Author Topic: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA  (Read 12188 times)

Nicholas Amsdorf

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More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« on: January 18, 2011, 01:40:28 PM »
Story of how the ELCA is responding harshly to African immigrant congregations in it midst:

http://commonconfession.blogspot.com/2011/01/elca-evicts-african-lutherans-because.html

Two African immigrant congregations have been expelled from local ELCA congregations where they have worshiped at the direction of ELCA officials.

“Oromo congregations in Houston, Texas, and Denver, Colorado, were asked by their mission directors and host church to leave the church premises without delay. The reason they were given was they are not in agreement with the August 2009 Churchwide Assembly resolution,” the January newsletter of the United Oromo Evangelical Churches reported.

Charles_Austin

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 02:26:04 PM »
Could they have been asked to leave their host congregations because they were the ones not respecting the bound consciences of those who agreed with the 2009 decisions?
Of course not.  ::) At least that scenario would never be reported in a CORE publication or given any credibility in this forum.

Pilgrim

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 03:04:31 PM »
Tim Christ comments: Charles, Your cynical snark and amazing ability to paint lily white the ELCA while castigating the motives of others notwithstanding, one of those congregations is local to my area and has long been paraded with pride in our local synod. Thus, an interesting development. A Chinese worshipping community in our area removed itself from the ELCA as a result of the decisions and an ELCA official asked them to repay monies (reported in Forum letter) a while back. We are in process of partnering with them as they will likely be applying to NALC or LCMC for membership. This information on the Oromo parish is prompting my further investigation and a known willingness on the part of the congregation I serve to extend an invitation to use our facilities if they would be suitable to the purposes of the Oromo congregation.

But then, you probably cheered when the Dodgers left Brooklyn, too.
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

amos

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 03:28:28 PM »
Every single time the issue of bound conscience comes up the revisionist constantly always twist it around to imply those stupid, bigoted, uneducated orthodox slobs --- just won't honor MY bound conscience.  Never, and I mean never is there any thought that bound conscience goes both ways.   But then again it was never meant too.  The whole concept of bound conscience is a sham, a political move and an outright lie.   We saw that in our assembly where it was specifically stated on the floor they would never accept the idea that marriage being between one man and one woman is even a valid matter of bound conscience. And the assembly voted to deny that concept is even a matter of bound conscience.   Bound conscience is, and has always been, a one way street by design.  Just another example of the bovine excrement that masquerades as enlightened christian thinking in the ELCA.   "Do as we say, not as we do!"

racin_jason

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 03:51:40 PM »
The article was lean on specifics, just quote is from a newsletter. I wonder how much more to the story there is to this from an ELCA point-of-view. The pastors of the churches where the oromo worshipped didn't have a problem with this? If so, then why didn't they resist? If not, then it seems they regarded the Oromo as little more than tenants.

The Biblical basis of bound conscience has been covered, but has it ever actually been attempted in any Christian community before?   
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 04:06:37 PM »
The article was lean on specifics, just quote is from a newsletter. I wonder how much more to the story there is to this from an ELCA point-of-view. The pastors of the churches where the oromo worshipped didn't have a problem with this? If so, then why didn't they resist? If not, then it seems they regarded the Oromo as little more than tenants.

The Biblical basis of bound conscience has been covered, but has it ever actually been attempted in any Christian community before?  

It stems from Paul's comments about eating food that had been sacrificed to idols. However, his comments suggest to me that he is talking about two different communities of faith: one that is willing to eat such meat because there are no such things as idols; and another than refuses to eat such meat (which was probably eaten in the pagan temples). I don't think that there is an indication that both groups were part of one congregation. However, if meat-eaters are with the others, they should refuse to eat meat out of respect for the others. If meat-abstainers are with the other, the others should respect their wishes and not force him to eat meat -- and the abstainers should not condemn those who are eating it.

Similar situations have happened to us with vegetarians. When going to their house, I don't expect them to cook meat just for us. We will eat what they have prepared. When they come to our house, we usually have a meat dish for those who eat it, and other dishes for those who don't. It is unlikely that we would invite back a vegetarian who spent the whole meal badgering us who are carnivores.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 04:08:42 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]

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 04:11:49 PM »
"Shrimp" is also covering this story.

