Author Topic: The Virus Keeps Spreading  (Read 6132 times)

George Erdner

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #45 on: October 08, 2010, 04:35:55 PM »
I hate to quibble with my friend Rob, but the price I meant would be paid for staying was more along the lines of isolation, subtle or not so subtle attacks, name calling, etc.  Certainly some, maybe even most, who stay will give in to the siren call of go-along.  But others could very well be strong enough to withstand that.  And those are the ones I was referring to.

The fact of the matter is, at the church I am a member of, "the issue" is a non-issue. It is not a subject of conversation. It is not a cause of dissension. It is totally and completely ignored. The issue is never discussed or even mentioned. For that matter, the ELCA is almost never discussed or mentioned. I'll wager that there are members of my congregation who know we're Lutheran (it's in the congregation's name) but who don't have any idea we're ELCA. The only external body of Christians with any sort of high profile at my congregation is Via de Christo. In fact, based on comparisons between how often the terms "ELCA" and "Via de Christo" are mentioned, I wouldn't be surprised to discover that some pewsitters think we're a congregation in the Via de Christo denomination.

So, the price I pay for staying is almost entirely internal. I know that we're shackled to the ELCA's corpse, but most of the rest of the congregation just doesn't care. As I said in that earlier post, it won't be until some external event like a search for a new pastor, or a new, revisionist Sunday School Curriculum, or a homosexual couple asking to use our church for a pseudo-wedding that anyone will even begin to think about "the issue".

« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 04:55:42 PM by George Erdner »

Charles_Austin

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #46 on: October 08, 2010, 05:03:29 PM »
Mr. Erdner notes:
As I said in that earlier post, it won't be until some external event like a search for a new pastor, or a new, revisionist Sunday School Curriculum, or a homosexual couple asking to use our church for a pseudo-wedding that anyone will even begin to think about "the issue".

I comment:
And when that happens (and it will), your congregation will be completely unprepared to have the necessary discussions. Ignoring one of the largest social issues in the country, one with considerable ramifications for the ministry of the church, is absurd. By not discussing it in the church, you leave the discussion to the secular realm. And you know which way that is going.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 05:08:12 PM by Charles_Austin »

George Erdner

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #47 on: October 08, 2010, 05:09:11 PM »
Mr. Erdner notes:
As I said in that earlier post, it won't be until some external event like a search for a new pastor, or a new, revisionist Sunday School Curriculum, or a homosexual couple asking to use our church for a pseudo-wedding that anyone will even begin to think about "the issue".

I comment:
And when that happens (and it will), your congregation will be completely unprepared to have the necessary discussions. Ignoring one of the largest social issues in the country, one with considerable ramifications for the ministry of the church, is absurd.

Maybe so, but the people at my congregation are more concerned with things like hearing the Gospel rightly preached, receiving the sacraments properly administered, engaging in genuinely worthwhile social ministries like supporting the local food bank, and engaging in healthy and prayerful Christian fellowship than they are in wallowing in the details of society's degeneration into depravity over the issue of homosexuality and sodomy.

Maryland Brian

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #48 on: October 08, 2010, 05:48:30 PM »

I comment:
And when that happens (and it will), your congregation will be completely unprepared to have the necessary discussions. Ignoring one of the largest social issues in the country, one with considerable ramifications for the ministry of the church, is absurd. By not discussing it in the church, you leave the discussion to the secular realm. And you know which way that is going.

Thus again we hear why so many of us are leaving the ELCA.  Expending vast quantities of resources discussing and debating the sexual and relational needs of 2 percent of the population does not begin to address the more deleterious impact single parenting and divorce are having on children and their health.  The secular realm is moving ever further away from understanding the need for healthy, heterosexual marriage and family and, as is obvious to anyone paying attention, the church you continue to trumpet has little interest in tackling this far larger "social issue in the country."


edoughty

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #49 on: October 08, 2010, 07:04:59 PM »
Actually, there was recently a conference at Luther Seminary about ministering to children (of any age) of divorce.

http://firstthird.org/

And the sexuality document addressed much more than 2 percent of the population.  Only one of several sections is about same-gender sexuality. 

