Author Topic: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?  (Read 138158 times)

George Erdner

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2010 on: February 08, 2011, 10:44:53 AM »
Or "an LC-MS congregation might just split in TWO irreconcilable factions over something as trifling as whether the playing of a guitar, per se, might be tolerated during communion."

Oh wait, that actually happened to mine circa 1984.  (no pun intended in the year, it's actually my memory).


I'm not quite sure how the following would be helpful in any discussion, whether it's thread drift of not: "Probably, but even if they did, nothing would ever come of it because the LCMS'ers would be too busy debating finer points of "how many inches of hair counts as a proper amWould Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? ount for a woman if she reads the bible aloud within 30 feet of the sanctuary" to notice that the former ELCA'er was actually making an inquiry."

It's just run-of-the-mill, standard, unthinking hyperbole, unreflective of anything but the frustrated attitude of the one who makes it.

Sounds to me like reasonable exaggeration to make a point because, though an exaggeration, there is more than a little truth to it.

"LCMS'ers would be too busy.....to notice that the former ELCA'er was actually making an inquiry."

Really, now.  What a silly statement.  As if a prospective member who has questions would be ignored.

Church politics are everywhere - even in the LCMS.  Whether or not to leave the ELCA for the LCMS depends on your comfort level.  I too, belonged to an LCMS congregation that split into two congregations because the new pastor pushed CoWo.  The Koinonia Project should bring an eventual end to the worship wars in the LCMS.  It is a work in progress:  http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=11841

Would you like to join an LCMS congregation that debates Adiaphora (for example: worship style), or would you prefer to remain in a denomination that celebrates homosexuality, abortion, goddess worship, Universal Salvation, Antinomianism, and use of the historical-critical method.  And for those ELCA'ers who instead decide to join NALC and LCMC, those groups are still wrestling with many of problematic issues in doctrine that plague the ELCA....... :'(

You are, I fear, missing the point. In fact, the way in which you miss the point helps make the point. It is not uncommon to use a little hyperbole or exaggeration to make a point. The various posts that exaggerate the fact that based on the content of this thread, it appears that folks from the LC-MS are so excessively obsessed with the minutiae of theological nuance that they can't step back and just look at the big picture. The fact that you don't recognize the kernel of truth within the exaggeration illustrates the point that the folks in the LC-MS have something of a reputation for being way too serious over details, and can't even recognize the use of exaggeration to make a point.

No one disputes that when it is the time or place to discuss the nuances of theology, the LC-MS approaches such things from a different perspective. And, personally, I tend to favor the LC-MS perspective over the ELCA's perspective on some issues. What the observations made in here through exaggeration are about is that we who are not in the LC-MS are seeing in this thread that those who are in the LC-MS are obsessed with over intellectualizing subtle nuances of theology, to the point of causing the rest of us to throw up our hands in despair.

Based on most of the discussion regarding the subtle nuances of theology in here, the thread title probably should be, "Would Disaffected ELCA Theology Professors and PhD Candidates Consider the LCMS?" Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Team Hesse

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2011 on: February 08, 2011, 10:49:12 AM »
Or "an LC-MS congregation might just split in TWO irreconcilable factions over something as trifling as whether the playing of a guitar, per se, might be tolerated during communion."

Oh wait, that actually happened to mine circa 1984.  (no pun intended in the year, it's actually my memory).


I'm not quite sure how the following would be helpful in any discussion, whether it's thread drift of not: "Probably, but even if they did, nothing would ever come of it because the LCMS'ers would be too busy debating finer points of "how many inches of hair counts as a proper amount for a woman if she reads the bible aloud within 30 feet of the sanctuary" to notice that the former ELCA'er was actually making an inquiry."

It's just run-of-the-mill, standard, unthinking hyperbole, unreflective of anything but the frustrated attitude of the one who makes it.

Sounds to me like reasonable exaggeration to make a point because, though an exaggeration, there is more than a little truth to it.

"LCMS'ers would be too busy.....to notice that the former ELCA'er was actually making an inquiry."

Really, now.  What a silly statement.  As if a prospective member who has questions would be ignored.

