Author Topic: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.  (Read 11432 times)

Timotheus Verinus

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #150 on: October 24, 2010, 08:26:41 PM »
Assuming he has some familiarity with what was meant when those words were penned, and maybe you assert that he didn't, he says,

"I conclude that there is no evidence based on the text of Scripture which permits or mandates the change as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. The action rather was unconstitutional and violated a part of the Confession of Faith. "

His is one approach to scriptures. I've argued from a different perspective: there is nothing in the text of Scriptures that prohibits the changes as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. I believe that this is a more Lutheran approach, ....  For us with that interpretation, the action is not unconstitutional nor a violation.

I hope you understand that it is not a speciifc. That is a point that has been empasized over and over. It is the "new ... approach" (your words) So one who wrote the words of the confession tells you that this new approach is not what he meant or said. It is not about sex or interpretation. It is about how you (and maybe 1/2 the delegates as well) take someone else's words and meaning, and choose to apply your "new" meaning against their plain objection.

Do you really not see how this has folks throwing their hands up saying, "the words have no meaning?" What we seek to determine is what is meant. Most efforts at that lead to despair over what is heard. But we keep trying.

1. The party hijacking the words of another to a different meaning have an obligation to explain that "new" meaning.
2. There needs to be a clear distinction made for discussion.
3. The discussion needs to be focused on mutual agreement to language to even begin to reconcile.
4. When some one purposely and stubbornly uses common language to obscure disagreements, plainly obvious, it is difficult to see that they wish to clear it up at all.

TV
« Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 09:05:54 PM by TVerinus »
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ptmccain

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #151 on: October 24, 2010, 08:26:47 PM »
Which ELCA seminary is that teaches homosexual behaviors are intrinsically sinful and that St. Paul meant what he said in Romans 1 about homosexuality and thus, there can be no so-called "union" between homosexuals, for any reason, that has God's blessing?

Dan Fienen

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #152 on: October 24, 2010, 08:29:04 PM »
No, the problem is that the LC-MS has - at various times and in numerous ways - officially and with great vigor declared the ELCA (and the LCA and ALC before it) as "heterodox," non-Lutheran and sometimes worse.
     So the die is cast. No "loyal" LC-MS member can begin with any other premise but that we in the ELCA are wrong and non-Lutheran. And we in the ELCA would then have to prove to you that we are not wrong, which is the wrong way to foster dialogue.
     Furthermore, it is clear in very recent discussion that the LC-MS is seriously divided within itself over what it means for them that the ELCA is "wrong." Are we talking with those who oppose all "cooperation in externals" (a curious LC-MS neologism), or not?
    And what of those "moderate" LC-MS pastors who are cooperative locally, even straying (as many do) from official synodical policies when it comes to the ELCA? Can they be in this discussion? Why would they want to be?
So, in order for us to have a proper discussion with the ELCA the the LCMS must first agree that the doctinal positions of the ELCA are all perfectly acceptable and Orthodox?  What will there be to discuss, just how wonderful the ELCA is compared to those crabby Mo Synod types?

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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #153 on: October 24, 2010, 08:36:56 PM »
Assuming he has some familiarity with what was meant when those words were penned, and maybe you assert that he didn't, he says,

"I conclude that there is no evidence based on the text of Scripture which permits or mandates the change as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. The action rather was unconstitutional and violated a part of the Confession of Faith. "

His is one approach to scriptures. I've argued from a different perspective: there is nothing in the text of Scriptures that prohibits the changes as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. I believe that this is a more Lutheran approach, ....  For us with that interpretation, the action is not unconstitutional nor a violation.

