BY COMMON VOTE such an office to one or more, to be exercised in its stead. With the approval of the community these might then delegate the office to others." LW40:36

". . . then it but remains either to let the church perish without the Word or to let those who come together CAST THEIR BALLOTS and elect one or as many as are needed of those who are capable." [2Tim. 2; Acts 18: 24ff; 1Cor.14: 30; Ti.1: 6ff.] LW40:37

Why do you reject these statements of Luther's Works on Congregational Voting as false and un-Lutheran doctrine? The burden of proof is on those who contend that the above theses written by Luther himself are false doctrines which contradict the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 14, 2021, 11:35:59 AM
I am not LCMS. Walther has almost no significance in the ELCA (or its predecessor bodies).
You call yourself a Lutheran. Do you subscribe to the Lutheran Confessions in a quia or just merely a quatenus sense? Now if in a quia sense, well then on what just and lawful and Scriptural authority do you reject Luther's Works as if they were anti-Scriptural, when it comes to the question of congregational voting? (I have put Luther's theses on Congregational Voting in blue.)
 
"The other way of sending is indeed also one by God, but it is done through the instrumentality of man. . . . Now a new way of sending was instituted, which works through man but is not of man. We were sent according to this method; according to it we ELECT AND SEND others, and we install them in their ministry to preach and to administer the Sacraments. This type of sending is also of God and commanded by God. Even though God resorts to our aid and to human agency, it is He Himself who sends laborers into His vineyard." LW22:482

"Let this passage be your sure foundation, [1Cor.14:31] because it gives such an overwhelming power to the Christian congregations to preach, to permit preaching, and to call. Especially if there is a need, it [this passage] calls everyone with a special call-without a call from men-so that we should have no doubt that the congregation which has the gospel may and SHOULD ELECT AND CALL from among its members someone to teach the word in its place." LW39:311

"Neither Titus nor Timothy nor Paul ever instituted a priest without the CONGREGATION'S ELECTION AND CALL." LW39:312

"Moreover, if there were really decent bishops who want to have the gospel and wanted to institute decent preachers, they still could not and should not do so without the will, THE ELECTION, AND CALL OF THE CONGREGATION-except in those cases where need made it necessary so that souls would not perish for lack of the divine word." LW39:312

"Again, we even read in Acts 4 [6:1-6] regarding an even lesser office, that the apostles were not permitted to institute a person as deacon without the knowledge and consent of the congregation. Rather, THE CONGREGATION ELECTED AND CALLED the seven deacons, and the apostles confirmed them." LW39:312

"But the community rights demand that one, or as many as the COMMUNITY CHOOSES, shall be chosen or approved who, in the name of all with these rights, shall perform these functions publicly." LW40:34

"How much more, then, does not a certain community as a whole have both right and command to commit BY COMMON VOTE such an office to one or more, to be exercised in its stead. With the approval of the community these might then delegate the office to others." LW40:36

". . . then it but remains either to let the church perish without the Word or to let those who come together CAST THEIR BALLOTS and elect one or as many as are needed of those who are capable." [2Tim. 2; Acts 18: 24ff; 1Cor.14: 30; Ti.1: 6ff.] LW40:37

Why do you reject these statements of Luther's Works on Congregational Voting as false and un-Lutheran doctrine? The burden of proof is on those who contend that the above theses written by Luther himself are false doctrines which contradict the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions.


I, and the ELCA, do not look at the Confessions the same way that the LCMS does.


I'm arguing that Luther's (or the translator's) use of "elect" and "election" in his works does not refer to a vote of congregational members. It's like God's "election" of Israel as his chosen people. It's a choice made unilaterally; not democratically.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: peter_speckhard on May 14, 2021, 11:44:14 AM
I am not LCMS. Walther has almost no significance in the ELCA (or its predecessor bodies).
You call yourself a Lutheran. Do you subscribe to the Lutheran Confessions in a quia or just merely a quatenus sense? Now if in a quia sense, well then on what just and lawful and Scriptural authority do you reject Luther's Works as if they were anti-Scriptural, when it comes to the question of congregational voting? (I have put Luther's theses on Congregational Voting in blue.)
 
"The other way of sending is indeed also one by God, but it is done through the instrumentality of man. . . . Now a new way of sending was instituted, which works through man but is not of man. We were sent according to this method; according to it we ELECT AND SEND others, and we install them in their ministry to preach and to administer the Sacraments. This type of sending is also of God and commanded by God. Even though God resorts to our aid and to human agency, it is He Himself who sends laborers into His vineyard." LW22:482

"Let this passage be your sure foundation, [1Cor.14:31] because it gives such an overwhelming power to the Christian congregations to preach, to permit preaching, and to call. Especially if there is a need, it [this passage] calls everyone with a special call-without a call from men-so that we should have no doubt that the congregation which has the gospel may and SHOULD ELECT AND CALL from among its members someone to teach the word in its place." LW39:311

"Neither Titus nor Timothy nor Paul ever instituted a priest without the CONGREGATION'S ELECTION AND CALL." LW39:312

