Author Topic: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.  (Read 11365 times)

pbnorth3

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #90 on: October 23, 2010, 03:56:49 PM »
You're both making ptmccain look like an angel right now.   ;D  Nice job!

Oh, dear Deaconess, my heart is filled with joy to be so described, I hasten now to report the same to my spiritual directoress, The Bishop of All Pinkness Herself, Her Eminence, Barbie.



Yeah well I'm still torked off, because you with your close relationship with Her Pinkness haven't gotten her to approve Sponge Bob as her assistant. You should be whipped with a lazagna noodle! :D

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

kls

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #91 on: October 23, 2010, 04:03:07 PM »
Everyone has a limit to how far they can be pushed without pushing back. Perhaps that's a difference between the ELCA and the LC-MS. One might think people in the LC-MS don't have a "breaking point" that when they are pushed beyond it, they break.

Now you know better than anyone what sinners we are in the LCMS.  We pride ourselves on being able to admit that fact, otherwise why the need for a loving savior?  We break as much as the next person, but it is helpful to remember how much good a kind word can do over of a harsh one (Proverbs 15:1).  Mom will quit lecturing now . . .

Richard Johnson

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #92 on: October 23, 2010, 04:59:23 PM »

This is, of course, wrong, judgmental and so deep an error as to rattle the earth's core.


That's giving WAY too much importance to Pr. McCain!   ;D
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

LutherMan

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #93 on: October 23, 2010, 05:05:45 PM »

This is, of course, wrong, judgmental and so deep an error as to rattle the earth's core.


That's giving WAY too much importance to Pr. McCain!   ;D

In most LC-MS circles, Pr. McCain is HUGELY important, respected and deserving of praise.  He brought CPH back to orthodoxy and increased the profit margin.  CPH is giving Synod extra dollars she didn't always have.  
I don't have enogh $$$$$$$ to spend at CPH at the rate they are churning out good stuff since he took the interim helm.
Thanks, good buddy! :)
« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 05:09:36 PM by LutherMan »

James_Gale

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Re: Question for Richard Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally
« Reply #94 on: October 23, 2010, 05:49:37 PM »
I'm still trying to understand your disagreement with using the ELCA.ORG site as a way to document what the ELCA says it believes.

I wouldn't presume to speak for Pr. Johnson.  But let me try to respond again to your question.  

It is wrong for the "primer" to characterize the materials it cites as ELCA beliefs because that's not what they are.  The ELCA's doctrinal commitments are set out in the ELCA constitution and in other documents enacted by authorized bodies within the ELCA.  The functionaries who drafted the cited materials most assuredly are not such "authorized bodies."

Your response has been that the ELCA is responsible for the content on its web site.  That's true.  However, it does not follow from this that everything posted on the web site is an official teaching of the ELCA or is consistent with the ELCA's official teachings.  Those who control the web site -- either intentionally or through negligence -- have posted material that is not consistent with the ELCA's constitution.  The ELCA ideally should call to account those in charge of the web site.  Will they?  That brings me to this, which you posted earlier today:

But, in reality, as sadly demonstrated on the ELCA web site, the very things said to be believed, are subject to severe doubt, distortion, contradiction and even outright denial, in the institutions and leadership structure of the ELCA, as evidenced by the ELCA's official web site posting statements of faith that are diametrically opposed, at many points, to the historic doctrinal standards mentioned in the ELCA constitution. We are all aware of how extensively such things have been taught, for a very long time, to up and coming ELCA pastors throughout the ELCA's seminaries.

This, I think, is largely correct.

Perhaps your point is that we ought not worry about the distinction between the ELCA's official statements and its practices on the ground.  After all, a departure from the orthodox faith is a grave matter whether or not it is constitutional.  Thus, you might be viewing the distinction between "official teaching" and "widespread practice" as legalistic and ultimately not very important.

If that is your point, I understand it.  But I think that it's ultimately wrong.  

Many orthodox pastors and congregations remain within the ELCA as witnesses to the orthodox faith.  By insisting on a distinction between the orthodox statement in the ELCA constitution and the contradictory private views held by many revisionists, we give the orthodox remnant a high-ground platform from which to witness to the truth within the ELCA.  Even though revisionists may now control most of the structures within the ELCA, the orthodox remnant can point to the statement of faith in the ELCA constitution -- which is founded on Scripture and the Confessions -- and can argue correctly that the revisionists are acting in opposition to that which they are obligated to support.

