Author Topic: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 2006)  (Read 44346 times)

peter_speckhard

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #165 on: May 13, 2006, 11:36:28 AM »
Quote

Yup. 1 Timothy 2:11-14 uses Genesis 2 to support the submissive status of women. That was considered normal and natural throughout the biblical period.

Both Genesis 2 and 1 Timothy 2 are correct and perfectly valid. You just get your idea of what submissive means from sociology rather than Christianity, and so you see these Biblical ideas as having to be thrown out. You see everything in terms of "status", but status in whose eyes? Being submissive never lowered anyone in God's eyes, and God has a long track record of being unimpressed by what the world says.

peter_speckhard

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #166 on: May 13, 2006, 11:37:50 AM »
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With such different approaches to scriptures, can we be members of the same church?

No.

ROB_MOSKOWITZ

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #167 on: May 13, 2006, 12:06:23 PM »
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Per AC VII the unity of the church is about the gospel being purely preached and the holy sacraments are administered according to the gospel.

If you are so convinced that I have strayed from the gospel that you couldn't bear to hear my preaching nor receive the sacrament from my hand, then I guess our unity has been destroyed.

If that is not the case, then perhaps Ephesians 4:4-5, which is quoted in AC VII:"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism," can still be basis of our unity.


Dont get to crazy Brian.  I have not said the A word ::)
I just dont fathom "gospel being purely preached" and  "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" with the premiss question "Can we know what Jesus said?".  

Maybe if It had a "be it resolved" ;D

Now Im really pulling your leg ;D ::) ;D

Yours In Christ
Rob Moskowitz
« Last Edit: May 13, 2006, 12:07:28 PM by ROB_MOSKOWITZ »

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #168 on: May 13, 2006, 12:06:59 PM »
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With such different approaches to scriptures, can we be members of the same church?

It's not so much the different approaches to the Scriptures, Brian, as it is reaching diametrically opposed, incompatable conclusions of what this church's (for others of you, "this church" is ELCA-speak for "the ELCA" as distinct from the one holy catholic and apostolic Church) public witness to the Gospel is.

We are currently members of the same church.  For quite some time the Arians were part of the same Church as the Niceans, too.  But it couldn't stay that way forever.

Pax, Steven+
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hansen

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #169 on: May 13, 2006, 01:25:52 PM »
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(Responding to Pr. Stoffregen)
Both Genesis 2 and 1 Timothy 2 are correct and perfectly valid. You just get your idea of what submissive means from sociology rather than Christianity, and so you see these Biblical ideas as having to be thrown out.

The new gospel, by Betty Friedan?

One thing that this discussion has further clarified for me:  that 60s feminism is closely linked with the attempt to normalize and de-sin homosexual behavior.  I've known it before (the war against distinctions makes it inevitable) but now I see the theological roots to it too.

That's too bad for those who get drawn into it.  The potentially complementary nature of men and women is a beautiful thing, for both men and women alike.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2006, 01:31:43 PM by hansen »

Eric_Swensson

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #170 on: May 13, 2006, 02:03:09 PM »
Ken, I'm confused because Brian said this topic is "about living together in unity with differing opinions."

I thought this topic was about the failure of the Church Council to deal unambigously with renegade revisionists, such as Metro NY's hare-brained attempt to change Visions and Expectations through a few resolveds.


Grizzly

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #171 on: May 13, 2006, 02:11:33 PM »
Brian Stoffregen said:
Quote
However, this is off-topic of this discussion about living together in unity with differing opinions.


Actually Brian, the main point of this thread is not "about living together in unity with differing opinions."  It began with my report and commentary on the ELCA Church Council's Response to the Metro New York Synod resolutions of last October, resolutions that were clearly intended to circumvent the Orlando CWA's rejection of Recommendation #3  last August.  The substantive and germane posts and portions of conversation that followed dealt with the constitutional and governance challenges facing ELCA's ecclesial leadership and the broader consequences for the ELCA's structural unity--in light of subsequent actions at synod assemblies across the ELCA this spring.  Issues of confessional and Biblical truth are part of all this and need to be acknowledged as the key fault line in the ELCA, but extended debate on those separate issues needs to be carried on elsewhere (so get with it you guys and get them posted and going!).  

