Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - Brian Stoffregen

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 2800
1
Hmm, I could have sworn you wrote something about God and and a good shepherd with some scriptural references. Oh, right. You're simply being typically intellectually dishonest.


Yes, God is the good shepherd. Most of the human kings were not: In the Northern Kingdom 11 bad kings, no good kings, with two that weren't rated. In the Southern Kingdom: 11 kings bad, 8 good kings, (and 1 queen).

Quote
And then there's Jesus the Son of David, Matthew giving him a royal origin/lineage. Connected to kings! Bad!

Connected to God! Good! (That was true for those 8 good kings, too.)


Do you rule your congregation like a monarch?


I was ordained in the ALC where the pastor had voice but not vote at congregation council meetings. This also meant that we couldn't make motions. We could recommend a motion, but someone else had to actually make it. We called it, "the power of persuasion." We could not rule like a monarch. Perhaps it's different in the LCMS. I heard from a new member in my congregation, that they couldn't join the LCMS in town, which had been their heritage, because the pastor told the new member class that if they didn't agree with everything he was teaching them, they shouldn't join that church. (He would not allow women to vote in his congregation.)

2
Your Turn / Re: Self Defense
« on: Today at 01:38:33 AM »
I have been pondering Matthew 5: 38--42.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you."

Jesus begins with a standard for equal justice from the Law of Moses. No doubt, there were various interpretations and applications of the standard in Judaism during the first century. It might be used to justify legal action (cf. v. 40) or to justify extra-legal forms of retaliation (e.g., the Zealots and Sicarii resisting Roman occupation, referenced in v. 41).

Something I notice about the passage is that none of the examples are life-threatening. They are all examples of annoyance and inconvenience involving humiliation, loss of property, and time. The "evil" in v. 39 describes exploitative behavior but not something like murder. Jesus is teaching his disciples to endure annoyances and inconveniences rather than demand equitable treatment or to seek vengeance. Therefore, I conclude that the passage does not forbid someone from defending against loss of life.


What about Matthew 26:52: Then Jesus said to him, “Put the sword back into its place. All those who use the sword will die by the sword."

3
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: Yesterday at 03:05:06 PM »
So, Brian and Dave, are you saying that God didn't design the congregation with the pastoral office built into the design? Or why dispute something we all agree on? The question has nothing to do with whether the church is a living organism as opposed to a doctrinal repository (an assertion which is equally mere dogmatism demanding acceptance), although it is a false an either/or. Doctrine (teaching, declarations, statements of what is true, the content of that which is spoken) is what distinguishes prophets from false prophets, shepherds from wolves, the teacher who is to be received and the teacher who is anathema. So doctrine does sorta kinda matter to how we look at the persons in offices that are there for the building up of the Body.

At any rate, the point of the post was the distinction between authorization and efficacy.


And my question is where do you find scriptures authorizing only a "pastor" as the leader of the pack? These lists indicate that God gives many different gifts to members of congregations that are all to be used for equipping each other for the work of ministry and for building up the body of Christ. This paragraph ends with: "The body makes itself grow in that it builds itself up with love as each one does their part" (Eph 4:16d, CEB boldface added).

I have admitted that I was doing too much at my last Call. (I was the pastor, secretary, and musician. Partly, because I was better at those jobs than anyone they could hire for what they could afford to pay.) I wasn't allowing others to do their parts, to use their gifts, to help the body grow.
I never said I found it anywhere. I never it at all. I said God designed the congregation with the office of pastor built into the design.

So, if you didn't find it anywhere in scriptures, then you just made up the idea that God designed the congregation with the office of pastor built into the design.

The idea of pastor, that is, a shepherd, as a leader of the people goes back to very ancient times. It is frequently used in the Old Testament of Kings. A complaint against the bad shepherds is that they let the sheep scatter (Jeremiah 10:21; 23:1, 2; Ezekiel 34:5); but the promise is given that God will be a good shepherd and will gather the sheep together (Jeremiah 31:10; Ezekiel 34:12). What might this indicate about ecumenical movements? What are pastors' role in gathering all of God's sheep together in contrast to causing a scattering of them?

Sounds like your second paragraph supports Peter's assertion that "God designed the congregation with the office of pastor built into the design." Thanks for the Scriptural references!


If you want to use the OT images of kings (nearly all whom were bad); as the monarchical leaders of congregations, go ahead. That's not the picture I get of the church and its leaders in the NT.