"Moreover, if there were really decent bishops who want to have the gospel and wanted to institute decent preachers, they still could not and should not do so without the will, THE ELECTION, AND CALL OF THE CONGREGATION-except in those cases where need made it necessary so that souls would not perish for lack of the divine word." LW39:312

"Again, we even read in Acts 4 [6:1-6] regarding an even lesser office, that the apostles were not permitted to institute a person as deacon without the knowledge and consent of the congregation. Rather, THE CONGREGATION ELECTED AND CALLED the seven deacons, and the apostles confirmed them." LW39:312

"But the community rights demand that one, or as many as the COMMUNITY CHOOSES, shall be chosen or approved who, in the name of all with these rights, shall perform these functions publicly." LW40:34

"How much more, then, does not a certain community as a whole have both right and command to commit BY COMMON VOTE such an office to one or more, to be exercised in its stead. With the approval of the community these might then delegate the office to others." LW40:36

". . . then it but remains either to let the church perish without the Word or to let those who come together CAST THEIR BALLOTS and elect one or as many as are needed of those who are capable." [2Tim. 2; Acts 18: 24ff; 1Cor.14: 30; Ti.1: 6ff.] LW40:37

Why do you reject these statements of Luther's Works on Congregational Voting as false and un-Lutheran doctrine? The burden of proof is on those who contend that the above theses written by Luther himself are false doctrines which contradict the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions.
I don't think subscribing to the Confessions has anything to do with needing to accept or reject extra-Confessional statements of Luther. You seem to want other people to generate a thesis for you to critique. What is your position? What problem do you see that you are you trying to solve? People can talk about whether the voting unit is a family or an individual if they want. What is your position on that? To list a bunch of quotes and then demand that people give you a basis for rejecting them-- well, that isn't why anyone logs onto the forum. 
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 14, 2021, 01:53:58 PM
And Luther’s writings are not “doctrine.“ We reject a lot of things that Luther wrote.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on May 14, 2021, 02:39:39 PM
And Luther’s writings are not “doctrine.“

Oh, I wouldn't go so far as to say that. Nor would some others. E.g.:

https://www.elca.org/JLE/Articles/931
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 14, 2021, 08:01:10 PM
I am wondering, does the American Lutheran Church (ELCA) admit of electing pastors, bishops, deacons, and other ministers of the Word and Sacrament through the congregational vote, and if so, when were women first granted the right to vote congregationally in the American Lutheran Church (and I am not talking about the LCMS, WELS, or CLC, but the American Lutheran Church that eventually evolved into the ELCA)? Somewhere I have read that in the early 1900's the Suomi (Finlandic Lutheran) Synod granted women the right to congregationally vote. Are there any American Lutheran Publicity Bureau articles which discuss the question of who may vote in the congregations?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 14, 2021, 08:49:24 PM
Women voted in ULCA congregation at least in the 1950s. I know this because my mother voted. We do not “elect“ ordained leaders through the congregation. They are ordained by the church body, and called by the congregation. The American Lutheran Church did not “evolve” into the ELCA. It merged with With two other church bodies.
If you’re going to truly raise these silly issues, do your homework first.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: John_Hannah on May 14, 2021, 08:50:14 PM

Are there any American Lutheran Publicity Bureau articles which discuss the question of who may vote in the congregations?


I don't remember that it was the subject of any article. It was not controversial in our circles. Anyone recall an article?

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 15, 2021, 12:26:33 AM
Nope. At least in the past 50 years.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 15, 2021, 01:19:09 AM
I am wondering, does the American Lutheran Church (ELCA) admit of electing pastors, bishops, deacons, and other ministers of the Word and Sacrament through the congregational vote, and if so, when were women first granted the right to vote congregationally in the American Lutheran Church (and I am not talking about the LCMS, WELS, or CLC, but the American Lutheran Church that eventually evolved into the ELCA)? Somewhere I have read that in the early 1900's the Suomi (Finlandic Lutheran) Synod granted women the right to congregationally vote. Are there any American Lutheran Publicity Bureau articles which discuss the question of who may vote in the congregations?


Back in 1920 when women were given the right to vote in the U.S. there were the following Lutheran bodies which eventually became the ELCA in 1988. I don't have information on when women began voting in these congregations.


The following eventually became the LCA in 1962
Icelandic Evangelical Lutheran Synod in North America
United Lutheran Church in American
Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Suomi Synod)
Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod of North America
Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The following eventually became the ALC in 1960
Untied Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church
Lutheran Synod of Buffalo
Evangelical Synod of Iowa
Texas Synod
Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States
Norwegian Lutheran Church in America
Lutheran Free Church


The above two groups with the Association of Lutheran Churches (which split from the LCMS in 1976) formed the ELCA in 1988.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 15, 2021, 07:58:50 AM
Women voted in ULCA congregation at least in the 1950s. I know this because my mother voted. We do not “elect“ ordained leaders through the congregation. They are ordained by the church body, and called by the congregation.