Church politics are everywhere - even in the LCMS.  Whether or not to leave the ELCA for the LCMS depends on your comfort level.  I too, belonged to an LCMS congregation that split into two congregations because the new pastor pushed CoWo.  The Koinonia Project should bring an eventual end to the worship wars in the LCMS.  It is a work in progress:  http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=11841

Would you like to join an LCMS congregation that debates Adiaphora (for example: worship style), or would you prefer to remain in a denomination that celebrates homosexuality, abortion, goddess worship, Universal Salvation, Antinomianism, and use of the historical-critical method.  And for those ELCA'ers who instead decide to join NALC and LCMC, those groups are still wrestling with many of problematic issues in doctrine that plague the ELCA....... :'(

Tis a problem of category--is "church" about categorical gift or categorical imperative?
I have my doubts about the "end" of worship wars or any other wars for that matter.
Lou

Pilgrim

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2012 on: February 08, 2011, 11:10:35 AM »
...and use of the historical-critical method.

Tim notes: Just a personal gripe and not directly aimed at "Drive-by Lutheran". Personally, I'm tired of the "historical-critical method" being the sort of carte blanche political football defining differences between the LCMS and ELCA and others. "Historical-critical methology is a tool, no more no less. Whether, as a tool, it blesses or kills is in the hands of the practitioner. Has the methodology been used for what I believe are destructive purposes? Absolutely. But I have learned from some very skilled,  able and faithful exegetes who utilized a variety of tools even as they fully "stood under" the authority of the scriptures. In their hands, these tools brought a depth and richness of faith of which I was heretofore unaware.

A few years back I had a heart attack. Angioplasty and stents addressed the issue. Not all the many years prior, I may have initially died, or at the least been subject to a "chest-cracking". I am grateful for the advances in the various "tools" available to the medical community. In skilled hands they are near miraculous. I am also very grateful for the advances in "tools" available to the theological community. In skilled hands, they, too have purpose. Just because some of those in both communities behave like "quacks" (if you will), does not discount the value nor validity of the tools.

In reading many of Scott's posts, I suspect that his use of whatever Biblical tools he would chose to be at his disposal would be done with a fidelity to always "stand under' the scriptural authority even as the tools assisted in deepening and enriching the grace and knowledge which the sacred text can continually convey. There are points at which I would love to contend with him over a couple of "cold ones"!  ;) I have contentions at several points with Brian S. use of the tools. Regardless, it is not the "tools". It is the person using them and the skill, (or lack thereof, or presumption thereof) that they bring to the task that is critical.

I know the history of historical-critical abuse experienced in the LCMS, and I'm NOT unsympathetic or trying to diminish the damage it caused. But it is people who sin...not the tools. Don't toss out the baby with the bath water, please, or lay the blame in the wrong location with an unbending fundamentalism. That is equally as deadly, IMHO.
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

Drive-by Lutheran

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2013 on: February 08, 2011, 11:34:28 AM »
Quote

What the observations made in here through exaggeration are about is that we who are not in the LC-MS are seeing in this thread that those who are in the LC-MS are obsessed with over intellectualizing subtle nuances of theology, to the point of causing the rest of us to throw up our hands in despair.


I expect LCMS pastors to be obsessed with studying theological details at the graduate level.  After all, they have Masters Degrees, I think.  "Going deep" is their profession, and their passion as well.

Interesting to note that when some ELCA pastors are challenged to provide a deep, scriptural justification for identifying what the ELCA believes, we read snarky comments intended to deflect the issue:  "The LCMS is bad, because....".  Alternatively, the topic in question is dismissed altogether: "I choose not to engage in this topic (of WO, for example).  It is something we ELCA'ers have always believed, so why question it.  The LCMS is wrong, because we.....ummmmm, we ummmmm.....said so.  So there."

"So there?"  I get the point. ::)

Drive-by Lutheran

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2014 on: February 08, 2011, 11:48:53 AM »
...and use of the historical-critical method.

Tim notes: Just a personal gripe and not directly aimed at "Drive-by Lutheran". Personally, I'm tired of the "historical-critical method" being the sort of carte blanche political football defining differences between the LCMS and ELCA and others. "Historical-critical methology is a tool, no more no less. Whether, as a tool, it blesses or kills is in the hands of the practitioner. Has the methodology been used for what I believe are destructive purposes? Absolutely. But I have learned from some very skilled,  able and faithful exegetes who utilized a variety of tools even as they fully "stood under" the authority of the scriptures. In their hands, these tools brought a depth and richness of faith of which I was heretofore unaware.

