Author Topic: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC  (Read 20671 times)

Charles_Austin

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #60 on: November 07, 2007, 08:57:22 AM »
Pastor Culler writes:
I truly hate to say it, but some of the conversation here sounds just like the sort of things 14 year olds bring up in confirmation.  Let's move along now

I protest:
No! Not until you give me some answers for those 14-year olds!

edoughty

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #61 on: November 07, 2007, 09:58:10 AM »
I don't know her personally myself, but I've seen and heard enough from her to indicate that the gospel is reduced to acceptance and no repentance/new life -- that is, of course, unless you stand firm in the faith on orthodox/traditional teachings and practices of the faith.
So if a baptized infant dies before reaching the age of being able to repent by confessing sins and receiving forgiveness, they cannot be saved by God? Does God accept infants before they are able to repent and receive the new life given in Christ or does God's acceptance depend on something we do first?

Perhaps what might be more applicable is would God punish a child whose parent(s) didn't take the time to see that the child was baptized?

John Dornheim
Would the angel of death kill the firstborn son of parents who didn't take the time to put the blood of the lamb on their doorpost?

Does your question presume a specific model of atonement?

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN
My question assumes that God cannot be unjust whether he gives or takes life, whether He damns or saves. Since we all confess to having been born in sin and that we "justly deserve Thy temporal and eternal punishment" (well, those of us who grew up on TLH do, at least) what we're saying that is that pure justice leads us to the conclusion of universal damnation, not universal salvation. What is impossibly good, inexplicable to reason, is that we are saved by grace through faith. The question of whether God would damn a baby because the parents were too lazy or foolish to get the child baptized frames the whole thing wrong due to the word "because". No, He wouldn't damn anybody because of that; He would damn them, if He did, because they were damnable sinners (which we know we all are, including the baby the question). Framing the question in this way confuses mercy with justice, as though since some are saved by mercy, it is a matter of justice that all must be saved by mercy. Romans 9 ought to puit an end to such speculation. Universalism is the ultimate perversion of law and Gospel, at least in this sense, in that it makes salvation a function of God's justice-- how could he be so unfair as to save one and not another-- rather than grace. Now, in order to avoid that pitfall, rather than asking why God would damn anyone, we might ask on what basis God would save anyone. And the only thing that satisfies justice and mercy is a sacrificial model of atonement and the righteousness of Christ given by grace and received by faith. If we simply assume that God saves the unbaptized, we're making baptism meaningless. Might He save them? Sure. If you jumped off a pinnacle, He might send the angels to bear you up lest you strike your foot against a stone.

Chesterton made the point somewhere that when we object to the possibility of eternal consequences for this or that ritual or act, we're really objecting to the whole idea of real consequences to any action and therefore to the divine condescension of human agency. Unless it is a matter of dogma that all are saved, with or without repentance or faith, whether they want to be or not, or unless even what God has revealed remains unsure such that everything that happens is truly random, then we're stuck with the idea that a simple ritual, as far as we know, has eternal consequences, but paradoxically, only one way. Baptism saves, but lack of baptism does not damn. If there is any drama to the Passover, then the blood on the door really means something. The Hebrew really is saved by the blood of the Lamb, but the Egyptian does not die for want of such blood, but because of Pharoah's hard-heartedness. God calls the blood, just like the rainbow, not so much a sign for us (though it is that, too) but a sign for Him. When He sees it, He will act according to the promise He attached to it. The same, it seems to me, applies to Baptism.

BTW there is an interesting set of prayers in the TLH Liturgy edition that distinguishes the death announcements for adults and young children. I was thinking of writing an article on it sometime. If anyone wants to look it up and comment, I would welcome your thought. I don't have it with me right now or I would post it. Anyway, good night.

I do believe our baptism into Christ is a means of grace; a trustworthy way to know God's grace and salvation is "for you".  I would not be willing to say that I know exactly what happens to the deceased unbaptized (of any age).  God does what God wills, and I don't understand it all; but we who know Christ know that God in addition to being just is also merciful.  God is light and life and love.  While the unbaptized do not have that trustworthy "for you" means of grace, they still have as their creator and judge One who knows when even a sparrow falls, and who loves all that He has made.  I would therefore not presume to preach the unbaptized into either heaven or hell.  We trust as best we can in the mercy of God.

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN

peter_speckhard

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #62 on: November 07, 2007, 10:32:29 AM »
Just curious, do you confess the Athanasian Creed?
Yup, nearly every Trinity Sunday.

Quote
BTW, I was agreeing (scary) with you about the need of the Church to inform our views of Scripture and to tell the wackos to knock it off. You lost with your understanding of salvation. that is "all people are there because of Jesus."

If some people are not in heaven because of Jesus, how else do they get there?
Brian, you are up to your mischief again. The "all people are there because of Jesus" quote was characterizing the universalist position that everyone is saved, and, whether they knew it in this life or not, everyone is saved because of Jesus. That is the position Grabau was not happy with. When you respond, "If some people are not in heaven because of Jesus, how else did they get there?" you're making it seem as though Grabau is somehow denying that salvation is only in Christ when in fact he is questioning universal salvation. In other words, it isn't that some people are not in heaven because of Jesus but instead are there due to some other means of salvation; it is that some people are not in heaven at all because they had on connection to the only means of salvation--Jesus Christ.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #63 on: November 07, 2007, 10:41:12 AM »
Peter writes:
some people are not in heaven at all because they had on (textual criticism leads me to read this as "no," but I could be wrong  ;D) connection to the only means of salvation--Jesus Christ.

I ponder:
Might I be Zen-ish again and ponder whether some of those who may be in heaven had a "connection" to Jesus Christ which was not glaringly evident to them or to those around them?

revklak

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #64 on: November 07, 2007, 11:07:07 AM »
Peter writes:
some people are not in heaven at all because they had on (textual criticism leads me to read this as "no," but I could be wrong ;D) connection to the only means of salvation--Jesus Christ.

I ponder:
Might I be Zen-ish again and ponder whether some of those who may be in heaven had a "connection" to Jesus Christ which was not glaringly evident to them or to those around them?

To say that "The Spirit blows where it will..." and, as Luther says, "Where the Spirit is there the Christian has everything he needs for salvation," does not imply in any way that there may be other PATHS to salvation, but that, indeed, the only way is STILL through Christ -- whether we (as outside observers) can tell or not -- which we are not able to, thus we offer grace to all, but know also that it is also ONLY through Christ that anyone is saved or gets to heaven -- whomever He may choose to accept or not, however He does it.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #65 on: November 07, 2007, 11:16:50 AM »
The question of whether God would damn a baby because the parents were too lazy or foolish to get the child baptized frames the whole thing wrong due to the word "because".

Note, in my original example, I gave no reasons why the infant had not been baptized. In the case of both our children, there was a matter of a month or more before my pastor (the bishop) could come the nearly 500 miles and officiate at the baptism. The delay was not caused by laziness or foolishness or misplaced belief, but because of practical matters.

Quote
If we simply assume that God saves the unbaptized, we're making baptism meaningless. Might He save them? Sure. If you jumped off a pinnacle, He might send the angels to bear you up lest you strike your foot against a stone.
Exactly, salvation for sinners is up to God. The sacraments assure us that God is gracious to us, but they do not rule out the possibility that God can save the unbaptized, the non-Lutheran, or even the non-Christian by his grace, should God decide to do so. (Note that in Isaiah 45, Cyrus, the Persian ruler, who does not believe in God, is chosen by God -- in fact, even called, "a Messiah" in the Hebrew -- to save the Israelites from their Babylonian exile.)

At the same time, as I wrote earlier, I believe that everyone who ends up in heaven, are there because of Jesus.
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #66 on: November 07, 2007, 11:22:28 AM »
Brian, you are up to your mischief again. The "all people are there because of Jesus" quote was characterizing the universalist position that everyone is saved,
That is not what I am saying. I'm saying that all people who are saved, are saved because of Jesus -- even though some who end up in heaven may not have realized Jesus' work in their lives on earth. I am not saying that all people are saved.

Quote
"If some people are not in heaven because of Jesus, how else did they get there?" you're making it seem as though Grabau is somehow denying that salvation is only in Christ when in fact he is questioning universal salvation.

Since my original statement was not about universal salvation, but salvation in Jesus, I had to assume that his response was about salvation in Jesus.

Quote
In other words, it isn't that some people are not in heaven because of Jesus but instead are there due to some other means of salvation; it is that some people are not in heaven at all because they had on connection to the only means of salvation--Jesus Christ.
In a couple parables from Jesus about people finding themselves outside locked doors, the one behind the door doesn't shut them out because "You don't know me," but because, "I don't know you." It would seem that from those parables, it's Jesus' knowledge of us that is more important than our knowledge of Jesus.
"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]

Sublime_Harbinger

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #67 on: November 07, 2007, 02:48:08 PM »

It's quite different. "I don't know the mind of God fully" is much different than saying "I believe all paths are equal."

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN

If "I don't know the mind of God fully" is an excuse to embrace universalism, they are very much the same thing.  Whether or not this is the path she is taking, I have not read enough of her own words to know.

edoughty

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #68 on: November 07, 2007, 03:19:12 PM »

It's quite different.  "I don't know the mind of God fully" is much different than saying "I believe all paths are equal."

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN

If "I don't know the mind of God fully" is an excuse to embrace universalism, they are very much the same thing.  Whether or not this is the path she is taking, I have not read enough of her own words to know.

Well, then we will just have to disagree.  I believe that "I don't know the mind of God fully" is an appropriately humble statement for a Christian to make with regard to salvation issues.  "All paths are equal" is simply mistaken and is somewhat patronizing once one studies comparative religions-- the aim of Buddhism and the aim of Christianity, for example, are very different. 

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN

revklak

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #69 on: November 07, 2007, 03:23:17 PM »
I believe that "I don't know the mind of God fully" is an appropriately humble statement for a Christian to make with regard to salvation issues. "All paths are equal" is simply mistaken and is somewhat patronizing once one studies comparative religions-- the aim of Buddhism and the aim of Christianity, for example, are very different.

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN

Except that we have the mind of God revealed to us -- in Jesus.  Plus, I agree that the all paths are equal argument is mistaken, but it is proliferated and held on to tightly by many Christians and others that it needs to be addressed and corrected, not simply allowed to perptuate itself in its ignorance

John Dornheim

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #70 on: November 07, 2007, 04:23:31 PM »
I believe that "I don't know the mind of God fully" is an appropriately humble statement for a Christian to make with regard to salvation issues.  "All paths are equal" is simply mistaken and is somewhat patronizing once one studies comparative religions-- the aim of Buddhism and the aim of Christianity, for example, are very different. 

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN

Except that we have the mind of God revealed to us -- in Jesus.  Plus, I agree that the all paths are equal argument is mistaken, but it is proliferated and held on to tightly by many Christians and others that it needs to be addressed and corrected, not simply allowed to perptuate itself in its ignorance


When we are queueing up on that great gettin' up day, we will probably be greatly surprised at who is and who isn't on line with us. That there will be a line is due only to Jesus' salvific work.
Personally, I'll have my eye out for Gandhi, Lao Tzu and a few other folk.
John Dornheim

revklak

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #71 on: November 07, 2007, 04:27:36 PM »
I believe that "I don't know the mind of God fully" is an appropriately humble statement for a Christian to make with regard to salvation issues. "All paths are equal" is simply mistaken and is somewhat patronizing once one studies comparative religions-- the aim of Buddhism and the aim of Christianity, for example, are very different.

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN

Except that we have the mind of God revealed to us -- in Jesus. Plus, I agree that the all paths are equal argument is mistaken, but it is proliferated and held on to tightly by many Christians and others that it needs to be addressed and corrected, not simply allowed to perptuate itself in its ignorance


When we are queueing up on that great gettin' up day, we will probably be greatly surprised at who is and who isn't on line with us. That there will be a line is due only to Jesus' salvific work.
Personally, I'll have my eye out for Gandhi, Lao Tzu and a few other folk.
John Dornheim

Didn't say the wouldn't or couldn't be... only said that if they are, its because Christ has done it, as you say.  Can someone following "another path" encounter Christ without knowing it?  Because its up to God I'd say sure, but I wouldn't bank on it.

pr dtp

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #72 on: November 07, 2007, 05:33:55 PM »
I believe that "I don't know the mind of God fully" is an appropriately humble statement for a Christian to make with regard to salvation issues. "All paths are equal" is simply mistaken and is somewhat patronizing once one studies comparative religions-- the aim of Buddhism and the aim of Christianity, for example, are very different.

Erik Doughty
Minneapolis, MN

Except that we have the mind of God revealed to us -- in Jesus. Plus, I agree that the all paths are equal argument is mistaken, but it is proliferated and held on to tightly by many Christians and others that it needs to be addressed and corrected, not simply allowed to perptuate itself in its ignorance


When we are queueing up on that great gettin' up day, we will probably be greatly surprised at who is and who isn't on line with us. That there will be a line is due only to Jesus' salvific work.
Personally, I'll have my eye out for Gandhi, Lao Tzu and a few other folk.
John Dornheim

The one thing overlooked in this conversation so far, is Romans 2, where God tells us how this will be dealt with, quite clearly.

Some people might be able to claim some form of civil righteousness, based on their own work, and general revelation. But against God's standard of righteousness? Will their consciences excuse them for disobeying the first table (never mind the second table ) After all, what did Ghandi trust in for his righteousness - Christ? Nope. Lao-Tzu - did he trust in God? not him either. The Old Testament saints did trust in God for the promise of deliverance from sin, satan and death. Not in their own righteousness.


Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #73 on: November 07, 2007, 05:39:52 PM »
Some people might be able to claim some form of civil righteousness, based on their own work, and general revelation. But against God's standard of righteousness? Will their consciences excuse them for disobeying the first table (never mind the second table ) After all, what did Ghandi trust in for his righteousness - Christ? Nope. Lao-Tzu - did he trust in God? not him either. The Old Testament saints did trust in God for the promise of deliverance from sin, satan and death. Not in their own righteousness.
But you have replaced the human work of righteousness with the human work of trust. Neither our righteousness nor our faith/trust (which is smaller than a mustard seed) saves us. It's God's grace.
"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]

ptmccain

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Re: Diocese of Pittsburgh to vote on leaving TEC
« Reply #74 on: November 07, 2007, 09:49:59 PM »
God's grace is given to us, through faith in Christ, which faith is a gift of God.

Fairly basic stuff, one would think.

"No man comes to the Father except by me."


Dornheim's "pagans in line for heaven" dream, is contrary to Scripture and to the Lutheran Confessions.