Author Topic: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010  (Read 6285 times)

David M. Frye, OblSB

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #45 on: November 23, 2010, 07:22:17 AM »
For what it's worth, I was curious, after listening the Nebraska Synod staff members speak at various gatherings, how the name "Father" fared on the synod's main Web site http://site.nebraskasynod.org/. I searched the site for instances of "father" and it returned several kinds of results:

  • Quotations of Scripture in which "Father" appears in reference to God.
  • Uses of "father" to refer to the male parent of human children.
  • Uses of "Father" in a "what we believe" section citing the text of our statement of faith.
  • No uses at all of "Father" in any way (outside of the two types of direct quotation) that would refer to the first person of the Trinity. A use in this category would be something along the lines of a statement that attributes the proper work of each person of the Trinity in a triune action: The Father raised the Son from death by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Granted it is conceivable that the name "Father" doesn't appear in statements of the fourth type because "they just never came up" in all of the texts appearing on the site. On the other hand, the explanation of an agenda with roots outside the Canon, Creeds, and Confessions has the virtues of simplicity and plausibility. It is cause for deep concern.

When a man makes a point of avoiding referring to God as Father and putting himself, and his hearers, through all manner of verbal gymnastics to do so, there is an agenda driving this which is neither Biblical nor Confessional, and that *should* be disconcerting to all who encounter it. However, apparently, the "whatever" attitude prevails and that's why the ELCA finds itself in the condition that it is in today.
David M. Frye, OblSB

+ Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus.
+ That God may be glorified in all things.

revklak

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #46 on: November 23, 2010, 08:04:55 AM »
Not jerking any more knees. Just damn tired of post after post from certain people using every incident every day to bash us again. One might predict that when the next crisis hits the LCMS, and it will, a key reason will be people responding to the kind of attitude and arrogant pontificating displayed here by ptmccain. Or I might suggest that he turn his attention to the apparently serious battles within his own church and ease off on his obsession with ours.
The ELCA will survive the current controversy and even as the disputes continue, is preaching the Gospel and doing what a church should do. We will work with people - even those who disagree with us - but why should we give a churchmouse whisker what a ptmccain thinks?

(underline)= maybe
(bold)= in some circles

kls

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #47 on: November 23, 2010, 08:27:45 AM »
So what is the benefit of using such gender-inclusive language, just out of curiosity?  Who benefits?  Who doesn't?

Charles_Austin

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #48 on: November 23, 2010, 08:40:36 AM »
If you dare, Deaconess Schave, go to the ELCA website and search for "inclusive language." Then go to some academic sites and do the same. You will probably not agree - at least at first, I still have hopes for you - but you may be enlightened.

kls

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #49 on: November 23, 2010, 08:41:51 AM »
We will work with people - even those who disagree with us - but why should we give a churchmouse whisker what a ptmccain thinks?

Some indeed might not give a whisker about what a ptmccain thinks (I happen to think like him), but others reading and trying to make up their minds will.

I thought today's TDP reading (Clement of Rome) was rather appropriate:

"It is right and holy, therefore, men and brethren, to obey God rather than to follow those who, through pride and sedition, have become the leaders of a detestable emulation.  For we shall incur no slight injury, but rather great danger, if we rashly yield ourselves to the inclinations of men who aim at exciting strife and tumults, so as to draw us away from what is good.  Let us be kind one to another after the pattern of the tender mercy and kindness of our Creator.  For it is written, 'The kind-hearted shall inhabit the land, and the guiltess shall be left upon it, but transgressors shall be destroyed from off the face of it.'"

Some of us transgressors ourselves care more about sparing people from an eternity in hell by calling sin what is is and helping people realize the need to repent of it.  Others care more about pleasing people in the here and now.  


ptmccain

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #50 on: November 23, 2010, 08:44:34 AM »
The use of such language introduces into the Church a way of speaking about the One who reveals Himself as Father that is alien to the very words He has given us to speak about Him. This is deadly serious stuff folks.

We are making God into our image when we embrace and use such language, particularly when it is used to intentionally avoid referring to God as He has revealed Himself. Note: He has revealed Himself, not "God" has revealed "Godself."

