Author Topic: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation  (Read 93033 times)

Dadoo

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #225 on: January 02, 2012, 01:04:30 PM »
I still contend that if one looks at NALC and LCMC, they will "see" the ELCA, except for a couple of things, primarily the refusal to ordain non-celibate homosexuals.
Those denominations, I believe, represent a particular part of the ELCA and do not depart from the core of the ELCA.
There are those who will say that by the decisions of 2009, the ELCA "abandoned the Bible" or leaped off the ship of state that is orthodox Christianity. I still contend that this view erroneously defines Christendom and Lutheranism by a particular interpretation of scripture or a particular sexual ethic.

With Lou I would say that two different understanding of justification could be at work as well and ALPB's pages here online do suggest that the ELCA has had that division/ diversity and continues to have it.

On a larger scale: Your post says that the new denominations are basically just like the ELCA with a largely unimportant, maybe even petty and negative, difference and that the ELCA is still as orthodox Lutheran as any other and that any disagreement is based on a misunderstanding by those departed on the place of scripture in Lutheranism or Christendom. If that is not what you meant, my apologies, but that is what I find. What troubles me here is that to someone in the process of withdrawing from ELCA this is basically a negative argument for remaining ELCA because the landing spot and the reason for departure are basically flawed and both those arguments will be taken as ad hominem because it basically says to a hearer: "You do not know what you are talking about." Is it really true that a congregation that is leaving the ELCA is a priori misguided, misinformed, and miseducated? There has got to be a positive argument for remaining ELCA. We can do better than this.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 01:10:06 PM by Dadoo »
Peter Kruse

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Charles_Austin

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #226 on: January 02, 2012, 01:15:26 PM »
Pastor Kruse writes:
Your post says that the new denominations are basically just like the ELCA with a largely unimportant, maybe even petty and negative, difference and that the ELCA is still as orthodox Lutheran as any other and that any disagreement is based on a misunderstanding by those departed on the place of scripture in Lutheranism or Christendom. If that is not what you meant, my apologies, but that is what I find.
I comment:
Except for the fact that I don't care for the comparative phrase "as orthodox Lutheran as any other" or for calling the differences "petty" and "negative," you are not far from wrong. The ELCA is still Lutheran, Christian, and with the realm of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, confessing the creeds of the Church.
 
Pastor Kruse writes:
What troubles me here is that to someone in the process of withdrawing from ELCA this is basically a negative argument for remaining ELCA because the landing spot and the reason for departure are basically flawed and both those arguments will be taken as ad hominem because it basically says to a hearer: "You do not know what you are talking about."
I comment:
Not necessarily. It could mean that I do not agree with what you are talking about.
 
Pastor Kruse writes:
Is it really true that a congregation that is leaving the ELCA is a priori misguided, misinformed, and miseducated? There has got to be a positive argument for remaining ELCA.
I comment:
No. And I contend that there "has got to be a positive argument" for leaving the ELCA. You have to convince me why you should leave. Some didn't like it when we declared fellowship with the Episcopalians, but they stayed. Others didn't like fellowship with the Reformed, but they stayed (even if they said they would never commune in a Reformed church or call a Presbyterian pastor). Others didn't like our social statement on abortion, but they stayed. Others didn't like ELW, but they stayed, using older hymnals. People didn't like a lot of things that the ELCA did, but they stayed...until the vote on ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians. Hmmm.
 
Pastor Kruse writes:
We can do better than this. But maybe the fact that we do not is that we are still angry at those departed and we don't want to.
I comment:
I am not angry at those who depart in good faith and through our proper procedures. I am annoyed at those who leave and keep - as someone else far upstream said - lobbing grenades back over the wall at us.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 01:20:02 PM by Charles_Austin »

