Author Topic: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage  (Read 6036 times)

George Erdner

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Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2011, 10:17:44 AM »
Another foul shot. I have never defended Bishop Spong and have no intention of doing so.

It was merely an example that illustrated the fact that simply being on a clergy roster is not proof that one's personal beliefs as expressed in public are in accord with the teachings of that particular church. Being on the roster of a particular Lutheran denomination, especially one whose standards are as lax as the ELCA, is not proof that the person on the roster is a Lutheran. Though one could make a case for the category "Lutheran In Name Only".

I suppose it depends on whether or not one believes that being a "Lutheran" means one believes in the Confessions of the Lutheran faith tradition or that it only means that one's name is on a list somewhere, regardless of what one believes or teaches.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2011, 02:56:45 PM »
Another foul shot. I have never defended Bishop Spong and have no intention of doing so.

It was merely an example that illustrated the fact that simply being on a clergy roster is not proof that one's personal beliefs as expressed in public are in accord with the teachings of that particular church. Being on the roster of a particular Lutheran denomination, especially one whose standards are as lax as the ELCA, is not proof that the person on the roster is a Lutheran. Though one could make a case for the category "Lutheran In Name Only".

I suppose it depends on whether or not one believes that being a "Lutheran" means one believes in the Confessions of the Lutheran faith tradition or that it only means that one's name is on a list somewhere, regardless of what one believes or teaches.

Being on the clergy roster means that one has gone through the scrutiny of a synod candidacy committee and was endorsed by them to be a pastor in the ELCA. (Or, endorsed by the appropriate folks in the predecessor bodies.) Those not on the roster have no such endorsement of their faith.
"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]

Pr. Terry Culler

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Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2011, 03:47:00 PM »
Let me see now--Brian has faith because someone once said they thought he did and George may or may not have faith but we can't know because no one has "endorsed him."  What a load of horse hockey!
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Charles_Austin

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Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2011, 04:16:00 PM »
Pastor Stoffregen and myself are - like some others here with whom we disagree on certain issues - pastors in the ELCA, authorized to preach, teach, preside at the sacraments, lead congregations, represent the ELCA in public, and given the responsibities of a pastor, which includes supporting the ELCA in its mission and ministry.
It might be time to stop the stupid chatter contending that we are not or that we do not have faith or that our faith is "unique" to us and not to the church at large. It is getting tiresome.

tom

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Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2011, 04:39:40 PM »
Truth is ofen difficult when one changes it every day.  But I error truth does not change

Vern

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Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2011, 05:13:32 PM »
I can't understand how any Lutheran Pastor could chose to bless sin.

It's likely that most of us pastor do that when we pronounce the benediction. There are unrepentant sinners in the congregation; and we ask God to bless them.
I never said that we shouldn't bless "sinners" sir, i said that we should not bless the sinful act. If we couldn't bless sinners we would be in big trouble because that is what we all are.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 05:36:41 PM by Vernon R Jorgensen »

amos

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Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2011, 05:29:28 PM »
"and given the responsibilies of a pastor, which includes supporting the ELCA in its mission and ministry."

In any denomination with a process of ordination for it's Pastors, what happens when their vow to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ no longer appears to be the the focus of the sponsoring body?  Does the failure of a pastor to honor the non-scriptural promise to the sponsoring human denominational entity somehow nullify the vow given to God at the same time?  I was never taught that the human governmental body took president over God.  It seems to me that I read somewhere that one can not serve two different masters.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2011, 05:35:38 PM »
If, "amos," you feel that being a pastor in the ELCA conflicts with your faith in God and if you believe that the ELCA has departed from what you consider to be valid faith, then you have a decision to make.
If you think that to "teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ no longer appears to be the the focus" of the ELCA, then you have a decision to make.
It seems to me that if you cannot fulfill your obligations as a pastor in the ELCA, then you must resign from its ministry. Your "call" to serve God is still valid, perhaps your ordination can still be recognized and accepted by some church body. But we are not pastors in a vacuum, as I have said many times, we are pastors within the context of a church body and if we find that our responsibilities there conflict with our faith, then we must leave that church body. I would if I felt that way. There was a time (in LCA days) when I considered doing so.

« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 05:39:01 PM by Charles_Austin »

Vern

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Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2011, 05:41:25 PM »
Charles, you often confuse me!
Are you saying that the Almighty Bishop and his cohorts in Chicago can't be wrong?
Also are you saying that you approve of blessing homosexual unions?

George Erdner

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Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2011, 06:16:39 PM »
Pastor Stoffregen and myself are - like some others here with whom we disagree on certain issues - pastors in the ELCA, authorized to preach, teach, preside at the sacraments, lead congregations, represent the ELCA in public, and given the responsibities of a pastor, which includes supporting the ELCA in its mission and ministry.
It might be time to stop the stupid chatter contending that we are not or that we do not have faith or that our faith is "unique" to us and not to the church at large. It is getting tiresome.

