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Messages - Mel Harris

Your Turn / Re: Patriarch and Pope and Castro
February 12, 2016, 09:30:44 PM
Quote from: Boris on February 11, 2016, 08:22:02 AM

Don't expect anything deeply theological out of this meeting.

If the Pope and the Patriarch issue any joint statement at all, expect it to be on a non-theogical topic.  For instance, they might issue a joint statement against terrorism or something like that. They will not touch any issue related to the Papacy or the filioque I am certain.

       For those interested, Anglican Ink has posted the joint statement.

              Mel Harris
       The synod is set to conclude today (while some of us are remembering the posting of The 95 Theses).  According to a number of reports online, the report of the synod has 94 articles or sections.  If anyone can find an English translation of the report posted, please post a link to it.
Your Turn / Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
July 28, 2015, 12:43:14 AM
Quote from: Charles Austin on July 21, 2015, 04:43:34 AM

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Dr. Becker.

       There is an article by Jim Davis on the Get Religion website about the Post-Dispatch article mentioned above.  It is entitled "Mustachioed villain attacks brave theologian – at least in St. Louis Dispatch story" and starts out with


Remember the classic old-timey
movie villain, twirling his mustache
while laughing "Nyah-ha-ha-ha-
haaaaaa"? Did you know he's

Well, no, he's not, as far as I know.
That's just kinda the way Matthew
Harrison, president of the Lutheran
Church-Missouri Synod, comes off in
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Here is a link to the Post-Dispatch article.
Quote from: Charles Austin on July 14, 2015, 10:33:15 PM

But, folks, let us look at reality. Outside the contentious realm of this modest forum life goes on. The majority of the nation either rejoices in the decision of the court or is prepared to honor it. It is clear that the acceptance of gay married couples is increasing in most segments of society.
The cake incident, or any of the other kerfuffles sending dust bunnies rolling across some counties will fade away.
And perhaps we can get on to the real problems causing misery for so many of our neighbors.

       Just as all opposition to elective abortions quickly faded away after Rowe v. Wade?     ::)

       I expect that Obergefell v. Hodges will remain a controversial decision for many years if not generations, and it's implications for how we will live together in this country will not be settled any time soon.
Quote from: Charles Austin on July 13, 2015, 03:12:48 AM

Someone may "simply believe," even appealing to God almighty, that it is alright to beat your child with a switch until he bruises and bleeds because he failed to empty the dishwasher. Will you rush to support that parent?

Quote from: peter_speckhard on July 12, 2015, 11:48:30 PM

As long as you refuse to acknowledge the difference between a client and an event, your comments won't address the issue.


       Imagine that you were offering your services as a freelance writer.  A couple was planning to hold a large party to celebrate that they regularly beat their children with switches until they are bruised and bleeding (which is legal in the state they reside in).  That couple attempted to hire you to write an article to be printed and distributed at that party to enhance the celebration.  (Note, they do not want an article reporting what they have done, but one to enhance their celebration of the fact that they regularly beat their children.)  Would you want a court or a commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries to order you to pay a six figure fine if you declined to write the article that couple had requested?

       If you refused to write an article to enhance that couple's celebration of the fact that they beat their children, I think you would find that many of the same people who are now supporting the Kleins would support your right to refuse to write that article.  They would think that your offering your services as a writer would not be that different from the Kleins offering their services designing, baking, assembling and decorating cakes.

       In other words, I think that Peter's response to Brian is also an appropriate response to your last post in this thread.

Your Turn / Re: After Schism - LF Summer 2005
June 14, 2015, 01:53:04 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on June 14, 2015, 12:15:27 AM

I don't believe that the NALC has created any documents on ... ecumenical relationships.

       We do have ecumenical relationships.

       Our statement on Ecumenical and Other Relationships is posted here.

       We are in full communion with the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus.  See the article on page 5 of the August 2011 NALC News and the article on page 3 of the November 2012 NALC News.

       We have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.  See the article beginning on page 8 of the August-September 2013 NALC News.

       Beginning in 2011 we have had two Inter-Lutheran consultations a year with the LCMS and the LCC.  See the article on page 7 of the July 2014 NALC News.

       We have had a very good and growing relationship with the ACNA.  See the article on page 4 of the April 2012 NALC News and the article beginning on page 12 of the October 2014 NALC News.

       We have applied for membership in the LWF, but our application is still "pending".  See articles on pages 10 and 11 of the July 2014 NALC News.

       I could provide links to further examples but I think the above is sufficient to show that the NALC is serious about developing ecumenical relationships.
The part of the quote in the first post of this thread that caught my attention was

Quote from: Michael Slusser on May 04, 2015, 11:00:08 AM

The question of the dignity of human life, always to be respected, is of urgent relevance, as are issues regarding the family, marriage and sexuality, that may not be set aside or ignored for fear of jeopardising the ecumenical consensus already received. It would be a pity if new confessional differences were to be consolidated with regard to these important questions".