The real point of this conversation is now that the actions of the revisionist synods have initiated a constitutional crisis that is about far more than "living together in unity with differing opinions."  Instead it is about the impotence of the ELCA churchwide governance (i.e. Presiding Bishop, Office of the Secretary, and Church Council) to respond effectively to revisionist synods.  We are seeing that the emperor really does have no clothes, i.e. the ELCA governing leadership does not have any real authority or power or will to uphold and enforce agreed upon churchwide standards or the decisions of CWA's (including CWA's refusal to legitimate particular courses of action).  So they issued a constitutional opinion but without teeth.  No call or insistence that MNYS retract or recant or reverse or negate those resolutions or elements of them that were "probably not in concurrence with the ELCA's governing documents."  

What is happening in revisionist synods across the ELCA this spring is what James Gale said previously: they are "changing the rules to meet what they are already doing."  The leaders in the revisionist synods (where the orthodox are a beleaguered and harassed minority) have made a determination that they can get away with this because Churchwide can't do "d--n" thing to them.  

What this means is that we are witnessing the constitutional derailment and trainwreck of the ELCA: it's dissolution into 65 squabbling landeskirchen which will hasten the current hemorrhage of orthodox congregations, laity, and pastors heading elsewhere.  What will likely emerge is a confederation of revisionist synods on the one side first (because they're ahead of the non-revisionists in the ELCA's ecclesial-political mud-swamp) and possible a confederation or alignment of non-revisionist synods on the other side, leaving ELCA Churchwide even more what it has become: an irrelevant and shrinking rump that no number of Blue Ribbon Commissions or "How Lutherans Read the Bible" initiatives can fix.  

Pastor Ken Kimball

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #172 on: May 13, 2006, 11:04:29 PM »
Quote
Actually Brian, the main point of this thread is not "about living together in unity with differing opinions."  It began with my report and commentary on the ELCA Church Council's Response to the Metro New York Synod resolutions of last October, resolutions that were clearly intended to circumvent the Orlando CWA's rejection of Recommendation #3  last August.

You are right. The resolution was their attempt to state something about living together in unity with diversity. There has been another resolution circulating calling for consistency in the discipline of congregations and pastors -- which is another attempt to defining living together in unity.

Quote
The real point of this conversation is now that the actions of the revisionist synods have initiated a constitutional crisis that is about far more than "living together in unity with differing opinions."  Instead it is about the impotence of the ELCA churchwide governance (i.e. Presiding Bishop, Office of the Secretary, and Church Council) to respond effectively to revisionist synods.

I don't recall that our ELCA Constitution and Bylaws has anything about the discipline of synods. They churchwide expression has very limited powers of discipline. The only instances where the Presiding Bishop can bring disciplinary charges is against a synod bishop.

The Church Council has not part in the disciplinary process.

The discipline of all other rostered people is the responsiiblity of synods. It is only within synods that disciplinary charges against congregations can arise.

If you are asking the presiding bishop and/or church council to discipline a synod, they may not have any authority to do so.

Quote
We are seeing that the emperor really does have no clothes, i.e. the ELCA governing leadership does not have any real authority or power or will to uphold and enforce agreed upon churchwide standards or the decisions of CWA's (including CWA's refusal to legitimate particular courses of action).  So they issued a constitutional opinion but without teeth.  No call or insistence that MNYS retract or recant or reverse or negate those resolutions or elements of them that were "probably not in concurrence with the ELCA's governing documents."

Do they have the constitutional powers to do that? I'm not sure that they have. The closest I can think of is:

13.41.04. The secretary shall prepare interpretations, as necessary, of the Constitutions, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. If a board, committee, or synod disagrees with the interpretations, as rendered, the objecting entity may appeal the secretary’s interpretation to the Church Council.

I think that the Secretary could declare a synod's resolution to be in conflict with the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions and is thus null and void.

Quote
What is happening in revisionist synods across the ELCA this spring is what James Gale said previously: they are "changing the rules to meet what they are already doing."  The leaders in the revisionist synods (where the orthodox are a beleaguered and harassed minority) have made a determination that they can get away with this because Churchwide can't do a "d--n" thing to them.  

