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Messages - Pilgrim

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Your Turn / Re: Celebrations of Life
« on: August 01, 2018, 05:43:33 PM »
The Lord's Supper is for the forgiveness of sins and, and, and, and, and .... so much more that it is finally incomprehensible this side of eternity. The feeding points to the meal, unequivocally!

Your Turn / Re: Celebrations of Life
« on: August 01, 2018, 05:16:18 PM »

Yes, here it is again. The big, bad, evil ELCA acting in order to…
Preserve what legitimately belongs to it. At the  request of some of its members. How awful.

With all due respect Charles, your blind defense of all things ELCA, has years of dust accumulating on it. There are way too many stories over many years of party line Bishops and synods behaving like Pharisees and taking to the Law like bunch of clones for you to continue to air blanket dismissals with language like “the big, bad ELCA”. It is a ecclesastical tragedy of the highest order that the 2009 decisions have been steamrolled over any and all who even speak of orthodoxy having a place and a voice in the conversation. To claim credentials as a journalist and to be be as unrelentingly biased as you are on this forum truly calls into question whether your journalistic training ever progressed beyond even an introductory course in the subject. Were not journalists once proudly hailed as watchdogs, not lapdogs, not all that many years ago? Your constant refrain has had you sitting in the lap of the ELCA for years getting your ears scratched and quite content to never question nor ever consider biting the hand that feeds you. If retirement doesn’t work out, I hear TASS is hiring.

Your Turn / Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« on: March 22, 2018, 01:11:14 PM »
There are a lot of questions I can't answer, Peter, which makes me different from some folks here.
Let's try to narrow the focus and maybe, just maybe, touch a bit of reality.
What I see in my brief exposure  ;) to the document at hand is this. Again; I may not catch their real thing, but this is what I see.
1. We in the churches tolerate couples living together outside of the marriage bond. Our children do it; our council members do it; sometimes our parents and grandparents do it. Folks coming to us for weddings have usually been living together, sometimes for years.
2. But we insist that pastors and deacons have only one "valid" means of partnered living - marriage.
3. Is this fair?
4. Does this make marriage a kind of "norm" and the only way for people to form intimate living arrangements?
5. Can we discuss this with an eye towards recognizing - for pastors and deacons - the same tolerance in living arrangements as we grant to our laypeople?
That is how I see the discussion. Not quite as racy as swingers' parties or as lurid as prostitution, and - please note - not as easy to dismiss or bat down. (Spike that last thought; it's very easy for some people to dismiss and bat down. But not everyone.)

I'm late catching up on this, but Charles, I highlighted your point #3, and ask simply, what does "fair" have to do with anything? You, of all people, are aware that life is not "fair" ("rains on the just and the unjust") by any stretch of the imagination, and "fair" has utterly nothing to do with our call to obedience in the proclamation of Law and Gospel. If anything, our "reality" is the ultimate "unfairness" to which we seek to proclaim what God alone, has in fact done to redeem us and the whole of creation.

I can understand, and respectfully disagree, with the humanistic notion of the church striving to be fair, but the simple, and obvious, "reality" of all this LBGT+ and "naked and ashamed" stuff is plain and simple narcissism - or "sin", the self-turned inward, playing god.

Your Turn / Re: Lutheran Seminary fires new president
« on: March 19, 2018, 02:00:52 PM »
In some quarters, the word for those who avail themselves of something because they can do so without paying - even though others do pay - is freeloader.
Society tolerates them, sometimes eyeing them with pity or a sense of mercy. Maybe they really can't afford about two bucks a month for what they get. But usually not, a freeloader thinks he or she is entitled or enjoys the sense of getting something for "nothing." (It's not nothing because others are paying for it to even be there.)

Had to chuckle at this one. On the golf course such folks are referred to as "sandbaggers", apparently not possessing the ability to even be honest with themselves as it concerns an ordinary game and presuming that they are fooling others (whom they are not fooling at all)!

Then again, perhaps the comparison may not be so far-fetched after all!

Your Turn / Re: Concordia Selma to Close
« on: February 28, 2018, 01:45:37 PM »
Pastor Enebretsen:
Admitting to "white privilege" is admittedly a new thing in my history.  And I honestly don't know what one is supposed to do with it.
I comment:
Well, acknowledging it may be good enough. At least for some people. And if we do not acknowledge it, we become complicit in perpetuating it.

Pastor Engebretsen:
Am I supposed to assume a certain level of guilt?
Not necessarily.

Pastor Engebretsen:
But if I don't have to "atone" for it, then what? Or is this awareness supposed to lead ultimately to major changes in society to 'level the playing field'?
Do not try to be utopian. But we hope changes will come, don't we?

Pastor Engebretsen:
Didn't we try this with "affirmative action"?
We not only tried; in many cases, we succeeded.

Pastor Engebretsen:
And what of all those African-Americans who have succeeded well beyond the general white population?   Did they succeed 'against all odds' in a heroic way, were they simply assisted by forms of affirmative actions, or did many of them succeed the way many of their white counterparts did, through skill, scholarship and hard work?
Some succeeded by overcoming great odds. Some were assisted by affirmative action; and some just worked hard and succeeded. And some failed, even when assisted by affirmative action. But some were never given the proper chance or an equal footing.

Pastor Engebretsen:
Not all whites are unequally "privileged."  Some whites succeed at a much lower level than blacks. 
That means nothing. And I don't know how you measure the "levels" or comparisons.

Now THAT last line is funny! Charles claims to not know how to do precisely what he did with every single one of his previous answers - measure and comparisons!!!

Your Turn / Re: Close to Closed
« on: February 13, 2018, 12:17:32 PM »

I will grant you what you state as the "truth". What you must admit, however, is that "perception", by one on the outside, can be quite different. Does it not thus compel one to contemplate the application of truth appropriate the context or the individual, i.e., Jew to Jew, Gentile to Gentile, etc.?

Your Turn / Re: The Long Pastorate.....Notes from Roy Oswald
« on: February 08, 2018, 02:57:41 PM »
I also attended one of Alban's "Long Term Pastorate" seminars when I had been about 8-9 years in a previous parish. I found it extremely beneficial. I'm now in the 19th year in the parish I currently serve and am aware I will be retiring from here.

I suspect it also depends upon context. Rural/small town parishes tend to have more stability among the faithful and when a fit is good, it's like a good marriage or good wine - it improves with time.

My situation is suburban with tremendous movement both in and out over the years. In this situation, it may well be that I have been a stabilizing presence within this particular culture. Nonetheless, it has been a blessing. And I echo the concern to properly prepare both congregation and leadership for the transition which lies closer with each passing year.

I've experienced both blessing and bane with previous Pastors retiring within the parish they served. Both retiree and the present Pastor have it within them to either make it work as a blessing for the Kingdom, or to do great damage to the ministry in that place. My observation is that it usually begins and ends with "egos", on both sides.

Your Turn / Re: Renaming Ceremony: Pastor transitions from female to male
« on: February 08, 2018, 02:46:24 PM »
And yes, Pastor. This is who we are. We do things like this. This is not all we do, this is not all of who we are, but we do do this. Do you suggest we keep it secret when we do this?

Yes, Charles, what you say is nothing new. However, what gets routinely communicated to the parishes across the church is another matter that you are well aware of. I'm only suggesting that if you are fully convinced that this "is" the ELCA and this "is" what you do, you should be much more proactive in broadcasting and promoting this reality. Or is it remotely possible that even in the upper echelons there is an awareness that being too bold and forthright would result in another and even more rapidly increasing loss of finances, parishes and people?

I lived and served as a loyal trooper through all the years when the gradual erosion was evident until such time that the ELCA reached a point where its lack of fidelity to Scripture and Confessions became blatantly transparent to the point that many of us of who took and continued to take our vows of ordination seriously had no alternative but to realize that, although we did not leave the Church, the ELCA had left us.

Your Turn / Re: Renaming Ceremony: Pastor transitions from female to male
« on: February 08, 2018, 11:32:48 AM »
Christie Eleison.

I wonder if, since Charles and Brian presumably are supportive of this modernistic lunacy, just what would be the case if the ELCA truly went on the offensive in a much broader effort, pro-actively communicating this event via every means possible throughout the entire church as normative. Not just to clergy but to the faithful laity who presume that as long as things are alright here at St. Peter by the Gaspump we won't worry about it beyond our doors. What would happen if the ELCA used every means possible to declare to its constituents plainly, "This is who we are!"

I just wonder if such utterly open and honest promotion on the part of the ELCA would not result in another upheaval and outflow of folks, either as congregations or as individuals.

This is just so very sad. May God have mercy, indeed.

Your Turn / Re: Reforming Catholic Confession
« on: September 21, 2017, 04:11:57 PM »
Charles wrote: "And tell me, Pastor Kirchner, what you gain by condemning another person on this forum that way? What makes you the One who so mockingly dismisses the faith statement of another?"

And followed that up by saying: "As much as I dislike some of the people in the LCMS, their attitudes towards women, towards ecumenical relationship, towards the church in the modern world, I do not take it upon myself to declare them non-Lutheran."

(Tim wonders: No mocking going on there, is there?  :))

And then Charles added: "As much as I think a major stream of biblical interpretation in the LCMS crashes upon the rocks of either stupidity and/or fundamentalism, I do not declare them non-Lutheran."

Tim simply wonders if Charles thinks it is okay to declare something in the LCMS crashing upon the rocks of stupidity is okay (his obviously polite respectful opinion) so long as he does not declare them non-Lutheran?

Tim notes: I keep reading the forum, but somethings and some persons are unchanging for years and years and years.

Your Turn / Re: More Coptic Martyrs
« on: April 11, 2017, 04:17:10 PM »
This outside observer contends that not only are there some in the LCMS who desire divisions, there are some who look for them, exploit them, and make themselves feel good about pointing them out.  If it weren't for division, disunity, and error, or the fear and suspicion of such, they wouldn't have anything to talk about. 
Such folk exist.

Tim notes: Sadly Charles, you appear to be most correct in this observation. My LCMS relatives thankfully find such "pharisaic" behavior sadly pathetic in a Church body that could, and often does, have much to offer the whole "catholic" Church. That some apparently do not have eyes to see...

Your Turn / Re: Anonymity
« on: September 09, 2016, 01:37:55 PM »
Pr. Bowler wrote,

[/quote]And there it is, the fruition of all these hysterical posts, excoriating the United List: the misunderstanding from those outside the synod that somehow the United List forcibly controls elections and conventions in the LCMS.  It is not the case, of course.  But it is natural when one reads here the one-sided, slanted complaints.  Thanks, Dr. Benke et al.  Thanks. 

Obviously we don't know each other. My only information regarding you is from what I read here. First, I didn't find the posts "hysterical", rather interesting. From an outsiders point of view LCMS politics have always appeared from here as often possessing a certain nefarious presence inappropriate to the Church of Jesus Christ. Not unlike those parish situations where some un-named and unaccountable group is circulating a petition and/or having secret meetings because their knickers are in a knot over some purported slight or behavior of the Pastor.

I don't perceive this conversation concerning the UL to truly be about their "being confessionally faithful" and therefore beneficial to the LCMS as much as their desiring to be "in control". Any real or perceived "threat", like actually behaving like mature human persons with names and accountability is therefore railed against and even defended. Mores the pity. And therein lies the problem. FWIW.

Your Turn / Re: Anonymity
« on: September 08, 2016, 06:40:27 PM »
Nothing earth-shattering, but as a non-Missourian, I've found this United List discussion most interesting. From an outside perspective, it is probably one of the least attractive features (to put the best construction on it) for any active Lutheran clergy from other alphabet soup of Lutheranism who may be thinking of seeking admission to the LCMS roster. It sounds like Richard Daley would be proud of this "machine". It has overtones of totalitarianism and thought police for those who might differ with the UL "party line". It is still possible to be "orthodox" and a part of the ELCA, although probably ostracized from leadership; but in the LCMS, to be "moderate" without a long-standing track record (and even with) may likely bring charges of heresy from some of the hard-liners. The LCMS clergy whom I know and have known, have a general habit of keeping their real views pretty close to the vest for that very reason.

Your Turn / Re: ELCA introduces supplemental resources for marriage service
« on: September 02, 2016, 01:38:53 PM »
In the half of my life I spent as a newspaper reporter, I dealt with public forums, and I dealt with confidential and background information. It ain't rocket surgery. If you speak up in a public forum, anyone anywhere has access to your words and a right to know who you are. On occasion someone who spoke out at a school board meeting would say "now don't quote me," to which I would respond, "then don't say it, because if I choose, I will quote you." They say "do you have to use my name," and I respond "ninety-five percent of the time, yes."
This is a public forum. We who are here have a right to know with whom we are speaking. The pastor with a vocational crisis should not be blurting out his or her doubts or insecurities here. I suppose there are private forums on the internet if one finds the need.
Or, in an extremely rare case, someone might be posting here without their name on the postings, but we have the right to know who "Tonto" is. Our right to honesty and openness in conversation overrides someone's personal need for anonymity.
But we digress.
It should surprise absolutely no one that the ELCA now has approved rites for same-sex unions. Carry on.

Pr. Tim Christ observes: Having a "handle", at least I think so, I tried to add a tab line years ago. Regardless, for all the times when I've thrown out bait, which Charles and Brian often took, and lead us down some rather interesting rabbit holes which were usually a waste of time, I must say that I do also believe Charles is spot on here. If you desire to opine, own it. Period. This is not the confessional.


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