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Messages - Steven W Bohler

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1
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 09, 2021, 09:30:36 PM »
Peter writes:
The reality is that you discount much of Christian history on that issue out of hubris; you simply think you know better.
I comment:
You know, Peter, I’m really tired of this unfortunate and incorrect characterization of how we make our decisions. You think it’s just “oh! I have a better idea let’s do it my way.“ That’s not it. And we have told you numerous times that we make these decisions, such as our decision to ordain women, with considerable prayer and study.
You may not like how we do that prayer and study, but darn it, I am tired of you saying that our decisions are made frivolously, with no appeal at all to tradition, scripture and theology.

Tradition?  No, there is basically NO tradition of women pastors in the history of the Church.  Scripture?  Only if you take passages that speak to the equality of God's grace for all sinners and misconvert that into speaking about ordination.  Theology?  Like when it was pointed out to your convention that it was acting contrary to the Confessions and leaders/delegates acknowledged it and went ahead anyway? 

2
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 08, 2021, 05:32:24 PM »
Pastor Bohler:
Because you too think the issue is significant enough to divide the Church, unless everyone goes along with your view.
Me:
No, for the 580th time, no. You do not have to “go along” with my view on ordination for women. But we should seek, not cut off, opportunities for full fellowship in spite of our difference on this point. (And some other points.) We need to very carefully examine our prior “check-lists” of “essentials” concerning cooperation and fellowship. It is not 1580. It is not 1918. It is not even post Vatican II days of the 1960s. All I hear from one “side” here is how this thing, or that thing or some other thing absolutely must keep us from sharing the sacrament and our ministries. Most here have drawn the line in the sand and stick to it. That is why for some years now I have not favored “official” inter-Lutheran dialogue with the LCMS. I have hopes that living together locally just might erase some of those lines.
Don’t ask me why I am optimistic. I don’t know and it doesn’t make sense. It is a burden to bear, and I just cannot put it down, despite what I hear in this modest forum, which - in my hopeful opinion - does not represent the fullness of American Lutheranism, that fullness including not just the pastors, seminary profs and convention overtures, but the people in the pews.

But, whether you agree or not, we DO see this issue as Church-dividing.  And while you seemingly see the ordination of women as not required (since you are willing to be in fellowship with churches, such as ours, that refuse to ordain women), apparently you value the ordination of women over Church fellowship, as you have made that choice knowing how it would be received.  So, like it or not, you have chosen to divide the Church over this issue.  Now, to be fair, it is only ONE of the issues you and your church have chosen to elevate over fellowship.  But it IS one of the issues you have preferred to fellowship.

3
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 08, 2021, 10:16:14 AM »
Well, Pastor Fienen, as I have said here 1,546 times, I think it hurts the proclamation of the Gospel when we are divided over things that ought not divide us.

If you are so sure that women's ordination ought not divide us, then stop doing it.  But you won't, will you?  Because you too think the issue is significant enough to divide the Church, unless everyone goes along with your view.

4
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 02, 2021, 09:01:43 PM »
...we and the Reformed agree in the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, but exactly how he is present remains a mystery. Some of those details is like arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin. They have little to nothing to do with our witness to the world about the grace of God.

How times have changed since Luther and Zwingli.  For Luther the doctrine of the real physical presence of Christ was anything but "arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin."  For him it impinged directly on the doctrine of Christology.  In that sense it has everything to do with "our witness to the world about the grace of God."  If you don't get Christ right, you don't get the gospel right. But again, many Lutherans have long since been on different pages on such matters....


The Reformed with whom we are full communion partners are not Zwinglians. Calvin was just as opposed to Zwingli as Luther.

But not for the same reasons.  And Luther, and the Lutheran Reformers, rejected Calvin's teaching on the Supper just as energetically as they did Zwingli's teaching.


Not so much in Luther's Day. The opposition came later and is expressed in the Formula of Concord. There is nothing against Calvin in any of the earlier confessions....


Well, of course not.  Calvin was not active or published until near the end of Luther's life so it would be kind of hard for him to respond to what Calvin had not yet written or taught. 

5
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 02, 2021, 07:35:56 PM »
...we and the Reformed agree in the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, but exactly how he is present remains a mystery. Some of those details is like arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin. They have little to nothing to do with our witness to the world about the grace of God.

How times have changed since Luther and Zwingli.  For Luther the doctrine of the real physical presence of Christ was anything but "arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin."  For him it impinged directly on the doctrine of Christology.  In that sense it has everything to do with "our witness to the world about the grace of God."  If you don't get Christ right, you don't get the gospel right. But again, many Lutherans have long since been on different pages on such matters....


The Reformed with whom we are full communion partners are not Zwinglians. Calvin was just as opposed to Zwingli as Luther.

