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Messages - Harry Edmon

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Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: February 09, 2013, 02:04:18 PM »
I thought this was a particularly well done piece:

I commend its consideration for understanding the position better of those who find the practice of participation in interfaith events problematic. Finally, of course, we have emotional responses that will not be addressed by patient, reasoned discussion. Time is what finally enables folks to get beyond the emotion and to hear and talk together.
This article summarizes my problems with "American Civic Religion".   It is such a mingling of the two Kingdoms that we should avoid it at all costs.  For example, I cringed when I saw the service in the National Cathedral in 2001 after 9/11.   Plus they sang "A Mighty Fortress" and left out the 3rd verse since it would be "offensive".   I do not want my President preaching a "sermon" at a "worship" service, whether it is George Bush or Barack Obama.  These events just reinforce the prevailing post-modern world view in our culture that all truth is relative.  It is also why I would prefer not to have an American flag in the sanctuary.

However, I wish to reiterate by respect for both Pastor Morris and President Harrison.   They are both men of God trying to do what is best in a sin fallen world.  I respect the humble way both of them have handled a difficult situation.   This shows through again in the "Statement of Unity" that was referenced above.  They have done a better job than most of the posters (including me) that I have read on this and other social media.

Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: February 09, 2013, 11:57:16 AM »

Seems like the synod keeps saying that those guidelines are less than optimal and unhelpful, and that they need more work. I read those very sentiments shared in a letter recently. :)

Any guidelines are better than arbitrary decision making based on the view of the one in power -- which is where now it looks like we find ourselves.
Scott, I don't think we're at a place of arbitrary rulings. It seems to me that Harrison, in understanding that Pr. Morris was (or could reasonably have assumed he was) well within the guidelines and in getting complaint from people who thought Pr. Morris wasn't within the guidelines, decided that the guidelines weren't very helpful. He asked (did not order-- an apology can't be ordered, and there is no way a DP or SP could order me to say something publicly I wasn't sincere about) Pr. Morris to issue his non-apology apology in which he stood by his decision but expressed regret at having offended those who felt otherwise, and called for everyone to chill while we take a fresh look at the guidelines. If you think he should have declared Pr. Morris correct and the complainers all wet, well, that would be arbitrary rule; guidelines that can be interpreted all kinds of ways subject to the whims of the president's rulings. It seems to me that was what Pres. Harrison was trying to avoid.

I don't think Pr. Morris is in any danger of being suspended. As I understand it, DP Benke could be suspended from his synodical office as DP back in the day, but not from his parish. Morris doesn't have to worry about that. Nothing bad is going to happen to him. Even his apology wasn't really an acknowledgment of wrongdoing, as it rightly shouldn't have been because he doesn't think he did anything wrong. Which is fine by me.

Thanks for your words, I had the same thoughts late last night.   Since the CTCR is supposed to assist the President in doctrinal unity, I think President Harrison was doing his duty in informing the Synod that he believes the current guidelines are not meeting the needs of the Synod.

Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: February 09, 2013, 12:47:40 AM »
More from Synodical Resolutions (hope this is not boring):

2007 Resolution 3-05:

WHEREAS, In 2004 Res. 3-06A, The Lutheran Church—
Missouri Synod commended for study Guidelines for Par-
ticipation in Civic Events, a report of the Commission on
Theology and Church Relations (CTCR), “to help pastors,
teachers, and church workers make decisions about partic-
ipation in civic events” (2004 Proceedings, p. 131); and
WHEREAS, Congregations of the Synod have requested
further clarification regarding serial prayer; therefore be it
Resolved, That the Synod in convention assign to the
CTCR the task of providing further guidance for participation
in civic events that includes the offering of serial prayer.

There was also an Overture 3-26 in 2010 to restudy the guidelines for participation in civic events that was referred to the CTCR by the convention in Resolution A.

Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: February 09, 2013, 12:38:56 AM »
I will also add that 2004 Synodical Resolution 3-06A had the following "resolves" about the report:

Resolved, That we commend the CTCR’s report, “Guide-
lines for Participation in Civic Events” for study to help
pastors, teachers, and church workers make decisions
about participation in civic events:
• That faithfully reflect our unqualified commitment to the
absolute truth of the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God;
• That seek to take full advantage of every legitimate op-
portunity to proclaim clearly in the public realm that
“only in and through Jesus do we have the definitive rev-
elation of the true and only God,” that God “is known as
Father and Savior only through Spirit-wrought faith in
Jesus Christ,” and that “only the Triune God—Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit—is the object of our worship and the
hope of our salvation”  (GPCE p 8 );
• That honor and uphold the free and willing commitments
we have made with one another by virtue of our member-
ship in the Synod;
• That demonstrate concern and sensitivity for how partic-
ipation (or non-participation) in civic events may be per-
ceived by those inside and outside of the LCMS; and
• That recognize that “clarity in doctrine and practice and
charity in our dealings with one another are both essen-
tial to the church’s life and witness” (GPCE, p. 23); and be
it further
Resolved, That we encourage all the members of the
Synod to continue to study these issues under the guidance
of the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions (see
Res. 3-04 on Theological Conferences) as we face the ongo-
ing challenges to bring God’s unchanging Word to bear on
our increasingly pluralistic and polytheistic culture.

Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: February 09, 2013, 12:29:19 AM »
If I read LCMS By-Law 1.7 correctly, I believe the only items that are binding to members of the LCMS are (in this order):

1. The Scriptures
2. The Lutheran Confessions
3. The LCMS Constitution and By-Laws
4. Synodical Resolutions.

It appears from ByLaw 3.9.5 that the CTCR is mainly to provide advice and guidance.   For example, By-Law

The Commission on Theology and Church Relations shall assist the
President of the Synod at his request in discharging his constitutional
responsibilities for maintaining doctrinal unity within the Synod.

There are so many people wearing crosses as decorations it has almost become meaningless.   I'm beginning to think that a crucifix may be a better symbol to witness to our culture.   A simple cross can be "pretty" and generic.  Jesus hanging on a cross dying may drive home the point to some that there is no neutrality in your belief about Jesus Christ.

Your Turn / Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« on: February 07, 2013, 12:31:44 PM »
"You tithe mint and dill and cumin, and neglect the weightier matters of the Law: justice, and mercy, and peace."
The implications of your comment include:

1.  The LCMS does not practice justice, and mercy, and peace.
2.  The pastor's participation in the service was the best way to show justice, and mercy, and peace.
3.  The pastor had no proper opportunities to show justice, and mercy, and peace.

All three of these implications are incorrect.  I believe confusing people about the truth that salvation is only through faith in Jesus Christ alone shows neither justice, nor mercy, nor peace.   Which is not to say that I do not make mistakes in my witness that I need to ask God for forgiveness.   I'm glad and relieved that forgiveness is freely given by God when I ask for it.

Your Turn / Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« on: December 29, 2012, 12:12:28 PM »
President Harrison has described the Koinonia Project as a process similar to the development of the Formula of Concord.  Given it took 7 years to put together that document, I do not see 10 years as unreasonable.   But you are correct about our culture.   It will take discipline to stay the long course for a theologically sound result.

Your Turn / Re: Koinonia Project: Issues To Be Discussed???
« on: December 27, 2012, 07:27:26 PM »
I do not have library resources but I am fairly certain the Rite of Ordination in the Agendas for TLH, LW and LSB all have the ordinand subscribing to Scripture as the infallible word of God. Historically in the Synod the word "infallible" meant without error (inerrant) and the two were used interchangably.

The LCMS website contains this statement, "Sola Scriptura. The Bible is God's inerrant and infallible Word, in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine." If this is in error, you need to contact the LCMS and demand that the statement be removed from the website.