MaddogLutheran

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #227 on: January 02, 2012, 02:09:32 PM »
No. And I contend that there "has got to be a positive argument" for leaving the ELCA. You have to convince me why you should leave. Some didn't like it when we declared fellowship with the Episcopalians, but they stayed. Others didn't like fellowship with the Reformed, but they stayed (even if they said they would never commune in a Reformed church or call a Presbyterian pastor). Others didn't like our social statement on abortion, but they stayed. Others didn't like ELW, but they stayed, using older hymnals. People didn't like a lot of things that the ELCA did, but they stayed...until the vote on ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians. Hmmm.
People HAVE been giving you positive reasons for leaving the ELCA, to which you refuse to listen.  The end to strife--people have expressed their relief at not having to fight this battle anymore, and you mock and belittle them for "dissing" the ELCA.  But you still don't get it.  CORE, it's predecessors and allies, have been telling you why many have finally reached the breaking point to depart, and it's not the implicit homophobia of your "hmmm" reply.  The ELCA has finally and distinctly crossed a line where it has said that historic biblical teaching need not guide our teaching.  CORE has been warning about this for years.  The Missouri Synod has been warning us about it for years.  Those other things on your list of "don't like" are as much about style than substance (although the Concordat/CCM may rise above that, because it was a confessional disagreement, even though I don't agree with the opponents position).  The unique thing about the CWA09's decision is that it will ultimately touch every single congregation in a way that the others do not.  Don't like ELW?  You can keep using LBW as long as your books survive, just be judicious in your use of S&S online material, and don't attend a synod worship services.  Do most people in the pews care if their pastor or bishop was ordained/installed by bishops in historic succession?  Can't really see that.  Having a gay-partnered pastoral candidate, or pressure from some in a congregation to begin permitting same-sex unions in OUR church building?  That's much more "in your face".  But again, it's not like people haven't been warning about this moment for years.  People are ultimately motivated by what they can see right in front of them, sometimes that's already too late..  Maybe if it were otherwise, we wouldn't be in this predicament. 

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DCharlton

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #228 on: January 02, 2012, 02:33:34 PM »
I comment:
Except for the fact that I don't care for the comparative phrase "as orthodox Lutheran as any other" or for calling the differences "petty" and "negative," you are not far from wrong. The ELCA is still Lutheran, Christian, and with the realm of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, confessing the creeds of the Church.

I hope that you are right and that in the future, apart from the ordaining of partnered gay and lesbian pastors, the ELCA and the NALC will remain indistinguishable.  I hope that the ELCA will retain and value the Canonical, Confessional, Ecumenical, Trinitarian, Christocentric, Sacramental, Law/Gospel and Two Kingdoms principles of Lutheranism.  I also hope that no one would wish those things to erode simply so they could say, "I told you so."
 
Quote
I comment:
I am not angry at those who depart in good faith and through our proper procedures. I am annoyed at those who leave and keep - as someone else far upstream said - lobbing grenades back over the wall at us.
  In the same manner, I'm have been annoyed at fellow ELCA members who felt the need to machine gun the dissenters in the back as they attempted to retreat from the field of battle.  Fortunatley, a new strategy of cease fire and withdrawal has characterized recent departures in my own synod.   Less lobbing of grenades and less machine gun fire. 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 02:38:48 PM by DCharlton »
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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #229 on: January 03, 2012, 10:49:47 AM »
Pastor Kruse writes:
Your post says that the new denominations are basically just like the ELCA with a largely unimportant, maybe even petty and negative, difference and that the ELCA is still as orthodox Lutheran as any other and that any disagreement is based on a misunderstanding by those departed on the place of scripture in Lutheranism or Christendom. If that is not what you meant, my apologies, but that is what I find.
I comment:
Except for the fact that I don't care for the comparative phrase "as orthodox Lutheran as any other" or for calling the differences "petty" and "negative," you are not far from wrong. The ELCA is still Lutheran, Christian, and with the realm of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, confessing the creeds of the Church.
 
Pastor Kruse writes:
What troubles me here is that to someone in the process of withdrawing from ELCA this is basically a negative argument for remaining ELCA because the landing spot and the reason for departure are basically flawed and both those arguments will be taken as ad hominem because it basically says to a hearer: "You do not know what you are talking about."
I comment:
Not necessarily. It could mean that I do not agree with what you are talking about.
 
