Author Topic: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage  (Read 6250 times)

Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #60 on: February 23, 2011, 02:41:36 PM »
dcharlton writes:
You, Charles, and the ELCA demand a level of integrity from those to your right that you refuse to demand from those on your left. 
I comment:
Again, how many times do I need to say that I have always disagreed with those taking part in the "illicit" ordinations and related matters?

DCharlton

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 6831
    • View Profile
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #61 on: February 23, 2011, 02:48:08 PM »
dcharlton writes:
You, Charles, and the ELCA demand a level of integrity from those to your right that you refuse to demand from those on your left. 
I comment:
Again, how many times do I need to say that I have always disagreed with those taking part in the "illicit" ordinations and related matters?

Have you told them that "decisions need to be made"?  Have you said in any public forum that they ought to resign from the roster of the ELCA?  Have you said that those whose commitment to an ideology prevents them from fulfiling their vow to "preach and teach in accordance with the Holy Scriptures and these creeds and confessions" that it time to resign?  Or have you merely disagreed with them?
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Rev. Kevin Scheuller

  • Guest
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #62 on: February 23, 2011, 03:28:51 PM »
It was stated very clearly in my seminary that each of us were to develop our own theology within the Lutheran framework. Lutheranism was a general framework. Our personal theologies were the differences and subtleties. If you spent much time in an ALC/LCA/ELCA seminary (like we clergy do) I'd think you know this.

I guess you missed that part I highlighted.

Considering that the seminary faculty (the endorsing committee in the ALC) certified me for ordination and a congregation saw fit to call me and a bishop saw fit to authorize my ordination attests to the Lutheranism of my beliefs. In addition, through a good part of my ministry I have been asked to serve on synod committees -- another indication that the wider church considers my beliefs "Lutheran". In my present synod, I'm on the committee that plans the leadership training for our clergy and our bishop's retreat. I've been asked to speak at other events in other synods; and numerous bishops make use of my exegetical work.

Who, besides yourself, has endorsed and certified your Lutheranism?
George's pastor at his baptism certified his Lutheranism.
George's pastor, at his affirmation of baptism (a.k.a. confirmation) certified his Lutheranism. 

Those are just 2 that I can think of, Brian.

Rev. Kevin Scheuller

  • Guest
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #63 on: February 23, 2011, 03:35:51 PM »
...and where, Brian, in your "Lutheran Framework" do you have room for "the priesthood of all believers" in your response to George?  The numerous members of his congregation(s) joined the pastor in certifying his baptism and they joined his pastor in certifying his affirmation of his baptism in the Lutheran Church.  So, numerous folks have "certified" his Lutheranism. 


Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #64 on: February 23, 2011, 04:34:20 PM »
dcharlton writes (re my disagreements with the "illicit" ordinations):
Have you told them that "decisions need to be made"?  Have you said in any public forum that they ought to resign from the roster of the ELCA?  Have you said that those whose commitment to an ideology prevents them from fulfiling their vow to "preach and teach in accordance with the Holy Scriptures and these creeds and confessions" that it time to resign?  Or have you merely disagreed with them?
I comment:
Well, I was not in any "public forum" with those people directly involved; but I do remember stating my views in some discussions during those years.
A slight nuance might be that those people were not saying that the ELCA was no longer preaching the gospel. Matter of fact, their desire was to be a part of the ELCA. But that's another shade of wombat.

passerby

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ***
  • Posts: 187
    • View Profile
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #65 on: February 23, 2011, 05:15:01 PM »
There is a place for these arguments, but I originally posted the topic and link to Berger's article to elicit comments about same-sex marriage and civil unions-- something even opponents in the ELCA can keep separate from their views of the church decision,  according to Lutheran theology. Aside from the first few responses, I don't think most of the responders have even read the original article. But that's the way things are when it comes to conversation in the ELCA today.

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43160
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #66 on: February 23, 2011, 05:25:57 PM »

Well said, Steven.  Charles' exasperation with those who consider loyatly to Canon, Creed and Confessions ...

Yet, when we profess that we are loyal to the Canon, Creed, and Confessions, you (a generic you) call us liars.

Our exasperation is with those who insist that the only way to be loyal to the Canon, Creed, and Confessions is to interpret and use them exactly the same way that they do.
"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]

DCharlton

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 6831
    • View Profile
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #67 on: February 23, 2011, 07:23:23 PM »
dcharlton writes (re my disagreements with the "illicit" ordinations):
Have you told them that "decisions need to be made"?  Have you said in any public forum that they ought to resign from the roster of the ELCA?  Have you said that those whose commitment to an ideology prevents them from fulfiling their vow to "preach and teach in accordance with the Holy Scriptures and these creeds and confessions" that it time to resign?  Or have you merely disagreed with them?
I comment:
Well, I was not in any "public forum" with those people directly involved; but I do remember stating my views in some discussions during those years.
A slight nuance might be that those people were not saying that the ELCA was no longer preaching the gospel. Matter of fact, their desire was to be a part of the ELCA. But that's another shade of wombat.