A few years back I had a heart attack. Angioplasty and stents addressed the issue. Not all the many years prior, I may have initially died, or at the least been subject to a "chest-cracking". I am grateful for the advances in the various "tools" available to the medical community. In skilled hands they are near miraculous. I am also very grateful for the advances in "tools" available to the theological community. In skilled hands, they, too have purpose. Just because some of those in both communities behave like "quacks" (if you will), does not discount the value nor validity of the tools.

In reading many of Scott's posts, I suspect that his use of whatever Biblical tools he would chose to be at his disposal would be done with a fidelity to always "stand under' the scriptural authority even as the tools assisted in deepening and enriching the grace and knowledge which the sacred text can continually convey. There are points at which I would love to contend with him over a couple of "cold ones"!  ;) I have contentions at several points with Brian S. use of the tools. Regardless, it is not the "tools". It is the person using them and the skill, (or lack thereof, or presumption thereof) that they bring to the task that is critical.

I know the history of historical-critical abuse experienced in the LCMS, and I'm NOT unsympathetic or trying to diminish the damage it caused. But it is people who sin...not the tools. Don't toss out the baby with the bath water, please, or lay the blame in the wrong location with an unbending fundamentalism. That is equally as deadly, IMHO.

Pilgrim, I am well aware that the historical-critical method is sacrosanct in ELCA circles.  I would argue that the historical-critical method is used to justify these ELCA practices:

1)   Women’s ordination
2)   Open communion
3)   Accepting of homosexual unions and/or ordinations of those in a relationship (about   50/50)
4)   Ecumenical agreements (my congregation and other congregations in my synod like them and encourage them)
5)   Less doctrine oriented, (Jesus is our Savior)
6)   Not literal Bible (inspired not inerrant)
7)   Abortion (not the best choice but is a choice)

Remove the historical-critical method, and the foundation for all of the above instantly crumbles like a house of cards.

I would love to sit back and watch you and Scott discuss these issues.  I'll go pop a bowl of popcorn now.  It does make for fascinating stuff! ;D

kls

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2015 on: February 08, 2011, 11:49:02 AM »
Might I point out that the basics of what most in the LCMS on this forum are in favor of in the way of doctrine is contained within the Small Catechism?

Read Luther's Preface to the Small Catechism for a reminder of why and for whom it was written.

Theology is not rocket science.   ;D  We have Luther to thank for putting the Scriptures into the hands of the laity, as well as putting together this marvelous little book which helps us better understand the Scriptures.

Mike Gehlhausen

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2016 on: February 08, 2011, 11:51:33 AM »
OK, just for you thread drift police . . .  ;D

St. Paul Lutheran in Cincinnati (LCMS) will be receiving into membership this Sunday five individuals from the ELCA.  We've had a few more join just in the last year, too.  Some even before that.

Thanks be to God!

I think what some here fail to realize is that while we in the LCMS are willing to examine doctrine down to the finest nuance on a Lutheran discussion site -- the devil is indeed in the details -- most of us interact quite differently in interacting with refugees from the ELCA, the unchurched, and many other types of visitors.

Mike

George Erdner

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2017 on: February 08, 2011, 11:54:50 AM »
Quote

What the observations made in here through exaggeration are about is that we who are not in the LC-MS are seeing in this thread that those who are in the LC-MS are obsessed with over intellectualizing subtle nuances of theology, to the point of causing the rest of us to throw up our hands in despair.


I expect LCMS pastors to be obsessed with studying theological details at the graduate level.  After all, they have Masters Degrees, I think.  "Going deep" is their profession, and their passion as well.

Interesting to note that when some ELCA pastors are challenged to provide a deep, scriptural justification for identifying what the ELCA believes, we read snarky comments intended to deflect the issue:  "The LCMS is bad, because....".  Alternatively, the topic in question is dismissed altogether: "I choose not to engage in this topic (of WO, for example).  It is something we ELCA'ers have always believed, so why question it.  The LCMS is wrong, because we.....ummmmm, we ummmmm.....said so.  So there."

