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Messages - Chris Schelp

Quote from: Rob Morris on February 01, 2024, 11:05:18 AMAs this conversation follows its expected contours, I will simply point out: the value of the conversation hinges on whether one believes that homosexual sex is, in fact, sinful. I note that the disagreement on this board entirely falls between those who would answer that question in the affirmative and those who would answer that question in the negative.

What makes the article interesting is that  both Gagnon and Begg agree that homosexual sex is sinful. The conflict lies in whether one who believes that homosexual sex is sinful can in good conscience, attend a homosexual wedding. I honestly don't know how the participation that Begg encourages could be seen as anything other than endorsement.

"I believe your marriage would be a sin, but I will celebrate it when you do it," seems an inherently contradictory position to me.

What I see as unaddressed is the assumption that if one does not attend another's wedding, then the couple is  justified in believing the non-attender to be hateful, judgmental, etc. To me, this is not a relationship, but a hostage situation. I am sure that we have all been to weddings, or officiated at weddings, where certain loved ones were unable to attend because of business commitments or health challenges, or travel restrictions... but if yhe reason for non-attendance is a moral objection, it is handled very differently. I find that an interesting fact.

I had this arise recently when a little one in my congregation was invited by her older cousin (without her parents' knowledge) to be a flower girl at the older cousin's lesbian wedding ceremony. To those of you who don't see homosexual sex as sinful, this presents no challenge whatsoever. To those of us who do, what response would you have recommended?

I don't know that I would vocalize the response directly to the person in exactly this way, but: I would not attend, say, a birthday party for a good male friend that was being held at a strip club. And I darn sure wouldn't take a young child to that party, either. (And I fully realize that this is easy for me to say, and much harder to do...but if offense is taken, then so be it. There is nothing whatsoever unloving about saying, in a kind manner, "No, I just can't do that.")
Quote from: Weedon on January 29, 2024, 12:01:52 PMChris, yes indeed! However, those are not technically part of our Confessions; they were added to the printings of the Catechism in Luther's lifetime, but were not part of the 1578 BOC.

Luther's thoughts on the matter can also be informative and help us understand the reference to Chrysostom's words and the LC passage cited above. This is his suggested Preface replacement, sent to Nicholas Hausmann in 1525.

An Exhortation to the Communicants
Dearest friends in Christ: You know that our Lord Jesus Christ, out of unspeakable love, instituted at the last this his Supper as a memorial and proclamation of his death suffered for our sins. This commemoration requires a firm faith to make the heart and conscience of everyone who wants to use and partake of this Supper sure and certain that Christ has suffered death for all his sins. But whoever doubts and does not in some manner feel such faith should know that the Supper is of no avail to him, but will rather be to his hurt, and he should stay away from it. And since we cannot see such faith and it is known only to God, we leave it to the conscience of him who comes and admit him who requests and desires it. But those who cling to open sins, such as greed, hatred, anger, envy, profiteering, unchastity, and the like and are not minded to renounce them, shall herewith be barred [from the Supper] and be warned faithfully not to come lest they incur judgment and damnation for their own souls, as St. Paul says [1 Cor. 11:29]. If however someone has fallen because of weakness and proves by his acts that he earnestly desires to better himself, this grace and communion of the body and blood of Christ shall not be denied to him. In this fashion each must judge himself and look out for himself. For God is not mocked [Gal. 6:7], nor will he give that which is holy unto the dogs or cast the pearls before swine. AE 53:104ff.

Absolutely (and I know we're tracking together on all of this, I just find it helpful to myself to write down more of my own thoughts as we go)...and I think the real point with all of this, in my mind, is that we certainly must hold to the communicant believing firmly that Christ's body and blood are "given for you for the forgiveness of sins"...but that, of course, only brings up the next question: "What, precisely, are these 'sins' for which I need forgiveness?" Hence the pointing of the Questions to the Decalogue, and why I find it so important to hold to the Scriptural understanding of what sin is, and to reject all theologies that would call sin "not sin," or minimize it in any way, or suggest that repentance does not necessarily include a turning away from that which is sin (accomplished only through the power of the Spirit, of course).
Quote from: Weedon on January 29, 2024, 11:51:46 AMWhen discussing the confessional standards, please do not overlook these parts:

"No one is admitted to the Sacrament without being first examined." AC XXIV:6

"Chrysostom says "that the priest stands daily at the altar, inviting some to the Communion and keeping others back from it." AC XXIV:34

"The body of the Lord is not usually given to those who have not been examined and absolved." AC XXV:1

"The Sacrament is offered to those who wish to use it, after they have been examined and absolved." Ap XXIV:1

"Therefore, we must make a distinction here between people. Those who are lewd and morally loose must be told to stay away. They are not prepared to receive the forgiveness of sin, since they do not desire it and do not wish to be godly. But the others, who are not such callous and wicked people, and who desire to be godly, must not absent themselves." LC V:58

It would also seem that Luther's Christian Questions (especially the second, about knowing that one is a sinner from not having kept the Ten Commandments) and Short Form of Confession (wherein the penitent expresses the desire to do better) in the Small Catechism should be taken into account as well.
Quote from: RDPreus on January 29, 2024, 10:14:58 AM
Quote from: John Mundinger on January 29, 2024, 07:27:38 AM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on January 28, 2024, 04:39:33 PMI think I've said before that there is nothing triumphal about the Walkout, as I've studied it. It was a lose/lose situation, I believe (though we might disagreement about the loses each sustained). If we study it to learn a better way to manage conflict, that could prove fruitful. Perhaps the new book that started this thread is doing that.