4
The point is simply that being against a government program to help the poor is not the same thing as being against the poor or thinking that everything is fine. You get more of what you subsidize, and it is extremely habit-forming. You see it today with the extra unemployment benefits. Great that it helps some people pay their bills. But it also leads to a lot more people needing/wanting their bills paid in that way. Great that a struggling single mom gets government childcare. But providing it means there will be more and more single moms depending on the government to babysit their kids. Same with housing.

Dependency is not a bad thing, but it should be a family thing or, barring that, a friend/neighbor thing or as local a thing as possible. You ought to depend on people you know and who know you, not a bureaucracy. So if the only thing that matters about a person is material need, socialism works just fine. But if not, it tends toward the dehumanizing by enabling the other ties that bind to grow slack. So I would say an unloving approach would be asking "How can we solve poverty?" It requires no love or self-sacrifice at all to approach it that way. It requires a demand for sacrifice from others and a general concern for human welfare. The loving approach is more limited and focused. What can I do for my neighbor in need-- a specific person? That approach requires love and self-sacrifice.

Now, I may or may not be wrong about that analysis. The point is that I don't think the author of the article can even understand or grant that I think about it that way. The motives he ascribes to the people with whom he disagrees are not accurate and do not err on the side of charity. He is all too ready to believe that conservatives, especially his fellow Catholics who are conservative, are just greedy and uncaring because they don't support his laundry list of favored programs.   


And yet the OT tells of God destroying Israel for its failures; and punishing Judah for its failures. Prophets often railed against nations, not just individuals. Perhaps, our individualistic identities and responsibilities is better than their corporate identities and responsibilities … or maybe not. (Aren't you glad that the community provide the roads you drive on - that you didn't have to build (or pay for them) yourself?)

Where do you think "the community" gets the money to build those roads?  Oh yeah, from tax-payers.  Like you (I assume) and me (most definitely).

Hmmm...
A recent article in the local paper described a special assessment for road repair to be paid by those with frontage on a local road.
Developers of subdivisions in this area pay for roads, sidewalks, and other improvements.
Additional money comes from the gas and property taxes.
So much for not having to pay for the roads I drive on.

And many of those developers (even of a single lot) also must build or pay assessments for others to build water, sewer, utility lines, parks and recreation, traffic control as far out from their development as has been determined by "the community" to mitigate the added impacts of that development.  And, donate the land and easements for such infrastructure to "the community".  Even if you are a renter, you help pay for infrastructure as your landlord pays taxes and fees to the community to offset its cost, maintenance and replacement.  I worked with developers who were required to build new parks, recreation centers, schools, fire and police facilities.  Some, in California at least, were required to establish what were know as a Mello-Roos District -- your tax bill include an assessment to amortize those public improvements and even pay for their maintenance and staffing for eight of more years or eternity.

I'm am, however, grateful to Brian's community, because were I to visit and drive in his jurisdiction, he helped pay for the roads, if he pays property tax, other legal assessments, or rent.
Thank you, Brian!


The American form of socialism works pretty well. People contribute for the good of society through their taxes: federal, state, property, sales, etc.


In contrast, a friend bought a house on 40 acres in South Dakota. It had a half-mile driveway. He was responsible for that half-mile. He had to buy a tractor with the right implements to keep it plowed in the winter and to smooth it out over other seasons. Last I talked to him, he was selling that property. It was getting to be too much work for him to do himself.


Sharing, using our different gifts and talents and abilities for the good of the whole is the picture we have been given for Christian society.

5
The point is simply that being against a government program to help the poor is not the same thing as being against the poor or thinking that everything is fine. You get more of what you subsidize, and it is extremely habit-forming. You see it today with the extra unemployment benefits. Great that it helps some people pay their bills. But it also leads to a lot more people needing/wanting their bills paid in that way. Great that a struggling single mom gets government childcare. But providing it means there will be more and more single moms depending on the government to babysit their kids. Same with housing.

Dependency is not a bad thing, but it should be a family thing or, barring that, a friend/neighbor thing or as local a thing as possible. You ought to depend on people you know and who know you, not a bureaucracy. So if the only thing that matters about a person is material need, socialism works just fine. But if not, it tends toward the dehumanizing by enabling the other ties that bind to grow slack. So I would say an unloving approach would be asking "How can we solve poverty?" It requires no love or self-sacrifice at all to approach it that way. It requires a demand for sacrifice from others and a general concern for human welfare. The loving approach is more limited and focused. What can I do for my neighbor in need-- a specific person? That approach requires love and self-sacrifice.

