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Messages - Harry Edmon

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151
Your Turn / Re: Paul Sauer Article & Begging the Question
« on: March 15, 2014, 05:08:18 PM »


Ah, but John there IS one holy catholic and apostolic church. The problem is the human desire to make that visible in our way, in our time, to our reason. Just accept that what has been declared is true and stop the incessant demand that everything fall in place with your rather idiosyncratic ideals on your timetable. Far easier said than done, I know. We live by faith now, seeing comes later.....that's why it is called faith.


Lou
Note that in the Nicene Creed we state "I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church".   The one Church is a matter of faith, not of sight.    As you rightly said "we live by faith now, seeing comes later".

152
Your Turn / Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« on: March 07, 2014, 12:51:27 PM »
By the way, it is official - CC's are now CV's.

153
Your Turn / Re: Reflections on ELCA Predecessor Church Bodies
« on: March 06, 2014, 09:17:57 PM »
I would "amen" Fr. Tibbetts words: "A Lutheran congregation in the US can call whoever it wants to be pastor.  Most synods (using the word in its older, more generic sense, and not in the ELCA sense) require whomever the congregation calls to be a minister on, or approved to be on, its clergy roll." No CC/V, no DP can infringe that right. HOWEVER, by virtue of their membership in their Synod (again, that older sense), congregations have voluntarily agreed to call only rostered workers. A congregation is free to disregard that, but then the DP/Bishop is free to remove that congregation from the fellowship of the Synod. But the freedom of the congregation in this matter is simply imperative. When I served a parish, I did not cease reminding my members of this - though it is very evident to anyone who reads that congregation's constitution. In the LCMS, our watchword for this is "Synod is advisory." The DP/Bishop may offer his advice and counsel and that should not be lightly set aside, but nor may it cease to be counsel and become demands.
We always seem to ignore what you state above, that a congregation that ignores what we have agreed to in the LCMS can be removed from Synod.    Some may call this "demands" - I call it asking a congregation to be faithful to the eighth commandment.    A congregation can do what it wants, but the congregation does not have the right to stay in Synod if it violates the agreement it made when it joined.

155
Your Turn / Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« on: January 15, 2014, 06:59:36 PM »
An update on the situation at the LCMS site from the Office of the President (http://blogs.lcms.org/2014/thrivent-funding-of-pro-choice-organizations-lcms-concerns):

A Statement from the Office of the President

Following the news in December indicating that Thrivent Financial for Lutherans® has recognized Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota as potential recipients of funding through its Thrivent Choice Dollars® grant program, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is saddened to learn today that through another program, that additional Thrivent contributions are being made directly to support pro-abortion providers. At least four Planned Parenthood affiliates throughout the United States, along with NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota Foundation, have received support from Thrivent through its Gift Multiplier program for Thrivent employees. The LCMS is currently seeking clarification on this issue directly from Thrivent.

Today’s news prompted Thrivent to provide the following statement: “The Thrivent Gift Matching Program provides matching funds for contributions made by corporate employees and members of our field organization to non-profit organizations. We are aware of the issue that has been raised, and we will address it as we review this program.”

Following initial feedback in December from Thrivent members and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Thrivent responded by suspending Choice Dollars funding not only to pro-abortion organizations but to all pro-life organizations as well. According to a Dec. 20 statement from Thrivent, the fraternal-benefits organization was “temporarily suspending all pro-choice and pro-life organizations from the Thrivent Choice program, placing a temporary hold on the addition and removal of nonprofit organizations from the program, and conducting a comprehensive program review.”

Previously, the Choice Dollars program supported more than 50 pro-life organizations in the United States. These organizations include LCMS Recognized Service Organizations, maternity homes, pregnancy resource centers, pro-life educational organizations, ultrasound services for pregnant women, and organizations providing free resources to pregnant women and families in need.

Today’s news indicates that Thrivent not only has suspended funding for pro-life, nonprofit organizations serving women and children in need but now also directly supports organizations providing abortion services and pro-abortion advocacy.

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod always has been, and continues to be, clear and faithful in its biblical witness to the sanctity of all human life from conception until natural death. Just as our Lord cared for both the spiritual and physical needs of all humanity, His mercy motivates us to care for our neighbors, no matter how vulnerable or small.

