Author Topic: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey  (Read 16612 times)

MMH

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #135 on: November 09, 2007, 04:02:23 PM »
I wonder.  What vision are we talking about?
The Roman Catholic positions on Captial Punishment and Nuclear Arms are more stongly negative than any of the Lutheran ones, though we're still in the same ball park.  How does that sit with John & Jane? 
I think among those in our pews Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Evangelical, there is still pretty strong support for blood-letting by the state.  Of the three only the Evangelicals and the more conservative Lutheran bodies would generally support it.  Most pew-sitting Lutherans seem to be pretty strong defenders of our defense establishment.
What about economic justice?  Are the Lutherans closer to the Roman Catholics or the Evangelicals?  What do John and Jane think?  How do the Pewsitters address raising the minimum wage?  How do their church bodies?  Before someone suggests that this is politics not theology, what of the duties of the 7th commandment?  Do we support our neighbor average worker or our neighbor business owner, or do we strive to establish something which is fair for both?
What about immigration?  What do John and Jane think of Cardinal Mahoney's position on sanctuary insofar as not reporting the identities of undocumented persons who seek out social services from the church?

The views expressed by the churches you mentioned are known by everyone reading here, I would think.  And we can get into the fact that there are those in the other denominations mentioned  who think that the "official" that is to say the hierarchical positions on these issues.  Just read the First Things blog.  My point is that the fact that the Pewsitters do not agree with the LOGA does not necessarily come from narrowness of vision, even if Pr. Austin insists so.

Jim_Krauser

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #136 on: November 09, 2007, 04:07:31 PM »
I wonder. What vision are we talking about?
The Roman Catholic positions on Captial Punishment and Nuclear Arms are more stongly negative than any of the Lutheran ones, though we're still in the same ball park. How does that sit with John & Jane?
I think among those in our pews Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Evangelical, there is still pretty strong support for blood-letting by the state. Of the three only the Evangelicals and the more conservative Lutheran bodies would generally support it. Most pew-sitting Lutherans seem to be pretty strong defenders of our defense establishment.
What about economic justice? Are the Lutherans closer to the Roman Catholics or the Evangelicals? What do John and Jane think? How do the Pewsitters address raising the minimum wage? How do their church bodies? Before someone suggests that this is politics not theology, what of the duties of the 7th commandment? Do we support our neighbor average worker or our neighbor business owner, or do we strive to establish something which is fair for both?
What about immigration? What do John and Jane think of Cardinal Mahoney's position on sanctuary insofar as not reporting the identities of undocumented persons who seek out social services from the church?

The views expressed by the churches you mentioned are known by everyone reading here, I would think. And we can get into the fact that there are those in the other denominations mentioned who think that the "official" that is to say the hierarchical positions on these issues. Just read the First Things blog. My point is that the fact that the Pewsitters do not agree with the LOGA does not necessarily come from narrowness of vision, even if Pr. Austin insists so.

Ah, but it might, no?
Jim Krauser

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Charles_Austin

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #137 on: November 09, 2007, 04:20:44 PM »
MAtt Hummel writes:
My point is that the fact that the Pewsitters do not agree with the LOGA does not necessarily come from narrowness of vision, even if Pr. Austin insists so.

I respond:
I do not insist that pewsitters suffer from "narrowness of vision," (though some might). I do say that many do not understand that the "Church" is more than their particular congregation or a set of beliefs (whether religious or social) that they themselves hold especially dear.

MaddogLutheran

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #138 on: November 09, 2007, 04:37:13 PM »
I do not insist that pewsitters suffer from "narrowness of vision," (though some might). I do say that many do not understand that the "Church" is more than their particular congregation or a set of beliefs (whether religious or social) that they themselves hold especially dear.
Interesting observation.  I would say it is equally applicable to some people (not all, mind you) in the ELCA national offices, whose actions and leadership are visible to those in the pews.

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« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 04:40:25 PM by MaddogLutheran »
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Dave_Poedel

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #139 on: November 09, 2007, 04:51:09 PM »
I know that the LCMS shut down it's office in DC, though there is still some activity conducted remotely.  They occasionally send out a newsletter and their activity pretty much mirrors our doctrinal committments and faith positions.  As the LCMS does not tend towards social statements like the ELCA does and, perhaps the belief that the 2 Kindgom Theology is more applicable, there seems to be less governmental lobbying from the LCMS.  Anyone who knows more about LCMS activity in legislative matters?

Dave Benke

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #140 on: November 09, 2007, 05:11:40 PM »
The LCMS had their office of governmental affairs in Washington for some years, and the best person I knew in it was Candace Mueller.  At that time we actually convened workshops in the DC area on the issue of Two Realms and appropriate involvement. 

One of the major efforts has always been in the arena of Pro-Life, where our most well-known Lutheran in Washington, Dr. Jean Garton, opened all kinds of doors and paved all kinds of pathways.  David Adams, one of the successors, was also active in regards to that issue.  Another issue was education, particularly private/Lutheran education.  In my salad days in the parish, our ecumenical community organization went to Washington and got tohe only comprehensive housing act in the last 30 years passed, the National Nehemiah Housing Act.  This took place in the Reagan era.  And the LCMS was strongly supportive of our local and national political efforts. 

I've been trying to listen to the ELCA methodology on Social Statements, and there is both structural and issue-oriented logic.  However, what I would take to be the LCMS reticence on being perceived as turning penultimates into ultimates has kept the LCMS, pretty appropriately, from jumping on every issue.  The report Render Unto Caesar is one of the CTCR underpinning efforts that has been well accepted.

That's about as brief a response as I could make.  At our parish 110th Anniversary next Sunday, the city Comptroller will be attending and bringing greetings.  We have worked together recently on progams and initiatives to stop and to address predatory lending practices.  On an issue by issue basis, there's no shortage of effort we can and do appropriately invest in the public sector.

Dave Benke

Steverem

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #141 on: November 09, 2007, 05:18:27 PM »
I know that the LCMS shut down it's office in DC, though there is still some activity conducted remotely. They occasionally send out a newsletter and their activity pretty much mirrors our doctrinal committments and faith positions. As the LCMS does not tend towards social statements like the ELCA does and, perhaps the belief that the 2 Kindgom Theology is more applicable, there seems to be less governmental lobbying from the LCMS. Anyone who knows more about LCMS activity in legislative matters?

Your overall sense is right. The LCMS' Office of Governmental Affairs (since closed) pretty much avoided commenting on any specific legislation, choosing to deal with the meta-issues, and offering analysis rather than lobbying. LOGA is much more comfortable with promoting specific bills and legislation. (To LOGA's credit, however, they have avoided some of the extremes of other church lobbying offices--TEC and UMC come to mind--that have marched in support of abortion on demand, and are active members of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice [RCRC, for whomever was asking], despite a notable lack of church unity on such matters.)

Maryland Brian

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #142 on: November 09, 2007, 05:57:42 PM »
The LCMS had their office of governmental affairs in Washington for some years, and the best person I knew in it was Candace Mueller.  At that time we actually convened workshops in the DC area on the issue of Two Realms and appropriate involvement. 

Sounds like your office did what Dr. Benne laments we have lost.  When I served at Reformation on the Hill, our PAS monthly seminars approached the issues much the same as did Candace.  It's my understanding the Luther Institute took over PAS. 

Sadly, as far as I can tell, those sorts of continuing education events are a thing of the past.  Lost opportunities for helping people live out their vocations "in the most powerful city in the most powerful nation in the world."

Md Brian

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #143 on: November 09, 2007, 06:03:00 PM »
Religious Coaliltion for Reproductive Choice-  http://www.rcrc.org/

TEC, UCC, UMC, PCUSA, etc., are all very active.  Do we notice a pattern?

Matt, we should note that the ELCA is not a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, though it has certainly had the opportunity. One of its members is the "Lutheran Women's Caucus" but, other than being the producers of a statement from 1990 that is occasionally cited, I don't know who it is.

On the other hand, a high official with Church in Society once asserted in my presence that "the ELCA is pro-choice."
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #144 on: November 09, 2007, 06:38:15 PM »
On the other hand, a high official with Church in Society once asserted in my presence that "the ELCA is pro-choice."
One can be pro-choice, and hope and pray and advice people to choose to bear the child.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

peter_speckhard

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #145 on: November 09, 2007, 06:55:01 PM »
On the other hand, a high official with Church in Society once asserted in my presence that "the ELCA is pro-choice."
One can be pro-choice, and hope and pray and advice people to choose to bear the child.
Not with any intellectual integrity can one do that. Again, the parallel with slavery is striking. You can't be pro-choice regarding slavery but hope and pray people choose not to have slaves. Why not do away with laws altogether and hope and pray and advise people to behave themselves?

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #146 on: November 09, 2007, 09:23:55 PM »
Not with any intellectual integrity can one do that. Again, the parallel with slavery is striking. You can't be pro-choice regarding slavery but hope and pray people choose not to have slaves. Why not do away with laws altogether and hope and pray and advise people to behave themselves?
First of all, we know the necessity of the first use of the law for the good of society. Jesus told those who questioned him that divorce laws are needed because of our hard hearts. We still have hard hearts. We still are sinners. If we weren't, I don't believe that we would need laws.

Secondly, only when someone can misbehave and they choose not to then we have a true picture of their character. A person who has the freedom to go to porn sites on the internet and chooses not to do so is showing much more character and responsibility for his actions than the person who has all those sites blocked. The woman who has the freedom to abort an unwanted pregnancy and decides not to is showing more character and maturity of faith than one who is never given that choice.

It seems to me that that's exactly what Luther did when he removed the mandatory aspect of attending worship. While he did not require it, he certainly hoped, prayed, and advised people to attend worship -- not because of some rule, but because they chose to do so because they understood the great benefit that God gives to those who freely come to worship and receive the sacrament. In fact, I think that he would argue that if someone is attending only to obey some rule, they are coming for the wrong reasons.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

GoCubsGo!

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #147 on: November 09, 2007, 10:03:50 PM »

On the other hand, a high official with Church in Society once asserted in my presence that "the ELCA is pro-choice."

It's a good thing that the ELCA's statements and pronouncements are not binding on my individual conscience. It seems to me that the ELCA should be something other than either pro-choice or pro-life since its membership, which drives all our decisions, is decidedly made up of both sides on the issue.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #148 on: November 09, 2007, 10:19:34 PM »
Read the ELCA's social statement on abortion. There are things there in the statement that do not please all the "pro-choice" people. There are things in there that not not please all the "pro-life" people.

ptmccain

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Re: Interesting Results from ELCA Congregational Survey
« Reply #149 on: November 09, 2007, 11:22:21 PM »
Quote
It seems to me that that's exactly what Luther did when he removed the mandatory aspect of attending worship. While he did not require it, he certainly hoped, prayed, and advised people to attend worship -- not because of some rule, but because they chose to do so because they understood the great benefit that God gives to those who freely come to worship and receive the sacrament. In fact, I think that he would argue that if someone is attending only to obey some rule, they are coming for the wrong reasons.

Brian, where in the world do you get such notions?

Luther did not "remove" the Third Commandment, and he did "require" people to be faithful in worship and referred to those who despised preaching as swine.