You brought the issue up in the first place. Did you not post this?

Theology and pastoral care is messy. Those who want everything in neat packages, black-and-white print in a san serif typeface are going to be disappointed. Those who do not understand, after all these years, how Pastor Stoffregen and I explain our Lutheranism will just have to try harder.

If "your Lutheranism" was not some off-the-wall, unique variation, why would you need to post that those who do not understand you "after all these years" must bear the burden of more effort?

I submit that if "your Lutheranism" (which is your term, not mine!) is so difficult to understand, then it is not all the rest of us who need to try hard to understand you, it is you who need to try harder to do a better job of explaining.


Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2011, 06:33:42 PM »
I submit that if "your Lutheranism" (which is your term, not mine!) is so difficult to understand, then it is not all the rest of us who need to try hard to understand you, it is you who need to try harder to do a better job of explaining.

We have both defined our Lutheranism quite often. It is summarized in the ELCA's Confession of Faith.

I have summarized it even more with: We are justified by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Although I'm reading Douglas Campbell's The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul, where he suggests that the justification model doesn't work and isn't a proper reading of Paul in Romans. I'm not convinced, yet; but I'm only on page 77 out of 936 pages of text and 240 pages of endnotes.

There is also the truth that my "Lutheranism" is put to the test every Sunday by the folks in the congregation; and that is even more true where I'm at now because over half of the worshipers are "snow birds" who belong to other congregations. I heard one visitor state today: "We've now found a church here." Apparently they had been trying different Lutheran congregations in the area.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 06:37:40 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: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2011, 06:48:32 PM »
I submit that if "your Lutheranism" (which is your term, not mine!) is so difficult to understand, then it is not all the rest of us who need to try hard to understand you, it is you who need to try harder to do a better job of explaining.

We have both defined our Lutheranism quite often. It is summarized in the ELCA's Confession of Faith.

The disagreements aren't over the general summary, the disagreements are over the details and subtleties.

I heard one visitor state today: "We've now found a church here." Apparently they had been trying different Lutheran congregations in the area.

And what was wrong with the others? Were they too Lutheran to suit him?

jeric

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Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2011, 07:02:47 PM »
O.K., time to get back to the topic, eh, what?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2011, 07:13:31 PM »
I submit that if "your Lutheranism" (which is your term, not mine!) is so difficult to understand, then it is not all the rest of us who need to try hard to understand you, it is you who need to try harder to do a better job of explaining.

We have both defined our Lutheranism quite often. It is summarized in the ELCA's Confession of Faith.

The disagreements aren't over the general summary, the disagreements are over the details and subtleties.

Within the ELCA, it is not the details and subtleties that define us a Lutheran, but the general summary. We allow differences. One's convictions about same-gender marriages does not a Lutheran make.

Quote
I heard one visitor state today: "We've now found a church here." Apparently they had been trying different Lutheran congregations in the area.

And what was wrong with the others? Were they too Lutheran to suit him?

My hunch is that he found us to be the graceful Lutheran one. Just down the street from us is a WELS congregation. There are two LCMS congregations not too far away. One is pretty conservative and the other is the large, more open congregation with a school and two contemporary services each Sunday. Actually, the first time they visited was two weeks ago when I was on vacation. They liked the congregation then, but even more after returning when I was here.
"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: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2011, 07:23:36 PM »
I submit that if "your Lutheranism" (which is your term, not mine!) is so difficult to understand, then it is not all the rest of us who need to try hard to understand you, it is you who need to try harder to do a better job of explaining.

We have both defined our Lutheranism quite often. It is summarized in the ELCA's Confession of Faith.

The disagreements aren't over the general summary, the disagreements are over the details and subtleties.

Within the ELCA, it is not the details and subtleties that define us a Lutheran, but the general summary. We allow differences. One's convictions about same-gender marriages does not a Lutheran make.


Which is one more reason why the ELCA's theological teachings are suspect at best.

One's position on same-gender marriages or same gender sexual activity can indeed determine if one is a Lutheran or "Lutheran In Name Only". Your arguments that simply being signed up with the ELCA is all it takes to be a Lutheran make it increasingly evident that the ELCA no longer deserves to have an "L" in its acronym.

Pointing out that the fact that the ELCA allows (if not actually encourages) differences on such issues is the most damning statement one can make about the ELCA. Basically, the more you point out how the ELCA doesn't care about the subtleties and nuances of one's beliefs, the more that any claim that being on the roster of the ELCA proves one is a real Lutheran and not just a LINO is so much hogwash.

That's not to say that there aren't people on the ELCA's roster who are Lutherans. It's only to say that there are some on the roster who are and some on the roster who aren't. Which comes back to the same old, "some say this but others say that" pile of crap you've been peddling in here for at least as long as I've been reading what you've written.