Pastor Kruse writes:
Is it really true that a congregation that is leaving the ELCA is a priori misguided, misinformed, and miseducated? There has got to be a positive argument for remaining ELCA.
I comment:
No. And I contend that there "has got to be a positive argument" for leaving the ELCA. You have to convince me why you should leave. Some didn't like it when we declared fellowship with the Episcopalians, but they stayed. Others didn't like fellowship with the Reformed, but they stayed (even if they said they would never commune in a Reformed church or call a Presbyterian pastor). Others didn't like our social statement on abortion, but they stayed. Others didn't like ELW, but they stayed, using older hymnals. People didn't like a lot of things that the ELCA did, but they stayed...until the vote on ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians. Hmmm.
 
Pastor Kruse writes:
We can do better than this. But maybe the fact that we do not is that we are still angry at those departed and we don't want to.
I comment:
I am not angry at those who depart in good faith and through our proper procedures. I am annoyed at those who leave and keep - as someone else far upstream said - lobbing grenades back over the wall at us.

I think Phirsig coined the line: "You don't take the dog along when you hunt the wolf." If the only responses we have to a congregation leaving is negative and combative then we should wonder what the conservative members of our own flock are hearing. That was Dan Fienen's worries some pages back. He was under impression that conservatives were now a maligned group. That was overstated. But, if the approach one uses to attempt to retain a congregation is postmodern, i.e. "I deny the validity of your argument therefore you are wrong and I am right and you can't leave" -  even though no  argument is offered by the other side - then in that same breath one maligns colleagues of one's own ministerium who have similar believes as the congregation leaving, yet, for themselves, have chosen to stay. Yet, in that ministerium, one is expected to respect the bound conscience of those very others. So we combat the departure by disrespecting the conscience bound positions of others but assure them that we are bound to respect those very consciences as soon as they change their minds about leaving?

Earlier on I posed that the step from diversity to division is as simple as assertion. If one uses adversarial methods to convince congregations or members to stay, then assertion of one side is at work and division is created. Fighting division by being divisive is obviously not effective. Maybe it is, when the history of the ELCA in 2010 - 11 is written, we will hear how well it played. But what the stories of divisive argument will do by being told in real time is to perpetuate division in the ELCA thereby denying diversity the chance to take the field again. That is why I mused what a positive and therefore non divisive argument for remaining ELCA might be. Departing Churches, like Grace here under consideration, can be responsible for their argument. The two of us are ELCA and are remaining so, as are many others who post here. I am surprised that no one jumped in to make a positive argument.
Peter Kruse

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #230 on: January 03, 2012, 11:41:17 AM »
The positive argument for staying is the same one as the positive one for leaving--how will sinners hear the good news of our justification in Christ if there is no one to tell them?

When we were driven out, ("we do not want to hear about forgiveness from you anymore") we found there were others who did want to hear and were calling for such. So deliver God's goods where and when you can. There is no shortage of sinners in need of a good word. "Those who have ears, let them hear."

Lou

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #231 on: January 03, 2012, 12:02:25 PM »
if the approach one uses to attempt to retain a congregation is postmodern, i.e. "I deny the validity of your argument therefore you are wrong and I am right and you can't leave"


I don't see that as postmodern, but "traditionalism." Post-moderns are more likely to say, "I see the validity of your arguments and I also see the validity of the arguments on the other side. Neither of them are wrong or right. We should be able to stay together."


It's the traditionalists who seem more likely to use the language of "right" and "wrong" -- without areas of gray.
"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]

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #232 on: January 03, 2012, 12:12:07 PM »
if the approach one uses to attempt to retain a congregation is postmodern, i.e. "I deny the validity of your argument therefore you are wrong and I am right and you can't leave"


I don't see that as postmodern, but "traditionalism." Post-moderns are more likely to say, "I see the validity of your arguments and I also see the validity of the arguments on the other side. Neither of them are wrong or right. We should be able to stay together."


It's the traditionalists who seem more likely to use the language of "right" and "wrong" -- without areas of gray.

Try reading all that Peter wrote, rather than the snippet you copied.  A traditionalist does believe in right and wrong, but also believes in making a case for his position.  A post-modernist, believing that talk of truth is just a power play, merely asserts.  "I assert that you are wrong.  Therefore you are wrong." 