I hope you understand that it is not a speciifc. That is a point that has been empasized over and over. It is the "new ... approach" (your words)

Nope. I never wrote "new approach." I wrote "new policy," but I also stated that the approach of considering with scriptures does not prohibit is an approach that goes back to Luther. I used infant baptism as an example; but we could also throw in liturgical vestments. We're discussing under another subject, the proper use of cassock, surplice, alb, chasuble, stole, cope, etc. While there are other Lutheran ministers for whom Hawaiian shirts are their Sunday "vestment". Does the scriptures mandate what the ordained should wear? No. Does it prohibit the wearing of traditional vestments or modern suits or colorful shirts? No.
"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]

MaddogLutheran

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #154 on: October 24, 2010, 08:44:21 PM »
Assuming he has some familiarity with what was meant when those words were penned, and maybe you assert that he didn't, he says,

"I conclude that there is no evidence based on the text of Scripture which permits or mandates the change as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. The action rather was unconstitutional and violated a part of the Confession of Faith. "
His is one approach to scriptures. I've argued from a different perspective: there is nothing in the text of Scriptures that prohibits the changes as stated in the new policy adopted at the assembly. I believe that this is a more Lutheran approach, e.g., there is nothing in scriptures that mandates infant baptism, but we see nothing in scriptures that prohibits baptizing infants.

The action can only be deemed unconstitutional and a violation for those who interpret the biblical passages as prohibiting same-gender sexual behaviors under all circumstances. There are others in the ELCA -- and apparently a majority of the voting members in 2009, who understand those biblical to be silent about publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous same-gender relationships. For us with that interpretation, the action is not unconstitutional nor a violation.
Except, except, that the Social Statement and related CWA action did not adopt or specifically cite your biblical interpretation.  It offered no justification grounded in Scripture at all, merely that there are some who believe there is no prohibition against such change in policy.  I have pointed out to you before that the prior understanding was that Scripture did prohibit them (which is why the policy was what is was to begin with), therefore the burden was on those advocating change to justify it in a way that passed constitutional muster.  You have attempted this, Pr. Stoffregen, but the CWA did not.  Ergo, your argument is moot.  But as the ELCA website which is the topic of this thread demonstrates, people at the highest levels of the ELCA are entirely capable of making it up as they go along, without any authority or permission other than personal preferences.  There may be tactical and strategic reasons for this, but it doesn't make it right.

Sterling Spatz
« Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 08:47:33 PM by MaddogLutheran »
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #155 on: October 24, 2010, 08:47:22 PM »
Which ELCA seminary is that teaches homosexual behaviors are intrinsically sinful and that St. Paul meant what he said in Romans 1 about homosexuality and thus, there can be no so-called "union" between homosexuals, for any reason, that has God's blessing?

I can't say. I've only been to three of the eight seminaries. When I was at Wartburg, '72-'76 homosexual relationships were not even discussed. The big issue then was whether or not to commune children (the seminary was communing children as young as 2 years old) and learning to accept women as ordained ministers which began in 1970.

I have heard that Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary at Columbia, South Carolina, may be the most conservative of our seminaries. However, the South Carolina Synod with a large number of Southern graduates invited me to lead three workshops at their bishop's convocation a few years ago. Perhaps they don't consider me the liberal radical that some others do. (I've had folks sympathetic to the Jesus Seminar complain that I'm too conservative for them.)

If the other seminaries are like mine, there will be students in them who hold those beliefs. We were not forced to agree with everything our professors told us.
"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]

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #157 on: October 24, 2010, 08:58:07 PM »
Except, except, that the Social Statement and related CWA action did not adopt or specifically cite your biblical interpretation.  It offered no justification grounded in Scripture at all, merely that there are some who believe there is no prohibition against such change in policy.  I have pointed out to you before that the prior understanding was that Scripture did prohibit them (which is why the policy was what is was to begin with), therefore the burden was on those advocating change to justify it in a way that passed constitutional muster.

The old Vision and Expectations, and Definition and Guidelines didn't offer any biblical reasons for establishing their policy. The argument that V&E seems to make is that single folks have to abstain from sexual relationships; and since same-gender marriage is not allowed, homosexuals must abstain from sexual relationships. There are no arguments made from scriptures for this policy against homosexual sexual relationships.