Called by the congregation?!?!?!?!? Well then, if certain persons are to be called or at least NOMINATED by the congregation, well then, is this call or nomination exercised through the congregational vote?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 15, 2021, 08:49:15 AM
I think you still don’t get it. Ordination, that is, setting a person aside for ministry of the word and of the sacrament, is done by the church body, the national church body. Normally, among us, the congregation does not ordain people. (That has occasionally happened, but our national church bodies are not structured that way.)
The congregation votes, and that includes women, to decide whether a particular ordained person will be the pastor of that congregation.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: peter_speckhard on May 15, 2021, 09:06:54 AM
But the Holy Spirit does the calling. The congregation is the means. Which is why different congregations might do things more or less democratically and there is no uniform voting age, membership requirement, etc.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: D. Engebretson on May 15, 2021, 09:12:35 AM
Women voted in ULCA congregation at least in the 1950s. I know this because my mother voted. We do not “elect“ ordained leaders through the congregation. They are ordained by the church body, and called by the congregation.

Called by the congregation?!?!?!?!? Well then, if certain persons are to be called or at least NOMINATED by the congregation, well then, is this call or nomination exercised through the congregational vote?

Calls for Lutheran pastors come, generally, in two different ways.  As I am this day remembering my graduation from the seminary 34 years ago, I also recall receiving a "diploma" noting that the seminary certified me for the Office of Pastoral Ministry.  The route to my first call came via the seminary placement officer (after a course of study and a final interview) and the district president.  The congregation would have initially voted to call a seminary graduate, but did not vote specifically on my name. I was assigned that call through the seminary and DP. Subsequent calls 'from the field' were different, but were still mediated, in a way, by the district office which provided a call list from which the congregation could choose a man to call. There a vote was taken in a voter's assembly meeting of the congregation to specifically issue a divine call to me, preceded by a prayer for the Holy Spirit's guidance (as Pr. Speckard notes, the Holy Spirit does the calling).  Usually a call committee, working with the circuit counselor/visitor would review the many names given to them (which could be upwards of a dozen), and recommend some names to the congregation.  However, it was the right of the church's voters to choose the man to call from the full list, unless certain names had to be removed for cause.  In most LCMS congregations today men and woman both serve on call committees, and the voter's assembly that calls the pastor has women's suffrage.  All of the congregations that called me over my 34 years in two different districts (North Wisconsin and Michigan), had women's suffrage. 

As for my ordination, which occurred, in my case in June following my graduation at my home congregation, it was authorized by the district president of the district to which I was going and was carried out by a pastor duly authorized by the DP.  Usually, the DP does the ordaining, but can authorize others to do so, usually another district officer.  Ordinations, like installations, are carried out not by vote, but by the district acknowledging that the church has prepared this man and certifies that he is ready to assume the office.  The rite of ordination also includes the participation of fellow clergy.  The congregation attends and celebrates with the candidate, but they do not vote on this. 
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Terry W Culler on May 15, 2021, 10:25:42 AM
I think you still don’t get it. Ordination, that is, setting a person aside for ministry of the word and of the sacrament, is done by the church body, the national church body. Normally, among us, the congregation does not ordain people. (That has occasionally happened, but our national church bodies are not structured that way.)
The congregation votes, and that includes women, to decide whether a particular ordained person will be the pastor of that congregation.

At least not all of them.  The AFLC will allow a congregation to raise up for themselves a man who will preach the Word and administer the Sacraments.  That would not place him on the clergy roster nor would he be eligible for a call to another congregation, but it is allowable as long as the congregation remains true to the inerrancy of Scripture and the true explication of Scripture as given in the Augsburg Confession and the Small Catechism.  I believe the LCMC also allows congregations to do the same.  Luther would have approved.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Michael Slusser on May 15, 2021, 10:33:37 AM
I think you still don’t get it. Ordination, that is, setting a person aside for ministry of the word and of the sacrament, is done by the church body, the national church body. Normally, among us, the congregation does not ordain people. (That has occasionally happened, but our national church bodies are not structured that way.)
The congregation votes, and that includes women, to decide whether a particular ordained person will be the pastor of that congregation.

At least not all of them.  The AFLC will allow a congregation to raise up for themselves a man who will preach the Word and administer the Sacraments.  That would not place him on the clergy roster nor would he be eligible for a call to another congregation, but it is allowable as long as the congregation remains true to the inerrancy of Scripture and the true explication of Scripture as given in the Augsburg Confession and the Small Catechism.  I believe the LCMC also allows congregations to do the same.  Luther would have approved.
Thank you! I'm glad to know that.

The Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan has had something similar for a quarter-century, but these parishes and their ministers are regularly visited by seminary-trained priests.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: D. Engebretson on May 15, 2021, 10:37:20 AM
I think you still don’t get it. Ordination, that is, setting a person aside for ministry of the word and of the sacrament, is done by the church body, the national church body. Normally, among us, the congregation does not ordain people. (That has occasionally happened, but our national church bodies are not structured that way.)
The congregation votes, and that includes women, to decide whether a particular ordained person will be the pastor of that congregation.

