Author Topic: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the ELCA  (Read 29814 times)

A Catholic Lutheran

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Erma,

Within the ELCA, it is my contention, based on careful reading and study and observation, and many ongoing private conversations with ELCA seminary students, that the seminary educational programs across that there is very little hope that the ELCA's clergy roster will be witnessing an ever increasing number of more orthodox Lutheran pastors. Just the opposite. And that is why I feel it is— and again this is only my  opinion—incumbent on the faithful pastors that remain to guard their flocks from false teaching and error. <snip!>

"...The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away-and the wolf snatches them and scatters them." (Jn. 10:12)

Not that I make any claim to be "The Good Shepherd," but I do believe that God has entrusted me the care of my flock.  The wolves are howling around the edge of the flock, the question is not about others but about myself; will I flee and leave my sheep to the wolves or will I stand my ground and fight?

As I said somewhere above, I have hope because Christ wins every time.  I set my feet and I fight.  Christ will triumph.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Jesus is man and God, but as you indicated, when tempted to use godly powers, he did not. His limited himself to human powers and abilities during his time on earth. It's precisely this fact that gives us humans hope of the resurrection after death. If it was because Jesus had divine powers that brought about his resurrection, then there's no hope for us who do not have those divine powers. If, however, he refused to use any of his divine powers and died as a mortal human, while trusting his Father to act on his behalf when he could do nothing for himself; then we have the same hope and promise from the Father.

Would you not say that his healings and his exorcisms were examples of using his godly powers?  How about bringing back to life those who had died (Lazarus, Jairus' daughter, etc.)?  I will say that he did not use his godly powers for his own benefit, thus no stones turned into bread, no leaping down from cross, etc.

The miracles were that of the God-emptied human Jesus making use of the Father's power -- the disciples, who were not divine, but only human, did all of those same miracles because they were able to tap into the same source of power as Jesus did. If Jesus were truly dead in the tomb, he had no powers, it was the Father who raised him; the corpse of Jesus did not raise itself.
"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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Oh, and btw God wasn't just seen in the life of Jesus. Jesus was God incarnate.

Yup, and "incarnate" means that God assumed all the human limitations of putting on human flesh and blood and heart and mind.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 12:27:29 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"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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Reaallly! Well come on Scott, does anything in that book contradict the quote from wikipedia that Marcus Borg "distinguishes between the pre-Easter Jesus, who was a Jewish mystic and the founder of Christianity, and the post-Easter Jesus who is a divine reality that Christians can still experience personally" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Borg)

Really Gary! Are you going to tell me that your relationship with the post-Easter Jesus is exactly the same as the relationship the disciples had with the pre-Easter Jesus? Do you shake hands with him, feel his arm on your shoulder, carry on a conversation with him, have him wash your feet, to name a few things the pre-Easter did with the disciples. Post-Easter Jesus appeared and disappeared. In John and Luke, he is clear that the relationship the disciples would have with him after the ascension would be through the Holy Spirit -- certainly a different kind of relationship than they had with the earthly Jesus.

Yes, if it was His will I could shake His hand, etc. Since He has not willed that too date, I rely on the scriptural witness to tell me how I am to relate to Jesus. Of course, thanks to those who have new and advanced methods of discerning God's will, we no longer need the uninformed witness of the disciples. ::)

And the scriptural way of relating to Jesus (at least according to John and Luke) is through the Holy Spirit -- a way that was not present with the disciples during Jesus' stay on earth. In John Jesus states that it is better for him to go away so that the Spirit will come. In Luke/Acts, Jesus ascends with the promise of the coming of the Spirit's power. It is clear in scriptures that the disciples' relationship with Jesus was different before Easter/Ascension than it was afterwards.
"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]

Steven Tibbetts

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Steven writes (regarding the need for "traditionalist" voices):
I've been hearing that for years, both in general and specifically in reference to me.  What usually followed such comments, though, was that the conversation/discussion picked up where it was before I spoke and "was listened to," as if I hadn't said anything at all.

I comment:
No. The conversation would have been different had you not spoken.


Charles, you are not listening.  You may think you are, but you are not.

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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A Catholic Lutheran

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I have said it before, to you Brian, and I will say it yet again...