Charles_Austin

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #51 on: November 23, 2010, 08:46:55 AM »
We disagree on the starting point, deaconess. I tend to begin with the grace that is available; you seem to start with defining (in some precise detail and with relish) the sin.
As for "pleasing people," I'll use a favorite line of one of New York's finest mayors, Ed Koch: "How am I doin'?" In this forum, not great.  

BTW & FWIW, the "Godself" language drives me bonkers and I have spoken to people about it. But - imagine this! - they don't always listen to me.

kls

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #52 on: November 23, 2010, 08:53:50 AM »
If you dare, Deaconess Schave, go to the ELCA website and search for "inclusive language." Then go to some academic sites and do the same. You will probably not agree - at least at first, I still have hopes for you - but you may be enlightened.

Actually, Charles, I did, but rather than jump to conclusions in my comments, I was asking for an honest answer from someone who might have a stake.  I'm confused from prior posts from others in the ELCA as to whether the ELCA web site carries any weight with regard to it's true position on issues any way.  Do I take what I read on the ELCA web site as what its members subscribe to?

If I am to do this, it looks to me like the guys always lose.  I wish the men of the ELCA would not take this sitting down any longer.  You're being held hostage to a worldview that is set against that of Scripture.   

For example:

http://archive.elca.org/globalmission/policy/women.html

Why can't Missions simply be missions?  Why does an entire page have to be devoted to inclusiveness of women?  That's sad, actually . . . as though the women of the ELCA can't trust those mean, domineering men of the ELCA.  :D   You ELCA men deserve better than that.  I've seen quite the contrary on this forum and think it's demeaning to you.

revdsid

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #53 on: November 23, 2010, 08:54:01 AM »
I have been using the Augsburg Fortress "Sundays and Seasons" for several years (before the LSB we had LBW and WOV). I have enjoyed the comprehensive music suggestions by type (organ/keyboard/ensemble, etc.) that support the textual theme(s) for the day as well as practical suggestions for encouraging the use and understanding of liturgy. (HINT: could CPH get on this?) The "alternate" invocations/prayers/blessings are becoming ridiculous for all of the reasons discussed above. This is the only resource I have ordered from Augsburg Fortress this year and this is probably the last-- I can't in good conscience give it to my worship planning team any more.

PS. Charles, I believe the "criticisms" discussed in this thread have been about what the PB of the ELCA has said and done. The facts are not in dispute. I have occasionally used a "gender neutral" alternative in the liturgy when it supported a theme or a point of discussion in the sermon. What is being complained about an "theological agenda" that iforces a shift in language that alters the application of our confessions to the point of changing our confession. It represents an alien hermeneutic that begets a false exegesis that undermines our confessions. If it had more minor consequences it would be merely ironic or uncomfortable.

I used to drive the "Ho Chi Minh" trail (the Davison Expressway) in Detroit. When I was the rare or sole white suburban in a black urban neighborhood I reminded myself that my "unease" was my own racism that needed to be confronted and overcome as a Christian. Yet there were places (Van Dyke north of the City Airport) that were merely unsafe and unwise for anyone at anytime. It wasn't racism that cautioned me from driving there (more than once) it was common sense and discernment.

In criticizing the effect of feminist and liberation theology on the leadership of the ELCA we are defending our confession (yours and mine) not criticizing your membership nor being misogynist. I would rather you acknowledge the harm done to our Creeds by changing their language and advocate for their use as witnessed by the church catholic (and evangelical).

Scott6

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #54 on: November 23, 2010, 08:57:10 AM »
If you dare, Deaconess Schave, go to the ELCA website and search for "inclusive language." Then go to some academic sites and do the same. You will probably not agree - at least at first, I still have hopes for you - but you may be enlightened.

I think I've mentioned earlier on this site that folks in academia have more leeway in the use of inclusive language when it comes to God than what, if true, is available at mainline seminaries like the ELCA per the reports here.

