Author Topic: The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.  (Read 841688 times)

cssml

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3285 on: October 08, 2010, 03:11:40 PM »
True, we as a corporate body did not conclude anything from scriptures. I have my conclusions from scriptures. You have your conclusions from scriptures.

Tim Christ writes: In May of 2009 I commented: The leisured wealth of the western world has succeeded primarily, it would seem to me, in throwing narcissitic gasoline on an already ego-centristic individualism run amok. Brians "individualistic" exegetical posture simply affirms same and I continue to stand by that observation.

And I argue that the "individualistic" exegetical posture comes from Luther. I'm not saying that it's good or bad, but Luther placed his own interpretation of scripture and tradition against the teaching of the Church in his day, he set in motion the individualism that we have today. The fact that the ELCA was unwilling to establish a ministerium or to give the Conference of Bishops any power and authority continues the practice of giving individuals power and authority.

Except that Luther's interpretion was grounded in Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, and other leading theologians of the Church, and did not "do a new thing" as much as return to a very old thing and bring it to light in a new day.

Yes, that was the interpretation that Luther and his followers put on his "reforms". That isn't how their opponents looked at them.


Well, if you want to understand how his modern day "opponents" (a most unfortunate term) see this, Catholic Theologian Karl Adam discusses Luther's development in "Una Sancta in katholischer Sicht", part of which was translated as "Roots of The Reformation".  It is now maintained by EWTN Coming Home Network, so consider the source.  However, it was written by Fr. Adam in 1948, long before EWTN and the CHN came to be.  Fr. Adam claims that Luther's deep fear and terror led him to be  "radically subjectivist".  I am sure many may not agree with Fr. Adam, but I throw it out there as a perspective from a well respected 20th century Catholic Theologian.

  http://www.ewtn.com/library/chistory/rtref.txt
  http://openlibrary.org/books/OL18576528M/Sancta_in_katholischer_Sicht

Thus the abuses within the medieval Church certainly unleashed Luther upon the path of revolution, and justified him in the eyes of the masses and in his own judgment. But they were not the actual ground, the decisive reason for Luther's falling away from the doctrine of the Church. He himself, even, later emphasized that one should not condemn a man's teaching "merely because of his sinful life". "That is not the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit condemns false doctrine and is patient with the weak in faith, as is taught in Romans xiv.  15, and everywhere in Paul. I would have little against the Papists if they taught true doctrine. Their evil life would do no great harm." (Lortz, vol. i, p. 390.)

It was not ecclesiastical abuses that made him the opponent of the Catholic Church, but the conviction that she was teaching falsely. And this conviction dates from long before the fatal 17th October, 1517. He had interiorly abandoned the teaching of the Church long before he outwardly raised the standard of revolt. Certainly, as early as 1512, without as yet knowing or wishing it, he had grown away from the Church's belief (Lortz, vol. i, p. 191). How did this come about? In asking this question, we are confronted by the mystery of Luther, by the problem of his whole personal development.

The Mystery of Luther

In reaching a judgment on his development it is necessary to remember that Luther, doubtless very strictly brought up in his father's house at Eisleben, was early imbued with a strong central experience of fear, an extraordinary terror of sin and judgment. This alone accounts for the fact that when he was caught in a thunderstorm near Stotternheim and nearly struck by lightning he cried out: "Help me, Saint Anne! I will become a monk." He was overcome by a similar spiritual crisis at his first Mass. It was so violent that he almost had to leave the celebration unfinished. It is also significant that once, when at the conventual Mass the Gospel of the man possessed by the devil was being read, he cried out: "It is not I!" and fell down like a dead man (Lortz, vol. i, p. 161, n.).

These accesses of terror betray an unusual degree of sensitivity, stimulated by his deeply rooted fear in the face of the tremendum mysterium of God, which for him reached its most shattering clarity in the Crucifixion of the Son of God. Since his attitude to life was determined at its very roots by this fear, Luther was radically subjectivist. That is to say, he was naturally inclined to take into the tension of his own subjective consciousness all objective truths and values presented to him from without, and only then to evaluate their importance and significance. If any truth or value could not be thus assimilated to the thoughts already in the depths of his fearful soul, he had no great interest in it. Thus his religious thought was from the start eclectic, one-sidedly selective. From the start it was thought overcharged with feeling, enveloped by a secret fear and labouring under the tormenting question: how am I to find a merciful God? From the start the primary object of his thought was to release the tension in his own soul, to deliver himself, to bring tranquillity to his distraught spirit. Always the stress was on I, everything pivoting on his own experience. On the other hand, it cannot be doubted, in face of Luther's tremendous achievements in thought, decision and action, that despite this tension he was psychically healthy to the core. In everything that he thought, preached and wrote Luther betrays a robust vitality, an overflowing energy, an inexhaustible originality, an elemental creative power which raised him far above the level of common humanity.