"Now this is the catholic faith:
  We worship one God in Trinity
   and the Trinity in unity,
      niether confusing the Persons,
      nor dividing the divine being." (Athanasian Creed)

You consistently either fall into the habit of speaking of the Trinity as a modalist or as a tri-theist, but rarely as a Trinitarian.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Marcus Borg "distinguishes between the pre-Easter Jesus, who was a Jewish mystic and the founder of Christianity, and the post-Easter Jesus who is a divine reality that Christians can still experience personally" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Borg)


I think that you have it backwards. I see Borg as affirming that Jesus was a man of human flesh. (He may be more sketchy about Jesus divine side before Easter.)


Help me here, Brian.  Just how is Gary's attribution "backwards"  -- especially given your parenthetical addition? 

The backwards-ness was more about his last statement: Now, how is that an acknowledgment that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh? I would not object if you wanted to distances yourself from Marcus Borg and/or Richard Swanson, but your quotation clearly puts them into the spirit of the Antichrist.

The spirit of the antichrist as defined in 1 John is the confession that Jesus did not come in the flesh. Gary's quotes from Borg and Swanson affirmed very strongly their beliefs that Jesus had come in the flesh and was limited by his life "in the flesh." Thus, their spirit is not the biblically defined one of the antichrist. Rather, it is those who make Jesus a God, with all the non-human powers that gods have, while on earth that are much closer to the spirit of the antichrist,
"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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I have said it before, to you Brian, and I will say it yet again...

"Now this is the catholic faith:
  We worship one God in Trinity
   and the Trinity in unity,
      niether confusing the Persons,
      nor dividing the divine being." (Athanasian Creed)

You consistently either fall into the habit of speaking of the Trinity as a modalist or as a tri-theist, but rarely as a Trinitarian.

And you continually fail to quote the next line of that creed:

"For the Father is one person,
the Son is another,
and the Spirit is still another."

Later there is the confession about the Son: "subordinate to the Father in humanity."

I stand on the orthodoxy of my faith about the Trinity. I suspect that you are docetic -- unwilling to let Jesus be truly human; unwilling to fully divide the persons of the Trinity. One of my theology profs stated, "You can never make Jesus too human."
"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]

Dadoo

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Re: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the EL
« Reply #338 on: December 04, 2010, 12:45:38 PM »
I have said it before, to you Brian, and I will say it yet again...

"Now this is the catholic faith:
  We worship one God in Trinity
   and the Trinity in unity,
      niether confusing the Persons,
      nor dividing the divine being." (Athanasian Creed)

You consistently either fall into the habit of speaking of the Trinity as a modalist or as a tri-theist, but rarely as a Trinitarian.

And you continually fail to quote the next line of that creed:

"For the Father is one person,
the Son is another,
and the Spirit is still another."

Later there is the confession about the Son: "subordinate to the Father in humanity."

I stand on the orthodoxy of my faith about the Trinity. I suspect that you are docetic -- unwilling to let Jesus be truly human; unwilling to fully divide the persons of the Trinity. One of my theology profs stated, "You can never make Jesus too human."

Sure you can. That is what Borg is being accused of often. He has no room for the divinity of Christ.
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

hillwilliam

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Oh, and btw God wasn't just seen in the life of Jesus. Jesus was God incarnate.

Jesus is God incarnate.

Pax, Steven+

Yes, and He was then too. (just to clarify that He was the incarnate God during His time on earth for Brian)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the EL
« Reply #340 on: December 04, 2010, 01:08:05 PM »
I have said it before, to you Brian, and I will say it yet again...

"Now this is the catholic faith:
  We worship one God in Trinity
   and the Trinity in unity,
      niether confusing the Persons,
      nor dividing the divine being." (Athanasian Creed)

You consistently either fall into the habit of speaking of the Trinity as a modalist or as a tri-theist, but rarely as a Trinitarian.

And you continually fail to quote the next line of that creed:

"For the Father is one person,
the Son is another,
and the Spirit is still another."

Later there is the confession about the Son: "subordinate to the Father in humanity."

I stand on the orthodoxy of my faith about the Trinity. I suspect that you are docetic -- unwilling to let Jesus be truly human; unwilling to fully divide the persons of the Trinity. One of my theology profs stated, "You can never make Jesus too human."

Sure you can. That is what Borg is being accused of often. He has no room for the divinity of Christ.

Sure he proclaims the divinity of Christ and the humanness of Jesus who did not have powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal humans. If he did, he was not human -- and may, perhaps, have come from Krypton.
"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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Oh, and btw God wasn't just seen in the life of Jesus. Jesus was God incarnate.