Now, there is another post-modern strategy, that is to deny that we can know anything definitively.  Or, more correctly, the only thing we know for certain is that we are never able to know anything for certain.  Therefore, the one who claims to know something is the one in the wrong.  Of course, a power play must follow.  "All things are relative but the ELCA constitutions as infallilibly interpreted by the Secretary of the ELCA."
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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #233 on: January 04, 2012, 01:23:16 AM »
if the approach one uses to attempt to retain a congregation is postmodern, i.e. "I deny the validity of your argument therefore you are wrong and I am right and you can't leave"


I don't see that as postmodern, but "traditionalism." Post-moderns are more likely to say, "I see the validity of your arguments and I also see the validity of the arguments on the other side. Neither of them are wrong or right. We should be able to stay together."


It's the traditionalists who seem more likely to use the language of "right" and "wrong" -- without areas of gray.


It's the traditionalists who seem more likely to use the language of "right" and "wrong" -- without areas of gray.


Brian, I would like to know what area or areas, in Scripture did God give us that was called Gray?  So, is what your saying if its gray, we can do as we wish, or we can't?



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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #234 on: January 04, 2012, 04:22:05 AM »
Scripture is not all "do-this" commands. There are lots of grey areas. Bishops? Overseers? Episcope? Choosing leaders by drawing lots? Pulling a cow out of a ditch on the sabbath? Baptism in the name of Jesus or in the name of the Trinity? King or no king? King by divine right? Marry your brother's widow? Death penalty - stoning - for adultery? Kill all your enemies or care for them and forgive them? Marriage after a divorce?
To approach scripture as if it were all law, all command, all do-this-or-else judgement destroys the Gospel.
Throwing bare verses of scripture at an issue does not help.


Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #235 on: January 04, 2012, 11:38:56 AM »
if the approach one uses to attempt to retain a congregation is postmodern, i.e. "I deny the validity of your argument therefore you are wrong and I am right and you can't leave"


I don't see that as postmodern, but "traditionalism." Post-moderns are more likely to say, "I see the validity of your arguments and I also see the validity of the arguments on the other side. Neither of them are wrong or right. We should be able to stay together."


It's the traditionalists who seem more likely to use the language of "right" and "wrong" -- without areas of gray.

Try reading all that Peter wrote, rather than the snippet you copied.  A traditionalist does believe in right and wrong, but also believes in making a case for his position.  A post-modernist, believing that talk of truth is just a power play, merely asserts.  "I assert that you are wrong.  Therefore you are wrong." 

Now, there is another post-modern strategy, that is to deny that we can know anything definitively.  Or, more correctly, the only thing we know for certain is that we are never able to know anything for certain.  Therefore, the one who claims to know something is the one in the wrong.  Of course, a power play must follow.  "All things are relative but the ELCA constitutions as infallilibly interpreted by the Secretary of the ELCA."


From Mark Allan Powell in Loving Jesus:


I think that worship is the essence of spirituality. But worship, like joy, can sometimes be superficial. In Matthew 15, Jesus tells the Pharisees that they worship God with their lips while their hearts are far from God. The Pharisees, of course, are often the fall guys in this Gospel and they seem to stay in trouble the whole time. Still, say what you will about the Pharisees -- the one thing they never do is doubt. They are always certain about something. They are the "God said it. I believe it, that settles it" people of the Bible. It never occurs to them that they might have overlooked something or misunderstood osmething. As a result, they are often wrong, but they are never in doubt.

By contrast, disciples of Jesus worship and doubt at the same time -- and Jesus doesn't call their worship superficial. It might be going too far to say that doubt is a good thing, but I do note that Jesus rebukes anyone for it. I am tempted to believe that just as fear seasons joy, so doubt seasons worship. Joy without fear becomes shallow; and worship without doubt can be self-assured and superficial. Fear and doubt are not good things in themselves; but they do keep us grounded in reality. (p. 123 italics in original)


Certainty can be detrimental to an honest faith. Is that just a post-modern position, or a biblical truth given through the comparison of the certainty of the Pharisees vs. the waverings of the disciples?
"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]

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #236 on: January 04, 2012, 11:41:16 AM »
if the approach one uses to attempt to retain a congregation is postmodern, i.e. "I deny the validity of your argument therefore you are wrong and I am right and you can't leave"


I don't see that as postmodern, but "traditionalism." Post-moderns are more likely to say, "I see the validity of your arguments and I also see the validity of the arguments on the other side. Neither of them are wrong or right. We should be able to stay together."


It's the traditionalists who seem more likely to use the language of "right" and "wrong" -- without areas of gray.


It's the traditionalists who seem more likely to use the language of "right" and "wrong" -- without areas of gray.


Brian, I would like to know what area or areas, in Scripture did God give us that was called Gray?  So, is what your saying if its gray, we can do as we wish, or we can't?


"Love your neighbor as yourself" leads to all kinds of grayness it discerning what is the loving deed for our neighbor -- even the question of "Who is my neighbor" leads to a number of different interpretations of the parable of the Good Samaritan.
"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]

Dan Fienen

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #237 on: January 04, 2012, 12:30:06 PM »
if the approach one uses to attempt to retain a congregation is postmodern, i.e. "I deny the validity of your argument therefore you are wrong and I am right and you can't leave"


I don't see that as postmodern, but "traditionalism." Post-moderns are more likely to say, "I see the validity of your arguments and I also see the validity of the arguments on the other side. Neither of them are wrong or right. We should be able to stay together."


It's the traditionalists who seem more likely to use the language of "right" and "wrong" -- without areas of gray.

Try reading all that Peter wrote, rather than the snippet you copied.  A traditionalist does believe in right and wrong, but also believes in making a case for his position.  A post-modernist, believing that talk of truth is just a power play, merely asserts.  "I assert that you are wrong.  Therefore you are wrong." 

Now, there is another post-modern strategy, that is to deny that we can know anything definitively.  Or, more correctly, the only thing we know for certain is that we are never able to know anything for certain.  Therefore, the one who claims to know something is the one in the wrong.  Of course, a power play must follow.  "All things are relative but the ELCA constitutions as infallilibly interpreted by the Secretary of the ELCA."


From Mark Allan Powell in Loving Jesus:


I think that worship is the essence of spirituality. But worship, like joy, can sometimes be superficial. In Matthew 15, Jesus tells the Pharisees that they worship God with their lips while their hearts are far from God. The Pharisees, of course, are often the fall guys in this Gospel and they seem to stay in trouble the whole time. Still, say what you will about the Pharisees -- the one thing they never do is doubt. They are always certain about something. They are the "God said it. I believe it, that settles it" people of the Bible. It never occurs to them that they might have overlooked something or misunderstood osmething. As a result, they are often wrong, but they are never in doubt.

By contrast, disciples of Jesus worship and doubt at the same time -- and Jesus doesn't call their worship superficial. It might be going too far to say that doubt is a good thing, but I do note that Jesus rebukes anyone for it. I am tempted to believe that just as fear seasons joy, so doubt seasons worship. Joy without fear becomes shallow; and worship without doubt can be self-assured and superficial. Fear and doubt are not good things in themselves; but they do keep us grounded in reality. (p. 123 italics in original)


Certainty can be detrimental to an honest faith. Is that just a post-modern position, or a biblical truth given through the comparison of the certainty of the Pharisees vs. the waverings of the disciples?

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
 
James 1:5-8 (ESV)
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Mark 9:24 (ESV)
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, I believe; help my unbelief!

Jude 1:21-23 (ESV)
keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

The role of doubt in the faith life of a Christian is complex, much too complex to sum up as the virtue of doubt versus the vice of certainty. 
Quote
Certainty can be detrimental to an honest faith. Is that just a post-modern position, or a biblical truth given through the comparison of the certainty of the Pharisees vs. the waverings of the disciples?

Was the wavering of the disciples in fact a virtue - a praise of their having a good, honest doubt ridden faith.  Was it being certain that made the Pharisees wrong?  The Pharisees were certain, but they were also certainly wrong about a lot of things.
 
Certainty becomes a vice when it trusts in its own wisdom and completeness; shutting itself off from further learning or correction.  In fact, I am not overly fond of the term certainty in regard to faith - I am more comfortable with confidence.  I am confident that some things that I "know" by faith are true.  I could, I suppose be wrong, but I am not going to loose any sleep over that or suggest that anything that I "know" must be wrong because doubt is the essence of faith.
 
