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Messages - Mike Bennett

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931
Your Turn / Re: January Lutheran
« on: January 03, 2008, 06:55:33 PM »
As I jew I believe she is speaking for her specific barand and not for Judaism.   

Is barand a tradition like orthodox, reform, or reconstructionist?   :-\

Mike Bennett

Barand is a typo I already fixed  :-\

As for brand for example Lutheranism is a tradition.    The LCMC is not a tradition but is for example a brand of Lutheranism.     Like wise I do not recall hearing "orthodox, reform, or reconstructionist" Judaism called traditions.    More to the point they are in a sense brands of Judaism.   

Rob Moskowitz

Chastened by your authoritative correction, I've browsed around some, and I can't find a single instance in Orthodox, Reform, or Reconstructionist Jews calling themselves either "traditions" or "brands."  "Movement" seems to be the common designation that each uses for itself.  I'm willing to be instructed if you are.   ;)

Mike Bennett

932
Isn't this a thread about Wilhelm Loehe?

Well it was about him, but predictably it required only 4 postings for it to be used as occasion for a snide comment about people who think God revealed Himself the way He did for some serious reason.   :'(

Mike Bennett

Actually, Mike, it only took two. I am not sure if that is a tied record or a new one.

John Dornheim, OSL

Dang, you're right.  It can't be worse than a tie for the record, can it?  :o

Mike Bennett

933
Your Turn / Re: January Lutheran
« on: January 03, 2008, 05:52:37 PM »
As I jew I believe she is speaking for her specific barand and not for Judaism.   

Is barand a tradition like orthodox, reform, or reconstructionist?   :-\

Mike Bennett

934
Isn't this a thread about Wilhelm Loehe?

Well it was about him, but predictably it required only 4 postings for it to be used as occasion for a snide comment about people who think God revealed Himself the way He did for some serious reason.   :'(

Mike Bennett

935
Your Turn / Re: Question for STS Members
« on: December 12, 2007, 06:37:17 PM »
Encouragement in prayer and faithfulness, discipline and endurance in prayer, accountability in ministry, there are all wonderful things. Once upon a time these were among the hallmarks of the entire Church. With respect to the members of the society, does the society reach out and build up the entire Body of Christ or does it retreat into pockets of cultic purity?

That is a serious question not a "shot across the bow."


Heck, I get friendly notes every day that refer to "cultic purity."

I am a layman who has attended one STS general retreat as a guest and was made 100% welcome. The welcoming of guests to their retreats is STS standard procedure.  I attended expecting to keep my mouth shut and my ears open.  Instead, I was encouraged to fully participate in every aspect of the retreat including the small group discussion portion of one session (the theme of that retreat was poetentia, and suggested advance reading included Giertz' Hammer of God and a work by Timothy Wengert whose name escapes me at the moment).  My poor comments in the discussion were, as they say, "welcomed and affirmed."  When time came for the annual "business meeting" of the general chapter I prepared to go to the bookstore or have a nap or read or something, but was encouraged to attend the meeting instead.  The worship, educational, and social portions were all beneficial to me, a layman, as were the generous amounts of time left unscheduled.

By supporting, encouraging and building up its rapidly growing roster of members, who are in turn undershepards in Christ's Church, STS certainly builds up the entire Body of Christ, IMO.  By encouraging them to pray the daily office and to make private confession and absolution available in their congregations, it builds up the entire Body of Christ, IMO.  By welcoming guests (even lay guests who will never be eligible for membership) it builds up the entire Body of Christ, IMO.  By being a pan-Lutheran ministerium, it's the only organization of my knowledge in this country that involves ELCA and LCMS pastors as colleagues in something more than social service efforts, and in this it builds up the entire Body of Christ, IMO.

If there were a prize for retreating into pockets of cultic purity, STS would come in last in the competition.

My two cents.

Mike Bennett

936
Your Turn / Re: 12/11/07 The Christian Century
« on: December 12, 2007, 05:41:51 PM »
FWIW, John, yes, you have misread them.  In 2000, their benevolence was over 10 % of their total giving. Last year it was 6.3 percent, a decline as noted in the stats of -25.7%.  Your specific reference was to churchwide benevolence, not attendance. It does appear their attendance increased. 

However, what the stats mean is not really relevant when one is in violation of their ordination vows, it doesn't matter if you are Ted Haggard or Jimmy Swaggart  or Brad Schmeling, wrong is wrong. Those with larger churches, bishops, and those in smaller churches have all made mistakes. But you cant' excuse it or amplify it  on the basis of decline or increase. What is wrong is wrong.

Jeff Ruby 


Well, the congregational statistics shown in their annual reports show that their benevolence as percentage of total giving has actually declined over 3% since 2000. Not a positive trend, and they are well below the 10% tithe, and were over that figure at one point seven years ago.

Jeff Ruby


Now that's an inconvenient truth . . .

Well, let's see. In 1995, their total ELCA benevolence was $15,444.00. In 2006, it was $25,440.00.

In 1999, their worship attendance was 79. In 2006, it was 125.

In 2001, their baptized membership (at it's low point) was 236. In 2006, it was 359.

Perhaps I have misread their stats.

John Dornheim, OSL

As this has little to do with the thread, I am not excited about continuing but the fact that the dollar amount has gone up (and no one here knows how much they budget for this) is what matters. That participation in the life of the congregation has increased should not be as casually dismissed as you wish to do.

John Dornheim

It has a lot to do with the thread, to the extent the thread has included commendations for the congregation's health and outreach.  Jeff pulled readily available data from the congregation profile, which enabled him to calculate the most common statistic that most of us calculate for our own giving and that our congregation uses to assess the level of its giving for benevolence outside the congregation:  giving as a percent of total income.  He found that benevolences outside that congregation have decreased as a % of the congregation's total budget, and that it's now less than 10%.  That doesn't take an MBA to understand.  And I'm not impressed that the total $ have increased, any more than I'm impressed to learn that a bigshot in our congregation is giving more $ than the widow on a small pension is giving.

Mike Bennett

937
Your Turn / Re: 12/11/07 The Christian Century
« on: December 11, 2007, 05:04:51 PM »
In addition to Pastor Wolf's observations, two other quotes really intrigued me:

Even on the issue of homosexuality, it's possible that on the last day, at the gates of heaven, Jesus will say, "It was my idea to have the ELCA policy about gay clergy."  I'll say I'm sorry and give myself over into his hands, and I'll trust him for my future.
Ignoring the homosexuality v. homosexual acts and gay clergy v. gay partnered clergy pieces (because those are different), I do commend Pr. Schmeling for admitting it is possible he is wrong.  Not too many people on either side come out in such a public forum and say that.

If our confessional commitment to 'justification by grace through faith' is truly the uniting force of our tradition, we ought to be able to stay in the room together when we're disagreeing about an issue of biblical interpretation.  The issue of partnered gay clergy is not a confessional issue, so it shouldn't be a dividing line for our church.  The confessions already provide all the unity that we need.
I think this is one of the major issues/lines of disagreement.  One side argues that it is not a confessional issue; the other says, "Yes, most certainly it is".  Although I doubt he would argue this way, the words are arranged as though the confessions trump scripture (biblical interpretation).  I guess I'm curious where/how the confession/scripture interplay fits in with all of this - and I remember my ordination vows, so let's have something more than just a quoting of them.

I'm confused.  These are quotes from the interview?  I thought the interview was about the mission of St. John's, and not about The Issue.  What am I missing?

Mike Bennett ???

938
Your Turn / Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« on: December 11, 2007, 04:57:58 PM »

Can the moderators of this one at least attempt to be?



If you don't like the direction of the board, leaving it is a lot easier than it is for an Episcopal diocese that doesn't like the direction of TEC to leave that church. We won't even sue for the property.

Interesting words for someone calling for pastoral care,

Good-bye.

'Way cool.  I'll imply that the moderators don't even try to be even-handed, and if the moderator talks back, I'm leaving.    :D

Mike Bennett  ::)

939
Your Turn / Re: Prayers for our episcopal/anglican sisters and brothers
« on: December 11, 2007, 04:54:14 PM »
Oh, for goodness' sake.  Those who are bickering about blame instead of praying for the Church when she has suffered a fresh wound, when that was the purpose of the thread and the moderator reminded us of that:  line up to be smacked.

Sheesh.

 :( Mike Bennett >:(

So if the people of this diocese feel as if they have been freed?   Maybe some dont see this as a wound to the church but a step toward healing the church since they did not just vote to leave a cooperate entity but to realien with the greater communion.  You would want to smack them?


No, not them.  I won't say more, because I can't bicker where I've joined the plea for an end to bickering.

Mike Bennett

940
Your Turn / Re: Prayers for our episcopal/anglican sisters and brothers
« on: December 11, 2007, 04:36:51 PM »
Oh, for goodness' sake.  Those who are bickering about blame instead of praying for the Church when she has suffered a fresh wound, when that was the purpose of the thread and the moderator reminded us of that:  line up to be smacked.

Sheesh.

 :( Mike Bennett >:(

941
Your Turn / Re: About the Golden Compass Movie
« on: December 10, 2007, 06:11:00 PM »
O.k., there was a reason. It was Pastor McCain, if I read his posting properly, who called the movie a "bomb." His posting upstream did not indicate he was quoting anyone else so the "bomb" word is his. And it is wrong.

Oh.  I thought you and Paul wuzn't on speaking terms.

Mike Bennett

942
Your Turn / Re: About the Golden Compass Movie
« on: December 10, 2007, 06:06:20 PM »
The movie did only $3 million less than the $30 million that the producers expected for the opening week-end. And it has done $55 million, higher than expected, overseas. Calling the movie a "bomb" is just stupid. And the sequel is already in production.

Because you stubbornly, inconsiderately refuse to quote what you're responding to, after having had it pointed out to you several times, we have no idea who called the movie a bomb, or if anybody did. 

Mike Bennett

943
Your Turn / Re: About the Golden Compass Movie
« on: December 10, 2007, 06:05:07 PM »
Oh, yeah, the "American Papist" is a reliable site, sure to present accurate information. Did you notice that none of the quotes they presented support what the site claimed?



Because you stubbornly, inconsiderately refuse to quote what you're responding to, after having had it pointed out to you several times, we have no idea who cited the American Papist, or if anybody did. 

Mike Bennett

944
Google you name and see how many blog entries come up.

I've been unmasked:  "Mike Bennett is a professional rugby league player for British Rugby league club St Helens. His specialist position is second-row. On Tuesday, 29 August 2006, Mike signed a contract extension at the Lancashire club which will keep him at Knowsley Road for another two seasons."

I'll write as often as I can as the Lancashire club's practice schedule permits.

Mike Bennett

945
Your Turn / Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« on: December 10, 2007, 02:24:08 PM »

Or how about a monthly limit?  I can see getting embroiled in a particular debate (and presuming that one has the time to spend on it, which is questionable) where numerous back-and-forths happen.  So, let's imagine the potential of ten of those in a day.  And then, let's also imagine that it's going on in two different threads (someone who has even more time on his hands) for a total of twenty in one day.  That's cool, but, if that continues 365 days out of the year, then it's forum overload.  It's one person dominating the discussion, jumping into every topic.  C'mon, is there any person on the face of the earth with that many important things to say (and with that much time on his hands, that maybe he shouldn't be out in the world doing something more productive)?  So, I'd be in favor of a monthly limit, which could allow for "bursts", but not a continuous flow.  Off the top of my head:  60/mo., for an average of 1/day + 3 "bursts"/mo..

I've heard worse ideas.

Who would count?  I wonder if SMF has a counter than can be set to simply shut out postings that would bring the trailing 30 day total beyond 60.  That could be slick

Mike Bennett

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