I will tell you this...  A couple of years ago (2008 to be exact), when the Episcopal Church (TEC) was fracturing, I was in a meeting of the Lutheran Ecumenical Representative's Network (LERN) and the subject of what ELCA congregations response was to be to any inquiries from dissident Anglican congregations who had left their Episcopalian buildings and were looking to rent, borrow, or share ELCA facilities.  We were told (and I mean told...as in commanded) that under no circumstance was an ELCA congregation to extend welcome or hospitality to a dissident Anglican group.  We were reminded that our full-communion agreement was with the Episcopal Church, and that if a group was at odds with the Episcopal Church that they were considered to be at odds with us.  A reference was made that we didn't want to encourage the Episcopalian's conflict because it might come back to haunt us some day.  The general mood of the other ecumenical officers present (some of whom had spoken glowingly of joint services with non-Christians (like Muslims)) was aggressive and there was verbal assent that "those Anglicans" should be left in the cold to figure their own situation out.

This is not hearsay.  I was present in this meeting and this is what was said.  

So my question is this: given that this was the expressed stance of the ELCA (I will spare the names but this direction was given by two people who (still) work at 8675 W. Higgins Road) to dissident Episcopalians, why is it a surprise that this would be the stance towards dissident Lutherans?

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 04:19:00 PM »
The article was lean on specifics, just quote is from a newsletter. I wonder how much more to the story there is to this from an ELCA point-of-view. The pastors of the churches where the oromo worshipped didn't have a problem with this? If so, then why didn't they resist? If not, then it seems they regarded the Oromo as little more than tenants.

The Biblical basis of bound conscience has been covered, but has it ever actually been attempted in any Christian community before?  

It stems from Paul's comments about eating food that had been sacrificed to idols. However, his comments suggest to me that he is talking about two different communities of faith: one that is willing to eat such meat because there are no such things as idols; and another than refuses to eat such meat (which was probably eaten in the pagan temples). I don't think that there is an indication that both groups were part of one congregation. However, if meat-eaters are with the others, they should refuse to eat meat out of respect for the others. If meat-abstainers are with the other, the others should respect their wishes and not force him to eat meat -- and the abstainers should not condemn those who are eating it.

Similar situations have happened to us with vegetarians. When going to their house, I don't expect them to cook meat just for us. We will eat what they have prepared. When they come to our house, we usually have a meat dish for those who eat it, and other dishes for those who don't. It is unlikely that we would invite back a vegetarian who spent the whole meal badgering us who are carnivores.

Except, Brian, as I have said before...  If it was truly respecting the Pauline understanding (ie. the "strong" sacrificing their "freedom" to respect the conscience of the "weak,") the concept of "Bound Conscience" would require those who are "strong" and see "freedom" to bless same-sex unions and have non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy, to sacrifice their "freedom" so as to avoid offending and scandalizing "the weak" who are offended by such a thing. 

Instead it is completely the opposite.  The ELCA calls upon the "scandalized" to respect the conscience of those who see themselves as "free."  If this was applied to Paul, he would tell those eating the food sacrificed to idols to "go ahead" and those scandalized by the practice to "respect the conscience" of those eating the meat. 

Either (a) you do not care to actually read Paul, or (b) you do not care, once having read Paul, to follow Paul's rationale.  The ELCA's concept of "respecting bound conscience" (where everyone is simply supposed to "respect" everybody else's "conscience") simply cannot be supported by Paul.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Nicholas Amsdorf

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2011, 04:26:00 PM »
Well said, Jerry.

Chuck Sampson

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2011, 04:41:13 PM »
Tim Christ comments: Charles, Your cynical snark and amazing ability to paint lily white the ELCA while castigating the motives of others notwithstanding, one of those congregations is local to my area and has long been paraded with pride in our local synod. Thus, an interesting development. A Chinese worshipping community in our area removed itself from the ELCA as a result of the decisions and an ELCA official asked them to repay monies (reported in Forum letter) a while back. We are in process of partnering with them as they will likely be applying to NALC or LCMC for membership. This information on the Oromo parish is prompting my further investigation and a known willingness on the part of the congregation I serve to extend an invitation to use our facilities if they would be suitable to the purposes of the Oromo congregation.

