Author Topic: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010  (Read 26161 times)

Revbert

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #210 on: October 18, 2010, 12:42:52 PM »
It's worth keeping in mind that this year the estate tax is "off," so people who are very wealthy won't be leaving money to their churches to keep it out of the hands of the tax man. If that tax is restored next year, as it is scheduled to be, it may help with large bequests.

Peace,
Michael

A better solution is to keep the tax dead and do a better job at teaching stewardship....those assets have already been taxed once (twice, if from capital gains or dividends).

just talking...

Michael Slusser

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5584
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #211 on: October 18, 2010, 12:50:55 PM »
It's worth keeping in mind that this year the estate tax is "off," so people who are very wealthy won't be leaving money to their churches to keep it out of the hands of the tax man. If that tax is restored next year, as it is scheduled to be, it may help with large bequests.

Peace,
Michael

A better solution is to keep the tax dead and do a better job at teaching stewardship....those assets have already been taxed once (twice, if from capital gains or dividends).

just talking...

The tax already wouldn't apply to sub-multimillion-dollar estates, which means it doesn't apply to anyone I know personally or professionally. As you urge, we work on those the old-fashioned way.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

Revbert

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #212 on: October 18, 2010, 02:01:21 PM »
It's worth keeping in mind that this year the estate tax is "off," so people who are very wealthy won't be leaving money to their churches to keep it out of the hands of the tax man. If that tax is restored next year, as it is scheduled to be, it may help with large bequests.

Peace,
Michael

A better solution is to keep the tax dead and do a better job at teaching stewardship....those assets have already been taxed once (twice, if from capital gains or dividends).

just talking...

The tax already wouldn't apply to sub-multimillion-dollar estates, which means it doesn't apply to anyone I know personally or professionally. As you urge, we work on those the old-fashioned way.

Peace,
Michael

Actually, the estate tax threshold for the 55% "death tax" is between 600K and 1.2M, IIRC, before the current reductions. Even with the crashing real estate market, it doesn't take much for that threshold to be crossed.

Hmmm....the ELCA expects 55% of every dollar to synods to be sent to Chicago.  Washington would like 55% of every dollar from a dead person to be sent there. Coincidence?  ;D

jrubyaz

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #213 on: October 20, 2010, 06:59:40 PM »
Reality says one will never know how much the Great Recession and how much CWA 2009  ( seen as separate and  different events) have contributed to the decline.


I have come to the  position that anyone who points to the decline gleefully and indicates that in some way this was "deserved" needs to examine their own heart. I confess that for the better part of nine months I was very angry with the ELCA , but have moved beyond that.

To use the analogy of divorce, one can be bitter, difficult, and hateful with an ex-spouse (from my experience as a pastor, not personally, going on 20 years with my bride)......or one can understand that one cannot live together, but continue to be kind , supportive, and
speak well of each other.

Jeff Ruby    


Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #214 on: October 20, 2010, 07:04:24 PM »
Good words, Pastor Ruby. There is far too many comments that seem to celebrate how "bad" things are for the ELCA. And too much eagerness to paint everything the "ex-spouse" does in the worst light.

George Erdner

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #215 on: October 21, 2010, 11:17:27 AM »
To use the analogy of divorce, one can be bitter, difficult, and hateful with an ex-spouse (from my experience as a pastor, not personally, going on 20 years with my bride)......or one can understand that one cannot live together, but continue to be kind , supportive, and
speak well of each other.


The problem is that the analogy of divorce is not a very accurate comparison. The relationships of a person to a congregation or a congregation to a denomination are very, very different from marriage. Attempting to define the best way to describe an individuals reactions towards a former congregation or to a former denomination by the use of an inaccurate analogy simply reinforces inaccurate understanding of that relationship.

Why not use the analogy that a denomination is an apartment building one chooses to live in. If one of the apartments catches fire, one can continue to pay one's attention to the portions that aren't burning down and ignore the fire, or one can yell "Fire!" to warn everyone else, leave the burning building and seek new shelter, and continue to attempt to convince others in the burning building that they should leave before the fire spreads to their rooms, or at least extinguish the fire. You'll also need to convince those in the apartments that aren't yet burned to ignore those who insist on talking about the apartments and other amenities that aren't on fire while the burning portion of the building keeps spreading.