Doubt is not the essence of faith but its antithesis.  A wise man will be willing to say, "I don't know," or "I'm not sure."  But I would not count it wisdom to doubt that the sun will rise in the East tomorrow, or to doubt that my wife has been, is, and will be faithful to me.  Nor would I count it wisdom to doubt what God has said in the Bible.
 
Whether it is "post-modern" or just our contemporary era, but it has become commonplace to value the journey over arrival, the quest for knowledge over the acquisition of knowledge, and to doubt old truths and embrace with fickle enthusiasm any new suggested truth that comes along while eagerly awaiting the next new iconoclasic truth.  How disappointed some will be upon arriving in heaven to learn that it is a destination, not merely a way station upon their never ending quest for the next new thing.
 
Dan
 















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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #238 on: January 04, 2012, 02:17:52 PM »
if the approach one uses to attempt to retain a congregation is postmodern, i.e. "I deny the validity of your argument therefore you are wrong and I am right and you can't leave"


I don't see that as postmodern, but "traditionalism." Post-moderns are more likely to say, "I see the validity of your arguments and I also see the validity of the arguments on the other side. Neither of them are wrong or right. We should be able to stay together."


It's the traditionalists who seem more likely to use the language of "right" and "wrong" -- without areas of gray.

Try reading all that Peter wrote, rather than the snippet you copied.  A traditionalist does believe in right and wrong, but also believes in making a case for his position.  A post-modernist, believing that talk of truth is just a power play, merely asserts.  "I assert that you are wrong.  Therefore you are wrong." 

Now, there is another post-modern strategy, that is to deny that we can know anything definitively.  Or, more correctly, the only thing we know for certain is that we are never able to know anything for certain.  Therefore, the one who claims to know something is the one in the wrong.  Of course, a power play must follow.  "All things are relative but the ELCA constitutions as infallilibly interpreted by the Secretary of the ELCA."


From Mark Allan Powell in Loving Jesus:


I think that worship is the essence of spirituality. But worship, like joy, can sometimes be superficial. In Matthew 15, Jesus tells the Pharisees that they worship God with their lips while their hearts are far from God. The Pharisees, of course, are often the fall guys in this Gospel and they seem to stay in trouble the whole time. Still, say what you will about the Pharisees -- the one thing they never do is doubt. They are always certain about something. They are the "God said it. I believe it, that settles it" people of the Bible. It never occurs to them that they might have overlooked something or misunderstood osmething. As a result, they are often wrong, but they are never in doubt.

By contrast, disciples of Jesus worship and doubt at the same time -- and Jesus doesn't call their worship superficial. It might be going too far to say that doubt is a good thing, but I do note that Jesus rebukes anyone for it. I am tempted to believe that just as fear seasons joy, so doubt seasons worship. Joy without fear becomes shallow; and worship without doubt can be self-assured and superficial. Fear and doubt are not good things in themselves; but they do keep us grounded in reality. (p. 123 italics in original)


Certainty can be detrimental to an honest faith. Is that just a post-modern position, or a biblical truth given through the comparison of the certainty of the Pharisees vs. the waverings of the disciples?

Well Brian, "Dadoo" and I were both students of Dr. Powell.  I had him for Intro to the Gospels and for a exegetical course on the Gospel of Matthew.  Dadoo can speak for himself, but I can honestly say that he was one of the best teachers I ever had in seminary.  And you sir are no Mark Powell.  :P

There is a difference between honest doubt and post-modern scepticism.  I could be wrong, but having studied under him in two courses and hearing him speak on many other occasions, I would not say that Dr. Powell is an advocate of post-modern scepticism.  Furthermore, a postmodernist of the kind that Dadoo describes trades in an honest search for the truth for power politics.  In spite of disagreements I might have with him, I still consider Dr. Powell to be someone who values the search for truth.   
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 02:21:31 PM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

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Dadoo

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #239 on: January 04, 2012, 03:37:30 PM »
if the approach one uses to attempt to retain a congregation is postmodern, i.e. "I deny the validity of your argument therefore you are wrong and I am right and you can't leave"


I don't see that as postmodern, but "traditionalism." Post-moderns are more likely to say, "I see the validity of your arguments and I also see the validity of the arguments on the other side. Neither of them are wrong or right. We should be able to stay together."


