Author Topic: The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.  (Read 957613 times)

Dadoo

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2490 on: August 11, 2010, 09:25:45 AM »
And the definition of "bound conscience" was not a legislative matter before the assembly, so it was indeed out of order.

This is one of the strangest things written here of late.

Strange things are common at CWAs.  So often things are decided without any agreed upon definition of the terms within the document.  The mantra of the ELCA is "vague is good, it leaves room for everyone to decide what was actually decided."

Which is still something that confuses me to no end, how a theological concept that functions as the linchpin in an argument could be adopted and, after the fact, folks talk about trying to figure out what it means.

But I know many others have already made that same point repeatedly, so...

Ambiguity (the devil's volley ball - Emo) should not be a stranger to you, having done time in an ELCA seminary and done hard time reading and participating here on ALPB.  :D

I think what might have happened here is that the concept was posed, the committee saw it as a way out of an impossible situation, and published their product with it in place. It then took some time for various thinking heads to point out the problems with posing the concept and it took a while longer for their voices to bubble to the surface. By that time the statement had passed.

Get out the mobs and buckets.
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

Scott6

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2491 on: August 11, 2010, 09:43:41 AM »
Get out the mobs and buckets.

A quite appropriate typo (if typo it is).  ;D

pbnorth3

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2492 on: August 11, 2010, 10:06:27 AM »
Here is a link to a story about St. John's in Muncy, PA. They have joined LCMC. Interesting piece and appropriate that the pastor speaks of standing on the infallability of God's Word. http://www.sungazette.com/page/content.detail/id/547142.html?nav=5015

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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2493 on: August 11, 2010, 10:26:05 AM »
Or, to do the radical thing of putting the most charitable construction on the comments of a fellow Christian: Perhaps the bishop actually believed the pension and/or housing was somehow in peril (ignorance abounds, even among the episcopate) and was doing his or her duty and caring for the welfare of the pastor talking about leaving. So it was not a "threat" at all, but honest concern.

It's hard to be all that charitable when you have heard such "concerns" raised so many times - both regarding pensions and property issues - at critical times when pastors and congregations are considering leaving.  It has all the appearances of a strategy (not just a tactic even).

If such things had only been heard a couple times in the last several years I might be so charitable.  But instead this is one of the things we put into the "FAQ" on things to consider when leaving ... it's likely that you will hear your bishop or synod official say ...

There was a time when pastors who left the LCMS lost their pensions. That happened to a colleague in Colorado. However, the rules are changed now.
"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]

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2494 on: August 11, 2010, 10:37:07 AM »
And the definition of "bound conscience" was not a legislative matter before the assembly, so it was indeed out of order.

This is one of the strangest things written here of late.

Well, actually Charles is right. The definition of bound conscience was not before the assembly. It was suggested to the assembly as a way to get around objections on both sides but left as a vague concept. Sort of a magic pill, if you like. The meaning is now being sought as it has occurred to some that the concept is sloppy and could, well, "fall into the wrong hands."

I took Jeff to be referring to a request made within the context of the debate over the sexuality statement itself -- that is, a debate where a document that contained the phrase and used it quite prominently was before the assembly for adoption.  Unless the content of the document is viewed as being a separate issue from debating its adoption (an odd idea), understanding what the document is claiming is certainly relevant.

The phrase "bound conscience" occurs once in the statement, and it is in quotes. An explanation of the concept, more often phrased "conscience-bound" is included in an endnote (printed below).