Through persistence, the orthodox remnant may succeed in leading some revisionists to repentance.  But even if they fail at this, they will shine a light on the inconsistency between what the ELCA's official documents say and what many ELCA leaders teach and do.  This will make clear to all that the revisionists have departed from the teaching of Scripture and the Confessions.  Indeed, the revisionists may at some point even have to admit as much.  If the faithful remnant is persistent, ELCA leaders may not be able to get away with simply saying without explanation that their innovative teachings are consistent with the doctrinal commitments stated in the ELCA constitution.  They might be forced to explain how this is so.  And because it is not so, they will fail.  For some in the pews, this could be a saving revelation.  And if the leaders persist in their revisionist ways, they may even be forced ultimately to seek to amend the constitution, which would lay bare completely the true nature of their teachings

The danger in the approach taken by the "primer" is two-fold.  First, it removes the high-ground platform from which the faithful remnant are witnessing.  If the cited material can be said to trump the ELCA constitution and to state the ELCA's official teachings, then the faithful remnant are no longer faithful according to official ELCA teachings.  Those in control could say to the remnant that the ELCA has new beliefs and that the remnant should either accept those or leave.  The second danger flows from the first.  If people inside and outside the ELCA begin to view personal, revisionist musings as official doctrine, revisionists may never be forced to explain how they believe their teachings are consistent with the ELCA constitution.  They will simply assert, without providing justification, that there is no contradiction between their novel teachings and the teachings of Scripture and the Confessions.  (You've seen that dynamic at play here.  Time and again, some on this forum have claimed that in passing HSGT, the ELCA simply was adopting a different interpretation of Scripture than that held by nearly all of Christendom across time and space.  When confronted with facts to the contrary, people taking this position back down.  But not for long.  Soon they once again are repeating their claim.  That is the dynamic confronting those who intend to continue witnessing to the truth inside the ELCA.  They must be patient and persistent in speaking the truth to those who do not want to hear or admit it.)

So what is the right approach for a "primer"?  Start with the official teachings of the ELCA.  Chronicle the departures from those teachings in all their gory detail, identifying them clearly as departures.  And note that a faithful remnant continues to fight for what remains the ELCA's constitutional commitment to the authority of Scripture and Confessions.  This would be the honest approach.  It would be the approach that best honors the unenviable role played by the faithful remnant as it continues to witness to the truth within the ELCA.  And it would force those who remain within the ELCA to acknowledge squarely that the ELCA's constitutional statement and the revisionists' teachings are not compatible.

Jim

Mike Bennett

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #95 on: October 23, 2010, 06:15:20 PM »
Here are some thought provoking pieces about the differences between ELCA and LCMS (and other orthodox Lutheran churches) with regards doctrine. Take a look and see what you think. The website is: http://gnesiolutheran.com/elca-lcms-2/

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

What I think is that whomever writes the crap on the ELCA website probably flunked confirmation.
And whoever compares "something from the ELCA website" to official statements of the LCMS is doing everyone a disservice.

It is quite true that it is garbage. The problem is that the person writing this stuff on the website is writing it with the authority of the National Office. Indeed one of the people writing this garbage is a former bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod. So it is garbage, but it is also official garbage. It cannot be that those in charge no NOTHING about what is on the website. So you cannot pass this off as some "nut" who is writing unbeknownst to the ELCA brass.

So yes, it is official on an official website. Therefore it is open to being compared "officially" with the LCMS statements.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

The "Dig Deeper" site at elca.org includes the following conspicuous note:

About Dig Deeper
Dig Deeper pages invite fresh explorations of Christian faith for people new or returning to church life.

These articles express the viewpoints of the individual writers; they do not constitute the ELCA’s official Confession of Faith.

These pages are being reviewed. Send suggestions, improvements and new topics for Dig Deeper to info@elca.org.


Why those in charge of the elca web pages would choose to post stuff that does not represent the official Confession of Faith, I have no idea.  But that's what it is. 

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

ptmccain

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #96 on: October 23, 2010, 06:39:52 PM »
That's giving WAY too much importance to Pr. McCain!   ;D

I'm glad Charles finally does realize how powerful I am!

 ;D

Marshall_Hahn

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #97 on: October 23, 2010, 07:27:45 PM »

The "Dig Deeper" site at elca.org includes the following conspicuous note:

About Dig Deeper
Dig Deeper pages invite fresh explorations of Christian faith for people new or returning to church life.