With these predispositions, Luther entered the priory of barefooted Augustinians at Erfurt, probably against his father's will.


I believe that Luther's intent and belief is described well above as:   "Luther's interpretion was grounded in Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, and other leading theologians of the Church, and did not "do a new thing" as much as return to a very old thing and bring it to light in a new day.",

However I also agree very much that "the "individualistic" exegetical posture comes from Luther." and that "Luther placed his own interpretation of scripture and tradition against the teaching of the Church in his day, he set in motion the individualism that we have today"

Mike Bennett

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3286 on: October 08, 2010, 04:31:21 PM »
Pastor Hahn writes:
One must recognize that Pastor Stoffregen's references to "Luther" really have little to do with the 15th century Augustinian monk and Wittenberg professor who sought to address the abuses of the medieval church he witnessed in Saxony by an appeal to the authority of Holy Scripture.

I respond:
No, "one" need not recognize that at all. And once again we have a someone denouncing a comment simply because a certain person made it. Sad. And unfair.

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Mike Bennett

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3287 on: October 08, 2010, 04:33:21 PM »
True, we as a corporate body did not conclude anything from scriptures. I have my conclusions from scriptures. You have your conclusions from scriptures.

Tim Christ writes: In May of 2009 I commented: The leisured wealth of the western world has succeeded primarily, it would seem to me, in throwing narcissitic gasoline on an already ego-centristic individualism run amok. Brians "individualistic" exegetical posture simply affirms same and I continue to stand by that observation.

And I argue that the "individualistic" exegetical posture comes from Luther. I'm not saying that it's good or bad, but Luther placed his own interpretation of scripture and tradition against the teaching of the Church in his day, he set in motion the individualism that we have today. The fact that the ELCA was unwilling to establish a ministerium or to give the Conference of Bishops any power and authority continues the practice of giving individuals power and authority.

Except that Luther's interpretion was grounded in Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, and other leading theologians of the Church, and did not "do a new thing" as much as return to a very old thing and bring it to light in a new day.

Yes, that was the interpretation that Luther and his followers put on his "reforms". That isn't how their opponents looked at them.

So you admit that you and the other "new things" folks are actually opponents of Luther?  That's the coolest thing since the 2009 Social Statement admitted in writing that it contradicts 2000 years of Church teaching.

Mike Bennett
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

hillwilliam

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3288 on: October 08, 2010, 05:18:23 PM »

So you admit that you and the other "new things" folks are actually opponents of Luther?  That's the coolest thing since the 2009 Social Statement admitted in writing that it contradicts 2000 years of Church teaching.

Mike Bennett

Score one for the laity.  ;D Thanks Mike for the reality check.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3289 on: October 08, 2010, 08:00:23 PM »
True, we as a corporate body did not conclude anything from scriptures. I have my conclusions from scriptures. You have your conclusions from scriptures.

Tim Christ writes: In May of 2009 I commented: The leisured wealth of the western world has succeeded primarily, it would seem to me, in throwing narcissitic gasoline on an already ego-centristic individualism run amok. Brians "individualistic" exegetical posture simply affirms same and I continue to stand by that observation.

And I argue that the "individualistic" exegetical posture comes from Luther. I'm not saying that it's good or bad, but Luther placed his own interpretation of scripture and tradition against the teaching of the Church in his day, he set in motion the individualism that we have today. The fact that the ELCA was unwilling to establish a ministerium or to give the Conference of Bishops any power and authority continues the practice of giving individuals power and authority.

Except that Luther's interpretion was grounded in Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, and other leading theologians of the Church, and did not "do a new thing" as much as return to a very old thing and bring it to light in a new day.

Yes, that was the interpretation that Luther and his followers put on his "reforms". That isn't how their opponents looked at them.

So you admit that you and the other "new things" folks are actually opponents of Luther?  That's the coolest thing since the 2009 Social Statement admitted in writing that it contradicts 2000 years of Church teaching.

Not at all. The opponents of Luther stressed the need to maintain (their) tradition and authority and interpretation of the established church. Who does that sound like today?
"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 #3290 on: October 08, 2010, 08:17:46 PM »
Not at all. The opponents of Luther stressed the need to maintain (their) tradition and authority and interpretation of the established church. Who does that sound like today?

You, Austin, and Mark Hanson.

G.Edward

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3291 on: October 09, 2010, 11:51:29 PM »
True, we as a corporate body did not conclude anything from scriptures. I have my conclusions from scriptures. You have your conclusions from scriptures.

Tim Christ writes: In May of 2009 I commented: The leisured wealth of the western world has succeeded primarily, it would seem to me, in throwing narcissitic gasoline on an already ego-centristic individualism run amok. Brians "individualistic" exegetical posture simply affirms same and I continue to stand by that observation.

