Author Topic: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article  (Read 8496 times)

Mel Harris

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #90 on: November 14, 2010, 06:28:27 AM »

Pastor Weedon writes:
The conversation, while listening to the retired pastors, needs to be focused upon the current pastors in the Synod, no?

I (though I do not have a bird in this cage) comment:
A bit condescending, no? "Well, let's listen to the old guys, but they really don't matter much." They never attend church anyway, never preach or preside, are never consulted by younger pastors, never attend districts/synod/conference/winkel meetings.
Focus on getting the young whippersnappers into line, the geezers will soon fade away.
The ministry is the ministry, Pastor Weedon, and everyone in it counts equally.
 ;D ;D


Pastor Austin,

Is that not what your "prominent and long-serving bishop" was calling for a couple years ago that you mentioned here

http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=1508.30

Pastor Austin posted on June 10, 2008
Quote

A prominent and long-serving bishop recently told me that in just a couple of years, virtually all the active pastors in the ELCA will have no personal memory of or involvement in the previous church bodies. He believes this will help the "unity" of the ELCA, for some are still remembering (or lamenting the loss of) the predecessor church bodies or have not caught on to how the ELCA works, and the younger pastors are more "fully formed" within the culture and processes of the ELCA.


Mel Harris  (one of the old guys who is disrupting the unity of the ELCA by remembering things from before 1988)

Charles_Austin

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #91 on: November 14, 2010, 06:50:58 AM »
You will notice, Mel, that I reported that the bishop feels that way. I do not.
I believe that those of us with memories of the church before 1987 have something of that time to contribute, so long as we draw breath.
Some want to do that by turning back the clock or saying that things were perfect (or at least a lot better) before 1988.
Some things, yes. Other things, no. That's life.
I hope you do not take joy out of "disrupting the unity" of the ELCA. If we old guys have something to contribute - and we do - it should be in fostering whatever it takes to create a new kind of unity that will take our church into the future.

J. Eriksson

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #92 on: November 14, 2010, 07:09:26 AM »
East coast, west coast flyover country.

IMO the roots of ALPB to get back on topic are linguistic.  The American Lutheran church bodies when ALPB was founded communicated
very well with their own people in their various groupings. A lot of  these people worshiped in groups where a large number of people spoke English with a 'foreign' accent.  The ALPB founders felt and I think I agree with them was that the Lutheran synods did not communicate very well to people who were not part of the club, especially their own particular club.  They saw a need to communicate about Lutheranism to people outside the club in English
a. to communicate in English about Lutheranism to English speaking Americans
b. to communicate in English  about Lutheranism to the 3rd generation Lutherans who wanted to 'grow out' of their identity or who no longer identified into the ethnic space they were raised in.  What about that Irish guy who married the Lutheran girl?
c. to help new immigrants find out that yes there were Lutherans nearby  (eg in Boston) even though they were not eg.Swedish Lutherans.
d. and to communicate to those who may have  felt that Lutheranism should be left back in Europe and they should become American as fast as possible and this should includ a Lutheranism that was not wrapped up in ethnicity.

unionists not, syncretists not, Schmuckerites not! Lutheran apologists yes, and for the most part in parts of the country where Lutherans were at max 10% of the population.

IMO you can't put the blame on disregard the Akron-Galesburg Rule on the ALPB.  That goes elsewhere to the 60's, mobility and church-shopping.
Best to all
James
I'm not a pastor.  Please don't call me one.

ddrebes

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #93 on: November 14, 2010, 07:37:40 AM »
East coast, west coast flyover country.
IMO the roots of ALPB to get back on topic are linguistic.  The American Lutheran church bodies when ALPB was founded communicated
very well with their own people in their various groupings. A lot of  these people worshiped in groups where a large number of people spoke English with a 'foreign' accent.  The ALPB founders felt and I think I agree with them was that the Lutheran synods did not communicate very well to people who were not part of the club, especially their own particular club.  They saw a need to communicate about Lutheranism to people outside the club in English
a. to communicate in English about Lutheranism to English speaking Americans
b. to communicate in English  about Lutheranism to the 3rd generation Lutherans who wanted to 'grow out' of their identity or who no longer identified into the ethnic space they were raised in.  What about that Irish guy who married the Lutheran girl?
c. to help new immigrants find out that yes there were Lutherans nearby  (eg in Boston) even though they were not eg.Swedish Lutherans.
d. and to communicate to those who may have  felt that Lutheranism should be left back in Europe and they should become American as fast as possible and this should includ a Lutheranism that was not wrapped up in ethnicity.
unionists not, syncretists not, Schmuckerites not! Lutheran apologists yes, and for the most part in parts of the country where Lutherans were at max 10% of the population.
IMO you can't put the blame on disregard the Akron-Galesburg Rule on the ALPB.  That goes elsewhere to the 60's, mobility and church-shopping.
Best to all
James