These articles express the viewpoints of the individual writers; they do not constitute the ELCA’s official Confession of Faith.

These pages are being reviewed. Send suggestions, improvements and new topics for Dig Deeper to info@elca.org.


Why those in charge of the elca web pages would choose to post stuff that does not represent the official Confession of Faith, I have no idea.  But that's what it is. 

Mike Bennett


I have an idea.  It is because they are not concerned that it does not represent the official Confession of Faith and they do not care.  That is the impression I have received from the responses I have received to the charge that the Human Sexuality Statement violates the ELCA Confession of Faith.

Marshall Hahn

totaliter vivens

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Re: Question for Richard Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally
« Reply #98 on: October 23, 2010, 09:41:58 PM »
I'm still trying to understand your disagreement with using the ELCA.ORG site as a way to document what the ELCA says it believes.

I wouldn't presume to speak for Pr. Johnson.  But let me try to respond again to your question.  

It is wrong for the "primer" to characterize the materials it cites as ELCA beliefs because that's not what they are.  The ELCA's doctrinal commitments are set out in the ELCA constitution and in other documents enacted by authorized bodies within the ELCA.  The functionaries who drafted the cited materials most assuredly are not such "authorized bodies."

Your response has been that the ELCA is responsible for the content on its web site.  That's true.  However, it does not follow from this that everything posted on the web site is an official teaching of the ELCA or is consistent with the ELCA's official teachings.  Those who control the web site -- either intentionally or through negligence -- have posted material that is not consistent with the ELCA's constitution.  The ELCA ideally should call to account those in charge of the web site.  Will they?  That brings me to this, which you posted earlier today:

But, in reality, as sadly demonstrated on the ELCA web site, the very things said to be believed, are subject to severe doubt, distortion, contradiction and even outright denial, in the institutions and leadership structure of the ELCA, as evidenced by the ELCA's official web site posting statements of faith that are diametrically opposed, at many points, to the historic doctrinal standards mentioned in the ELCA constitution. We are all aware of how extensively such things have been taught, for a very long time, to up and coming ELCA pastors throughout the ELCA's seminaries.

This, I think, is largely correct.

Perhaps your point is that we ought not worry about the distinction between the ELCA's official statements and its practices on the ground.  After all, a departure from the orthodox faith is a grave matter whether or not it is constitutional.  Thus, you might be viewing the distinction between "official teaching" and "widespread practice" as legalistic and ultimately not very important.

If that is your point, I understand it.  But I think that it's ultimately wrong.  

Many orthodox pastors and congregations remain within the ELCA as witnesses to the orthodox faith.  By insisting on a distinction between the orthodox statement in the ELCA constitution and the contradictory private views held by many revisionists, we give the orthodox remnant a high-ground platform from which to witness to the truth within the ELCA.  Even though revisionists may now control most of the structures within the ELCA, the orthodox remnant can point to the statement of faith in the ELCA constitution -- which is founded on Scripture and the Confessions -- and can argue correctly that the revisionists are acting in opposition to that which they are obligated to support.

Through persistence, the orthodox remnant may succeed in leading some revisionists to repentance.  But even if they fail at this, they will shine a light on the inconsistency between what the ELCA's official documents say and what many ELCA leaders teach and do.  This will make clear to all that the revisionists have departed from the teaching of Scripture and the Confessions.  Indeed, the revisionists may at some point even have to admit as much.  If the faithful remnant is persistent, ELCA leaders may not be able to get away with simply saying without explanation that their innovative teachings are consistent with the doctrinal commitments stated in the ELCA constitution.  They might be forced to explain how this is so.  And because it is not so, they will fail.  For some in the pews, this could be a saving revelation.  And if the leaders persist in their revisionist ways, they may even be forced ultimately to seek to amend the constitution, which would lay bare completely the true nature of their teachings

The danger in the approach taken by the "primer" is two-fold.  First, it removes the high-ground platform from which the faithful remnant are witnessing.  If the cited material can be said to trump the ELCA constitution and to state the ELCA's official teachings, then the faithful remnant are no longer faithful according to official ELCA teachings.  Those in control could say to the remnant that the ELCA has new beliefs and that the remnant should either accept those or leave.  The second danger flows from the first.  If people inside and outside the ELCA begin to view personal, revisionist musings as official doctrine, revisionists may never be forced to explain how they believe their teachings are consistent with the ELCA constitution.  They will simply assert, without providing justification, that there is no contradiction between their novel teachings and the teachings of Scripture and the Confessions.  (You've seen that dynamic at play here.  Time and again, some on this forum have claimed that in passing HSGT, the ELCA simply was adopting a different interpretation of Scripture than that held by nearly all of Christendom across time and space.  When confronted with facts to the contrary, people taking this position back down.  But not for long.  Soon they once again are repeating their claim.  That is the dynamic confronting those who intend to continue witnessing to the truth inside the ELCA.  They must be patient and persistent in speaking the truth to those who do not want to hear or admit it.)

So what is the right approach for a "primer"?  Start with the official teachings of the ELCA.  Chronicle the departures from those teachings in all their gory detail, identifying them clearly as departures.  And note that a faithful remnant continues to fight for what remains the ELCA's constitutional commitment to the authority of Scripture and Confessions.  This would be the honest approach.  It would be the approach that best honors the unenviable role played by the faithful remnant as it continues to witness to the truth within the ELCA.  And it would force those who remain within the ELCA to acknowledge squarely that the ELCA's constitutional statement and the revisionists' teachings are not compatible.

Jim



James:

I think you have written a remarkably apt, concise, and indeed hopeful analysis of the situation regarding theological discourse in the ECLA in all manner of areas. What I most admire in your statement is the way you point to the true and essential functions of Scripture in the Church namely to create faith, motivate repentance, and to call and shape the faithful to lives emulating Jesus Christ. I believe wholeheartedly that dialog within the ELCA, even in disagreement, grounding itself in Scripture, Creeds, and Confessions cannot help but be fruitful in time.

SPS

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #99 on: October 23, 2010, 10:56:50 PM »
From our official Confession of Faith.

Quote
Holy Spirit

2.02.c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.


Ahh, so that's whence "God's Spirit" first replaced "the Holy Spirit" in ELCA documents: the CNLC in the mid-'80s.

kyrie eleison, spt+
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #100 on: October 23, 2010, 11:08:18 PM »

It also means that you and I, even with our differences, can be good, faithful members of the same church because we agree about the essential, core faith of our church.

I don't want to step on my brother Jerry's toes here, Brian, but while you and I are able to use the same set of words to describe the faith of our church, you and I do not agree about the essential, core faith of our church. 

Of course, given our countless dialogues here on ALPB Forum Online, my saying so will surprise almost no one* who reads this.

Christe eleison, Steven+ 


*-Alas, I suspect that you may be among the very few who may be surprised by this.
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #101 on: October 23, 2010, 11:16:35 PM »
ptmccain writes:
Throughout his voluminous quantity of posts on this forum, I have read Brian Stoffregren call into question, doubt, contort, twist and otherwise deny virtually every significant doctrinal assertion in even the most basic confessions of the ELCA: the creeds.
I comment:
This is, of course, wrong, judgmental and so deep an error as to rattle the earth's core. Because for such a statement to be true, one has to accept - in total and without the tiniest reservation - ptmccain's view of the world, theology and the church.


I do not accept - in total and without the tiniest reservation - ptmccain's view of the world, theology and the church.

I do, however, sadly agree with his judgment about the cumulative effect of Pr. Stroffregen's thousands of posts on this forum.

kyrie eleison, Steven+
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Charles_Austin

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #102 on: October 23, 2010, 11:33:24 PM »
Then, Pastor Tibbetts, you and I have less in common in the ELCA than I had thought and I am truly sorry about that.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #103 on: October 24, 2010, 12:40:16 AM »
From our official Confession of Faith.

Quote
Holy Spirit

2.02.c. The canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the written Word of God. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, they record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.


Ahh, so that's whence "God's Spirit" first replaced "the Holy Spirit" in ELCA documents: the CNLC in the mid-'80s.

2.01.   This church confesses the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Now, what were you saying?
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #104 on: October 24, 2010, 12:45:16 AM »

It also means that you and I, even with our differences, can be good, faithful members of the same church because we agree about the essential, core faith of our church.

I don't want to step on my brother Jerry's toes here, Brian, but while you and I are able to use the same set of words to describe the faith of our church, you and I do not agree about the essential, core faith of our church. 

Then we have different essential, core faiths. I agree fully with our ELCA's confession of faith. What do you believe?
"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]