Agreed.  The LCMS split was lose/lose and, as conversations like this demonstrate, the losing continues.  As I have suggested a couple of times, Matthew 18 tells us everything we need to know to analyze the LCMS split and how to better manage conflict.

It is instructive that Jesus' promise to be present whenever two or three gather in His name occurs in the middle of His instruction about how to deal with conflict within the faith community.  Now, think about 1973.  There were a bunch of grown, well educated men, gathered together, in the same room, in Jesus name.  They behaved in ways they would not have had their mothers been present.  Why, did they behave that way with Jesus in the same room?

The issue was not "conflict within the faith community."  It was whether the teaching of the faculty majority should be tolerated in the LCMS.  John Tietjen's strategy was to unite the faculty in common opposition to the president of the LCMS who was tasked with the duty of overseeing their teaching.  United we stand!  He didn't reckon with true nature of the Missouri Synod.  The LCMS was overwhelmingly in support of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.  It was the classic Battle for the Bible.  The issue was the Bible, not whether this prof was nice to that prof.  As far as personal snubs, cruelties, malicious judgments, etc. are concerned, I could share with you many that were directed against my family were I of a mind to do.  But these are always features of doctrinal conflict.  People are sinners who sin.  The issue was and remains the Bible.  Is everything it says true?  Or does it err?  Read the posts on this thread and see for yourself what the issues were in 1973.  Nothing has changed.

And just to close my own thoughts here: this is precisely the point I was getting at when I said that, having been born after all these events, I can see them in a much different light than those who were present for them. Thanks so much to those who patronizingly try to tell me differently, but: I have eyes. I can look around today and see where the LCMS is, and where ELCA is. It's patently obvious that there were, and are, enormous doctrinal differences, no matter how much some corners try to tell me that it was all about petty personal politics, and to ignore my lying eyes. So, again: I give thanks to God for His grace in allowing me to be born into a church that holds firmly to the inerrancy of Scripture, because once men decide to throw that overboard, perspicacity, efficacy, and the rest all follow into the deep, no matter how much men lie to themselves and try to hold to some neutered idea of the "Gospel," shorn of all its saving truth.
As one who was born after the walkout, and who has the ability, through not having any personal attachment to any of the players, to look at it through an objective historical lens, and to look at the objective historical arcs of the respective church bodies involved, I thank God for His grace in allowing the LCMS to remain faithful to His Word, when there was every human opportunity to do otherwise.
Your Turn / Ash Wednesday/Valentine's Day
January 10, 2024, 03:51:42 PM
This year, Ash Wednesday falls on February 14th. I can't determine (after a very brief Google search) how long it has been since the last time this occurred, but I suppose I can at least say it is not a common occurrence. It seems to me that there is ripe opportunity here to contrast the secular idea of "love" with the picture of true love: Christ suffers and dies, for you. He does not do it to make you feel good, or to help you to "live your best life," or because of or in service to some gooey undefined feeling: He does it to bring you salvation.
Your Turn / Re: God Made Trump
January 10, 2024, 11:35:02 AM
Here, this should help the conversation:

Your Turn / Re: God Made Trump
January 09, 2024, 09:31:43 AM
A modest proposal for all: any time you desire to say something about Donald Trump, replace what you were about to post with a sound clip of the muted trombone adult sounds from the Peanuts cartoons. The edification granted to the world thereby will be increased.
Your Turn / Re: Reconciled to God
January 03, 2024, 11:17:35 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on January 03, 2024, 10:43:01 AM
Quote from: Fletch1 on January 03, 2024, 10:27:27 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on January 03, 2024, 10:23:29 AM
Quote from: John Mundinger on January 03, 2024, 08:13:28 AM
Quote from: Fletch1 on January 03, 2024, 07:40:32 AMI'd further say it comes down to believing that "Love God" and "Love Neighbor" (I quoted shortened versions) are the overriding commandments but that again requires believing in the Authority of Scripture to have any kind of meaningful shared values.

I believe the Authority of Scripture and I agree that love God/love neighbor are the overriding commandments.  At least in this forum, I don't think the lack of agreement on those shared values is the problem.  I think the issue here and in society is the lack of agreement on how we frame the question.

As I shared earlier in response to Pr. Fienan, I think we have done ourselves a significant disservice by framing the issue as pro-life v. pro-choice.  I'd also suggest that, framed that way, both sides are wrong.

I'd suggest that we have ignored an important point for which there would be a broad base of agreement were we to abandon the established debate and begin a fresh conversation.  I suspect that a large majority of folks would agree that elective abortion is a lousy form of birth control.  If that is true, we could then ask, "how do we reduce the frequency of elective abortion?"  Then, we would ask, "what are the factors that lead women to choose elective abortion as the preferred form of birth control?"  Then, we would ask, "what can we do to mitigate those factors?"

Approached this way would also lead to the realization is that the problem involves the whole second table, not just 5 and 6.
I've argued for years that abortion is not the real problem. For women with an unwanted pregnancy, abortion is a solution. Reduce unwanted pregnancies makes elective abortions go down. One outrageous suggestion (that would probably reduce many unwanted pregnancies) is to give vasectomies to all boys at puberty. When they believe that they are old enough and mature enough to have and nurture children, then reverse the procedure.

Lord have mercy!  More mutilation.  Mutilate the unborn, mutilate those who "feel" they are not what God created them to be, mutilate the boys - where does the god of self end?  I think I know the answer to that - in quite a hot place for eternity.  Lord have mercy!  Christ have mercy!
Your response offers no help in seeking to reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Apparently, that's not something you want to see happen.

Your response seeks to change the "pregnancy" part of this equation. The Christian response seeks to change the "unwanted" part.
Your Turn / Re: Reconciled to God
December 21, 2023, 11:28:13 AM
Another point I might add here: St. Paul repeatedly, in various of his letters, hammers home the point that the Church is to remain steadfast in the faith, and to be immovable, and to not move one inch from the Gospel, even to the point that if Paul himself were to come back and teach something different from what he had previously taught, they should ignore him and throw him out. There are many such exhortations to remain steadfast; there are no exhortations which I can recall to listen for new things from the Spirit.
Your Turn / Re: Reconciled to God
December 21, 2023, 11:11:10 AM
Quote from: Charles Austin on December 21, 2023, 11:00:54 AMAnd if you think God's word is limited to what we hear in church, then you have restricted the power of God speak to us. I don't think you have the status to do that.

No, but God has that status. And He's told us where He is to be found: in the means of grace. I take Him at His Word, rather than going off into useless supposition about what He "might" do.
Your Turn / Re: Reconciled to God
December 21, 2023, 11:09:11 AM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on December 21, 2023, 10:52:08 AM
Quote from: John Mundinger on December 21, 2023, 10:41:17 AM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on December 21, 2023, 10:25:01 AMTimes do change, and we sometimes have rethink old rules and precepts. But we dare never forget the humans are more often rationalizing creatures than truly rational.

Agreed.  So, how does that relate to the suggestion that, as we consider how Scripture informs faithful living in the present age, we should remain faithful to the traditional understanding of justification and sanctification?
It means we should be very careful when considering that the old traditional rules and understandings should be changed to fit the current times that we are not simply rationalizing what we want rather than faithfully following God's will. Despite our hubristic pride, humannature has not changed all that much over the millennia.

I'd alter that to "human nature has not changed at all over the millennia." In fact, the more I see I and hear in life, the more I'm convinced that, in regard to the Church (and, really, in regard to most things, but especially the Church), "times are changing" is almost entirely just a rationalization for people to do whatever they want to do. Times and people don't actually change much (contrary to one incredibly dead horse of an argument that's still getting beaten, women who wish to openly flaunt their sexual promiscuity still do so...they just do it on TikTok instead of by not wearing head coverings); in fact, they barely change at all. And the Word of God absolutely hasn't changed one bit.
Your Turn / Re: Male and Female
December 16, 2023, 12:15:06 PM
Quote from: David Garner on December 16, 2023, 09:08:17 AMSide note, "cis-gendered" is a stupid made up political word and I for one refuse to play the game. Others' mileage may vary.

So are "homosexual" and "heterosexual." I'm also done playing the game that suggests that the most important thing about a person is who they desire to see naked.
Your Turn / Re: Reconciled to God
December 15, 2023, 03:47:06 PM
Quote from: Charles Austin on December 15, 2023, 12:21:23 PMMight be some people somewhere in the universe "reconciled to God" without the church.

When we ask what God "might" do, rather than looking to what He has told us He has done and will do, we are asking the wrong question.
Your Turn / Re: Male and Female
December 13, 2023, 06:16:09 PM
Quote from: John Mundinger on December 13, 2023, 03:55:19 PM
Quote from: Tom Eckstein on December 13, 2023, 03:07:14 PMMr. Mundinger, you write:  "I do not reject the authority of Scripture."  So, does this mean you AGREE with Scripture that God condemns same-sex erotic behavior even when it takes places between committed/consenting adults?  If so, we're making progress with you!

I agree with Scripture that God condemns ALL sin.  And, if you are going to focus on sexual behavior, ALL would include the erotic behavior of a man who is unable to love his wife as Christ first loved the Church, even when that erotic behavior is limited to the marriage bed.

That is not an answer to the question asked.
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