26 The Apostle Paul testifies to conscience as the unconditional moral responsibility of the individual before God (Romans 2:15–16). In the face of different conclusions about what constitutes responsible action, the concept of “the conscience” becomes pivotal.
     When the clear word of God’s saving action by grace through faith is at stake, Christian conscience becomes as adamant as Paul, who opposed those who insisted upon circumcision (Galatians 1:8). In the same way Luther announced at his trial for heresy, “Unless I am persuaded by the testimony of Scripture and by clear reason . . . I am conquered by the Scripture passages I have adduced and my conscience is captive to the words of God. I neither can nor desire to recant anything, when to do so against conscience would be neither safe nor wholesome” (WA 7: 838; Luther’s Works 32:112). However, when the question is about morality or church practice, the Pauline and Lutheran witness is less adamant and believes we may be called to respect the bound conscience of the neighbor. That is, if salvation is not at stake in a particular question, Christians are free to give priority to the neighbor’s well-being and will protect the conscience of the neighbor, who may well view the same question in such a way as to affect faith itself. For example, Paul was confident that Christian freedom meant the Gospel of Jesus Christ was not at stake in questions of meat sacrificed to idols or the rituals of holy days (Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 8:10–14 and 10:23–30). Yet he insisted that, if a brother or sister did not understand this freedom and saw eating this meat as idolatry to a pagan god, the Christian was obligated to “walk in love” by eating just vegetables for the neighbor’s sake (Romans 14:17–20)!
     This social statement draws upon this rich understanding of the role of conscience and calls upon this church, when in disagreement concerning matters around which salvation is not at stake, including human sexuality, to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), honor the conscience, and seek the well-being of the neighbor.


What is unclear about this?
"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: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2495 on: August 11, 2010, 10:41:01 AM »
Here is a link to a story about St. John's in Muncy, PA. They have joined LCMC. Interesting piece and appropriate that the pastor speaks of standing on the infallability of God's Word. http://www.sungazette.com/page/content.detail/id/547142.html?nav=5015

It is more accurate to describe it as standing on the infallibility of an interpretation of God's Word.
"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]

George Erdner

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2496 on: August 11, 2010, 10:48:10 AM »
I would like to know how someone could direct their actions to enable a group of around a thousand people to do "what they wanted to do" prior to taking the vote that determined "what they wanted to do"?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2497 on: August 11, 2010, 11:05:47 AM »
I would like to know how someone could direct their actions to enable a group of around a thousand people to do "what they wanted to do" prior to taking the vote that determined "what they wanted to do"?

It's called parliamentary procedure. It's spelled out in Robert's Rules of Order and our own Rules of Procedures. These are designed to give a body of folks a way of hearing all sides as they discern what they (as a body) want to do -- normally through a vote.
"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]

jrubyaz

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2498 on: August 11, 2010, 11:11:16 AM »
Brian, you wouldnn't object to this definition, because it suits your understanding of the issue at hand...let everyone think as they please, have no standard or rule, and be of two minds.

By the way, that is heterodoxy.

Michael is correct, Wengert spoke to bound conscience, but redefined it not as bound to God's Word, as it was for Luther, but as our own conscience. After he spoke, things were even more unclear to most delegates, some who sat behind from NE Synod who, while in  in favor of the changes ,actually said "what did he  just say? "

We never got an answer from the task force chair or members of the task force. Dr. Wengert is a professional theologian, and his stance on the issue was well known. We also never got to hear from the minority dissenters on the task force.  



And the definition of "bound conscience" was not a legislative matter before the assembly, so it was indeed out of order.

This is one of the strangest things written here of late.

Well, actually Charles is right. The definition of bound conscience was not before the assembly. It was suggested to the assembly as a way to get around objections on both sides but left as a vague concept. Sort of a magic pill, if you like. The meaning is now being sought as it has occurred to some that the concept is sloppy and could, well, "fall into the wrong hands."

I took Jeff to be referring to a request made within the context of the debate over the sexuality statement itself -- that is, a debate where a document that contained the phrase and used it quite prominently was before the assembly for adoption.  Unless the content of the document is viewed as being a separate issue from debating its adoption (an odd idea), understanding what the document is claiming is certainly relevant.

The phrase "bound conscience" occurs once in the statement, and it is in quotes. An explanation of the concept, more often phrased "conscience-bound" is included in an endnote (printed below).


26 The Apostle Paul testifies to conscience as the unconditional moral responsibility of the individual before God (Romans 2:15–16). In the face of different conclusions about what constitutes responsible action, the concept of “the conscience” becomes pivotal.
     When the clear word of God’s saving action by grace through faith is at stake, Christian conscience becomes as adamant as Paul, who opposed those who insisted upon circumcision (Galatians 1:8). In the same way Luther announced at his trial for heresy, “Unless I am persuaded by the testimony of Scripture and by clear reason . . . I am conquered by the Scripture passages I have adduced and my conscience is captive to the words of God. I neither can nor desire to recant anything, when to do so against conscience would be neither safe nor wholesome” (WA 7: 838; Luther’s Works 32:112). However, when the question is about morality or church practice, the Pauline and Lutheran witness is less adamant and believes we may be called to respect the bound conscience of the neighbor. That is, if salvation is not at stake in a particular question, Christians are free to give priority to the neighbor’s well-being and will protect the conscience of the neighbor, who may well view the same question in such a way as to affect faith itself. For example, Paul was confident that Christian freedom meant the Gospel of Jesus Christ was not at stake in questions of meat sacrificed to idols or the rituals of holy days (Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 8:10–14 and 10:23–30). Yet he insisted that, if a brother or sister did not understand this freedom and saw eating this meat as idolatry to a pagan god, the Christian was obligated to “walk in love” by eating just vegetables for the neighbor’s sake (Romans 14:17–20)!
     This social statement draws upon this rich understanding of the role of conscience and calls upon this church, when in disagreement concerning matters around which salvation is not at stake, including human sexuality, to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), honor the conscience, and seek the well-being of the neighbor.


What is unclear about this?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2499 on: August 11, 2010, 11:15:22 AM »
We never got an answer from the task force chair or members of the task force. Dr. Wengert is a professional theologian, and his stance on the issue was well known. We also never got to hear from the minority dissenters on the task force.
 

Did the non-voting members of the task force have voice at the assembly?
"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]

Scott6

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2500 on: August 11, 2010, 11:20:27 AM »
What is unclear about this?

Plenty, as we have discussed in the past (I'll go and find my summary posts if need be).

But in any case, ask those who are saying that the ELCA still needs to figure out what it means.  Like Charles.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2501 on: August 11, 2010, 11:21:08 AM »
Brian, you wouldnn't object to this definition, because it suits your understanding of the issue at hand...let everyone think as they please, have no standard or rule, and be of two minds.

The endnote definition makes a clear distinction between matters of salvation and "matters around which salvation is not at stake." Thus it is not giving everyone the freedom to think as they please. It is not removing one iota from the standard of salvation.

The approach of bound consciences and homosexual relationships begins with deciding if it is a matter of salvation. Our Statement and approach is that it is not a matter around which salvation is at stake. You may disagree, and then the bound conscience approach no longer applies.
"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]

jpetty

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2502 on: August 11, 2010, 11:27:36 AM »
Brian, you wouldnn't object to this definition, because it suits your understanding of the issue at hand...let everyone think as they please, have no standard or rule, and be of two minds.

By the way, that is heterodoxy.

Michael is correct, Wengert spoke to bound conscience, but redefined it not as bound to God's Word, as it was for Luther, but as our own conscience. After he spoke, things were even more unclear to most delegates, some who sat behind from NE Synod who, while in  in favor of the changes ,actually said "what did he  just say? "

We never got an answer from the task force chair or members of the task force. Dr. Wengert is a professional theologian, and his stance on the issue was well known. We also never got to hear from the minority dissenters on the task force.  



And the definition of "bound conscience" was not a legislative matter before the assembly, so it was indeed out of order.

This is one of the strangest things written here of late.

Well, actually Charles is right. The definition of bound conscience was not before the assembly. It was suggested to the assembly as a way to get around objections on both sides but left as a vague concept. Sort of a magic pill, if you like. The meaning is now being sought as it has occurred to some that the concept is sloppy and could, well, "fall into the wrong hands."

I took Jeff to be referring to a request made within the context of the debate over the sexuality statement itself -- that is, a debate where a document that contained the phrase and used it quite prominently was before the assembly for adoption.  Unless the content of the document is viewed as being a separate issue from debating its adoption (an odd idea), understanding what the document is claiming is certainly relevant.

