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Messages - Robert Johnson

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Your Turn / Re: Alabama Immigration Law
« on: October 04, 2011, 08:47:37 PM »
And here is the reaction of the Catholic bishops of Alabama:

“Most importantly the court enjoined a key part of the statute that made it illegal to conceal, transport, harbor, or encourage an illegal immigrant to stay in Alabama. This is the part of the law that would have criminalized many of our ministries.

How can it be legal now to do those things?

Your Turn / Re: Hiring Legalities for Lutheran Schools
« on: October 04, 2011, 01:09:41 AM »
I am surprised that the Department of Justice has a filing saying the ministerial clause should be eliminated all together.  Even the guy from the Americans United for the Separation of Church & State said the DOJ was out of line on that count.

The Eric Holder DOJ has done many strange things.


Sandra, I believe that good stewardship includes adapting to changing times.

Yup; the synod has to grab for the green.  Get the dinero while the offer is hot.

Students?  Let them ride a bus.  Somebody will take them in.  Probably.

Your Turn / Re: Forget Rome, what about "US"
« on: September 26, 2011, 10:52:19 PM »
The difference between Lutherans who disagree and Roman Catholics who disagree is that the Roman Catholics will commune each other while disagreeing.

Nicely put. 

The meeting of LCMS district leaders responsible for North American missions has concluded. From what my husband heard in St. Louis there is concern about internet misinformation regarding decisions related to the University Lutheran Chapel. Some statements on various blogs may in fact be slanderous.  I hope this forum is not a place where misinformation has or will be passed on.

When the decision makers choose not to be transparent and to not communicate effectively, it's human nature to fill in the blanks.   Don't want that?  Tell people clearly what is going on.

I looked up the map of the university in question. It covers a lot of territory. A location just outside of the moat that surrounds the campus could actually be closer to many points on the campus than an on-campus location at the far edge of the campus.

That is a good point. I think what you are trying to say is that there is no magical vortex that necessitates a chapel be situated on the corner of 11th Ave and University Ave in Minneapolis. A campus chapel could be built in any number of places - where students could have easy access.

Likewise, it could also be integrated into an existing congregation that's in close proximity to the campus, where students would have easy access and integration into a full, diverse congregation rather than a specialized little academic microcosm.

Every Lutheran congregation I've belonged to (including a couple next door to universities) was family-focused.  Unmarried young people were invisible.   Basically none of the non-worship activities were relevant to college age singles. 

Perhaps my experience is unusual, but I tend to doubt it.

Your Turn / Re: "The destruction of his difference"
« on: September 21, 2011, 08:15:32 PM »
My children were really sneaky that way.  When they were young enough that physical punishment might have been appropriate, they behaved impeccably.  They waited until they were older to engage in misbehavior.

Does anyone have any hard stats on how many college students would just stop going to church completely if they had to go to a regular congregation that was off-campus?

I'll give you one data point.  When I was in college I walked to a church that was across the street from campus.  Almost everybody who attended church walked to a service on or near campus.  I never knew anybody who drove.  Bus?  No, thanks.

Your Turn / Re: Rev. Kuhlman Paper on Closed Communion
« on: September 15, 2011, 05:49:41 PM »

Plainly, I reject the bouncer characterization, and I don't even agree with the butler analogy. ...

I don't speak of this in terms of open or closed. That's as clear as I can get.

It may be as clear as you can get, but I still have no idea what you would do if I showed up for communion.

OK.  I get it now.  Thanks.

Robert I would greet you in the parking lot, and give you a hug. We'd talk. I would, as I do every time, proclaim what the Lord's Supper is, and what it means, including the confessions we proclaim. In all likelihood, based on your confession here, I would welcome you to the Lord's Supper. 

In general practice The AALC does not do fenced tables. You also have a responsibility to examine yourself and our confessions. We would probably have some great animated discussions on science, my undergraduate degree there, as well as professional and post grad studies and practice in science.