Constitutionally, I think he's right. If he feels that discipline needs to take place against a pastor within his synod, get nine other clergy to agree and file charges. If he feels that discipline needs to take place against a congregation in his synod, get two other contregations to file charges. I don't know that this has ever happened in any synod. What I have seen happen is disgruntled pastors and congregations just leave -- and then blame the hierarchy for not doing anything.

Quote
What this means is that we are witnessing the constitutional derailment and trainwreck of the ELCA: it's dissolution into 65 squabbling landeskirchen which will hasten the current hemorrhage of orthodox congregations, laity, and pastors heading elsewhere.  

I don't think that it is a constitutional derailment of the ELCA. As I noted above, I don't think that the churchwide expression has any power or authority to discipline synods. That was not foreseen as necessary and is not written into the constitution. and bylaws. It is the responsibility of the synod to discipline itself in ways that I mentioned above, and by recruiting enough voting members at synod assemblies to vote for their "traditional" resolutions. Any traditionalist pastor who is not attending synod assemblies with the maximum number of voting members from the congregation has little to complain about.  

Similarly, a pastor can't ask the synod to come in and discipline a problem lay member of the congregation. That is the congregation's responsibility. The synod has no power or authority to discipline lay people. If the pastor and congregational council are not willing to use their power and authority to discipline a lay member, don't blame the synod for not doing what they have no power to do in the first place.

I think that what you are asking the churchwide expression to do, they have no power or authority to do.
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bookpastor/Erma Wolf

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #173 on: May 13, 2006, 11:52:41 PM »
    Brian, I believe you are right in your interpretation of the powers (and lack of them) for discipline in various levels of the ELCA.  Right now, the only thing that is happening is that synods are passing resolutions (ill-conceived, I believe, and probably unconstitutional, I also believe) at their synod assemblies.  But at this point, no one has actually done anything; that is, no bishop or candidacy committee or synod council or congregation has taken any action under those newly passed resolutions.  (Previous actions in violation of the current constitution are another matter and one I will not deal with right now.)

    However, if and/or when some entity within one of those synods does take action according to one of these resolutions, then there may very well be action that could be taken in order to initiate an investigation into discipline, whether of a pastor, congregation or a bishop.  Is there a process for discipline of a synod council, or a candidacy committee?  I personally don't know.  

     And Brian, just because you aren't aware of 10 pastors filing a charge against another pastor, don't assume it hasn't happened.  It may very well be that such an action was dismissed by the synod as being without cause.  In any case, I hope you would give traditional folk the benefit of assuming that we don't want to rush to judgment unless we are certain of our facts.  It is not a light thing to take on charging a fellow pastor and calling for discipline; I honestly think many of us hope it doesn't have to come to that.  It will be a sad day, though perhaps a necessary one, if conditions in any of our synods warrants taking that step.
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Charles_Austin

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #174 on: May 14, 2006, 03:11:34 AM »
Brian writes (with regard to an earlier posting by someone):
Constitutionally, I think he's right. If he feels that discipline needs to take place against a pastor within his synod, get nine other clergy to agree and file charges. If he feels that discipline needs to take place against a congregation in his synod, get two other contregations to file charges. I don't know that this has ever happened in any synod. What I have seen happen is disgruntled pastors and congregations just leave -- and then blame the hierarchy for not doing anything.

I note:
I think charges were filed in Iowa. And some kind of juridical action took place years ago in San Francisco, expelling those congregations.
Constitutionally, Brian is right. If there are such strong feelings about certain issues (I know of one situation serveral years ago where some of us might have considered filing charges against a pastor for general, idiotic incompetence) but if those concerned do not initiate the action, it seems weasel-ish to then yell that the synod or ELCA church council hasn't done anything.
Perhaps the only real test of the actions of the so-called "revisionist" synods will come when specific charges are filed against specific pastors or congregations.
I await now the reactions of those who say that this won't happen because it would adversely affect the "careers" of those bringing charges.  

Eric_Swensson

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #175 on: May 14, 2006, 03:26:07 AM »
Brian, if nothing else, we have all learned in the last year that Churchwide has no power to discipline. So why did you just go through that again? Ken did not used the term. Churchwide could do all kinds of things to lead the church, their failure to do anything besides facilitate the gay agenda's approval has everything to do with our current situation.

