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Messages - Harry Edmon

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136
Your Turn / Re: "Yes, I'm a Christian, but why am I a Lutheran?"
« on: August 14, 2014, 11:22:57 AM »

And then it leaves the arena of pastoral discretion and becomes the name-calling thingy we so seem to love in our denomination - legalists vs. liberals, etc. etc.  And the lay-folks, who want some kind of negotiated peace, are left to say, as they often have, that the problems in the Missouri Synod are mostly among the clergy. 

Dave Benke
Some of the problem is with laypeople who have not been properly instructed in the Scriptures, the Lutheran Confessions, and the doctrinal positions of the LCMS - which in the end is also a clergy problem.

Agreed, to some extent.  I find that what laypeople love about being Lutheran is the clear exposition of the Gospel, Law/Gospel, Sin/Grace, and, in the congregations that I witness as vibrant, the sense of the communion of saints as strengthened for service individually and corporately with love in the room and love for the world.  They can't get enough of that.  What they either don't know or don't want to spend as much time on is the denomination-specific data.  And yet it's important.  So to the extent that vibrant Lutheran Christians are in vibrant Lutheran fellowships of believers, we're in a very good place for the Lutheran future (to reference the thread-topic).  To the extent that all doctrinal positions of the denomination are not known by let's say a super-majority of the congregants, we've got work to do.

As an aside, I get involved in all kinds of other enterprises as an enterpreneurial District President.  So in discussing a property transformation with a congregation and a collaborative prospective partner agency the other day, I brought up the Lutheran Housing Support Corporation and its programs and grants, since I'm on the board.  And the participants, especially from the outside, were blown away by the depth of our potential response to an opportunity.  You may say that's a Realm of the Left issue.  But in life, what is received is that the LCMS is alert and aware of the full scope of human need from a spiritual perspective.  Dialogue ensues.  A good thing.

Dave Benke
Well, the congregation I am in must be the exception.   Pastor Lassman went through the entire Book of Concord and our Adult Bible Class was packed.   I fill in for Pastor in teaching Adult Bible Class in the summer when he is on vacation, and have dealt with a variety of issues of LCMS doctrine with great interest from those attending.   I am currently finishing up a 4  week class on the liturgy.   Communion practice has come up, and there have been no complaints about the practice of closed communion.  Sometimes I think we are too afraid to teach our doctrines in case someone in the audience will be offended.   But in my experience people will respond positively if the teaching is sound.

137
Your Turn / Re: "Yes, I'm a Christian, but why am I a Lutheran?"
« on: August 14, 2014, 08:48:22 AM »

And then it leaves the arena of pastoral discretion and becomes the name-calling thingy we so seem to love in our denomination - legalists vs. liberals, etc. etc.  And the lay-folks, who want some kind of negotiated peace, are left to say, as they often have, that the problems in the Missouri Synod are mostly among the clergy. 

Dave Benke
Some of the problem is with laypeople who have not been properly instructed in the Scriptures, the Lutheran Confessions, and the doctrinal positions of the LCMS - which in the end is also a clergy problem.

138
Your Turn / Re: "Yes, I'm a Christian, but why am I a Lutheran?"
« on: August 13, 2014, 05:59:30 PM »
As a  LCMS layperson I would like to look at this from the other side.   Why would I want to take the Lord's Supper in a congregation of a denomination with which the LCMS is not in altar and pulpit fellowship?   Such an act is a violation of the Eighth Commandment - witnessing to a unity that does not exist.   I have no problem attending a service with members of my family at their church who are not LCMS and not going up for communion if it is offered.  It does not make them any less part of my family.


You should want to receive the sacrament for the reasons Luther gives in the catechism, to know that Jesus' body and blood has been given for you for the forgiveness of your sins. It is a means God has given us to receive his grace like no other means. If you believe these words, you are worthy and well prepared.

I have no assurance that I actually receive Christ's body and blood in a congregation that denies the Real Presence.  And as I said before, communing at a congregation with which the LCMS does not have pulpit and altar fellowship confesses falsely that I am in agreement with the doctrine of that congregation when I am not.


That is a particularly LCMS understanding of the sacrament. I don't find it in scriptures nor our confessions.
And gee, I am in the  LCMS.   So I do accept the findings of our theologians that it is in the Scriptures and the Confessions.

An uncertain sacrament is no sacrament at all, just like an uncertain salvation is no salvation at all.

139
Your Turn / Re: "Yes, I'm a Christian, but why am I a Lutheran?"
« on: August 13, 2014, 04:37:04 PM »

Mr. Edmond writes:
I have no assurance that I actually receive Christ's body and blood in a congregation that denies the Real Presence. 

I comment:
Then what would it hurt to take part in their supposedly "symbolic" ritual? You might feel you're not getting "The Real Thing," and if you think what is going on is only a meaningless "symbol," why not? (I am unconvinced that many people outside of certain LCMSers and some traddy Roman Catholics tie the whole "Unity" wagon to reception of the sacrament.)

The harm is two fold:

1. I am baring false witness and violating the 8th Commandment.  Thus I am harming myself
2. I am misleading those in attendance that their ritual means something that it does not.   Thus I am harming others.

Please spell my name correctly - it is Edmon, not Edmond - although it is commonly misspelled.   I could add the Ph.D. to it make make everyone call me Dr. Edmon - but that is a little much!

140
Your Turn / Re: "Yes, I'm a Christian, but why am I a Lutheran?"
« on: August 13, 2014, 04:10:45 PM »
As a  LCMS layperson I would like to look at this from the other side.   Why would I want to take the Lord's Supper in a congregation of a denomination with which the LCMS is not in altar and pulpit fellowship?   Such an act is a violation of the Eighth Commandment - witnessing to a unity that does not exist.   I have no problem attending a service with members of my family at their church who are not LCMS and not going up for communion if it is offered.  It does not make them any less part of my family.


You should want to receive the sacrament for the reasons Luther gives in the catechism, to know that Jesus' body and blood has been given for you for the forgiveness of your sins. It is a means God has given us to receive his grace like no other means. If you believe these words, you are worthy and well prepared.

I have no assurance that I actually receive Christ's body and blood in a congregation that denies the Real Presence.  And as I said before, communing at a congregation with which the LCMS does not have pulpit and altar fellowship confesses falsely that I am in agreement with the doctrine of that congregation when I am not.

As to self-excluding, I am not excluding myself from an LCMS altar so John's comment on that is not relevant.   As to the practice of closed communion in the Scriptures and the Confessions, pastors and theologians of the LCMS have spoken to this numerous times.   People just choose not to accept what the Scriptures and the Confessions say on the matter.   

141
Your Turn / Re: "Yes, I'm a Christian, but why am I a Lutheran?"
« on: August 13, 2014, 12:01:30 PM »
As a  LCMS layperson I would like to look at this from the other side.   Why would I want to take the Lord's Supper in a congregation of a denomination with which the LCMS is not in altar and pulpit fellowship?   Such an act is a violation of the Eighth Commandment - witnessing to a unity that does not exist.   I have no problem attending a service with members of my family at their church who are not LCMS and not going up for communion if it is offered.  It does not make them any less part of my family.

142
Your Turn / Re: The ACELC Stamp of Approval
« on: August 08, 2014, 12:39:15 PM »
If the current CCM ruling stands, than clergy who publicly teach in agreement with the ACELC platform can now also be subject to church discipline. For example, the ACELC very clearly rejects the most recent LCMS Synodical resolutions related to women in the church. Over at the BJS site I have come across reading comments from a few LCMS clergy that seem to be publicly teaching in agreement to the position of the ACELC. They also can be defrocked if the current CCM ruling remains standing.
Procedural comment - the only groups that can override a CCM ruling is the CCM itself or a Synodical Convention.   So this ruling will probably stand until at least July 2016.

143
Your Turn / Re: Gay Wedding Cake & Us
« on: June 12, 2014, 12:29:58 PM »
Including the words "Go and sin no more" - i.e. Jesus would be not condone the sin of homosexuality.

144
Your Turn / Re: NALC brushed off by LWF?
« on: May 16, 2014, 06:01:21 PM »

...

The old Adam (EVE) in us is so clever that we of the LCMS convince ourselves that "others" willfully deny a particular text or two, willfully dismiss texts as culturally bound or willfully interpret  texts to protect their conscience, but not us. 

...

Sorry - old "Eve" is not Biblical.  Nice try though.

145
Your Turn / Re: Seminex at forty
« on: April 11, 2014, 03:51:16 PM »

<<snip>>

Why can't we simply agree that the Scriptures do not err in the sense that they express what God wants them to express for the sake of instructing us in God's essence and will and teaching us all that is essential for our salvation?

