Author Topic: Refrain and Restrain  (Read 26454 times)

navyman

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #345 on: July 25, 2008, 03:20:24 PM »
Yes, I would agree, it has been a topic on other discussion groups I belong to.  Yes, LCMS has lost members, the reason seem to be a Confessional change, chnage in operations from the top down, trouble in the president's office, BOD, Ablase, lack of unity of purpose, and some churches breaking off to form other Lutheran Church Bodies who stand on Walther, Luther, and the Litergy, and the teachings of the Book of Concord!
The best research I've read concluded that the primary factor fo the decline in mainline church bodies is not due to anything that church has done or hasn't done; but a changing culture that also shows itself in the decline of participation in nearly all organizations -- religious and otherwise.

Must be a Liberal or Revisionist publication!  ;)

navyman

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #346 on: July 25, 2008, 03:36:44 PM »
Well, Brian, there are some things that you and I agree about, but we don't agree on the Gospel.  I won't deny the forgiveness of sins to gay and lesbian people by lying to them that their behaviors are good.
Three questions: What behaviors of hommosexuals are you calling "not good"? How many of those are also done by heterosexuals? How is it different from proclaiming: "We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. Because of Jesus, God forgives us all of our sins."

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The only thing that matters to this sinner is that my sins are forgiven, and I want all people to hear that.  It says in Romans that God has consigned all things to sin, and I find no place in scripture where he encourages any of these behaviors.
 
Exactly. The gospel is proclaiming the forgiveness of sins by God's grace through faith in Jesus. It is not the Gospel to proclaim that same-sex sexual behaviors are not good. That may be a proclamation that we make -- but it is not Gospel. It is Law.

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It's about the forgiveness of sin, not the new addition on the building.  If you take Augsburg VII seriously, the Gospel is the only thing that counts,  anywhere and everywhere. 
Declaring that same-sex sexual behaviors are wrong is not Gospel.


Living in UnRepentant sin is!  Homosexuality is from the depths of hell, two people living in a same sex relationship is sin in which God stated it was an abomintation in his sight.  Scripture stated as well as the Book of Concord, those living in immorlaity shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Here we go again, a circle that seems to get smaller and smaller, within the same disregard for God'd Word, and the Teachings of the Christian Church.

Back to lurking!  I can go back and read your comments on these types of discussions, and you using the same tack!  Sorry, I don't by it!  Either do millions of other Christians, who would rather put their trust in the correct teachings of God's Word, then those of cultural sinful minded men!

Those who call themsleves Lutherans, and don't push their own agendas, to me they are not Lutherans.  Lutheran's stand on Scripture Alone, not men alone!

« Last Edit: July 25, 2008, 08:30:49 PM by navyman »

Charles_Austin

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #347 on: July 25, 2008, 04:07:12 PM »
Someone writes:
I used to battle publically at synod assemblies- at the microphone, in small assembly-rooms. I could see 20 years ago that our adversaries were smarter, faster better-funded and dwelling in a culture where a bishop's admonition would be seen, not with shame, but as a red badge of courage and a future career-boost.

I muse:
So you don't believe God uses the foolish to confound the "wise;" that truth wins out over power, or that witnessing - and if necessary, suffering - for the truth is useless? And explain to me how being admonished (once, twice, every year?) by the bishop is a "career-boost." Last I heard, bishops had something to say about who gets calls. And others here fear crossing the bishop; while you think it is a "badge of courage". So which is it?

Team Hesse

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #348 on: July 25, 2008, 04:09:47 PM »
Three questions: What behaviors of hommosexuals are you calling "not good"? How many of those are also done by heterosexuals? How is it different from proclaiming: "We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. Because of Jesus, God forgives us all of our sins."

To many of us, the blessing of something implies that there is no need for contrition or repentance in that area of our lives.  Thus, no need for forgiveness.  So, to me, when something is blessed, forgiveness of sins is denied because it's implied that it's not necessary. 