And I argue that the "individualistic" exegetical posture comes from Luther. I'm not saying that it's good or bad, but Luther placed his own interpretation of scripture and tradition against the teaching of the Church in his day, he set in motion the individualism that we have today. The fact that the ELCA was unwilling to establish a ministerium or to give the Conference of Bishops any power and authority continues the practice of giving individuals power and authority.

Except that Luther's interpretion was grounded in Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, and other leading theologians of the Church, and did not "do a new thing" as much as return to a very old thing and bring it to light in a new day.

Yes, that was the interpretation that Luther and his followers put on his "reforms". That isn't how their opponents looked at them.

So you admit that you and the other "new things" folks are actually opponents of Luther?  That's the coolest thing since the 2009 Social Statement admitted in writing that it contradicts 2000 years of Church teaching.

Not at all. The opponents of Luther stressed the need to maintain (their) tradition and authority and interpretation of the established church. Who does that sound like today?

It sounds like those who claim to represent God but freely substitute human constructs and perspectives for God's word.  It sounds like a bunch of people who are unwilling to be captive to the word of God.  Luther, in going back to the sources was the traditionalist in the broadest sense, while his opponents in relying on human opinion and emotion were the revisionists.  Who does that sound like today?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3292 on: October 10, 2010, 12:16:22 AM »
It sounds like those who claim to represent God but freely substitute human constructs and perspectives for God's word.  It sounds like a bunch of people who are unwilling to be captive to the word of God.  Luther, in going back to the sources was the traditionalist in the broadest sense, while his opponents in relying on human opinion and emotion were the revisionists.  Who does that sound like today?

My guess is that the Roman Catholics would argue that they were "captive to the Word of God" as it was correctly interpreted by the Church who ws/is seen the proper authority to determine the correct interpretation. It was Luther and his followers who were offering something different from the Church was teaching (in Luther's day).

In today's Church, we do not have a vehicle for determining correct interpretations of scriptures. Thus denominations will differ on ways that they are "captive to the Word of God." (Even within the ELCA, we have officially declared different ways of being "captive to the Word" in regards to PALMS.)
"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]

cssml

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3293 on: October 10, 2010, 01:22:40 AM »
It sounds like those who claim to represent God but freely substitute human constructs and perspectives for God's word.  It sounds like a bunch of people who are unwilling to be captive to the word of God.  Luther, in going back to the sources was the traditionalist in the broadest sense, while his opponents in relying on human opinion and emotion were the revisionists.  Who does that sound like today?

My guess is that the Roman Catholics would argue that they were "captive to the Word of God" as it was correctly interpreted by the Church who ws/is seen the proper authority to determine the correct interpretation. It was Luther and his followers who were offering something different from the Church was teaching (in Luther's day).

In today's Church, we do not have a vehicle for determining correct interpretations of scriptures. Thus denominations will differ on ways that they are "captive to the Word of God." (Even within the ELCA, we have officially declared different ways of being "captive to the Word" in regards to PALMS.)

It is not very often that I agree with Brian, and this probably deserves its own thread...but...from a Catholic perspective I believe he is right....

Sola Scriptura was 'a new thing'.  Sola Fides was 'a new thing'.  Deciding that we each individually (ala "here I stand") can authoritatively interpret scripture and overrule the Church as the legitimate authority in making such deteminations about right interpretation of scripture was 'a new thing'.   Rejecting the authenticity of teachings backed primarily by the Apostolic Tradition (big T) was 'a new thing'.  Again, Sola Scriptura, the idea that the entire deposit of faith entrusted to the Apostles and Church for all ages was contained in scripture itself was a very new idea.  It rejected the fact that the letters of scripture were written, collected, accepted, rejected through a time of lived oral tradition (which Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, told them to 'hold fast to', both oral and written).  So authority existed among the Apostles and their successors in order to decide which books were in and which were not.  So this authority and grave responsibility, given by Christ to the Church, had to exist prior to scripture in order to create and preserve it for all ages.  Scripture itself refutes the idea of 'only scripture' without any authoritative interpretation.

The Church was in a very dark period, no doubt, and I believe Luther truly began meaning to reform, out of his deep love for the God and His Church.  He did not desire to revolt and leave it, but alas that is not what happened. So it seems clear to me that he really was doing a new thing and abandoned the faith that was passed on to him, practiced and lived for many years (Help me Saint Ann, I'll become a Monk!) and was ordained to serve in 1507.

