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Messages - Mike Bennett

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For what it's worth:

I can understand that some might need to post here anonymously.  I won't second guess their reasoning.  Busy enough straightening myself out.

Debbie's (or Lou's - I never know which) thought about anonymity taking the personality out of exchanges so the substance can be discussed was interesting.  I know that when I see certain names in a "From" address my eyes begin to roll even before I see what they've written.  I'm sure I'm on some people's eye-rolling list.  But if you go ahead and read the posting surprising points of agreement can arise.  More than once I've posted to some forum or another a note saying in effect, "Hell has frozen over; I've agreed with Mr. X three times today."

I haven't observed anonymous posters misbehaving disproportionately on this forum.  The bigger problem seems to be the constant bellyaching about their being anonymous.

Having said all that - I personally need the discipline of signing my name below my postings.  It can be hard enough for me to keep a civil tongue in my keyboard when I'm signing my name, without the temptation that would be added if I were posting anonymously.  Sort of like the question:  "If you could commit crime X and know you wouldn't get caught, would you commit the crime?"

Mike Bennett

Your Turn / Re: Questions/Comments for the moderators
« on: December 10, 2007, 01:58:33 PM »
this thread is devoted to comments about what you appreciate or don't appreciate about this forum and the way it is run.

I appreciate the degree of moderator control here:

+ It's clear that blatant ad hominems are off-limits.

+ All manner of opinions are fair game, even the most preposterous.

+ There are no lock-step restrictions such as 2 postings per day.

+ One doesn't get the impression that the moderator task is dominating the moderators' lives.

As a result, this forum is the second best of any to which I subscribe - second only to one that was founded a few years ago on an invitation only basis.

It would be nice if the postings could be pushed to my e-mail box so I didn't forget to read them for days at a time, but that's not a moderation question and I understand that the SMF software simply isn't designed for that.

Thanks for being the moderators.

Mike Bennett

Or, then, there is just fear. That's why I am anonymous. I've learned just how tolerant the tolerance people are.


Personally, I am a pew-sitter and have no fear of ELCA pastors and leaders.  But I understand the concern as I revealed some embarrassing facts about LCNA who promptly researched who I was, found out where I went to church and talked to the pastors at my little congregation.  The pastors then chewed me royally and insisted my wife be present for the dressing-down.  Of course I am still welcome to attend church there and be berated from the pulpit.  The only real outcome is that now my wife is now fearful to be in the same room with these pastors.

Brian J. Bergs
Minneapolis, MN

And I always thought Orwell's Animal Farm was about politics.  Can it be it was about church bodies?

Mike Bennett

Your Turn / Re: Herod is smiling
« on: November 25, 2007, 08:37:02 PM »
All that I can say in my astonishment, Peter, is that it seems to me that you do not know any environmentalists; or are guilty of the most bizarre kind of stereotyping of environmental views.

I thought Peter's description of a certain very common variety of environmentalism was spot on. That variety of environmentalism is a parody of itself, and doesn't need Peter to stereotype it.

Mike Bennett

Your Turn / Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« on: November 21, 2007, 12:42:18 PM »

Reminds me of a time when a subscriber was asked if he could be wrong about The Issue.  Why of course! he admitted - in fact I used to be wrong about it, but now I'm right! True account.   :D

Mike Bennett

I am not quite sure if that is what I said when I was asked that question. I have said that I grew up with the understanding that gay people were to be avoided, that they were icky, that they were going to hell, etc. Over the years, I have studied The Issue and changed my position. I do not know if I will learn in this life if I am right. I think that I am on the right side now and was not before. I might be wrong. Only God knows.

John Dornheim

Well, if you were the person I was thinking of  ;D , I hadn't remembered the last two sentences of the reply, nor the lack of complete certainty in the preceding two sentences. Perhaps I'd read too hastily.

Mike Bennett

Your Turn / Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« on: November 20, 2007, 04:42:19 PM »
But one who never says he is error-free himself on any matter, unlike some who post here.

Can't be me.  I made a mistake once.  Thought I was wrong about something.  Turned out I wasn't.

Marshall Hahn

Reminds me of a time when a subscriber was asked if he could be wrong about The Issue.  Why of course! he admitted - in fact I used to be wrong about it, but now I'm right! True account.   :D

Mike Bennett

Your Turn / Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« on: November 20, 2007, 04:12:20 PM »
Sorry. Having nothing "substantive" or "pertinent" or "scriptural" to add, I'll lay low.

That would be "lie low." I should have expected a "journalist" to know that - particularly one who makes a point of correcting others' writing errors.

Mike Bennett

Your Turn / Re: Lutheran Core Meeting
« on: November 06, 2007, 11:04:11 AM »
It may be "conversation," but is it the kind of discourse we seek within the Body of Christ and the ELCA part of it? To begin with the flat declaration that three quarters of our seminaries "cannot be trusted" sounds to me more like extremist ideology than fraternal discussion.

