Author Topic: Church of the Lutheran Brethren  (Read 17240 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2008, 01:21:43 PM »
The fact that Luther was such a stickler for who we communed was not simply a product of a less-informed culture, it was an essential part of his doctrine and theology.
Scripture trumps Luther. When church bodies agree with the scriptural statements: "This is the body of Christ" and "This is the blood of Christ" we have sufficient biblical agreement about the real presence.
"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]

Charles_Austin

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2008, 01:24:07 PM »
Pastor Bliss writes;
The agreements may not deny the bodily prsence but the reality is Presbyterians and Reformed do.
I comment:
So their theologians and conventions are lying to us?

Pastor Bliss:
I know this because I grew up Presbyterian and Reformed and I regularly argue with my dad on this who is a died in the wool Presbyterian.
Me:
No doubt your dad had good faith, but he may not have been the best interpreter of Presbyterian theology.

Pastor Bliss:
The agreements don't deny the bodily presence only in the sense that they allow for the belief in the bodily presence, but for Luther that was the sticking point. It's absurd for you to suggest that we have more insight into Luther's theology than Luther himself.
Me:
But it is not "Luther's theology" that is the final word for us; it is the faith of the church that extends far beyond Luther. And we do have more insight into that than did our beloved ancestor from Germany. It is absurd to suggest that just because Luther said it, implied it or speculated on it, that we have to incorporate it into our doctrine and practice. That is the worst kind of denominational chauvinism, bordering on sectarianism.
That's my opinion, and I believe my wool is consistently dyed Lutheran.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2008, 01:25:52 PM »
I didn't create that; I recall and relish the days of Synodical President Oliver Harms and the distinguished faculty of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, prior to 1975, when we had hopes for fuller Lutheran unity.
It was certainly not Charles nor I who squelched the movement for fuller Lutheran unity. I can't recall that the ELCA nor the predecessor bodies ever made public statements nor voted on the worthiness of other Lutheran bodies.
"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]

buechler

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2008, 01:32:27 PM »
I didn't create that; I recall and relish the days of Synodical President Oliver Harms and the distinguished faculty of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, prior to 1975, when we had hopes for fuller Lutheran unity.
It was certainly not Charles nor I who squelched the movement for fuller Lutheran unity. I can't recall that the ELCA nor the predecessor bodies ever made public statements nor voted on the worthiness of other Lutheran bodies.

It would have been foolish for them to do so. None of the "other" Lutheran bodies were working outside the final authority of Scripture. That cannot now be said of the ELCA.

Peace in the Lord!
Rob Buechler

RevSteve

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2008, 01:36:10 PM »
Here we go again. Charles we have gone down this road before. What do the people who put these ecumenical agreements together have more insight into Lutheran and reformed doctrine than Luther and Zwingli??
The Reformed Churches oppose Zwingli as much as Lutherans do. The Reformed beliefs are based on Calvin, not Zwingli. Isn't there a saying, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"?

And again for the umpteenth time with you. Although I am sure as usual you will just ignore this. The reason why Marburg applies here is because what ultimatley was the sticking point for Luther was Zwingli's denial of the bodily presence which Calvin also denied. If anything Calvin was even more vhement in his denial of ot than Zwingli.


Quote
Luther himself said that they were of a "different Spirit of faith." But somehow 500 years later the scholars who worked on the ecumenical agreements together are able to unpack some new insight into Lutheran and reformed theology that those at Marburg weren't able to. It's not about the real presence it's about the bodily presence which we believe and the reformed deny.
Why is it that you have no trust in the scholars who worked on the ecumenical agreements? Don't you believe that they were trained in Lutheran theology and doctrine and history and Confessions?[/quote]

I have no doubt in my mind that they were theologically trained in proper Lutheran theology and doctrine. But there are plenty of people for whom that was the case and they still become revisionists. It's not their training that I am suspicious of. I don't have to know how well trained they are to know that the product of their actions are inconsistent with orthodox Lutheranism, or to recognize the absurdity of their implying that they somehow have more insight into Lutheran doctrine that Luther himself.

Quote
Well Charles the reason he gave was because we (the ELCA) are not in fellowship with them. Now you're right, ultimately I don't know what he was thinking when he gave that reason and it could have something to do with what you say (although I doubt it) but regardless what was verbalized by the bishop and experienced by this country congregation whose kids were denied VBS was the ELCA's rejection of LCMS. And actually Charles now that I think about it, your speculations are flat out wrong, because the LCMS pastor had spoken to his circuit counselor and District President before making the offer and they both said it was fine so there was no risk of him getting in trouble. Regardless speculating on what the bishop's motives might have been means nothing when his action reflects a rejection by the ELCA of the LCMS.
If I were to guess at the bishop's motives, it would be based on a conversation I had with an LCMS pastor. Essentially he stated that he could go and preach to congregations of other denominations, but his purpose would be to convince them that if they agreed with him, they needed to join the LCMS. If the bishop had had similar conversations with the DP and/or LCMS clergy, I could see a reason why he would object to proselytizing the members of an ELCA congregation by an LCMS pastor.

Whereas earlier you quote Luther talking about "different Spirit of faith," concerning Lutherans and Reformed. Do you not believe that there is a "different Spirit of faith" between the ELCA and LCMS? I do. Should it keep us from cooperative ministries? That depends. If either side is trying to prove that they are right and the other wrong -- that is not a cooperative ministry. That's proselytizing. That should be halted.
[/quote]

Well I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that if that were the case then the bishop was dead wrong. This LCMS pastor had no motives of "prosletyzing" anyone. In fcat he has preached at ah ELCA congregations in another synod and the bishop was fine with it. And the congregation where he preached would speak very positively of their expereince with him.

Are the LCMS and the ELCA of the same spirit of faith? If we're comparing Higgins Road to the Purple Palace then maybe not. But I prefer not to over-simplify things like that. I think at the grassroots level where real minstry takes place there are definite possibilities for fellowship. I have a very close relationship with the local LCMS pastor. In fact I am closer to him than probably most of my ELCA colleagues. Not for lack of trying on my part. I have tried to do text-studies and such with my ELCA colleagues and most of them simply prefer to have exremely isolated minsitries. I would say that I am definitely of the same spirit of faith as the LCMS colleauge I mentioned as well as others I have met.
Pastor Steven M. Bliss LCMC and NALC-  St Olaf Lutheran Church, Bode, Iowa

New quote, got tired of questions about Dante quote...

"Doin stuff is overrated. Like Hitler did a lot of stuff but don't we all wish he would have just sat around all day and got stoned?"-Dex from the Tao of Steve

Charles_Austin

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2008, 01:40:30 PM »
Good individual relationships are great blessings. But we do not operate within our denominations as lone wolves, making our own ecumenical alliances or agreements.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2008, 01:43:57 PM »
Pastor Buechler writes (heading off topic to his favorite):
None of the "other" Lutheran bodies were working outside the final authority of Scripture. That cannot now be said of the ELCA.

I comment:
And yet another "ka-BOOM!" Pastor Buechler must have a chancelful of grenades.
Crap.

RevSteve

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2008, 01:50:41 PM »
Pastor Bliss:
I know this because I grew up Presbyterian and Reformed and I regularly argue with my dad on this who is a died in the wool Presbyterian.
Me:
No doubt your dad had good faith, but he may not have been the best interpreter of Presbyterian theology.

Actually Charles he is quite well versed in Calvin's Institutes and can interpret them just fine and he knows Calvin's theoilogy just fine. For crying out loud Charles Calvin conisdered Luther's doctrine of Communion to be "spiritual cannabiilsim."

Pastor Bliss:
The agreements don't deny the bodily presence only in the sense that they allow for the belief in the bodily presence, but for Luther that was the sticking point. It's absurd for you to suggest that we have more insight into Luther's theology than Luther himself.
Me:
But it is not "Luther's theology" that is the final word for us; it is the faith of the church that extends far beyond Luther. And we do have more insight into that than did our beloved ancestor from Germany. It is absurd to suggest that just because Luther said it, implied it or speculated on it, that we have to incorporate it into our doctrine and practice. That is the worst kind of denominational chauvinism, bordering on sectarianism.
That's my opinion, and I believe my wool is consistently dyed Lutheran.

Then what you're saying is that the scholars who put the ecumenical agreements together think they have better insight on the scriptures than Luther and the Lutheran confessions. Fine, but that doesn't make it Lutheran theology. Calvin thought that he had better insight on the scriptures than Luther but he didn't try to call his theology Lutheran. If they're going to deviate from the confessions than they should have the integrity to admit it. But they want the best of both worlds. They want to be able to re-define Lutheran theology in a way that deviates from the confessions but they still want to be able to call their revisionism orthodox Lutheranism. And I hate to break it to you Charles but the scholars who put the ecumenical agreements together are not the defining voice of what is confessionaly Lutheran (thank goodness). For them to suggest that they somehow have more insight into Luither's theology is denominational chauvinism.
Pastor Steven M. Bliss LCMC and NALC-  St Olaf Lutheran Church, Bode, Iowa

New quote, got tired of questions about Dante quote...

"Doin stuff is overrated. Like Hitler did a lot of stuff but don't we all wish he would have just sat around all day and got stoned?"-Dex from the Tao of Steve

RevSteve

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2008, 02:10:41 PM »
Good individual relationships are great blessings. But we do not operate within our denominations as lone wolves, making our own ecumenical alliances or agreements.

But as more and more individual connections are made at the grassroots level is it not possible that these connections could eventually be reflected on a larger level.
Pastor Steven M. Bliss LCMC and NALC-  St Olaf Lutheran Church, Bode, Iowa

New quote, got tired of questions about Dante quote...

"Doin stuff is overrated. Like Hitler did a lot of stuff but don't we all wish he would have just sat around all day and got stoned?"-Dex from the Tao of Steve

buechler

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #39 on: July 11, 2008, 02:22:05 PM »
Pastor Buechler writes (heading off topic to his favorite):
None of the "other" Lutheran bodies were working outside the final authority of Scripture. That cannot now be said of the ELCA.

I comment:
And yet another "ka-BOOM!" Pastor Buechler must have a chancelful of grenades.
Crap.

The point I make is that when the ELCA was formed, and when the bodies who came together to form the ELCA existed, the following did not exist: 1) They were not in full communion with bodies who denied Jesus as the way, truth, and life (see ECUSA and their Presiding Bishop), 2) They were not tolerant of congregations who worshipped gods and goddesses (see Ebenezer), 3) They (the predecessor bodies) did not reject the sexual norms of the Scripture and in fact rejected all forms of sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage. 4) They (at least the ALC did) accepted Scripture as the inspired, inerrant word of God and that was the final rule and norm of Christian faith and life.

This has all changed in the ELCA. Now they are tolerant and accepting of Synods and congregations and bishops who deny Scripture as the word of God (See Gary Pence for example...a disciple of Marcus Borg). It is a denomination which openly allows synods and congregations to violate Scripture by allowing them to bless same-sex unions. It is a denomination which allows for congregations to be pagan.

I am not lobbing grenades. I am talking about facts. This means that is would make no sense for the ELCA or the predecessor bodies to denounce other Lutherans of being non-Lutheran or even non-Christian. The LCMS, AALC, AFLC, LCMC, and others have not done what the ELCA has done...which is to make all things optional for the "sake of mission." One can call them orthodox, one can call them traditionalist, one can call them (as Charles is wont to do) narrow biblicists. One cannot call them non-Lutheran or rejecting the Christian faith. The same cannot be said of the ELCA in general (acknowledging that there are still Christian people and leadership at work there trying to regain the ground that has been lost). The LCMS is right to call into question the ELCA's commitment to Lutheranism and for that matter Christianity, especially given the full communion partnerships and sexual/theological/scriptural compromises being made there.

Time to wake up and smell the coffee Charles.

Peace in the Lord!
Rob Buechler

Richard Kidd, STS

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2008, 03:45:32 PM »
Not to bash my LCMS friends even though a lot of them bash the ELCA with a vengeance:

I do commend the AFLC, LCMC, CLB, and other Lutheran groups for Open Communion with any baptized Christian and leave the Judgement to God. This is where the LCMS is similar to the Roman Catholic Church where if you don't believe every jot and title of our doctrine then you are not one of us. I say this with sadness.

Scott5

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #41 on: July 11, 2008, 03:50:13 PM »
...for Open Communion with any baptized Christian and leave the Judgement to God.

Just to be clear, you don't see any need for agreement on what's being received in communion?  That is, a Zwinglian who rejects any form of the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Supper and certainly doesn't receive it "for the forgiveness of sins" but rather as a memorial meal of Christ's death, such a one is a worthy communicant?

To the best of my knowledge, this isn't the ELCA position; some agreement on what is offered and received is necessary for receiving communion.  That's why the ecumenical agreements treat this issue (whether satisfactorily or not is another issue).  Or am I wrong?

(Just in case you don't know, I received my M.A. in Islamic Studies from Luther in '99, back when Dr. Miller was there and just as Mark Swanson replaced him; I lived with Terry Fretheim for a year, too, when I rented a room in his house, though he wasn't around much.)
« Last Edit: July 11, 2008, 03:53:38 PM by Sc ott Yak imow »

Terry W Culler

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2008, 04:01:53 PM »
Not to bash my LCMS friends even though a lot of them bash the ELCA with a vengeance:

I do commend the AFLC, LCMC, CLB, and other Lutheran groups for Open Communion with any baptized Christian and leave the Judgement to God. This is where the LCMS is similar to the Roman Catholic Church where if you don't believe every jot and title of our doctrine then you are not one of us. I say this with sadness.

I'd be a little careful here.  Because we are very congregational in outlook you will find variations in practice in the AFLC about many things including who can share the Body and Blood with us.  I read something called an Exhortation Before Communion just prior to the words of institution.  In it I supplement what our bulletin says we believe and teach about the Sacrament.  I do not question those who come forward, but I make it very clear that by coming forward they are publicly stating they agree with what we teach about the Real Presence.  If they choose to ignore all of that, I can't do anything about it, but I would be somewhat uncertain about someone who normally attends a Baptist church and comes forward at St. Paul's.  I have been told that we have congregations who practice something like closed communion, but again I'm not sure.
Terry
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RevSteve

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2008, 04:52:01 PM »
Not to bash my LCMS friends even though a lot of them bash the ELCA with a vengeance:

I do commend the AFLC, LCMC, CLB, and other Lutheran groups for Open Communion with any baptized Christian and leave the Judgement to God. This is where the LCMS is similar to the Roman Catholic Church where if you don't believe every jot and title of our doctrine then you are not one of us. I say this with sadness.

With all due respect your remarks show a lack of proper understanding of closed-communion. They do not expect complete agreement on every jot and tittle of doctrine. However they do rightly believe that when it comes to the sacrament of Holy Communion those communing together should all share a common understanding of what they are receieving in the sacrament and of course that understanding should be consistent with what our Lord promises in His Word. They simply agree with Paul when he said that anyone who eats and drinks of the sacrament without discerning the body of Christ brings judgment upon themselves. They believe they are preventing people from bringing judgment upon themselves.

Now how that is practiced by LCMS clergy varies and I certainly don't agree with how it is practiced by some. Some LCMS pastors will ask visitors if they have been confirmed Lutheran and that will be enough. Some will ask visitors to share what they believe about the sacrament and if it is consistent with Lutheran doctrine that will be fine. Others will simply say you must be LCMS. I believe the middle way would be the most appropriate, but regardless it is a practice that is often mischaracterized and vastly over-simplified by people in the ELCA who simply want to cast our LCMS brothers and sisters in a negative light. Not to mention it iis also used for church discipline in that if for example someone is living in a state of unrepentant sin they could be denied communion until they repent.
Pastor Steven M. Bliss LCMC and NALC-  St Olaf Lutheran Church, Bode, Iowa

New quote, got tired of questions about Dante quote...

"Doin stuff is overrated. Like Hitler did a lot of stuff but don't we all wish he would have just sat around all day and got stoned?"-Dex from the Tao of Steve

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Church of the Lutheran Brethren
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2008, 05:20:07 PM »
To the best of my knowledge, this isn't the ELCA position; some agreement on what is offered and received is necessary for receiving communion.  That's why the ecumenical agreements treat this issue (whether satisfactorily or not is another issue).  Or am I wrong?

The following are selected "principles" from The Use of the Means of Grace -- the ELCA's official teaching on the sacraments.

Principle 33 In this sacrament the crucified and risen Christ is present, giving his true body and blood as food and drink. This real presence is a mystery.

Background 33A The Augsburg Confession states: "It is taught among us that the true body and blood of Christ are really present in the Supper of our Lord under the form of bread and wine and are there distributed and received."  The Apology of the Augsburg Confession adds: "We are talking about the presence of the living Christ, knowing that 'death no longer has dominion over him.'"

Background 33B "The 'how' of Christ's presence remains as inexplicable in the sacrament as elsewhere. It is a presence that remains 'hidden' even though visible media are used in the sacrament. The earthly element is... a fit vehicle of the divine presence and it, too, the common stuff of our daily life, participates in the new creation which has already begun." [quote from The Sacrament of the Altar and Its Implications, United Lutheran Church in America, 1960]

Principle 37 Admission to the Sacrament is by invitation of the Lord, presented through the Church to those who are baptized.

Principle 49 Believing in the real presence of Christ, this church practices eucharistic hospitality. All baptized persons are welcomed to Communion when they are visiting in the congregations of this church.


It seems to me that a difference between the ELCA understanding of Real Presence and those of some other Lutherans is that we leave the "how" of Christ's presence as a mystery -- something we can't explain. Others believe that they can explain it, especially in contrast to what others say about how Christ is present.
"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]