Yes, this is my impression of the ALPB as well.

The earlier equations with Schmucker really threw me. Can anyone offer an argument for Schmuckerism within the ALPB's birth?

Michael Slusser

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #94 on: November 15, 2010, 10:09:53 AM »
Romans 16:17, 18 was consistently taught by the Church to apply to those Christians who departed from the faith by persistently teaching falsely and rejecting correction.  It is only as of late that some have tried to argue its concerning only the separation between Christians and Muslims or Christians and Jews.

Mike

Can you recommend a good history of the exegesis of those verses, Mike? Personally, I haven't ever seen them interpreted the way they generally are in the LCMS, but I admit I haven't done a systematic survey of the Fathers of the Church on them. I do notice that the BOC never mentions them, if one can trust the indices of Kolb/Wengert and Tanner. Is the particular LCMS exegesis--applied to the need to avoid any semblance of unionism--older than the time of Walther?

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Michael
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ddrebes

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #95 on: November 15, 2010, 10:29:44 AM »
East coast, west coast flyover country.
IMO the roots of ALPB to get back on topic are linguistic.  The American Lutheran church bodies when ALPB was founded communicated
very well with their own people in their various groupings. A lot of  these people worshiped in groups where a large number of people spoke English with a 'foreign' accent.  The ALPB founders felt and I think I agree with them was that the Lutheran synods did not communicate very well to people who were not part of the club, especially their own particular club.  They saw a need to communicate about Lutheranism to people outside the club in English
a. to communicate in English about Lutheranism to English speaking Americans
b. to communicate in English  about Lutheranism to the 3rd generation Lutherans who wanted to 'grow out' of their identity or who no longer identified into the ethnic space they were raised in.  What about that Irish guy who married the Lutheran girl?
c. to help new immigrants find out that yes there were Lutherans nearby  (eg in Boston) even though they were not eg.Swedish Lutherans.
d. and to communicate to those who may have  felt that Lutheranism should be left back in Europe and they should become American as fast as possible and this should includ a Lutheranism that was not wrapped up in ethnicity.
unionists not, syncretists not, Schmuckerites not! Lutheran apologists yes, and for the most part in parts of the country where Lutherans were at max 10% of the population.
IMO you can't put the blame on disregard the Akron-Galesburg Rule on the ALPB.  That goes elsewhere to the 60's, mobility and church-shopping.
Best to all
James

Yes, this is my impression of the ALPB as well.

The earlier equations with Schmucker really threw me. Can anyone offer an argument for Schmuckerism within the ALPB's birth?

From the Statement of the 44 which Dcs. Meyer established had strong support from some of those she considers instrumental in th ALPB's history:

Quote
FIVE
 We affirm our conviction that sound exegetical procedure is the basis for sound Lutheran theology.
 We therefore deplore the fact that Romans 16:17, 18 has been applied to all Christians who differ from us
in certain points of doctrine. It is our conviction, based on sound exegetical and hermeneutical principles, 
that this text does not apply to the present situation in the Lutheran Church of America. We furthermore
deplore the misuse of First Thessalonians 5:22 in the translation "avoid every appearance of evil." This text
should be used only in its true meaning, "avoid evil in every form."
The argument that full agreement in doctrine need not be accomplished before church fellowship may be declared smells of Schmucker.
The argument that the Real Presence is up for negotiation -- strongly embraced by the ELCA in its fellowship agreements with Reformed bodies and its open communion policy -- smells of Schmucker's "New Measures".
Romans 16:17, 18 was consistently taught by the Church to apply to those Christians who departed from the faith by persistently teaching falsely and rejecting correction.  It is only as of late that some have tried to argue its concerning only the separation between Christians and Muslims or Christians and Jews.
Mike

Sorry, that's not enough of a smoking gun. Schmucker explicitly listed the real presence as something Lutherans could do without in order to adapt to the American context--something I see as selling out to the context.
You've cited a document in which some early supporters of the ALPB raise the hope of entering into fellowship with other Christians. If "Schmucker," for you, only means "that full agreement in doctrine need not be accomplished before church fellowship," then we're talking about two different Schmuckers. Engagement with the culture doesn't need to be selling out to the culture.

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #96 on: November 15, 2010, 10:31:27 AM »
East coast, west coast flyover country.
IMO the roots of ALPB to get back on topic are linguistic.  The American Lutheran church bodies when ALPB was founded communicated
very well with their own people in their various groupings. A lot of  these people worshiped in groups where a large number of people spoke English with a 'foreign' accent.  The ALPB founders felt and I think I agree with them was that the Lutheran synods did not communicate very well to people who were not part of the club, especially their own particular club.  They saw a need to communicate about Lutheranism to people outside the club in English
a. to communicate in English about Lutheranism to English speaking Americans
b. to communicate in English  about Lutheranism to the 3rd generation Lutherans who wanted to 'grow out' of their identity or who no longer identified into the ethnic space they were raised in.  What about that Irish guy who married the Lutheran girl?
c. to help new immigrants find out that yes there were Lutherans nearby  (eg in Boston) even though they were not eg.Swedish Lutherans.
d. and to communicate to those who may have  felt that Lutheranism should be left back in Europe and they should become American as fast as possible and this should includ a Lutheranism that was not wrapped up in ethnicity.
unionists not, syncretists not, Schmuckerites not! Lutheran apologists yes, and for the most part in parts of the country where Lutherans were at max 10% of the population.
IMO you can't put the blame on disregard the Akron-Galesburg Rule on the ALPB.  That goes elsewhere to the 60's, mobility and church-shopping.
Best to all
James

Yes, this is my impression of the ALPB as well.

The earlier equations with Schmucker really threw me. Can anyone offer an argument for Schmuckerism within the ALPB's birth?

I agree, in no small part because I have always equated ALPB as being the remedy (or at least the opposition to) Schmucker-ism...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #97 on: November 15, 2010, 10:46:28 AM »
There is an interesting analogy (perhaps) here...

When Cardinal Mundelien founded St. Mary's Seminary in (now) Mundelien, Illinois, he did so because he expressed a need for "American" priests to serve his diocese.  This was in response to the predominance of foriegn born and educated (immigrant) priests who were serving in Chicago, which was at that same moment making a transition from "first wave" immigrant groups to second-generation Americans (ie. German-American, Polish-American, etc...) who were "native born" Americans.  Anyway, Mundelien decided that his diocese needed "American" priests and so, in founding his seminary, went and hired "American" architects who modeled the Seminary Chapel on the "Olde Lyme Meeting House," an iconic congregationalist church building in Connecticut.  Several of his (Munelien's) contemporaries denounced the Cardinal as a "crypto-protestant" and called him the equivalent of Schmucker, and even threatened not to ordain any seminarian who attended St. Mary's Seminary.  Anyway, you know how history played out...  Mundelien now is known as a quintesential Catholic figure.

Anyway, back to Mundelien's chapel.  If you have ever seen it, from the exterior it is a strikingly "American" building.  But on the inside it is unapologetically Roman Catholic, using baroque styling to contrast the severe straight right-angles of the structure.  When you enter the building, you are in no doubt whose Church you are in, to the point that I cannot help but grin when I learned the history and the controversy over the building of the Chapel.

I wonder if this isn't part of this controversy.  The ALPB, in it's striving for catholicity and an "American" voice could, on the exterior look like a Schmucker-ian (is ithis even a word?) attempt at homogenizing the Lutheran disctiveness in favor of a "bland" ecumenism.  But maybe it's more like Mundelien's chapel.

Just thinking...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
« Last Edit: November 15, 2010, 10:59:54 AM by A Catholic Lutheran »

revjagow

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #98 on: November 15, 2010, 10:51:36 AM »
I agree, in no small part because I have always equated ALPB as being the remedy (or at least the opposition to) Schmucker-ism...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
[/quote]

Indeed!