Or, one could use the analogy that a denomination is like a barrel of apples. When one starts to rot, it gives off a gas that prompts the other apples to rot. One can ignore the portion of the barrel where the rot is spreading, but that's only a short-term denial of reality. Once a barrel of apples starts rotting, the rot spreads. One needs to find a new apple barrel.

Others might contend that the relationship between a congregation and the denomination it is affiliated with is like that of a patient and their doctor. If one discovers that one's doctor is making errors that threaten the health of his patients, then one not only leaves that doctor and finds a new one, one must also warn all the doctor's other patients to leave for the sake of their health and safety. One has an obligation to raise awareness of the doctor's malpractice in order to protect others. Keeping silent about it is not an act of Christian kindness, it is an abdication of Christian responsibility.

Neither of those analogies are perfect, which only proves that "proof via analogy" doesn't really prove anything.

The fact is that the relationship between individuals and/or congregations and the larger church body that they are affiliated with is a unique relationship. A marriage is a peer-to-peer relationship, a merger of a man and a woman (and only a man and a woman) into a couple pair-bonded for life. The relationship between a person and a congregation or a congregation and a church body is not a peer-to-peer relationship. Marriage relationships don't include provisions for one spouse merging with other spouses. Marriage relationships don't include provisions for one spouse unilaterally changing the rules of the relationship. Marriage relationships aren't based on legalistic sets of rules that give one spouse the power to make profound changes in the relationship with the other spouse have no recourse but to accept it. It is also not a commitment for life. It is closer to a contract relationship that exists only so long as both parties keep their parts of the bargain, but even that is not an exact comparison.

It might be similar to other relationships, but it is not identical. Any advice or recommendations on how to deal with that unique relationship when the church body changes into something quite different from what it originally was needs to address that specific, unique relationship -- not relationships that are so dissimilar that they really cannot be compared.

And a good starting point would be to come to an agreement about just what a denomination is, and what the relationship is between congregations and denominations. During your absence, there were some attempts made to define what a denomination is in this thread. Very few of the people who squawk the loudest about how people and congregations are supposed to treat a denomination even bothered to post anything in that thread. The one thing that appears to a conclusion from that thread is that there is nothing in Scripture or the Confessions that really addresses what a denomination or "church body" is and what the relationship is between a congregation and denomination is. Some claim that a denomination is "the Church", and argue that leaving one's denomination is tantamount to leaving "the Church", and at the same time will argue that one can hear the Gospel rightly preached and receive the sacraments properly administered at any Christian congregation regardless of denomination or even faith tradition. Go figure!

So, I ask you, how is it that the relationship between a congregation (and the congregation's members) and a church denomination is so similar to the marriage relationship that analogies about marriage are proof of the proper actions regarding a former denomination?

dkeener

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #216 on: October 21, 2010, 12:08:33 PM »
To use the analogy of divorce, one can be bitter, difficult, and hateful with an ex-spouse (from my experience as a pastor, not personally, going on 20 years with my bride)......or one can understand that one cannot live together, but continue to be kind , supportive, and
speak well of each other.


The problem is that the analogy of divorce is not a very accurate comparison. The relationships of a person to a congregation or a congregation to a denomination are very, very different from marriage. Attempting to define the best way to describe an individuals reactions towards a former congregation or to a former denomination by the use of an inaccurate analogy simply reinforces inaccurate understanding of that relationship.

Why not use the analogy that a denomination is an apartment building one chooses to live in. If one of the apartments catches fire, one can continue to pay one's attention to the portions that aren't burning down and ignore the fire, or one can yell "Fire!" to warn everyone else, leave the burning building and seek new shelter, and continue to attempt to convince others in the burning building that they should leave before the fire spreads to their rooms, or at least extinguish the fire. You'll also need to convince those in the apartments that aren't yet burned to ignore those who insist on talking about the apartments and other amenities that aren't on fire while the burning portion of the building keeps spreading.

Or, one could use the analogy that a denomination is like a barrel of apples. When one starts to rot, it gives off a gas that prompts the other apples to rot. One can ignore the portion of the barrel where the rot is spreading, but that's only a short-term denial of reality. Once a barrel of apples starts rotting, the rot spreads. One needs to find a new apple barrel.