I am stricter in substance, milder in form, trusting God's Word to do what it promises. The AALC on its web page says it is "Lutheranism with a heart," and I have found it gentler in spirit when it comes to these type discussions. My first question would likely be, "How are you and your family doing as you struggle out there in the New England area? How has it been going? Have you found a church yet?"


Your Turn / Re: Rev. Kuhlman Paper on Closed Communion
« on: September 14, 2011, 07:29:12 PM »

Plainly, I reject the bouncer characterization, and I don't even agree with the butler analogy. ...

I don't speak of this in terms of open or closed. That's as clear as I can get.

It may be as clear as you can get, but I still have no idea what you would do if I showed up for communion.

Your Turn / Re: September 11th Services
« on: September 07, 2011, 02:14:10 AM »
As one who lived outside the US as a missionary during Sept 11 and its after math, I am sympathetic to Pr. Mozolak's questions.  We have a very strong tendency as Americans to see only ourselves.  Not to diminish the tragedy, horror, and evil of that day, but from the outside it looked to me as if our nation believed it was the only one to ever experience any such tragedy and horror.  Sept 11 still smacks of Amero-centrism to me.

Again, I don't mean to diminish this horrible event and the real pain, loss, and disorientation that it could not have helped but to cause. 

Well, actually that is exactly what you are suggesting. 

Your Turn / Re: Closed/Close/Open, etc. Communion Practice
« on: September 05, 2011, 06:50:49 PM »
Pr. Johnson,

Um, not really.  I think with the LCMS it always come down to an inability to ever say:  "God forgive us; we were wrong."

I'm not a pastor.  Maybe it's worth mentioning why I am here, and why I occasionally break my general silence on the forum. I'm one of those people who have been in the ELCA but who, over the years, ignored the partisan politics of the headquarters.  (As did nearly all the people in the churches we were members of as we moved from place to place.)  But the actions of CWA 2009 have forced me out (de facto if not de jure) and I ended up in this forum as I have sought how to go forward from that decision.

I live in New England so there is about zero chance of a church within any reasonable distance of me to vote itself out of the ELCA.  We remain, estranged, in our church because of personal friendships and lack of alternatives.   The LCMS would be possible geographically and I find many things to admire, but there just isn't a fit.  LCMS clearly has a longer list of doctrinal essentials than I do, so it looks like I just don't make the grade for potential membership.  Being a scientist and not a theologian I am sure I get lots of the theology wrong, but while I may be seeing the LCMS wrong, my point may still have some value for all of you if it helps you understand how outsiders view things LCMS people say. 

At this point I'm tired of being in contention with my church body, and I'd really like to find a place where contention is not the primary definition of the church body.  We had planned to retire to another part of the country where we could make a move to one of the newer Lutheran churches picking up refugees like us, but economics prevents that so far. 

So, we drift slowly away. 

Your Turn / Re: Closed/Close/Open, etc. Communion Practice
« on: September 04, 2011, 08:35:16 PM »
And unless we are willing to expel unrepentant false teachers, and risk the purge hysteria, there will always be dissension and there will always be an open door to error, because we don't hate it enough to throw it out.

With the LCMS, it always comes down to an insufficiency of purging, doesn't it?

Your Turn / Re: Valparaiso University and The LCMS
« on: September 04, 2011, 08:31:10 PM »
Need we continue this repartee?

No.  At this point it is just personal insults.

Your Turn / Re: Valparaiso University and The LCMS
« on: September 01, 2011, 10:08:03 PM »
Let's see...  A few scholars who affirm Pauline authorship of the Pastorals...

19th century -- Alford, Ellicott, Huther, Plummer, Lightfoot, Hort and Godet.

Early to mid-20th century -- Bernard, Weiss, White, Parry, Wohlenberg, Lock, Robertson, Schlatter, Zahn and James.

Mid to late-20th century -- Spicq, Jeremias, Simpson, Guthrie, Hendriksen, Kelly, Holtz, Ridderbos, Burki, Fee, Knight and LTJ.

Appeal to authority argument?

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