Author Topic: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the ELCA  (Read 29795 times)

Charles_Austin

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Or it could be that our leaders, while recognizing our differences (because they are not stupid), had a hopeful, Spirit-based faith in our unity in Christ, and honestly (yes, our leaders are capable of acting honestly) believed that this was not a church-dividing issue.
Can they be faulted for not believing that some in the ELCA place matters of sexual ethics or interpretation of a few selected Bible passages above the broader issues of unity in Christ and a common mission?

Maryland Brian

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Or it could be that our leaders, while recognizing our differences (because they are not stupid), had a hopeful, Spirit-based faith in our unity in Christ, and honestly (yes, our leaders are capable of acting honestly) believed that this was not a church-dividing issue.
Can they be faulted for not believing that some in the ELCA place matters of sexual ethics or interpretation of a few selected Bible passages above the broader issues of unity in Christ and a common mission?

You are not listening to Lou and his report of the dynamics that occured within the task force.  Your speculation crumbles under the reality shared by one who was there.  Having a hope that things would have turned out the way you envision does not mean you can rewrite history to align it with the dreams of the so-called winners.  They KNEW the participants in the study process were overwhelmingly against the changes, but led them anyway.  Some call that being prophetic.  I call it intentionally damaging the Body of Christ for personal agendas.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 07:27:47 AM by BHHughes »

Maryland Brian

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Pastor Hughes writes:
Or ... Send in a dollar or two a year (or thirty pre-1964 quarters) and ignore the larger church should you so desire.  The ball could be punted for years.

I comment:
Yep. Do that if you want to act like some sleazy politician or shady merchant trying to pull a fast one on the government. Create a "legal fiction" or semi-legal fiction and teach your people it's o.k. to cheat the synod and the ELCA and pretend to be what you are not. That's good church leadership.
 


Yes Charles, there are other options for holding a congregation together while the denomination collapses around you.

James Gustafson

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Or it could be that our leaders, while recognizing our differences (because they are not stupid), had a hopeful, Spirit-based faith in our unity in Christ, and honestly (yes, our leaders are capable of acting honestly) believed that this was not a church-dividing issue.
Can they be faulted for not believing that some in the ELCA place matters of sexual ethics or interpretation of a few selected Bible passages above the broader issues of unity in Christ and a common mission?

Yes, of course they they can be faulted for believing that if they broke with the previous unity and introduced division against the historical interpretation of a few selected Bible passages for the purpose of re-imagining sexual ethics that they would not be harming the unity of the OHAC.  They decide to break away from the unity and then claim that the unity in Christ should still be the glue that holds us together?  Epic fail.

Coach-Rev

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Re: ELCA Considering New Procedures for Congregations Considering Leaving the EL
« Reply #154 on: December 01, 2010, 08:08:11 AM »
They decide to break away from the unity and then claim that the unity in Christ should still be the glue that holds us together?

Well said.  One pastor down the road from me compares it to "battered spouse syndrome."  (some of this has to do with events at our last synod assembly as well).  The traditionalists are battered, bloodied, and beaten, but then told that they are still loved, and for the sake of the marriage (and the kids) need to stay, but shut up and keep sending your money.

jramnes

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Yep. Do that if you want to act like some sleazy politician or shady merchant trying to pull a fast one on the government. Create a "legal fiction" or semi-legal fiction and teach your people it's o.k. to cheat the synod and the ELCA and pretend to be what you are not. That's good church leadership.

Says the poster who earlier this week claimed to not take "pot shots" or engage in "snark", while at the same time trying always to be "charitable".

I'm sure that Pr. Austin feels the very same frustrations with this endless discussion that I do, albeit from a different perspective. My response has been to refrain from posting as it leads to no good for me. Reminders of the 8th Commandment have been helpful to me.

Pastor, I don't know if it matters to you or not, but at least one lurker on this site is greatly disappointed by your behavior. I understand your frustration, because I share it (even though we disagree on "the issue"). However, from my perspective, it seems like you are engaging in dishonest dialogue when you post things like what I quoted above when just a couple of days earlier you made the claims I cited in my first paragraph.

It's painful to me to read some of the things that are posted on this message board-from both sides. Pastor Austin, being a very prolific poster and strong advocate of all things ELCA, probably upsets me as much or more than anyone, but that's OK. What I think isn't OK is for anyone to describe actions of congregations using words like "sleazy", "shady", or "legal fiction".

I will now resume my regularly scheduled lurking status.

Jim

GoCubsGo

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Or it could be that our leaders, while recognizing our differences (because they are not stupid), had a hopeful, Spirit-based faith in our unity in Christ, and honestly (yes, our leaders are capable of acting honestly) believed that this was not a church-dividing issue.
Can they be faulted for not believing that some in the ELCA place matters of sexual ethics or interpretation of a few selected Bible passages above the broader issues of unity in Christ and a common mission?

I never said that our leaders or anyone involved in this debate was "stupid."  Nor did I imply that anyone acted dishonestly.  But a person can be sincerely naive.   :-X

Charles_Austin

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Lutheranism has a history - a history we generally acclaim proudly - of "breaking" a certain kind of "unity." Started with Father Martin, didn't it? Continued as we broke with the "unity" of episcopal ordination. Sailed on as we changed the mass. Reached new heights as we made accommodations with secular governments, no longer under the control of the church. Continued again, as "mission" churches in far-flung parts of the world became independent.
We broke with a certain kind of "unity" when we decided to ordain women.
But - in all of these "breaks" in the so-called "unity" of the church, we did not set aside the creeds or the confessions or that doctrine by which the church allegedly "stands or falls."