Maryland Brian

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #50 on: October 08, 2010, 07:15:20 PM »
Actually, there was recently a conference at Luther Seminary about ministering to children (of any age) of divorce.

http://firstthird.org/

And the sexuality document addressed much more than 2 percent of the population.  Only one of several sections is about same-gender sexuality. 


When the ELCA invests three million dollars studying how to grow stronger families, I will take them seriously.  Until then, the last twenty years were a vast waste of resources that has now led to the implosion of their church.


Charles_Austin

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #51 on: October 08, 2010, 10:47:34 PM »
Mr. Erdner writes (about ignoring the sexuality issue):
Maybe so, but the people at my congregation are more concerned with things like hearing the Gospel rightly preached, receiving the sacraments properly administered, engaging in genuinely worthwhile social ministries like supporting the local food bank, and engaging in healthy and prayerful Christian fellowship than they are in wallowing in the details of society's degeneration into depravity over the issue of homosexuality and sodomy.

I comment:
And if your last statement is correct, then by not addressing the issue, you are letting society "degenerate" into "depravity," and not providing your people with the proper tools and instruction to prevent them from being sucked in. If it is as you say, you should be more involved with the issue, not less.
Otherwise you are abandoning the field to the "revisionists" and secular society.

George Erdner

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #52 on: October 08, 2010, 10:56:44 PM »
Mr. Erdner writes (about ignoring the sexuality issue):
Maybe so, but the people at my congregation are more concerned with things like hearing the Gospel rightly preached, receiving the sacraments properly administered, engaging in genuinely worthwhile social ministries like supporting the local food bank, and engaging in healthy and prayerful Christian fellowship than they are in wallowing in the details of society's degeneration into depravity over the issue of homosexuality and sodomy.

I comment:
And if your last statement is correct, then by not addressing the issue, you are letting society "degenerate" into "depravity," and not providing your people with the proper tools and instruction to prevent them from being sucked in. If it is as you say, you should be more involved with the issue, not less.
Otherwise you are abandoning the field to the "revisionists" and secular society.

Perhaps you can explain how a bunch of heterosexuals who agree that the Bible says homosexual sodomy is wrong can somehow reverse the trend of sociey degenerating into depravity (there's no need for scary quotes on those words, I meant them literally, not ironically) by using Hanson's favorite panacea for everything, "engaging in dialogue" (those scary quotes are appropriate, since I used Hanson's catch phrase in an ironic sense)?

RevSteve

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2010, 01:50:38 AM »
Actually, there was recently a conference at Luther Seminary about ministering to children (of any age) of divorce.

http://firstthird.org/

And the sexuality document addressed much more than 2 percent of the population.  Only one of several sections is about same-gender sexuality. 


And just about everything in the 98% that didn't speak of same-gender sexuality had been said somewhere else. It's nothing but a revisionist tactic to bury the same-gender stuff under a bunch of stuff that has already been agreed upon and then say "Are we really going to toss the sexuality statement aside because of one small portion?" 
Pastor Steven M. Bliss LCMC and NALC-  St Olaf Lutheran Church, Bode, Iowa

New quote, got tired of questions about Dante quote...

"Doin stuff is overrated. Like Hitler did a lot of stuff but don't we all wish he would have just sat around all day and got stoned?"-Dex from the Tao of Steve

Charles_Austin

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2010, 07:26:52 AM »
Mr. Erdner writes:
Perhaps you can explain how a bunch of heterosexuals who agree that the Bible says homosexual sodomy is wrong can somehow reverse the trend of sociey degenerating into depravity (there's no need for scary quotes on those words, I meant them literally, not ironically)

I comment:
But, Mr. Erdner, you aren't out to "reverse the trend" of society. That would be political activism. Ugh! Icky! Yuck!
No, by addressing the issue of sexuality, a congregation is equipping its people to deal with that aspect of their lives, holding up that church's views of marriage and family life, warning about the things that are attempting to undermine the faithful, Christian lives of its people. By addressing the issue of sexuality, a congregation is talking about the commandments.
So, if any congregation is avoiding that issue, there is a huge gap in its teaching.
And people in that congregation cannot then complain if their young people are swayed by other forces.