One prof here, a major feminist, acknowledges that there are theological issues involved in adopting inclusive language for God.  He insists that undergrads use such language, however, unless and until they can articulate a coherent reason why they prefer not to use it.  For grads, he simply says to use what we like with reference to God (FWIW, in my academic papers when referring to an unidentified person as an example I mostly use "she" instead of "he," as there isn't much at stake in that particular issue which is irremediable, anyway).

I would guess that this might be because secular institutions (at least the Religion Dept at UVA) are more open to recognizing valid arguments and giving them a space alongside others than seminaries.  Which is why I would insist in a seminary or churchly environment that masculine language for God be retained and feminine language such as "She" or "Mother" be rejected (while still utilizing feminine biblical imagery like the chicken, of course).

Like folks in the secular academy recognize, there are theological issues at stake that warrant such usage; unlike the secular academy, however, the church has a stake in resolving the theological issues.

Charles_Austin

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #55 on: November 23, 2010, 09:00:11 AM »
Actually, deaconess, I may be in about 7-9 percent partial agreement with you. We guys - especially old, white guys - are not the enemy or the oppressor. But we have to admit that we have been, and bear the burden of those who - as white men - did certain things.
It took a few hundred years for the Swedes to lose their image as rapacious pillagers of the gentle monks of the British Isles and Europe. I think I'll have to bear a certain burden for the rest of my days. Life isn't fair.

revdsid

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #56 on: November 23, 2010, 09:13:52 AM »
Charles,

The red hair and green eyes of my Irish mom were probably a benefit of the Viking "illegal immigration". I don't mind my girls being blonde...

Bergs

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #57 on: November 23, 2010, 09:21:52 AM »
It took a few hundred years for the Swedes to lose their image as rapacious pillagers of the gentle monks of the British Isles and Europe.

Actually here in Minnesota we try to preserve that image for the sake of certain sports franchises.  Though with only 3 wins so far this season, we have a lot of work to do to pump up that rapacious pillager image.  ::)
Oops I think there is a different thread for this comment.  Sorry.

Brian J. Bergs
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« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 09:23:52 AM by Bergs »
But let me tell Thee that now, today, people are more persuaded than ever that they have perfect freedom, yet they have brought their freedom to us and laid it humbly at our feet. But that has been our doing.
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Cathy Ammlung

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #58 on: November 23, 2010, 09:30:53 AM »
Translation is such a flexible thing...a word means exactly what I say it does in a given context.  Our dear sibling in Christ Martin was burdened with the shackles of an oppressive hierarchical patriarchal society unwilling to open itself fully to the work that the spirit was doing.  If Martin was alive today Martin-self would join us in deconstructing the societal and ecclesiastical barricades separating us from the true meaning so we all could be Godself.  :P

As I have said before: If Cathy hears any more of this sort of language, Cathy is going to gag Cathy's self with the spoon Cathy has made with Cathy's own little hands.

kls

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Re: ELCA PB Mark Hanson's Town Hall 11/21/2010
« Reply #59 on: November 23, 2010, 09:33:20 AM »
I think women ultimately lose, too, when we remove the father image from God in the Trinity and elsewhere.  Who among us with a daughter would dare relinquish our role of protector and nurturer as a parent?  Especially dads, tell me you don't take your job seriously when it comes to your daughter's care and protection?  Why would we want to remove that role from God?  He created us, what is so wrong with Him being a protector of His children the way an earthly father is of his daughter (and other children, of course)?

This morning was very momentous in the Schave house . . . our oldest daughter (quite the tomboy at heart and until recently very anti-girley) asked if I could help her apply make-up.  I was ever the beaming proud mother as I carefully explained how the whole goal is to look natural, but you can bet dad was sitting on the sidelines with arms folded not quite knowing how to take this.  He knows what's right around the corner (hint, she's asking because there's a boy in her class she likes).  I'll take God's protective hand as a Father any day over some gender-neutral entity who isn't willing to take a stand in my life because He's relinquished His role as protector.  I'm willing to bet most of you dads would agree.   ;)  Heck, I'm thankful for His protective role as father to my children, too, in my absence.  What a comfort that is.  Why remove this comfort?