The phrase "bound conscience" occurs once in the statement, and it is in quotes. An explanation of the concept, more often phrased "conscience-bound" is included in an endnote (printed below).


26 The Apostle Paul testifies to conscience as the unconditional moral responsibility of the individual before God (Romans 2:15–16). In the face of different conclusions about what constitutes responsible action, the concept of “the conscience” becomes pivotal.
     When the clear word of God’s saving action by grace through faith is at stake, Christian conscience becomes as adamant as Paul, who opposed those who insisted upon circumcision (Galatians 1:8). In the same way Luther announced at his trial for heresy, “Unless I am persuaded by the testimony of Scripture and by clear reason . . . I am conquered by the Scripture passages I have adduced and my conscience is captive to the words of God. I neither can nor desire to recant anything, when to do so against conscience would be neither safe nor wholesome” (WA 7: 838; Luther’s Works 32:112). However, when the question is about morality or church practice, the Pauline and Lutheran witness is less adamant and believes we may be called to respect the bound conscience of the neighbor. That is, if salvation is not at stake in a particular question, Christians are free to give priority to the neighbor’s well-being and will protect the conscience of the neighbor, who may well view the same question in such a way as to affect faith itself. For example, Paul was confident that Christian freedom meant the Gospel of Jesus Christ was not at stake in questions of meat sacrificed to idols or the rituals of holy days (Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 8:10–14 and 10:23–30). Yet he insisted that, if a brother or sister did not understand this freedom and saw eating this meat as idolatry to a pagan god, the Christian was obligated to “walk in love” by eating just vegetables for the neighbor’s sake (Romans 14:17–20)!
     This social statement draws upon this rich understanding of the role of conscience and calls upon this church, when in disagreement concerning matters around which salvation is not at stake, including human sexuality, to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), honor the conscience, and seek the well-being of the neighbor.


What is unclear about this?

If thinking for yourself constitutes heresy, then Jesus, Paul, Luther, and Bonhoeffer were all heretics--God bless 'em, and may their tribe increase!

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2503 on: August 11, 2010, 11:32:57 AM »
What is unclear about this?

Plenty, as we have discussed in the past (I'll go and find my summary posts if need be).

But in any case, ask those who are saying that the ELCA still needs to figure out what it means.  Like Charles.

It is clear to me. Even though Jeff and I disagree on this issue, I am to love him as my neighbor, help him bear whatever burdens he has, and show respect for him and his convictions. That means not calling him names, not degrading him in any way, being willing to share a beer (or coffee) with him -- to be and act as brothers in Christ. In addition, I need to encourage other revisionists to do the same.

It means that even though my colleague in town and I disagree on this issue, I will not seek to "steal his sheep." When we are in public, I will show him the respect that a fellow pastor deserves (especially one from the same denomination). Even when he is not present, I will not "bad mouth" him to other folks. A list of proper behaviors to indicate respect for him and his position could go on. What's so hard about that?
"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]

Scott6

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #2504 on: August 11, 2010, 11:47:17 AM »
What is unclear about this?

Plenty, as we have discussed in the past (I'll go and find my summary posts if need be).

But in any case, ask those who are saying that the ELCA still needs to figure out what it means.  Like Charles.

It is clear to me. Even though Jeff and I disagree on this issue, I am to love him as my neighbor, help him bear whatever burdens he has, and show respect for him and his convictions. That means not calling him names, not degrading him in any way, being willing to share a beer (or coffee) with him -- to be and act as brothers in Christ. In addition, I need to encourage other revisionists to do the same.

It means that even though my colleague in town and I disagree on this issue, I will not seek to "steal his sheep." When we are in public, I will show him the respect that a fellow pastor deserves (especially one from the same denomination). Even when he is not present, I will not "bad mouth" him to other folks. A list of proper behaviors to indicate respect for him and his position could go on. What's so hard about that?

This has almost nothing to do with the sexuality statement and its use of the term, but here I am wasting my time, so, cheers.