Jesus is God incarnate.

Yes, and He was then too. (just to clarify that He was the incarnate God during His time on earth for Brian)

What do you mean by the word "incarnate"?
"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]

A Catholic Lutheran

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I have said it before, to you Brian, and I will say it yet again...

"Now this is the catholic faith:
  We worship one God in Trinity
   and the Trinity in unity,
      niether confusing the Persons,
      nor dividing the divine being." (Athanasian Creed)

You consistently either fall into the habit of speaking of the Trinity as a modalist or as a tri-theist, but rarely as a Trinitarian.

And you continually fail to quote the next line of that creed:

"For the Father is one person,
the Son is another,
and the Spirit is still another."

Later there is the confession about the Son: "subordinate to the Father in humanity."

I stand on the orthodoxy of my faith about the Trinity. I suspect that you are docetic -- unwilling to let Jesus be truly human; unwilling to fully divide the persons of the Trinity. One of my theology profs stated, "You can never make Jesus too human."

No, I don't...  The Son is fully God and fully human.  I have never said otherwise.  And, if we're going to be trading acusations of "missing the next line," let me quite Quincunque Vult more fully:

"For the Father is one person,
  the Son is another,
  and the Spirit is still another.

But the diety of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
   is one, equal in glory,
   coeternal in majesty
.

What the Father is,
  the Son is,
  and so is the Holy Spirit.
"

And later...
"And in this Trinity,
   no one is before nor after,
   greater or less than the other;
 but all three persons are in themselves,
   coeternal and coequal;
   and so we must worship the Trinity in unity
   and the One God in three persons.
"

And yet later...
"For this is the true faith,
   that we believe and confess;
      that our Lord Jesus Christ,
      God's Son, is both God and man.
      He is God, begotten before all worlds
         from the being of the Father,
      and he is man, born in the world,
         from the being of his mother--
      existing fully as God,
      and fully as man
      with a rational soul and a human boidy;
         Equal with the Father in divinity,
            subordinate to the Father in humanity.
      Although he is God and man,
         he is not divided,
         but is one Christ.
      He is not divided because God has taken humanity into himself;
         he does not transfrom diety into humanity.
      He is completely one,
         in the unity of his person,
         without confusing the two natures.
"

If I am guilty of docetism, then I beg repentance.  Would you submit yourself to such a judgment, or are you privilidged to some secret word of knowledge that exempts you from the judgment of the Church?

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 01:14:53 PM by A Catholic Lutheran »

hillwilliam

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As for what Borg was affirming, please see "The meaning of Jesus: two visions
 By Marcus J. Borg, Nicholas Thomas Wright" and show me there he affirms the earthly divinity of Jesus.

I TA'd for an intro course to Christianity, and the prof required that book, which means I got to teach it in my discussion sessions.  It's a good way to see two people arguing on opposite sides of the same field.

Reaallly! Well come on Scott, does anything in that book contradict the quote from wikipedia that Marcus Borg "distinguishes between the pre-Easter Jesus, who was a Jewish mystic and the founder of Christianity, and the post-Easter Jesus who is a divine reality that Christians can still experience personally" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Borg)

In its general form, nope.  It's a pretty basic distinction in Borg.  Though I would quibble about the living, earthly Jesus intentionally being the founder of Christianity as well as inquiring what the writer means by "divine reality."

Thanks for the input Scott. It seemed fairly clear to me. I'm glad we are in general agreement. The definition that Borg would give for the term "divine realty" would be interesting to hear but he looks to me like a more sophisticated (with the emphasis on sophist) but less honest version of Spong. So even after he defined it we may not be able to fully understand it. Sometimes what comes across as erudition is really just an intellectual smoke screen.

hillwilliam

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Oh, and btw God wasn't just seen in the life of Jesus. Jesus was God incarnate.

Yup, and "incarnate" means that God assumed all the human limitations of putting on human flesh and blood and heart and mind.

No Brian, Jesus did not assume all the human limitations by putting on human flesh since He was still one with the Father. That means that He was without sin. Show me a human of flesh and blood and heart and mind that is without sin. So what you are saying sounds more like Jeff Johnson's statement (in a Chicago church) that "Jesus was a sinner, no better than the rest of us" then it does anything found in the creeds.

Jesus is, was, and always will be God but that can only be seen through the eyes of faith. It can never be understood by putting Jesus under microscope or expecting Him to act like just another sinful man.