Author Topic: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010  (Read 23162 times)

Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #150 on: October 08, 2010, 11:11:12 AM »
dcharlton writes:
I just cannot accept your authoritarian interpretation of my ordination and installation vows.  Of course I should abide by the policies of the ELCA or be prepared to face discipline.

I comment:
Good. We agree on that.
The model constitution for ELCA congregations says (see emphasis added):
*C9.03. Consistent with the faith and practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,
    a. Every ordained minister shall:
        1)preach the Word;
        2) administer the sacraments;
        3)conduct public worship;
        4) provide pastoral care; and
        5) speak publicly to the world in solidarity with the poor and oppressed, calling for justice and proclaiming God’s love for the world.
    c. Every pastor shall:
        1)strive to extend the Kingdom of God in the community, in the nation, and abroad;
        2)seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel;
        3)impart knowledge of this church and its wider ministry through distribution of its periodicals and other publications; and
        4)endeavor to increase the support given by the congregation to the work of the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and of the (insert name of synod) Synod of the ELCA.


If someone cannot do that without violating their conscience, then I think they have a decision to make. People can disagree with ELCA policies and work to change them while at the same time being faithful in supporting the broader mission of the ELCA.
Our public ministries do not belong to us as individuals, they are given to us by a particular segment of the church, and are exercised within a particular segment of the church. If ordained in the ELCA, I decide that the ELCA is a heretical, apostate institution, and that its leaders are promoting worship of another god, and that its processes are so corrupt as to be unconscionable, then the ELCA has the right to say to be: "You are no longer a pastor in the ELCA."
I think this business about our ordinations being to the "Church" or some heavenly ideal of Church and not to a place where we are subject to oversight and discipline is thoroughly un-Lutheran.

Scott6

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #151 on: October 08, 2010, 11:12:24 AM »
Yes, there is a way.
Memorial: Resolved, that in its actions at the ELCA Church-wide Assembly in 2009, the assembly acted contrary to the confession of faith of this church.

That would not be to adjudicate the constitution but to continue to exercise the legislative will of the assembly, effectively acting as if there were no constitutional confession of faith.  It would be like having a congressional vote to declare a previous congressional vote constitutional or unconstitutional; what's needed is the equivalent of a Supreme Court.

Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #152 on: October 08, 2010, 11:17:31 AM »
Scott asks:
 It would be like having a congressional vote to declare a previous congressional vote constitutional or unconstitutional; what's needed is the equivalent of a Supreme Court.

I comment:
But we don't have that. Do you?
So we have to deal with what we have. An Assembly could declare actions of a previous assembly in violation of the church's confession of faith. I eagerly await serious attempts to do that, and would happily second the motion, if that were needed to get it on the floor of my synodical assembly.

LutherMan

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #153 on: October 08, 2010, 11:23:02 AM »
Scott asks:
 It would be like having a congressional vote to declare a previous congressional vote constitutional or unconstitutional; what's needed is the equivalent of a Supreme Court.

I comment:
But we don't have that. Do you?

Unfortunately, yes.

It's called the CCM.  ::)

Mike
http://www.lcms.org/pages/default.asp?NavID=78

Constitutional Matters

CCM Home Graphics         

Recent Actions

The Commission added the 2007 Handbook.

The Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM) published the minutes from its
September 7, 2010 meeting.
What We Do
The primary responsibility of the CCM is to interpret the Synod's Constitution, Bylaws, and resolutions upon written request of a member congregation, church worker, official, agency or other authorized entity of the Synod and to render opinions.  The Commission also examines all reports, overtures and resolutions to the Synod that ask for amendments to the Constitution or Bylaws. The major documents of the CCM are the Handbook of the Synod, which it revises after each convention to bring it into harmony with convention actions. It also has developed "Guidelines for the Constitution and Bylaws of a Lutheran Congregation" to assist congregations in developing or revising their constitutions.

Did you miss a meeting? Catch up with reading minutes from previous meetings.

Scott6

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #154 on: October 08, 2010, 11:23:40 AM »
Scott asks:
 It would be like having a congressional vote to declare a previous congressional vote constitutional or unconstitutional; what's needed is the equivalent of a Supreme Court.

I comment:
But we don't have that. Do you?
So we have to deal with what we have. An Assembly could declare actions of a previous assembly in violation of the church's confession of faith. I eagerly await serious attempts to do that, and would happily second the motion, if that were needed to get it on the floor of my synodical assembly.

Right -- it doesn't exist outside of a ruling from Swartling, which is Richard's point of course.