The Brief Statement includes this:

Of the Holy Scriptures
1. We teach that the Holy Scriptures differ from all other books in the world in that they are the Word of God. They are the Word of God because the holy men of God who wrote the Scriptures wrote only that which the Holy Ghost communicated to them by inspiration, 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21. We teach also that the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures is not a so-called "theological deduction," but that it is taught by direct statements of the Scriptures, 2 Tim. 3:16, John 10:35, Rom. 3:2; 1 Cor. 2:13. Since the Holy Scriptures are the Word of God, it goes without saying that they contain no errors or contradictions, but that they are in all their parts and words the infallible truth, also in those parts which treat of historical, geographical, and other secular matters, John 10:35.

2. We furthermore teach regarding the Holy Scriptures that they are given by God to the Christian Church for the foundation of faith, Eph. 2:20. Hence the Holy Scriptures are the sole source from which all doctrines proclaimed in the Christian Church must be taken and therefore, too, the sole rule and norm by which all teachers and doctrines must be examined and judged. -- With the Confessions of our Church we teach also that the "rule of faith" (analogia fidei) according to which the Holy Scriptures are to be understood are the clear passages of the Scriptures themselves which set forth the individual doctrines. (Apology. Triglot, p. 441, Paragraph 60; Mueller, p. 684). The rule of faith is not the man-made so-called "totality of Scripture" ("Ganzes der Schrift").

3. We reject the doctrine which under the name of science has gained wide popularity in the Church of our day that Holy Scripture is not in all its parts the Word of God, but in part the Word of God and in part the word of man and hence does, or at least, might contain error. We reject this erroneous doctrine as horrible and blasphemous, since it flatly contradicts Christ and His holy apostles, set up men as judges over the Word of God, and thus overthrows the foundation of the Christian Church and its faith.


This is the reason I left the LCA for the LCMS..
The same language (inerrant and infallible) is used in "A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles" ( adopted by the 1973 convention.   So this has been the official position of the LCMS for at least the last 40 years.

There is a recent article by President Harrison talking about small congregations:

Your Turn / Re: The LCMS' CTCR and CWA 2009
« on: May 21, 2012, 11:49:58 PM »
The CTCR report is now available:


MNN District Fall Pastors Conference
October 4, 2011

WHEREAS, the Minnesota South District (MNS) Board of Directors (BOD) has recently taken actions and executed an agreement to sell the property on the campus of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, used for the past 62 years by University Lutheran Chapel (ULC); and

WHEREAS, the Joint Minnesota South/Minnesota North Districts Pastors Conference (May 11, 2011, Brainerd, MN) had requested that the MNS BOD bring this entire matter before the MNS District in convention to deliberate and determine an appropriate course of action regarding the sale of the ULC property; and

WHEREAS, the decision to sell the Lutheran Student Center by the MNS District BOD has resulted in tension, divisions, and a disruption to our life together; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Minnesota North District (MNN) 2011 Fall Pastors Conference humbly express its sincere sadness at the outcomes of these actions of the MNS BOD; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the MNS BOD be urged to communicate caringly and clearly and further explain its rationale, and, if at all possible, reverse or delay its recent decisions regarding ULC, so that the matter may considered by the MNS District Convention; and be it further

RESOLVED, that encouragement be given to individuals, congregations, circuits, and districts across the LCMS to offer solutions to sustain the ongoing ministry and mission of ULC; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the MNN 2011 Fall Pastors Conference encourage all to fervently pray that the Lord of the Church bless the outcomes of these deliberations and decisions concerning ULC.
Action: Adopted

A very sad day for the LCMS.

I hope that next year's Minnesota South District Convention votes everyone out of office who was associated with the sale.  Someone in the District should also propose an resolution to give the proceeds from the sale to ULC for a new piece of property.

Pastor Kind was interviewed on Issues, Etc. on Monday about the sale.   MNS was asked a number of times over the past 5 months to talk on Issues, Etc about ULC and has declined.   Here is the audio:

Gee, back again to the original topic - the sinful sale of the ULC property by MNS - Lutheran Satire has now weighed in:

Am I correct in understanding that this incident is simply an isolated thing that is happening in a vacuum, and discussion of the larger issues raised by this incident are therefore off-topic? Does this incident have nothing to do with larger plans for stewardship of resources for ministry and outreach?

A wider discussion is always welcome as far as I am concerned.    I just don't want to forget the original incident.

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