Others might contend that the relationship between a congregation and the denomination it is affiliated with is like that of a patient and their doctor. If one discovers that one's doctor is making errors that threaten the health of his patients, then one not only leaves that doctor and finds a new one, one must also warn all the doctor's other patients to leave for the sake of their health and safety. One has an obligation to raise awareness of the doctor's malpractice in order to protect others. Keeping silent about it is not an act of Christian kindness, it is an abdication of Christian responsibility.

Neither of those analogies are perfect, which only proves that "proof via analogy" doesn't really prove anything.

The fact is that the relationship between individuals and/or congregations and the larger church body that they are affiliated with is a unique relationship. A marriage is a peer-to-peer relationship, a merger of a man and a woman (and only a man and a woman) into a couple pair-bonded for life. The relationship between a person and a congregation or a congregation and a church body is not a peer-to-peer relationship. Marriage relationships don't include provisions for one spouse merging with other spouses. Marriage relationships don't include provisions for one spouse unilaterally changing the rules of the relationship. Marriage relationships aren't based on legalistic sets of rules that give one spouse the power to make profound changes in the relationship with the other spouse have no recourse but to accept it. It is also not a commitment for life. It is closer to a contract relationship that exists only so long as both parties keep their parts of the bargain, but even that is not an exact comparison.

It might be similar to other relationships, but it is not identical. Any advice or recommendations on how to deal with that unique relationship when the church body changes into something quite different from what it originally was needs to address that specific, unique relationship -- not relationships that are so dissimilar that they really cannot be compared.

And a good starting point would be to come to an agreement about just what a denomination is, and what the relationship is between congregations and denominations. During your absence, there were some attempts made to define what a denomination is in this thread. Very few of the people who squawk the loudest about how people and congregations are supposed to treat a denomination even bothered to post anything in that thread. The one thing that appears to a conclusion from that thread is that there is nothing in Scripture or the Confessions that really addresses what a denomination or "church body" is and what the relationship is between a congregation and denomination is. Some claim that a denomination is "the Church", and argue that leaving one's denomination is tantamount to leaving "the Church", and at the same time will argue that one can hear the Gospel rightly preached and receive the sacraments properly administered at any Christian congregation regardless of denomination or even faith tradition. Go figure!

So, I ask you, how is it that the relationship between a congregation (and the congregation's members) and a church denomination is so similar to the marriage relationship that analogies about marriage are proof of the proper actions regarding a former denomination?

I really think you totally missed the point. The marriage analogy is probably one of the best ones to discribe the relationship between a pastor and the church (congregation or denomination). This is not just a job or a contract, it is a relationship built on trust and bonded in love. When that trust is broken the relationship is damaged (sometimes irreparably) but that bond of love is much more tenacious. Divorce is so painful exactly because of this.  No matter how mad you may be or how justified the divorce, there is still a longing for reconciliation and healing. Pastor Ruby is simply acknowledging that in separation or divorce we do have a choice. We can hold on to the anger and try to convince ourselves that the love never existed in the first place, or we can acknowledge the good, refuse to let anger control us, and get on with our lives.  In his relationship with the ELCA pastor Ruby has chosen to take the high road and move on. Personally, I think he should be commended (and not critiqued) for that.

George Erdner

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #217 on: October 21, 2010, 12:24:17 PM »
I really think you totally missed the point. The marriage analogy is probably one of the best ones to discribe the relationship between a pastor and the church (congregation or denomination). This is not just a job or a contract, it is a relationship built on trust and bonded in love. When that trust is broken the relationship is damaged (sometimes irreparably) but that bond of love is much more tenacious. Divorce is so painful exactly because of this.  No matter how mad you may be or how justified the divorce, there is still a longing for reconciliation and healing. Pastor Ruby is simply acknowledging that in separation or divorce we do have a choice. We can hold on to the anger and try to convince ourselves that the love never existed in the first place, or we can acknowledge the good, refuse to let anger control us, and get on with our lives.  In his relationship with the ELCA pastor Ruby has chosen to take the high road and move on. Personally, I think he should be commended (and not critiqued) for that.

I'm sorry, but just because you have declared that the relationship between a pastor and a congregation or denomination is closest to a marriage doesn't make it so. I will contend that the relationship between a pastor and a denomination is not only different from a marriage, it is different than the relationship between a pastor and his congregation.

If you want to cast around for analogies, an equally good case can be made the the relationships of a pastor are like those of a medical doctor. A doctor has one relationship with his own patients (similar to a pastor and his congregation) and he has a relationship with the hospital he is affiliated with (similar to a pastor and his denomination). If a doctor discovers that the hospital he is affiliated with is causing patients to die because they aren't fighting contamination that cause infections, the doctor has an obligation to lead his patients to a new hospital and to raise the hue and cry to all the other doctors and patients about the danger that has arisen in the hospital. To silently watch the patients of other doctors enter a hospital teeming with germs that could lead to a fatal infection is a gross dereliction of his duty and his Hippocratic oath.

I also note that your name is conspicuous by its absence in the thread that attempts to determine or at least discuss what a denomination actually is. If you won't share your understanding of what you think a denomination is or isn't, how can we understand why you think the relationship between a pastor and denomination is the same as the relationship between a pastor and his congregation or a marriage?

jrubyaz

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #218 on: October 21, 2010, 12:29:09 PM »
George,

 You can use all the modern analogies you want to. Certainly, there are many that could be used. I don't have the time to go into multiple fantasy league options.

I prefer to use marriage because as Pastor Keener states the way in which one reacts to marriage and divorce is important, not only for those involved, but also for the way in which we approach life daily. We can be angry, bitter, and hateful, or seek forgiveness and to move on, while still caring for those  in which we have a broken relationship.

But on a deeper level,  you are  one who has has expressed concern about the scriptural moorings churches and denominations adhere to, or fail to adhere to in the current crisis. Thus, the image of marriage is also biblical, just in case you forgot... ;)

 In the New Testament, Christ, the bridegroom, has chosen  the church to be His bride , which is in Ephesians 5 if I am not mistaken.  I am not a scholar, but it is my understanding that there was a betrothal period  in ancient times during which the bride and groom were kept apart until the  actual wedding. The application is then that the bride of Christ is  separate from her bridegroom during the church age. Her responsibility and duty  during the betrothal period is faithfuness and obedience , which I think is in Second Corinthians.  If that obedience is to God and not men, then perhaps that means a "divorce" from the earthly church, which is imperfect., in order to remain faithful to the bridegroom.

At the Second Coming , the  WHOLE church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official "wedding ceremony" will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will become real, as noted in Revelation.  I still see the ELCA as part of the "whole" church, although I believe it made a grievous error. The judging of that is God's alone, not mine, but I have to react as I can in faithfulness. In addition to being faithful, being gracious and not bearing false witness or reveling in the troubles of the  "ex-spouse" also seems to me to be biblical.   

Jeff Ruby


 
To use the analogy of divorce, one can be bitter, difficult, and hateful with an ex-spouse (from my experience as a pastor, not personally, going on 20 years with my bride)......or one can understand that one cannot live together, but continue to be kind , supportive, and
speak well of each other.


The problem is that the analogy of divorce is not a very accurate comparison. The relationships of a person to a congregation or a congregation to a denomination are very, very different from marriage. Attempting to define the best way to describe an individuals reactions towards a former congregation or to a former denomination by the use of an inaccurate analogy simply reinforces inaccurate understanding of that relationship.

Why not use the analogy that a denomination is an apartment building one chooses to live in. If one of the apartments catches fire, one can continue to pay one's attention to the portions that aren't burning down and ignore the fire, or one can yell "Fire!" to warn everyone else, leave the burning building and seek new shelter, and continue to attempt to convince others in the burning building that they should leave before the fire spreads to their rooms, or at least extinguish the fire. You'll also need to convince those in the apartments that aren't yet burned to ignore those who insist on talking about the apartments and other amenities that aren't on fire while the burning portion of the building keeps spreading.

Or, one could use the analogy that a denomination is like a barrel of apples. When one starts to rot, it gives off a gas that prompts the other apples to rot. One can ignore the portion of the barrel where the rot is spreading, but that's only a short-term denial of reality. Once a barrel of apples starts rotting, the rot spreads. One needs to find a new apple barrel.

Others might contend that the relationship between a congregation and the denomination it is affiliated with is like that of a patient and their doctor. If one discovers that one's doctor is making errors that threaten the health of his patients, then one not only leaves that doctor and finds a new one, one must also warn all the doctor's other patients to leave for the sake of their health and safety. One has an obligation to raise awareness of the doctor's malpractice in order to protect others. Keeping silent about it is not an act of Christian kindness, it is an abdication of Christian responsibility.