Barring that, you're right that you'd need another assembly action.  The problem remains, however, that this means that what matters is not the constitution as a check on legislative actions by the assembly but simply the assembly's vote in and of itself; the constitution is effectively an irrelevant document in that case.

As for the LCMS, the Commission on Constitutional Matters adjudicates such issues.  Call it the "Supreme Court" of the LCMS if you like (and its decisions are frequently as controversial as that of the real Supreme Court). [[I see other folks beat me to the response...  :-\]]

efretheim

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #155 on: October 08, 2010, 11:27:39 AM »
The model constitution for ELCA congregations says (see emphasis added):
*C9.03. Consistent with the faith and practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,
     c. Every pastor shall:
        1)strive to extend the Kingdom of God in the community, in the nation, and abroad;
        2)seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel;
        3)impart knowledge of this church and its wider ministry through distribution of its periodicals and other publications; and
        4)endeavor to increase the support given by the congregation to the work of the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and of the (insert name of synod) Synod of the ELCA.

"imparting knowledge of this church ..." would also mean talking about the CWA and explaining how it is contrary to the scriptures.  If one doesn't do this, then one is in violation of the church constitution.
"increasing suppport .. to the work of the churchwide organization ... and of the (insert name of synod) ..." could mean giving directly to those missions which carry out that work.  In fact we know this to be a fact in the Northwest Washington Synod where the pastor serving as bishop specifically requested, during the 2009 Synod assembly, that local congregations do so since more of their contributions to the Synod were going to be used to increase the salaries of the bishop and staff during this recession.

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43160
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #156 on: October 08, 2010, 11:31:35 AM »
Pastor Austin, I believe that your first response example of constitutionality is flawed in that God does not speak to the Constitution of the US or any other country (at least not directly or by name) whereas Christians do believe that God does speak directly to a number of moral issues. 

Yes, God offers forgiveness to the immoral through Jesus. If this isn't what we are proclaiming, then we aren't proclaiming the Christian gospel. All the other religious and even atheists proclaim morality -- some even better than Christians.
"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]

James Gustafson

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #157 on: October 08, 2010, 11:35:53 AM »
I think this business about our ordinations being to the "Church" or some heavenly ideal of Church and not to a place where we are subject to oversight and discipline is thoroughly un-Lutheran.

LOL

I wonder what Martin Luther would say about that.  [We must be] subject to [the] oversight and discipline [of our church hierarchies]... Imagines Luther reading that premise while hiding out in Wartburg Castle at Eisenach.  :P  ;D
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 11:38:53 AM by James Gustafson »

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43160
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #158 on: October 08, 2010, 11:38:46 AM »
I think this business about our ordinations being to the "Church" or some heavenly ideal of Church and not to a place where we are subject to oversight and discipline is thoroughly un-Lutheran.

LOL

I wonder what Martin Luther would say about that.  [We must be] subject to [the] oversight and discipline of our church hierarchies... Imagines Luther reading that premise while hiding out in Wartburg Castle at Eisenach.  :P  ;D

The alternative is to let each individual decide for him-/herself what is true. I raised the argument that the individualistic interpretation of the Bible and tradition that we have today began with Luther.
"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]

James Gustafson

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #159 on: October 08, 2010, 11:40:54 AM »
I think this business about our ordinations being to the "Church" or some heavenly ideal of Church and not to a place where we are subject to oversight and discipline is thoroughly un-Lutheran.

LOL

I wonder what Martin Luther would say about that.  [We must be] subject to [the] oversight and discipline of our church hierarchies... Imagines Luther reading that premise while hiding out in Wartburg Castle at Eisenach.  :P  ;D

The alternative is to let each individual decide for him-/herself what is true. I raised the argument that the individualistic interpretation of the Bible and tradition that we have today began with Luther.

Isn't that what the CWA 09 decided we should do?  Let each individual decide for themselves what is true?  Why yes, yes it is what they decided, that we can all decide for ourselves what is true, says it straight up.  BTW: you were mistaken about Luther too, he wanted to return to scripture and historical practices, not decide something new and non-scriptural.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 11:42:30 AM by James Gustafson »

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43160
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #160 on: October 08, 2010, 11:48:22 AM »
I think this business about our ordinations being to the "Church" or some heavenly ideal of Church and not to a place where we are subject to oversight and discipline is thoroughly un-Lutheran.

LOL

I wonder what Martin Luther would say about that.  [We must be] subject to [the] oversight and discipline of our church hierarchies... Imagines Luther reading that premise while hiding out in Wartburg Castle at Eisenach.  :P  ;D

The alternative is to let each individual decide for him-/herself what is true. I raised the argument that the individualistic interpretation of the Bible and tradition that we have today began with Luther.