Really amazing how you do this thing of not answering a person, and then go on to redirect the conversation to another point. I put "discipline" in my find function. No occurances on this page before your post. About a dozen in yours, and then it occurs in all subsequent posts. Amazing.

Charles, what happened at the New Jersey Synod Assembly? Did you tell Gladys her resolution was unconstitutional? In your opinion, how did it get through Reference? What did Roy say? What say you?
« Last Edit: May 14, 2006, 03:43:28 AM by Eric_Swensson »

Gladfelteri

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #176 on: May 14, 2006, 06:16:46 AM »
A modest question concerning polity from someone outside the ELCA:  In the ELCA's polity, just how binding are actions of Church-Wide Assemblies on individual Regional Synods?  In some Churches - the Reformed Episcopal Church comes to mind (per information in a letter to me from their current Presiding Bishop) each Diocese is quite autonomous and the National Church's General Convention actions are only binding on a local Diocese if that Diocese chooses to accept it.  And, the Presiding Bishop has no authority whatsoever over a Diocesan Bishop Ordinary - at least his authority is "moral" and operates through "personal persuasion" only.  His only duty during his 4-year term of office is to preside over the Church's General Convention and House of Bishops.  Is this the case for the relationship between the ELCA's CWA and its Regional synods (and for its Presiding Bishop?)

If so, what is going on should suprise no one.  If not, evolution in this direction could be an unintended result of the current fight over the CWA's not authorizing the ordination of openly gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex "unions."  This would be a significant evolutionary change in polity in that instance, and would have obvious ecumenical implications as far as relations with Rome, most Anglicans, and the Eastern Orthodox are concerned (though not really with most Protestant Churches.)

Just a question.  :)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2006, 06:21:19 AM by Gladfelteri »

Richard Johnson

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #177 on: May 14, 2006, 06:37:49 AM »
Quote
I await now the reactions of those who say that this won't happen because it would adversely affect the "careers" of those bringing charges.  


I don't think it is quite that simple, Charles, though I'm not sure it's an unimportant concert. I know of a congregation which considered filing charges in one situation, and the pastor was privately confronted by the bishop with what I can only describe as threats (really as much to his congregation as to himself). But I agree with you that if one sees this as a critical issue, career should not be an inhibiting issue.

I don't really give a fit about adversely affecting my career; the train has left the station on that. What I do care about somewhat more is my relationship with other colleagues, which I think would be irreparable. And it seems to me that constitutionally, while it is possible for pastors/congregations to file charges, that is really the job of the bishop. The bishop is supposed to exercise leadership. It's perhaps akin to the process for amending the U. S. constitution. It is possible for the requisite number of states to call conventions and initiate an amendment, but that's a "last option." Normally, if an amendment needs to be made, we expect our elected leaders (Congress) to initiate the process. And in fact the states have never done it. I don't think the framers anticipated that it would be done; only that it be a choice of absolute last resort if leadership failed to fulfill their obligations.
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Charles_Austin

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #178 on: May 14, 2006, 09:47:49 AM »
Eric queries:
Charles, what happened at the New Jersey Synod Assembly? Did you tell Gladys her resolution was unconstitutional? In your opinion, how did it get through Reference? What did Roy say? What say you?

I respond:
The New Jersey Synod approved a resolution which you would not endorse. My report to The Lutheran magazine will be filed in a few hours, and my summary of the Synod assembly should be completed by tomorrow. I think the synod intends to put it online.

I had no conversation with Pastor Moore about "her" resolution - which was actually presented by a group of people. I don't know precisely how it got through Reference and Counsel, but I suspect they simply felt the synod wanted to deal with it. The bishop made a comment which will be included in my report. What say I? It should not have been surprising to anyone that the New Jersey Synod passed this resolution, since it took a similar action last year.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2006, 09:49:22 AM by Charles_Austin »

Eric_Swensson

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Re: An Ambiguously Tentative Probably Not (May 200
« Reply #179 on: May 14, 2006, 10:24:53 AM »
Can you comment on the implications of your synod's action as per previous conversation here? What does your synod understand they are doing by passing something already ruled unconsitutional? I'm not being sarcastic but asking in order to find out what this part of the church is thinking.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2006, 05:00:09 AM by Eric_Swensson »