Neither of those analogies are perfect, which only proves that "proof via analogy" doesn't really prove anything.

The fact is that the relationship between individuals and/or congregations and the larger church body that they are affiliated with is a unique relationship. A marriage is a peer-to-peer relationship, a merger of a man and a woman (and only a man and a woman) into a couple pair-bonded for life. The relationship between a person and a congregation or a congregation and a church body is not a peer-to-peer relationship. Marriage relationships don't include provisions for one spouse merging with other spouses. Marriage relationships don't include provisions for one spouse unilaterally changing the rules of the relationship. Marriage relationships aren't based on legalistic sets of rules that give one spouse the power to make profound changes in the relationship with the other spouse have no recourse but to accept it. It is also not a commitment for life. It is closer to a contract relationship that exists only so long as both parties keep their parts of the bargain, but even that is not an exact comparison.

It might be similar to other relationships, but it is not identical. Any advice or recommendations on how to deal with that unique relationship when the church body changes into something quite different from what it originally was needs to address that specific, unique relationship -- not relationships that are so dissimilar that they really cannot be compared.

And a good starting point would be to come to an agreement about just what a denomination is, and what the relationship is between congregations and denominations. During your absence, there were some attempts made to define what a denomination is in this thread. Very few of the people who squawk the loudest about how people and congregations are supposed to treat a denomination even bothered to post anything in that thread. The one thing that appears to a conclusion from that thread is that there is nothing in Scripture or the Confessions that really addresses what a denomination or "church body" is and what the relationship is between a congregation and denomination is. Some claim that a denomination is "the Church", and argue that leaving one's denomination is tantamount to leaving "the Church", and at the same time will argue that one can hear the Gospel rightly preached and receive the sacraments properly administered at any Christian congregation regardless of denomination or even faith tradition. Go figure!

So, I ask you, how is it that the relationship between a congregation (and the congregation's members) and a church denomination is so similar to the marriage relationship that analogies about marriage are proof of the proper actions regarding a former denomination?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 12:41:33 PM by jrubyaz »

George Erdner

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #219 on: October 21, 2010, 01:14:47 PM »
George,

 You can use all the modern analogies you want to. Certainly, there are many that could be used. I don't have the time to go into multiple fantasy league options.

I prefer to use marriage because as Pastor Keener states the way in which one reacts to marriage and divorce is important, not only for those involved, but also for the way in which we approach life daily. We can be angry, bitter, and hateful, or seek forgiveness and to move on, while still caring for those  in which we have a broken relationship.

Are you still pastor at the first congregation that called you, fresh out of seminary? If not, what happened to "'til death do us part"?

But on a deeper level,  you are  one who has has expressed concern about the scriptural moorings churches and denominations adhere to, or fail to adhere to in the current crisis. Thus, the image of marriage is also biblical, just in case you forgot... ;)

 In the New Testament, Christ, the bridegroom, has chosen  the church to be His bride , which is in Ephesians 5 if I am not mistaken.  I am not a scholar, but it is my understanding that there was a betrothal period  in ancient times during which the bride and groom were kept apart until the  actual wedding. The application is then that the bride of Christ is  separate from her bridegroom during the church age. Her responsibility and duty  during the betrothal period is faithfuness and obedience , which I think is in Second Corinthians.  If that obedience is to God and not men, then perhaps that means a "divorce" from the earthly church, which is imperfect., in order to remain faithful to the bridegroom.

Where in Scripture does it state that denominations within a larger faith tradition within the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church are "the Church" in its entirety? Where in Scripture or the Confessions are denominations, which are recent creations of men, are elevated to equal status with the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church? How is a transfer from one denomination to another denomination, both of which are part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church amount to leaving the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church?

Remember, you're about the only person in this entire forum who is leading his congregation into a "no man's land" of no denominational affiliation at all, and yet you and your congregation are remaining part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. If you can remain part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic church with no denominational affiliation at all, then how can membership in a particular denomination be elevated to the status of "the Church" spoken of in the Epistles? 

At the Second Coming , the  WHOLE church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official "wedding ceremony" will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will become real, as noted in Revelation.  I still see the ELCA as part of the "whole" church, although I believe it made a grievous error. The judging of that is God's alone, not mine, but I have to react as I can in faithfulness. In addition to being faithful, being gracious and not bearing false witness or reveling in the troubles of the  "ex-spouse" also seems to me to be biblical.   


In the meantime, have you no obligation, no duty, no responsibility to the entire Body of Christ to raise a warning cry that the ELCA "made a grievous error" and advise others for the sake of their relationship with God to avoid false and/or errant teachings?

Plus, you're still working on that whole "spouse" thing regarding a denomination with no compelling reasons why that makes sense, other than one reference to the entire One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church using that metaphor. How is a single denomination the same as the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church? And, if a denomination is the same as the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, how does "'Til death do us part" fit in?


jrubyaz

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #220 on: October 21, 2010, 01:41:04 PM »

George,

Your posts reminded me why I left this forum for a period of time. You take a simple debate and turn into personal attacks, questioning a person's faith, obedience, and lifetime of service to the church. After 22 years, it is certainly not easy for me to leave, and I don't have to defend myself to you.

I guess you just know better than all of us who have graduate and post-graduate degrees. Enjoy yourself, I have run into many people like you across the years in parish ministry who want to drain your time and life away. I have better things to do.

Jeff Ruby   

George,

 You can use all the modern analogies you want to. Certainly, there are many that could be used. I don't have the time to go into multiple fantasy league options.

I prefer to use marriage because as Pastor Keener states the way in which one reacts to marriage and divorce is important, not only for those involved, but also for the way in which we approach life daily. We can be angry, bitter, and hateful, or seek forgiveness and to move on, while still caring for those  in which we have a broken relationship.

Are you still pastor at the first congregation that called you, fresh out of seminary? If not, what happened to "'til death do us part"?

But on a deeper level,  you are  one who has has expressed concern about the scriptural moorings churches and denominations adhere to, or fail to adhere to in the current crisis. Thus, the image of marriage is also biblical, just in case you forgot... ;)

 In the New Testament, Christ, the bridegroom, has chosen  the church to be His bride , which is in Ephesians 5 if I am not mistaken.  I am not a scholar, but it is my understanding that there was a betrothal period  in ancient times during which the bride and groom were kept apart until the  actual wedding. The application is then that the bride of Christ is  separate from her bridegroom during the church age. Her responsibility and duty  during the betrothal period is faithfuness and obedience , which I think is in Second Corinthians.  If that obedience is to God and not men, then perhaps that means a "divorce" from the earthly church, which is imperfect., in order to remain faithful to the bridegroom.

Where in Scripture does it state that denominations within a larger faith tradition within the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church are "the Church" in its entirety? Where in Scripture or the Confessions are denominations, which are recent creations of men, are elevated to equal status with the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church? How is a transfer from one denomination to another denomination, both of which are part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church amount to leaving the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church?

Remember, you're about the only person in this entire forum who is leading his congregation into a "no man's land" of no denominational affiliation at all, and yet you and your congregation are remaining part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. If you can remain part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic church with no denominational affiliation at all, then how can membership in a particular denomination be elevated to the status of "the Church" spoken of in the Epistles? 

At the Second Coming , the  WHOLE church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official "wedding ceremony" will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will become real, as noted in Revelation.  I still see the ELCA as part of the "whole" church, although I believe it made a grievous error. The judging of that is God's alone, not mine, but I have to react as I can in faithfulness. In addition to being faithful, being gracious and not bearing false witness or reveling in the troubles of the  "ex-spouse" also seems to me to be biblical.   


In the meantime, have you no obligation, no duty, no responsibility to the entire Body of Christ to raise a warning cry that the ELCA "made a grievous error" and advise others for the sake of their relationship with God to avoid false and/or errant teachings?

Plus, you're still working on that whole "spouse" thing regarding a denomination with no compelling reasons why that makes sense, other than one reference to the entire One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church using that metaphor. How is a single denomination the same as the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church? And, if a denomination is the same as the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, how does "'Til death do us part" fit in?



George Erdner

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #221 on: October 21, 2010, 02:05:41 PM »

George,

Your posts reminded me why I left this forum for a period of time. You take a simple debate and turn into personal attacks, questioning a person's faith, obedience, and lifetime of service to the church. After 22 years, it is certainly not easy for me to leave, and I don't have to defend myself to you.