Isn't that what the CWA 09 decided we should do?  Let each individual decide for themselves what is true?  Why yes, yes it is what they decided, that we can all decide for ourselves what is true, says it straight up.  BTW: you were mistaken about Luther too, he wanted to return to scripture and historical practices, not decide something new and non-scriptural.

Yes, CWA09 left it up to individual consciences to decide what is true about this particular issue -- although that approach may also work on some other issues, too; but certainly not with every issue, e.g., the doctrines in our Confession of Faith.

Luther's "return" to scripture and historical practices was based on his (and his Augustinian background's) understanding of scripture and tradition, which put him in opposition to the Church's hierarchy's understanding of scripture and tradition. It's been stated before -- usually against me -- that every heresy sees itself being based on scriptures and often can find something in history to support the belief. I would venture to say that church discussions, arguments, and schisms, are always about differing interpretations of scripture and tradition.
"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]

James Gustafson

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #161 on: October 08, 2010, 11:57:42 AM »
Yes, CWA09 left it up to individual consciences to decide what is true about this particular issue -- although that approach may also work on some other issues, too; but certainly not with every issue, e.g., the doctrines in our Confession of Faith.

Luther's "return" to scripture and historical practices was based on his (and his Augustinian background's) understanding of scripture and tradition, which put him in opposition to the Church's hierarchy's understanding of scripture and tradition. It's been stated before -- usually against me -- that every heresy sees itself being based on scriptures and often can find something in history to support the belief. I would venture to say that church discussions, arguments, and schisms, are always about differing interpretations of scripture and tradition.

Not every heresy sees itself being based on scriptures and tradition, some say that scripture and tradition had it wrong.   Some ELCA approved positions hold that scripture and tradition was wrong and we understand better now than they did then... I would say THAT kind of reasoning is, well, to use Pr. Austin's terminology, un-Lutheran.  Seems to me that Luther believed Scripture and the Church Fathers means he trusted the sources, and inserting plain reason to determine what those sources likely would have thought of the question at hand.  Not do what the CWA 09 attempted to authorize, that we can think ourselves wiser than then our two sources, Scripture and Tradition.

James_Gale

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4082
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #162 on: October 08, 2010, 12:01:08 PM »
I would venture to say that church discussions, arguments, and schisms, are always about differing interpretations of scripture and tradition.

That was manifestly not the case with respect to the actions taken regarding sexuality at the 2009 CWA.  Leading proponents of those actions expressly rejected the notion that the ELCA was bound by Scripture.  And the CWA expressly admitted that it was acted against tradition.


Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43160
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #163 on: October 08, 2010, 12:20:00 PM »
I would venture to say that church discussions, arguments, and schisms, are always about differing interpretations of scripture and tradition.

That was manifestly not the case with respect to the actions taken regarding sexuality at the 2009 CWA.  Leading proponents of those actions expressly rejected the notion that the ELCA was bound by Scripture.

Examples? Journey Together Faithfully -- part 3 was a study of Galatians called: "Free in Christ to Serve the Neighbor: Lutherans Talk about Human Sexuality." There were background essays on biblical texts that were part of the resources available for folks discussing the issue.

I would agree that the ELCA is not bound by some traditional interpretations of scriptures. That's been part of our history since Luther's time. The marriage of priests, retaining clergy who had been married a second time, the ordination of women, the elimination (in some places) of weekly communion, open communion (officially in the ELCA, but also practiced by some LCMSers) are some of the ways that Lutherans went against traditional interpretations of scriptures.

Quote
And the CWA expressly admitted that it was acted against tradition.

Yes, we stated that for those who include same-gender committed relationships under the term "marriage" "differs from the historic Christian tradition
and the Lutheran Confessions" of that term. It doesn't say that we were "going against" that tradition. At the same time, we also recognize that the term "marriage" is being used by a few states for the publicly accountable and legal relationship that same-gender couples may enter -- and their use of the term differs from the traditional way societies have used "marriage".
"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]

James Gustafson

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #164 on: October 08, 2010, 12:51:04 PM »
...

I would agree that the ELCA is not bound by some traditional interpretations of scriptures. That's been part of our history since Luther's time. The marriage of priests,

Why do you keep using this false example?  Do you honestly not realize that this was a return to tradition, a reversal of a revision, that took place? Or, Heaven forbid, you simply keep using this example because you know that the common reader will not know that it is a return to Tradition and thus you hope that they might be convinced by your false example into thinking the Lutheran fathers would agree with the rest of what you are saying?