At least not all of them.  The AFLC will allow a congregation to raise up for themselves a man who will preach the Word and administer the Sacraments.  That would not place him on the clergy roster nor would he be eligible for a call to another congregation, but it is allowable as long as the congregation remains true to the inerrancy of Scripture and the true explication of Scripture as given in the Augsburg Confession and the Small Catechism.  I believe the LCMC also allows congregations to do the same.  Luther would have approved.

It is required that men in the SMP program have to be part of the congregation they plan to serve, and the people certainly would have a voice in affirming this man to be their pastor. In that sense they "raise up for themselves a man who will preach the Word and administer the Sacraments." However, in the LCMS the DP must ultimately approve this, after which he would begin a course of study at one of our sems while simultaneously serving as a vicar under the supervision of a neighboring pastor. 
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Terry W Culler on May 15, 2021, 11:32:19 AM
I think you still don’t get it. Ordination, that is, setting a person aside for ministry of the word and of the sacrament, is done by the church body, the national church body. Normally, among us, the congregation does not ordain people. (That has occasionally happened, but our national church bodies are not structured that way.)
The congregation votes, and that includes women, to decide whether a particular ordained person will be the pastor of that congregation.

At least not all of them.  The AFLC will allow a congregation to raise up for themselves a man who will preach the Word and administer the Sacraments.  That would not place him on the clergy roster nor would he be eligible for a call to another congregation, but it is allowable as long as the congregation remains true to the inerrancy of Scripture and the true explication of Scripture as given in the Augsburg Confession and the Small Catechism.  I believe the LCMC also allows congregations to do the same.  Luther would have approved.

It is required that men in the SMP program have to be part of the congregation they plan to serve, and the people certainly would have a voice in affirming this man to be their pastor. In that sense they "raise up for themselves a man who will preach the Word and administer the Sacraments." However, in the LCMS the DP must ultimately approve this, after which he would begin a course of study at one of our sems while simultaneously serving as a vicar under the supervision of a neighboring pastor.


I can't speak for the LCMC so I'll just note that in the AFLC lay pastors can take seminary courses across a 10 year span and be placed on the clergy roster if they so desire.  One of the problems we all seem to be having is a shortage of men attending seminary.  I believe our vacancy rate is about 10% right now and a number of retired men serving as interims.  I personally believe we should be exploring other options toward ordination, but right now the focus remains on the sem as the source of all knowledge and shaping of pastors.  What the future holds is in the hand of God.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 15, 2021, 11:37:21 AM
Pastor Culler:
What the future holds is in the hand of God.

Me:
And church conventions.
And those who can sway church conventions towards certain actions.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Terry W Culler on May 15, 2021, 12:41:13 PM
I guess you're saying that God is only somewhat sovereign? ???
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 15, 2021, 12:48:11 PM
I think you still don’t get it. Ordination, that is, setting a person aside for ministry of the word and of the sacrament, is done by the church body, the national church body. Normally, among us, the congregation does not ordain people. (That has occasionally happened, but our national church bodies are not structured that way.)
The congregation votes, and that includes women, to decide whether a particular ordained person will be the pastor of that congregation.

At least not all of them.  The AFLC will allow a congregation to raise up for themselves a man who will preach the Word and administer the Sacraments.  That would not place him on the clergy roster nor would he be eligible for a call to another congregation, but it is allowable as long as the congregation remains true to the inerrancy of Scripture and the true explication of Scripture as given in the Augsburg Confession and the Small Catechism.  I believe the LCMC also allows congregations to do the same.  Luther would have approved.

It is required that men in the SMP program have to be part of the congregation they plan to serve, and the people certainly would have a voice in affirming this man to be their pastor. In that sense they "raise up for themselves a man who will preach the Word and administer the Sacraments." However, in the LCMS the DP must ultimately approve this, after which he would begin a course of study at one of our sems while simultaneously serving as a vicar under the supervision of a neighboring pastor.


I can't speak for the LCMC so I'll just note that in the AFLC lay pastors can take seminary courses across a 10 year span and be placed on the clergy roster if they so desire.  One of the problems we all seem to be having is a shortage of men attending seminary.  I believe our vacancy rate is about 10% right now and a number of retired men serving as interims.  I personally believe we should be exploring other options toward ordination, but right now the focus remains on the sem as the source of all knowledge and shaping of pastors.  What the future holds is in the hand of God.


I once heard a bishop state that he liked to keep about 10% of the congregations open so that there could be movement within the synod for pastors who needed to get out of bad situations.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 15, 2021, 12:49:39 PM
I guess you're saying that God is only somewhat sovereign? ???


Nope. But the sovereign God uses human means to accomplish the divine purposes. God didn't put Jesus on the cross, the Roman officials did, spurred on by the Jewish crowd.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Donald_Kirchner on May 15, 2021, 03:24:58 PM
Pastor Culler:
What the future holds is in the hand of God.