As for "keeping a congregation together," that is a good thing to do. But if it has to be done through sleazy methods - a dollar a year to the synod - I really wonder about the ethics of it all.

Pastor Hughes writes:
They (leaders, I think, CA) KNEW the participants in the study process were overwhelmingly against the changes, but led them anyway.  Some call that being prophetic.  I call it intentionally damaging the Body of Christ for personal agendas.
I comment:
If you are able to read into the minds of all our leaders and tell me what their "personal agendas" are, I shall be in awe of your psychic powers. I am more likely to wonder why someone - let us say Presiding Bishop Hanson, for example - would want to put his own reputation on the line when, as you suggest, he could have turned it all aside.
But one man's prophecy may be seen by the powers that be or those with entrenched interest as that man's "personal agenda." Just ask John the Baptizer.




Charles_Austin

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Please note, jramnes, that I do not accuse pastor Hughes of being a sleazy politician or shady merchant. I have no basis for doing that. I only note that the tactics he suggests lean that direction. I do not believe he is employing those tactics.

After years of discussion with some people on this board and elsewhere, I did reach a conclusion I had not reached until about three or four months ago.
That conclusion is:
It is time - for some people - to admit fully that they no longer have any hope for the ELCA, that their consciences or view of what "church" is has been so violated that they cannot be a part of it. If this means that they can no longer respect our leaders (even when they disagree), provide their fair share of support to our common mission, or otherwise take part responsibly in the ELCA, then to follow their consciences and convictions, they should leave.
There are people involved in this discussion who have strong disagreements with the ELCA, but have said they will stay in, support our common mission and work with us. Good.
But those who continually say the ELCA is dead or dying, that our leaders are politically-motivated or only after their "personal" agenda, and that our policies take us out of any definition of "orthodoxy" and do not start packing their bags are either disingenuous or cowards or both.
I am sorry that Lou Hesse is no longer a part of the ELCA, as I think he would have been a good voice to have around. But I fully understand his decision to leave and consider it a tribute to his personal integrity that he did.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 09:24:00 AM by Charles_Austin »

DCharlton

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On one page: sleazy politicians, shady merchants, and disingenuous cowards. Now imagine the outrage if I (not sure if I am one of Charles' strong disagreeers or disingenuous cowards) if I used those words to describe the leadership of the ELCA.
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

James_Gale

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On one page: sleazy politicians, shady merchants, and disingenuous cowards. Now imagine the outrage if I (not sure if I am one of Charles' strong disagreeers or disingenuous cowards) if I used those words to describe the leadership of the ELCA.

You indirectly raise a very important point.  Some people on all "sides" have at times acted less than nobly.  We all would likely accord more credibility to statements such as those you address if the writer didn't launch nearly all of his arrows in one direction.  He might respond by saying that others who post here do the same thing from the other "side."  He'd be right, of course.  But he'd also be missing the point.    

Charles_Austin

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Someone writes:
On one page: sleazy politicians, shady merchants, and disingenuous cowards. Now imagine the outrage if I (not sure if I am one of Charles' strong disagreeers or disingenuous cowards) if I used those words to describe the leadership of the ELCA.

I comment (once again):
Please note that I was describing tactics, not people. And that I do not charge anyone here with using those tactics.
One of our moderators has said that it is apparently o.k. here to call people un-Lutheran or un-biblical or (I guess) un-Christian because we're talking about what it means to be (or not to be ;D ) those things. I'm not likely to do that.


Cathy Ammlung

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Quote
"What? That you, nearly 2400 miles away, claim to know more about Ebenezer Lutheran than the folks who are only 24 miles away? That you, who have never met their pastor, knows more about her teaching and preaching, than those who know her personally?"

I do know her personally. Took 2 classes with her, with Bob Bertram, when I was in the St. Louis area. Her papers, even back then - we're talking 25 years ago - were already trending in the direction of herchurch. I liked her personally but even Dr. Bertram had to "rein her in" from her more off-the-wall interpretations and opinions.

Erma S. Wolf

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But those who continually say the ELCA is dead or dying, that our leaders are politically-motivated or only after their "personal" agenda, and that our policies take us out of any definition of "orthodoxy" and do not start packing their bags are either disingenuous or cowards or both.

Someone wrote:  "Please note that I was describing tactics, not people.  And that I do not charge anyone here with using those tactics."

As Bill Cosby (channeling Noah) used to say:  Riiiiiight!
 :P

DCharlton

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Someone writes:
On one page: sleazy politicians, shady merchants, and disingenuous cowards. Now imagine the outrage if I (not sure if I am one of Charles' strong disagreeers or disingenuous cowards) if I used those words to describe the leadership of the ELCA.

I comment (once again):
Please note that I was describing tactics, not people. And that I do not charge anyone here with using those tactics.
One of our moderators has said that it is apparently o.k. here to call people un-Lutheran or un-biblical or (I guess) un-Christian because we're talking about what it means to be (or not to be ;D ) those things. I'm not likely to do that.


Just too passive agressive to use my name?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2010, 10:25:18 AM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?