"So there?"  I get the point. ::)

I think that illustrates one of the reasons why we ELCA pewsitters would have trouble with the LC-MS. From your response, I get the impression that if I went to an LC-MS pastor concerned about some personal problem, instead of getting caring counseling that is in conformance to scripture (which is what I'd want), I'd get a dry lecture and an assignment to read something Walther wrote about what Luther wrote about what was in the Bible.

As for choosing not to engage in why the ELCA supports Women's Ordination, that decision was made by the leaders of the ALC and LCA over 40 years ago. I don't doubt that for most ELCA pastors under the age of 60, that question is more or less a "done deal", and is rather pointless to waste time arguing about. Nothing anyone in the ELCA says is going to change the minds of anyone in the LC-MS, and vice-versa. So, "discussions" of women's ordination with staunch, steadfast advocates of the LC-MS perspective are usually a complete waste of time. The subtext underneath most challenges to members of the ELCA to defend women's ordination seems to be baiting the ELCA pastor to mention something that indicates the use of historical-critical interpretation just so the LC-MS pastor can say, "Ah Hah! You use the wrong interpretation". They even exaggerate and denounce it as being "sacrosanct" to those in the ELCA. When one knows that will probably be the response, then the best course of action is to refuse to play the game.

efretheim

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2018 on: February 08, 2011, 12:06:30 PM »
OK, just for you thread drift police . . .  ;D

St. Paul Lutheran in Cincinnati (LCMS) will be receiving into membership this Sunday five individuals from the ELCA.  We've had a few more join just in the last year, too.  Some even before that.

Thanks be to God!

I think what some here fail to realize is that while we in the LCMS are willing to examine doctrine down to the finest nuance on a Lutheran discussion site -- the devil is indeed in the details -- most of us interact quite differently in interacting with refugees from the ELCA, the unchurched, and many other types of visitors.

Mike
Except when there is no smiley face on your obvious hyperbola.  Or as in the last time I considered joining an LCMS congregation about 30 years ago when I was asked to choose sides in a disagreement almost from the moment I walked in the door, and I'm still not sure who held which positions 30 years later.  So now I need to consider whether to stop at the LCMS church I drive past on the way to my former ELCA congregation, when I know that I am far more closely in tune with LCMS positions on most areas than I am with the ELCA.  Based on the topic, this would be the discussion forum that should help me decide whether to flip on the turn signals or just drive straight for another Sunday of waiting until an LCMC or NALC or other alternative turns up in the area (of course there are some Catholic and Orthodox churches around as well).

kls

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2019 on: February 08, 2011, 12:09:04 PM »
Some of you continue to miss the point that this is an internet forum, not a church.  I have witnessed and been at the receiving end of the best pastoral and diaconal care since becoming a member of the LCMS.  Aside from doctrinal issues, this forum is hardly the place to make up your mind about whether you'd find a home in any particular church, let alone an LCMS church.  Obviously, the best way to know for sure is to visit and see if the Lord is leading you to that particular church.  Match up what you're experiencing at that church with Scripture, then you'll be set.  You might be surprised and actually delighted to learn how welcoming we in the LCMS are, though.

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2020 on: February 08, 2011, 12:18:28 PM »
I know the history of historical-critical abuse experienced in the LCMS, and I'm NOT unsympathetic or trying to diminish the damage it caused. But it is people who Pilgrim, I am well aware that the historical-critical method is sacrosanct in ELCA circles.  I would argue that the historical-critical method is used to justify these ELCA practices:

1)   Women’s ordination
2)   Open communion
3)   Accepting of homosexual unions and/or ordinations of those in a relationship (about   50/50)
4)   Ecumenical agreements (my congregation and other congregations in my synod like them and encourage them)
5)   Less doctrine oriented, (Jesus is our Savior)
6)   Not literal Bible (inspired not inerrant)
7)   Abortion (not the best choice but is a choice)

Remove the historical-critical method, and the foundation for all of the above instantly crumbles like a house of cards.