Me:
And church conventions.
And those who can sway church conventions towards certain actions.

I guess you're saying that God is only somewhat sovereign? ???

Nope. But the sovereign God uses human means to accomplish the divine purposes. God didn't put Jesus on the cross, the Roman officials did, spurred on by the Jewish crowd.

I think you miss the point. Pr. Culler was questioning Charles' addition by which Charles seems to imply that God is only partly sovereign. I'm sue Pr. Culler agrees that God works through means, one being church conventions.

Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 15, 2021, 03:38:06 PM
Pastor Culler:
What the future holds is in the hand of God.

Me:
And church conventions.
And those who can sway church conventions towards certain actions.

I guess you're saying that God is only somewhat sovereign? ???

Nope. But the sovereign God uses human means to accomplish the divine purposes. God didn't put Jesus on the cross, the Roman officials did, spurred on by the Jewish crowd.

I think you miss the point. Pr. Culler was questioning Charles' addition by which Charles seems to imply that God is only partly sovereign. I'm sure Pr. Culler agrees that God works through means, one being church conventions.


I have no doubt that the sovereign God uses those people who sway church conventions. Why would Pr. Culler question that? I doubt that he, or any of us, would question the power of prayer to sway God without compromising God's sovereignty.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 15, 2021, 04:49:14 PM
That should’ve been my point, obviously. Of course God exercises sovereignty through church conventions. I believe that. Except when he doesn’t.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: George Rahn on May 15, 2021, 07:59:01 PM
I guess you're saying that God is only somewhat sovereign? ???


Nope. But the sovereign God uses human means to accomplish the divine purposes. God didn't put Jesus on the cross, the Roman officials did, spurred on by the Jewish crowd.

Lots of irony here.  So God didn’t put Jesus on the cross, eh?  Roman soldiers and Jews were/are God’s people in the best sense of that phrase.

Aren’t they God’s creatures from the get go?

Is the crucifixion so godless that God wasn’t involved?  Wasn’t Jesus guilty of His own death?  See Mark 14:60-62
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 15, 2021, 10:21:48 PM
I think you still don’t get it. Ordination, that is, setting a person aside for ministry of the word and of the sacrament, is done by the church body, the national church body. Normally, among us, the congregation does not ordain people. (That has occasionally happened, but our national church bodies are not structured that way.)
The congregation votes, and that includes women, to decide whether a particular ordained person will be the pastor of that congregation.

I am glad for your reply. But what Lutheran synod are you talking about when you say, "The congregation votes, and that includes women, to decide whether a particular ordained person will be the pastor of that congregation"? The ELCA, or some other synod like LCMS? (To this day, WELS and CLC still restrict the congregational vote to adult males!)
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 15, 2021, 10:53:23 PM
If true, that is their loss.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 16, 2021, 12:21:16 AM
If true, that is their loss.

But you still have not answered my question: what Lutheran synod are you talking about when you say, "The congregation votes, and that includes women, to decide whether a particular ordained person will be the pastor of that congregation"? The ELCA, or some other synod like LCMS?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 16, 2021, 02:25:43 AM
I guess you're saying that God is only somewhat sovereign? ???


Nope. But the sovereign God uses human means to accomplish the divine purposes. God didn't put Jesus on the cross, the Roman officials did, spurred on by the Jewish crowd.

Lots of irony here.  So God didn’t put Jesus on the cross, eh?  Roman soldiers and Jews were/are God’s people in the best sense of that phrase.


No, God did not physically put Jesus on the cross. In fact, Jesus declares that God abandoned him on the cross.

Quote
Aren’t they God’s creatures from the get go?


Yup. Adam and Eve were God's creatures from the get go, too; but that doesn't mean they always did what God wanted them to do. However, from our sinful behaviors God can make good happen.

Quote
Is the crucifixion so godless that God wasn’t involved?  Wasn’t Jesus guilty of His own death?  See Mark 14:60-62


However, Luke 22:67 indicates that even when Jesus spoke the truth about himself, the authorities were not going to believe him. (Thinking that the truth is a lie is not new in politics.) So, I wouldn't say that Jesus is guilty of his own death. He was aware that it was going to happen, but he did nothing to try and stop it from happening.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 16, 2021, 02:40:25 AM
If true, that is their loss.

But you still have not answered my question: what Lutheran synod are you talking about when you say, "The congregation votes, and that includes women, to decide whether a particular ordained person will be the pastor of that congregation"? The ELCA, or some other synod like LCMS?


Women certainly vote in the ELCA. Our synod and churchwide assemblies seek to be 50% women voting members.


Women voting in conventions goes back to 1948 in the old ALC. A congregation I served (some time after that) was noted for electing the first female delegate to that district convention. There was a debate on the floor about whether or not she could be seated. The district president, E. H. Fritschel, ruled that she had been duly elected by the congregation and would be seated as a delegate. (He made his decision without taking a vote of the people.)