The LCMS is in conversation with Thrivent regarding this matter and hopes it can be resolved in a way that upholds the sacred value of human life. We encourage Thrivent to clear up confusion with its members by unequivocally stating that it supports pro-life and pro-family values. We urge them to follow those words with action by restoring funding to the pro-life organizations that lost funding in December and by developing a policy that denies all funding for Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota Foundation.

We encourage Thrivent members to voice their concerns and opinions directly to Thrivent at:

800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836)

Web: https://service.thrivent.com/forms/contactus/contactus.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thrivent
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Thrivent

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans – 
Appleton Office:
4321 N Ballard Road 
Appleton, WI 54919-0001 USA

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans – 
Minneapolis Office:
625 Fourth Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1624 USA




156
Your Turn / Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« on: December 21, 2013, 02:32:29 PM »
We have other funds with LCEF, and they are a great institution.   The problem is their rate of return is very low for an endowment fund, where we want to use the proceeds to fund other ministries.   We would like to get a return that averages the rate of inflation plus 5%.

157
Your Turn / Re: Extend the Common Bond--Thrivent
« on: December 21, 2013, 01:58:26 PM »
As the Treasurer of an LCMS congregation, I am considering recommending that we move our endowment funds from Thrivent to someplace else.   Anyone have any recommendations?

158
Your Turn / Re: Sept. Forum Letter Reports on LCMS
« on: September 24, 2013, 11:57:58 AM »
I think this would be a good time to bring in Thesis XX from Walther's Law and Gospel (Reader's Edition, CPH 2010):

You are not rightly distinguishing Law and Gospel in the Word of God if a person’s salvation is made to depend on his association with the visible orthodox Church and if you claim that salvation is denied to every person erring in any article of faith.
I don't recall anyone doing either of those things, at least in this forum.
I was not claiming any one had done them.  I just found Walther's thesis to be applicable to the discussion.

159
Your Turn / Re: Sept. Forum Letter Reports on LCMS
« on: September 23, 2013, 10:25:31 PM »
I think this would be a good time to bring in Thesis XX from Walther's Law and Gospel (Reader's Edition, CPH 2010):

You are not rightly distinguishing Law and Gospel in the Word of God if a person’s salvation is made to depend on his association with the visible orthodox Church and if you claim that salvation is denied to every person erring in any article of faith.

160
Your Turn / Re: From Conflict to ???
« on: September 14, 2013, 08:33:11 PM »
People asked me why I did not encourage my kids to attend CUS schools.  At least in the secular colleges, they don't pretend to be Lutheran experts and confuse young and impressionable minds.

Pr. Crandall - did it occur to you that Valparaiso is not part of CUS?

Actually, it didn't occur to me that Dr. Becker teaches at Valpo.  For some strange reason, I always connect him to the Northwest...
Dr. Becker used to teach at CU Portland.   He also used to be the District Secretary for the Northwest District.   When he left to go to Valpo (a non-LCMS institution) he kept his membership in the Northwest District, which he can do under our current Bylaws.    So he lives and works in Indiana, but his Ecclesiastical Supervisor is the President of the Northwest District Rev. Paul Linnemann in Portand, Oregon. I think our Bylaws should be changed so a non-called worker belongs to the District he resides in.

161
Your Turn / Re: The Recent Devastation of Marriage
« on: August 24, 2013, 02:28:05 PM »
Does the same-sex couple who confess Christ as Lord accept the fact that their relationship is sinful?  If not, then they are just like any of the rest of us who try to justify our sin instead of confess it (1 John 1:8-10).

Does the heterosexual couple who confess that Christ is Lord accept the fact that their relationship is sinful?  Does the person who is committed to celibacy who also confesses Christ as Lord accept the fact that he also is an adulterer?
My heterosexual relationship with my wife is NOT in and of itself sinful.   However it is true that I commit sins, even within that relationship.
 
A homosexual relationship is in and of itself my definition sinful.

If you do not see the difference between these two then we have nothing more to discuss.

162
Your Turn / Re: The Recent Devastation of Marriage
« on: August 24, 2013, 12:13:04 PM »
In the article, Mr. Joseph Bottum makes
no reference to Holy Scripture when he
endorses same-sex marriage. Of course
he is not a theologian and looks at this
issue as a civil right.  The church needs
to examine the Scriptures and share the
Biblical view that same-sex marriage is
not part of God's plan for his creation.

Pr. Likeness - is it possible for the Church to say that same-sex marriage is not part of God's plan for His creation and yet accept same-sex couples who confess Christ as Lord?