If it's false, then its falsity should become evident in the light of discussion.  But if it's true, it's very important, seems to me.  And if it's believed by many, then it's important to know whether it's tgrue or false. 

But my views on these things were formed before the accepted way of settling a debate was to shout down the people who disagree with me.  :'(

Mike Bennett

Your Turn / Re: Kretzmann's Popular Commentary online
« on: November 06, 2007, 10:55:24 AM »
Any knowledge of plans for a Libronix version?

Mike Bennett

Your Turn / Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« on: October 19, 2007, 12:00:40 PM »
If you have a policy against wearing shoes in your house and I am a guest in your house and I insist on tromping all over your carpets with my boots or shoes on wouldn't I be in violation of your policy and hospitality?  Not to mention a grossly rude guest?
I have been a guest a many a parishioner's house where they take off their shoes at the door, I can only remember one instance where they politely asked if I would remove mine. In every case, I kept my shoes on -- which is the practice in our house.

I guess I should be surprised.  But I'm not. 

Mike Bennett

Your Turn / Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« on: October 18, 2007, 05:21:39 PM »

While I vaguely remember the story you have shared before.  What bothers me more is that people expect to receive the sacrament in a place they are not welcome to receive.  To walk into a WELS, LCMS, RCC or Orthodox parish expecting to receive the eucharist bothers me more.  It bothers me because it makes the eucharist an individual entitlement, without respecting the doctrine, and teachings of the ecclesial communion that is celebrating it.  It is uncharitable to demand to receive something that the parish is not allowed to give.  It seems to me selfish to expect a pastor/priest to violate the teachings of their church, so that one can take communion.  I think discerning the body really comes into play here.  

Why would one be so boorish as to attend a religious service and spit in the eye of one's hosts by presuming to impose one's own standards in place of the hosts' standards?

I've received communion in Episcopal churches, where the stated eucharistic hospitality policy permitted it (this was before CCM).  I've attended RC masses several times, where I am not permitted to commune, and would never have considered presenting myself to commune, though I'm sure they'd have assumed I was a visitor.  At my brother's tiny Carpatho-Russian Orthodox church, where I am known to the priest and a fair number of members, it would clearly be offensive nearly to the point of belligerance to present myself to commune.  I can't even begin to imagine.  Why should a WELS or LCMS congregation be such a ripe target for a place to strut one's rudeness on Christmass Eve?

Mike Bennett

Your Turn / Re: Interesting Developments in Wittenberg
« on: October 18, 2007, 05:02:09 PM »
I don't think two Lutheran Wittenberg Centers are too many for the place where Brother Luther nailed the theses to the door (or didn't, as the case may be).  

Sometimes it's a privilege to arrive in a good place later rather than sooner.  Because I only came to Chicago as a college student (though it was in the dark ages) I missed learning in my youth that if you like one Chicago baseball team you have to despise the other.  Because I only came to the Lutheran Church after the 1970s, I missed learning that if you're one kind of U.S. Lutheran you have to despise the other kind.  

But still, one can't escape all occasions for sin.  Instead of being contemptuous of the other kind of Lutheran, I find myself contemptuous of those who are.  No better off after all, I suppose.  :'(

Mike Bennett

I'm surprised that people in this forum, who would find Dr. Braaten's views on scripture abhorrent, hold up his views on "natural law" as a final answer to anything.

Charles, as a retired journalist you are surely aware of the difference between a restrictive clause and a non-restrictive clause.  By setting off the clause "who would find Dr. Braaten's views on scripture abhorrent" with commas, you say that all the people in this forum would find his views on scripture abhorrent.  That's baloney and you know it.

Mike Bennett

Your Turn / Re: Degrees of Disagreement
« on: October 11, 2007, 05:31:14 PM »
(Of course there are some who use the HC who do not believe that God's Word has any power at all -- but that's not the fault of the exegetical tools.)

I agree with that.  I hope you can see that, likewise, use of a silly argument by one who holds to Scriptural inerrancy is not the fault of the notion of Scriptural inerrancy.

Mike Bennett ;)

Your Turn / Re: Martin Marty's articles in the Lutheran
« on: October 10, 2007, 03:05:58 PM »
Don Whitbeck writes:
Sorry Charles the truth is not an attack on anyone, if you didn't know this before, thats your problem.  You can also look at his web site, his support is widely known.

I comment:
You are missing the point again. What I object to is not your disagreement with his position, but your declaration that he holds this position because a family member is gay.

1. Don had said "After all, his son is an active homosexual, and he supports his son, no matter what."  For the life of me I can't find the word "because" in that sentence, nor a synonym.

2. Presuming that Don meant to imply causality, his assertion might have been on-target, or it might not have been on-target.  But your application of the term "ad-hominem" to his assertion was certainly not on-target.  Words have publicly known, defined meanings, and "ad-hominem" doesn't apply to what Don said or to what you thought he meant by it.  I'm surprised when a "retired journalist" uses words in ways that seem to assign some meaning other than the publicly known, defined meaning.  :o

Mike Bennett

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