I would love to sit back and watch you and Scott discuss these issues.  I'll go pop a bowl of popcorn now.  It does make for fascinating stuff! ;D

Tim responds: I suppose sacrosanct is not an unfair characterization of the status of HC in the ELCA, that has generally been my experience of it, and the progression of issues you go through probably needs a tad more scrutiny than a mere listing provides, however the phrase I would challenge is this: "Remove the historical-critical method, and the foundation for all of the above instantly crumbles like a house of cards." That's a both/and. Not necessarily arguing the accuracy on the one hand, but the logical fallacy. Substitute this: "Remove the splitting of the atom, and thermo-nuclear weaponry crumbles like a house of cards." Also accurate. But so also would power plants and a broad range of beneficial things disappear as well. My point is a simple one: I see you attacking the "tool". It's not the tool! In skilled hands it is a marvelous tool. Blaming HC for the problems of the ELCA (or anything else for that matter) is not unlike blaming (and seeking to ban) the hammer when you smash your thumb!

Are the problems real...absolutely. But removing HC is not the panacea (sp?) that it seems to me you imagine it to be. Good problematic analysis. Wrong fix for the problem.
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

edoughty

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2021 on: February 08, 2011, 12:51:47 PM »
Some of you continue to miss the point that this is an internet forum, not a church.  I have witnessed and been at the receiving end of the best pastoral and diaconal care since becoming a member of the LCMS.  Aside from doctrinal issues, this forum is hardly the place to make up your mind about whether you'd find a home in any particular church, let alone an LCMS church.  Obviously, the best way to know for sure is to visit and see if the Lord is leading you to that particular church.  Match up what you're experiencing at that church with Scripture, then you'll be set.  You might be surprised and actually delighted to learn how welcoming we in the LCMS are, though.

I think the point that George and some of the rest of us non-LCMS folk are trying to make, Kim, is that regardless whether this is a church, what we non-LCMS folk see here is the public behavior & witness of LCMS members.  This is the first impression we get. 

In a fair number of cases, that first impression is not so positive.  So we'd be unlikely to darken the door of an LCMS congregation.  Because even if the answer is, "Well, we're not like that in church," that simply compounds the issue-- it seems like we're being told, "We're nice in person but when we leave church and get in a discussion, our pleasant attitude goes away."

Mike Bennett

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2022 on: February 08, 2011, 12:59:03 PM »

Because even if the answer is, "Well, we're not like that in church," that simply compounds the issue-- it seems like we're being told, "We're nice in person but when we leave church and get in a discussion, our pleasant attitude goes away."


No denomination's members have that unfortunate trait monopolized.

Mike Bennett
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2023 on: February 08, 2011, 01:01:05 PM »
...
I would love to sit back and watch you and Scott discuss these issues.  I'll go pop a bowl of popcorn now.  It does make for fascinating stuff! ;D

I would love to have a seat and watch that debate as well.  My training has been at the feet of ELCA (ALC actually) trained pastors (now LCMC) who took HC (and the Documentary Hypothesis especially) to task as the root of all kinds of wickedness and little gain. 

I've also heard conservative ELCA pastors and other LCMC pastors make the arguement Tim is making here.

Scott has stated here on a few occasions that his opinion is that what is useful - and what those who argue in support of HC point to as positive developments from the use of Historical Critical tools - are the result of the "Historical" part of it ... which it shares with the LCMS approved Historical Grammatical method.
Mark Schimmel, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church, LCMC
Priddy, TX
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ACXXIII, "Your majesty will graciously take into account the fact that, in these last times of which the Scriptures prophesy, the world is growing worse and men are becoming weaker and more infirm."

kls

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Re: Would Disaffected ELCA'ers Consider LCMS? Why or Why Not?
« Reply #2024 on: February 08, 2011, 01:03:20 PM »
I think the point that George and some of the rest of us non-LCMS folk are trying to make, Kim, is that regardless whether this is a church, what we non-LCMS folk see here is the public behavior & witness of LCMS members.  This is the first impression we get. 

In a fair number of cases, that first impression is not so positive.  So we'd be unlikely to darken the door of an LCMS congregation.  Because even if the answer is, "Well, we're not like that in church," that simply compounds the issue-- it seems like we're being told, "We're nice in person but when we leave church and get in a discussion, our pleasant attitude goes away."


Oh, I get the point.  I wonder how an HC analysis of Matthew 7:3 might look?  ::)