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Messages - Steven W Bohler

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Your Turn / Re: ELCA Opposes Repeal of Roe v. Wade?
« on: May 19, 2022, 04:38:07 PM »
Pastor Charlton writes:
I might even be the case that the unceasing barrage of politically divisive rhetoric from Bishop Eaton is an indication that Higgins Road feels the battle is over.  Having weathered the storm, now is the time to drive out the remainder of the un-woke from the ELCA.  Sure, that will mean less "mission support", but with so many congregational closures, there will be plenty of revenue to fund political advocacy.  That's the churches real mission anyway.  Too many conservative congregations just slow the ELCA down.  The ELCA's better off without them.

I comment;
Even allowing for sarcasm or whimsy, Pastor Charlton, I find this post not typical of your usual more thoughtful criticism. And it is unlike you to attribute the most crass motives to our top leadership. If you were to look back over all of her statements and columns as presiding Bishop, I do not think you would find that kind of person you described here.

P.s. to Pastor Bohler:
Nowhere did Brian say he ever sought or went after those ELCA members. They came.  He and his congregation fed them.

And NONE of the LCMS participants here have said they would be going after ELCA members.  In fact, all of them that responded about the matter said they would not actively do so.  Yet you still brayed about sheep-stealing and rustling.

Your Turn / Re: ELCA Opposes Repeal of Roe v. Wade?
« on: May 19, 2022, 03:56:35 PM »
Mr. Hummel:
Is the NALC and/or LCMS looking at this latest statement as an opportunity to reach out to members of the ELCA who are going to feel disenfranchised by the ELCA showing its real ideological commitment to all abortion/all the time? Which, btw, puts it n company with TEC, PCUSA, and UCC.

Rustling. Sheep-stealing. Always nice things to consider.
But here’s some copy for the commercial. “Hey, members of the ELCA! Tired of liberalism? Tired of not having your voice carry the day? Tired of talking about gays and lesbians and all those other letters that people use for sexuality today? Tired of hearing in church about the troubles of society, the very things you try to escape when you go to sing the old hymns and doze through the sermons? Well, when you come to an XYZ or an XYZD church, you won’t have to worry about any of those things. We just preach the gospel. We believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and forget about anyone else. We. leave politics to the politicians. Look us up. We promise you won’t go home from our services upset or mad.“

Of course, it is a totally different kettle of fish when someone leaves the LCMS because of its teaching on women's ordination (for example).  Or when Rev. Stoffregen crows, as he so often does here, about how the "best evangelist" he and his ELCA congregation ever had was the local LCMS pastor and his boorish and Neanderthal ways and views.  THAT is not rustling or sheep-stealing.  It is simply folks finding a more enlightened church or a better fit.

(the violinist is unviable due to a disease, while the baby is unviable due to being underdeveloped).

Advances in neonatal medicine have greatly contracted the window of alleged "unviability".

Glory to God for all things!
Don't  forget that one measure  of viability has become whether or not the mother wants the baby born. Being unwanted is a lethal adverse condition.

So, what steps should we take to help women want their babies? As I noted from a friend living in Germany: that government gave her a year of paid leave (and, I think, three months leave for the father). Zero medical expenses. Automatic insurance for the baby.

Are you suggesting that a woman would want her baby if the government paid for all expenses, but she would not if the government did not?  You seem to have a very low opinion of women...

Your Turn / Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« on: May 17, 2022, 10:40:38 AM »
There is an article by Dr. Schulz in this morning's "The Federalist", which covered his suspension in March.  He argues that his suspension is an attack on academic freedom.

Is academic freedom different in a religious school versus other places? If so, how?

Dr. Schulz's article expresses his dismay and disappointment that people have not joined his cry for academic freedom. I am not surprised. The cauldron of public opinion is not the place to toil and stew a recipe that is aimed toward reconciliation.

If I have trouble with another pastor or institution I am advised to seek counsel from my brothers in the ministry, work through the circuit winkel meetings, and do everything I can to drive toward walking together. Even if those steps feel futile, I still aim to be the peacekeeper.

The leaked letter to the regents is another example to me how our reconciliation process that asks for private conversations works best when both sides agree to the rules. When one side continually works to rile the riot, the other side feels like a punching bag.

Bingo.  I'd like to say there was always a movement by the various levels of supervisors of the ecclesiastical process to encourage to the maximum private conversation in the CUWAA situation, but to date the opposite has been taking place in plain sight.  Rostered clergy have been at the forefront of promoting Schulz's positions - Christian News is now edited by a rostered LCMS clergyman; a vice president of the LCMS connected folks to the Schulz reaction podcast on the site of a college being formed by LCMS clergy with an LCMS clergyman hosting the podcasts and an LCMS clergyman is listed as President of that college.  Professors at an LCMS seminary have been highly active in promoting the sign-up to which Schulz refers. 

The leaked letter, on a site hosted by LCMS clergy (with the "encouraged to share" meme) is another indicator that the private conversational methodology encouraged in ecclesiastical supervision has a big "out of order" neon sign at the top.  The timing of the leaked letter coincided with the week not only of the graduation exercises of the school (which were of absolutely high quality, at least as viewed by me last weekend), but with the meeting of the Board of Regents. 

Meanwhile, the institution itself, its leadership and those specifically named have given base zero publicity to any of this.

It's the application of pressure from many directions by very public means performed by mostly clergy all from the Missouri Synod, some of whom are in positions of authority.

Does this mean there have been no efforts to tamp things down?  I would answer "No," but that's a guess, because the evidence is in the other direction.  The leaked letter points this out with repeated statements that the individuals named, the board, and anyone else in earshot at CUWAA has not been taking the advice of those viewed as "woke-knowledgeable" LCMS clergy and clergy leaders. 

Full disclosure is that I must have gone to school with the regent who received the Christo et Ecclesiae award, based on the info given on the CUW site.  I don't remember him at all, meaning he wasn't on the basketball team or an intramural sports devotee, which apparently means he was better suited for success in business.

Dave Benke

This feigned outrage is rich, considering how you and Dr. Kieschnick repeatedly violated the bylaw forbidding giving publicity to charges/investigations during the Yankee Stadium/Holy Trinity worship services.

Your Turn / Re: Guns? Why?
« on: May 17, 2022, 10:34:28 AM »
Pastor Fienen:
Labeling half of the nation as white supremacist racists does little but trivialize the problem. Labeling the Republican Party as all white supremacists ends up being simply a political ploy.
Nobody here is doing that. However, I personally do not hear enough voices from the Republican Party speaking against the Tucker Carlson diatribes, the bat-crap craziness of Ms. Greene, or some of the others blowing the whistles and whipping up ground-level troops. The Republican Party is not "all white supremacists," but sometimes you cannot tell that by listening to its leaders.
And candidates who have - in private - vigorously repudiated the garbage speak from The Ex, will not do so in public, seeking his endorsement and the votes from his cultists. Shame on them.

So, they aren't white supremacists.  But they might be.

Your Turn / Re: Roe v. Wade overturned?
« on: May 17, 2022, 09:27:51 AM »
This is not to disparage the actual challenge of those with gender dysphoria.  I just think the activist politics around it trivializes the core individual issues.  There is no reasonable accommodation, only surrender.  I don't care how someone dresses or what their preferred pronouns are, happy to use them out of simple courtesy.  I object to authoritarian reordering of our society where past practice is rational, AKA justifiably discriminatory because of real physiological differences.

This is 100% my view as well.  I am perfectly willing and eager to be nice and politely call you whatever you wish.  I am not willing to have the thought police insist that I "admit" that dirt is really sponge cake.

"A free man must not be told how to think, either by the government or by social activists. He may certainly be shown the right way, but he must not accept being forced into it."
— Col. Jeff Cooper

Well, I will not call a person anything he wants.  Especially not if it means feeding a demonic idea.

Your Turn / Re: Guns? Why?
« on: May 16, 2022, 12:18:36 PM »
Speaking strictly as a citizen of a democratic republic, I insist on the same rights as politicians, celebrities, and the otherwise rich and powerful. As long as some actor or athlete can have bodyguards, and as long as some people get secret service protection in addition to local police protection, then I as a Christian do not really care that they are more protected than I am, but as a citizen I see that as a situation ripe for abuse and tiers of importance being introduced among equals. Gun control arguments always contain hidden exceptions for the sort of people who say, “But do you know who I am?”