(I got to know "Doc" Fritschel in his retirement years. He would sometimes introduce himself as, "Doc (don't call me bishop) Fritschel." Apparently, he didn't agree with the change of terminology. He also made a comment at the final district convention before the ELCA was formed about the local fire department wanting their jacket back. This was in reference to the red chasuble that the bishop wore for the opening eucharist. (He also had an opinion about that.)
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 16, 2021, 09:16:04 AM
It was posted:
But you still have not answered my question: what Lutheran synod are you talking about when you say, "The congregation votes, and that includes women, to decide whether a particular ordained person will be the pastor of that congregation"? The ELCA, or some other synod like LCMS?
I comment:
You weren’t paying attention. Obviously I meant the ELCA, but in congregations of the Missouri Synod where women are allowed to vote, I would assume that women get to vote on calling a pastor.
P.S. The ELCA is not a synod. The ELCA is composed of 65 synods.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 16, 2021, 10:41:09 AM
It was posted:
But you still have not answered my question: what Lutheran synod are you talking about when you say, "The congregation votes, and that includes women, to decide whether a particular ordained person will be the pastor of that congregation"? The ELCA, or some other synod like LCMS?
I comment:
You weren’t paying attention. Obviously I meant the ELCA, but in congregations of the Missouri Synod where women are allowed to vote, I would assume that women get to vote on calling a pastor.
P.S. The ELCA is not a synod. The ELCA is composed of 65 synods.
I am glad that you replied. I also read the reply of Mr. Stoffregen:
If true, that is their loss.

But you still have not answered my question: what Lutheran synod are you talking about when you say, "The congregation votes, and that includes women, to decide whether a particular ordained person will be the pastor of that congregation"? The ELCA, or some other synod like LCMS?

Women certainly vote in the ELCA. Our synod and churchwide assemblies seek to be 50% women voting members.

Women voting in conventions goes back to 1948 in the old ALC. A congregation I served (some time after that) was noted for electing the first female delegate to that district convention. There was a debate on the floor about whether or not she could be seated. The district president, E. H. Fritschel, ruled that she had been duly elected by the congregation and would be seated as a delegate. (He made his decision without taking a vote of the people.)

(I got to know "Doc" Fritschel in his retirement years. He would sometimes introduce himself as, "Doc (don't call me bishop) Fritschel." Apparently, he didn't agree with the change of terminology. He also made a comment at the final district convention before the ELCA was formed about the local fire department wanting their jacket back. This was in reference to the red chasuble that the bishop wore for the opening eucharist. (He also had an opinion about that.)
I know that this is true for conventions. But what about local congregational Voter Assemblies? When did women in the old ALC first get the right to vote in congregational Voter Assemblies in the respective local congregations?
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 16, 2021, 10:52:11 AM
Pastor Stoffregen wrote (and do you have a problem with respectful honorifics?):
Women voting in conventions goes back to 1948 in the old ALC.
You persist in asking when women first got the vote in congregations.
What does it matter, and why? And why do you care? What is your point here?

Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 16, 2021, 11:02:48 AM
You are reportedly a Seventh-day Adventist. If that is true, do you agree with what is said about women in the following paragraphs taken from the Seventh-day Adventist website? Women are elders And even perform the functions of pastors in SDA congregations.

“The delegates at the 1990 General Conference Session did in fact vote to approve allowing women to serve as elders, and even to allow women employed as pastors who have been voted as elders by a local congregation to perform ministerial functions such as baptisms and weddings. The documentation can be seen at either the GC Archives website or the Adventist Review archives web page.
   In fact, a careful look at the history of the Adventist movement indicates that throughout its history there have been women serving as local elders, as preachers and as pastors. Although it has also long been the practice for only men to become ordained ministers, the arguments that this is a doctrinal requirement are more recent. There is nothing in Scripture or Adventist tradition that makes the office of ordained elder and ordained minister significantly different from one another. Ellen White, the most revered founder of the denomination and a woman believed by most Adventists to have exercised the ministry of a prophet, was recognized by the GC with the credentials of an ordained minister for much of her life.”
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 16, 2021, 11:34:58 AM
Pastor Stoffregen wrote (and do you have a problem with respectful honorifics?):
Women voting in conventions goes back to 1948 in the old ALC.
You persist in asking when women first got the vote in congregations.
What does it matter, and why? And why do you care? What is your point here?

You actually ignored my real question, which is: When were women first granted the congregational vote in the old American Lutheran Church? I didn't ask about any non-Lutheran denomination. Your comments about my SDA denomination have nothing to do with the question of women suffrage in the old ALC.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Dave Likeness on May 16, 2021, 11:43:00 AM
The 1969 LCMS Convention in Denver passed a resolution that allowed women to
vote in parish voters' assemblies.  It is up to individual congregations to change
their constitutions if they so desire for this to happen.

Part of the rationale for allowing women to vote was the fact that widows had no
voice in the calling of a pastor.  It was believed that giving widows the right to
vote when calling a new pastor was a big step forward.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 16, 2021, 01:09:40 PM
You actually ignored my real question, which is: When were women first granted the congregational vote in the old American Lutheran Church? I didn't ask about any non-Lutheran denomination. Your comments about my SDA denomination have nothing to do with the question of women suffrage in the old ALC.


Women (namely, my mother) have been voting in old and new ALC congregation as long as I can remember, and I'm 71-years old. I don't have any official documents of the old ALC which disappeared in 1960 when "The [new] ALC" was created.


The Constitution of the ALC (the 1960 version) has no restrictions as to membership nor the right to vote. In fact, it includes this article: "6.34. Individuals, clergy and lay, shall not be denied membership in a constituent congregation, nor shall this Church place restrictions on or deny rights to persons, because of race, color, national origin, or sex."


In regards to some other discussions in this forum, it also includes: "6.33. The status of the clergy differs from that of the laity only as to function."
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on May 16, 2021, 05:14:43 PM
A National Geography site on Democracy (ancient Greek) contains this paragraph.


The first known democracy in the world was in Athens. Athenian democracy developed around the fifth century B.C.E. The Greek idea of democracy was different from present-day democracy because, in Athens, all adult citizens were required to take an active part in the government. If they did not fulfill their duty they would be fined and sometimes marked with red paint. The Athenian definition of “citizens” was also different from modern-day citizens: only free men were considered citizens in Athens. Women, children, and slaves were not considered citizens and therefore could not vote.


I don't know about other congregations, but we have nearly always made all confirmed members of the congregation were also voting members. (I'd never thought about throwing red paint on the members who didn't show up at the meetings to vote; or charging them a fine. :) )
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Juan Jeanniton on May 16, 2021, 05:55:22 PM
Women (namely, my mother) have been voting in old and new ALC congregation as long as I can remember, and I'm 71-years old. I don't have any official documents of the old ALC which disappeared in 1960 when "The [new] ALC" was created.

The Constitution of the ALC (the 1960 version) has no restrictions as to membership nor the right to vote. In fact, it includes this article: "6.34. Individuals, clergy and lay, shall not be denied membership in a constituent congregation, nor shall this Church place restrictions on or deny rights to persons, because of race, color, national origin, or sex."

In regards to some other discussions in this forum, it also includes: "6.33. The status of the clergy differs from that of the laity only as to function."
I have finally brought up the question of women voting in any local congregation of a Lutheran Church for the following reason: In the the first several centuries of Lutheran church history in America, more often than not, women as well as children would have been denied the right to vote in congregational Voter Assemblies; and here is the syllogism, in the form of Celarent that illustrates the rationale of this exclusion.

Major Premise (Ce): No act of exercising ecclesiastical authority is lawful for women to practice. (No As are Bs.)

Minor Premise (La): But every act of voting in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is an act of ecclesiastical authority. (But all Cs are As.)

Ergo (Rent): No act of voting in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation is lawful for women to practice. (Ergo, no Cs are Bs.) No female is eligible to vote in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation. (No Bs are Cs.)

Now, the Major premise is the plain and ordinary face-value meaning of 1 Corinthians 14:34c (which states: "but they [women] are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law", quoting Genesis 3:16) and 1 Timothy 2:11-13. But the minor premise was the historical official teaching of C F W Walther and the old German Missouri Synod, and it is also taught by the WELS and CLC even today. But there is also one historical figure who held to the minor premise, and his name is Cardinal Bellarmine!

Cardinal Bellarmine, one of the great champions of Papism (i.e. so-called "tridentine rite latin-only mass roman catholicism" as defined by the Council of Trent in 1558), and in opposition to the Protestant Reformation, asserted that 'Eligere pastores ad gubernationem et regimen pertinere certissimum est, non igitur populo convenit pastores eligere' (Cardinal Bellarmine, de Clericis, c. vii., tom. II., p. 981)! In English: To elect pastors is certainly a prerogative appertaining to rule and government, therefore it does not befit the people to elect their own pastor! Cardinal Bellarmine (or rather Apostate Anticardinal HELLarmine) asserts the same principle as does the Minor Premise. All that C F W Walther (and all those opposed to granting women the right the vote in congregational meetings) did was make the same assertion Cardinal Bellarmine made against the Protestant Reformation, and apply it for the purpose of restricting the congregational vote to adult males, but I say this strategy of theirs is unjustifiable. William Ames, a Presbyterian, along with the Presbyterian theologians of that time, REJECTED the minor premise by saying: “Electio quamvis pertinent ad gubernationem et regimen constituendum, non tamen est actus regiminis aut gubernationis.”—(Bellarminus Enervatus, tom. II., lib. III., p. 94.) In English: An election, however much it may relate to setting up people to govern and rule, is not after all, itself an act of governing and ruling.

According to Strictures on the Rev. Jas. Robertson’s Observations on the Veto Act, pp. 23, 24. Edinburgh; 1840, the Independentists/Brownists/Barrowists (i.e. the 16th century English forerunners of the New England Congregationalists!) affirmed the Minor Premise for the same reason: The Presbyterian Church believes, teaches, and confesses that ministers ought to be settled upon the choice, or with the consent, of the people. But this implies that the people have some share in the government of the Church, and, therefore, the Presbyterian doctrine, which excludes them from government, must be false. The most competent and irreproachable among the Presbyterian theologians met this argument not by denying that "ministers ought to be settled upon the choice, or with the consent, of the people", but by DENYING that the act of voting for candidates to be called and ordained to the Ministry of the Word and Sacraments constitutes a share in the government of the Church. See also Gillespie’s Assertion of the Government of the Church of Scotland, pp. 116 and 117; Baillie’s Dissuasive from the Errors of the Time, part. ix., pp. 194 and 195; Wood’s Refutation of Lockier, part II., pp. 214 and 244. But I did not come here to place emphasis on Presbyterian, but Lutheran historical sources.

In the year 1898, a Lutheran theologian, named Theodore E. Schmauk, rightfully said about the right to vote in church or state on Pages 522 - 524 of the Lutheran Review, Volume 18:
Quote
A right to vote is not identical with the right to headship or the right to rule. Both the American President and the American citizen have a right to vote, but not both of them have the right to rule. A vote is a formal expression of will or opinion or preference in regard to some question submitted to decision, on the part of a single individual. It is an expression on a submitted question. The voter does not decide what question is to be submitted, nor does he rule during or after its submission, nor does he as an individual rule any more fully after his vote than he did before. The man who has voted for an officer is as fully under the headship of that officer as the man who has voted against him. And to say that a woman should never have the right to exercise any choice of the officer who is to be her head is to say that a woman has not the right of exercising any choice as to the one who is lo be her husband. Is this New Testament teaching? This is barbarism of the worst sort. No voter in his individuality and as a unit is a ruler; and even in their collective capacity the voters in an organization are only sub-rulers. They are under a multitude of constitutional, legal and traditional provisions that come down from above. This is particularly true in a Christian congregation, where neither doctrine, mode of organization, mode of worship, or in large part discipline are matters of franchise. Great confusion on this and all questions of Church government in our land arises when we do not see that a voter is not a magistrate. He does not bear the sword. The power of the franchise is not the power of the office. All men have the one. Not all men have the other. Many men are not even eligible to office. There are qualifications for nearly all civil and political offices. No American voter who is not a native-born citizen can ever become President of the United States. Nor can anyone hold that office who is not 35 years of age, or who has not resided in the country for 14 years. Not all voters can be elected to the judgeship, the governorship, or even to the office of a local alderman. That a woman should, as an individual, express her will or opinion or judgment by a vote in those earthly matters which are decided in a congregation by a vote, if, under present conditions of society, her Christian judgment is as good as that of the man, does not detract from the headship of the man. In an aristocratic or barbarous country, a woman's vote has no place. But where a vote is the ascertainment of the common sense and judgment of a majority of sound and mature human minds, irrespective of social or physical distinctions, and on the basis of an equality of intelligence and on the principle that two heads are better than one, there a Christian woman's vote seems to be in place. The modern theory of government, as a result of the application of New Testament principles, and under the moulding of the Gospel, differs totally from the ancient in that the important thing is no longer rule, but service. A very good motto for both men and women in matters of ecclesiastical polity would be: "Let him that is chief among you be as he that serveth."

Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: George Rahn on May 16, 2021, 08:14:58 PM
I guess you're saying that God is only somewhat sovereign? ???


Nope. But the sovereign God uses human means to accomplish the divine purposes. God didn't put Jesus on the cross, the Roman officials did, spurred on by the Jewish crowd.

Lots of irony here.  So God didn’t put Jesus on the cross, eh?  Roman soldiers and Jews were/are God’s people in the best sense of that phrase.


No, God did not physically put Jesus on the cross. In fact, Jesus declares that God abandoned him on the cross.

Quote
Aren’t they God’s creatures from the get go?


Yup. Adam and Eve were God's creatures from the get go, too; but that doesn't mean they always did what God wanted them to do. However, from our sinful behaviors God can make good happen.

Quote
Is the crucifixion so godless that God wasn’t involved?  Wasn’t Jesus guilty of His own death?  See Mark 14:60-62


However, Luke 22:67 indicates that even when Jesus spoke the truth about himself, the authorities were not going to believe him. (Thinking that the truth is a lie is not new in politics.) So, I wouldn't say that Jesus is guilty of his own death. He was aware that it was going to happen, but he did nothing to try and stop it from happening.

Yet Jesus agreed with his own accusers.  The high priest asked Jesus (cf. Mark 14) whether he was the promised Messiah.  Jesus answered, "I am."  Sounds to me like agreement with His accusers, as this answer underwrote the verdict of death upon Him.  Sounds like self-incrimination to me.  Nonetheless, thank God He did or God would not have assumed this into Himself for us; and, then being put to death in Him and in us as well.
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Charles Austin on May 16, 2021, 08:24:01 PM
What?  ::)
Title: Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
Post by: Richard Johnson on May 16, 2021, 08:49:40 PM
I think this conversation has pretty much run its rather bizarre course.