Author Topic: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.  (Read 11364 times)

pbnorth3

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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

edoughty

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2010, 08:01:56 AM »
I think the writer is in favor of the LCMS view, since the LCMS view is never critiqued. 

LutherMan

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2010, 08:16:37 AM »
WordAlone and Sola Publishing are the sponsors of the website, and most authors are ELCA/formerELCA, so it appears to not be an LCMS site.

George Erdner

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2010, 08:43:48 AM »
I think the writer is in favor of the LCMS view, since the LCMS view is never critiqued. 

You don't suppose that it could simply be that the LC-MS doesn't have published statements of belief which contradict the Lutheran Confessions or Scripture?


James_Gale

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2010, 08:53:38 AM »
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's the point in posting this?  I don't find it at all "thought provoking."  On the contrary.  

Anyone posting here knows full well that the ELCA now tolerates (and in some instances promotes) theologically unsound teaching.  The description of ELCA positions is therefore old news.  It "provokes" no new "thoughts" at all.  Neither do the unsurprising descriptions of LCMS positions.

Moreover, the authors of the linked piece do not use the official statements of belief of the two church bodies.  The piece therefore fails in any meaningful or fair way to be what it claims to be -- a "primer to some of the differences that exist between the ELCA and the LCMS in regards to what we believe, teach, and confess."  It would have been perfectly fair to quote from the ELCA web site and to argue that the material posted there by ELCA officials deviate from the ELCA's official theological positions, which are stated in the ELCA constitution.  But to use these web site entries as the primary material in a "primer" intended to illustrate the differences between the ELCA and LCMS is not fair or accurate.

In any event, because this is all very old news, I'll return to the questions I led with:  What's the point of this post?  It seems to me to be just one more thread in which people can bitch about the state of the ELCA.  We've already got plenty of those.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 03:45:22 PM by James_Gale »

Erma S. Wolf

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2010, 08:57:02 AM »
    As one who has worked alongside Word Alone, and greatly respects Sola Publishing and uses their materials, I will say it here first:  these are hardly unbiased organizations when it comes to discussing, let alone critiquing, the ELCA.  

    The ELCA needs critiquing.  But the LCMS does also.  And here I will critique one statement from the website that intends to explain what the LCMS does with the doctrine of the Holy Trinity:

"LCMS – The LCMS believes in the Triune God. “On the basis of the Holy Scriptures we teach the sublime article of the Holy Trinity; that is, we teach that the one true God, Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4, is the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, three distinct persons, but of one and the same divine essence, equal in power, equal in eternity, equal in majesty, because each person possesses the one divine essence entire, Col. 2:9, Matt. 28:19."

My critique:  The LCMS confesses the Triune God, and it most certainly does teach "the sublime article of the Holy Trinity."  But the LCMS cannot believe in the Triune God.  As a church body, its leaders and those in its congregations can only pray that those belonging to the LCMS faithfully believe in the Triune God, in the same way that I as an ELCA pastor pray that all those in the ELCA believe in the Triune God and confess the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as confessed by the one holy catholic and apostolic church.  There are those individuals and yes, congregations with notorious websites in the ELCA which sadly and sometimes scandalously do not believe and confess this truth.  However, I will remind the readers here, gently, that within the LCMS there has been, and may still be, quite vigorous discussion and disagreement regarding certain aspects of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, especially regarding the possible subordination of the 2nd Person of the Trinity to the 1st Person, that has erupted among theologians, teachers, and pastors in the LCMS in their discussions on the role of women as leaders in the church.  And the website of "herchurch" while scandalous is still not a replacement for the statement of faith in the Constitution of the ELCA, which speaks officially for the teaching of the ELCA on this matter just as the material cited for the LCMS on this website is how the LCMS officially speaks for what it confesses as a denomination.

And I will say that, as an ELCA pastor, I confess and teach the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.  But I believe in the God revealed in Holy Scripture, which witnesses to the truth of that doctrine as formulated through the councils of the Church.  And one more small critique (this time of what is quoted from the ELCA website, most of what I think is a good statement):  I can trust in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and I can pray for an obedient heart and try to obey Him.  But sadly, no, I cannot "just do it." (Meaning, worship and obey God.)  Mea culpa.  Nor can any of us, which is why we need a savior.  
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 09:05:21 AM by Erma S. Wolf »

LutherMan

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2010, 11:19:19 AM »
WordAlone and Sola Publishing are the sponsors of the website, and most authors are ELCA/formerELCA, so it appears to not be an LCMS site.

What's the point in posting this?  I don't find it at all "thought provoking."  On the contrary.  

 I'll return to the questions I led with:  What's the point of this post?  It seems to me to be just one more thread in which people can bitch about the state of the ELCA.  We've already got plenty of those.
So, why pick on me?  Why not Pr. Buechler, who started this thread.

pbnorth3

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2010, 01:41:58 PM »
WordAlone and Sola Publishing are the sponsors of the website, and most authors are ELCA/formerELCA, so it appears to not be an LCMS site.

What's the point in posting this?  I don't find it at all "thought provoking."  On the contrary.  

 I'll return to the questions I led with:  What's the point of this post?  It seems to me to be just one more thread in which people can bitch about the state of the ELCA.  We've already got plenty of those.
So, why pick on me?  Why not Pr. Buechler, who started this thread.

I really couldn't tell you why he was picking on you. However as to answering the question of "why?" the point is this: For those visiting this site or for those discussing whether or not to join LCMS or other Lutheran associations, it would be good to be reminded that the "issue" isn't homosexuality per se, but rather the whole issue of Scriptural authority and the Confessions and Creeds. This website gives a good handle on the real differences between the ELCA and LCMS in doctrine. Those who care to check it out can.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

Charles_Austin

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2010, 03:14:21 PM »
But those who honestly and seriously want to understand the ELCA should avoid that website like the plague and do two things.
1. Read the ELCA's own description of itself.
2. Get to know several - and I mean several, even many, even 20-30 or more - ELCA congregations in various locations, and pastors of various ages and interests.
3. Then make up your mind. I guarantee you will still be able to despise, criticize, denounce and condemn; but at least you will be doing it with information you gathered yourself rather than crap from a biased source.

kls

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2010, 03:21:42 PM »
But those who honestly and seriously want to understand the ELCA should avoid that website like the plague and do two things.
1. Read the ELCA's own description of itself.
2. Get to know several - and I mean several, even many, even 20-30 or more - ELCA congregations in various locations, and pastors of various ages and interests.
3. Then make up your mind. I guarantee you will still be able to despise, criticize, denounce and condemn; but at least you will be doing it with information you gathered yourself rather than crap from a biased source.

As a former ELCA member, I feel it is fair for me to add a fourth to what Charles first labeled as two but really listed as three above:   ;)

4.  Open up your Bible and compare their teachings and statements to the Scriptures.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2010, 03:24:50 PM »
Deaconess Schave writes (re evaluating the ELCA):

4.  Open up your Bible and compare their teachings and statements to the Scriptures.

I respond:
Absolutely! So long as you understand that you are comparing your interpretation of what Scripture says with the interpretation of what scripture says held in the ELCA.


pbnorth3

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2010, 03:26:02 PM »
But those who honestly and seriously want to understand the ELCA should avoid that website like the plague and do two things.
1. Read the ELCA's own description of itself.
2. Get to know several - and I mean several, even many, even 20-30 or more - ELCA congregations in various locations, and pastors of various ages and interests.
3. Then make up your mind. I guarantee you will still be able to despise, criticize, denounce and condemn; but at least you will be doing it with information you gathered yourself rather than crap from a biased source.

As a former ELCA member, I feel it is fair for me to add a fourth to what Charles first labeled as two but really listed as three above:   ;)

4.  Open up your Bible and compare their teachings and statements to the Scriptures.

Indeed! :)

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

P.S. Folks who actually  go to this website will find links to the ELCA website...in fact what is quoted as an "ELCA" position is in fact found on the ELCA website.

pbnorth3

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2010, 03:29:32 PM »
Deaconess Schave writes (re evaluating the ELCA):

4.  Open up your Bible and compare their teachings and statements to the Scriptures.

I respond:
Absolutely! So long as you understand that you are comparing your interpretation of what Scripture says with the interpretation of what scripture says held in the ELCA.



Ah yes, please remember that there are no absolutes! :P

One could say the same about Mormonism. They are just one more Christian religion with a different interpretation of things. Or one could say that of Jehovah's Witnesses as well. :P

This is a very dangerous position to take, and one of the reasons going to the website I posted is truly important to those who come looking to ALPB for answers.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

Charles_Austin

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2010, 03:33:53 PM »
Pastor Buechler writes (re my last comment):
Ah yes, please remember that there are no absolutes!
I comment:
I never said that, and I do not agree with that statement.

Pastor Buechler writes:
One could say the same about Mormonism. They are just one more Christian religion with a different interpretation of things. Or one could say that of Jehovah's Witnesses as well.
I comment:
I would not say that about either of those two groups. And I do not see the relevance.

Pastor Buechler:
This is a very dangerous position to take, and one of the reasons going to the website I posted is truly important to those who come looking to ALPB for answers.
Me:
Explain to me how getting first hand information about the ELCA is dangerous and why getting biased information from ELCA opponents is better.

kls

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Re: Differences between ELCA and LCMS doctrinally, an interesting look.
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2010, 03:38:38 PM »
Explain to me how getting first hand information about the ELCA is dangerous and why getting biased information from ELCA opponents is better.

But Charles, isn't it all about interpretation with you?