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Exactly. The gospel is proclaiming the forgiveness of sins by God's grace through faith in Jesus. It is not the Gospel to proclaim that same-sex sexual behaviors are not good. That may be a proclamation that we make -- but it is not Gospel. It is Law.

Agreed, it's a matter of law.  And the purposes of the law are to curb sin and show us our need for forgiveness as found in Christ.  So by denying the law here, we are failing to curb sin and denying the need for forgiveness in Christ.  Indirectly, it is a denial of the Gospel.  If the law doesn't apply, there is no need for the Gospel.

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Declaring that same-sex sexual behaviors are wrong is not Gospel.

Blessing same-sex behaviors is not Gospel either. 

Lou

Marshall_Hahn

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #349 on: July 25, 2008, 04:14:57 PM »
Declaring that same-sex sexual behaviors are wrong is not Gospel.

It is when it leads to repentance, forgiveness, and renewal.

Marshall Hahn

Mel Harris

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #350 on: July 25, 2008, 04:21:34 PM »

I don't see tending my flock as a lack of moral courage, ...


I did not intend to question the moral courage of our beloved moderator, or of anyone else who posts here.  I commented on the integrity and courage of our beloved moderator a few months ago in another thread here.


Sir,

The second reading for Saint Mark, Evangelist Day, April 25, according to LBW, is 2 Timothy 4:6-11, 18.  If I understood what you posted, and what you read and spoke on to the Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly included 2 Timothy 4:1-5, then you have even more of my respect than you had before.

Mel Harris


It has been quite a few years since I last spoke at a microphone at a synod assembly.  Though rather than eating too many cookies, I consume a lot of coffee and step out often to consume something our beloved moderator would rather we not mention here.  What I was trying to do was raise questions of timing.  When is it time to speak up and rock the boat?  When is it time to ask a congregation to get involved in the controversies tearing our ELCA apart?  I fear that when the appropriate time has gone by, the only way I may be able to rock the boat is by jumping overboard.

Mel Harris   

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #351 on: July 25, 2008, 06:59:38 PM »
Three questions: What behaviors of hommosexuals are you calling "not good"? How many of those are also done by heterosexuals? How is it different from proclaiming: "We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. Because of Jesus, God forgives us all of our sins."

To many of us, the blessing of something implies that there is no need for contrition or repentance in that area of our lives.  Thus, no need for forgiveness.  So, to me, when something is blessed, forgiveness of sins is denied because it's implied that it's not necessary.

When I have married couples, I do not ask and I do not know what they do in their bedroom (or wherever else they may engage in sexual behaviors). It is possible that I have officiated at weddings where the man has raped and abused the woman. I know that I have officiated at weddings where the couple have been living together (and presumably having sex before their wedding date) and couples who have already had a child before getting married.

Blessing their relationship is not condoning abusive, coercive, or pre-marital sex -- even though the couple may be engaged in them. It is about witnessing to the promises the couple make to each other.

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Exactly. The gospel is proclaiming the forgiveness of sins by God's grace through faith in Jesus. It is not the Gospel to proclaim that same-sex sexual behaviors are not good. That may be a proclamation that we make -- but it is not Gospel. It is Law.

Agreed, it's a matter of law.  And the purposes of the law are to curb sin and show us our need for forgiveness as found in Christ.  So by denying the law here, we are failing to curb sin and denying the need for forgiveness in Christ.  Indirectly, it is a denial of the Gospel.  If the law doesn't apply, there is no need for the Gospel.
What law are we denying? I do not believe that scriptures ever talks about same-sex behaviors within a committed, mutual loving, life-long relationship.


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Declaring that same-sex sexual behaviors are wrong is not Gospel.

Blessing same-sex behaviors is not Gospel either.

I have never seen or even heard of a ceremony that blessed sexual behaviors. Weddings and unions are about blessing a relationship.

Hmmm, I just wondered to myself; if you have a prayer for responsive boars, fertile sows, and healthy piglets; is that asking God to bless sexual behaviors? :)
"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: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #352 on: July 25, 2008, 07:01:40 PM »
Declaring that same-sex sexual behaviors are wrong is not Gospel.

It is when it leads to repentance, forgiveness, and renewal.
Nope. The gospel happens when forgiveness is declared; not when the sin is pointed out. There certainly have been parents who do not forgive their child when they "come out" as homosexual.
"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]

FrPeters

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #353 on: July 25, 2008, 07:22:03 PM »
Has anyone every noticed that it was sex that got the first mention of trouble after the Fall and the fact that everything seems to have become about sex today?  Was it CS Lewis who said that when God is no longer the focus of the human heart the only thing left is sex?

Why is it so wrong to tell those who are single that chastity is the call of Scripture and the expectation of God?  Does it really matter if someone is born gay or not -- the point of every passage about sex in the Bible is that it rightfully belongs in marriage between husband and wife and not outside of this relationship.

Why does it matter if the Scripture ever concieved of a long term committed gay relationship.  The point of Scripture is to deposit the gift of sex within a specific relationship -- the marriage between a husband and wife.  It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that out but it takes some pretty creative exigesis to explain away what Scripture does say about sex, marriage, and homosexuality.
Fr Larry Peters
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RevSteve

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #354 on: July 25, 2008, 08:05:56 PM »
Three questions: What behaviors of hommosexuals are you calling "not good"? How many of those are also done by heterosexuals? How is it different from proclaiming: "We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. Because of Jesus, God forgives us all of our sins."

To many of us, the blessing of something implies that there is no need for contrition or repentance in that area of our lives.  Thus, no need for forgiveness.  So, to me, when something is blessed, forgiveness of sins is denied because it's implied that it's not necessary.

When I have married couples, I do not ask and I do not know what they do in their bedroom (or wherever else they may engage in sexual behaviors). It is possible that I have officiated at weddings where the man has raped and abused the woman. I know that I have officiated at weddings where the couple have been living together (and presumably having sex before their wedding date) and couples who have already had a child before getting married.


Yes Brian it is possible that you have done marriages where one of the spouses were abusive. And in light of that reality, as pastors, we can only pray that somehow such situations might reveal themselves so that we can do our jobs and give the abuser the opportunity to repent and seek whetever help they may need, even if it means refusing to do the marriage until such repentance takes place. But in the case of two men or two women asking you to bless their "marriage" the sin is staring you right in the face. What you, as a pastor need to decide, is will you enable their delusion or will you proclaim the truth to them?

And as far as officiating at weddings where couples have lived together and/or had a child before the wedding; if you are not at least encouraging them to repent then you are not doing your job. I am doing a marriage for a couple in August who has had a child out of wedlock. Using scriptural reasoning I asked them to pledge to abstain from sex until the wedding and asked them to incorporate confession and forgiveness in the service and not only are they doing it but they have expressed genuine appreciation that I didn't ignore it.
Pastor Steven M. Bliss LCMC and NALC-  St Olaf Lutheran Church, Bode, Iowa

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

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navyman

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #355 on: July 25, 2008, 08:09:04 PM »
My simple point is: If someone thinks a person, pastor or parish is acting in a way that contradicts, goes against, violates or otherwise compromises the heart of the Gospel or the essence of the faith or the integrity of the church; then one is obligated to take whatever action necessary to correct that, including assuming whatever risks that entails.
In contrast to this, by "coming out," Jeff Johnson, Ruth Frost, and Phyllis Zillhart risked being refused ordination in the ELCA. The ELCA refused to ordain them. By the "extraordinary" calls and ordinations in 1990 to Jeff, Ruth, and Phyllis, the two congregations risked disciplinary actions by the ELCA. They were removed. By "coming out," Steve Sabin, Ross Merkel, and Brad Schmeling risked disciplinary actions by their respective synods and the expenses involved in defending themselves. They faced those risks and costs and were removed from the ELCA clergy roster. Every congregation who has called an ELM or other non-rostered candidate risks being removed from the ELCA. (And I imagine that the choice to call such a pastor originally caused turmoil within the congregation.) When non-partnered, homosexual candidates for ministry are not willing to agree to abstain from sexual behaviors for the rest of their lives, they risk losing their endorsement and ordination in the ELCA. This happens.

These are the risks that "revisionists" have taken and consequences of taking those risks. What risks are the "traditionalists" willing to take?



What risks are the "traditionalists" willing to take?



We are taking a risks Brian, the correct teachings of the Lutheran Church, Scripture, and the Book of Concord and our Confessions.  Falsehoods may apply here on earth, however, those who go against God and his Word, face a deeper Judgement!  

Anyone who thinks he serves God by going against his teachings is nuts!  One that divorces his wife for a man, and then want to again serve as a pastor, needs his ethics and Christian Witness put in question!

Regards!

Don
« Last Edit: July 25, 2008, 08:40:41 PM by navyman »

navyman

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #356 on: July 25, 2008, 08:54:07 PM »
Yup, "faithful pastor care" is best decided by the pastor who is most directly involved, and not by 1000+ voting members of an assembly.

Well, Brian, no to both.  From a confessional perspective, I don't see how a body of at least 60% laity decides what is "faithful pastoral care."  But neither can a pastor by himself.  That is where Bishops, the Ministerium, and classical Christian pastoral care need to come to the forefront.

Alas, when one considers what has been taught in "pastoral care" the last couple of generations, it is no surprise that Bishops and the Ministerium (or what is left of one) isn't much help right now.  This is what has gotten us into this mess in which "pastoral care" means som many different and contradictory things that it is actually being rendered meaning-less. 

But after a decade as a pastor, having been taught "pastoral care" by the GTU professor of the highest esteem, having been through CPE, I found myself reading Bo Giertz' The Hammer of God and Gregory the Great's Pastoral Care and my eyes were opened to a whole new understanding of Pastoral Care.  It had nothing to do with "how do I feel about" whatever the issue is.  Rather, I discovered that 1) quite a bit of it can be found in between the covers of the Agenda[/i or the Occasional Services Book -- if someone had bothered to teach it -- and, more importantly, that 2) being faithful in wickedness is still wicked, and ought never be confused with being redemptive.

pax, spt+


The second book you reference; is this the one?

St. Gregory the Great, Pastoral Care (Ancient Christian Writers) (Hardcover)

Thanks!

Don

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #357 on: July 25, 2008, 10:11:30 PM »
Agreed, it's a matter of law.  And the purposes of the law are to curb sin and show us our need for forgiveness as found in Christ.  So by denying the law here, we are failing to curb sin and denying the need for forgiveness in Christ.  Indirectly, it is a denial of the Gospel.  If the law doesn't apply, there is no need for the Gospel.
What law are we denying? I do not believe that scriptures ever talks about same-sex behaviors within a committed, mutual loving, life-long relationship.

Brian, I think you are rebutting an argument from silence that you created with the addition of a few adjectives.  I'm actually considering that this may be a straw-man application of an argument from silence, which is the first one that I remember encountering.  In fact, I think I have considerably better scriptural support for taking a pretty girl from work as a second wife. 

Never mind, I don't need two gals mad at me.    ;)  Okay, back to lurking. 

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #358 on: July 25, 2008, 11:00:30 PM »
The second book you reference; is this the one?

St. Gregory the Great, Pastoral Care (Ancient Christian Writers) (Hardcover)

Yes.

Pax, Steven+
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GoCubs

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Re: Refrain and Restrain
« Reply #359 on: July 26, 2008, 07:25:25 AM »
Declaring that same-sex sexual behaviors are wrong is not Gospel.

It is when it leads to repentance, forgiveness, and renewal.
Nope. The gospel happens when forgiveness is declared; not when the sin is pointed out. There certainly have been parents who do not forgive their child when they "come out" as homosexual.

Declaring that same sex behaviors are wrong is the Law.  The Gospel is declared when the forgivenness of God is announced.  The Gospel "happens" when that forgivenness leads to transformaton (in this case the person living life in a new way that accords wth God's intentions--the Law.)