There really is nothing logical about connecting ALPB, Schmucker and the Statement of the 44 (written in '45).  

I do not think that signers of "44" like O.P. Kretzmann or Oswald Hoffmann would be on board with any Schmuckerism, nor would any of the ALPB board past and present.  

Perhaps this will encourage those who make those connections to dig a little deeper.  I have been very blessed with my association with ALPB over the years.
Soli Deo Gloria!

ddrebes

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #99 on: November 15, 2010, 11:09:38 AM »
I agree, in no small part because I have always equated ALPB as being the remedy (or at least the opposition to) Schmucker-ism...

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Indeed!

There really is nothing logical about connecting ALPB, Schmucker and the Statement of the 44 (written in '45). 

I do not think that signers of "44" like O.P. Kretzmann or Oswald Hoffmann would be on board with any Schmuckerism, nor would any of the ALPB board past and present. 

Perhaps this will encourage those who make those connections to dig a little deeper.  I have been very blessed with my association with ALPB over the years.

OK, so please tell me this as I dig a little deeper.

Has the ALPB in its steadfast opposition to Schmuckerism had a significant portion of its leadership condemn the the ELCA's current position that the real presence is something Lutherans could do without in order to adapt to the American context and establish church fellowship agreement with Reformed church bodies?

I realize that as a diverse body of contributors, the ALPB could not officially take such a position, but if it is as anti-Schmuckerian "New Measures" as proposed, then it must certainly have done some of this.

Mike

I don't think arguments work that way. Meaning, someone needs to prove to me that the ALPB is pro-Schmucker, since that's how this line of postings began. I don't need to prove the ALPB is anti-Schmucker.

mariemeyer

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #100 on: November 15, 2010, 11:35:19 AM »

The Statement of the 44 clearly promotes doctrinal indifference.

Mike, the above slanders the memory of Lawrence Acker, Gus Bernthal, August Bobzin, Wm Bruening, A Brustat, Thomas Coates, R Caemmerer, H Engelbrecht, O Geiseman, Theo Graebner (Who would accuse Graebner of "doctrinal indifference"?) O Hoffmann, the Kretzmanns, A.R., Karl and O.P., Erwin Kurth (Did any of you grow up using Kurth's catechism?), Fred and Herbert Lindemann... the list goes on and includes my father in law, Ade Meyer. 

You are in over your head. Let it go! 

But, yeah, the ALPB upholds celebrating the Eucharist often. They just don't mimd that the ELCA dilutes the importance of the substance of what is going on and confessed by and in it.

That is Schmuckerism, pure and simple, and I submit that the ALPB played a part in sowing its seeds in the ALC and LCA and in many of its leadership playing a part in presenting the Statement of the 44 to those in the LCMS.


This is pure nonsense! The degree to which it distorts history is beyond comprehension.


Marie

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #101 on: November 15, 2010, 01:09:19 PM »

From the Statement of the 44 which Dcs. Meyer established had strong support from some of those she considers instrumental in th ALPB's history:

Quote
FIVE
 We affirm our conviction that sound exegetical procedure is the basis for sound Lutheran theology.
 We therefore deplore the fact that Romans 16:17, 18 has been applied to all Christians who differ from us
in certain points of doctrine. It is our conviction, based on sound exegetical and hermeneutical principles, 
that this text does not apply to the present situation in the Lutheran Church of America. We furthermore
deplore the misuse of First Thessalonians 5:22 in the translation "avoid every appearance of evil." This text
should be used only in its true meaning, "avoid evil in every form."

The argument that full agreement in doctrine need not be accomplished before church fellowship may be declared smells of Schmucker.

The argument that the Real Presence is up for negotiation -- strongly embraced by the ELCA in its fellowship agreements with Reformed bodies and its open communion policy -- smells of Schmucker's "New Measures".

Romans 16:17, 18 was consistently taught by the Church to apply to those Christians who departed from the faith by persistently teaching falsely and rejecting correction.  It is only as of late that some have tried to argue its concerning only the separation between Christians and Muslims or Christians and Jews.

Mike,

I've stayed out of much of this conversation--and others--due to time. However, I think I need to comment.