In think you misunderstand.  I'm not talking about events of the past.  Nor am I asking about illicit ordinations, in particular. I'm talking about those whose convictions prevent them from preaching and teaching as they have promised to do.   As I have stated, I'm talking about those who are offended by the doctrine of the Trinity, by orthodox Christology, by the doctrine of the Atonement, by the doctrine of Original Sin.  There are positions taken by ELCA pastors that by the most generous standard are a rejection of the Creeds and Confessions, if not of Scripture itself.  

And what difference does it make that those to whom you refer did not say bad things about the ELCA?  As I said before, would that you were as concerned about those who denounce the the very confession they have sworn to teach and preach as you are about those who say mean things about the denominational body to which they belong.  

Side note:  I don't agree that those opposed to the ELCA policies prior to August 2009 refrained from denouncing the ELCA.  Some pretty harsh charges were leveled against the ELCA, including blasphemy.  But of course, that harsh rhetoric was often praised as being prophetic.  I am aware of no one who was removed from the roster for denouncing the ELCA at that time.  For violating its policies? Yes.  For denouncing its policies and the denomination itself? No.  Can you truly tell me that in all those years,  you never had a chance to tell one of those harsh critics of the ELCA, "A decision must be made?"
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 08:45:12 PM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

DCharlton

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 6831
    • View Profile
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #68 on: February 23, 2011, 08:53:36 PM »

Well said, Steven.  Charles' exasperation with those who consider loyatly to Canon, Creed and Confessions ...

Yet, when we profess that we are loyal to the Canon, Creed, and Confessions, you (a generic you) call us liars.

Our exasperation is with those who insist that the only way to be loyal to the Canon, Creed, and Confessions is to interpret and use them exactly the same way that they do.

I think you and I would agree that someone who taught a Zwinglian understanding of the  Lord's Supper could not credibly claim to be teaching in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions.  Simply saying, "My interpretation is as Lutheran as yours," would not suffice.  Even being as generous as we can, there are some limits.  Yet a person who rejects Article I of the AC by caling the Trinity an outmoded patriarchal metapor should be given a pass?  Or that those who reject Article III as dangerous doctrine that causes religious strife and sadistic violence?

P.S. I'm not accusing  Brian of either of those things.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2011, 08:55:19 PM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

GoCubsGo

  • Guest
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #69 on: February 23, 2011, 10:14:48 PM »
Again, if Pastor Copeck or anyone else has a problem with that, report me.


You're not worth the trouble.

And FWIW, I'm pointing out your hyprocrasy.  You clearly state that you are ELCA when it suits you and routinely help others violate the expectations of their denominations.  But this is the way of the ELCA.

George Erdner

  • Guest
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #70 on: February 23, 2011, 10:32:05 PM »

Well said, Steven.  Charles' exasperation with those who consider loyatly to Canon, Creed and Confessions ...

Yet, when we profess that we are loyal to the Canon, Creed, and Confessions, you (a generic you) call us liars.

Our exasperation is with those who insist that the only way to be loyal to the Canon, Creed, and Confessions is to interpret and use them exactly the same way that they do.

You say you profess one loyalty, yet your posts on many subjects, including homosexual carnal relations, are indicative of a very, very different true loyalty. If any one's stated profession of loyalty is to X, then they would not make so many posts that indicate a loyalty to Y. One prime example is in your second sentence, when you make a left-handed reference to the ludicrous theory that every Lutheran gets to make up their own beliefs and understandings, and that each one is equal to every other. It's not that those who are orthodox Lutherans expect all to conform to the individual orthodox Lutheran's interpretation, as you imply. It's that the interpretations of what is orthodox Lutheranism exists. It existed before any of us in here were born. It is not "orthodox" because we say it is. Rather, we are orthodox because we believe in the orthodox understandings of the Lutheran faith tradition. People who accepted orthodox Lutheran teachings at an early point in their lives, and are are even certified as to that by being ordained at that early point in their lives, who then stray away from those orthodox teachings and embrace antinomianism, negate that early certification by their later actions and statements.

It doesn't matter if some authority goes through a formal process of discipline to remove such an individual from among those certified as Lutheran pastors. If someone robs a bank, but isn't caught and isn't tried or punished, that person is still a bank robber. If an entire church body's leadership undertakes a path that takes it away from orthodox Lutheran teaching into heterodoxy, even if it receives no discipline from any authority, is still a heterodox church body.

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43160
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #71 on: February 23, 2011, 10:40:54 PM »

Well said, Steven.  Charles' exasperation with those who consider loyatly to Canon, Creed and Confessions ...

Yet, when we profess that we are loyal to the Canon, Creed, and Confessions, you (a generic you) call us liars.

Our exasperation is with those who insist that the only way to be loyal to the Canon, Creed, and Confessions is to interpret and use them exactly the same way that they do.

I think you and I would agree that someone who taught a Zwinglian understanding of the  Lord's Supper could not credibly claim to be teaching in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions.  Simply saying, "My interpretation is as Lutheran as yours," would not suffice.  Even being as generous as we can, there are some limits.  Yet a person who rejects Article I of the AC by caling the Trinity an outmoded patriarchal metapor should be given a pass?  Or that those who reject Article III as dangerous doctrine that causes religious strife and sadistic violence?