Now, I may or may not be wrong about that analysis. The point is that I don't think the author of the article can even understand or grant that I think about it that way. The motives he ascribes to the people with whom he disagrees are not accurate and do not err on the side of charity. He is all too ready to believe that conservatives, especially his fellow Catholics who are conservative, are just greedy and uncaring because they don't support his laundry list of favored programs.   


And yet the OT tells of God destroying Israel for its failures; and punishing Judah for its failures. Prophets often railed against nations, not just individuals. Perhaps, our individualistic identities and responsibilities is better than their corporate identities and responsibilities … or maybe not. (Aren't you glad that the community provide the roads you drive on - that you didn't have to build (or pay for them) yourself?)

Where do you think "the community" gets the money to build those roads?  Oh yeah, from tax-payers.  Like you (I assume) and me (most definitely).


The decision to raise taxes and/or to spend tax dollars on roads comes from our government, whom we elect. If we want good roads, we need to elect people who are willing to vote for roads; and we might have to help pay for it. There is a corporate responsibility for our nation (or our church bodies). One should never talk about "them" (that is, government or church officials,) without recognizing that "them" is "us". If "they" aren't doing what "we" elected them to do, either try to convince them what "we" want; or elect someone who will better work for "us".


For a bit of trivia, the origin of "liturgy/liturgist," is not "work of the people," but referred to public service, someone who "worked on behalf of the people."

6
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: Yesterday at 02:40:27 PM »
So, Brian and Dave, are you saying that God didn't design the congregation with the pastoral office built into the design? Or why dispute something we all agree on? The question has nothing to do with whether the church is a living organism as opposed to a doctrinal repository (an assertion which is equally mere dogmatism demanding acceptance), although it is a false an either/or. Doctrine (teaching, declarations, statements of what is true, the content of that which is spoken) is what distinguishes prophets from false prophets, shepherds from wolves, the teacher who is to be received and the teacher who is anathema. So doctrine does sorta kinda matter to how we look at the persons in offices that are there for the building up of the Body.

At any rate, the point of the post was the distinction between authorization and efficacy.


And my question is where do you find scriptures authorizing only a "pastor" as the leader of the pack? These lists indicate that God gives many different gifts to members of congregations that are all to be used for equipping each other for the work of ministry and for building up the body of Christ. This paragraph ends with: "The body makes itself grow in that it builds itself up with love as each one does their part" (Eph 4:16d, CEB boldface added).

I have admitted that I was doing too much at my last Call. (I was the pastor, secretary, and musician. Partly, because I was better at those jobs than anyone they could hire for what they could afford to pay.) I wasn't allowing others to do their parts, to use their gifts, to help the body grow.
I never said I found it anywhere. I never it at all. I said God designed the congregation with the office of pastor built into the design.


So, if you didn't find it anywhere in scriptures, then you just made up the idea that God designed the congregation with the office of pastor built into the design.


The idea of pastor, that is, a shepherd, as a leader of the people goes back to very ancient times. It is frequently used in the Old Testament of Kings. A complaint against the bad shepherds is that they let the sheep scatter (Jeremiah 10:21; 23:1, 2; Ezekiel 34:5); but the promise is given that God will be a good shepherd and will gather the sheep together (Jeremiah 31:10; Ezekiel 34:12). What might this indicate about ecumenical movements? What are pastors' role in gathering all of God's sheep together in contrast to causing a scattering of them?

7
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: Yesterday at 02:00:29 PM »
That question is where you and the hyper-uber-ultra-arch guys you find so distasteful disagree. You know that. It is wrong of you to say they simply object to laypeople praying for, visiting, or comforting the flock.


Your attribution of motives and attitudes to me is actually what I find distasteful.   The uber-group is, at least in my experience, fun to be around.  They drink, they smoke cigars, they shoot the breeze. 

What I care about in this instance is the empowerment of the laity to do the work of the ministry in the Body of Christ.  This is biblical, appropriate, and takes, in my opinion, a strong and secure sense of the pastoral office, which teaches, leads by example, and equips.  Your invented stories I guess are designed to indicate that the pastor has a ministry of visitation and care, and that it's distinct from the ministry of visitation and care of the laity.  The pastor leads by example, yes.  He also leads by equipping the saints to do the work of ministry.  Both/and.  What is the distinction - the pastor is both visitor and equipper.  The pastor can't abandon visitation, nor should he hold it to himself only.  It's as basic as that.


I remember a professor at seminary pointing out that "laity" comes from the Greek, λαός which means "people." It can refer to all people on earth; or the people of God (either Israel or Christians). Clergy are part of "the people" who have been set apart for their particular ministry. Other "people," have their own callings, too. We are all λαός θεοῦ (1 Pet 2:10).