Fr. Adam puts it this way in the source quoted above:

Yes, it was night. Had Martin Luther then arisen with his marvellous gifts of mind and heart, his warm penetration of the essence of Christianity, his passionate defiance of all unholiness and ungodliness, the elemental fury of his religious experience, his surging, soul-shattering power of speech, and not least that heroism in the face of death with which he defied the powers of this world--had he brought all these magnificent qualities to the removal of the abuses of the time and the cleansing of God's garden from weeds, had he remained a faithful member of his Church, humble and simple, sincere and pure, then indeed we should to-day be his grateful debtors. He would be forever our great Reformer, our true man of God, our teacher and leader, comparable to Thomas Aquinas and Francis of Assisi. He would have been the greatest saint of the German people, the refounder of the Church in Germany, a second Boniface . . .

But--and here lies the tragedy of the Reformation and of German Christianity--he let the warring spirits drive him to overthrow not merely the abuses in the Church, but the Church Herself, founded upon Peter, bearing through the centuries the successio apostolica; he let them drive him to commit what St.  Augustine calls the greatest sin with which a Christian can burden himself: he set up altar against altar and tore in pieces the one Body of Christ.


James_Gale

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3294 on: October 10, 2010, 01:34:48 AM »
[quote author=Brian Stoffregen link=topic=2616.msg181283#msg181283 date=1286684182
In today's Church, we do not have a vehicle for determining correct interpretations of scriptures. Thus denominations will differ on ways that they are "captive to the Word of God." (Even within the ELCA, we have officially declared different ways of being "captive to the Word" in regards to PALMS.)
[/quote]

In the face of facts to the contrary, you keep saying things like this.  The ELCA did not "officially declare" that its members have "different ways of being 'captive to the Word' in regards to PALMS."  In fact, as we have discussed many times here, the ELCA did not even try to link its resolutions to "the Word."  On the contrary, prominent proponents of the CWA's actions regarding same-sex sexual relationships expressly rejected the notion that we should consider ourselves bound by "the Word."  

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3295 on: October 10, 2010, 01:40:09 AM »
In the face of facts to the contrary, you keep saying things like this.  The ELCA did not "officially declare" that its members have "different ways of being 'captive to the Word' in regards to PALMS."  In fact, as we have discussed many times here, the ELCA did not even try to link its resolutions to "the Word."  On the contrary, prominent proponents of the CWA's actions regarding same-sex sexual relationships expressly rejected the notion that we should consider ourselves bound by "the Word."  

In the phrase "respect the bound consciences" what do you think the consciences are supposed to be bound to?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 10:22:10 AM by Brian Stoffregen »
"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]

ddrebes

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3296 on: October 10, 2010, 07:25:43 AM »
But--and here lies the tragedy of the Reformation and of German Christianity--he let the warring spirits drive him to overthrow not merely the abuses in the Church, but the Church Herself, founded upon Peter, bearing through the centuries the successio apostolica; he let them drive him to commit what St.  Augustine calls the greatest sin with which a Christian can burden himself: he set up altar against altar and tore in pieces the one Body of Christ.

Schism is in the eye of the beholder.  Luther was kicked out for his sincerity.  He didn't remove himself from Rome, Rome removed him.

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3297 on: October 10, 2010, 09:17:01 AM »
May I again suggest that this line of argument may be taken up in the "Celebrity Deathmatch: Luther vs. Luther" thread?

...or never mind???

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 09:49:30 AM by A Catholic Lutheran »

Richard Johnson

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3298 on: October 10, 2010, 09:19:08 AM »
[quote author=Brian Stoffregen link=topic=2616.msg181283#msg181283 date=1286684182
In today's Church, we do not have a vehicle for determining correct interpretations of scriptures. Thus denominations will differ on ways that they are "captive to the Word of God." (Even within the ELCA, we have officially declared different ways of being "captive to the Word" in regards to PALMS.)

In the face of facts to the contrary, you keep saying things like this.  The ELCA did not "officially declare" that its members have "different ways of being 'captive to the Word' in regards to PALMS."  In fact, as we have discussed many times here, the ELCA did not even try to link its resolutions to "the Word."  On the contrary, prominent proponents of the CWA's actions regarding same-sex sexual relationships expressly rejected the notion that we should consider ourselves bound by "the Word."  

In the phrase "respect the bound consciences" what do you think the consciences are supposed to be bound to?
[/quote]

"Most merciful God, we confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves . . . "
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Weedon

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #3299 on: October 10, 2010, 11:01:36 AM »
I've always wondered about the wisdom of that confession.  It seems to overstate matters.  For I am baptized.  It's true I often slip back into putting the shackles back on and forgetting that Christ has burst them to smithereens and sometimes Satan does convince me that they are substantial and real - but he's a liar and deceiver.  Yes, we are all BORN in bondage to sin and it is absolutely true that we had and have no power to free ourselves, but Christ HAS done something about this in Baptism, no?  I still sin, every day, many times a day.  But I would not say I am "in bondage to sin" anymore.  I have died with Christ in Baptism and that has set me free!  "Sin shall not have dominion over you anymore for you are not under law, but under grace."