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Messages - Steven Tibbetts

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Selected Re-Prints / Re: Disservice?
« on: May 19, 2006, 01:43:59 AM »
Are you then saying that sola scriptura is not a sufficient basis for determining orthodox theology?

If sola scriptura were a sufficient basis for determining orthodox theology, we would not need the Creeds and Confessions of the Church.

As the Ethiopian eunuch said to the Deacon Philip, "How can I [understand what I am reading], unless someone guides me?"

Pax, Steven+

Selected Re-Prints / Disservice?
« on: May 18, 2006, 12:29:30 PM »
It is a disservice to "revisionists" to fail to acknowledge that they, too, understand themselves to be standing very much upon the Word and within the 2000 year tradition of the church.

Earlier in this thread I observed (and Pr. Kimball picked up on), "For quite some time the Arians were part of the same Church as the Niceans, too.  But it couldn't stay that way forever. "

Drawing upon that comment, I'll note that the Arians also understood themselves to be (as you say, Mark) standing very much upon the Word and in the tradition of the Church.  Nevertheless, they were heretics.  And it is truly a disservice to lift up their self-understanding without firmly and forthrightly beginning and ending with the definitive declaration that they were heretics.

Similarly Luther and Zwingli at Marburg.  Zwingli understood himself to be standing in the Word and therefore offered all sorts of gentle compromises the divided Evangelicals could have a united front against the Papists.  But he was wrong about the Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar, and it is truly a disservice to acknowledge all the "good" Zwingli tried to do while setting aside that he was denying the Faith.

The saying goes, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."  The Deceiver likes it when we admire the skill and ingenuity of someone going down that road.  But it is truly a disservice to do anything other than trying to turn him around.  An eternal disservice.

Christe eleison, spt+

For example, if confirmands don't want to wear robes when affirming their baptism, they shouldn't have to.

So, you are telling us that the MNYS resolution and the ELCA Church Council's response are of the same insignificance as whether or not confirmands wear robes?  

If yes, then why did they, and are we, putting so much effort into the discussion?  

If no, then what is your point in bringing it up?


With such different approaches to scriptures, can we be members of the same church?

It's not so much the different approaches to the Scriptures, Brian, as it is reaching diametrically opposed, incompatable conclusions of what this church's (for others of you, "this church" is ELCA-speak for "the ELCA" as distinct from the one holy catholic and apostolic Church) public witness to the Gospel is.

We are currently members of the same church.  For quite some time the Arians were part of the same Church as the Niceans, too.  But it couldn't stay that way forever.

Pax, Steven+



Piffle yourself, Charles.  

Here in the heart of Illinois, I've heard 2 female Assistants to the Bishop, the person who deals with congregations seeking new pastors, openly declare that there are numerous congregations to which they wouldn't dream of nominating any woman candidate.

Furthermore, while the ELCA's public debate may be settled, the quiet conversations continue among ELCA clergy, male and female, young and veteran, over whether the ordination of women was the right thing to do.  Often that discussion is cast in ecumenical terms, regretting that our PCBs acted unilaterally in 1970, especially among those who believe our primary ecumenical commitments should have remained with other Lutherans and the Catholic Church.  And a few still believe (or have come to believe during these 35 years of experience) that the decision was wrong.

If you're wondering why you don't hear any of that, try to taste the tone of your reply to Don Hanson's post again.  ELCA clergy who question, or oppose, the ordination of women learned long ago to just sit back and be quiet in the face of such smug dismissals.  They'll speak where they feel "safe" -- say opening very tentatively in a one-on-one conversation with a highly-trusted colleague -- and there just aren't many safe places in the ELCA to speak of womens ordination in anything other than glowing, self-congratulatory terms.

Pax, Steven+

Do you say the same thing about...

Very good, Brian.  Divert attention from the new innovation by bringing up other subjects, some for which there is a long history of defense, some of which there is not and that, indeed, we ought to (re-) visit.  Either way, the more subjects that get thrown into the pile, the better to minimize the radicality of the new innovation.

Christe eleison, Steven+

On-line Articles / Re: "The Practice of Ministry"
« on: September 02, 2005, 05:52:49 PM »
Besides, if I hear one more person say "diaCONal" instead of "DIAConal" I might scream... :o :o

Shortly before the 2001 Churchwide Assembly, there was a gathering of the ELCA Diaconal Ministers, a goodly percentage of whom actually showed up.  Among their actions: a vote on how to pronounce "diaconal."

The winner: "die-uh-CONE-l"  I say "dee-ACK-un-l" anyway.   ;)


Selected Re-Prints / Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« on: August 25, 2005, 07:59:19 PM »
What is the ECCL?
Surely, Charles, you've bookmarked "Pastor Zip's Lutheran Web Links" at  Click on "Lutheran Churches" to get the link to "Pastor Zip's US Lutheran Web Links" (the software for this forum won't let me put in the URL and combining "us" and "luthlinx" together creates a "u very friendly person hlinks") and then click the "Evangelical Catholics" link to go to Pastor Zip's brief description plus a link to "The Evangelical Community Church - Lutheran" that the good Archbishop refers to.

Pax, Zip+

Selected Re-Prints / Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« on: August 25, 2005, 07:52:22 PM »
The Dennis Canon has been challenged in court in various States, but, as stated above, civil courts have consistently favored property rights of superior governing bodies over those of individual congregations; and so far all legal challenges to the Dennis Canon have been upheld at the apellate court level.   >:(

While perhaps "consistently," ++Irl, not unanimously.  The Diocese of Los Angeles has just had its case against 1 of 3 dissenting parishes dismissed in Superior Court, though +Jon Bruno is appealing.  See the Orange County Register  article at (you'll need to register), or Google "St. James" and "Newport Beach".

Pax, Steven+

ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2005 / Re: Action on Renewing Worship
« on: August 19, 2005, 03:34:00 PM »
As an alternative to RW, there is a new privately published, pan-Lutheran Hymnal out there which is really not bad at all.  It is, "The Service Hymnal - - A Lutheran Homecoming.

We ought not forget that AugsburgFortress continues to sell the pew edition of the Service Book and Hymnal.  I suspect that the LBW will be available for quite some time.


Selected Re-Prints / Re: Planned Parenthood Marketing (Oct. 2004)
« on: July 21, 2005, 09:52:44 PM »
Let us not forget Lutherans for Life, <> on the web.  

I must confess to some bewilderment (and disappointment) that an organization originally formed with significant LCA and ALC participation is now has an almost entirely LCMS face.  But I serve as our local Chapter's Pastoral Advisor and we are able to get the open support of a couple of other ELCA congregations in several of our efforts.

Pax et bonum, Steven+

Rev. Tibbetts you will have to forgive me but I am confused by your post.

Well, brother Rob, I suppose that is fair given that I'm confused by yours, too. :(

Fraternally, Steven+

Any dissenting synod arising in the wake of the coming Orlando churchwide assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America must be as comprehensively Lutheran as possible, without sectarian agendas intruding.

Pastor Saltzman's opening sentence (posted by Pr. Johnson) superbly throws down the gauntlet.  My dissatisfaction over his article  -- and he appears to be seeking something he can live with rather than "satisfaction" with his conclusions, so he's expecting (pastors like) me to be dissatisfied -- arises from two key elements of his gauntlet, the resolution of the first affecting the acceptability of the second.

The first element is the undefined nature of such a "dissenting synod."  Is Saltzman thinking this would be a new, independent national synod, ala Missouri, Augustana, etc. (or the independent regional/ethnic synods that formed the ULCA and LCA)?  Or would it be something like a new "non-geographic synod" formed by an ELCA constitutional process (which we debated for a while in our Synod Assembly until the Parliamentarian found an excuse to have a proposed Memorial ruled out-of-order)?  Or is Saltzman thinking of something that internally ignores the rest of the ELCA (along the lines of the Free Synod in the Church of Sweden, or WordAlone's new proposed "association") where congregations of various pieties continue their current relationship and involvement to the greater church, while praying and working together in opposition to pro-gay ELCA leadership who will tolerate a open, loyal opposition party?

If something like the last is what Pr. Saltzman is describing, then this Evangelical Catholic believes he can live with a continued ambiguity on CCM, JDDJ, a eucharistic prayer, lay presidency, and Lutheranism’s identity.  After all, I'm living with them right now.  I'm not happy about the state of these issues in the ELCA, but neither have I been convinced that I must depart over their current status.  The current options (see my list on Pastor Zip's US Lutheran Web Links <>) are, for me at least, all less attractive than an ELCA that is, admittedly, growing uglier and uglier.  I can walk together with others opposed to the advancement of the Gay Agenda and who would, if elected, restore a faithful, pastoral response to homosexuals without going after Evangelical Catholics doing "our thing."

But if Pr. Saltzman's "dissenting synod" is more like the first two I've described (a official dissenting Synod, either within or independent of the ELCA), I'm afraid the second key element I'm afraid the second key element begins to hold sway.  Lay presidency in the ELCA is a sectarian intrusion.  So are the most extreme polemics against Eucharistic Prayers, vestments, and the episcopate that continue to be spotlighted by WordAlone and other "protestant" Lutheran organs that oppose an Evangelical Catholic stance on the Ministry and the Liturgy.

Like Pastor Saltzman, I have sought dialogue and endeavored to work with WordAlone supporters and leaders to provide options to the ELCA's gay advance.  Like Pastor Saltzman, I have gone out of my way to not give offense (though not always successfully) and held back when a similar graciousness was not extended towards me.  But the "dissenting synod" Pr. Saltzman describes is, apart from being committed to the reformation of the ELCA from within the ELCA, not "as comprehensively Lutheran as possible."  Rather, on every point he mentions of the (using my best construction here) "interpretive disputes amongst 'confessional' Lutherans," he gives away catholicity for a narrow, hyper-protestant sectarianism.

If that's what a dissenting Lutheran Synod has to offer, well, that is different from being "nothing else but another Liberal Protestant establishment."  But it's not a better alternative for the sheep I've been called to serve.  And Pastor Saltzman seems to have dropped, rather than thrown, his gauntlet.


It gives the words of institution and then prays that the bread and wine "may become to us a communion with the Lord"  or is it "may become to us the body and blood etc", I m quoting from memory here.

Interesting.  In the Roman Eucharistic Prayers, the celebrant prays that gifts of bread and wine "may become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus" and then the Verba are said.

Pax, Steven+

Letters to the Editors / Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« on: April 27, 2005, 01:29:03 PM »
But 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.


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