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Messages - Steven Tibbetts

QuoteBut maybe Pr. Tibbetts might consider changing the title to something referring to ELCA pastors who object to female ordination.  :)
Actually, I began this "Letters to the Editors" thread "Re: Sept '04 *Omnium Gatherum*" and "Subject" titled it as I did to refer to the specific item in that section of that issue of Forum Letter.  So, even if the Forum software permitted it, I'd not be inclined to change the subject title. ;)

I find it interesting that, 8 months later, this thread is still alive.

QuoteSo what to call an ELCA pastor who doesn't agree with the ordination of women?  Well, if he was ordained in the late 1970's or later, he might be a liar.
That could be only if he was asked and and said, "It's fine by me" even while believing otherwise.  FWIW, I was in the Candidacy process from 1986 (initial inquiry in the LCA) through my ordination in 1992, matriculating at PLTS 1988-92.  Never once by anybody -- Candidacy Committee, faculty, classmates, or anyone else -- was I asked what I thought of the ordination of women.

Letters to the Editors / Re: 390,000 and Falling
April 02, 2005, 09:38:15 PM
QuoteIs there an alternative to "The Lutheran" for layfolk who are interested in "things Lutheran" but perhaps not to the same degree as "Lutheran Forum" goes to?
How about The Lutheran Witness?

QuoteEven the Greek word for God Theos, is used both as a masculine and feminine. In all four of the Greek dictionaries I checked, "God," "god," and "goddess" are ways this one Greek word is translated. (It is used as a feminine in Acts 19:37.) Thus it is not incorrect to refer to Theos as a she. In some context it is clear that the god is feminine.
Indeed.  Of course, the goddess in Acts 19:37 is not the God of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, St. Paul, or Jesus of Nazareth, but a different divine being.

Which leaves open the question, just which god(dess) is being invoked on Ebenezer Lutheran's web site?

Quotemay I query whether in fact the ELCA in its various institutional forms still makes space for dissenters on this issue?
The first female ordained Assistant to the Bishop in my synod handled the mobility process.  She was quite open about acknowledging that there were congregations where she would not even think about sending a woman.  The second (and current) one isn't as open about it, but seemed to be following that practice -- at least in the early part of her term.  

OTOH, when a congregation in our synod is in the call process, there are not a lot of candidates available to congregations to consider.  Perhaps it is the mobility process in this synod -- the Bishop only nominates one person at a time; the name of a pastor available for call goes to only one congregation at a time -- combined with lots of low-paying parishes, but especially if a congregation is pigeon-holed as a "first call" or "second call" parish, they will be lucky to get *any* names.  If you don't call the name offered, you may wait another year to receive another name.

As for ELCA pastors who oppose the ordination of women, I know a few who believe they have paid a price for holding that view.  I think it's more likely that they don't say anything at all (especially to bishops and colleagues) and avoid confrontations on the issue.  Nevertheless, it seems acceptable for some colleagues to treat as pariahs fellow ELCA clergy who are rumored to oppose women's ordination.

QuoteCould a book on ministry that opposed the ordination of women get published by AF?  Could an article opposed to the ordination of women get published by the Lutheran?
Nah!  They only publish "progressive" heresies.

Kyrie eleison, Steven+
QuoteNo doubt this conversation will fuel the disdain some may have for ELCA seminaries and seminarians, but I cannot subscribe nor support the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Steven, I notice that you used the "anger" smiley when reviving this thread.  I'm not sure what the cause of that is, but it might be helpful to note that I opened this subject in response to a particular item written in the Sept 2004 issue of *Forum Letter*.

It is certainly fine if a Lutheran pastor doesn't subscribe to the STS Rule.  Those of us who have subscribed to the Rule have done so because we believe it helps our ministry.  It provides something for me that my Conference's Professional Leaders does not (and will not), though I participate in that fully, too (unlike a significant percentage of the Conference clergy).  

The STS is not for every Lutheran pastor.  Those of us who have subscribed to the Rule know that.  

FWIW, my personal experience with Society members -- and I have attended all the General Retreats (except the founding one -- incidentally, 2 of the 20 STS founders are women) and have only missed a couple chapter retreats since subscribing 7 years ago -- is that most of the members are supportive of women's ordination.  

Not knowing where you are located or which STS pastors you've dealt with, it would be difficult for me to guage how typical your experiences with Society are.  I'll note, however, that it is the Rule to which we subscribe.  The personalities of those who have subscribed are about as varied as the personalities of Lutheran pastors in general.

Pax et bonum, Steven+
On-line Articles / Re: Reflections on Joseph
December 21, 2004, 11:15:54 AM
QuoteI'm not sure that I would call Richard Johnson a "Church Father" -- even with his Ph.D. in Church History.  :)

It might help, Brian, to read what Richard wrote with the same scrupulosity that you claim to exegete the Scriptures.  Particularly his first two paragraphs.

Pax, spt+
QuoteUnder our present policy, officiating at such a blessing cannot be grounds for disciplining a pastor.

Don't be so sure about that, Brian.  The Scriptures and the Confessions give such grounds, as do our ordination and installation vows.

Immediately after the Greater Milwaukee Synod approved same-sex "blessings," reports the September 2000 issue of Forum Letter, then Bishop John Beem of the East-Central Synod of Wisconsin sent a 4 1/2 page letter to the synod's clergy.  

"He frankly warned pastors they would find no support and no sympathy from him if one of them chose to conduct a same-sex blessing.  'I will not defend you.  In fact, I will publicly disagree with your action.'  Just in case there was any lingering doubt about it he declared, 'I make clear that such an action...would quickly become a public matter.'"

Granted, not precisely a threat/promise to file charges.  But a threat/promise nonetheless that perfoming such a service would have a negative impact upon a pastor's continued service.  Bishop Beem thought he had grounds to do so.  So do I.

On-line Articles / Re: Reflections on Joseph
December 19, 2004, 09:14:35 PM
QuoteOf course the patristic writers didn't have the benefit of 20th century lexicons.

My thought, Richard, was how typical for a 21st century ELCA pastor to correct the Church Fathers' understanding of Greek. ::)

QuoteIn this particular case, it seems that his candidancy committee found him fit for an internship. I don't have a sense that he is struggling with his identity, but has made peace with himself over it.

In this particular case, "he" is always a "she" when writing or quoted in the Luther Sem student newspaper in the 2 years prior to internship, at least according to the issues available on Luther's web site.  She also identifies herself there as "queer."  Granted, part of internship is testing one's "identity," but on so many different levels?

There are other troubling indications on Luther's site regarding the theology of this particular intern.  One can do well in seminary classes, be a fine pastoral presence, live in accordance with the specific standards of the ELCA disciplinary guidelines, and be psycologically well-adjusted -- and still be totally wrong for the Office of the Ministry.  

Marshall Hahn brings up, for example, the doctrine of creation.  The very way this candidate for ordination presents her/his personhood raises serious questions about anthropology, what s/he teaches not only intellectually or spiritually, but bodily.  

Certainly the ELCA ought not rush headlong into preparing "transgendered" persons -- still a very new and dubious concept in itself -- for the ministry prior to engaging in theological reflection about the meaning of "transgendered" itself.

Which is one reason why I would not supervise such an intern.

Letters to the Editors / Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
September 08, 2004, 09:20:35 PM
Well, Chuck, as you should know, Lou is not the only one in that party.  He's just been more public than most about joining it.

Letters to the Editors / LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
August 30, 2004, 10:17:52 PM
Re: Sept '04 *Omnium Gatherum*:

Okay, I think I've got "moderates," "conservatives," and "confessionalists" pretty straight.  But what does one call an ELCA, uh, "conservative" who would *not* accept women's ordination?

Pax, Steven+
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