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Messages - RevSteve

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1
Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 28, 2013, 03:12:09 AM »
And one wonders whether the real life testimonies of Bishop/DP Benke and Pastor Morris, along with the testimonies of those people that were reached with the Word, will have an impact on those who criticize from a theoretical/theological position and from afar.

One might also wonder just how a comment pondering whether those who are "critcizing from afar" will learn from the testimonies of those whom they are debating, adds to this discussion. Especially when the comment is made by someone who is "criticizing from afar."

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 26, 2013, 06:30:40 PM »
And another conundrum raises its head. Must every single post be total and complete in its entirety, or should it be regarded in light of, and in conjunction with, all other posts made by the participant who posts it?

There is no conundrum. There is no "in conjunction with" or anything else. The post I quoted of your's is the one I responded to. You said what you said, now own it.

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 26, 2013, 05:22:42 PM »
In George's defense, there has been a lot of outrage and indignation here as of late - from all corners - of people claiming to be offended and accusing those on the other side of the argument to have violated the Eighth.  Using that particular commandment in an argument is inevitably going to be accompanied with a heavy dose of irony.  That, I believe, was George's point, and it's a good one.

Fair enough, but George did not limit his assertion to the context of this forum, or even to arguments in general.

Here is his comment.

anyone who is himself following the 8th commandment would not, could not, take another to task for violating the 8th commandment. Anyone who is himself following the 8th commandment would put the best construction on what someone else had said and in doing so, would interpret it as not breaking the 8th commandment.


Note there are no qualifiers or limitations. By George's line of reasoning any appeal to the 8th commandment in any context under any circumstance is a violation of that very commandment.  I stand by my original asessment of it's absurdity.

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 26, 2013, 04:52:31 PM »
As I've said before, anyone who is himself following the 8th commandment would not, could not, take another to task for violating the 8th commandment. Anyone who is himself following the 8th commandment would put the best construction on what someone else had said and in doing so, would interpret it as not breaking the 8th commandment
It is right and proper to raise this issue if the belief and confession of a person or group is deliberately represented using words that that person or group NEVER use when discussing their belief?

I speak specifically of how some represent the LCMS doctrine on closed communion ... using spiteful words that the LCMS NEVER uses in its doctrinal writings.

Do not use the eighth commandment's admonition of best construction as a license not to do so ... and then blame the hearer of the words for failing to place the best construction on words that had NO best construction intent when spoken.

Clearly, you didn't put the best possible construction on what I wrote, did you?


As I've said before, anyone who is himself following the 8th commandment would not, could not, take another to task for violating the 8th commandment. Anyone who is himself following the 8th commandment would put the best construction on what someone else had said and in doing so, would interpret it as not breaking the 8th commandment.


And the award for most absurd comment of the day (and there have been some doozies today) goes to....


Nor did you.


You assume that "best construction" means "Whatever construction is going to be the least offensive or the easiest for the person to hear." I believe that is a faulty reading of it.  Isn't honesty and clarity also an important element of the 8th commandment?? Of course it is.

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 26, 2013, 04:13:38 PM »
As I've said before, anyone who is himself following the 8th commandment would not, could not, take another to task for violating the 8th commandment. Anyone who is himself following the 8th commandment would put the best construction on what someone else had said and in doing so, would interpret it as not breaking the 8th commandment.


And the award for most absurd comment of the day (and there have been some doozies today) goes to....

6
Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 26, 2013, 11:57:29 AM »
Why is it that critics, especially those who are strong in their criticism, want to been seen as weak-word wussies? "Shrill criticism" ought to be a compliment. Own up to it, folks! You're ticked off and speak strongly about being so. Don't try to duck behind the eighth commandment every time you are criticized. Those whom you criticize are called divisive, un-Lutheran, accused of destroying your synod, or otherwise giving cataclysmic offense. Surely, you can take being called "shrill"?  ::)

Isn't it interesting that you get upset when outsiders interject themselves into ELCA-related conversations; especially if those outsiders happen to be former ELCA-ers, yet you don't hesitate to interject yourself into an LCMS-related conversation and toss around more than a few insults in the process?

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 26, 2013, 11:53:08 AM »
By the way, this attack of motivations comes from both sides in this debate (such as accusing others of not trusting God's Word, or calling them sectarians who wish to deny Jesus to others, as well as wondering if pride on tha part of the pastor involved plays into his participation).

My intent was not to assign or attack motivation on any particular person's part.  My intent was to question how pride plays into the decisions we make when a public stage may be involved.  I apparently will have to be the first to admit that it would surely play into the decision if it were me.

Deaconess,

I am simply saying it is not right to discuss motivations, since we have no way of knowing what is in another's heart.


Then I would suggest that you also address the ridiculous allegations that some on here are acting simply out of a desire to withhold the Gospel from others or any number of the self-proclaimed "humble correspondent's" postings including his most recent gem where he alleges a desire on traditionalist's part to be seen as "weak-word wussies" simply because they might rightly appeal to the 8th commandment in the face of the insulting comments being tossed around.

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 26, 2013, 10:54:47 AM »
Having apparently failed to wear down your Newtown pastor by ecclesial harassment and persistent bloggery, it is now suggested that maybe, just maybe, he couldn't resist doing what he did because there were television cameras and the President of the United States present.
Have you people no shame? No shame?

I'm totally with you on this one, Charles. 

What a witness Pastor Morris gave at our Festival of Workshops.  What a message he presented.  What a humble soldier of the cross.  His address to us referenced his first reaction upon reaching home when his six year old son met him at the door, and he wept as he described that conversation, which was all about Jesus and the hope and destiny we have in Him.

Dave Benke

In Deaconess Schave's defense, she didn't mention Pr. Morris at all, but was simply wondering if pride may play a role in a pastor's decision to participate in an inter-religious service that has gained the whole country's attention and will even include the President. She even noted that this must be a difficult thing for pastors to deal with in these situations.

I don't think this idea is as absurd as some of you seem to believe, nor do I think it is shameful to suggest that being in the spotlight might play a role or add pressure and/or temptation to the pastor asked to participate. As I noted a few days back in the example I gave of our own community's "once-in-a-lifetime" tragedy of a few summers ago, I would bet that the proposed inter-religious service that was canceled, due to the majority of the clergy in our area and the families of the deceased deeming it inappropriate, would probably have occurred had the tragedy gained the whole country's attention and the President and state governor would have been attending. To pretend as though national attention plays no factor is just plain silly. 

As for Pr. Morris, I don't believe this was a factor. I think he was sincere in his intentions and honestly wanted to do the right thing. I believe that he wanted to provide pastoral care not only to the parish he serves, but to his grieving community, and I think he did his best to try to do this in a way that met the CTCR's guidelines, making sure there was a disclaimer at the beginning of the service. I disagree with his participation (obviously), but I would not question his motives or criticize his pastoral heart. I think it was a mistake for him to participate, but that it was a mistake made out of compassion and love, not out of a willful or obstinate desire to tick me (and others) off or cause strife in our synod, etc. He remains in my prayers, as do the saints he serves in Newtown and the still-grieving community.

I concur with the Deaconess. Thank you for being a voice of true civility and reason in the midst of the theatrics and name-calling.

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 26, 2013, 08:50:21 AM »
You know, something I have yet to see addressed publicly is how pride plays into a pastor's decision to participate in such a service.  The TV cameras are rolling, the stage is shared with POTUS and other VIPs, etc. . . . .

Can we honestly say a pastor participates in such events simply for the sake of the people in the crowd?  I would have to think the lure of notoriety would be quite great.  I wonder how he might best overcome this draw as he decides how best to comfort a community while at the same time honoring his vow to walk together with others in Synod.  It must be difficult.


I have wondered about that myself, though in the case of Pastor Morris, based solely on his demeanor during the vigil and his humble and gracious reaction after the vigil, I don't think that is the case.

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 25, 2013, 04:57:48 PM »
And Pr. Messer's point was clear,though Rev. Bliss tries to tell us that he really meant something else. (I tried this once, attempting to defend a fellow student's statement, declaring that  what he meant was...

Wow!!! So now I am bearing false witness??? I was simply recounting my assessment of what Pastor Messer said. Of course it is entirely possible my assessment was wrong, but how about we let Pastor Messer be the one to decide that??


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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 25, 2013, 03:31:53 PM »
Or perhaps this sort of thing??

Good grief! Do you qualify your benediction at the end of your services, announcing that it's offered only to real Christians lest an unbeliever slip in, hear the Gospel, and receive a blessing?

No.

Whatever you say.

 ::)

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 25, 2013, 03:07:47 PM »
(though I must confess I am not really sure where that allegation came from).

"Dance around it all you want, but paralleling a Christian worship service with an inter-faith service that is devoid of the Gospel is a faulty paralell; to say nothing of the insulting insinuation that those who question the wisdom of a Christian clergy person's involvement in an inter-faith service are somehow asserting the need for qualifiers to be given before a Christian benediction be declared. Nobody on this thread even remotely suggested such a thing and for you (and Bishop Benke) to suggest they did is absurd." [empahsis added]

That sort of thing.


Or perhaps this sort of thing??

Good grief! Do you qualify your benediction at the end of your services, announcing that it's offered only to real Christians lest an unbeliever slip in, hear the Gospel, and receive a blessing?

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 25, 2013, 12:52:50 PM »
...need for qualifiers to be given before a Christian benediction be declared. Nobody on this thread even remotely suggested such a thing and for you (and Bishop Benke) to suggest they did is absurd.

Of course it's been suggested. But you've now moved to extreme-speak, so you have a good day.

Cite one example please.

I did at 09:24:24 AM.


I believe what Pastor Messer was speaking to was the potential confusion that arises from such a blessing. As he has stated this confusion stems from a failure to properly distinguish law and Gospel.  His question was clearly rhetorical. I really don't believe that he was addressing the actual efficaciousness of such a blessing, (thus suggesting that it should be given with qualifiers) but the potential failure to convey that such a blessing, when declared by a Christian, is one rooted in law and Gospel when it is given at an interfaith service, ie were my Bhuddist sister to attend one of my worship services the benediction would be as much for her as for anyone else present. But, in her case, inherent in that blessing is a plea that she would be drawn from the darkness of Bhuddism into light of faith in Christ. When I read Pastor Messer's statement you cited, I read it as addressing that sort of reality. But he has already defended his comment. He certainly does not need me to do it.

All I am really saying is that for Christian clergy, interfaith services require at least two things; a willingness to bear the burden of the offense of the Gospel and pastoral discretion. If a pastor is not willing to bear the burden of the offense of the Gospel at such a service then I believe pastoral discretion would suggest they not participate. 

Nevertheless, I believe this horse is well beyond being beaten to death and is on it's way to the glue factory. I have stated where I stand. I have enjoyed the discussion, but believe at this point we're just barking at each other. I apologize for any snarkiness or "extreme-speak" (though I must confess I am not really sure where that allegation came from).

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 25, 2013, 12:10:41 PM »
...need for qualifiers to be given before a Christian benediction be declared. Nobody on this thread even remotely suggested such a thing and for you (and Bishop Benke) to suggest they did is absurd.

Of course it's been suggested. But you've now moved to extreme-speak, so you have a good day.

Cite one example please.

15
Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: March 24, 2013, 11:30:03 PM »
You make a distinction, Rev. Bliss, in how the blessing would be received. That is not, however, the issue. The issue is whether the blessing should be given to all.

But the distinction directly pertains to the issue since you (and Bishop Benke) were paralleling a blessing given at an interfaith service with a blessing given in a Christian context.  How the blessing is received directly correlates to the question of whether the blessing should be given.

No. Rev. Morris' blessing was, by definition, given in a Chriistian context. Your distinction is a quantitative one, rather than qualitative.

Really?? So the only distinction between an inter-faith service where the Hindu and Bahai witness is given the same credibility as the Christian witness and say a service at a confessional Lutheran congregation is the number of people??? Really??

No, not really. You seem to misunderstand the concept of the quantitative argument versus the qualitative one. The former is measuring, and that runs things in the way of the law.

And if I had been making the argument that Christian clergy should never participate in an inter-faith service then I can see where you would say that  and would have likely understood why you were saying it to me. But as I have said on multiple occasions, my issue is not that Christian clergy participate in  inter-faith services, but that they do so and fail to proclaim the Gospel; which more often than not has been my experience of what happens.

In the case at New Town, we're talking an inter-faith service where the only time the name of Christ was invoked was when the benediction was given. A benediction removed from the Gospel is not the Gospel.  I have said from the first day I heard about this, (having watched the service myself) that if the other Christian clergy who participated in the service had made a clear proclamation of the Gospel then we probably wouldn't even be talking about this.

Dance around it all you want, but paralleling a Christian worship service with an inter-faith service that is devoid of the Gospel is a faulty paralell; to say nothing of the insulting insinuation that those who question the wisdom of a Christian clergy person's involvement in an inter-faith service are somehow asserting the need for qualifiers to be given before a Christian benediction be declared. Nobody on this thread even remotely suggested such a thing and for you (and Bishop Benke) to suggest they did is absurd.

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