       It appears that Pope Francis is aware that the Church of Sweden has been moving away from what had been the ecumenical consensus on the dignity of human life and on issues regarding family, marriage and sexuality.  That he included comments on this in his welcome to Archbishop Jackelen seems significant to me.
Your Turn / Re: The Collapse Of Traditional Marriage
April 24, 2015, 12:35:34 AM
From here


Faith Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Marriage and Religious Liberty

April 23, 2015

WASHINGTON—A few days before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the rights of states to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, more than 30 religious leaders representing diverse faith communities throughout the United States have reaffirmed their shared commitment to marriage and religious freedom. An open letter entitled "The Defense of Marriage and the Right of Religious Freedom: Reaffirming a Shared Witness" was issued to all in positions of public service on April 23.    ....

       The open letter can be read here and here.  Many of those who post here will notice that one or more of the leaders of their church body have signed this open letter.
Your Turn / Re: When zero equals good
February 14, 2015, 12:58:10 AM
Quote from: Fletch on February 13, 2015, 07:44:08 PM

$4million, 7 days.  Complete.  It is finished. 

Quote from: Dave Likeness on February 13, 2015, 07:59:52 PM

On Feb. 6, 2015, President Harrison also stated:

"Since four years ago, we have reduced staffing in the
International Center (Purple Palace in St. Louis) by 70.

Bottom Line:  With the reduction of 70 jobs, the LCMS
payroll is much less.

       You must compensate your synod staff very well if reducing the staff by 70 people saved the LCMS $4,000,000 in one week.    That would go a long ways toward explaining how The Buckeye Deaconess and Pastor Weedon were talked into accepting positions at the Purple Palace.      ;D   
Quote from: Charles Austin on February 11, 2015, 07:59:47 PM

in other words, these are men of long years of experience in service to the synod. presumably they have gained some wisdom over those years. And you're happy to be rid of them? Nice.


       Is that how you responded to the bishop you mentioned in this post?

Pastor Austin posted on: June 10, 2008, 05:17:34 PM

A prominent and long-serving bishop recently told me that in just a couple of years, virtually all the active pastors in the ELCA will have no personal memory of or involvement in the previous church bodies. He believes this will help the "unity" of the ELCA, for some are still remembering (or lamenting the loss of) the predecessor church bodies or have not caught on to how the ELCA works, and the younger pastors are more "fully formed" within the culture and processes of the ELCA.

Your Turn / Pastor John Beem
December 29, 2014, 11:53:16 AM
       I received the following email today from the Augustana District of the LCMC.


We are sorry to share with you that Pastor John Beem died on Friday after a rather
long battle with cancer. His funeral will be held Wednesday at 11 am at Living Word,
with a visitation the night before at Anderson's Funeral Home in Alexandria from 4-7
pm. We are trying to get the word out to the many pastors who had been associated
with him over the years. If you know of anyone else that would appreciate getting
this information please pass it to them.
Grace and Peace to you ~ Wendy Mayland, Faith Lutheran Church Administrative Assistant

        I met Pastor Beem when he was at Holy Trinity Lutheran in Dubuque, Iowa.  Later he was bishop of the ELCA's East Central Synod of Wisconsin.  He was interviewed in this issue of the Augustana District Newsletter.

        Mel Harris
Quote from: Richard Johnson on November 18, 2014, 04:11:25 PM

So what could have been an interesting discussion has degenerated on the first page to traditional attacks on Roman Catholic theology and arguments about Greek verbs. Too bad.  :'(

        To get back to the Colloquium:  Anglican Ink has a couple more articles about this event and the Colloquium web site now has quite a few videos available to watch at this linkSteven Tibbetts mentioned Dr. Janne Haaland Matláry and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (and some others).  Matláry's comments can be watched at that site or here on YouTube and Sacks' comments can be watched at that site or here on YouTube.  (Rabbi Sacks gives, what I think, is an interesting explanation of the Judeo-Christian understanding of marriage and family.)

        Happy viewing,

                                Mel Harris
Quote from: Charles Austin on October 09, 2014, 12:34:41 PM

How terrific it is that the Vatican is inviting Catholic laypeople to tell of their experiences in marriage.

        George Conger has an article on Anglican Ink entitled Anglicans invited to round two of Vatican's fight on the family.  It looks like the Vatican will be listening to some other Christians and some of other religions.  Here is the english version of the web site for this event.  (There is a pull down menu to read the web site in other languages.)  If ALPB wants to send someone to cover this event, the instructions to apply for temporary media accreditation are posted here.

        I look forward to reading about this event.

                Mel Harris
        I took a quick look at the SSI web site.  According to them the decision has been reversed.


SSI Augsburg President, Julian Kritz: "We would like to thank the school's administration for overturning student governments decision. By doing so the school showed that it stands by it's mission of diversity and inclusion."

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