But then, you probably cheered when the Dodgers left Brooklyn, too.

He would have had Walter O'Malley been an ELCA leader . . . 8)

Nicholas Amsdorf

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2011, 04:48:48 PM »
Which does cause me to ask, "Is the ELCA adequately sensitive to, and inclusive of, Irish people?"

 :D

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2011, 05:16:52 PM »
Quote
It stems from Paul's comments about eating food that had been sacrificed to idols. However, his comments suggest to me that he is talking about two different communities of faith: one that is willing to eat such meat because there are no such things as idols; and another than refuses to eat such meat (which was probably eaten in the pagan temples). I don't think that there is an indication that both groups were part of one congregation. However, if meat-eaters are with the others, they should refuse to eat meat out of respect for the others. If meat-abstainers are with the other, the others should respect their wishes and not force him to eat meat -- and the abstainers should not condemn those who are eating it.

Similar situations have happened to us with vegetarians. When going to their house, I don't expect them to cook meat just for us. We will eat what they have prepared. When they come to our house, we usually have a meat dish for those who eat it, and other dishes for those who don't. It is unlikely that we would invite back a vegetarian who spent the whole meal badgering us who are carnivores.

Except, Brian, as I have said before...  If it was truly respecting the Pauline understanding (ie. the "strong" sacrificing their "freedom" to respect the conscience of the "weak,") the concept of "Bound Conscience" would require those who are "strong" and see "freedom" to bless same-sex unions and have non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy, to sacrifice their "freedom" so as to avoid offending and scandalizing "the weak" who are offended by such a thing.  

Instead it is completely the opposite.  The ELCA calls upon the "scandalized" to respect the conscience of those who see themselves as "free."  If this was applied to Paul, he would tell those eating the food sacrificed to idols to "go ahead" and those scandalized by the practice to "respect the conscience" of those eating the meat.

The ELCA refrained from saying who was "strong" and who was "weak," rather they stressed mutual love and respect. It is also not meant to be a policy that is used to attack others: "You have to respect me!" but one for self-examination: "How am I showing love for my neighbors, bearing their burdens, and respecting their bound consciences?" Such self-criticism has to happen on both sides.

Quote
Either (a) you do not care to actually read Paul, or (b) you do not care, once having read Paul, to follow Paul's rationale.  The ELCA's concept of "respecting bound conscience" (where everyone is simply supposed to "respect" everybody else's "conscience") simply cannot be supported by Paul.

So, Jesus' command to love our neighbors as our self -- cannot work in church. Paul's command to bear one another's burdens cannot work in church. I don't see any "strong" and "weak" language related to these commands which are also part of the resolution that includes respecting bound consciences.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 05:36:45 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]

George Erdner

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2011, 05:30:45 PM »
Which does cause me to ask, "Is the ELCA adequately sensitive to, and inclusive of, Irish people?"

 :D

They don't have a specific ministry that specifically reached out to Irish people and their families, if that's what you mean. That is, unless it's homosexual Irish people.

Nicholas Amsdorf

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2011, 05:33:42 PM »
But is there a specific ministry to the GLBT folks who trace their ancestry back to the Emerald Isle?

If not, somebody ought to protest.


Dan Fienen

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Re: More on How Bound Consciences Are Being Respected in the ELCA
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2011, 05:38:15 PM »
Actually, it seems to me that all comments made so far concerning applying 1 Corinthians and Paul's discussion of meat sacrificed to idols to the issue of ordained, non-celebate clergy has not examined 1 Corinthians 8:1-6 in this context.  The first thing that Paul does is establish that eating meat offered idols is in itself harmless (he knew nothing of cholesterol).  With that established, it then becomes a matter of dealing with it in a way that respects Christian liberty without damaging weak consciences.

In the current discussion within the ELCA, consensus has not been reached that this is a matter that is truly permitted by God as HSGT itself observed.  Applying the rest of Paul's discussion here become quite problematic in light of that lack of consensus.

Dan
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