I am not challenging your personal activities or choices. I am challenging the unfounded assertion that transferring to a different denomination (or to no denomination at all) is equivalent to divorce, which it is not. I am also challenging the assertion that we must maintain silence about the cancer that it eating away at the ELCA. I do not raise "personal" issue to make it appear that you did anything wrong, nor to challenge you to do differently. I raise them only to illustrate the discrepancy with the assertion that one should remain silent about a former denomination because "it is like being divorced".

I do not say that what you are doing is wrong, I'm only saying that it is inconsistent with your insistence that the relationship between a pastor and a denomination is the same as a marriage, or that it is the same as the relationship between a denomination and the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I believe that your actions are correct, other than calling on everyone to keep silent. But I believe that what you say about those relationships is wrong, and that your own actions prove the description of the relationship to be wrong.

And I only make an issue of this because I am convinced that too many good and faithful people are making the wrong choices regarding their reactions to the cancer growing in the ELCA because they have a wrong perception of what a denomination is. I've said before that if someone can present a compelling case for a man-made entity like a denomination being the equivalent of a God-created entity like the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, I'm open to having my mind changed. So far, the only articulate arguments made have been that denominations are not the equivalent of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The only people who bothered to attempt to present arguments about what a denomination really is have basically said it's no more than a voluntary association of congregations who choose to work together to better carry out the Lord's work.



jrubyaz

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #222 on: October 21, 2010, 03:59:57 PM »

Simply correcting some errors, not engaging in the fantasy league debate.

I did not lead the congregation out of the ELCA. Our laity did, by appointing a task force that took six months to formulate their response and recommend a vote to leave. While some pastors have chosen this route, my colleagues and I did not.

Secondly, we have made it clear we will join a denomination or association in the future, just not at this time .


Jeff Ruby   

George,

Your posts reminded me why I left this forum for a period of time. You take a simple debate and turn into personal attacks, questioning a person's faith, obedience, and lifetime of service to the church. After 22 years, it is certainly not easy for me to leave, and I don't have to defend myself to you.



I am not challenging your personal activities or choices. I am challenging the unfounded assertion that transferring to a different denomination (or to no denomination at all) is equivalent to divorce, which it is not. I am also challenging the assertion that we must maintain silence about the cancer that it eating away at the ELCA. I do not raise "personal" issue to make it appear that you did anything wrong, nor to challenge you to do differently. I raise them only to illustrate the discrepancy with the assertion that one should remain silent about a former denomination because "it is like being divorced".

I do not say that what you are doing is wrong, I'm only saying that it is inconsistent with your insistence that the relationship between a pastor and a denomination is the same as a marriage, or that it is the same as the relationship between a denomination and the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I believe that your actions are correct, other than calling on everyone to keep silent. But I believe that what you say about those relationships is wrong, and that your own actions prove the description of the relationship to be wrong.

And I only make an issue of this because I am convinced that too many good and faithful people are making the wrong choices regarding their reactions to the cancer growing in the ELCA because they have a wrong perception of what a denomination is. I've said before that if someone can present a compelling case for a man-made entity like a denomination being the equivalent of a God-created entity like the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, I'm open to having my mind changed. So far, the only articulate arguments made have been that denominations are not the equivalent of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The only people who bothered to attempt to present arguments about what a denomination really is have basically said it's no more than a voluntary association of congregations who choose to work together to better carry out the Lord's work.




Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #223 on: October 21, 2010, 04:55:23 PM »
Hang around, Pastor Ruby, despite the innuendos and persistent pecking by Mr. Erdner. Maybe we can ignore him to death or he will cross some boundary and get bounced. He said upstream that he really doesn't care if he does.

LutherMan

  • Guest
Re: ELCA Fiscal Crisis continues into 2010
« Reply #224 on: October 21, 2010, 05:24:09 PM »
Hang around, Pastor Ruby, despite the innuendos and persistent pecking by Mr. Erdner. Maybe we can ignore him to death or he will cross some boundary and get bounced. He said upstream that he really doesn't care if he does.
Wow, Pr. Austin.  I am really impressed to see you encouraging Pr. Ruby to hang around, this time around. :o :o