8
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: Yesterday at 01:03:55 PM »
So, Brian and Dave, are you saying that God didn't design the congregation with the pastoral office built into the design? Or why dispute something we all agree on? The question has nothing to do with whether the church is a living organism as opposed to a doctrinal repository (an assertion which is equally mere dogmatism demanding acceptance), although it is a false an either/or. Doctrine (teaching, declarations, statements of what is true, the content of that which is spoken) is what distinguishes prophets from false prophets, shepherds from wolves, the teacher who is to be received and the teacher who is anathema. So doctrine does sorta kinda matter to how we look at the persons in offices that are there for the building up of the Body.

At any rate, the point of the post was the distinction between authorization and efficacy.


And my question is where do you find scriptures authorizing only a "pastor" as the leader of the pack? These lists indicate that God gives many different gifts to members of congregations that are all to be used for equipping each other for the work of ministry and for building up the body of Christ. This paragraph ends with: "The body makes itself grow in that it builds itself up with love as each one does their part" (Eph 4:16d, CEB boldface added).

I have admitted that I was doing too much at my last Call. (I was the pastor, secretary, and musician. Partly, because I was better at those jobs than anyone they could hire for what they could afford to pay.) I wasn't allowing others to do their parts, to use their gifts, to help the body grow.

9
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: Yesterday at 01:47:08 AM »
There is also the distinction between authorization and efficacy. The drugs work whether a doctor prescribed them or not. The prison works whether one was placed there legally or not. God designed the congregation with the pastoral office built into the design. He didn’t authorize us to change it. But the various functions of it still happen when unauthorized people do them.


Where in scriptures do you get this design? What I have found are four different lists of gifts God gives to the church. "Pastor" is listed in only one of them. Those that appear in more than one list are color coded.


1 Corinthians 12:28
In the church, God has appointed
first apostles,
second prophets,
third teachers,
then miracles,
then gifts of healing,
the ability to help others,
leadership skills,
different kinds of tongues.


Ephesians 4:11
He gave
some apostles,
some prophets,
some evangelists,
and some pastors and teachers.

1 Corinthians 12:8-10
A word of wisdom is given by the Spirit to one person,
a word of knowledge to another according to the same Spirit,
faith to still another by the same Spirit,
gifts of healing to another in the one Spirit,
performance of miracles to another,
prophecy to another,
the ability to tell spirits apart to another,
different kinds of tongues to another,
and the interpretation of the tongues to another.

Romans 12:6-8
We have different gifts
that are consistent with God’s grace
that has been given to us.
If your gift is prophecy, you should prophesy in proportion to your faith.
If your gift is service, devote yourself to serving.
If your gift is teaching, devote yourself to teaching.
If your gift is encouragement, devote yourself to encouraging.
The one giving should do it with no strings attached.
The leaders should lead with passion.
The one showing mercy should be cheerful.


10
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 23, 2021, 07:48:52 PM »
Why don't we just articulate those functions of the pastoral office that are unique to it and then we'll know what not to debate.  Unless, someone claims there are no specific functions unique to the OHM.

Proclamation/Preaching, Consecration of the Eucharist, Baptism in most circumstances for three.

Dave Benke


I believe that we have only one: consecration of the eucharist. We have lay people preach. Lay people can baptize in an emergency. In Wyoming when the closest ELCA congregation was 100 miles away, I had one of our lay people lead the non-communion service when I went on vacation.

11
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 23, 2021, 03:50:25 PM »
My point was that the printed catechism stems from dialogue that took place across centuries (e.g., modern catechisms address topics like abortion and euthanasia, which earlier editions did not). If current catechumens ask questions, praise God, we address them. Perhaps that dialogue leads to a future edition of the catechism.


Often, and as I remember my confirmation classes, it was the teacher who asked questions (from the book,) that the students were to answer. E.g., "What does this mean?" In some traditions, students were questioned by members of the congregation on confirmation day.


Also, what I remember during those jr. high days so long ago, is that the questions we were asked and how the book told us to answer, were not questions I was asking at that stage in my life. (I wonder how many jr. high youth are asking questions about euthanasia. Perhaps they are asking about abortion or sex in general.)


To change this around, for part of a confirmation class, I had the students write questions on a strip of paper and they were put in a container so we wouldn't know who asked them. I drew them out and we dealt with their questions for part of the class.