I did a document study of "A Statement..." for my LCMS history class back in 1980s. John Wohlrabe was teaching the course as a Walther Fellow at the time. In fact, I turned my paper in early and he used my research when he taught the section (and noted that in the class). I'm hardly an expert, but I spent a lot of time reading many issues of _The American Lutheran_ and _The Confessional Lutheran_.

You have to understand the context. It centered around the teaching of prayer fellowship (not eucharistic fellowship). The editors were steadfastly against it, especially when dealing with other Lutherans (in this case the original ALC with which they wanted the LCMS to be in fellowship).

They argued the Luther and the Reformers worshipped with the Roman Catholics at Augsburg and other places. They noted that when Walther and the boys held free conferences, they opened with worship services. They pointed out that when Walther and others met with pastors of the Buffalo Synod in a colloquy, they opened each day with worship (lead one day by  a Buffalo Synod pastor who made it clear that he did not agree with Walther's view of Church and Ministry). They pointed out that the first time anyone had a problem praying with anyone other Lutheran was at the close of the Predestinarian controversy. It was after that time that the LCMS position of prayer fellowship was developed. (It should also be noted that "A Statement" explicitly states that Scripture is inerrant; hardly a liberal or doctrinally indifferent statement.) And you cannot draw any line from Schmucker to the developers of "A Statement." It was developed completely within an LCMS context in reaction to what the authors saw as a overly legalistic turn in the LCMS at the Synod convention in which the St. Louis Union Articles of 1932 were repealed. It was a reaction to the Lutheranism being pushed by Paul Burgdorf in his "Confessional Lutheran" publication (he started the "Confessional Lutheran Publicity Bureau" with tracts like "Why the ALC is not Lutheran").

Probably the single best source for reading about "A Statement" is Jack Treon Robinson's Ph.D. dissertation on the subject at Vanderbilt University (can't remember the exact name; had to do with the end of triumphalism in the LCMS).
The truth we preach is not an abstract thing. The truth is a Person. The goodness we preach is not an ideal quality. The goodness is Someone who is good. The love we preach is God himself in Christ. --H. Grady Davis

Scott6

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #102 on: November 15, 2010, 02:19:03 PM »
"We therefore deplore the fact that Romans 16:17, 18 has been applied to all Christians who differ from us in certain points of doctrine. "

It may seem minor to some, but if it had stated:

"We therefore deplore the fact that Romans 16:17, 18 has been applied to all Christians who differ from us in certain points of doctrine to preclude any and all prayer, worship, and cooperation with them in areas where agreement exists. "

I would accept your distinction that prayer fellowship with such Christians was being recognized as permissable which Eucharistic fellowship is not.

Since Rom 16:17 says "avoid them," wouldn't that make your addition superfluous (unless there's some other interpretation of "avoid them" on offer)?

Michael Slusser

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #103 on: November 15, 2010, 02:28:22 PM »

Probably the single best source for reading about "A Statement" is Jack Treon Robinson's Ph.D. dissertation on the subject at Vanderbilt University (can't remember the exact name; had to do with the end of triumphalism in the LCMS).
Jack Treon Robinson's dissertation referenced here: http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3029.msg167962#msg167962

And yes, it is a very good read.

Peace,
Michael
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Michael Slusser

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Re: Steadfast Lutherans Reflection On Lutheran Forum Article
« Reply #104 on: November 15, 2010, 02:47:55 PM »
What I disagree with is "A Statement's" assertion that:

Quote
We therefore deplore the fact that Romans 16:17, 18 has been applied to all Christians who differ from us
in certain points of doctrine. It is our conviction, based on sound exegetical and hermeneutical principles,
that this text does not apply to the present situation in the Lutheran Church of America.

I believe that it does apply.  The question I struggle with is exactly how it is to be properly applied.

Mike

It might be worth reflecting that how Rom. 16.17-18 is read depends very much on where one sits. When RCs read "take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them," they are sure to have a different identification of who "those" are than you might. And aren't "those who create dissensions and difficulties" more plausibly those who insist upon enforcing divisions among the brethren (as Paul often complained about) than those who seek to resolve divisions and make peace?

Add those considerations to your struggle; it's a struggle worth undertaking.

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