It seems to me that, if we take the Lutheran understanding of Law/Gospel seriously, we have to begin from the assumption that none of us lives in a manner that is part of God's plan for His creation.  We are all deviants.  Why give so much special attention to one particular variety?
Does the same-sex couple who confess Christ as Lord accept the fact that their relationship is sinful?  If not, then they are just like any of the rest of us who try to justify our sin instead of confess it (1 John 1:8-10). 

The "special" attention is due to two factors:

1. It is the sin that is most in the news.
2. Many claim it is not a sin.

I know I have "favorite sins" that I continue to commit.   But I acknowledge and confess them as sins and try to amend my life in response to God's gracious forgiveness in Jesus Christ.

163
Your Turn / Re: Female Deacons?
« on: August 14, 2013, 04:44:48 PM »
So pin a rose on you. But what about those who are called, qualified, and needed, but - for reasons beyond their control, or because it requires skills and energies they may not have - can't do all that you did? Should their call from God be thwarted? Is there only one way to be a deaconess? Is there only one "order" of deaconesses possible; is there only one way to train and discipline them? Some may eschew any liturgical role, but if some do have a role in assisting a pastor to lead worship, is that terrible?

Mr. Edmon, are not "deacon" and "deaconess" two different words?
Not necessarily.   Actor and actress are technically two different words, but they describe the same job.   Actress is the female gender specific version of actor.   Thus one could easily infer that the same thing is true of deacon and deaconess.

Harry Edmon, PhD  (just to tweak Charles a little bit!)

164
Your Turn / Re: Female Deacons?
« on: August 14, 2013, 04:34:25 PM »
One issue here is our terminology.   Using the terms "deacon" and "deaconess" in this way causes unnecessary confusion and friction.   For the sake of "good order" we need to come up with terminology that properly distinguishes the two.

165
Your Turn / Re: "Reconciled Diversity" in the LCMS, too...
« on: August 08, 2013, 10:49:51 PM »


It's interesting to parse through the argumentations presented from the substitute resolution that was turned back on the convention floor.  It had been basically the original overture.  It looked weird because it was not set up properly when put in the original workbook - the "resolveds" were stuck together.  Then at the floor committee meeting other points additional to the original overture were brought to the committee.  The speakers, over and over, kept saying they didn't want to open the can of worms as to whether women could lead in society in general or whether women should serve in the military at all; however, at least to me, and to others on the floor committee, the points attempting to be made led directly to those conclusions. 

At any rate, the substitute motion/basically original overture failed and it never really came to a vote.  However, from what I heard I am quite sure there are men in the Missouri Synod, mostly clergy, who would state that women should not serve in the military except as nurses/medics. 

Many, many people talked to us about modern warfare and the nature of "front line combat" being outmoded.  Military personnel in fields of service in a contested area are all armed, women and men, and there is often no "front."  The other question that came up was women police officers/peace officers, some of whom are in my parish, for one.  Again, they're armed, trained in the same ways as men, and serve in the same ways.  Are they on the "front line" when on foot patrol or in their units with their partner?  It sure seems that way.

At any rate, the committee put forth the resolution that passed; there was indeed a clause about supporting all women in the military.  There was extended floor committee discussion on that phrase and we went with the approach that spoke directly to women in front line combat and the availability to them of the moral objection/conscience clause through their denomination.

Since the issue began the convention in the referral bin, that it came to the floor, was discussed extensively and voted on/passed by a wide margin was at least to me a sign that the floor committee's position was to be one of listening and discerning.

Dave Benke

I was a lay delegate at the convention.  I think President Benke and his floor committee did a very good job with this difficult issue.  They properly took it out of the declined overtures and came up with a well balanced resolution that called for a study of the issue by the CTCR while addressing an immediate need to give support to those women in the military who have moral objections to serving in combat.    Hopefully the CTCR will have a report by the next convention that clearly lays out a final position that faithful to the Scriptures and the Confessions.

I though all of the floor committee did an admirable job in listening to the delegates whenever possible.   After the resolutions came out in the first "Today's Business" I wrote letters to 5 of the floor committee chairs with concerns and suggested changes on some of the resolutions.  I was pleasantly surprised to see many of my suggestion make it into the "A" versions of the resolutions (perhaps they heard the same suggestions from other delegates).   Naturally not everyone's opinions can end up in the resolutions, but I believe everyone was heard and their comments considered.

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