That argument began to fall apart when states began to recognize same-gender marriages.
"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]

MaddogLutheran

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #158 on: October 24, 2010, 09:18:18 PM »
Except, except, that the Social Statement and related CWA action did not adopt or specifically cite your biblical interpretation.  It offered no justification grounded in Scripture at all, merely that there are some who believe there is no prohibition against such change in policy.  I have pointed out to you before that the prior understanding was that Scripture did prohibit them (which is why the policy was what is was to begin with), therefore the burden was on those advocating change to justify it in a way that passed constitutional muster.

The old Vision and Expectations, and Definition and Guidelines didn't offer any biblical reasons for establishing their policy. The argument that V&E seems to make is that single folks have to abstain from sexual relationships; and since same-gender marriage is not allowed, homosexuals must abstain from sexual relationships. There are no arguments made from scriptures for this policy against homosexual sexual relationships.
 
That argument began to fall apart when states began to recognize same-gender marriages.

As I noted in my previous, and you continue to do in the above, you (and others) willfully ignore the fact that there was a scriptural reason for the previous policy, as it was the historic practice of the church (which even the CWA recognized in adopting the social statement), and until very recently there was no need to specifically mention it.  Even worse, the ELCA deliberately refused to recognize the predecessor body controlling statements on the subject, which did address the issue explicity.  You and others can pretend that the ELCA started in 1988 as a clean slate, and so was not bound by such prior understanding by not formally adopting such documents--a deliberate decision to make this eventual outcome more easily attainable.  I've said it before and I'll remind you again:  it's dishonest and disingenuous to suggest that there was no biblical reasons supporting the prior (and historic) policy.  It's also why dialog is so difficult, because there is a lack of intellectual honesty among some of our worthy opponents in their desire to reach the desired result.  Since for your example you start at your desired conclusion, that not all homosexual acts are prohibited, instead of the historic understanding that all of them are (both because sex is reserved for marriage and homosexuality is yet another example of our fallen sinfulness), to build your thesis in a way that diverges from the actual starting point.

Whether any state recognizes same-sex marriage is yet another red herring, as a church is under no obligation to bless all state sanctioned arrangements.  Advocates for change were laying the groundwork for this changed policy before any state had recognized same-sex marriage, so there is no cause/effect argument to be had--it wasn't integral to the desire for change.  But I won't waste my time further on this, as I know all too well how this "discussion" goes.

Sterling Spatz
« Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 09:22:26 PM by MaddogLutheran »
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #159 on: October 24, 2010, 09:40:53 PM »

But they are unwilling to try and define that faith.


One way to show the untruth if this statement would be to do a ALPB Forum Online search using the words "Stoffregen Tibbetts" together.  Or "Stoffregen Speckhard" or "Stoffregen Yakimow" or "Stoffregen Kliner" etc., etc., etc.



« Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 09:45:49 PM by The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS »
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #160 on: October 24, 2010, 09:52:49 PM »
No, the problem is that the LC-MS has - at various times and in numerous ways - officially and with great vigor declared the ELCA (and the LCA and ALC before it) as "heterodox," non-Lutheran and sometimes worse.
     So the die is cast. No "loyal" LC-MS member can begin with any other premise but that we in the ELCA are wrong and non-Lutheran. And we in the ELCA would then have to prove to you that we are not wrong, which is the wrong way to foster dialogue.


Or we could actually pay serious attention to the LCMS' fraternal concern, engage in dialogue, and offer a defense for our positions or, when we are unable to do so, consider repenting.

Pax, Steven+
Who has been saying this since 2001.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #161 on: October 24, 2010, 10:43:40 PM »
As I noted in my previous, and you continue to do in the above, you (and others) willfully ignore the fact that there was a scriptural reason for the previous policy, as it was the historic practice of the church (which even the CWA recognized in adopting the social statement), and until very recently there was no need to specifically mention it.

Yes, scriptures could be used to argue for our previous policy, but our documents do not do that.

Quote
it's dishonest and disingenuous to suggest that there was no biblical reasons supporting the prior (and historic) policy.
 

Show me where the old Vision and Expectations or Definition and Guidelines use biblical reasons to support the policy contained therein. I'm not denying that there are biblical interpretations for that policy; but they are not used in our documents.

Quote
Since for your example you start at your desired conclusion, that not all homosexual acts are prohibited, instead of the historic understanding that all of them are (both because sex is reserved for marriage and homosexuality is yet another example of our fallen sinfulness), to build your thesis in a way that diverges from the actual starting point.

You are wrong. I start with the biblical passage -- not with a prior understanding, nor even the historic understanding. I read and study the texts, often in the original languages; taking special notice of their contexts -- and then came to my interpretation of them.

Quote
Whether any state recognizes same-sex marriage is yet another red herring, as a church is under no obligation to bless all state sanctioned arrangements.  Advocates for change were laying the groundwork for this changed policy before any state had recognized same-sex marriage, so there is no cause/effect argument to be had--it wasn't integral to the desire for change.  But I won't waste my time further on this, as I know all too well how this "discussion" goes.

What is the argument that you see in our older disciplinary documents for prohibiting homosexual pastors from sexual relationships?
"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]

MaddogLutheran

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #162 on: October 24, 2010, 10:51:57 PM »
[snip]
What is the argument that you see in our older disciplinary documents for prohibiting homosexual pastors from sexual relationships?
I refer my honorable friend to the reply I gave some moments ago.  I'm not pursuing this further, in no small part because you are doing again what I objected to previously, which makes dialog impossible.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #163 on: October 24, 2010, 11:50:59 PM »
[snip]
What is the argument that you see in our older disciplinary documents for prohibiting homosexual pastors from sexual relationships?
I refer my honorable friend to the reply I gave some moments ago.  I'm not pursuing this further, in no small part because you are doing again what I objected to previously, which makes dialog impossible.

I think my question is pretty clear. I state that our older (as well as the newer) documents offer no biblical arguments for our policy in regard to homosexuals. You seem to state that they do. I'm asking for evidence that you apparently see and I don't.
"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]

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #164 on: October 24, 2010, 11:52:47 PM »
Why could people possibly question the old version of “Visions and Expectations” or the traditional interpretation of Scripture?

   “Sexual conduct. The expectations of this church regarding the sexual conduct of its ordained ministers are grounded in the understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God and that ordained ministers are to live in such a way as to honor this gift. Ordained ministers are expected to reject sexual promiscuity, the manipulation of others for purposes of sexual gratification, and all attempts of sexual seduction and sexual harassment, including taking physical or emotional advantage of others. Single ordained ministers are expected to live a chaste life. Married ordained ministers are expected to live in fidelity to their spouses, giving expression to sexual intimacy within a marriage relationship that is mutual, chaste and faithful. Ordained ministers who are homosexual in their self-understanding are expected to abstain from homosexual sexual relationships.”

V&E and the traditional understanding of Scripture, perhaps uniquely, view homosexual behavior without context. Sexuality is defined as a gift to be used appropriately. Appropriateness is defined in terms of the interpersonal dynamic between the sexual partners, except for gays who are ALWAYS prohibited from sexual behavior.

Some people might take seriously what the ELCA and Scripture teaches about the ways people make appropriate and faithful use of the gift of sexuality and recognize that homosexual persons can and do manifest exactly what we ask of our heterosexual clergy. It might also be that case that CWA2009 was unimpressed by the arguments “No they don’t,” or “They don’t make babies.”

From my perspective the action of CWA2009 is neither irrational nor incongruent with Scripture. The action of CWA2009 does not however improve much upon the laconic V&E. A more complete rational would improve the conversation.

I also recognize that the above position is debatable, but that does not make it wrong.

SPS