Furthermore, we can be grateful to the evangelical Confessors for rightly identifying for us who subscribe to the Confessions the essential articles of faith. We are assisted by them in identifying what is essential in the Scriptures. On these matters the Scriptures do not err or mislead. They are an infallible rule and norm for the articles of faith, but not for these other, non-essential issues, e.g., history, geography, astronomy, etc.

Would you agree that Scriptures do not err when they express God's will in rejecting homosexual activity and women's ordination or is there an interpretive rule in Scripture for relegating those items to areas where the Scriptures err?

Dan

The Scriptures do not reject "women's ordination."

Christians today must continue to wrestle with what the Scriptures teach regarding how we are to love and care for all others, including those who lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and heterosexual. The will of God in Jesus frames how we approach the Scriptures in order to discern the will of God for us today with respect to all sexual behaviors. It is not that the Scriptures "err" with respect to teaching about sexual ethics and mores; it is that Christians have learned to judge for themselves what is right (Lk 12:57; 1 Cor. 6:3) and such judging has led many of them (most of them?) to condemn sexual behaviors that the Scriptures seem to have allowed (e.g., levirate marriage, polygamy, sex with slaves, concubinage, very early marriage, women as property, etc.) and not to condemn other behaviors that the Scriptures seem to have condemned or discouraged (e.g., intercourse during marriage, masturbation, birth control, exogamy, "spilling semen," etc.). I do not think the Scriptures give us unequivocal guidance in discerning the will of God today toward all homosexual behaviors.
Why are you in the LCMS?   There is no way the Synod is going to ever accept this faulty reading of Scripture.    Please be honest, resign from Synod, and find a church body that agrees with your views.

146
Your Turn / Re: Formal discussions for the LCMS and the EECMY
« on: April 05, 2014, 11:48:46 AM »
...

Is there nothing in the current LCMS defense of a male pastorate for which we need to repent? 

Marie
No.

End of discussion.

Marie Meyer
There does come a time for discussion to end on a topic within Synod.   In the opinion of this lay person and many others we are there with the issue of allowing women to be pastors in the LCMS.  There really is nothing left to say.  Both sides have been heard.  The arguments are not changing.   The Synod in convention has spoken several times on this issue.   The odds of the Synodical convention changing this is zero.   Those that feel that women's ordination is necessary have alternative church bodies to go to that believe the same way.  After all, it is not necessary to be in the LCMS to be a Christian or a pastor.

Of course I don't expect you to agree with me on this.

As far the discussions with the EECMY, the LCMS will listen but we will not change our position.  There will be no altar and pulpit fellowship with the EECMY as long as they have women pastors.

147
Your Turn / Re: Formal discussions for the LCMS and the EECMY
« on: April 04, 2014, 05:11:49 PM »
...

Is there nothing in the current LCMS defense of a male pastorate for which we need to repent? 

Marie
No.

148
Your Turn / Re: Seminex at forty
« on: March 27, 2014, 03:15:55 PM »

There are also different ways of defining "true".

I seem to remember someone else saying something simillar - John 18:38.

149
Your Turn / Re: Abortion and Politics
« on: March 26, 2014, 11:06:24 AM »
No, statements by Pres. Harrison are not automatically binding on all members of the LCMS (Congregations and rostered ministers, ordained or commissioned) any more than statements by PB Elizabeth A. Eaton are automatically binding on all members of the ELCA.  My understanding is that to be made binding, such a statement would need to be adopted by the Synod in convention as a binding doctrinal statement.

Still he is our elected leader and so when he makes statements for the church (internally as this was as an email to rostered workers) or externally representing us in a public forum, it is expected that he will have considered his statement carefully and be speaking in harmony with what much of the church would say.

Dan
Actually in the LCMS nothing that Synod passes in convention, including doctrinal statements, are binding on a congregation.  However, a congregation that does not accept the confessional basis and doctrinal statements of Synod has no right to stay as a member of Synod since they are not longer "walking together" with the rest of Synod.   Such a congregation should be honest about their position (see the eighth commandment) and remove themselves from Synod, or lacking that should be removed by the DP.

150
Your Turn / Re: Seminex at forty
« on: March 24, 2014, 07:17:05 PM »
Here's the link to the 1967 CTCR document.

Here is a direct link to the 1967 CTCR report on the LCMS web site:  http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=309

Here is a link to a 1973 CTCR report "A Comparitive Study of Varying Contemporary Approaches to Biblical Interpretation": http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=305

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