12
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 23, 2021, 03:41:47 PM »
In our confessional terminology, this is the "mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren."...I've heard this passage used as only applying to the clergy. 

By whom? Are these folks who converse with and console themselves?

You certainly hang with some strange dudes, Dave!

I recall that is was in this forum that some applied it only to clergy.

Please show me who those "some" are so I can ask them the above question.

Thanks.


I've never been good at recalling names (or biblical references) even when I remember the content of what someone said or the verse. I could do a search in this forum, but you could do that, too, if you really wanted to discover the name(s).

13
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 23, 2021, 02:33:29 PM »
In our confessional terminology, this is the "mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren."...I've heard this passage used as only applying to the clergy. 

By whom? Are these folks who converse with and console themselves?

You certainly hang with some strange dudes, Dave!


I recall that is was in this forum that some applied it only to clergy.

14
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 23, 2021, 02:32:50 PM »
I would put money on the assertion that no LCMS pastor ever objected to members or his congregation praying for one another, visiting each other, comforting each other, and otherwise nurturing and tending to each other. "Mrs. Johnson is in the hospital? How dare the Schmidts pray for her recovery! Who authorized Mrs. Jones to go up to her room and hold her hand and pray with her? That's all MY job! No one else may pray, visit, nurture, and otherwise show care for a member of MY flock, especially not the other members of MY flock! Mrs. Johnson will just have to sit in the hospital by herself until I get back from this conference." Such a tirade has never happened. Even the hyper-Euros, if such there be, were glad to know that the Schmidt family prayed for Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Jones went up to her room to visit her, and that the members of the flock showed mutual care and support.

As for preaching/teaching the Word and the job of listening, that is just the catechism. Hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it. That's your job. All receptive, no feedback except a hearty Amen. It isn't a dialog, it is a one-way thing from God to man mediated through the Church. Our response is not preaching/teaching back, but prayer and praise with the faith created by the preaching and teaching.

Peter, Catechism is inherently dialogue, developing as questions and answers. Our printed editions embody that teaching method from the earliest years of the church, which also illustrates how a faithful pastor interacts with his flock. If we don't listen to our people, how will we discern how to apply Law and Gospel for their lives?
That's true. And the answer to the question about our approach to the Word is that we are to hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it. So if a pastor says it is his job to preach and the congregation's job to listen, then (assuming the context of that conversation was the sermon in worship) that pastor was simply reiterating what the catechism teaches about the matter. It is his job to preach and it is the laity's job to listen.   

Thanks. My experience is that some pastors never get out of preach mode and end up taking offense when people ask them questions after/outside the service. Perhaps because of insecurity, they are uncomfortable listening to their people.


What happens when confirmation students ask questions other than those written for them in the Catechism? The Small Catechism isn't really a dialogue when the teacher tells them what questions they are to ask so that he can read the answers out of a book.

15
The point is simply that being against a government program to help the poor is not the same thing as being against the poor or thinking that everything is fine. You get more of what you subsidize, and it is extremely habit-forming. You see it today with the extra unemployment benefits. Great that it helps some people pay their bills. But it also leads to a lot more people needing/wanting their bills paid in that way. Great that a struggling single mom gets government childcare. But providing it means there will be more and more single moms depending on the government to babysit their kids. Same with housing.

Dependency is not a bad thing, but it should be a family thing or, barring that, a friend/neighbor thing or as local a thing as possible. You ought to depend on people you know and who know you, not a bureaucracy. So if the only thing that matters about a person is material need, socialism works just fine. But if not, it tends toward the dehumanizing by enabling the other ties that bind to grow slack. So I would say an unloving approach would be asking "How can we solve poverty?" It requires no love or self-sacrifice at all to approach it that way. It requires a demand for sacrifice from others and a general concern for human welfare. The loving approach is more limited and focused. What can I do for my neighbor in need-- a specific person? That approach requires love and self-sacrifice.

Now, I may or may not be wrong about that analysis. The point is that I don't think the author of the article can even understand or grant that I think about it that way. The motives he ascribes to the people with whom he disagrees are not accurate and do not err on the side of charity. He is all too ready to believe that conservatives, especially his fellow Catholics who are conservative, are just greedy and uncaring because they don't support his laundry list of favored programs.   


And yet the OT tells of God destroying Israel for its failures; and punishing Judah for its failures. Prophets often railed against nations, not just individuals. Perhaps, our individualistic identities and responsibilities is better than their corporate identities and responsibilities … or maybe not. (Aren't you glad that the community provide the roads you drive on - that you didn't have to build (or pay for them) yourself?)

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 2800