Law enforcement folks I've known, had to periodically pass a shooting test to indicate to the "powers that be," that they still know how to properly use their firearm. Police stations may even have their own shooting ranges where officers can practice.

In Minnesota, where I live and hold a concealed carry permit, one must pass a shooting test (along with the classroom portion of the training) before receiving the permit.  And permits must be renewed (along with the class and shooting test) every 5 years.

Your Turn / Re: Guns? Why?
« on: May 16, 2022, 12:14:54 PM »
Did it occur to anybody here that the reason Chicago and New York have more homicides by gun than other places even though they have strong gun control laws is because those cities are bigger than, shall we say, St. Louis or Fort Wayne?
But I wish to make it clear that I did not expect any positive remarks in this forum concerning gun control. I wondered whether I should’ve even posted my comments, knowing that there would not be one sympathetic ear anywhere here for my concerns.
But I ask you again, what do you say to the family members and friends of those who die in these mass shootings? What do you say to the parents of the children who die in school shootings? What do you say about society’s responsibility to do something, anything, that might help the situation. Nobody thinks different gun control laws will solve all the problems. But maybe they will do something?

I believe one pastor here HAS had to speak to family members and friends of those who died in a mass shooting.  Perhaps he would care to answer your questions.

Your Turn / Re: Guns? Why?
« on: May 16, 2022, 08:50:23 AM »

Own it, guys. If you want do enshrine the “right“ to own weaponry, OK. Build a shrine to that right. But alongside it, pile up some tombstones as well. Because you are going to need them.

Says the guy who favors the "right" to abortions.

Your Turn / Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« on: May 15, 2022, 09:32:14 PM »
It appears that all the comments have been deleted at the Steadfast Lutheran site, although President Harrison's letter is still available.

“Hanging judge”? I’ve condemned no one other than quoting and paraphrasing the theologian with whom you are in fellowship that, if we accept Brian’s confession of the incarnation, which is in direct opposition to the Athanasian Creed, we all are condemned.

We are not in fellowship with theologians, but with church bodies.

Do you also quote this section of the Athanasian Creed (boldface added):
At his coming all people shall rise bodily
to give an account of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life,
those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.

Do you tell people that their eternal life is based on have "done good"? That's what the Creed says.

If you want to check out the original language, here is the Latin for that section.

Ad cuius adventum
omnes homines resurgere habent cum corporibus suis:
et reddituri sunt de factis propriis rationem.
Et qui bona egerunt, ibunt in vitam aeternam:
qui vero mala, in ignem aeternum.
You defend the indefensible. I wonder why. Because God will save whomever He wishes, so it's no big deal?

So, what's your belief? God will save only those who deserve to be saved? Only those who exhibit the proper faith? Only those who "have done good"?

As I see it, you are the one trying to defend the indefensible. You are the one who denies salvation by God's grace by requiring some sort of human work for salvation, e.g., the proper faith, agreeing with the proper dogma, etc.

You need to read the Small Catechism again.  Faith is not our work but the gift of the Holy Spirit.  That is elemental Lutheranism, something I expect my confirmation students to know. 

Your Turn / Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« on: May 13, 2022, 04:35:44 PM »
Yes. No enforced diversity, please. If everyone just relaxes, diversity will take care of itself. The young people will have babies together and we will baptize them and teach them the catechism.
Yes, it happens naturally if it isn't impeded. I wish joy to both your congregations.

Back to the comparison between CUW and Grove City College: their diversity efforts seem to be equivalent.
Grove City says, "Six percent of our undergraduates are multi-ethnic students." Is that a codeword for non-white? I don't know. But neither do I know what the comparable figure is for CUW.

There are difference between the two in these areas however: Grove City College is not under any denominational control, its Trustees are not appointed by an outside body, its Presidents have generally not been ordained. That may not be an effective model for CUW.

Simply stating what percentage of the students are non-white is informational and probably based on federal forms (though still potentially problematic given how many people are "multi-ethnic" or "bi-racial" as individuals). It takes no DEI office to gather and report statistics. The DEI office attempts to explain any statistically significant deviations from random distribution in terms of systemic bias and racism, then compensate for that with corrective measures. The mere reporting of statistics judges nobody by the color of their skin. The DEI corrective measures judge everybody by the color of their skin.
Grove City College fills out Federal forms? I thought that they had eliminated that requirement by getting rid of all federal funds.  ??? I don't know why you keep referring to DEI (or is it DIE?) offices, which haven't come up in either case--CUW or GGC.

But do you, as the letter suggests, think that Grove City College is an effective model to help CUWAA get through its present difficulties?


The two examples often used are Hillsdale, which as you have outlined is about 20% the size of CUWAA at best, and now Grove City, which is a bit larger but still below 2500.  What's clear to me is that there will be a college in the Missouri Synod that undertakes that kind of mission.  It's the college scheduled to open in Wyoming in 2025.  I wouldn't be surprised were they to forego federal funding there. 

In terms of enrollment, Grove City and CUWAA are probably not that far apart in non-white enrollment percentages.  Those percentages are - not surprisingly - far higher than the "multi-ethnic" percentage of members in the congregations of the Missouri Synod.

As to DEI, the vision of Luke 13:29 is in our theology and practice not only a set of banquet tables for the eschaton, but is mirrored and is to be mirrored as grace allows in the "foretaste of the feast to come."  People will come from east and west and north and south to the banquet in the Kingdom of Heaven, proof of the cosmic reach of the Gospel in all its inclusive diversity.  It's a wonderful privilege to be here in pastoral and congregational mission in these days and times!

Dave Benke

You are correct: this new school in Wyoming promises not to take any federal funding.  It is one of its four foundations, according to the presentation given at our recent district convention.

Your Turn / Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« on: May 13, 2022, 04:32:45 PM »
If "wokeness" is covert and secret does it do any harm? I think not. Being public and aggressive is intrinsic to "wokeness." If you can't find it, it's not there.

Peace, JOHN

Well, according to President Harrison’s letter, it was not too covert or secret and he did find it.

Your Turn / Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« on: May 13, 2022, 11:53:05 AM »
More and more people are coming to the conclusion that "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" is a Trojan Horse carrying a lot more than advertised. What people think about that assertion probably determines the degree to which they think CUWAA has gone "woke."

But I agree that I can't imagine anyone encouraged anyone to share that letter publicly online. In it, the synodical president calls out two people by name and recommends removing them from the Board of Regents. Normally, that kind of thing would be shared verbally at a personal meeting and the text would not come out unless anyone publicly denied or misrepresented the substance of it. That would allow face-saving measures all around and a "re-start". It seems to me that making it public cements people into their positions. Much like the Russia-Ukraine thing, nobody was given a "golden bridge" on which to retreat.
Is this a leaked letter? Perhaps similar motivations on a more parochial level as leaking a Supreme Court draft opinion.

The letter is addressed only to members of the BOR and it doesn't list any copies to others.  So, would one of the regents have leaked it?  It would be interesting to know who furnished it to BJS and how the leaker "encouraged" them to publicize it....

Your Turn / Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« on: May 13, 2022, 09:59:21 AM »
Does this letter addressed to the CUWAA Board of Regents appear on the CUWAA or LCMS portals?  I find nothing.  "I received this letter with encouragement to share it" is purposefully vague.  It is also hostile to the attitude taken by Synodical leadership throughout the process of the visitation, which has/had been to keep things "in house."  Specifically with regards to the outcomes desired in the letter, the process shifts from being conducted by Synodical leadership in an internal way to the mode of a peremptory strike.  It's not possible to imagine that the CUWAA Board of Regents could have responded yet, so another chapter will be revealed.

Substantially to control and command issues in the LCMS university system, this circles back to the bylaw powers of the prior approval panel in the selection of university presidents.

Dave Benke

Has CUWAA actually gone woke? Not really but it is going to pay to keep that suspicion alive and well.

It will be interesting to see how this ends. Probably not well.

Peace, JOHN

And how do you know this, Rev. Hannah?  Have you conducted your own visitation, as did President Harrison?

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