George Erdner

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #55 on: October 09, 2010, 07:39:49 AM »
Mr. Erdner writes:
Perhaps you can explain how a bunch of heterosexuals who agree that the Bible says homosexual sodomy is wrong can somehow reverse the trend of sociey degenerating into depravity (there's no need for scary quotes on those words, I meant them literally, not ironically)

I comment:
But, Mr. Erdner, you aren't out to "reverse the trend" of society. That would be political activism. Ugh! Icky! Yuck!
No, by addressing the issue of sexuality, a congregation is equipping its people to deal with that aspect of their lives, holding up that church's views of marriage and family life, warning about the things that are attempting to undermine the faithful, Christian lives of its people. By addressing the issue of sexuality, a congregation is talking about the commandments.
So, if any congregation is avoiding that issue, there is a huge gap in its teaching.
And people in that congregation cannot then complain if their young people are swayed by other forces.

You forget, I am not the pastor. I do not determine the subject content of the sermons. I do not determine the curricula for Sunday School or other educational programs. I only make sure that there is music for worship, and that the head of the Altar Guild has bread and wine on hand each Sunday for communion.

I also note that you are twisting this to be about larger issues, while I am only referring to discussing the ELCA's diabolical social statements passed in August of 2009, which do far more to promote lives of active engagement in sin and depravity than any lack of congregation-wide discussion of sexual morality.

Dadoo

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #56 on: October 09, 2010, 09:17:46 AM »
Mr. Erdner writes:
Perhaps you can explain how a bunch of heterosexuals who agree that the Bible says homosexual sodomy is wrong can somehow reverse the trend of sociey degenerating into depravity (there's no need for scary quotes on those words, I meant them literally, not ironically)

I comment:
But, Mr. Erdner, you aren't out to "reverse the trend" of society. That would be political activism. Ugh! Icky! Yuck!
No, by addressing the issue of sexuality, a congregation is equipping its people to deal with that aspect of their lives, holding up that church's views of marriage and family life, warning about the things that are attempting to undermine the faithful, Christian lives of its people. By addressing the issue of sexuality, a congregation is talking about the commandments.
So, if any congregation is avoiding that issue, there is a huge gap in its teaching.
And people in that congregation cannot then complain if their young people are swayed by other forces.

Mr. Erdner writes:
Perhaps you can explain how a bunch of heterosexuals who agree that the Bible says homosexual sodomy is wrong can somehow reverse the trend of sociey degenerating into depravity (there's no need for scary quotes on those words, I meant them literally, not ironically)

I comment:
But, Mr. Erdner, you aren't out to "reverse the trend" of society. That would be political activism. Ugh! Icky! Yuck!
No, by addressing the issue of sexuality, a congregation is equipping its people to deal with that aspect of their lives, holding up that church's views of marriage and family life, warning about the things that are attempting to undermine the faithful, Christian lives of its people. By addressing the issue of sexuality, a congregation is talking about the commandments.
So, if any congregation is avoiding that issue, there is a huge gap in its teaching.
And people in that congregation cannot then complain if their young people are swayed by other forces.

You forget, I am not the pastor. I do not determine the subject content of the sermons. I do not determine the curricula for Sunday School or other educational programs. I only make sure that there is music for worship, and that the head of the Altar Guild has bread and wine on hand each Sunday for communion.

I also note that you are twisting this to be about larger issues, while I am only referring to discussing the ELCA's diabolical social statements passed in August of 2009, which do far more to promote lives of active engagement in sin and depravity than any lack of congregation-wide discussion of sexual morality.


George,

Charles,

I find some irony here. We are obsessing about this issue right now because, well, someone sat in a church and wanted to be a pastor but couldn't be because the rules said not to. Where these people "leaders" in their congregation? Did they, by their presence, voice, integrity, action, or personal presence, shape or influence the direction or character of the congregation? That is leadership after all. A "Leader" needs no diploma, no certificate, no approving nod from famous men or women that read their college papers. A leader leads. A leader can lead from the center of the organization, sometimes more effectively than from the designated power places.

Sometime back the protestant wings of the church bought into the ideas of "power." Suddenly, her offices of word and sacrament were seen as places of "power." Funny, that is how folks see the papacy as well and they hate it for being power. Yet, in their own churches people did not want to diminish power, though they like to question Roman Catholics why they put put with having such a great powers as bishops and Popes over them, no, they want a certificate that says they now are part of the power. Four years after they sat in that church they now are hanging a certificate of ordination on a wall of an office in some congregation. But are they leaders? If they had no qualities of leadership the certificate will not give it to them. It will give them 10 minutes of time on Sunday morning when the congregation is politely quiet and lets them talk. That is not a picture of leadership. Those that have leadership qualities will do well. Those that do not will use their new found "power" in destructive ways and burn out. They will become the pastors that come to every clergy meeting with new tales of woe that often end in the line: " . . .it's all because I am   ____." (fill in the blank: liberal, conservative, a woman, following a woman's ministry, gay, high church; proceed at your own pace.) Some who are not leaders will become quiet pastors who are basically run by a true leader in their congregation. That can be good or bad. Their greatest danger is that they will turn passive aggressive.

Had we as Lutherans, years ago, made it quietly clear that ordination and power were not to be equated and had we taken steps to structure our churches in such a way that a cultural would have arisen that did not use the office that way, we would not ever have been through the entire struggle over ordination as a sign of full inclusion in the church. We might still be ordaining women or gays but we would not ever have had the fights that clearly divide us, though, most likely, we would have had plenty of time to fight over other trivial matters and used our new found time for that purpose.

George, where ever you have found yourself, lead your church. Yes, you! You do not need to be ordained to be a leader. Teach Sunday school but without malice or agenda, just teach it honestly. Become known as a wise and trustworthy presence that people want to listen to and want to respect. Lead your congregation from within and trust that if you are faithful to the word of God that God will use whatever happens there for a blessed purpose.

Charles, wear your heart on your sleeve more often. Leadership demands that one has and expresses an opinion. Being able to follow is, ironically, also a sign of good leadership. But following without critical reflection and merely as a matter of principle is not. Leaders can and do follow other leaders if they sense them to be such, but they do so having stated their opinion and reasons for holding them. It is a larger sign of loyalty that one follow after having expressed one's disagreements than to follow without question. Those who have expressed their intention of remaining ELCA today in spite of clearly stated objections make a greater statement then those who do so because they tow the company line and let not a word of objection slip out.
Peter Kruse

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

Charles_Austin

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #57 on: October 09, 2010, 03:39:32 PM »
My point is quite simple. Suppose a church and/or its pastor "chooses" not to engage the question of sexuality. Maybe the pastor is uncomfortable. Maybe the congregation leaders fear conflict. So, sex - that significant aspect of human existence - is just not discussed. No talk about male-female relationships. No advice on dating. No discussion of divorce and remarriage. Maybe a quick hop through the commandment during Confirmation instruction, but little more.
So, where are people to get their information and guidance on sexual matters? They won't get it from this church, will they?
That poll of LC-MS youth cited on that other thread proves that huge numbers of them apparently do not accept the LC-MS view on several sexual issues. So did CPH curriculum fail them? Did pastors dodge the tough questions? Was the only advice about sex given to them a command not to "do it"? Whatever they got doesn't seem to be taking hold.
We should be talking about sexuality in our congregations, not because of the "social issue" of rights for gays and lesbians, not because we want to reform society. We do it because we want people to use their Christian faith as they develop their values, morals and ethics. And when they do, the dialogue in the church widens and the possibility for honest and fraternal differences of opinion is enhanced.

ptmccain

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #58 on: October 09, 2010, 03:44:43 PM »
I was going to respond to Charles, but I thought better of it, when my reprogramming at the ALPB "reorientation camp" took over and I started meditating using Bishop Barbie's goddess beads.

Butterfly kisses, to you, dear Charles.

 ;D
« Last Edit: October 09, 2010, 03:46:56 PM by ptmccain »

Dadoo

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Re: The Virus Keeps Spreading
« Reply #59 on: October 09, 2010, 03:53:30 PM »
I was going to respond to Charles, but I thought better of it, when my reprogramming at the ALPB "reorientation camp" took over and I started meditating using Bishop Barbie's goddess beads.

Butterfly kisses, to you, dear Charles.

 ;D

What is the CPH order number for a set of those?  :D
Peter Kruse

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