Author Topic: The thread for info on churches voting to change affiliation & all follow-up.  (Read 852983 times)

Coach-Rev

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4275 on: November 22, 2010, 03:45:16 PM »

The person who struggles with the sin of homosexuality -- just like the person who struggles with drunkenness, lechery, gossip and slander, or anger -- differs much from the person who rationalizes and dismisses his sin.

Scripture can indeed be twisted like a waxen nose to excuse any sin which we crave to continue.  The ELCA's biggest error is not that it accepts homosexuality; it is that it accepts an approach to Scripture which treats it as a waxen nose which all are free to remold as they wish according to their "bound conscience".

Mike

Well said.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4276 on: November 22, 2010, 06:19:57 PM »
The person who struggles with the sin of homosexuality -- just like the person who struggles with drunkenness, lechery, gossip and slander, or anger -- differs much from the person who rationalizes and dismisses his sin.

The "sin of homosexuality" as you call it is quite different from all the other sins you mentioned. The other sins are behaviors -- in most cases excessive behaviors, or behaviors without restraint, e.g., having a glass of wine or whiskey is not a sin, but getting drunk is. Having sexual desires for one's spouse is good, but not when they go outside the restraints of marriage. Expressing concern for another person is good, but gossip or slander is not. While Jesus equated anger with murder, we also have the command in Ephesians, "Be angry but do not sin" (Eph 4:26, quoting Ps 4:4). Thus, it seems that it is possible to be angry and not sin.

Homosexuality is an orientation. It may or may not result in outward sexual behaviors. Being homosexual is just as much a sin as being heterosexual. Like many of the other behaviors in your list, restraint is to be shown if one is to act on their sexual orientation. Ideally, only within a publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous relationships. That is marriage for heterosexuals. We are still seeking to define what it means for homosexuals.
"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]

mdpastor

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4277 on: November 22, 2010, 07:25:49 PM »
The person who struggles with the sin of homosexuality -- just like the person who struggles with drunkenness, lechery, gossip and slander, or anger -- differs much from the person who rationalizes and dismisses his sin.

The "sin of homosexuality" as you call it is quite different from all the other sins you mentioned. The other sins are behaviors -- in most cases excessive behaviors, or behaviors without restraint, e.g., having a glass of wine or whiskey is not a sin, but getting drunk is. Having sexual desires for one's spouse is good, but not when they go outside the restraints of marriage. Expressing concern for another person is good, but gossip or slander is not. While Jesus equated anger with murder, we also have the command in Ephesians, "Be angry but do not sin" (Eph 4:26, quoting Ps 4:4). Thus, it seems that it is possible to be angry and not sin.

Homosexuality is an orientation. It may or may not result in outward sexual behaviors. Being homosexual is just as much a sin as being heterosexual. Like many of the other behaviors in your list, restraint is to be shown if one is to act on their sexual orientation. Ideally, only within a publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous relationships. That is marriage for heterosexuals. We are still seeking to define what it means for homosexuals.

There, in one sentence, is the crux of the problem.  "WE are still seeking to define what it means . . . " 

Not, "We are still seeking what God means . . .", or "We are still seeking how God defines. . . "

As I've posted before in my meager contributions to this forum, I really want to believe that those of us in the ELCA who differ on "The Issue" can do God's work together. 

But, the more posts like this I read, the more I fear that those are correct who say there is a fundamental difference around (for want of a better word) authority.

Certainly, Christians can faithfully agree about the interpretation of Scripture.  But, starting that interpretation with our definitions rather than struggling to discern God's will is a fundamental, First Commandment sin.  If that's really where the revisionists are coming from, then my problem has been over-application of the 8th commandment.

Mike in Pennsylvania

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4278 on: November 22, 2010, 07:29:59 PM »
If I may divert this thread from the customary Stoffregian rabbit hole back to its original purpose, I learned something today about the Board of Pensions and benefits available to pastors who have left the ELCA for LCMC, NALC, or wherever.  (I recently joined the NALC myself.)
I had been under the impression that the ELCA Board of Pensions was willing to continue to provide health benefits, pension plan, etc. to pastors who left the ELCA, their presumed motive being to keep as many customers as possible.
However, what I was told today, and this was confirmed by their website, that this only applies to pastors taking calls in former ELCA congregations.  If a pastor receives a call in a new congregation or one that had some other non-ELCA background, that pastor is not eligible to continue in the ELCA plans.
I think more people need to be aware of this wrinkle.  Any comments?
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4279 on: November 22, 2010, 08:07:14 PM »
If a pastor receives a call in a new congregation or one that had some other non-ELCA background, that pastor is not eligible to continue in the ELCA plans.
I think more people need to be aware of this wrinkle.  Any comments?

This ELCA News Service release dated November 12 and headlined, "ELCA Board of Pensions Trustees Announce Annuity Adjustment for 2011," includes the following:

Quote
+ Trustees approved amendments to the ELCA retirement, medical and dental, survivor benefits and disability benefits plans to allow congregations or qualified church-controlled organizations with "common religious bonds with the ELCA" -- such as the new North American Lutheran Church -- to sponsor members in the benefit plans. The amendments were sent for approval to the ELCA Church Council. David D. Swartling, ELCA secretary, told the trustees that the topic had been discussed by leaders of the churchwide organization and the Board of Pensions. He said it had been determined to open the plans to qualified non-ELCA congregations or churches. The benefit plans that are offered will be exactly the same as plans offered to ELCA plan members.

The BOP trustees did this during their meeting of Nov. 5-7 in preparation for the ELCA Church Council meeting of Nov. 12-14.  The ELCA News Service reports of the Church Council meeting do not state how the Church Council acted on that proposal.  If I were in your position, I would ask what happened to the Trustees' recommendation.  It is certainly possible that the ELCA-BOP website and customer service reps do not have this less-than three-week-old information.

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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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 #4280 on: November 22, 2010, 09:15:42 PM »
There, in one sentence, is the crux of the problem.  "WE are still seeking to define what it means . . . " 

Where scripture is silent, we make decisions. While it speaks against same-gender sexual behaviors, none of those are within a committed relationship. They are more like committing adultery than like a sexual relationship within a marriage. As such, some of us believe that we are clear about what God means. (However, others come to different meanings from the same texts.)

Quote
Certainly, Christians can faithfully agree about the interpretation of Scripture.  But, starting that interpretation with our definitions rather than struggling to discern God's will is a fundamental, First Commandment sin.  If that's really where the revisionists are coming from, then my problem has been over-application of the 8th commandment.

I believe that the heart of this problem is that faithful Christians come to different interpretations of Scripture. The ELCA (and some other denominations) ordain women. The LCMS, WELS and others do not. The Roman Catholic Church asks their priests to be celibate, Protestants do not. Mainline denominations baptize infants; other denominations do not. The ELCA practices open communion for all the baptized, other denominations practice close(d) communion. In many ways, it is because we have different interpretations of scriptures that keeps denominations apart.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

ptmccain

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4281 on: November 22, 2010, 09:19:42 PM »
it is because we have different interpretations of scriptures that keeps denominations apart.

Profound.

 ::)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4282 on: November 22, 2010, 09:21:08 PM »
it is because we have different interpretations of scriptures that keeps denominations apart.

Profound.

Sadly, some believe that if it is different than ours then they are wrong, God is not speaking to them, and we cannot come together as children of God.

Other see diversity as a gift from God, like different personalities in children, the wide variety of colors of flowers and leaves that change in the Fall (not that we see such leaves in Yuma).
"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]

Mike Bennett

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4283 on: November 22, 2010, 09:30:01 PM »

There, in one sentence, is the crux of the problem.  "WE are still seeking to define what it means . . . " 

Where scripture is silent, we make decisions. While it speaks against same-gender sexual behaviors, none of those are within a committed relationship. They are more like committing adultery than like a sexual relationship within a marriage. As such, some of us believe that we are clear about what God means. (However, others come to different meanings from the same texts.)


Only a few westerners of our generation have "discovered" that Scripture is silent regarding same-gender sexual behaviors.  Christians (and Jews) of all other times and places have heard Scripture speaking loud and clear. 

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

Mike Bennett

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4284 on: November 22, 2010, 09:33:01 PM »

Other see diversity as a gift from God, like different personalities in children, the wide variety of colors of flowers and leaves that change in the Fall (not that we see such leaves in Yuma).


I've wondered who the Druid is who wrote yesterday's "Sundays and Seasons" prayers.  Was it you?

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

ptmccain

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4285 on: November 22, 2010, 09:33:54 PM »
Brian, I'll say it once more, just to keep the point alive.

In your thousands of posts on this forum you have denied, cast doubt upon, questioned and toyed with every significant doctrine of the Christian faith. So, when you yet again play verbal games on this issue, it is not surprising, nor are you convincing anyone of your points of view.

In my opinion, based on what you have posted here, you are an utterly false teacher and outside the faith of the one, holy, Christian and apostolic Church. I pray God leads you to genuine repentance before it too late.

Pilgrim

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4286 on: November 22, 2010, 09:44:38 PM »
Tim opines: I've been thinking - tickets to the Brian S. vs God exegetical finals match might be available on tickets.com. Wonder what sort of price they'll command?  ;)
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

Charles_Austin

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4287 on: November 22, 2010, 10:10:42 PM »
ptmccain writes:
Brian, I'll say it once more, just to keep the point alive.

I comment:
Oh?

ptmccain writes (re Pastor Stoffregen):
In your thousands of posts on this forum you have denied, cast doubt upon, questioned and toyed with every significant doctrine of the Christian faith. So, when you yet again play verbal games on this issue, it is not surprising, nor are you convincing anyone of your points of view.
I comment:
"Every significant doctrine"? Hogwash. Pastor Stoffregen says again and again that he confesses the creeds. And who are you to say that he is not "convincing" anyone? Pastor Stoffregen and others you malign here post our best thinking and analysis and study on the issues facing our church. You issue judgments, condemn others and promote your books.

ptmccain:
In my opinion, based on what you have posted here, you are an utterly false teacher and outside the faith of the one, holy, Christian and apostolic Church. I pray God leads you to genuine repentance before it too late.
Me:
Dear moderators: Is this not exactly the kind of language that we are repeatedly told does not belong in this forum?

Rev. Kevin Scheuller

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4288 on: November 22, 2010, 10:13:02 PM »
Tim opines: I've been thinking - tickets to the Brian S. vs God exegetical finals match might be available on tickets.com. Wonder what sort of price they'll command?  ;)
I'd pay more to see Carl Braaten lecture on anything about the true, Apostolic faith.  

amos

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Re: The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up.
« Reply #4289 on: November 22, 2010, 11:47:56 PM »
Kevin --- Amen!