But not for the same reasons.  And Luther, and the Lutheran Reformers, rejected Calvin's teaching on the Supper just as energetically as they did Zwingli's teaching.

6
Your Turn / Re: Tulsa Racial Massacre
« on: June 02, 2021, 07:31:36 PM »
"Kill everything white in sight..."  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5t-qM6TszQ

7
Your Turn / Re: Tulsa Racial Massacre
« on: June 02, 2021, 07:28:12 PM »
Round and around and around and around. I continually despair of a fuller discussion. So I won’t try anymore.

I see that lasted all of 5 hours, 22 minutes, and 4 seconds.  It MIGHT be a personal best for you, when you promise you will "drop out" of discussions. 

9
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 02, 2021, 04:52:54 PM »
The article linked by GalRevRedux said its author was weary of debating women's ordination.  And now, we have spent 6 pages debating it, with no end in sight.  Irony.

10
Your Turn / Re: The "feel safe" tactic of passive-aggression
« on: May 31, 2021, 07:27:41 PM »
Because it was provocative and personal, and indeed it provoked another forum member, which then again provoked another forum member, and down the rabbit hole we go.

But you probably knew that.

So, no provocative or personal posts then.  OK.  I will keep that in mind.  And I will let you know if/when I am provoked by posts so you can delete them too. 

11
Your Turn / Re: The "feel safe" tactic of passive-aggression
« on: May 31, 2021, 01:25:50 PM »
Rev. Gemini wrote:

The challenge is doing so constructively, which as far as I can tell, all of humanity struggles with.  On the pastoral side, I don’t think we are really given/taught the skills to do so.

My experience:

I was taught to go to the person with whom I had differences and talk things through (cf. Matthew 18), which I've tried to follow. I've learned through hard experience that often people are not ready or willing to work through things. Often, there are hidden issues that prevent resolution.

Moderators: Why was my response to this post censored?  I would like to know, so that I may respond within the bounds of your rules.  Thanks.

12
Your Turn / Re: The Upcoming Feast of the Holy Trinity
« on: May 31, 2021, 01:21:51 PM »
They asked for analogies.  THAT is where the problem enters.  There are no analogies for the Trinity.

I would say analogies are inherently imperfect but they are also useful for teaching. Scripture itself constantly speaks analogically. The Nicene Creed is also written with an analogy, "Light from light," which is followed by a this-not-that hedge, "begotten, not made." The real learning actually comes in the dialogue between useful analogy and the critique of the analogy.

We recited the Athanasian Creed in a three-part round this year. In previous years we chanted it in parts interspersed with commentary.

1.  Analogies are never exact; they will ALWAYS fail at some point.  That is why they are analogies.  So, in the video (admittedly funny), the Irishmen ask St. Patrick for analogies. Then ripped him apart for the requisite failures in the given analogies.  They set him up for failure.

2. I do not think "Light from Light" is an analogy.  Rather, it speaks to the same essence of the Father and the Son.

13
Your Turn / Re: The Upcoming Feast of the Holy Trinity
« on: May 29, 2021, 05:23:45 PM »
They asked for analogies.  THAT is where the problem enters.  There are no analogies for the Trinity.

14
Your Turn / Re: One Thing
« on: May 29, 2021, 03:37:44 PM »
You dodged my question, Pastor Bohler.
There are congregations that say they are part of your church body, quite a lot of them I think, that do not observe strict  “closed communion.” Are they in your synod?

PrTim15 said there were "two synods".  I asked how so.  You brought up differing practices in several areas.  I pointed out that the synod has one official teaching/position on such issues (meaning there is not "two synods" but one synod--although, I will grant, it is one in which some members refuse to adhere to the official teaching). And, yes, I see Rev. Weedon and Rev. Brown have written about the murkiness at times of what that teaching is in regards to admission to the Supper.  But the fact remains, the synod has one teaching -- in that instance, it is closed communion.

I do not see how I "dodged" your question.  Those congregations are in the one synod.  Now, it well may be that discipline would lead to them being removed from the synod for their "other" teaching/practice, but then they would be outside the one synod.  And the synod would still be one.

15
Your Turn / Re: One Thing
« on: May 29, 2021, 11:53:32 AM »
Maybe this way:
There are LCMS congregations who have a generally open communion, at least for other Lutherans, policy; and those who do not.
Are they in "two synods"?
There are congregations espousing some form of Creationism or what comes close to Biblical fundamentalism, and there are congregations who are far from those views.
Are they in "two synods"?

No.  The synod has one position/teaching on these issues.  Now, if you want to talk about a denomination that has multiple personalities/faces, then yours immediately comes to mind, what its official acceptance of 4 (is that the number now?) teachings on sexuality....

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