It's the traditionalists who seem more likely to use the language of "right" and "wrong" -- without areas of gray.

Try reading all that Peter wrote, rather than the snippet you copied.  A traditionalist does believe in right and wrong, but also believes in making a case for his position.  A post-modernist, believing that talk of truth is just a power play, merely asserts.  "I assert that you are wrong.  Therefore you are wrong." 

Now, there is another post-modern strategy, that is to deny that we can know anything definitively.  Or, more correctly, the only thing we know for certain is that we are never able to know anything for certain.  Therefore, the one who claims to know something is the one in the wrong.  Of course, a power play must follow.  "All things are relative but the ELCA constitutions as infallilibly interpreted by the Secretary of the ELCA."


From Mark Allan Powell in Loving Jesus:


I think that worship is the essence of spirituality. But worship, like joy, can sometimes be superficial. In Matthew 15, Jesus tells the Pharisees that they worship God with their lips while their hearts are far from God. The Pharisees, of course, are often the fall guys in this Gospel and they seem to stay in trouble the whole time. Still, say what you will about the Pharisees -- the one thing they never do is doubt. They are always certain about something. They are the "God said it. I believe it, that settles it" people of the Bible. It never occurs to them that they might have overlooked something or misunderstood osmething. As a result, they are often wrong, but they are never in doubt.

By contrast, disciples of Jesus worship and doubt at the same time -- and Jesus doesn't call their worship superficial. It might be going too far to say that doubt is a good thing, but I do note that Jesus rebukes anyone for it. I am tempted to believe that just as fear seasons joy, so doubt seasons worship. Joy without fear becomes shallow; and worship without doubt can be self-assured and superficial. Fear and doubt are not good things in themselves; but they do keep us grounded in reality. (p. 123 italics in original)


Certainty can be detrimental to an honest faith. Is that just a post-modern position, or a biblical truth given through the comparison of the certainty of the Pharisees vs. the waverings of the disciples?

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
 
James 1:5-8 (ESV)
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Mark 9:24 (ESV)
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, I believe; help my unbelief!

Jude 1:21-23 (ESV)
keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

The role of doubt in the faith life of a Christian is complex, much too complex to sum up as the virtue of doubt versus the vice of certainty. 
Quote
Certainty can be detrimental to an honest faith. Is that just a post-modern position, or a biblical truth given through the comparison of the certainty of the Pharisees vs. the waverings of the disciples?

Was the wavering of the disciples in fact a virtue - a praise of their having a good, honest doubt ridden faith.  Was it being certain that made the Pharisees wrong?  The Pharisees were certain, but they were also certainly wrong about a lot of things.
 
Certainty becomes a vice when it trusts in its own wisdom and completeness; shutting itself off from further learning or correction.  In fact, I am not overly fond of the term certainty in regard to faith - I am more comfortable with confidence.  I am confident that some things that I "know" by faith are true.  I could, I suppose be wrong, but I am not going to loose any sleep over that or suggest that anything that I "know" must be wrong because doubt is the essence of faith.
 
Doubt is not the essence of faith but its antithesis.  A wise man will be willing to say, "I don't know," or "I'm not sure."  But I would not count it wisdom to doubt that the sun will rise in the East tomorrow, or to doubt that my wife has been, is, and will be faithful to me.  Nor would I count it wisdom to doubt what God has said in the Bible.
 
Whether it is "post-modern" or just our contemporary era, but it has become commonplace to value the journey over arrival, the quest for knowledge over the acquisition of knowledge, and to doubt old truths and embrace with fickle enthusiasm any new suggested truth that comes along while eagerly awaiting the next new iconoclasic truth.  How disappointed some will be upon arriving in heaven to learn that it is a destination, not merely a way station upon their never ending quest for the next new thing.
 
Dan
 

Dan,

It would seem to me that the devil is really disinterested in what you know for sure or what you doubt. The devil is worried about what you put you faith in.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 03:45:21 PM by Dadoo »
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams