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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: LutherMan on October 21, 2007, 08:05:37 PM

Title: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: LutherMan on October 21, 2007, 08:05:37 PM
http://www.lutherquest.org/cgi-bin/discus40/discus.cgi

Look for the thread titled:

"Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 21, 2007, 08:31:05 PM
Ah, those naughty STSers. We all knew it would come to this.
John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 21, 2007, 08:52:22 PM
Wow! The comments over there make the hotted-up postings from some LC-MS folk here seem almost benign! I guess there's nothing like the scent of the dread "unionism" (oooh!)  to get the blood rushing in LC-MS purists. It appears to be much worse than what the scent of sexism or racism does to the blood in some ELCA veins.  ;D
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on October 21, 2007, 09:19:35 PM
Wow! The comments over there make the hotted-up postings from some LC-MS folk here seem almost benign!

I checked it out and thought that I was stuck in Monty Python's "Repeating Groove" sketch.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: LutherMan on October 21, 2007, 09:34:37 PM
Wow! The comments over there make the hotted-up postings from some LC-MS folk here seem almost benign! I guess there's nothing like the scent of the dread "unionism" (oooh!)  to get the blood rushing in LC-MS purists.
Just so you understand, jimmy boone, who initiated the thread isn't LCMS.  He is an "Independent Lutheran", and Timothy Blank is Church of the Lutheran Cofession, Duane Smalley is WELS, etc.  You may want to check out their profiles...
Just a thought.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Keith Falk on October 21, 2007, 09:37:34 PM
I just finished reading the entire thread... it is interesting to see what the other end of the Lutheran spectrum thinks of the retreat.  Seeing those disucssions just makes one realize that one man's conservative is another man's liberal.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: grabau14 on October 21, 2007, 09:41:31 PM
I just finished reading the entire thread... it is interesting to see what the other end of the Lutheran spectrum thinks of the retreat.  Seeing those disucssions just makes one realize that one man's conservative is another man's liberal.


There's alot of truth in that statement.  My parish thinks I'm conservative, alot of the area pastors in Minnesota North District think I'm a liberal and my friends think I'm nuts  :D

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 22, 2007, 05:59:40 PM
Someone writes:
Just so you understand, jimmy boone, who initiated the thread isn't LCMS.  He is an "Independent Lutheran", and Timothy Blank is Church of the Lutheran Cofession, Duane Smalley is WELS, etc.  You may want to check out their profiles...

I muse:
Goll-ee! Do you mean you have someone who is not a part of a particular church body going online, analyzing events within another church body and then hammering that church body repeatedly? How on earth could that ever happen?
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 22, 2007, 06:37:08 PM
I can't remember when I first logged onto the alpb forum-- I think about three or four years ago. But I found it the first time I decided to surf around for a Lutheran theological discussion site. The first one I came across was some guy's blog and it seemed a bit corny. The next one was somehow affiliated with LCNA (or perhaps it was another blog by someone who mostly talked about LCNA stuff) and I wasn't very interested. The next one was LQ, which, I remembered when I saw the name, came highly recommended from a couple of people I know, but I lost interest after reading about four threads. Then I came upon alpb and found what I was looking for.   
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: LutherMan on October 22, 2007, 07:59:23 PM
I muse:
Goll-ee! Do you mean you have someone who is not a part of a particular church body going online, analyzing events within another church body and then hammering that church body repeatedly? How on earth could that ever happen?
Hmmmm....Not sure.   Could it be the WELSians & CLCers are offended that they aren't welcome to commune in LCMS parishes?
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Pr. Jerry on October 23, 2007, 04:32:32 PM
http://www.lutherquest.org/cgi-bin/discus40/discus.cgi

Look for the thread titled:

"Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"

I am actually reduced to tears at this nonsense.  I have said it elsewhere: I will never again set foot upon any of the CTS campuses.  To be called, as a member of STS, a liar and all these other names is intolerable.  I have also said elsewhere on this forum that these allegations are evidence that the accuser was not in attendance.  I was.  If anyone has any questions regarding the integrity of any of the STS folks, I am more than happy to rise to their defense publicly.

What I have never figured out is why the LCMS folks should hate and despise the STS so...  We are working to reform the ELCA, we are working to keep it on the firm foundation of the Lutheran Confessions.  We are the ones who the LCMS should be praying for and commending.  But no.  We are more despised in LCMS circles than even in the ELCA circles.  So be it, but I'd think that someone would at least a half-hearted attempt to defend and speak well of the Society. 

So be it.  It's good to know where you stand in the world.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 23, 2007, 04:40:06 PM
Pastor Kiner is, I believe, rightly outraged. However, all should remember that everyone in the ELCA, whether STS or not, is - in the official mind of the LC-MS - not "Lutheran" enough, not welcome at LC-MS altars or LC-MS congregations, at least officially.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 23, 2007, 04:43:55 PM
http://www.lutherquest.org/cgi-bin/discus40/discus.cgi

Look for the thread titled:

"Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"

I am actually reduced to tears at this nonsense.  I have said it elsewhere: I will never again set foot upon any of the CTS campuses.  To be called, as a member of STS, a liar and all these other names is intolerable.  I have also said elsewhere on this forum that these allegations are evidence that the accuser was not in attendance.  I was.  If anyone has any questions regarding the integrity of any of the STS folks, I am more than happy to rise to their defense publicly.

What I have never figured out is why the LCMS folks should hate and despise the STS so...  We are working to reform the ELCA, we are working to keep it on the firm foundation of the Lutheran Confessions.  We are the ones who the LCMS should be praying for and commending.  But no.  We are more despised in LCMS circles than even in the ELCA circles.  So be it, but I'd think that someone would at least a half-hearted attempt to defend and speak well of the Society. 

So be it.  It's good to know where you stand in the world.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS


Heh, heh, some of us have been called a lot worse.

John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Pr. Jerry on October 23, 2007, 04:50:02 PM
Pastor Kiner is, I believe, rightly outraged. However, all should remember that everyone in the ELCA, whether STS or not, is - in the official mind of the LC-MS - not "Lutheran" enough, not welcome at LC-MS altars or LC-MS congregations, at least officially.

Charles, I do remember that fact and am routinely amused that the ELCA seems to do its absolute best to re-inforce that view.  It grows tiresome trying to "explain" what is going on in the ELCA to LCMS, Roman Catholic, and most other Christian traditions who are alarmed at our stances and actions.  FWIW, the ELCA hasn't done much to show that they care that the LCMS doesn't find us to be an "orthodox" Lutheran body, we seem to actually rejoice in that fact.  But it's not my intent to attack you here.  Let's just leave it at that I do (and have since I left the LCMS many years ago...) understand and grieve the fact that all ELCA members are not officially welcomed at the Table with our LCMS brothers and sisters.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: LutherMan on October 23, 2007, 04:52:49 PM
Again, I'd like to point out that some of the more vociferous and outraged participants in that discussion aren't even LCMS.  There are WES/ELS/CLC/Ind. Lutherans rasing most of the clamor.  Those Lutherans are out for  :o  the blood of LCMS'ers, sort of like some in ELCA believe we in the LCMS are out for their blood...
Two of my WELSian brothers don't believe I am sufficiently Lutheran.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 23, 2007, 04:56:06 PM
Pastor Kiner is, I believe, rightly outraged. However, all should remember that everyone in the ELCA, whether STS or not, is - in the official mind of the LC-MS - not "Lutheran" enough, not welcome at LC-MS altars or LC-MS congregations, at least officially.

Charles, I do remember that fact and am routinely amused that the ELCA seems to do its absolute best to re-inforce that view.  It grows tiresome trying to "explain" what is going on in the ELCA to LCMS, Roman Catholic, and most other Christian traditions who are alarmed at our stances and actions.  FWIW, the ELCA hasn't done much to show that they care that the LCMS doesn't find us to be an "orthodox" Lutheran body, we seem to actually rejoice in that fact.  But it's not my intent to attack you here.  Let's just leave it at that I do (and have since I left the LCMS many years ago...) understand and grieve the fact that all ELCA members are not officially welcomed at the Table with our LCMS brothers and sisters.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS


It does bother me, too, but I don't really care because I don't let it affect me. I won't go where I am uninvited. Regardless, I think that the decision was wrong. STS should have looked for another venue or held its eucharist at another location. Dare I say that I see little distinction between this and what some decry our brothers in drag for doing.
John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Pr. Jerry on October 23, 2007, 05:04:53 PM
Again, I'd like to point out that some of the more vociferous and outraged participants in that discussion aren't even LCMS.  There are WES/ELS/CLC/Ind. Lutherans rasing most of the clamor.  Those Lutherans are out for  :o  the blood of LCMS'ers, sort of like some in ELCA believe we in the LCMS are out for their blood...
Two of my WELSian brothers don't believe I am sufficiently Lutheran.

Point noted...  I wasn't trying to claim that the most vocal folks on LQ represent the LCMS either...  But I think that the Presdient of CTSFW is more representative.  I know for a fact that he was not lied to and that we were genuinely respectful of the LCMS in our actions.  I also understand that he's under considerable fire and is seeking cover at the moment.  But to portray the STS as having acted decptively and to somehow thumbed our nose at the LCMS is just plain wrong.  Some hospitality.

Again, I am relieved that the Society will not be gathering at CTS in the future because I would then be in the regretable position of having to deny my Senior's call to gather with the rest of the Society.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: grabau14 on October 23, 2007, 05:12:52 PM
Speaking as a LCMS Lutheran, there are several reasons why Missouri looks with suspiscion on the STS

1.  You are High Church and you elevate the Office of the Holy Ministry.  I happen to like that about you.  But Missouri loves their low church congregational understanding of the  Office of the Holy Ministry.

2.  Those of use who are High Church, with a high view of the Holy Office cannot be a apart of a group that has women pastors (When there are some pastors who are under the threats of the religious police in Finnland for not wanting to assist in a Eucharist with a Priestess, I personally believe we do them a injustice when we associate with women clergy in the states even if the cause of reform in the ELCA and all of Lutheranism)    It is for this reason primarily that the Society of St. Polycarp was started (Our Retreat will be in lovely New Orleans after Easter  :D  more information on that to come.)

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Pr. Jerry on October 23, 2007, 05:28:35 PM
Pastor Kiner is, I believe, rightly outraged. However, all should remember that everyone in the ELCA, whether STS or not, is - in the official mind of the LC-MS - not "Lutheran" enough, not welcome at LC-MS altars or LC-MS congregations, at least officially.

Charles, I do remember that fact and am routinely amused that the ELCA seems to do its absolute best to re-inforce that view.  It grows tiresome trying to "explain" what is going on in the ELCA to LCMS, Roman Catholic, and most other Christian traditions who are alarmed at our stances and actions.  FWIW, the ELCA hasn't done much to show that they care that the LCMS doesn't find us to be an "orthodox" Lutheran body, we seem to actually rejoice in that fact.  But it's not my intent to attack you here.  Let's just leave it at that I do (and have since I left the LCMS many years ago...) understand and grieve the fact that all ELCA members are not officially welcomed at the Table with our LCMS brothers and sisters.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS


It does bother me, too, but I don't really care because I don't let it affect me. I won't go where I am uninvited. Regardless, I think that the decision was wrong. STS should have looked for another venue or held its eucharist at another location. Dare I say that I see little distinction between this and what some decry our brothers in drag for doing.
John Dornheim

John I know that you don't see much difference between this and that and therein lies the problem between you and I.  If you cannot see how having a promise made in good faith is different than two people making a mockery of the Mass then I there is nothing I can say to convice you.  I suppose what you're saying and what the folks on the LQ site are saying are quite similar...  They see us as having "snuck in" with our cassocks and all and somehow hoodwinking Dean Wenthe just as the "sisters of perpetual indulgence" snuck in in their clown faces, beards, and leather habits and hoodwinked the poor Archbishop of San Francisco.  By God, John, you're right...the STS and the "sisters" are morally equivalent.  Why didn't I see it before?  

Like I said earlier, we are only slightly more despised in LCMS circles than in ELCA circles.  It is good to know where you stand in the world.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 23, 2007, 05:47:06 PM
Pastor Kiner writes:
I do (and have since I left the LCMS many years ago...) understand and grieve the fact that all ELCA members are not officially welcomed at the Table with our LCMS brothers and sisters.

I add:
And so do I; though I was never a member of the LC-MS. (But I dated an LC-MS girl for a while, and when at the Lutheran Council in the USA was sort of in the employ of that church body.)
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 23, 2007, 05:55:08 PM
Regardless, I think that the decision was wrong. STS should have looked for another venue or held its eucharist at another location. Dare I say that I see little distinction between this and what some decry our brothers in drag for doing.

Incredible.

I think it has been made clear here, but let's say it again: What Dean Wenthe was reported to have said (and let's remember that we are hearing this second or third hand) is simply not true. I do not think it is my place to discuss all the details of this, but I am confident that there was full disclosure and quite open discussion about all issues ahead of time.

And to compare this to the other situation . . . incredible.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John_Hannah on October 23, 2007, 06:16:21 PM

Like I said earlier, we are only slightly more despised in LCMS circles than in ELCA circles.  It is good to know where you stand in the world.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Quote

JERRY AND ALL OTHER STS MEMBERS:

Please remember that not all LCMS pastors despise you. Actually it is only a minority. Luther Quest is surely ugly! It is not representative.

FWIW, I was a founding member of STS. Never regretted it. See you in Mundelein.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH, STS and LCMS
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 23, 2007, 06:19:33 PM
Regardless, I think that the decision was wrong. STS should have looked for another venue or held its eucharist at another location. Dare I say that I see little distinction between this and what some decry our brothers in drag for doing.

Incredible.

I think it has been made clear here, but let's say it again: What Dean Wenthe was reported to have said (and let's remember that we are hearing this second or third hand) is simply not true. I do not think it is my place to discuss all the details of this, but I am confident that there was full disclosure and quite open discussion about all issues ahead of time.

And to compare this to the other situation . . . incredible.

Richard, we are all well aware of Missouri's position. What happens in a congregation does not have the prominence of a seminary, and, in my opinion, it is wrong to seek to have a worship service on their grounds which leads some to ignore the position (even if they are opposed to them in practice). It should have been held in a more hospitable place.
John Dornheim

ps and, fwiw, I write as one who was a member of STS back in the day and who did subscribe to the 9.5 theses.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 23, 2007, 06:23:59 PM
It shouldn't surprise anyone here that I consider myself a fairly straighforward, conservative LCMS guy, because, naturally, that is the only God-pleasing thing to be. But quite often I find myself in sympathy with the abstract position put forward by conservatives but put off by the demeanor. Ben Ball and others here have talked about the collegiality of the confessional crowd and how they can argue over a beer and remain friends, and that was my experience at Fort Wayne the year I was there (though I don't like beer; maybe that is my problem) but that dynamic doesn't translate very well to any impersonal medium like an online forum. Every time I've talked to the "confessional" guys I've more or less considered myself one of them and thought them quite thoughtful, articulate, and pastoral. But every time I read one of their blogs or check into a site like LQ, my impression (and again, it is only an impression-- I often agree in principle with some of things said) is one of a bunch of incredibly self-important blowhards working themselves into a frenzy for fun. There seems to be an insatiable longing for the role of Athanasius contra mundum, and some people, no matter what context they're in, gravitate to that role. If the next LCMS convention completely adopted everything they wanted, and every congregation complied-- no more contemporary worship, women communion assistants, pastors involved in unionism or syncretism, whatever-- it would only be a matter of one convention cycle before some of them would be in a state of confession against some others over something else-- girl acolytes, individual cups, etc.-- and if those things got taken care of, it would be something else. In short, I cannot picture a church body in which some of these guys would be content and not find a reason to be in a state of confession against it, which is why an increasing number of them belong to church bodies that include little more than a few pastors and their relatives.

But remember, a lot of them left Missouri for more confessional waters and are now merely looking for justification. Everyone who went to that STS thing loved the campus, the people, the chapel, the bookstore, etc. Why let the discussions at LQ sour things? Remember (if I'm not mistaken-- Richard, help me out here with your historian's hat) the immigrants led by Stephan and later Walther worshiped in an Episcopalian church building in St. Louis until they got their feet under them, so it isn't like they can now claim that worship by another church body fouls the very building in which it takes place.

And also remember that the tone doesn't translate well. If you picture the LQ discussions as a rowdy bunch of people arguing in a bar, with all the requisite insults, hyperbole, threats, etc, that go along with that kind of discussion, and forgotten once the discussion is over, then a lot of what is said will not only make sense, but be pretty persuasive. It is only reading it in print as though it is a series of more formal letters that gives it that repellent quality.  
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: revjagow on October 23, 2007, 06:32:02 PM

Like I said earlier, we are only slightly more despised in LCMS circles than in ELCA circles.  It is good to know where you stand in the world.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Quote

JERRY AND ALL OTHER STS MEMBERS:

Please remember that not all LCMS pastors despise you. Actually it is only a minority. Luther Quest is surely ugly! It is not representative.

FWIW, I was a founding member of STS. Never regretted it. See you in Mundelein.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH, STS and LCMS

What he said. 

Today was the first time I ever checked out the LutherQuest site.  Yeeeeeeaaaaah! 

Because the standards for discourse on this board are obviously faaar higher, I will refrain from typing the editorial in my head.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: LutherMan on October 23, 2007, 06:37:38 PM
I registered for LQ slugfest back in 2004, and have yet to post over there... 
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Pr. Jerry on October 23, 2007, 07:18:38 PM

Like I said earlier, we are only slightly more despised in LCMS circles than in ELCA circles.  It is good to know where you stand in the world.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Quote

JERRY AND ALL OTHER STS MEMBERS:

Please remember that not all LCMS pastors despise you. Actually it is only a minority. Luther Quest is surely ugly! It is not representative.

FWIW, I was a founding member of STS. Never regretted it. See you in Mundelein.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH, STS and LCMS

Thank you for the reminder, John...

I don't really know why I am bothered by this ongoing...(ahem!) stuff...  It was hardly unexpected.  It fits with our Senior's words.  But still... 

I know many LCMS clergy and have a generally high oppinion of them.  Maybe its that I thought that two-some-odd months later this situation would have died down a little.  Maybe its that I am reminded that the Christian vocation is lonely or that there is not a "safe harbor" at the moment.  The STS has been as close to a home that I have experienced as a pastor, yet all of us are subject to the whims and storms that affect our parent denominations.  Maybe I am reminded most forcibly that I faced precisely this type of dilemma as a younger man in the LCMS and decided to go with the fledgling ELCA because of their campus ministry system.  There is no "going home" sometimes.  Maybe I am reminded just how far apart Christians remain and how foreign our Lord's prayer that "they may be one..." still seems in our present context.   

Whatever the reason, I am truly grieved over this.  Perhaps, as John says, I should just shake it off and move on (this is me trying to be charitable, John...).  It's not a bad idea, because as our Senior said we exist at the margins.  And this is what happens at the margins.

I thank you and Dave both for your friendship and support.  Indeed I will see you in Mundelein.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
 
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 23, 2007, 07:28:59 PM
it is wrong to seek to have a worship service on their grounds which leads some to ignore the position

We did not seek. We were invited.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 23, 2007, 08:39:36 PM
However, all should remember that everyone in the ELCA, whether STS or not, is - in the official mind of the LC-MS - not "Lutheran" enough, not welcome at LC-MS altars or LC-MS congregations, at least officially.

Charles, that is not quite true.  It is the ELCA that the LCMS Convention has declared "not Lutheran" enough.  They have not declared that of every member of the ELCA. 

Furthermore, their official policy of close(d) communion is very much the same as the policy of the ELCA's predecessors 50 years (or fewer) ago.  There are ELCA congregations in this part of the land whose official policy remains the Galesburg Rule.  Don't assume any stranger, having told the usher he is a member at an ELCA congregation, is welcome at every ELCA altar.

Individual LCMS parish pastors continue to be able to exercise pastoral judgment by admitting non-LCMS (or members of other churches with whom Missouri has not declared altar fellowship) -- but that judgment may be subject to challege (and rightly so) if it appears that a pastor is just letting anybody in.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 23, 2007, 09:15:48 PM
We did not seek. We were invited.

Thank you, Dick.  I was about to write that.  And it is precisely that we were invited that I am disturbed by what that LutherQuest thread reported second-hand of a telephone conversation with the CTS-FW President, for the implication in that report is that we sought them out.

I'm one of those who has been very open to the potential of the Society having some sort of relationship with the Fort Wayne seminary, and will repeatedly attest that my reception there as an ELCA pastor for several events, not all related to the Society, has been very gracious and welcoming.  I've had conversations with other LCMS pastors who think like Pr. Uttenreither when it comes to the STS' female clergy, and I  continue to remind them that members of the Society are not unanimous in their acceptance of the ordination of women, and that being in relationship with others always means some sort of compromise.  I can even mention matters on which such pastors and I are in full agreement, but our stance is not received well within Missouri and some are, if only over beer and brats, willing to acknowledge the similarity in such compromises of the "true" faith that they have accepted. 

In the end, it seems that our ultimate disagreement -- and the one that prevents our communion -- is over not what we believe and teach, but over which compromises each is able to tolerate.  And, frankly, I don't know how to overcome that, other than to continue sharing beer and brats when the opportunity arises and see what happens.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 23, 2007, 09:45:15 PM
The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS writes:
Charles, that is not quite true.  It is the ELCA that the LCMS Convention has declared "not Lutheran" enough.  They have not declared that of every member of the ELCA. 

I comment:
Oh, please! That is a distinction without a difference and a really weird argument. They declare my church body heterodox. But then they can interrogate various members individually (or would a group like STS count) and say, "Well! Not them! They're o.k." That is very strange ecclesiology and church discipline; but even if it exists, it does not undo what I consider to be the assault on the church body in which I try to minister.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: grabau14 on October 23, 2007, 09:51:04 PM
Well, the Missourian would say that those ELCA pastors and parishes who remain steadfast to the Word and sacraments as confessed in the BoC would be a part of the invisible church. 

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 23, 2007, 09:57:42 PM
Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither writes:
Well, the Missourian would say that those ELCA pastors and parishes who remain steadfast to the Word and sacraments as confessed in the BoC would be a part of the invisible church.

I muse:
And since all of us in the ELCA hold to the Word, the sacraments, and the confessions, why can't this "invisible church" be in fellowship?
Let us not get twisty-turny about this. We all know what the LC-MS thinks of the ELCA, and in case it slips our mind, certain folks online keep reminding us.
The fact is that we are not in fellowship and are not likely to be in fellowship very soon. In my opinion, this hurts us all. 
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2007, 09:58:04 PM
No, Matthew, quite the contrary. They are members of the true visible church on earth, the Lutheran Church, which, as any good "Missourian" should know, is not coterminus with, or even necessarily, The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.

A church body however which enters into communion fellowship with Reformed Churches thereby demonstrates that it can not be regarded as a genuinely Lutheran Church.

Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on October 23, 2007, 10:01:55 PM
Please remember that not all LCMS pastors despise you. Actually it is only a minority. Luther Quest is surely ugly! It is not representative.

FWIW, I was a founding member of STS. Never regretted it. See you in Mundelein.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH, STS and LCMS

Pastor Hannah, thank you. (And may your tribe increase!)

In peace,
Erma Wolf, STS
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: ptmccain on October 23, 2007, 10:23:53 PM
Many of us LCMS pastors do not "despise" any individual ELCA pastor. What we do actually abhor is the false teaching that has the ELCA in a vice-like death grip. And to that extent, we must not, and can not ever, concede that the ELCA is a genuinelly Lutheran Church. That there are Lutherans in the ELCA is indisputable and as I've said here often before, and will repeat here again, all LCMS pastors who love Christ and His Word share a genuine concern for all ELCA pastors and members alike who are striving to be faithful to God's Word, who have, and continue, to stand in protest over against the formal and official doctrinal positions of the ELCA that are, and remain, contrary to Sacred Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

As for what happened at CTS Fort Wayne. Seminary officials there are responsible for whatever decisions or agreements or understandings were in place at the time of the STS meeting there. And I'm sure appropriate conversations will continue over what happened , but LutherQuest is no more a responsible forum for trying to "figure all this out" anymore than this forum is.

As for LutherQuest. It is not a LCMS forum. It has a cast of characters on it every bit as, let us say, "colorful," as any found here, on the other end of the spectrum no doubt, but colorful in their own right.

Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Dave Benke on October 23, 2007, 10:34:41 PM
a) it's OK to have one thread on Lutherquest on alpb, but I've been told that if we have three threads there's this kind of matrix revolution computer virus thing that happens, and you'll all come to my house in Queens with hoes and pitchforks and string me up. It's not about Mr. Anderson.  It's about Rev. Benke.  They've got the Benkebitmebug over there and they've got it bad.
b) at some point there should be a thread on this particular site about etiquette and attitudes concerning women pastors by those who don't cotton to women's ordination.  Name-calling and shunning of women pastors are two of the etiquette items I'd like to begin by speaking against when that thread is taken up, so put me on the line there.


Dave Benke
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: grabau14 on October 23, 2007, 10:36:43 PM
Paul,

You are correct, those churches do comprise the true visible church on earth.  Missouri does not delight in calling the ELCA heterodox, we are saddened by it.  This Thursday, I will meet with ELCA clergy during our montly Sasse study.  I delight in joining with them in study.

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP
"The freedom with which we are concerned in the Christian feast - the
feast of the Eucharist - is not the freedom to devise new texts but
the liberation of the world and ourselves from death. Only this can
make us free, enabling us to accept truth and to love one another in
truth." Benedict XVI (Feast of Faith, p. 65)
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: grabau14 on October 23, 2007, 10:49:15 PM
Bishop Benke,

If by name calling, do we mean C.S. Lewis when he said, "There were prophetesses even in the old Testament times. Prophetesses, not priestesses."  That is where I get the title "priestess."  I believe C.S. Lewis is correct.  When we change the sex of the office of the holy ministry, we will inevitably change the name of God (as we have seen done in the ELCA and other churches that have women's ordination).

I also have a hard time cozying up with priestesses when our brothers in Finnland, Sweden and elsewhere are persecuted because of their refusal to accept women's ordination  (Thank God for the Luther of our times from Kenya!).  It is bad form on our part I believe.

I could care less about a ELCA pastor being celebrant and a Missouri pastor preaching (I'm sure that ELCA pastor said a good mass), what frosts me is the acceptance of women's ordination.  We allowed Gnosticism to rear its ugly head at the campus of CTS.

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 23, 2007, 11:19:30 PM
I also have a hard time cozying up with priestesses . . . We allowed Gnosticism to rear its ugly head at the campus of CTS.

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP



b) at some point there should be a thread on this particular site about etiquette and attitudes concerning women pastors by those who don't cotton to women's ordination.  Name-calling and shunning of women pastors are two of the etiquette items I'd like to begin by speaking against when that thread is taken up, so put me on the line there.


Dave Benke

You see, Rev'd., that's what Bishop Benke is talking about. What you just did.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 23, 2007, 11:34:25 PM
I think that most pastors that I know would not appreciate being referred to as a "priestess."

John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: grabau14 on October 23, 2007, 11:36:54 PM
I also have a hard time cozying up with priestesses . . . We allowed Gnosticism to rear its ugly head at the campus of CTS.

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP



b) at some point there should be a thread on this particular site about etiquette and attitudes concerning women pastors by those who don't cotton to women's ordination.  Name-calling and shunning of women pastors are two of the etiquette items I'd like to begin by speaking against when that thread is taken up, so put me on the line there.


Dave Benke

You see, Rev'd., that's what Bishop Benke is talking about. What you just did.

The question is will I be cordial when I speak with female pastor?  Of course.  But should that cordial behavior inhibit speach?  No .  I have a hard time associating, chumming it up with women pastors when our brothers who refuse to accept women's ordination are either kept from being ordained "Will you accept communion from a woman's hand?"  If you answer no, than no Holy Orders for you (unless the Luther of our times from Kenya rides to the rescue).

Do I see women pastors as a continuation of the Gnostic heresy?  Yes I do.  Do those churches that actively push for said practice also question the language of who God is.  Yes.  We saw it with the UCC who questioned the divinity of Christ (i.e. His Lordship), there are ELCA churches and pastors who actively use the phrase God as mother, etc...  So I have a hard time not putting the two together.  Gnosticism questioned and challenged the catholic scriptural understanding of who God is.  So I am not surprised in the least when said churches that have women's ordination start to question who God is and how He has revealed Himself to us.

I can accept all sorts of things, but the issue of women's ordination is one that I cannot abide.  It is contrary to the Scriptures and to the catholic tradition.  

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP
"The freedom with which we are concerned in the Christian feast - the
feast of the Eucharist - is not the freedom to devise new texts but
the liberation of the world and ourselves from death. Only this can
make us free, enabling us to accept truth and to love one another in
truth." Benedict XVI (Feast of Faith, p. 65)



Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: grabau14 on October 23, 2007, 11:38:46 PM
I think that most pastors that I know would not appreciate being referred to as a "priestess."

John Dornheim

Take it up with C.S. Lewis

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on October 24, 2007, 12:07:30 AM
I think that most pastors that I know would not appreciate being referred to as a "priestess."

 That's an affirmative.  Although I've heard worse. ("Pastorette" -- eeccckk! :P)

Pastor (smile when you say that, partner) Erma Wolf, STS
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 24, 2007, 12:13:00 AM
I think that most pastors that I know would not appreciate being referred to as a "priestess."

John Dornheim

Take it up with C.S. Lewis

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP

It wasn't he who I had in mind. I suspect he'd be more cordial, though.

John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: pastorg1@aol.com on October 24, 2007, 01:20:33 AM
Pastor Wolf,

I know a police sargeant who, when she first joined the California Highway Patrol, was called a "Chipette."

I said, "Think what would happen if I joined as a chaplain; I'd be a Chipmonk."

Ho.

Pete Garrison
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 24, 2007, 01:39:20 AM

The question is will I be cordial when I speak with female pastor?  Of course.  But should that cordial behavior inhibit speach?  No . 

You just don't seem to get it, Revd. Impolite speech is not cordial behavior. In this forum, you are in the presence of women who are ordained in their church body. You are, in fact, speaking with female pastors. You are in fact not being cordial. It is entirely possible to have a strongly held opinion about something without resorting to ridicule and sarcasm when speaking with others who do not agree with you. And that is especially true if the ridicule and sarcasm is hurtful to those involved in the conversation. Exhorting someone to be polite and charitable in their speech is not the same thing as inhibiting speech.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Maryland Brian on October 24, 2007, 09:32:27 AM

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:29-32
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 24, 2007, 11:28:58 AM
Bear in mind also that this is a two-way street. There is such a thing as passive-aggressive politeness. A woman pastor in a setting where many are opposed to the ordination of women can, without saying anything overtly confrontational, simply put herself forward through assumptions in such a way that people who object to women's ordination feel they are being forced to the margins of the group by going along with it or being tagged with the label of bull-in-a-china-shop lout if the say anything. There seems (sometimes at least) to be very little sensitivity to how awkward such meetings can be for someone who genuinely doesn't believe in women's ordination and thinks it overtly disobedient to God's Word. Of course, it is just as awkward for the woman pastor-- she would feel marginalized if she in any way acknowledged something different about her standing as a member of the clergy in the group due to her gender. Since it is a delicate situation, it calls for diplomacy on both sides, not merely a demand that those who oppose women's ordination in every way pretend that they don't in the presence of a woman pastor. Factor in the solidarity that some people feel with those who really are being formally and institutionally marginalized in Lutheran churches overseas for opposing women's ordination and it becomes clear why some people have a hard time playing nice to the satisfaction of those who find their objections misguided or minor. To some conservatives, a woman pastor does not merely represent something alien or uncomfortable, like a black family in an all-white neighborhood. Rather, to these people she represents something immoral (and oppressive) no matter how nice and pastoral she might be. If a family contains striking union workers and members of management at the same company, a family get-together will likely be awkward no matter how you slice it. If the striking union worker struggling to pay his bills is invited to a big party at his brother-in-law the executive's house, and the food is sumptuous, who is responsible for the stiff and perhaps icy conversation between the two, the executive who offers a smile and a hearty handshake and a "no hard feelings" demeanor (while holding all the cards, so to speak) as though that niceness in itself is not confrontational, or the union worker who simply offers straighforward confrontation in the form of snide comments like "how many people did you have to fire to afford this new addition to your house?" I would say that the union worker will almost certainly get chided for his rudeness, but the fault lies also in part with the executive who failed to project a certain attitude, not so much of apology (though that is what the worker might have liked) but at least of deference and respect. Similarly (and again, given the solidarity that some feel for pastors overseas who are losing their positions, reputations, and livelihoods for standing firm on this issue) a pastor who opposes women's ordination being confronted with a warm and hearty "no hard feelings" welcome by a woman pastor finds it pretty tough to take-- her clergy collar itself is like the executive's big new house; it seems to some people almost like a personal insult even though it obviously isn't-- and if he can't help himself but be a little harsh or rude, he certainly ought not be excused for it, but there also ought to be a lot of understanding for his actions rather than just total criticism of him as though the problem were all on one side.

Elsewhere in this forum a member commented that he felt so betrayed and wronged by the LCMS that he will never again set foot on a Concordia campus. Apparently to do so for him would feel like capitulating to a wrong, or at least having to refight an old battle. There is a symbolic power of sorts (and also spiritual danger) in such an attitude and gesture of rejection, even though many people who know and love the Concordias might be offended that someone would think them so awful as to be worthy of such treatment. Many people who have fought the wars over women's ordination and won them at great price or lost them outright feel in the presence of a woman pastor the same way this man would feel walking onto the Concordia campus. One way to deal with those feeelings would be to vow never to meet with a woman pastor. Not a very good option, and probably not logistically possible anyway; pastors do not stay in one place like the Concordia campus does. So what can they do? What gesture is available that doesn't immediately ruin all dialogue by giving grave offense, but still expresses some sort of symbolic resistance or disapproval?
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 24, 2007, 11:47:50 AM
So where does this end up, Peter? Are women pastors to be treated with respect or not?
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Jim Butler on October 24, 2007, 12:26:26 PM
1) I was on LutherQuest for some time. (Check the archives; you'll find posts by me.) I quit because I figured out that there was no such thing as fruitful dialog on those pages; they shoot first and ask questions later. If you are looking for a careful, nuanced discussion about the STS retreat and how it interacts with LCMS fellowship issues--it's not going to be there. Indeed, many go way beyond the actual teaching of the LCMS (and many participants are WELS, ELS, and other micro synods and independents). It's also often insulting in demeanor. So please, take whatever you read there with a huge grain of salt and do not assume that this is mainstream LCMS thinking. (For many on LQ, the WELS and ELS are not conservative enough, so what does that tell you?)

2) I doubt seriously that anyone in the LCMS actually hates the STS folks nor would most assume that you are liars of any sort. Some of us are supportive of what you are attempting to do. My guess is that 3/4 of the pastors of the LCMS have never heard of the STS (let alone the Society of St. Polycarp). Again, please do not take LQ as representative of LCMS as a whole (no more than taking JesusFirst or Daystar as representative of the LCMS as a whole). As I see it, the STS did try to listen to the concerns of CTSFW and tried to meet those concerns. I personally appreciate this.

3) On the issue as to whether or not the LCMS thinks the ELCA is "Lutheran enough," I remember a discussion I had with the former ELCA New England Synod bishop. He asked me if I thought the ELCA was an orthodox Lutheran church. I said, that, as I understood the orthodox Lutheran faith, the answer would be no. However, as he understood the orthodox Lutheran faith, the LCMS would not be "Lutheran enough" either. The LCMS understanding of Lutheranism tells us to reject agreements with the Reformed; the ELCA's understanding moves it to sign these agreements. The LCMS understanding caused us to reject the JDDJ; the ELCA's understanding led them to sign it. The LCMS understanding leads us to reject the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy; the ELCA's understanding is leading them to accept it. Let's be honest: on an official level, the ELCA and LCMS have two different understandings of what it means to be Lutheran and neither is truly "Lutheran enough" for the other.

4) As to women pastors, while I do not accept the ordination of women, I do not see any reason not to refer to them as "pastor." While the treatment of our brother pastors overseas is a travesty, I don't think Pr. Erma Wolfe or any other female pastor in the ELCA is responsible for that treatment. So long as those who support the ordination of women treat me with respect (and do not attempt to require me to agree with them on this point) I will treat them with respect. That is, in my mind, one of the strengths of denominations--we can each go as we believe the Lord teaches on a given matter. Such division is sad at times, but it is also a reality.

Hope these comments add to the discussion in a positive way.


Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 24, 2007, 12:29:03 PM
So where does this end up, Peter? Are women pastors to be treated with respect or not?
Yes they are. I often meet with women pastors and treat them with respect.
The point of my post, though, was to show that it ends up being a trickier question than the one you pose. The rudeness of one may stem from the passive-aggressive politeness of the other. The call for respect from the one may dishonor the legitimate feelings and symbolic loyalties of the other. A person can vow never to set foot on the Concordia campus again, and that may or may not be wise, but at least it is in his power to do it and it carries some symbolic significance. The questions I ended my post with were not rhetorical devices but genuine questions. When women pastors and pastors who oppose women's ordination meet, what gesture of non-compliance is available to the latter? What concession ought be asked of the former? Say, for instance, a conservative LCMS pastor Bob Smith meets a pastor Jane Doe. If he tries to be very respectful of her person without acknowledging the legitimacy of her position, can he say, "I'm very pleased to meet you, Ms. Doe," or would that mode of address be taken as disrespectful merely because it fails to take into account her position? I would say, yes, that is disrespectful. But it ought not be ruled out of bounds until somebody puts forward an exmaple of what wouldn't be disrespectful that also doesn't simply demand the pretense of capitulation on Pastor Smith's part. It is easy to say that someone who uses the word "priestess" just doesn't get it, and that may be true in some cases. But what I'm looking for is some evidence that those who, perhaps rightly, criticize that word nevertheless "get it" when it comes to why someone would use it. It isn't always because they are rude or obtuse or socially inept people. It is because the situation is a lot more complicated than the question "should women pastors be treated with respect" makes it out to be. That's why I think the analogy of the person who vowed never to set foot on the Concordia campus again is particularly applicable to this discussion. The people who agree with the gesture need to be sensitive to those who love and support Concordia. The people who disagree with that gesture ought not simply tell the person to grow up unless they can demonstrate that they at least understand and sympathize with the motivation behind the gesture. And both sides ought to acknowledge that bringing such a person and Concordia together requires a lot more than simple politeness and respect.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 24, 2007, 12:50:26 PM
Hope these comments add to the discussion in a positive way.

Indeed they do. Thanks for them.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 24, 2007, 01:04:19 PM
Peter writes:
Yes they are. I often meet with women pastors and treat them with respect.

I comment:
Good. And you acknowledge that they are clergy, even though you think it is wrong for them to be such. I thought it was otherwise.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: navyman on October 24, 2007, 01:08:42 PM
Many of us LCMS pastors do not "despise" any individual ELCA pastor. What we do actually abhor is the false teaching that has the ELCA in a vice-like death grip. And to that extent, we must not, and can not ever, concede that the ELCA is a genuinelly Lutheran Church. That there are Lutherans in the ELCA is indisputable and as I've said here often before, and will repeat here again, all LCMS pastors who love Christ and His Word share a genuine concern for all ELCA pastors and members alike who are striving to be faithful to God's Word, who have, and continue, to stand in protest over against the formal and official doctrinal positions of the ELCA that are, and remain, contrary to Sacred Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

As for what happened at CTS Fort Wayne. Seminary officials there are responsible for whatever decisions or agreements or understandings were in place at the time of the STS meeting there. And I'm sure appropriate conversations will continue over what happened , but LutherQuest is no more a responsible forum for trying to "figure all this out" anymore than this forum is.

As for LutherQuest. It is not a LCMS forum. It has a cast of characters on it every bit as, let us say, "colorful," as any found here, on the other end of the spectrum no doubt, but colorful in their own right.





concede that the ELCA is a genuinelly Lutheran Church, Yes, and the LC MS, is not the only real Lutheran church that doesn't consider is genuinely Lutheran either.

Don Whitbeck
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: navyman on October 24, 2007, 01:14:12 PM
I think that most pastors that I know would not appreciate being referred to as a "priestess."

John Dornheim

Take it up with C.S. Lewis

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP

It wasn't he who I had in mind. I suspect he'd be more cordial, though.

John Dornheim


But we do support feminist theology don't w?  Just look at the new LBW, we have more then one way of saying something other then Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!  As well, many reference to TEC worship practice!  This why our congregation refused to purchase them.  We don't believe in it, or what ELCA HQ pushes down to the congregations, as truth!

Don Whitbeck
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2007, 01:20:45 PM
I called several ELCA parishes awhile back to inquire about buying or acquiring hymnals from pre-predecessor bodies of ELCA (ie: The Hymnal-Augustana Synod & Hymnal For Church and Home-Danish Synods) and both women pastors from different parishes graciously invited me to come and pick one up for my collection.  

The former Augustana parish pastor invited me into her office for coffee and a discussion since I was new to the neighborhood and recently relocated to the Midwest from the Left Coast.  When she found I was LCMS and had joined an LCMS parish 3 1/2 miles from home (her parish is 4 blks from my home) her demeanor became defensive and she asked me point blank if I agreed with Missouri's position re: women pastors and I answered in the affirmative as politely as I could.  It would have been a more cordial visit if she hadn't immediately launched into that topic upon discovering I was LCMS, IMO.  I do appreciate the hymnal she gave me...
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: navyman on October 24, 2007, 01:26:49 PM
So where does this end up, Peter? Are women pastors to be treated with respect or not?

I would say yes they should be treated with respect for the office they hold, just like a cop, a firefighter, and etc.  However, one doesn't have to agree with the teaching of it, or the acceptance of it.  I'm more concern about the false theology and doctrine of feminists, gods, and a false christ, and false holy spirit, and the teaching of it in a Christian Church!

After all Christ called him Father, not mother earth, or mother some thing else.  God's spirit, is male, because God the Father is male, like Christ was male.

The ELCA seems to accept both!  Just another reason to say we are anything but orthodox.

Don Whitbeck
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 24, 2007, 01:32:19 PM
her demeanor became defensive and she asked me point blank if I agreed with Missouri's position re: women pastors

I would agree that in that circumstance, it was a rude question for her to ask. Thank you for answering politely.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2007, 01:32:34 PM
Mr. Whitbeck, I am curious why you remain in an ELCA parish since it appears your beliefs differ so diametrically from ELCA's doctrine and practices.  Care to explain?
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 24, 2007, 01:42:04 PM
So where does this end up, Peter? Are women pastors to be treated with respect or not?

I would say yes they should be treated with respect for the office they hold, just like a cop, a firefighter, and etc.  However, one doesn't have to agree with the teaching of it, or the acceptance of it.  I'm more concern about the false theology and doctrine of feminists, gods, and a false christ, and false holy spirit, and the teaching of it in a Christian Church!

After all Christ called him Father, not mother earth, or mother some thing else.  God's spirit, is male, because God the Father is male, like Christ was male.

The ELCA seems to accept both!  Just another reason to say we are anything but orthodox.

Don Whitbeck

Perhspa you would be willing to explain the following:
 Hosea 11:3-4 God described as a mother

God: “Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I who took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.”

Hosea 13:8 God described as a mother bear

God: “I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs…”

Deuteronomy 32:11-12 God described as a mother eagle

“As an eagle stirs up its nest, and hovers over its young as it spreads its wings, takes them up and bears them aloft on its pinions, the Lord alone guided him…”

Deuteronomy 32:18 God who gives birth

“You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.”

Isaiah 66:13 God as a comforting mother

God: “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

Isaiah 49:15 God compared to a nursing mother

God: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”

Isaiah 42:14 God as a woman in labor

God: “For a long time I have held my peace, I have kept myself still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor, I will gasp and pant.”

Jeremiah 44:25 Queen of Heaven

“Thus says…the God of Israel: You and your wives have accomplished in deeds what you declared in words, ‘We are determined to …make offerings to the queen of heaven and to pour out libations to her.’ By all means, keep your vows and make your libations!”

Psalm131:2 God as a Mother

“But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.”

Psalm 123:2 God compared to a woman

“As the eyes of a servant looks to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until God has mercy on us.”

Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34 God as a Mother Hen

Jesus: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”

Luke 15:8-10 God as woman looking for her lost coin

Jesus: “Or what woman having ten silver coins, is she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 24, 2007, 02:02:30 PM
So where does this end up, Peter? Are women pastors to be treated with respect or not?

I would say yes they should be treated with respect for the office they hold, just like a cop, a firefighter, and etc.  However, one doesn't have to agree with the teaching of it, or the acceptance of it.  I'm more concern about the false theology and doctrine of feminists, gods, and a false christ, and false holy spirit, and the teaching of it in a Christian Church!

After all Christ called him Father, not mother earth, or mother some thing else.  God's spirit, is male, because God the Father is male, like Christ was male.

The ELCA seems to accept both!  Just another reason to say we are anything but orthodox.

Don Whitbeck

Perhspa you would be willing to explain the following:
 Hosea 11:3-4 God described as a mother

God: “Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I who took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.”

Hosea 13:8 God described as a mother bear

God: “I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs…”

Deuteronomy 32:11-12 God described as a mother eagle

“As an eagle stirs up its nest, and hovers over its young as it spreads its wings, takes them up and bears them aloft on its pinions, the Lord alone guided him…”

Deuteronomy 32:18 God who gives birth

“You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.”

Isaiah 66:13 God as a comforting mother

God: “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

Isaiah 49:15 God compared to a nursing mother

God: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”

Isaiah 42:14 God as a woman in labor

God: “For a long time I have held my peace, I have kept myself still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor, I will gasp and pant.”

Jeremiah 44:25 Queen of Heaven

“Thus says…the God of Israel: You and your wives have accomplished in deeds what you declared in words, ‘We are determined to …make offerings to the queen of heaven and to pour out libations to her.’ By all means, keep your vows and make your libations!”

Psalm131:2 God as a Mother

“But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.”

Psalm 123:2 God compared to a woman

“As the eyes of a servant looks to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until God has mercy on us.”

Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34 God as a Mother Hen

Jesus: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”

Luke 15:8-10 God as woman looking for her lost coin

Jesus: “Or what woman having ten silver coins, is she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

John Dornheim
John, these are all poetic similes and metaphors in which God is also compared to an eagle, a rock, and and angry she-bear among other things. But if the invocation were "O feathered, vicious, and inanimate God..." I doubt you'd accept those verses a defense for such a choice of words. 
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 24, 2007, 02:06:36 PM
Perhaps, but the overwhelming thread through all of them is that God is depicted with feminine attributes. It is not a modern feminazi invention as some would suggest.
John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: frluther1517 on October 24, 2007, 02:10:10 PM
Perhaps, but the overwhelming thread through all of them is that God is depicted with feminine attributes. It is not a modern feminazi invention as some would suggest.
John Dornheim

It might be when they stop becoming attributes, similies, and metaphors and turn into invocations. 
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: navyman on October 24, 2007, 02:11:45 PM
Mr. Whitbeck, I am curious why you remain in an ELCA parish since it appears your beliefs differ so diametrically from ELCA's doctrine and practices.  Care to explain?

Easy, I belong to various reform groups within the ELCA.  I thought about leaving, maybe in 2009, if the ELCA grants gay ordination!  I was raised LC MS, there are pastors with the ELCA that don't follow the HQ ELCA line.  However, they are careful what they say and do!  You can be deflock and removed from the ELCA by the Bishop if you flaunt your beliefs to much.  However, there are many in the ELCA that do believe as I do, and don't follow the central teachings of HQ in IL. the TEC, Rome, or any other church that the ELCA feels compelled to hook up with!

Hope this answers your question!

Don Whitbeck

Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: LutherMan on October 24, 2007, 02:15:59 PM
 Mr. Whitbeck,
Thank you for your answer.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 24, 2007, 02:20:06 PM
Perhaps, but the overwhelming thread through all of them is that God is depicted with feminine attributes. It is not a modern feminazi invention as some would suggest.
John Dornheim

It might be when they stop becoming attributes, similies, and metaphors and turn into invocations. 
Exactly. An invocation is talking directly to God, not about Him. We ought to talk to Him the way He finally and fully introduced Himself, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I can scream like a woman in labor, "give birth" to an idea, "nurse" a drink or a wound, or do all kinds of metaphorically feminine things, but if people call me "ma'am" they either don't know me or are deliberately being provocative.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: ghp on October 24, 2007, 02:33:09 PM
So where does this end up, Peter? Are women pastors to be treated with respect or not?
Yes they are. I often meet with women pastors and treat them with respect.
The point of my post, though, was to show that it ends up being a trickier question than the one you pose. The rudeness of one may stem from the passive-aggressive politeness of the other. The call for respect from the one may dishonor the legitimate feelings and symbolic loyalties of the other. A person can vow never to set foot on the Concordia campus again, and that may or may not be wise, but at least it is in his power to do it and it carries some symbolic significance. The questions I ended my post with were not rhetorical devices but genuine questions. When women pastors and pastors who oppose women's ordination meet, what gesture of non-compliance is available to the latter? What concession ought be asked of the former? Say, for instance, a conservative LCMS pastor Bob Smith meets a pastor Jane Doe. If he tries to be very respectful of her person without acknowledging the legitimacy of her position, can he say, "I'm very pleased to meet you, Ms. Doe," or would that mode of address be taken as disrespectful merely because it fails to take into account her position? I would say, yes, that is disrespectful. But it ought not be ruled out of bounds until somebody puts forward an exmaple of what wouldn't be disrespectful that also doesn't simply demand the pretense of capitulation on Pastor Smith's part. It is easy to say that someone who uses the word "priestess" just doesn't get it, and that may be true in some cases. But what I'm looking for is some evidence that those who, perhaps rightly, criticize that word nevertheless "get it" when it comes to why someone would use it. It isn't always because they are rude or obtuse or socially inept people. It is because the situation is a lot more complicated than the question "should women pastors be treated with respect" makes it out to be.  [snip]

This is a great question, one that I would like to ask again as I haven't yet seen it directly answered/addressed...


I don't think the issue is ultimately one of "merely" civility/politeness, or even respect. Revs Speckhard & Uttenreither are both, I think, clearly polite & respectful. But this issue is so highly charged one that even their civility is being questioned.

I'm just not sure it's a resolvable tension, which is why I'm asking...

-ghp
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 24, 2007, 03:12:14 PM
Peter writes:
Yes they are. I often meet with women pastors and treat them with respect.

I comment:
Good. And you acknowledge that they are clergy, even though you think it is wrong for them to be such. I thought it was otherwise.
Yes, I acknowledge that they are clergy. I just wish more people understood how difficult that is for some people in a way that honors that difficulty rather than simply admitting that yes, some people are backward and brutish. I don't typically think in terms of solidarity with overseas Lutheran conservative minorities, so it isn't as much of a problem for me personally, but I think it important to understand why it is a problem for those who do think in such terms. I don't have much of a problem referring to Castro as the president of Cuba, either, much as I don't like him or what he stands for. It isn't a personal issue for me. But a lot of displaced Cubans in Miami will bite their own tongues before they say the words "president Castro" because they don't think he is rightfully president and they think he represents the ruin of their nation. Whether they are rght ot wrong about that, that is how they see it. So if a bunch of us were meeting a representative of the government of Cuba, I think it would be necessary to be polite, but perhaps disingenuous of me to chide a displaced Cuban for feeling the urge not to be polite and perhaps failing to be fully cordial. Even though it isn't Castro himself, but only some nice enough young official just doing his job, that official Cuban envoy represents something to the displaced Cuban that he doesn't represent to me, so I should acknowledge and honor the temptation my Cuban friend might have to spit on the ground, refuse to shake hands, or make some other show of inhospitality before admonishing and encouraging him to resist such temptation. Many people won't say "Pastor Mary" because they don't think she is or can be a pastor and the whole fight over that issue (among others) has taken their church from them. Nothing personal against Mary or Jane per se-- they might be perfectly nice people just like the Cuban envoy-- but any woman pastor is, in their minds, a sort of official envoy from an illegitimate regime that is ruining the homeland-- that is how some people perceive it. Should they then be rude to her? No, of course not. But should people who don't even understand their outlook take them to task for their rudeness? No. It is a very difficult situation, and appeals for cordial behavior that don't acknowledge the pain, emotion, and loyalties involved simply ring hollow.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: janielou13 on October 24, 2007, 03:23:30 PM
OK, here is a bit of 'momspeak',,,, grandmom, too:  There is no excuse, ever, for rudness, incivility, or bad behavior.  Period.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 24, 2007, 03:36:20 PM
But should people who don't even understand their outlook take them to task for their rudeness? No. It is a very difficult situation, and appeals for cordial behavior that don't acknowledge the pain, emotion, and loyalties involved simply ring hollow.

I was with you up till this, Pete. Well, I guess I'm still mostly with you, but with some exceptions. I think it is entirely appropriate, in a setting like this, for one of the esteemed moderators  8) to say, in effect, "Hey, that comes across as rude. Please don't do it."

Of course the esteemed moderators are so perfectly attuned to the nuances of theological, political and social debate that they would ALWAYS be making such an appeal with due acknowledgement and complete understanding of the pain, emotion and loyalties involved.  ::)
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: ghp on October 24, 2007, 03:38:07 PM
OK, here is a bit of 'momspeak',,,, grandmom, too:  There is no excuse, ever, for rudness, incivility, or bad behavior.  Period.

Agreed.

But what if one side's "speaking the truth in love" (in the form of not using a certain appellation) is the other side's "rudeness, incivility, or bad behavior"?

Is this a resolvable tension?

-ghp
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 24, 2007, 03:39:20 PM
OK, here is a bit of 'momspeak',,,, grandmom, too:  There is no excuse, ever, for rudness, incivility, or bad behavior.  Period.
True. Agreed. But which is the worst behavior of the three options-- refusing to speak to someone, telling the required lie that keeps the peace, or telling a truth that causes conflict?  
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 24, 2007, 03:49:34 PM
But should people who don't even understand their outlook take them to task for their rudeness? No. It is a very difficult situation, and appeals for cordial behavior that don't acknowledge the pain, emotion, and loyalties involved simply ring hollow.

I was with you up till this, Pete. Well, I guess I'm still mostly with you, but with some exceptions. I think it is entirely appropriate, in a setting like this, for one of the esteemed moderators  8) to say, in effect, "Hey, that comes across as rude. Please don't do it."

Of course the esteemed moderators are so perfectly attuned to the nuances of theological, political and social debate that they would ALWAYS be making such an appeal with due acknowledgement and complete understanding of the pain, emotion and loyalties involved.  ::)
Natch. In an online forum, the standards have to be more objective. But the matter of "getting it" on this issue is what I wanted to explore. But that's just me, Mr. Nuance (although sensitivity is often perceived as a feminine quality, so should I go by "Ms. Nuance"? Better not go there...). At any rate, the reader should have full confidence that the moderators feel your pain.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 24, 2007, 03:57:47 PM
Peter writes:
Yes they are. I often meet with women pastors and treat them with respect.

I comment:
Good. And you acknowledge that they are clergy, even though you think it is wrong for them to be such. I thought it was otherwise.
Yes, I acknowledge that they are clergy. I just wish more people understood how difficult that is for some people in a way that honors that difficulty rather than simply admitting that yes, some people are backward and brutish. I don't typically think in terms of solidarity with overseas Lutheran conservative minorities, so it isn't as much of a problem for me personally, but I think it important to understand why it is a problem for those who do think in such terms. I don't have much of a problem referring to Castro as the president of Cuba, either, much as I don't like him or what he stands for. It isn't a personal issue for me. But a lot of displaced Cubans in Miami will bite their own tongues before they say the words "president Castro" because they don't think he is rightfully president and they think he represents the ruin of their nation. Whether they are rght ot wrong about that, that is how they see it. So if a bunch of us were meeting a representative of the government of Cuba, I think it would be necessary to be polite, but perhaps disingenuous of me to chide a displaced Cuban for feeling the urge not to be polite and perhaps failing to be fully cordial. Even though it isn't Castro himself, but only some nice enough young official just doing his job, that official Cuban envoy represents something to the displaced Cuban that he doesn't represent to me, so I should acknowledge and honor the temptation my Cuban friend might have to spit on the ground, refuse to shake hands, or make some other show of inhospitality before admonishing and encouraging him to resist such temptation. Many people won't say "Pastor Mary" because they don't think she is or can be a pastor and the whole fight over that issue (among others) has taken their church from them. Nothing personal against Mary or Jane per se-- they might be perfectly nice people just like the Cuban envoy-- but any woman pastor is, in their minds, a sort of official envoy from an illegitimate regime that is ruining the homeland-- that is how some people perceive it. Should they then be rude to her? No, of course not. But should people who don't even understand their outlook take them to task for their rudeness? No. It is a very difficult situation, and appeals for cordial behavior that don't acknowledge the pain, emotion, and loyalties involved simply ring hollow.

I don't recall any of the debate over the ordination of women. But after all of these years, I cannot conceive of a church without them. There is nothing which could be said to change my mind on this subject and nothing that can justify opposition to it. Of all the women clergy who I have known or with whom I have worked, only one is unqualified for this hallowed calling. I can't say the same about the men. Mom always said that if I couldn't say someting nice, don't say anything at all. Lord knows I try.
John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Dave_Poedel on October 24, 2007, 04:08:07 PM
Question of how to address a woman who is ordained by a denomination that addresses their clergy as Pastor?: Pastor
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on October 24, 2007, 04:16:41 PM
(although sensitivity is often perceived as a feminine quality, so should I go by "Ms. Nuance"? Better not go there... 

Some of us are old enough to have been taught that "Ms." was the written saluation in a business letter when the writer didn't know the sex of the recipient. ;)

spt+
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 24, 2007, 04:53:41 PM
I don't recall any of the debate over the ordination of women. But after all of these years, I cannot conceive of a church without them. There is nothing which could be said to change my mind on this subject and nothing that can justify opposition to it. Of all the women clergy who I have known or with whom I have worked, only one is unqualified for this hallowed calling. I can't say the same about the men. Mom always said that if I couldn't say someting nice, don't say anything at all. Lord knows I try.
John Dornheim
Here is the problem. Many people could write a similar paragraph for the other side of the equation. There is no middle ground on this issue. Some say nothing can justify having women pastors, and others say nothing can justify not having them. And if nothing can justify the other position, it can't be a matter of adiaphora. And if nothing could even theoretically change John's mind (and the same goes for many on the other side) there would seem to be little hope for common ground. And yet we're constantly told that these differences need not be church-dividing. I don't get it. How can they not be?
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 24, 2007, 05:00:49 PM
Here is the problem. Many people could write a similar paragraph for the other side of the equation. There is no middle ground on this issue. Some say nothing can justify having women pastors, and others say nothing can justify not having them. And if nothing can justify the other position, it can't be a matter of adiaphora. And if nothing could even theoretically change John's mind (and the same goes for many on the other side) there would seem to be little hope for common ground. And yet we're constantly told that these differences need not be church-dividing. I don't get it. How can they not be?

I remember back in the mid-70's when I was a United Methodist pastor and the Episcopalians were debating whether to ordain women (UMC had done it for a while). I really aggravated an Episcopalian colleague (he was pro-ordination) by suggesting that I was in favor of the UMC ordaining women, but I was opposed to the Episcopal Church doing so. He just about jumped over his desk and throttled me.

It was sort of tongue in cheek, of course, but it had a serious point. It seemed to me that the doctrine of ministry (such as it was) of the UMC was perfectly consistent with ordaining women. The doctrine of minsitry of the Episcopal Church, it seemed to me, was much less consistent with ordaining women. And, I concluded, what would be wrong with a church acting consistently with its doctrine of ministry? And why should it upset or bother me if my own church decided to do things differently from another church? And why couldn't we all just get along?

Of course that was when I was a United Methodist.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: MaddogLutheran on October 24, 2007, 05:21:33 PM
I remember back in the mid-70's when I was a United Methodist pastor and the Episcopalians were debating whether to ordain women (UMC had done it for a while). I really aggravated an Episcopalian colleague (he was pro-ordination) by suggesting that I was in favor of the UMC ordaining women, but I was opposed to the Episcopal Church doing so. He just about jumped over his desk and throttled me.

It was sort of tongue in cheek, of course, but it had a serious point. It seemed to me that the doctrine of ministry (such as it was) of the UMC was perfectly consistent with ordaining women. The doctrine of minsitry of the Episcopal Church, it seemed to me, was much less consistent with ordaining women. And, I concluded, what would be wrong with a church acting consistently with its doctrine of ministry? And why should it upset or bother me if my own church decided to do things differently from another church? And why couldn't we all just get along?
I completely understand where you are coming from, as I feel the same way about the ELCA (myself okay with WO) vs. Roman Catholicism (and perhaps I'm not alone in this) -- while I don't agree with the dominating sacrificial understanding of the Eucharist, female priests would be inconsistent with it, and I don't like the social justice/equality rhetoric of liberal Catholics agitating for it.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 24, 2007, 05:58:54 PM
I don't recall any of the debate over the ordination of women. But after all of these years, I cannot conceive of a church without them. There is nothing which could be said to change my mind on this subject and nothing that can justify opposition to it. Of all the women clergy who I have known or with whom I have worked, only one is unqualified for this hallowed calling. I can't say the same about the men. Mom always said that if I couldn't say someting nice, don't say anything at all. Lord knows I try.
John Dornheim
Here is the problem. Many people could write a similar paragraph for the other side of the equation. There is no middle ground on this issue. Some say nothing can justify having women pastors, and others say nothing can justify not having them. And if nothing can justify the other position, it can't be a matter of adiaphora. And if nothing could even theoretically change John's mind (and the same goes for many on the other side) there would seem to be little hope for common ground. And yet we're constantly told that these differences need not be church-dividing. I don't get it. How can they not be?

It would be hard to change my mind because it would mean revoking the ordinations of countless women now serving, as well as cut our seminary enrollments in half.
It appears to me that the practice needs to be tried by the Holy Spirit and if it stands, it stands because it is God blessed. If it fails, it is just another human endeavor. I think that there is some precedent for this approach.
John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: GoCubsGo! on October 24, 2007, 06:36:11 PM
It would be hard to change my mind because it would mean revoking the ordinations of countless women now serving, as well as cut our seminary enrollments in half.
It appears to me that the practice needs to be tried by the Holy Spirit and if it stands, it stands because it is God blessed. If it fails, it is just another human endeavor. I think that there is some precedent for this approach.
John Dornheim

I'm not saying that I would be in favor of revoking women's ordination but to make the counter argument:

It would be hard to change my mind because to do so would go against scripture and jeopardize any movement towards reconciliation wtih Rome.  It appears to me that the practice of not ordaining women and ordaining only men has been tried by the Holy Spirit and has stood for two thausand years and is therefore God blessed.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: edoughty on October 24, 2007, 06:53:56 PM
It would be hard to change my mind because it would mean revoking the ordinations of countless women now serving, as well as cut our seminary enrollments in half.
It appears to me that the practice needs to be tried by the Holy Spirit and if it stands, it stands because it is God blessed. If it fails, it is just another human endeavor. I think that there is some precedent for this approach.
John Dornheim

I'm not saying that I would be in favor of revoking women's ordination but to make the counter argument:

It would be hard to change my mind because to do so would go against scripture and jeopardize any movement towards reconciliation wtih Rome.  It appears to me that the practice of not ordaining women and ordaining only men has been tried by the Holy Spirit and has stood for two thausand years and is therefore God blessed.

Continuing along that line, we should allow women at least 2,000 years' worth of ordination so that we're comparing apples to apples.  I'm sure Rome will be patient with us.

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 24, 2007, 07:39:24 PM
It would be hard to change my mind because it would mean revoking the ordinations of countless women now serving, as well as cut our seminary enrollments in half.
It appears to me that the practice needs to be tried by the Holy Spirit and if it stands, it stands because it is God blessed. If it fails, it is just another human endeavor. I think that there is some precedent for this approach.
John Dornheim

I'm not saying that I would be in favor of revoking women's ordination but to make the counter argument:

It would be hard to change my mind because to do so would go against scripture and jeopardize any movement towards reconciliation wtih Rome.  It appears to me that the practice of not ordaining women and ordaining only men has been tried by the Holy Spirit and has stood for two thausand years and is therefore God blessed.

Continuing along that line, we should allow women at least 2,000 years' worth of ordination so that we're comparing apples to apples.  I'm sure Rome will be patient with us.

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN

Coupled with the understanding that Rome did at one time or another ordain women and that there have been times when the church has survived because of the women's leadership, I would not go so far as to impugn the ministry of women. It seems to me that Joe's comments are dangerously close to the cautions which have been offered.
As long as Rome remains a staunch patriarchy, I don't foresee any movement on the issue no matter how loud the laity cry out for it. Besides, after all these years we have enough clergy intimidated by women in leadership roles to firmly cement any waverers on the other side of the river.

John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: GoCubsGo! on October 24, 2007, 07:58:30 PM
It would be hard to change my mind because it would mean revoking the ordinations of countless women now serving, as well as cut our seminary enrollments in half.
It appears to me that the practice needs to be tried by the Holy Spirit and if it stands, it stands because it is God blessed. If it fails, it is just another human endeavor. I think that there is some precedent for this approach.
John Dornheim

I'm not saying that I would be in favor of revoking women's ordination but to make the counter argument:

It would be hard to change my mind because to do so would go against scripture and jeopardize any movement towards reconciliation wtih Rome.  It appears to me that the practice of not ordaining women and ordaining only men has been tried by the Holy Spirit and has stood for two thausand years and is therefore God blessed.

Continuing along that line, we should allow women at least 2,000 years' worth of ordination so that we're comparing apples to apples.  I'm sure Rome will be patient with us.

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN

Just making the argument for the sake of argument Erik as others here have done numerous times.  Not mentioning any names...
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: GoCubsGo! on October 24, 2007, 08:24:22 PM
It would be hard to change my mind because it would mean revoking the ordinations of countless women now serving, as well as cut our seminary enrollments in half.
It appears to me that the practice needs to be tried by the Holy Spirit and if it stands, it stands because it is God blessed. If it fails, it is just another human endeavor. I think that there is some precedent for this approach.
John Dornheim

I'm not saying that I would be in favor of revoking women's ordination but to make the counter argument:

It would be hard to change my mind because to do so would go against scripture and jeopardize any movement towards reconciliation wtih Rome.  It appears to me that the practice of not ordaining women and ordaining only men has been tried by the Holy Spirit and has stood for two thausand years and is therefore God blessed.

Continuing along that line, we should allow women at least 2,000 years' worth of ordination so that we're comparing apples to apples.  I'm sure Rome will be patient with us.

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN

Coupled with the understanding that Rome did at one time or another ordain women and that there have been times when the church has survived because of the women's leadership, I would not go so far as to impugn the ministry of women. It seems to me that Joe's comments are dangerously close to the cautions which have been offered.
As long as Rome remains a staunch patriarchy, I don't foresee any movement on the issue no matter how loud the laity cry out for it. Besides, after all these years we have enough clergy intimidated by women in leadership roles to firmly cement any waverers on the other side of the river.

John Dornheim

When did Rome ordain women?  Give me a source please. 

I do not impugn the ministry of women, as I said I was only making the counter argument to yours.  In rhetorical arguments in can be wise to discern the counter arguments to your own.  Your assessment is, "Try this and if it stands it is God blessed."  This seems a dangerous way for the Church to go forward.  Many things in culture have stood and I can't say that all of them were God blessed.  If you are going to make an argument for women's ordination do so scripturally and by reason.  So far your argument is more emotional than reasoned.

Personally I am thankful for the gifts that women bring to ordained ministry.  I have known some very good women pastors.  But it is interesting to me that we raise women's ordination to a place of church diviision.  It seems to me that ELCAers argue that reconcilation with Rome could only come if Rome allows for the ordination of women.  Never mind that this was not the one of the issues that divded us in the first place.  It is also interesting to me that when anyone challenges or even asks healthy questions re: women's ordination, they are jumped upon as knuckle dragging dinosaur.

As for the Roman Catholic laity crying out for women's ordination.  That is true some have, but there are others who have not cried so loudly if at all.  I'm not sure what your are talking about when you say some are "intimidated by women in leadership roles".  Are you implying that I am intimidated by women in leadership roles?  I can assure you that some women being elevated to leadership in the ELCA would probably frighten me but not because they are women but because of their ideas/values.  The same is true for many men in leadership positions too.

I'm not sure what your point is John except to argue and belittle anyone who challenges you.  As an STS subscriber and one who values the place from which we came, the Roman Catholic Church, and as one who sincerely hopes for reconciliation with Rome I think we can and should be able to talk openly and honestly about women's ordination and what this means for ecumenical efforts towards Rome.  I hope that you can respect this but I suspect that your venom will spew forth at me for simply challenging your assessment and your biases.  Spew forth now...
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: GoCubsGo! on October 24, 2007, 08:28:41 PM
Continuing along that line, we should allow women at least 2,000 years' worth of ordination so that we're comparing apples to apples.  I'm sure Rome will be patient with us.

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN

I sincerely pray that our reconciliation won't be so long in coming.  If we say we are willing to wait that long are we really interested in ecumenism and/or unity?
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: grabau14 on October 24, 2007, 08:57:07 PM
Missouri Pastors should treat women clergy with respect.  There are other words that I have heard from fellow Missouri pastors and seminary profs that I would not use.  Needless to say, I do stand with my brothers in those countries where the issue of women's ordination is treated as a necessity to receive Holy Orders.  My home congregation has had pastors and students from some of these countries visit and the descriptions I have heard remind me of a Police State.  Do not dare to criticize women's ordination, homosexual ordination, abortion.  Do so at your peril. 

So it is hard for me to cozy up and "play nice" with female pastors when I hear of these persecuted brethren in these states.  I have said this before on this board, but I truly find it interesting that Socialist/communist states were the first to ordain women (and not by church convention but by state edict)

So by all means be nice to our sisters in Christ who are pastors but that should stop a truthful confession.

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither   SSP
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: ptmccain on October 24, 2007, 09:07:56 PM
The use of the word "priestess" to refer to members of a church's clergy who are women is offensive, rude and more a matter of "shock" value and polemic than anything else.

On the other hand, it is not possible for many of us to refer to a woman as a pastor, for the reasons Peter has eloquently stated. We are convinced that they are not, in fact, pastors, since that is a Biblical impossibility, therefore, there are those of us who find it impossible to refer to a woman as a pastor or address her as "Pastor."
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: janielou13 on October 24, 2007, 09:39:38 PM
"True. Agreed. But which is the worst behavior of the three options-- refusing to speak to someone, telling the required lie that keeps the peace, or telling a truth that causes conflict?"

It's obvioous you're not a mom.  Take the fourth, and often only, option -  if you can't play nice, leave the playground.

" And yet we're constantly told that these differences need not be church-dividing. I don't get it. How can they not be?"

Simple; study Piepkorn, essays both in 'The Church' and also vol. 2, 'The Sacred Scriptures and The Lutheran Confessions',,,,,,,, vol 1 is published by ALPB, so it can't be all bad  8>)   When all is said and done, Pieps observed that since both the Sacred Scriptures nor the Lutheran Confessions are silent, the issue not being an issue of the Gospel or Article of the Faith, the question need not be Chruch dividing.  He himself was often heard to remark that while he personally did not know what it was, based on Tradition, he was confident he knew what it wasn't,,,,,, but, in time, should Rome and the East see to ordain women to the presbyterate, he would readily and joyfully admit he was wrong.  In any event, the issue, at worst, can only be seen as rising to the level of an abuse, or as the East puts it, a 'Western idiosyncracy', never heresy. The wisdom is not to absolutize our differances on such an issue, so that it becomes an either or polarity, but retain the humility to recognize the limitations of our insight and understanding,,,,,,, and play nice, and if not, leave the playground.
In referance to Rome and the East, Piepkorn saw rapid change in Rome in one hundred year increments, in the East, in four hundred year increments.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 24, 2007, 09:45:20 PM
When did Rome ordain women?  Give me a source please. 

I do not impugn the ministry of women, as I said I was only making the counter argument to yours.  In rhetorical arguments in can be wise to discern the counter arguments to your own.  Your assessment is, "Try this and if it stands it is God blessed."  This seems a dangerous way for the Church to go forward.  Many things in culture have stood and I can't say that all of them were God blessed.  If you are going to make an argument for women's ordination do so scripturally and by reason.  So far your argument is more emotional than reasoned.

Personally I am thankful for the gifts that women bring to ordained ministry.  I have known some very good women pastors.  But it is interesting to me that we raise women's ordination to a place of church diviision.  It seems to me that ELCAers argue that reconcilation with Rome could only come if Rome allows for the ordination of women.  Never mind that this was not the one of the issues that divded us in the first place.  It is also interesting to me that when anyone challenges or even asks healthy questions re: women's ordination, they are jumped upon as knuckle dragging dinosaur.

As for the Roman Catholic laity crying out for women's ordination.  That is true some have, but there are others who have not cried so loudly if at all.  I'm not sure what your are talking about when you say some are "intimidated by women in leadership roles".  Are you implying that I am intimidated by women in leadership roles?  I can assure you that some women being elevated to leadership in the ELCA would probably frighten me but not because they are women but because of their ideas/values.  The same is true for many men in leadership positions too.

I'm not sure what your point is John except to argue and belittle anyone who challenges you.  As an STS subscriber and one who values the place from which we came, the Roman Catholic Church, and as one who sincerely hopes for reconciliation with Rome I think we can and should be able to talk openly and honestly about women's ordination and what this means for ecumenical efforts towards Rome.  I hope that you can respect this but I suspect that your venom will spew forth at me for simply challenging your assessment and your biases.  Spew forth now...

I have no desire to spew venom at you or anyone. I think that there is a difference between an issue which is church dividing (internal) and a barrier to reconciliation (external).
I also think that there is enough evidence in society that many men have difficulty with women in leadership roles. Take that to wherever you wish, it is very convenient to say that because there is no New Testament witness that it didn't happen then and won't happen now.
We cannot allow other expressions of the faith dictate our theology. We certainly can and should consider them but that is all. If we (and others) can move on this issue then there is every reason to think others can as well. Perhaps were they to look with an open mind and heart, they might change their positions. If they look and shake their heads and wag their fingers, they won't. It is all in God's hands.

John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 24, 2007, 10:25:43 PM
"True. Agreed. But which is the worst behavior of the three options-- refusing to speak to someone, telling the required lie that keeps the peace, or telling a truth that causes conflict?"

It's obvioous you're not a mom.  Take the fourth, and often only, option -  if you can't play nice, leave the playground.

" And yet we're constantly told that these differences need not be church-dividing. I don't get it. How can they not be?"

Simple; study Piepkorn, essays both in 'The Church' and also vol. 2, 'The Sacred Scriptures and The Lutheran Confessions',,,,,,,, vol 1 is published by ALPB, so it can't be all bad  8>)   When all is said and done, Pieps observed that since both the Sacred Scriptures nor the Lutheran Confessions are silent, the issue not being an issue of the Gospel or Article of the Faith, the question need not be Chruch dividing.  He himself was often heard to remark that while he personally did not know what it was, based on Tradition, he was confident he knew what it wasn't,,,,,, but, in time, should Rome and the East see to ordain women to the presbyterate, he would readily and joyfully admit he was wrong.  In any event, the issue, at worst, can only be seen as rising to the level of an abuse, or as the East puts it, a 'Western idiosyncracy', never heresy. The wisdom is not to absolutize our differances on such an issue, so that it becomes an either or polarity, but retain the humility to recognize the limitations of our insight and understanding,,,,,,, and play nice, and if not, leave the playground.
In referance to Rome and the East, Piepkorn saw rapid change in Rome in one hundred year increments, in the East, in four hundred year increments.
janielou, you edited out my reasons for stating that the issue had to be church-dividing based on the current discussion, which stemmed from John's statement that "nothing can justify not having [women pastors]" coupled with other people's assertion that nothing can justify having them. Adiaphora can always be justified in some circumstance. If nothing can justify not having women pastors, then those churches that don't have them are morally wrong, not just different on some disputable matter. If Piepkorn is right, then John must be wrong. If nothing can justify a certain behavior, then insisting on that behavior is church-dividing, q.e.d. However, Piepkorn is wrong (gasp! someone get oxygen! does anyone know CPR?) if he says the Scriptures are silent on this issue. That the Scriptures are not silent on the issue is the whole argument of the other side; to simply assume the correctness of one side of the dispute does little to resolve the dispute.

btw I'm not a mom but I have five children from age ten down to one, and your fourth option (leave the playground) is really the same as what I listed as the first option (refuse to speak to that person) since the gist of it is simply to go your separate ways and stop playing together. The problem, of course, is that if you opt for leaving the playground, say, to start your own ministry down the street from the people with whom you have a problem, those people will then b**** that you left the playground and there is no need for two ministries/games going on. So it really isn't much of an option unless you're up for almost endless whining. And as a dad, I'd say whining is just as bad as being mean.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 24, 2007, 10:34:06 PM
McCain writes:
We are convinced that they are not, in fact, pastors, since that is a Biblical impossibility, therefore, there are those of us who find it impossible to refer to a woman as a pastor or address her as "Pastor"

I comment:
So a particular church body or interpretation "owns" the term? Does not the word have some standing outside the strictures of any given church body? By that measure, Roman Catholics could not refer to us as "priests" or "pastors" or "ordained" because according to the discipline of their church, we are none of those. But they do refer to us as such. Seems like rampant and extreme sectarianism to me, and of an unkindly sort.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 24, 2007, 10:41:31 PM
"True. Agreed. But which is the worst behavior of the three options-- refusing to speak to someone, telling the required lie that keeps the peace, or telling a truth that causes conflict?"

It's obvioous you're not a mom.  Take the fourth, and often only, option -  if you can't play nice, leave the playground.

" And yet we're constantly told that these differences need not be church-dividing. I don't get it. How can they not be?"

Simple; study Piepkorn, essays both in 'The Church' and also vol. 2, 'The Sacred Scriptures and The Lutheran Confessions',,,,,,,, vol 1 is published by ALPB, so it can't be all bad  8>)   When all is said and done, Pieps observed that since both the Sacred Scriptures nor the Lutheran Confessions are silent, the issue not being an issue of the Gospel or Article of the Faith, the question need not be Chruch dividing.  He himself was often heard to remark that while he personally did not know what it was, based on Tradition, he was confident he knew what it wasn't,,,,,, but, in time, should Rome and the East see to ordain women to the presbyterate, he would readily and joyfully admit he was wrong.  In any event, the issue, at worst, can only be seen as rising to the level of an abuse, or as the East puts it, a 'Western idiosyncracy', never heresy. The wisdom is not to absolutize our differances on such an issue, so that it becomes an either or polarity, but retain the humility to recognize the limitations of our insight and understanding,,,,,,, and play nice, and if not, leave the playground.
In referance to Rome and the East, Piepkorn saw rapid change in Rome in one hundred year increments, in the East, in four hundred year increments.
janielou, you edited out my reasons for stating that the issue had to be church-dividing based on the current discussion, which stemmed from John's statement that "nothing can justify not having [women pastors]" coupled with other people's assertion that nothing can justify having them. Adiaphora can always be justified in some circumstance. If nothing can justify not having women pastors, then those churches that don't have them are morally wrong, not just different on some disputable matter. If Piepkorn is right, then John must be wrong. If nothing can justify a certain behavior, then insisting on that behavior is church-dividing, q.e.d. However, Piepkorn is wrong (gasp! someone get oxygen! does anyone know CPR?) if he says the Scriptures are silent on this issue. That the Scriptures are not silent on the issue is the whole argument of the other side; to simply assume the correctness of one side of the dispute does little to resolve the dispute.

btw I'm not a mom but I have five children from age ten down to one, and your fourth option (leave the playground) is really the same as what I listed as the first option (refuse to speak to that person) since the gist of it is simply to go your separate ways and stop playing together. The problem, of course, is that if you opt for leaving the playground, say, to start your own ministry down the street from the people with whom you have a problem, those people will then b**** that you left the playground and there is no need for two ministries/games going on. So it really isn't much of an option unless you're up for almost endless whining. And as a dad, I'd say whining is just as bad as being mean.

I would need to read all of Arthur Carl's writing in this instance to see if we are at different positions. I'd be hard pressed to find areas of disagreement even though he died half a year after I got to St Louis.
John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 25, 2007, 12:37:56 AM
McCain writes:
We are convinced that they are not, in fact, pastors, since that is a Biblical impossibility, therefore, there are those of us who find it impossible to refer to a woman as a pastor or address her as "Pastor"

I comment:
So a particular church body or interpretation "owns" the term? Does not the word have some standing outside the strictures of any given church body? By that measure, Roman Catholics could not refer to us as "priests" or "pastors" or "ordained" because according to the discipline of their church, we are none of those. But they do refer to us as such. Seems like rampant and extreme sectarianism to me, and of an unkindly sort.

Charles, is there something about Paul that makes it impossible for you to ignore him? Must you respond to everything he says on any topic? It is borderline obsessive with you, as though you think people here cannot form their own opinions of Paul's comments, but must have your guidance in order to know how ridiculous everything he says really is. The only point Paul made was that people for whom a pastor is by definition male do not call a woman "pastor". Obviously. To illustrate how perfectly normal this view is, consider this. Green Bay is a Catholic town and I often get called "father" when I'm out and about in clericals. Yet when I see a woman in clericals at the hospital, the people who call me "father" never call her "father" because that would be ridiculous. Nor do they call her "mother". I've heard "sister" or else a lot of fumbling about for a word. The point is that for many (not all, but many) of the good Catholic laity of the town, a priest is by definition "father", so a woman dressed as a priest is something of a quandary. I suppose refusing to call her "father" (which to them is what a priest is) is the most unkindly sort of rampant sectarianism in your eyes, since by trying to find another word they are basically denying that she is what her attire claims she is- a "father". But you know how those Catholics are. Some people would as soon call a woman "pastor" as call her "father" because they see the words in the context of clergy as essentially meaning the same thing and not being applicable to a woman. It has nothing to do with one church body or outlook "owning" a term. If you want to call a woman "father" go ahead. But don't expect everyone else to as a matter of politeness or respect, because some people would find it perplexing and ridiculous, and they aren't all unkind sectarian folks. And the same goes for "pastor". I personally use "pastor" because I can't think of anything else suitable and I generally don't want to make an issue of it unless it is the agreed upon issue at hand. But it isn't as though people who fumble about for another word because "pastor" makes no more sense to them than "father" when applied to a woman are all unkind.   
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 25, 2007, 02:26:47 AM
McCain writes:
We are convinced that they are not, in fact, pastors, since that is a Biblical impossibility, therefore, there are those of us who find it impossible to refer to a woman as a pastor or address her as "Pastor"

I comment:
So a particular church body or interpretation "owns" the term? Does not the word have some standing outside the strictures of any given church body? By that measure, Roman Catholics could not refer to us as "priests" or "pastors" or "ordained" because according to the discipline of their church, we are none of those. But they do refer to us as such. Seems like rampant and extreme sectarianism to me, and of an unkindly sort.

Charles, is there something about Paul that makes it impossible for you to ignore him? Must you respond to everything he says on any topic? It is borderline obsessive with you, as though you think people here cannot form their own opinions of Paul's comments, but must have your guidance in order to know how ridiculous everything he says really is. The only point Paul made was that people for whom a pastor is by definition male do not call a woman "pastor". Obviously. To illustrate how perfectly normal this view is, consider this. Green Bay is a Catholic town and I often get called "father" when I'm out and about in clericals. Yet when I see a woman in clericals at the hospital, the people who call me "father" never call her "father" because that would be ridiculous. Nor do they call her "mother". I've heard "sister" or else a lot of fumbling about for a word. The point is that for many (not all, but many) of the good Catholic laity of the town, a priest is by definition "father", so a woman dressed as a priest is something of a quandary. I suppose refusing to call her "father" (which to them is what a priest is) is the most unkindly sort of rampant sectarianism in your eyes, since by trying to find another word they are basically denying that she is what her attire claims she is- a "father". But you know how those Catholics are. Some people would as soon call a woman "pastor" as call her "father" because they see the words in the context of clergy as essentially meaning the same thing and not being applicable to a woman. It has nothing to do with one church body or outlook "owning" a term. If you want to call a woman "father" go ahead. But don't expect everyone else to as a matter of politeness or respect, because some people would find it perplexing and ridiculous, and they aren't all unkind sectarian folks. And the same goes for "pastor". I personally use "pastor" because I can't think of anything else suitable and I generally don't want to make an issue of it unless it is the agreed upon issue at hand. But it isn't as though people who fumble about for another word because "pastor" makes no more sense to them than "father" when applied to a woman are all unkind.   

I have heard many a Catholic, clergy and lay alike, acknowledge a woman in a collar as "Pastor." Some would say "Reverend". Yes, there are some who are unsure but it is far from all. It is unfair to say that those who belong to faith traditions which do not ordain women that they are unable to respect another and use the proper terminology.
I shudder to think what might happen if we all stop addressing pastors (or rabbis, for that matter) as such because we don't think that they are fit for the office.

John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 25, 2007, 06:03:20 AM
Peter writes:
Charles, is there something about Paul that makes it impossible for you to ignore him? Must you respond to everything he says on any topic? It is borderline obsessive with you, as though you think people here cannot form their own opinions of Paul's comments, but must have your guidance in order to know how ridiculous everything he says really is.

I comment (risking having my remarks removed again)
No. I do not respond to everything he says on every topic; and I would appreciate it if you would refrain from long-distance psychoanalyzing. And everything he says is not ridiculous, only large portions of his comments seem to me to be w-a-a-y beyond the bounds of sensible discussion. It is not a question of whether other people "must have" my guidance to understand this; I would fervently hope they reach the conclusion on their own. So I am letting them know I agree with them.

Peter:
The only point Paul made was that people for whom a pastor is by definition male do not call a woman "pastor".

Me:
And my only point was that many do. The word doesn't belong to a particular definition. And by the way, the fact that some refuse to call a woman 'Pastor' is not so "obvious" in most circles.

I believe the discussion of how Romans refer to our clergy misses the mark. Language is always in transition and some Catholics are still getting used to close relations with Protestants; so the way to refer to us is not always obvious and changes frequently. But if one were to go that line of thought, we might have to say we cannot ever refer to Roman Catholic priests as "father," because - if they are faithful to their vows of celibacy - they aren't and can never be "father."

Peter:
But it isn't as though people who fumble about for another word because "pastor" makes no more sense to them than "father" when applied to a woman are all unkind.

Me:
No. Not all are. But we take words in context, even in this forum (or perhaps only in this forum). And once again, the meaning derived from the context of the original post was - given all the other postings of a similar nature - clear; the intent to open up another round of denunciations about how the ELCA does things. I thought my original answer (another non-obsessive reply BTW) would end the thread. The ELCA has no policy on same sex marriages.
Enough said. But if one wishes to speculate on "obsession," let us ponder how frequently some posters choose to denounce rather than dialogue and cloak those denunciations in unctuous, condescending language.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John_Hannah on October 25, 2007, 06:11:54 AM
"True. Agreed. But which is the worst behavior of the three options-- refusing to speak to someone, telling the required lie that keeps the peace, or telling a truth that causes conflict?"

It's obvioous you're not a mom.  Take the fourth, and often only, option -  if you can't play nice, leave the playground.

" And yet we're constantly told that these differences need not be church-dividing. I don't get it. How can they not be?"

Simple; study Piepkorn, essays both in 'The Church' and also vol. 2, 'The Sacred Scriptures and The Lutheran Confessions',,,,,,,, vol 1 is published by ALPB, so it can't be all bad  8>)   When all is said and done, Pieps observed that since both the Sacred Scriptures nor the Lutheran Confessions are silent, the issue not being an issue of the Gospel or Article of the Faith, the question need not be Chruch dividing.  He himself was often heard to remark that while he personally did not know what it was, based on Tradition, he was confident he knew what it wasn't,,,,,, but, in time, should Rome and the East see to ordain women to the presbyterate, he would readily and joyfully admit he was wrong.  In any event, the issue, at worst, can only be seen as rising to the level of an abuse, or as the East puts it, a 'Western idiosyncracy', never heresy. The wisdom is not to absolutize our differances on such an issue, so that it becomes an either or polarity, but retain the humility to recognize the limitations of our insight and understanding,,,,,,, and play nice, and if not, leave the playground.
In referance to Rome and the East, Piepkorn saw rapid change in Rome in one hundred year increments, in the East, in four hundred year increments.
janielou, you edited out my reasons for stating that the issue had to be church-dividing based on the current discussion, which stemmed from John's statement that "nothing can justify not having [women pastors]" coupled with other people's assertion that nothing can justify having them. Adiaphora can always be justified in some circumstance. If nothing can justify not having women pastors, then those churches that don't have them are morally wrong, not just different on some disputable matter. If Piepkorn is right, then John must be wrong. If nothing can justify a certain behavior, then insisting on that behavior is church-dividing, q.e.d. However, Piepkorn is wrong (gasp! someone get oxygen! does anyone know CPR?) if he says the Scriptures are silent on this issue. That the Scriptures are not silent on the issue is the whole argument of the other side; to simply assume the correctness of one side of the dispute does little to resolve the dispute.

btw I'm not a mom but I have five children from age ten down to one, and your fourth option (leave the playground) is really the same as what I listed as the first option (refuse to speak to that person) since the gist of it is simply to go your separate ways and stop playing together. The problem, of course, is that if you opt for leaving the playground, say, to start your own ministry down the street from the people with whom you have a problem, those people will then b**** that you left the playground and there is no need for two ministries/games going on. So it really isn't much of an option unless you're up for almost endless whining. And as a dad, I'd say whining is just as bad as being mean.

I would need to read all of Arthur Carl's writing in this instance to see if we are at different positions. I'd be hard pressed to find areas of disagreement even though he died half a year after I got to St Louis.
John Dornheim

Actually, it might be that he hasn't written about it at all. That in itself might be significant as to the importance of the question AND, for Piepkorn, whether it really is a church dividing problem.

The fact is that by late 1973 (six weeks before his death) he told me (and my 7 year old daughter) that there was no scriptural nor confessional prohibition to ordaining women.

I think we can summarize his position. He found no wirtten evidence (scriptural or confessional) one way or the other. He respected the tradition and the ecumenical church. By the time American Lutherans ordained Lutherans he accepted them.

If anyone finds anything written by Arthur Carl Piepkorn on the subject of women's ordaination I would like to know about it. Phil Secker, editor of the Piepkorn volumes is searching and hasn't yet.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH, STS
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: GoCubsGo! on October 25, 2007, 08:22:50 AM
When did Rome ordain women?  Give me a source please. 

I do not impugn the ministry of women, as I said I was only making the counter argument to yours.  In rhetorical arguments in can be wise to discern the counter arguments to your own.  Your assessment is, "Try this and if it stands it is God blessed."  This seems a dangerous way for the Church to go forward.  Many things in culture have stood and I can't say that all of them were God blessed.  If you are going to make an argument for women's ordination do so scripturally and by reason.  So far your argument is more emotional than reasoned.

Personally I am thankful for the gifts that women bring to ordained ministry.  I have known some very good women pastors.  But it is interesting to me that we raise women's ordination to a place of church diviision.  It seems to me that ELCAers argue that reconcilation with Rome could only come if Rome allows for the ordination of women.  Never mind that this was not the one of the issues that divded us in the first place.  It is also interesting to me that when anyone challenges or even asks healthy questions re: women's ordination, they are jumped upon as knuckle dragging dinosaur.

As for the Roman Catholic laity crying out for women's ordination.  That is true some have, but there are others who have not cried so loudly if at all.  I'm not sure what your are talking about when you say some are "intimidated by women in leadership roles".  Are you implying that I am intimidated by women in leadership roles?  I can assure you that some women being elevated to leadership in the ELCA would probably frighten me but not because they are women but because of their ideas/values.  The same is true for many men in leadership positions too.

I'm not sure what your point is John except to argue and belittle anyone who challenges you.  As an STS subscriber and one who values the place from which we came, the Roman Catholic Church, and as one who sincerely hopes for reconciliation with Rome I think we can and should be able to talk openly and honestly about women's ordination and what this means for ecumenical efforts towards Rome.  I hope that you can respect this but I suspect that your venom will spew forth at me for simply challenging your assessment and your biases.  Spew forth now...

I have no desire to spew venom at you or anyone. I think that there is a difference between an issue which is church dividing (internal) and a barrier to reconciliation (external).
I also think that there is enough evidence in society that many men have difficulty with women in leadership roles. Take that to wherever you wish, it is very convenient to say that because there is no New Testament witness that it didn't happen then and won't happen now.
We cannot allow other expressions of the faith dictate our theology. We certainly can and should consider them but that is all. If we (and others) can move on this issue then there is every reason to think others can as well. Perhaps were they to look with an open mind and heart, they might change their positions. If they look and shake their heads and wag their fingers, they won't. It is all in God's hands.

John Dornheim

Your difference between "dividing" and "barrier to reconciliation" is double speak.  Should the ELCA spilt over women's ordination? It hasn't and shouildn't.  Does women's ordinatiion keep us divided from Rome, or is it a barrier to reconciliation?  Yes, although it is one issue among several others.

But you didn't answer my earlier question: When did the Roman Catholic Church ordain women?  Either admit that you mis-spoke or qoute some credible source.

You say we can't allow other expressions of the faith to dictate our theology.  But isn't that what happened with CCM?  How far do you take that: we can do whatever we want as ELCAers, the rest of the church be damned, since we are only folllowing our own theology?  What we do affects others, that is one of those things I learned about ecclesiology.  Have you no sense of how the decisoins that we make affect the whole church?

Lastly, those who oppose women's ordination, and I am not one of those BTW, do not have "open minds and hearts"?  They are uncarting and unfeeling?  They are wrong and you are right?  Is this how you define open minded, agreement with you?

FWIW, I think women should be ordained, even in the Roman Church.  But I would be willing, for the sake of unity, to suspend that value for the greater goal of unity with Rome.  Perhaps then we could move towards women's ordinatoin together.  I'm sure that you don't or won't see this as I do.  But again, I hope you can understand the value and the importance of there being ONE Church.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Erma_S._Wolf on October 25, 2007, 09:31:12 AM
   Speaking only for myself, I never assume that a Roman Catholic priest, LCMS pastor, or Southern Baptist minister approves of women's ordination just because one of them uses my title of "Pastor" when addressing me or introducing me.  I just assume that they are polite.

     For that matter, I always assume that in any grouping of people, (ELCA, LCMS, etc.) that there are people who don't approve of the ordination of women.  I try to be polite and respectful, but at the same time present myself honestly. 

     Carry on, gentlemen.

Pastor Erma Wolf,STS
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: JEdwards on October 25, 2007, 09:55:43 AM
The use of the word "priestess" to refer to members of a church's clergy who are women is offensive, rude and more a matter of "shock" value and polemic than anything else.

On the other hand, it is not possible for many of us to refer to a woman as a pastor, for the reasons Peter has eloquently stated. We are convinced that they are not, in fact, pastors, since that is a Biblical impossibility, therefore, there are those of us who find it impossible to refer to a woman as a pastor or address her as "Pastor."
The word "Pastor" simply means "shepherd."  Does the belief that a woman should not have this role preclude the acknowledgement that she does have this role in her own congregation?

For interactions between female clergy and those who oppose women's ordination, would it be fair to expect the application of similar standards as would be expected for interactions between Roman Catholic and Lutheran clergy?  After all, from the Roman Catholic perspective, parallel arguments could be made about Lutheran pastors in general.  Their ordinations are invalid, and they lack the authority to pronounce absolution or preside at the Eucharist.  In China, Catholics who are loyal to the Pope are persecuted for not accepting the jurisdiction of the state-approved bishops.  Certainly, no one should be expected to worship or speak in ways that violate his conscience, but it is always helpful to consider what one's expectations would be were the shoe on the other foot.  

Jon Edwards
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Pr. Jerry on October 25, 2007, 10:04:48 AM
Elsewhere in this forum a member commented that he felt so betrayed and wronged by the LCMS that he will never again set foot on a Concordia campus. Apparently to do so for him would feel like capitulating to a wrong, or at least having to refight an old battle. There is a symbolic power of sorts (and also spiritual danger) in such an attitude and gesture of rejection, even though many people who know and love the Concordias might be offended that someone would think them so awful as to be worthy of such treatment. Many people who have fought the wars over women's ordination and won them at great price or lost them outright feel in the presence of a woman pastor the same way this man would feel walking onto the Concordia campus. One way to deal with those feeelings would be to vow never to meet with a woman pastor. Not a very good option, and probably not logistically possible anyway; pastors do not stay in one place like the Concordia campus does. So what can they do? What gesture is available that doesn't immediately ruin all dialogue by giving grave offense, but still expresses some sort of symbolic resistance or disapproval?

Peter,
It was I who stated that I would not set foot upon the CTS campus(es) again.  Let me be clear, for my own sake if not for the sake of others, that this is my personal sentiment and not a call for "no one else" to ever set foot upon the CTS campus, nor is it a blanket rejection of those who attended either CTS or love the places.  But yes, I feel wronged and betrayed by the reaction of the Seminary's leadership that first invited then rescinded that invitation then implied that somehow the Society to which I belong was deceptive and disrepectful for worshipping upon their territory.  Who exactly is the Society of the Holy Trinity?  It is all of us who have signed the Rule, who have bound ourselves to each other.  To call the Society liars is to call me a liar.  To say that the Society was not respectful of the LCMS is to say that I behaved so.  It is bad enough that some would invoke the ancient heresy of Gnosticism in regards to the Society (hence myself), but it is far worse to have the Seminary's president not rise to the defense of those whom he invited into "his" house.  We abided under the Seminary's request that women not preach in the Chapel.  We used the LSB in all our services.  To my knowledge, all present were reverential in Kramer Chapel and upon the grounds.  But yes, we are a mixed minsterium, I was welcomed to commune at a Eucharist sponosored by an LCMS pastor and congregation in an LCMS space.  But that is the very nature of the STS, it was never hidden or lied to about by anyone.

So if my presence causes such offense, I will act proactively to avoid causing further scandal.  Not only that, I will remember the treatment that my brothers and sisters and I have experienced and will not seek to re-enter that mess again.  I promise, I will not hold a grudge.  I do not hate or despise CTS-FW, I do thank them for their hospitality while we were there.  I thanked, in person, the refectory staff and the housekeeping staff for a very pleasant stay.  But a grave sin against hospitality has been committed and that also needs to be recognized.  Fortuneately, there is always the possibility for reconciliation.  But a whole lot of damage has been done.

And yes, I will freely admit that I too am all too prone to sin, especially in times of anger.  If I have spoken intemperately (and I'm sure I have), then I beg pardon and forgiveness from my brothers and sisters and I seek due admonition as such.  

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John_Hannah on October 25, 2007, 10:34:13 AM
Elsewhere in this forum a member commented that he felt so betrayed and wronged by the LCMS that he will never again set foot on a Concordia campus. Apparently to do so for him would feel like capitulating to a wrong, or at least having to refight an old battle. There is a symbolic power of sorts (and also spiritual danger) in such an attitude and gesture of rejection, even though many people who know and love the Concordias might be offended that someone would think them so awful as to be worthy of such treatment. Many people who have fought the wars over women's ordination and won them at great price or lost them outright feel in the presence of a woman pastor the same way this man would feel walking onto the Concordia campus. One way to deal with those feeelings would be to vow never to meet with a woman pastor. Not a very good option, and probably not logistically possible anyway; pastors do not stay in one place like the Concordia campus does. So what can they do? What gesture is available that doesn't immediately ruin all dialogue by giving grave offense, but still expresses some sort of symbolic resistance or disapproval?

Peter,
It was I who stated that I would not set foot upon the CTS campus(es) again.  Let me be clear, for my own sake if not for the sake of others, that this is my personal sentiment and not a call for "no one else" to ever set foot upon the CTS campus, nor is it a blanket rejection of those who attended either CTS or love the places.  But yes, I feel wronged and betrayed by the reaction of the Seminary's leadership that first invited then rescinded that invitation then implied that somehow the Society to which I belong was deceptive and disrepectful for worshipping upon their territory.  Who exactly is the Society of the Holy Trinity?  It is all of us who have signed the Rule, who have bound ourselves to each other.  To call the Society liars is to call me a liar.  To say that the Society was not respectful of the LCMS is to say that I behaved so.  It is bad enough that some would invoke the ancient heresy of Gnosticism in regards to the Society (hence myself), but it is far worse to have the Seminary's president not rise to the defense of those whom he invited into "his" house.  We abided under the Seminary's request that women not preach in the Chapel.  We used the LSB in all our services.  To my knowledge, all present were reverential in Kramer Chapel and upon the grounds.  But yes, we are a mixed minsterium, I was welcomed to commune at a Eucharist sponosored by an LCMS pastor and congregation in an LCMS space.  But that is the very nature of the STS, it was never hidden or lied to about by anyone.

So if my presence causes such offense, I will act proactively to avoid causing further scandal.  Not only that, I will remember the treatment that my brothers and sisters and I have experienced and will not seek to re-enter that mess again.  I promise, I will not hold a grudge.  I do not hate or despise CTS-FW, I do thank them for their hospitality while we were there.  I thanked, in person, the refectory staff and the housekeeping staff for a very pleasant stay.  But a grave sin against hospitality has been committed and that also needs to be recognized.  Fortuneately, there is always the possibility for reconciliation.  But a whole lot of damage has been done.

And yes, I will freely admit that I too am all too prone to sin, especially in times of anger.  If I have spoken intemperately (and I'm sure I have), then I beg pardon and forgiveness from my brothers and sisters and I seek due admonition as such.  

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS


Well stated, Jerry. This thread is actually mute as concerns the STS. Our trusted leadership has decided that we will not be coming back to an LCMS campus. Two aspects of this episode can give us somethings to ponder.

l.  All of our previous General Retreats and almost all of our local retreats are and have been held at Roman Catholic facilities. The Roman Catholic Church does not recognize the legitimacy of ELCA ordained ministry. Neither does it believe it proper to ordain women. In that respect they are exactly like the LCMS. Never has the STS experienced a shred of negativity in Roman Catholic facilities. We thought that would be the case at Ft. Wayne. It wasn't. It was what it was. And we're going back to Catholic facilities. Their tolerance is dependable.

2.  The STS was anything but cavalier. We compromised and, much to our inconvenience, moved around from chapel to auditorum after learning suddenly about sensitivites. A litle tolerance works.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 25, 2007, 10:35:37 AM
   Speaking only for myself, I never assume that a Roman Catholic priest, LCMS pastor, or Southern Baptist minister approves of women's ordination just because one of them uses my title of "Pastor" when addressing me or introducing me.  I just assume that they are polite.

     For that matter, I always assume that in any grouping of people, (ELCA, LCMS, etc.) that there are people who don't approve of the ordination of women.  I try to be polite and respectful, but at the same time present myself honestly. 

     Carry on, gentlemen.

Pastor Erma Wolf,STS
And if we ever met in person, I personally would have no problem introducing you to someone as "Pastor Wolf" precisely because that would be the normal and accepted form of address unless we were at a conference called specifically to consider the question of whether women could be pastors, in which case everyone would understand the difficulty. But I know many people who would not call you "Pastor Wolf" but would cast about for another word and perhaps end up sounding rude or confrontational, and my point was these people aren't necessarily rude; they're looking for the right word from a (perfectly valid) viewpoint within which "pastor" can only apply to a man, just like "father".

And Erma, though you are gracious (here in this forum and presumably everywhere else) and take into account people's viewpoints, many of the people who might not want to call you "pastor" are not thinking merely of your feelings when they address you, but also of the feelings (as mentioned upstream) of people who are losing their reputations and livelihoods over this issue. It is more than a greeting, it is a public witness. They don't want to betray an ally, so to speak. It would be like President Kieschnick greeting the pope. I don't know exactly how Catholics greet the pope, but I imagine there is a whole agreed-upon code by which non-Catholics can properly greet the pope without acknowledging the validity of his papal claims the way a Catholic would. And I imagine (someone correct me if I'm wrong on this --Irl, I'm looking at you here. Little help?) it is not President Kieschnick greeting the pope the way a Catholic would, but the pope graciously not demanding his full papal titles from someone who doesn't believe in them. They have that code because it is important as a witness-- other LCMS people are watching to see what their president would call the pope. Yet there is no such code for this much smaller issue of women's ordination, and that is what people are looking to establish. They want to be polite and repspectful to you, but they do want to be misunderstood (by you or anyone else) as acknowledging that pastors can be women. You don't take them to mean that, but others might. Is there a way for a woman pastor to graciously not demand her full pastoral title from someone who doesn't believe in it, without then considering that person impolite? I'm not saying I have the answer, I'm just saying that considering everyone impolite who doesn't want to use "pastor" is not the answer either.
 
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: MaddogLutheran on October 25, 2007, 10:53:19 AM
All of our previous General Retreats and almost all of our local retreats are and have been held at Roman Catholic facilities. The Roman Catholic Church does not recognize the legitimacy of ELCA ordained ministry. Neither does it believe it proper to ordain women. In that respect they are exactly like the LCMS. Never has the STS experienced a shred of negativity in Roman Catholic facilities. We thought that would be the case at Ft. Wayne. It wasn't. It was what it was. And we're going back to Catholic facilities. Their tolerance is dependable.
I believe it was last year that the archbishop of Canterbury was in Rome and received permission from the Vatican to celebrate the Eucharist at the high altar of a Roman basilica (of course not St. Peter or St. John Lateran, but you can't throw a stone and not hit a basilica in the Eternal City).  There was blogosphere carping from the usual traditionalist suspects, surely reinforced by some sniping Curial types, about old arguments (invalidity of Anglican orders, Protestant Mass, etc)--but it seems quite obvious that this wasn't going to happen in the diocese of the bishop of Rome without his consent, and he's not exactly a liberal on issues of syncretism and unionism.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: BeornBjornson on October 25, 2007, 11:34:33 AM
It was I who stated that I would not set foot upon the CTS campus(es) again.  Let me be clear, for my own sake if not for the sake of others, that this is my personal sentiment and not a call for "no one else" to ever set foot upon the CTS campus, nor is it a blanket rejection of those who attended either CTS or love the places.  But yes, I feel wronged and betrayed by the reaction of the Seminary's leadership that first invited then rescinded that invitation then implied that somehow the Society to which I belong was deceptive and disrepectful for worshipping upon their territory.  Who exactly is the Society of the Holy Trinity?  It is all of us who have signed the Rule, who have bound ourselves to each other.  To call the Society liars is to call me a liar.  To say that the Society was not respectful of the LCMS is to say that I behaved so.  It is bad enough that some would invoke the ancient heresy of Gnosticism in regards to the Society (hence myself), but it is far worse to have the Seminary's president not rise to the defense of those whom he invited into "his" house.  We abided under the Seminary's request that women not preach in the Chapel.  We used the LSB in all our services.  To my knowledge, all present were reverential in Kramer Chapel and upon the grounds.  But yes, we are a mixed minsterium, I was welcomed to commune at a Eucharist sponosored by an LCMS pastor and congregation in an LCMS space.  But that is the very nature of the STS, it was never hidden or lied to about by anyone.

So if my presence causes such offense, I will act proactively to avoid causing further scandal.  Not only that, I will remember the treatment that my brothers and sisters and I have experienced and will not seek to re-enter that mess again.  I promise, I will not hold a grudge.  I do not hate or despise CTS-FW, I do thank them for their hospitality while we were there.  I thanked, in person, the refectory staff and the housekeeping staff for a very pleasant stay.  But a grave sin against hospitality has been committed and that also needs to be recognized.  Fortuneately, there is always the possibility for reconciliation.  But a whole lot of damage has been done.

And yes, I will freely admit that I too am all too prone to sin, especially in times of anger.  If I have spoken intemperately (and I'm sure I have), then I beg pardon and forgiveness from my brothers and sisters and I seek due admonition as such. 

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS


Well said Jerry.  Thanks also to Pr. Hannah for his words.  I speak only for myself as a member of STS but I do not think any the less of our brothers and sisters in LCMS (for whom I have high regard and admiration) because of the rudeness and incivility of a few.  [And by the by, Peter, I bear witness to Erma's graciousness elsewhere in both public and private environments.] I also regret and condemn the coercion and persecution of those who do not support the ordination of women.   

I support the ordination of women on Biblical and historical grounds as “may” rubric and not a “must” rubric (I don’t find the “justice” argument compelling in any case).   I acknowledge the grounds on which I hold my position are open to dispute and discussion and debate.  I have greatly appreciated Pr. Engelbrecht’s and Pr. Yakimow’s et al analysis and discussion—and regret not having the time at present to pursue this in the detail and depth it deserves.  My mind is certainly not closed on this issue. 

As on many issues, I keep in mind that finite sinner that I am, I could well be wrong on just about everything.  I welcome correction on the basis of Scripture and sound reason.  I do not think either the grounds or the reasoning by which I have reached and hold the position I do on the ordination of women to be Gnostic.  I argue from no secret knowledge or even some new knowledge or revelation, no appeal to some intrinsic intuition of my heart, not even an appeal to some Platonic universal or form, not even an appeal to on-going revelation of “Spirit” to trump the Scriptures.   

That I have other irons in the fire right now of higher priority in regard to my church body, the ELCA, means I do not have the time now to engage in the give and take analysis and discussion the subject requires (though I appreciate and follow what EE and Scott and others write on the subject, even against my own position).  It doesn’t mean I think the issue unimportant—but there really are places and agendas in my church where Gnosticism has indeed reared its ancient head and needs to be challenged and beaten back. 

No doubt or more tentatively, perhaps, there are those in the ELCA as in its predecessor bodies whose theological justifications and arguments for the ordination of women were or are tinged by Gnostic tendencies.  But it is a smear against many orthodox-traditional ELCA pastors and laity to simply dismiss our support for the ordination of women as Gnosticism.  While the parallel has been raised between the ordination of women and that of those engaged in homosexual activity, I think it is a non sequiter when Scripture (rather than the appeal to justice) is brought to bear.  At a later date (when I’m free of the present press of organizational reform work with Lutheran CORE—recognizing that the pressing demands and needs of my parish are never likely to subside) I would be glad to pursue that with EE or Scott or even Matthew and others.  I think it also worth some historical and theological investigation in regard to the appeal to catholic tradition to the degree that the tradition is undergirded by an adoption/extension of the Levitical priesthood and/or Christological re-presentation understanding of the office of pastor that may well be inimical with Lutheran confessional theology.  That’s a dense mouthful (or sentence-full) I know—and I would love to get at unpacking or deconstructing it with the aid of my orthodox-traditional brethren on both sides of the women’s ordination divide.  But you're either going to have to wait quite a while or get to it without me.

Pr. Ken Kimball, STS
Lutheran CORE 
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: ghp on October 25, 2007, 11:37:37 AM
All of our previous General Retreats and almost all of our local retreats are and have been held at Roman Catholic facilities. The Roman Catholic Church does not recognize the legitimacy of ELCA ordained ministry. Neither does it believe it proper to ordain women. In that respect they are exactly like the LCMS. Never has the STS experienced a shred of negativity in Roman Catholic facilities. We thought that would be the case at Ft. Wayne. It wasn't. It was what it was. And we're going back to Catholic facilities. Their tolerance is dependable.
I believe it was last year that the archbishop of Canterbury was in Rome and received permission from the Vatican to celebrate the Eucharist at the high altar of a Roman basilica (of course not St. Peter or St. John Lateran, but you can't throw a stone and not hit a basilica in the Eternal City).  There was blogosphere carping from the usual traditionalist suspects, surely reinforced by some sniping Curial types, about old arguments (invalidity of Anglican orders, Protestant Mass, etc)--but it seems quite obvious that this wasn't going to happen in the diocese of the bishop of Rome without his consent, and he's not exactly a liberal on issues of syncretism and unionism.

Sterling Spatz

Well, to keep a consistent thread running through this...

When the STS celebrated at a Roman Catholic locale, there were no Roman Catholic Priests participating in the service, right? If there were, then that might've been problematic (much like Roman participants in the Archibishop of Canterbury's celebration might've been problematic in the approval of his request to the Vatican...).

Thus, there are two issue here:  1) CTSFW's allowing a unionistic service to take place. In and of itself, it's quite possible that it's a reasonably debatable question. Where it gets stickier is 2) The participation of LCMS rostered clergy in the unionistic service. Does the presence of LCMS members of STS change the equation? Quite possibly (fwiw, I think it does), insofar as CTSFW now has to worry about/consider the impact of allowing its facilities to be used for something that, by definition, it is training/forming men to shun (i.e., unionism in any/all its forms).

Given the context of these two issues taken together, then it probably is for the best that STS not use LCMS facilities. Better to avoid any/all appearance of impropriety & all that, knamean?

-ghp
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: ghp on October 25, 2007, 11:51:48 AM
   Speaking only for myself, I never assume that a Roman Catholic priest, LCMS pastor, or Southern Baptist minister approves of women's ordination just because one of them uses my title of "Pastor" when addressing me or introducing me.  I just assume that they are polite.

     For that matter, I always assume that in any grouping of people, (ELCA, LCMS, etc.) that there are people who don't approve of the ordination of women.  I try to be polite and respectful, but at the same time present myself honestly. 

     Carry on, gentlemen.

Pastor Erma Wolf,STS
And if we ever met in person, I personally would have no problem introducing you to someone as "Pastor Wolf" precisely because that would be the normal and accepted form of address unless we were at a conference called specifically to consider the question of whether women could be pastors, in which case everyone would understand the difficulty. But I know many people who would not call you "Pastor Wolf" but would cast about for another word and perhaps end up sounding rude or confrontational, and my point was these people aren't necessarily rude; they're looking for the right word from a (perfectly valid) viewpoint within which "pastor" can only apply to a man, just like "father".

[snip] Yet there is no such code for this much smaller issue of women's ordination, and that is what people are looking to establish. They want to be polite and repspectful to you, but they do want to be misunderstood (by you or anyone else) as acknowledging that pastors can be women. You don't take them to mean that, but others might. Is there a way for a woman pastor to graciously not demand her full pastoral title from someone who doesn't believe in it, without then considering that person impolite? I'm not saying I have the answer, I'm just saying that considering everyone impolite who doesn't want to use "pastor" is not the answer either.

What we are (or at least I am) seeing is that this might just be an intractable issue, for which compromise cannot be found.

"Politeness" offends "truth" & "truth" offends "politeness".

And both sides dig in ever deeper.

And I don't know how to get around it.

I have, do, and will continue to struggle with what to call women who have become what they (and others) believe to be pastors. I believe it to be Biblically, confessionally, and traditionally in error. I hesitate to call them pastors because I think it dangerous not just for me (or rather the laity) but also for the woman who has incorrectly moved to occupy the office instituted by Christ.

Even so, this seemingly intractable disagreement grieves me...

-ghp
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 25, 2007, 12:28:09 PM

Peter,
It was I who stated that I would not set foot upon the CTS campus(es) again.  Let me be clear, for my own sake if not for the sake of others, that this is my personal sentiment and not a call for "no one else" to ever set foot upon the CTS campus, nor is it a blanket rejection of those who attended either CTS or love the places.  But yes, I feel wronged and betrayed by the reaction of the Seminary's leadership that first invited then rescinded that invitation then implied that somehow the Society to which I belong was deceptive and disrepectful for worshipping upon their territory.  Who exactly is the Society of the Holy Trinity?  It is all of us who have signed the Rule, who have bound ourselves to each other.  To call the Society liars is to call me a liar.  To say that the Society was not respectful of the LCMS is to say that I behaved so.  It is bad enough that some would invoke the ancient heresy of Gnosticism in regards to the Society (hence myself), but it is far worse to have the Seminary's president not rise to the defense of those whom he invited into "his" house.  We abided under the Seminary's request that women not preach in the Chapel.  We used the LSB in all our services.  To my knowledge, all present were reverential in Kramer Chapel and upon the grounds.  But yes, we are a mixed minsterium, I was welcomed to commune at a Eucharist sponosored by an LCMS pastor and congregation in an LCMS space.  But that is the very nature of the STS, it was never hidden or lied to about by anyone.

So if my presence causes such offense, I will act proactively to avoid causing further scandal.  Not only that, I will remember the treatment that my brothers and sisters and I have experienced and will not seek to re-enter that mess again.  I promise, I will not hold a grudge.  I do not hate or despise CTS-FW, I do thank them for their hospitality while we were there.  I thanked, in person, the refectory staff and the housekeeping staff for a very pleasant stay.  But a grave sin against hospitality has been committed and that also needs to be recognized.  Fortuneately, there is always the possibility for reconciliation.  But a whole lot of damage has been done.

And yes, I will freely admit that I too am all too prone to sin, especially in times of anger.  If I have spoken intemperately (and I'm sure I have), then I beg pardon and forgiveness from my brothers and sisters and I seek due admonition as such.  

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Jerry, I don't think you've spoken out of line or intemperately, nor do I want to chime in with my opinion on whether what you're doing is necessarily wrong or right. I think I'd feel the same way if I were you. The connection I was trying to make was that you have strong feelings toward a situation and you have it in your power to do something symbolic to express those feelings. You're not intending to criticize every individual who graduated from or might otherwise love CTS, so people should not take it that way, and speaking for myself, I don't take it that way. The same principle, it seems to me, applies to people who are battle-scarred over the issue of women's ordination and remain opposed to women's ordination. They remember the treatment (and betrayals of promises) their brothers and sisters received from the state churches or their own churches regarding the struggle over women/s ordination. They have been gravely sinned against. They need some symbolic way of expressing themselves when the issue comes up that won't be taken as personal criticism or rudeness by women pastors. You are free not to go to CTS. That "works" as a symbolic action. These pastors are free, I suppose, never to be in the same room with a woman pastor, but that might not "work" logistically and in any event deliberately avoiding them might in and of itself be taken as rude and hyper-sectarian. So, they're stuck. Suppose you found yourself somehow obligated to go to CTS for something. You'd do it. You'd be polite about it. But you'd want it somehow known that you don't agree with or accept how this turned out. People would be understanding of your struggle to be polite and act like it is no big deal to be back at CTS. Yet for some reason some people, it seems to me anyway, are not understanding or sympathetic at all when it comes to the struggle some other people have to be polite and act like it is no big deal to interact with women pastors. They get called unkind and sectarian, when they are not trying to be unkind, and when it is obvious to them that the churches that ordain women are the ones who have done the sectarian thing. 
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: revjagow on October 25, 2007, 12:40:06 PM

It was I who stated that I would not set foot upon the CTS campus(es) again.  Let me be clear, for my own sake if not for the sake of others, that this is my personal sentiment and not a call for "no one else" to ever set foot upon the CTS campus, nor is it a blanket rejection of those who attended either CTS or love the places.  But yes, I feel wronged and betrayed by the reaction of the Seminary's leadership that first invited then rescinded that invitation then implied that somehow the Society to which I belong was deceptive and disrepectful for worshipping upon their territory.  Who exactly is the Society of the Holy Trinity?  It is all of us who have signed the Rule, who have bound ourselves to each other.  To call the Society liars is to call me a liar.  To say that the Society was not respectful of the LCMS is to say that I behaved so.  It is bad enough that some would invoke the ancient heresy of Gnosticism in regards to the Society (hence myself), but it is far worse to have the Seminary's president not rise to the defense of those whom he invited into "his" house.  We abided under the Seminary's request that women not preach in the Chapel.  We used the LSB in all our services.  To my knowledge, all present were reverential in Kramer Chapel and upon the grounds.  But yes, we are a mixed minsterium, I was welcomed to commune at a Eucharist sponosored by an LCMS pastor and congregation in an LCMS space.  But that is the very nature of the STS, it was never hidden or lied to about by anyone.

So if my presence causes such offense, I will act proactively to avoid causing further scandal.  Not only that, I will remember the treatment that my brothers and sisters and I have experienced and will not seek to re-enter that mess again.  I promise, I will not hold a grudge.  I do not hate or despise CTS-FW, I do thank them for their hospitality while we were there.  I thanked, in person, the refectory staff and the housekeeping staff for a very pleasant stay.  But a grave sin against hospitality has been committed and that also needs to be recognized.  Fortuneately, there is always the possibility for reconciliation.  But a whole lot of damage has been done.


Just being an outside observer to all this hubub, I'm a bit confused.  Aside from the heated and wild comments over at LutherQuest, where is the scandal?  Did STS get the impression that their retreat caused a scandal among Ft. Wayne students and faculty?   

IMNSHO, any group that can cause that much stir among the far left of the ELCA and the far right of the LCMS must be doing something right!  You are right Jerry, it is good to know where you stand, and from what I can see - you are standing in the right place.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: pr dtp on October 25, 2007, 12:49:16 PM


What we are (or at least I am) seeing is that this might just be an intractable issue, for which compromise cannot be found.

"Politeness" offends "truth" & "truth" offends "politeness".

And both sides dig in ever deeper.

And I don't know how to get around it.

I have, do, and will continue to struggle with what to call women who have become what they (and others) believe to be pastors. I believe it to be Biblically, confessionally, and traditionally in error. I hesitate to call them pastors because I think it dangerous not just for me (or rather the laity) but also for the woman who has incorrectly moved to occupy the office instituted by Christ.

Even so, this seemingly intractable disagreement grieves me...

-ghp

Glen,

I understand the dilemna, and agree, it is a struggle.

Similarly, I have trouble with calling Roman Catholic priests "Father", or those that are ordained after a 4-6 course of instruction in a non-denom, pastor (amazing how many "pastors" a calvary chapel has, its almost as if completeing a new membership class grants you that status!.)
I was a hospice chaplain for about 5 years, prior to entering the LCMS.   Because I was not to "evangelize", unless asked (and often they did) I had to spend time on the phone with "religious workers" of many different types, including non-Chrisitians (side note - funny how most of them don't have time for the dying - as if it is contagious)

In doing so, I never used my own titles (pastor and chaplain - I was near a military base) for those I would consider heterodox, or outside the faith. If they used the same titles and were "ordained", I simply used the secular understanding of the title "Rev." or called them by the first name.  It was respectfully used, but it also drew a fairly dramatic line - that we are different.  I understand in our practice, Reverend/Rev is not a spoken title.  But it is in many others, and when working with governement officials in many places.

Something to consider at least...

Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 25, 2007, 12:55:31 PM
For what it's worth, when Presiding Bishop James Crumley met with Pope John Paul II, which he did on at least three occasions, the address was initially "Your Holiness," and the formal presentation usually also referred to the pope as the "bishop of Rome." In meetings with curial cardinals and archbishops, the diplomatic title of "your eminence" was often employed, though there were cardinals with whom we were on a first-name basis, at least in private. (The current pontiff was not one of those, BTW)
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: MaddogLutheran on October 25, 2007, 01:11:23 PM
Well, to keep a consistent thread running through this...

When the STS celebrated at a Roman Catholic locale, there were no Roman Catholic Priests participating in the service, right? If there were, then that might've been problematic (much like Roman participants in the Archibishop of Canterbury's celebration might've been problematic in the approval of his request to the Vatican...).
I don't have a source handy, but I believe mid-level Roman clergy did attend this service.  Participate?  No, as they are not in communion as either body defines it.  (Perhaps they were present to make sure none of the valuables went missing. ;))   I do know (having watched the webcast) that at the recent LWF anniversary Eucharist in a Swedish cathedral, celebrated by a female bishop, that Cardinal Kasper processed with other clergy (I believe in the appropriate choir dress not just a cassock, but I'm not 100% on that) and sat in the chancel with other dignitaries at least up until giving his greetings on behalf of the pope.  Not sure if he remained for the consecration.  LWF president Bishop Hanson was in the first pew of the nave in black business suit and Roman collar.  I'll let others speculate on a Missouri reaction to similar circumstance.

Quote from: Glen Piper
Thus, there are two issue here:  1) CTSFW's allowing a unionistic service to take place. In and of itself, it's quite possible that it's a reasonably debatable question. Where it gets stickier is 2) The participation of LCMS rostered clergy in the unionistic service. Does the presence of LCMS members of STS change the equation? Quite possibly (fwiw, I think it does), insofar as CTSFW now has to worry about/consider the impact of allowing its facilities to be used for something that, by definition, it is training/forming men to shun (i.e., unionism in any/all its forms).

Given the context of these two issues taken together, then it probably is for the best that STS not use LCMS facilities. Better to avoid any/all appearance of impropriety & all that, knamean?
Being an ELCA lay person, this is not my "fight" (although I'm thankful STS exists, in part because it is a pan-Lutheran entity), but I'd agree with the reaction that it is for the best that STS not use LCMS facilities.  Everything I know about this I've read here and the LQ thread, but the original point stands that STS was granted permission by the appropriate authorities.  Everyone had to be aware at what can happen at STS retreats where the Eucharist is celebrated.  So the questions remains, concerning the outrage, is it:
(1)  because Missouri pastors MIGHT be communing with others whose church LCMS is not in fellowship, including female pastors, or
(2)  that it happened specifically on a Missouri campus

The former should be no secret to anyone (and would seem to fall within pastoral discretion), so why does it matter about the latter?  Isn't (1) the bigger problem? STS has always been upfront about the difficulty of this issue.  And just to recap, as I have read it here described, it was a Missouri pastor presiding (and ONLY Missouri) at the altar.  It was not an ELCA pastor presiding on Missouri turf, as the archbishop of Canterbury did in Rome.  Hence my original comparison.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: revjagow on October 25, 2007, 01:18:45 PM
   Speaking only for myself, I never assume that a Roman Catholic priest, LCMS pastor, or Southern Baptist minister approves of women's ordination just because one of them uses my title of "Pastor" when addressing me or introducing me.  I just assume that they are polite.

     For that matter, I always assume that in any grouping of people, (ELCA, LCMS, etc.) that there are people who don't approve of the ordination of women.  I try to be polite and respectful, but at the same time present myself honestly. 

     Carry on, gentlemen.

Pastor Erma Wolf,STS
And if we ever met in person, I personally would have no problem introducing you to someone as "Pastor Wolf" precisely because that would be the normal and accepted form of address unless we were at a conference called specifically to consider the question of whether women could be pastors, in which case everyone would understand the difficulty. But I know many people who would not call you "Pastor Wolf" but would cast about for another word and perhaps end up sounding rude or confrontational, and my point was these people aren't necessarily rude; they're looking for the right word from a (perfectly valid) viewpoint within which "pastor" can only apply to a man, just like "father".

And Erma, though you are gracious (here in this forum and presumably everywhere else) and take into account people's viewpoints, many of the people who might not want to call you "pastor" are not thinking merely of your feelings when they address you, but also of the feelings (as mentioned upstream) of people who are losing their reputations and livelihoods over this issue. It is more than a greeting, it is a public witness. They don't want to betray an ally, so to speak. It would be like President Kieschnick greeting the pope. I don't know exactly how Catholics greet the pope, but I imagine there is a whole agreed-upon code by which non-Catholics can properly greet the pope without acknowledging the validity of his papal claims the way a Catholic would. And I imagine (someone correct me if I'm wrong on this --Irl, I'm looking at you here. Little help?) it is not President Kieschnick greeting the pope the way a Catholic would, but the pope graciously not demanding his full papal titles from someone who doesn't believe in them. They have that code because it is important as a witness-- other LCMS people are watching to see what their president would call the pope. Yet there is no such code for this much smaller issue of women's ordination, and that is what people are looking to establish. They want to be polite and repspectful to you, but they do want to be misunderstood (by you or anyone else) as acknowledging that pastors can be women. You don't take them to mean that, but others might. Is there a way for a woman pastor to graciously not demand her full pastoral title from someone who doesn't believe in it, without then considering that person impolite? I'm not saying I have the answer, I'm just saying that considering everyone impolite who doesn't want to use "pastor" is not the answer either.
 

Peter, you are doing a magnificent job trying to explain this, and it must be hard.  Your posts on the topic of engaging women clergy are probably the most detailed I've seen (they take a while to read too, doggone it!). 

I think in the end, it just has to be stated that you call people what they want to be called (within reason of course - the title "messiah" has already been taken).  If the title is "pastor," then pastor.  If the title is "rabbi," then "rabbi."  If it is "Imam," then "Imam."  You ask, "what do you want to be called?"  And then you call 'em that. 

This is clergy etiquette 101.    I get the solidarity with what Christians are suffering overseas.  I get that some have encountered some militancy when it comes to accepting religious views they do not share.  But, in the end, if someone says their title is "pastor," that is what you say.  I'm having a hard time understanding why there is so much bandwidth dedicated to this on this thread.

I think it is hard to just do your clergy thing only within the walls of your own parish.  Church life is pretty one-dimensional if the pastor is not engaging with fellow clergy in the community to advocate for common causes, and to discuss theology and community politics.  I don't think an LCMS clergy person is compromising one bit of doctrine in doing those kinds of things.  How do you know what is happening around your church if you do not attend community events and engage (with politeness) the other religious leaders (including the women)? 

I'll go farther (and probably get into trouble) and say that if you avoid women clergy just because they are women, why would you be surprised if someone called you sexist?   Maybe I'll go further than that, and ask why would you avoid someone who professes to be gay?  Now, I make my opinions on that topic public on this Forum, and yet, I don't feel the need to go up to that pastor and tell him that I disagree with his moral behavior, therefore I cannot call him "pastor" because I don't think he should be one.  Nope.  If he is a pastor in good standing with his church, then I'm calling him "pastor."  And I'm working with him if we can advocate for religious schools, treatment of the homeless, or whatever else we can.  That is not compromise.  It is common courtesy, and it opens many doors for us to share what we believe in a positive way.  But, if you purposefully stay away, then your voice never gets heard.  You are off to the sidelines saying, "they don't want to listen to me," and you will never really know that for sure. 
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Pr. Jerry on October 25, 2007, 01:40:03 PM
Just being an outside observer to all this hubub, I'm a bit confused.  Aside from the heated and wild comments over at LutherQuest, where is the scandal?  Did STS get the impression that their retreat caused a scandal among Ft. Wayne students and faculty?   

IMNSHO, any group that can cause that much stir among the far left of the ELCA and the far right of the LCMS must be doing something right!  You are right Jerry, it is good to know where you stand, and from what I can see - you are standing in the right place.

I have not looked at the "downstream" posts in this thread, so I beg pardon if somebody else has already done a better job of responding, but...

The "LutherQuest" stuff is only a small part of the picture.  The fact that it has ignited such a hot reception over on that list is, I think, an indication of the deep divide that has developed over the years between the LCMS and other Lutherans on the issues of unionism and the like.  And, by itself, I would probably ignore the LQ stuff and not be nettled about it.  But it is not "in a vacuum," and I cannot view it as such.  First, shortly after the retreat, a similar discsussion ensued on this list, albeit by many of the same voices that are spouting off on LQ.  The same accusations were made about unionism, and I maintain here as I did then that the eucharist was not "unionistic," it did not make any claim (short of the Eucharist) of a unity that does not exist; if anything it was "Lutheran."  We are, by our own definition, an Lutheran ministerium and we were addressed as such by the Preacher and we were invited to the table as such as well.  If someone can enlighten me on how the charge of "unionism" can be sustained without either invalidating the Sacrament, placing me outside the pale of Lutheran teaching, or denying any possible joint ministerium, please tell me.  Otherwise I will assume that the charge of unionism must attack one of these three main points.

Secondly, these continuing allegations have real impact on those involved.  At least one Pastor's reputation and vocation are being threatened.  The honor of the STS leadership has been impugned by alleging that they lied about the STS's intentions.  The STS members have been accused of acting in a less than salutary manner.  These allegations are bad enough when they come from the proverbial "fringe," but they have also been given substance by the Seminary President.  They are not (never were, IMHO) a "laughing matter."  I would suggest, even if LQ and the like are like a bawdy pub argument, that the Commandments have been grievously treated and need to be reviewed.  And, like I said earlier, this conversation has transcended the border of the LQ site.

Finally, there is a real issue regarding hospitality here.  Perhaps, as some on both the "left" and the "right" have suggested, STS should not use LCMS facilities.  (I wonder how CTS-Saint Louis is going to handle the new WA institute that will opperate on its grounds?)  Perhaps, but as several have noted we were asked to be there.  And even if we weren't "asked," the Seminary agreed to host us.  And suddenly it is being protrayed as somehow they didn't really agree to host us.  Where is the hospitality that was present during the retreat?  Where is the "chessed" so highly prized in the Old Testament?

I'm exhausted by this.  

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
  
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 25, 2007, 01:46:00 PM
I won't go so far as Jerry in never setting foot again on the campus; I may well visit the bookstore if I'm in Ft. Wayne. ;D

I'm involved in another discussion among STS members concerning this entire affair. Someone made a suggestion, which I think is good: Let's not respond any further. If any public response must be made, it is up to the Senior of the Society. But anything any of us say here is public, and we have already seen that some of the LQ participants are happy to use our comments for their own nefarious ends. So, my sisters and brothers in the Society, let's just stop defending ourselves and discuss it no further. It merely offers the possibility of disrespect of the Society.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Dave_Poedel on October 25, 2007, 02:02:39 PM
I'm exhausted by this. 

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS 

Me too, Father Jerry, me too....
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 25, 2007, 02:11:00 PM

Peter, you are doing a magnificent job trying to explain this, and it must be hard.  Your posts on the topic of engaging women clergy are probably the most detailed I've seen (they take a while to read too, doggone it!). 

I think in the end, it just has to be stated that you call people what they want to be called (within reason of course - the title "messiah" has already been taken).  If the title is "pastor," then pastor.  If the title is "rabbi," then "rabbi."  If it is "Imam," then "Imam."  You ask, "what do you want to be called?"  And then you call 'em that. 

This is clergy etiquette 101.    I get the solidarity with what Christians are suffering overseas.  I get that some have encountered some militancy when it comes to accepting religious views they do not share.  But, in the end, if someone says their title is "pastor," that is what you say.  I'm having a hard time understanding why there is so much bandwidth dedicated to this on this thread.

I think it is hard to just do your clergy thing only within the walls of your own parish.  Church life is pretty one-dimensional if the pastor is not engaging with fellow clergy in the community to advocate for common causes, and to discuss theology and community politics.  I don't think an LCMS clergy person is compromising one bit of doctrine in doing those kinds of things.  How do you know what is happening around your church if you do not attend community events and engage (with politeness) the other religious leaders (including the women)? 

I'll go farther (and probably get into trouble) and say that if you avoid women clergy just because they are women, why would you be surprised if someone called you sexist?   Maybe I'll go further than that, and ask why would you avoid someone who professes to be gay?  Now, I make my opinions on that topic public on this Forum, and yet, I don't feel the need to go up to that pastor and tell him that I disagree with his moral behavior, therefore I cannot call him "pastor" because I don't think he should be one.  Nope.  If he is a pastor in good standing with his church, then I'm calling him "pastor."  And I'm working with him if we can advocate for religious schools, treatment of the homeless, or whatever else we can.  That is not compromise.  It is common courtesy, and it opens many doors for us to share what we believe in a positive way.  But, if you purposefully stay away, then your voice never gets heard.  You are off to the sidelines saying, "they don't want to listen to me," and you will never really know that for sure. 
Rev. Jagow, I'm with you. I don't personally have a problem with any of this. But I do understand how some people might, and I don't think they always get fair treatment, which is why I take the time to respond in greater detail.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Jim Butler on October 25, 2007, 03:04:11 PM
Just being an outside observer to all this hubub, I'm a bit confused.  Aside from the heated and wild comments over at LutherQuest, where is the scandal?  Did STS get the impression that their retreat caused a scandal among Ft. Wayne students and faculty?   

IMNSHO, any group that can cause that much stir among the far left of the ELCA and the far right of the LCMS must be doing something right!  You are right Jerry, it is good to know where you stand, and from what I can see - you are standing in the right place.

I have not looked at the "downstream" posts in this thread, so I beg pardon if somebody else has already done a better job of responding, but...

The "LutherQuest" stuff is only a small part of the picture.  The fact that it has ignited such a hot reception over on that list is, I think, an indication of the deep divide that has developed over the years between the LCMS and other Lutherans on the issues of unionism and the like.  And, by itself, I would probably ignore the LQ stuff and not be nettled about it.  But it is not "in a vacuum," and I cannot view it as such.  First, shortly after the retreat, a similar discsussion ensued on this list, albeit by many of the same voices that are spouting off on LQ.  The same accusations were made about unionism, and I maintain here as I did then that the eucharist was not "unionistic," it did not make any claim (short of the Eucharist) of a unity that does not exist; if anything it was "Lutheran."  We are, by our own definition, an Lutheran ministerium and we were addressed as such by the Preacher and we were invited to the table as such as well.  If someone can enlighten me on how the charge of "unionism" can be sustained without either invalidating the Sacrament, placing me outside the pale of Lutheran teaching, or denying any possible joint ministerium, please tell me.  Otherwise I will assume that the charge of unionism must attack one of these three main points.

Secondly, these continuing allegations have real impact on those involved.  At least one Pastor's reputation and vocation are being threatened.  The honor of the STS leadership has been impugned by alleging that they lied about the STS's intentions.  The STS members have been accused of acting in a less than salutary manner.  These allegations are bad enough when they come from the proverbial "fringe," but they have also been given substance by the Seminary President.  They are not (never were, IMHO) a "laughing matter."  I would suggest, even if LQ and the like are like a bawdy pub argument, that the Commandments have been grievously treated and need to be reviewed.  And, like I said earlier, this conversation has transcended the border of the LQ site.

Finally, there is a real issue regarding hospitality here.  Perhaps, as some on both the "left" and the "right" have suggested, STS should not use LCMS facilities.  (I wonder how CTS-Saint Louis is going to handle the new WA institute that will opperate on its grounds?)  Perhaps, but as several have noted we were asked to be there.  And even if we weren't "asked," the Seminary agreed to host us.  And suddenly it is being protrayed as somehow they didn't really agree to host us.  Where is the hospitality that was present during the retreat?  Where is the "chessed" so highly prized in the Old Testament?

I'm exhausted by this.  

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
  

A few comments, Jerry...

First, please remember that many of those making these comments are not (or at least are no longer) members of the LCMS. Looking at the other ALPB thread on this topic, I can see at least one hot head who resigned from the LCMS. Others on LQ are WELS, ELS, etc. So, you need to ask, "Just who is really objecting to the STS being at CTSFW?" (BTW, many of these same folks also objected to the WA at CSL claiming that we were "training" women pastors. I didn't know that M.A. and Ph.D. courses were considered basic training for pastors; I thought that was M.Div. work. Silly me!)

Second, please give evidence that Dean Wenthe has given substance to the statement that the STS has lied about anything. The only thing I saw on LQ was a post that was from a pastor who heard it from a pastor who talked to Prez Wenthe. If that isn't hearsay, I don't know what is! I don't believe--and I doubt if most people would believe--that the STS lied to the CTS faculty and staff.

Of course, I'm not sure what the problem is anyway. If I'm reading this right, it seems that some are arguing that allowing the STS to meet on the CTSFW campus means that the Fort Wayne faculty and staff are therefore approving of everything said and/or done by the STS at their retreat. That's silly. The founder of LutherQuest, Jack Casicone (who was removed from the LCMS), has  a yearly "Walther Conference." One year, it met on the CSL campus. Did that mean that the CSL faculty and staff agreed with everything everyone in that group said and/or did? Of course not. One presenter at the Walther Conference was from Word Alone. Does that mean that Jack Cascione agrees with everything said by Word Alone? Of course not. It's a silly argument and I think most people in the LCMS would see it that way (remember, many of the gripers have left the LCMS or were never a part of it). As Sam Nafzger once put it to me, "The LCMS does not practice building fellowship." Just because we rent the facilities doesn't mean we agree with everything!

FWIW, I'm personally pleased that the STS met at the Fort Wayne campus and I hope that such meetings might be possible again. I think it is a good thing.

Jim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: LutherMan on October 25, 2007, 03:23:56 PM
This is the kind of sensationalism  Rev. Jack Cascione & the LQ'ers seem to thrive on. 

 "Luther Quest" Accused Of Unionism For "Calling" Rolf Preus "Chaplain"
 
http://www.reclaimingwalther.org/articles/700/730.htm

Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 25, 2007, 03:27:34 PM
This is the kind of sensationalism  Rev. Jack Cascione & the LQ'ers seem to thrive on. 

 "Luther Quest" Accused Of Unionism For "Calling" Rolf Preus "Chaplain"
 
http://www.reclaimingwalther.org/articles/700/730.htm



Is it a sin to be rolling on the floor laughing about this? To be babbling things about "hoisted in one's own petard"? Or are such questions of a serious enough nature that I need to bring them to Chaplain Preus--no, wait, that might be unionism. Can we appoint a chaplain here? Please?  :o
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 25, 2007, 03:31:04 PM
This is the kind of sensationalism  Rev. Jack Cascione & the LQ'ers seem to thrive on. 

 "Luther Quest" Accused Of Unionism For "Calling" Rolf Preus "Chaplain"
 
http://www.reclaimingwalther.org/articles/700/730.htm

Heehehee. I just linked to it and there is nothing they can do about it!  Just for fun we should see if Herchurch.org will post a link to LQ, thereby putting them in eternal cyber-fellowship with each other.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: ptmccain on October 25, 2007, 05:24:25 PM
So, how about those Red Sox?
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: grabau14 on October 25, 2007, 05:38:23 PM
revjagow:  just being an outside observer to all this hubub, I'm a bit confused.  Aside from the heated and wild comments over at LutherQuest, where is the scandal?  Did STS get the impression that their retreat caused a scandal among Ft. Wayne students and faculty?   


From what I heard from the friends that I have in Fort Wayne, the presence of women in clericals and cassocks did offend some of the students.  The funny thing is that CTS issued a informal edict for the students to stop wearing cassocks because they did not want to create the impression of a Romanizing Seminary (especially when LWML ladies were there) so now you have women wearing collars and cassocks for a few days and some of the more astute students who were aware of the informal edict cried hypocrisy amongst other things.

Rev'd. Matthew J.  Uttenreither  SSP


Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 25, 2007, 05:47:48 PM
I can probably cite eight or nine examples over the past year when I know that LC-MS pastors 1) prayed with non Lutheran pastors, 3) communed with ELCA pastors, 4) communed with non-Lutheran pastors, or 5) chortled over some "controversies" in their Synod. So... how much trouble can I get them in if I rat them out and what do you think I should charge them for not doing so?




(disclaimer: the above comment is whimsy, not sarcasm; humor, not bashing.)
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: pr dtp on October 25, 2007, 06:43:53 PM
I am trying to understand, why it is wrong for those on LQ to mock and complain about the ideas/theology/practice of those they classify as liberal, but it is perfectly fine for those that are liberal to mock and complain about the ideas/theology/practice of those there.

It seems like the Roman god Janus is still worshipped at both extremes?
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Charles_Austin on October 25, 2007, 06:51:10 PM
It has nothing to do with one's orientation, as I see it. I find it moderately amusing that - if what folks said here is true - a cadre of people who are not LC-MS or who have left the LC-MS or who are in a church that broke fellowship with the LC-MS decades ago apparently have their former LC-MS knickers in a twist over what goes on in the LC-MS.

As I noted in another discussion: it's as if I left Argentina, took Canadian citizenship, and then spent an extraordinary amount of time jabbing at the situation in Argentina, when I should be spending my time learning French and how to tell one prairie province from another. Or complaining that there are no good tango parlors in Saskatoon.


Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John Dornheim on October 25, 2007, 06:52:58 PM
I can probably cite eight or nine examples over the past year when I know that LC-MS pastors 1) prayed with non Lutheran pastors, 3) communed with ELCA pastors, 4) communed with non-Lutheran pastors, or 5) chortled over some "controversies" in their Synod. So... how much trouble can I get them in if I rat them out and what do you think I should charge them for not doing so?




(disclaimer: the above comment is whimsy, not sarcasm; humor, not bashing.)

I guess the question which I would have is "What will you do with the reward?"

John Dornheim
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Dave Benke on October 26, 2007, 09:38:38 AM
Catching up after a pretty amazingly hectic week here in the Big Apple.  Pretty interesting set of reactions and responses to my bringing up the name-calling issue with regards to ordained women!  One of the old saws through the LCMS shenanigans and wars of a generation ago in the mutual hyper-politicizing and condemnations was the very Old Testament-lich, "It all depends on whose ox is being gored." 

I have not personally attended an actual ox-goring.  I have, however, experienced with many others a generation of hyper-politicized backbiting, skewering, trash-talking and name-calling in my own denomination.  And I have heard just now carefully the expressions from those highly offended by the close proximity of the two words "woman" and "pastor" as well as those who are highly offended by the refusal to call a person by the title her denomination uses of her.   I would offer that the appropriate thing to do on either side of the issue is to utilize the principles of Philippians 2.  In particular, "in humility consider others better than yourselves," and "do everything without.....arguing."  This isn't at its depth about "politeness" or versions of "truth," it's about Christ-like living in community and about Christ-like behavior in the world.  As Paul points out so poignantly (my alternate version) - "you can't shine like a star while you're slinging mud."

Too often we give ourselves the Lutheran EZ pass to bad behavior - look at the language Luther sometimes used in banging away at his opponents and theological adversaries.  Well, maybe in looking at that language we might give Luther an A in theology and an F in behavior based on Scripture.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Rev. BT Ball on October 26, 2007, 11:19:54 AM
Too often we give ourselves the Lutheran EZ pass to bad behavior - look at the language Luther sometimes used in banging away at his opponents and theological adversaries.  Well, maybe in looking at that language we might give Luther an A in theology and an F in behavior based on Scripture.

Dave Benke
Quote

Perhaps, but we have an example of rough speech in the scriptures from none other than the Blessed Apostle,   letting the Galatians know that he wished that those of the circumcision go the, um, whole way. Gal. 5:12 

I am sure you would agree that the truth of the law hurts and more than that kills.  There is nothing worse that being called a sinner, but that is what we not only are called, but what we are by nature and because of this manifest all kinds of sins.  Does anyone like to have the law of God preached at them?  Of course not, but it is the duty of the church to call sinners to repentance.   Jesus said so, Luke 24:47.  Christ-like living in community also entails this, right?  Is it not at times a great expression of love to call a beloved brother or sister to repent that their sins might be forgiven? 

Ben Ball
ps I'm not advocating being a jerk by the way
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 26, 2007, 12:28:42 PM
One difference between Luther for Lutheran and St. Paul for Christians in general is that they spoke with some degree of recognized authority. Sometimes it seems that people don't recognize that calling a brother to repentance is almost impossible to do humbly, because you have to in some sense claim the right to judge his actions. That right is indeed there, but is a very delicate thing to invoke. The Drill Instructor can correct my soldiering skills harshly, and though I might not like it, I'll stand corrected. But a fellow private needs to be pretty careful about correcting my soldiering unless I ask him for help or unless he is one big private.

While it is true that the loving thing to do can often be calling an erring brother to repentance, I don't always trust that love is the real motivation among people who can't, it seems, go fifteen minutes without being gravely scandalized by their brothers' sins. MLK said something like "Whom you would change you must first love. And they must know you love them." Whatever you may think of MLK, I think those words are true. And the second part of that equation is what is generally missing. If I don't take for granted that my brother had good reasons for doing whatever seemingly scandalous thing he did, then I can't expect him to take it for granted that I have good reasons for doing the scandalous (to him at least) thing I'm doing by calling him to repentance. I might be motivated by pride or resentment. I might just be ornery. I might be one of those spiritual wolves who feeds on their brother's humiliation and penitence the way vampires feed on their blood. Or I might be a genuinely loving brother. But that latter has to not merely be claimed, but understood and accepted by both sides before brotherly admonishment can go anywhere. That's why St. Paul goes to such lengths to make the point that he has gone to the mat repeatedly for these congregations, that they are his very pride and joy, that he is their spiritual father who loves them-- without those statements (and the actual floggings and imprisonments and tireless efforts that make those claims universally recognizable as the truth) St. Paul's sarcastic put-downs and harsh treatment would just be the blustering of a desperately pompous man.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Dave Benke on October 26, 2007, 12:35:33 PM
Absolutely yes to both your points, Ben, with a proviso.  Yes to the need to call to repentance as part of the ministry of the Gospel.  Yes to not being a jerk when being involved in the ministry of the Gospel.  Wasn't it Harry Emerson Fosdick who took the prophetic words of Jesus, Paul and the OT prophets and said the idea was to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable?  And the words used may have some harshness to them - "whited sepulchres" apparently raised a hackle or two.  However,
a) your idea of what needs repenting may differ from mine and we may both believe we have biblical warrant for our position.   So there's a need for ongoing dialog over serious amounts of time among the communion of saints.  Take "That They May Be One."   I and many others including George Wollenburg felt in its initial form it was first of all schismatic because it asked for signatories and was billed as a signatory document, therefore calling people to divide up over whether they were true blue enough to call that their statement of faith when it had not been adopted by anyone as such in a prior way - ergo, schismatic.  But more to the point, I didn't find the theology adequate.  It was calling people including me out to give up something that wasn't biblically warranted.  Later down the line, the CTCR evidenced the same.  Hopefully by now, the more schismatic sign-up and divide aspects have been removed from play.  I'm not current on the use of the document.  But hopefully in the maximum way, by now we recognize the need for ongoing dialog when people are calling other people to repentance, lest it is an unevangelical, therefore inapproriately prophetic call

b) to the use of rough language - name-calling to me is really just not at all what Peter had in mind when he said, in the early Christian era, "always be ready to give evidence of the Hope that lies within you, doing so with gentleness and respect."  Certainly he's reporting on a way to interact within the secular arena.  So is Paul in Philippians where he states "conduct yourselves as citizens in a manner worthy of the Gospel." (1:27)  However, again, why would we not want to conduct ourselves MORE in that manner within our own faith community?  And why would any Christian want to shy AWAY from Philippians 2 and dive into the mud?

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Rev. BT Ball on October 26, 2007, 03:03:01 PM
Pete and Dr. Benke-

Thanks for responding.  Within in the Holy Church there are different things done out of love that are necessary to be done.  So we have a pastor exhorting a member of the congregation who has fallen into sin; he does so by the authority of his office, with gentleness and patience.  A fellow Christian calls a brother or sister to repentance within a particular community of faith following our Lord's instruction of Mt. 18.  These occurances are part and parcel of the Christian church.

What gets people testy is when a public call to repentance is made.  That is, when people step outside of a the local congregation to do a thing in love, something that all Christian charity calls them to do for two reasons; both for the one who has erred and for the good of the sheep of Christ within their particular fellowship.   Where we fall into trouble is as you both stated, who says what is error and what isn't?  This becomes an eccesial problem.  I'm all for dialog as Dr. Benke you state.  I don't think that too much of it actually goes on, I wish more would.  The question about that though is to what end?   The goal cannot be agree to disagree at the end, for that would be conceeding to a false unity.  There is doctrine that has been revealed in the Sacred Scriptures and exposited in the Symbols. 

Then we have the matter of calling those outside of our particular fellowship errorists or false teachers.  The Pauline epistles are full of examples of this.  Following the Scriptures, the Lutheran Confessions clearly condemn theological positions in error, and they condemn those who hold such positions.  This isn't nice, especially in our day, but it is done so that the Gospel would be clear to all, especially to the sheep.  Being nice can't get in the way of speaking the truth in love, even when speaking the truth hurts and is muddy.  Trivial, silly name calling is bad no matter who is doing it, but calling someone wrong or an errorist is not always a sinful namecalling but is necessary at times for the sake of the Gospel as is evidenced throughout the Lutheran Confessions, just as calling human beings sinners in love is necessary unto repentance.

As to That They May Be One-

 It seems that it has been used lately in an attempt to discredit certain individuals who had been nominated for synodical offices prior to the last convention.  Not much is going on with it other than that as far as I know.

Ben
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Dave Benke on October 27, 2007, 09:29:52 PM
Sorry for the delay, Ben - not an inactive time for the old pastor/bishop, preaching in FL tomorrow.  Dialog is a pre-eminent option, as we agree.  But the process of dialog, as up-front and personal as possible, is what gives me hope that "goals" can be met.   One of the many griping points from those who dislike the new-ish ecclesiastical supervision modus is that face to face mandate.  But it should be seen as nothing more or less than a wonderful opportunity. Please, make me sit down with you for awhile, maybe even a long while. If nothing else, inside the denominational community at least, what could well result is this little phrase "the benefit of the doubt."  Or, from the documents themselves, what face to face dialog enables is that "charity must prevail." 

While from the perspective you mention the issues may be doctrine, doctrine, doctrine, the way the issue of activities deleterious to the faith community comes down on the ecclesiastical supervision/parish side of the aisle is normally practice, practice, practice.  As we all have inculcated it by now, orthodoxy = orthopraxy.  So the doctrinally orthodox pastor who is so pastor-discretion-free in what is perceived as his high-handed  renderings in the life of the parish that he loses two-thirds of his flock should in the end be judged as not orthodox.  His orthodoxy lacks an evangelical and catholic pastoral spirit, so it falls short of the standard.  And the way to resolve much, even most, of that problem is through dialog at the circuit, the pastor/confessor, and the district level.  Some of that may and probably does feel to the involved pastor as though he's being called an "errorist" when he isn't, because he has hewed to a very pure interpretive line.  But from the perspective of most others, he IS an errorist, an errorist in fundamental pastoral judgment.  Not an insignificant problem that takes patience, time, and a building up of trust.

As to That They May Be One, it's good to hear that it's in quiet mode.  There was much dialog back in the day about the schismatic nature of the sign-up-sheet aspect of a document that had no wider-church authorization and ended up being deemed theologically weak.

As you read Lutheran Forum and other serious Lutheran theological journals, however, it's plain that there's an abundance of variety and lively discourse on issues of importance that are not settled as well as ones that could use some unsettling - that to me is also a sign of health - the mutual consolation of the brethren.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: grabau14 on October 27, 2007, 09:52:31 PM
Bishop,

I agree that patience, patience, patience is the way to go in catechizing a parish.  Us young pups sometimes learn it the hard way but at the same time, some congregations have been infected with a different spirit.  Case in point, a pastor gives a simple study on Women in the Bible focusing on B.E.V. Mary and the ladies turn it into a inquistions on Missouri's position concerning women's ordination and abortion.  He get's raked over the coals by the ladies when all he was trying to do was teach about Mary as type of the church.   Sometimes "high handed renderings" on the part of a pastor can be nothing more than confesssing the truth and the congregation may not want to hear the truth.  A good friend of mine used to be a circuit counselor, and he was at one parish meeting where the congregation sounded like they were all possessed by the devil, saying all sorts of things against a pastor that were not true.   

Also, being exposed to some of the thought on this forum has been a eye opener.  As one who was quite parochial in his journal reading:  Logia, Gottesdienst, CTS and STL journals , this is quite interesting.  In many ways it has reinforced what CTS and to a lesser degree CURF taught me.

Also, with regards to TTMBO, pastors signed affirmations of JEsus First or for that matter whatever the confession was for RIM, pastors sign a rule to belong to STS or SSP, how is TTMBO any different than those?  Heck some sign the Brief Statement  :D.   

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Dave Benke on October 27, 2007, 10:54:09 PM
Matthew,

You're right on in explicating that the problem of high-handedness is not limited to the pastoral office, nor is nit-picky tempest-in-a-teapotting (I wrote a hymn with that title but it failed to make the LSB cut).  I'm thinking the example you mentioned of Mary as type of the Church comes from a midwestern protestantized precinct.  Now, if you made the perpetual virginity a divider of your congregation or let's say refused to commune with those who differed with you at the Winkel, then you would be treading over the line.  My first instinct when I'm invited in to these situations is to ask the parishioners, "Are you sure you're listening to what he's saying?"

Anyway, the TTMBO differential was that of the signatory nature of a theological document stating this WAS the correct theological position of the Church, absent any authorization, and pre-emptive to dialog with the wider denomination.  The others you mention were not signatory in that way.  But from what Ben says it's a dead horse we're beating anyway.  Have I ever told you about my wedding on horseback?  My pony was Abrahamic, in the biblical sense of "as good as dead." 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: LutherMan on November 09, 2007, 07:22:39 PM
This thread is heating up again over at LutherQuest.  They also have more than one thread titled "Questions for President Benke" which I haven't looked at yet...
Pres. Benke, do you post at LutherQuest??  I don't think I have ever seen you there in all my years of lurking.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Dave Benke on November 09, 2007, 09:12:12 PM
Nope.  No posting on Lutherquest. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: grabau14 on November 09, 2007, 10:00:46 PM
I had a good laugh when the folks over at Lutherquest.  They honestly believe that CTS is teaching Eastern Orthodox theology and polity.  For the love of God.  I took Eastern and Latin Fathers with Dr. Weinrich.  At no time did Dr. Weinrich teach Eastern Orthodox polity, he taught the Fathers and what they had to say.  If that moved some of my classmates to leave later on than so be it.  But I believe it had more to do with the State of Missouri as more Evangelical than Catholic for some of them.  For others it is Bishops.  And for a few they have genuinely become Eastern in their thought

But these are the same folks who believe that the CTS journal "For the Life of the World" is named after Alexander Schmemann fine book instead of John 6:51/Creed.

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither   SSP
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: pr dtp on November 09, 2007, 10:19:33 PM
I had a good laugh when the folks over at Lutherquest.  They honestly believe that CTS is teaching Eastern Orthodox theology and polity.  For the love of God.  I took Eastern and Latin Fathers with Dr. Weinrich.  At no time did Dr. Weinrich teach Eastern Orthodox polity, he taught the Fathers and what they had to say.  If that moved some of my classmates to leave later on than so be it.  But I believe it had more to do with the State of Missouri as more Evangelical than Catholic for some of them.  For others it is Bishops.  And for a few they have genuinely become Eastern in their thought

But these are the same folks who believe that the CTS journal "For the Life of the World" is named after Alexander Schmemann fine book instead of John 6:51/Creed.

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither   SSP

Matt,

I have a few friends (both LCMS and WELS) that post on LQ, the biggest issue there, is here from what i have seen.

It is the inconsistency that is found in judging one man's standard by a rule, then nulifying that rule for friends and/or family.   It is found in tolerating the sin amongst us, but priding ourselves in preaching law to others.  It is found in calling oneself Lutheran, but refusing to acknowledge the confessions, or Missourian when Walther talks of delegating the office's responsibilities.

Don't mock these men too quickly, even Jesus told the people to listen to the pharisees words, if not follow their actions. And the men over there are more sincere and faithful than pharisees.


Pray for them, (even as I encourage them to pray for those they mock)
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: grabau14 on November 09, 2007, 10:46:50 PM
"Justified and Sinner" , I don't mock them, I just don't understand where they get the info that Fort Wayne is teaching EO theology and practice.  I never heard one prof encourage or out right teach EO theology.  I've been to their houses, drank their booze and nope no EO teaching going on.  Larry Rast and John Pless, Good Lutheran theologians, not EO.  Art Just, nope not EO.  Dean Wenthe, again not EO.  So, until they can concretely prove that something is afoul at CTS, they should just stop their "lies."

Also, why should the Seminary or Bishop Benke or any DP submit to some silly "Walther purity test" that New Haven and Lutherquest concoct?  I also find it interesting that the man behind Lutherquest has left the LCMS, yet he consistently writes articles about how bad the LCMS is.

I tried to get a account on their board and was denied.  Gave my yahoo and my hotmail e-mails and were not accepted.  Maybe I'm not in e-mail fellowship?  :D

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: ghp on November 10, 2007, 12:19:39 AM
Nope.  No posting on Lutherquest. 

Dave Benke

Are the responses that Rev. Louderback posts from you (as they are purported to be)? Or is he engaging in some sort of horribly misguided ruse?

While I was surprised to see it over there, I took it to be an attempt to dialog. A surprising but well-intentioned and very interesting attempt. And it read like something you would write.

Curious...
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: Dave Benke on November 10, 2007, 08:42:25 AM
Sorry, Glen, for the misdirection; Mark Louderback asked me if I'd interact with the Lutherquesters under the format whereby I don't post, he does.  So I'm not the poster, although the post is written by me.  I'm the poster's child, so to speak.  Anyway, the attempt is actually to do some dialog in that way.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: ghp on November 10, 2007, 02:06:58 PM
Sorry, Glen, for the misdirection; Mark Louderback asked me if I'd interact with the Lutherquesters under the format whereby I don't post, he does.  So I'm not the poster, although the post is written by me.  I'm the poster's child, so to speak.  Anyway, the attempt is actually to do some dialog in that way.

Dave Benke

I figured as much, Dr. Benke, but it's best to get these things clearly stated, no? Thanks for the update.

It'll be interesting to see what, if anything, comes of this attempt to dialog. Ideally, it'll be thoughtful in execution and beneficial in result. Even if disagreement persists, if the issues are thoughtfully & respectfully engaged (by the majority of participants - 'cause even here on ALPB it's not always 100%  :-[  ), it won't be a bad thing.
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: pr dtp on November 10, 2007, 02:41:26 PM
"Justified and Sinner" , I don't mock them, I just don't understand where they get the info that Fort Wayne is teaching EO theology and practice.  I never heard one prof encourage or out right teach EO theology.  I've been to their houses, drank their booze and nope no EO teaching going on.  Larry Rast and John Pless, Good Lutheran theologians, not EO.  Art Just, nope not EO.  Dean Wenthe, again not EO.  So, until they can concretely prove that something is afoul at CTS, they should just stop their "lies."

Also, why should the Seminary or Bishop Benke or any DP submit to some silly "Walther purity test" that New Haven and Lutherquest concoct?  I also find it interesting that the man behind Lutherquest has left the LCMS, yet he consistently writes articles about how bad the LCMS is.

I tried to get a account on their board and was denied.  Gave my yahoo and my hotmail e-mails and were not accepted.  Maybe I'm not in e-mail fellowship?  :D

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP

Matthew,

First off, the charge was that they tolerated and didn't correct seminarians work, that appeared in a student produced paper.  I do find it funny that the blame was put at Dean Wenthe's feet, and at our SP's by extrapolation. I can't really see our SP in full regalia of the East, nor dealing with the limitations that system of polity puts towards evangelism.  ( Personally, if Benedict got rid of the edicts of Trent, and the silly celibacy rule....the conservative fransiscan groups are more appealing thant he east!)  But again, the question is - why isn't someone correcting these kids?  (or perhaps they are ?)

So the question appears - why is it Fort Wayne guys go East, as opposed to West? Is there a tie between the love of liturgy?  Perhaps!  What about the  role of herr pastor, in a culture that doesn't recognzie it?  The East also seems a great option.

A bigger question - why are we losing pastors and theologians in general - to the east (Pelikan comes to mind) and to the west (R Neuhaus)  Having read their works, it seems that the things that drew me from my non-denom world to the LC-MS are never mentioned.  Yet they are so intrinsic to my ministry.  Some may say it is because of internal struggle - but ours is nothing compared to the SBC's fights or those in the UMC, (never mind the conflicts among the catholic denoms.... invite a Jesuit priest, a Benedictine monk, a Maronite and a Fransiscan over for dinner some time!)

My point still stands, a good majority over there you are in fellowship with, right? Others, given a chance to talk - you would find your theology compatible to theirs.  Pray for them, a lot.

God bless,
J&S
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: John_Hannah on November 10, 2007, 06:55:17 PM

So the question appears - why is it Fort Wayne guys go East, as opposed to West?


I have also wondered about that. I suspect it is because of a deep seated prejudice, common in American politics especially the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. We call it anti-Catholicism, which of course means anti-Roman Catholicism. Were I to leave if the LCMS goes off the deep end into non-confessional, super-confessional, Fundamentalist, and sub-confessional stuff (not likely actually) I'd go West.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH, STS
Title: Re: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"
Post by: revjagow on November 10, 2007, 11:18:20 PM
Pray for them, (even as I encourage them to pray for those they mock)

That the word "mock" would be used here in regards to LutherQuest is telling. 

I've been avoiding a peek just because of the Dave Benke posts.  It opens up way too many wounds, and I would rather move forward in the LCMS with people who will actually speak of Dave and like-minded folk (like me) and dialog with us as if we were orthodox LCMS pastors who care very much about correct doctrine in the church.