An ELCA pastor at a friend's church was one of those who no longer confessed the Creeds -- and did not do so during worship. He had a decision to make -- whether he could legitimately continue to pastor at a congregation and in a church body whose beliefs he no longer shared. It was also clear that his actions were destroying the congregation. About half of the congregation council resigned. Many were calling for the pastor's resignation. He had a decision to make. He made it. The congregation is presently vacant and trying to regroup after his fairly short pastorate. The pastor before him had different issues (they were not related to misconduct) and was asked to resign and has left the clergy roster.
"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

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43160
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #72 on: February 23, 2011, 10:44:22 PM »

Well said, Steven.  Charles' exasperation with those who consider loyatly to Canon, Creed and Confessions ...

Yet, when we profess that we are loyal to the Canon, Creed, and Confessions, you (a generic you) call us liars.

Our exasperation is with those who insist that the only way to be loyal to the Canon, Creed, and Confessions is to interpret and use them exactly the same way that they do.

You say you profess one loyalty, yet your posts on many subjects, including homosexual carnal relations, are indicative of a very, very different true loyalty. If any one's stated profession of loyalty is to X, then they would not make so many posts that indicate a loyalty to Y. One prime example is in your second sentence, when you make a left-handed reference to the ludicrous theory that every Lutheran gets to make up their own beliefs and understandings, and that each one is equal to every other. It's not that those who are orthodox Lutherans expect all to conform to the individual orthodox Lutheran's interpretation, as you imply. It's that the interpretations of what is orthodox Lutheranism exists. It existed before any of us in here were born. It is not "orthodox" because we say it is. Rather, we are orthodox because we believe in the orthodox understandings of the Lutheran faith tradition. People who accepted orthodox Lutheran teachings at an early point in their lives, and are are even certified as to that by being ordained at that early point in their lives, who then stray away from those orthodox teachings and embrace antinomianism, negate that early certification by their later actions and statements.

It doesn't matter if some authority goes through a formal process of discipline to remove such an individual from among those certified as Lutheran pastors. If someone robs a bank, but isn't caught and isn't tried or punished, that person is still a bank robber. If an entire church body's leadership undertakes a path that takes it away from orthodox Lutheran teaching into heterodoxy, even if it receives no discipline from any authority, is still a heterodox church body.

If there is only one, true Lutheran orthodoxy, there wouldn't be all these different Lutheran denominations. Even in our fairly small city, there are four different Lutheran denominations -- and some significant differences between congregations of the same Lutheran denominations. Lutheranism is a highly mixed bag. "Orthodoxy" is usually the term used to refer to one's own particular brand of Lutheranism -- and other are called heterodox or worse.
"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

  • Guest
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #73 on: February 23, 2011, 11:05:19 PM »
If there is only one, true Lutheran orthodoxy, there wouldn't be all these different Lutheran denominations. Even in our fairly small city, there are four different Lutheran denominations -- and some significant differences between congregations of the same Lutheran denominations. Lutheranism is a highly mixed bag. "Orthodoxy" is usually the term used to refer to one's own particular brand of Lutheranism -- and other are called heterodox or worse.

It's not an all or nothing situation. Most of the folks in here from the LC-MS even begrudgingly admit that they are all 100% in agreement on everything. But there is a world of difference between being in agreement on most of the important issues, as most Lutheran denominations are, and only being in agreement on a bare minimum of issues. There will never be 100% agreement. There will never be 100% disagreement. But there is a point which reasonable people can accept as being agreement on "most" of the important issues, which is sufficient to recognize each other as Lutherans, and to recognize those whose disagreements go so far beyond that reasonable amount as being just too far out to be considered "Lutheran". As someone moves further and further away from the Lutheran core, there is a line that once crossed takes one out of the Lutheran group and into the United Church of Christ or some other denomination or faith tradition. There comes a time when people have to examine themselves and their beliefs and decide if they've wandered from one fold to another, and if they've done so, then they should accept and embrace their new surroundings.

Look at how many people we know in this forum who started out as Methodists who came to realize that their beliefs no longer aligned with the Methodist faith tradition but did align with Lutheran beliefs, and so they changed their affiliation. Look at how many Lutherans "swam the Tiber". There is nothing wrong with discovering that one has grown and changed in one's understandings and has moved away from one faith tradition and into another. The only thing that is wrong is to have changed one's perceptions and beliefs, yet cling to membership in a particular organization out of sheer stubbornness.

Steven Tibbetts

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10213
  • Big tents are for circuses.
    • View Profile
Re: Berger on Same-Sex Marriage
« Reply #74 on: February 23, 2011, 11:16:08 PM »

If there is only one, true Lutheran orthodoxy, there wouldn't be all these different Lutheran denominations.


That simply is not so, Brian.  There are all sorts of reasons we have had different Lutheran denominations/synods that have nothing to do with what is orthodox Lutheranism (or Lutheran orthodoxy).

spt+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog