Author Topic: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation  (Read 101602 times)

Don Whitbeck

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #420 on: March 07, 2012, 06:33:35 PM »
Pr. Austin, you're the one who said those who came into the ELCA believing the assurances of their bishops were "stupid" for doing so.  Your lack of understanding and empathy for those who felt betrayed by the gap between assurances received from their bishops and the actual direction taken by ELCA leadership speaks volumes about the difficulties and pressures facing those orthodox-traditional pastors and laity who remain in the ELCA.  On what grounds can you encourage or convince them they should trust (and act with trust and support) for the synodical and churchwide leadership of the ELCA, including the supposed promise that their "bound consciences" will be respected?


To think that an ALC or LCA bishop could make guarantees about the new church before it was even formed suggests a gift of foresight and prophecy that I doubt any of our ecclesiastical leaders really have.

Boy, Brian, I wish I kept those two books on how the ELCA was formed.  This guy was there from the very beginning to the very end.  Much of what was stated here was also published in his books of promised made, and not kept.  Those who were representing the ALC felt betrayed in the end.


I was also there through the whole process. A neighboring pastor was on the CNLC -- and we met at his church every week for pericope studies. We heard directly from him about what was going on. He was ALC, but he never talked about being betrayed. He was also elected the first bishop of that new synod, which was about 2/3 LCA! Yes, the ALC had to give up some things, but so did the LCA. The ELCA is a new Lutheran Church -- different from any of the predecessor bodies.

I was also a reporter for a transition team. I attended all the meetings and sent out a newsletter to every congregation after each meeting. In that particular synod (called Missouri-Kansas at the time) there were six predecessor bodies (and six bishops) to deal with.

  That's great news, Brian, who would have thought!   I can't remember the name of the Author who wrote them.  I know he wrote two books about the whole deal from start to finish.  It was a very interesting read.  Our old Pastor was from the ALC, and then ELCA when it merged, now retired after the CWA 2009 announcement.

If I had known this, I would of love to have discussed what went on from his prospective as well as yours.  However, you’re right about one thing, a New Lutheran Church like NO OTHER, sure blew up like a volcano and the last eruption in 2009 sent it flying.  Of course I'm sure more is to come as the ashes settle from the last one.

Thanks for the come back and info!  It's to bad Bound Conscience, was a bunch of hot air from HQ, might of stayed. However, Scripture over road Bound Conscience; as well as CWA 2009 decree of the gay agenda. So it was time to leave.

;)  :)
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #421 on: March 07, 2012, 07:18:32 PM »
<snip>
Pastor Awtrey:
So just to get this straight .... Only those who stayed and still stay in the ELCA are measured alert and wise?....
I comment:
Nope. It's the LCMS (and maybe a few others) who claim that they are the only true way, that they have the only "measured, alert, and wise" take on Lutheranism.
 <snip>


 
Somewhere along the way, the LCMS has gotten the reputation as being stubborn (not to mention a bit prideful).  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We are not stubborn, we are just always right.  It's not stubbornness (or pride) when you're right.  What's more, we are generous.  We want everyone to have the opportunity to be as right as we are, so we tell everyone who asks (or doesn't - why should we discriminate against those too shy to ask to share in our correctness) what the correct position is.
 
{Note the use of irony and hyperbole  ;D }
 
Dan
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 07:21:11 PM by Dan Fienen »
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Charles_Austin

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #422 on: March 07, 2012, 07:28:12 PM »
Unfortunately, Pastor Fienen, what you try to say with irony and hyperbole has been said in these circles and elsewhere without those two "qualifiers" by such people as Paul T. McCain (formerly of these precincts) and a few other folk. And if we in the ELCA have to keep hearing about certain folk who might be at the edge of our orthodoxy, you will have to bear the burden of those who claim to speak so absolutely and decisively for yours; vociferously denouncing, as they do so, anyone who disagrees with them.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 07:30:39 PM by Charles_Austin »

Dan Fienen

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #423 on: March 07, 2012, 07:54:03 PM »
Unfortunately, Pastor Fienen, what you try to say with irony and hyperbole has been said in these circles and elsewhere without those two "qualifiers" by such people as Paul T. McCain (formerly of these precincts) and a few other folk. And if we in the ELCA have to keep hearing about certain folk who might be at the edge of our orthodoxy, you will have to bear the burden of those who claim to speak so absolutely and decisively for yours; vociferously denouncing, as they do so, anyone who disagrees with them.
As we must bear your funlminations against those who have found the ELCA wanting in orthodoxy (how dare they say that!  >:( ) or who disagree that what mainstream ELCA espouses as proper (or even the only proper) way to study and interpret the Bible is entirely orthodox.  In order, it sometimes seems, to qualify as civilized and proper discourse, we must first agree that while the ELCA way is not our way, it is just as much a proper and orthodox Lutheran way.
 
Dan
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Timotheus Verinus

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #424 on: March 07, 2012, 08:41:42 PM »

As we must bear your funlminations against those who have found the ELCA wanting in orthodoxy (how dare they say that!  >:( ) or who disagree that what mainstream ELCA espouses as proper (or even the only proper) way to study and interpret the Bible is entirely orthodox.  In order, it sometimes seems, to qualify as civilized and proper discourse, we must first agree that while the ELCA way is not our way, it is just as much a proper and orthodox Lutheran way.
 
Dan

Well stated Dan. And that is the crux of what I think is just not understood within revisionist - new way circles.

I'm going to try one more time to help Charles understand what my history says to this key element.
1. I was born and raised in a corner of the SC Synod, which affiliated with ULCA-LCA. But it was always a Synod in fellowship, not a division of a corporation. Through those roots I say that my confession hasn't changed since at least the 1300's, traced through pre-reformation, the Reformation.
2. My confession never changed - I moved out of SC and naturally looked first into LCA churches. That was when I noted - "This is not my Grandmother's church" I went to an ALC church and found the same confession, and was in ALC.
3. My confession never changed - But in the mid '80's this new fangled church was forming, that "was not my grandmother's church." All the ALC congregations in the area were off to see the wizard. So I went to an LCMS church.
4. My confession never changed - In study with the pastor there I found common confession, fellowship, and became a member of LCMS congregations.
5. My confession never changed - I knew some from  the old ALC, and The AALC which split before the formation of the ELCA, because ... well see item 3. The LCMS and The AALC ... well because this is how they do things like "fellowship," had discussions and found the confession was the same and in fellowship. I was therefore in fellowship with the AALC because it was "recognized" NOT due to being "created." (see item 3 wizard of Oz)
6. My confession never changed - along with LCMS calls, I received calls from those in The AALC who were in full fellowship "recognized" (note "not created," etc. item 3.) In order to answer easily those calls, the LCMS DP and I, and AALC leadership mutually agreed to transfer my membership over to The AALC.

Charles, do you see how that works - my confession from pre-Reformation times forward, never changed. I never changed. The exotic new thingie American Lutheran Church flittered with the winds of change. I continued to find faithful congregations within that same confession.

So you see, what we cannot embrace is that - "that while the ELCA way is not our way, it is just as much a proper and orthodox Lutheran way." Because ... well it isn't !!! If it was I would still be ULCA-LCA-ELCA.

Your criteria for civil discourse is what we disagree with!!! That's the problem!

TV
 

« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 09:45:10 PM by Timotheus Verinus »
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Don Whitbeck

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #425 on: March 07, 2012, 09:00:29 PM »
Pr. Austin, you're the one who said those who came into the ELCA believing the assurances of their bishops were "stupid" for doing so.  Your lack of understanding and empathy for those who felt betrayed by the gap between assurances received from their bishops and the actual direction taken by ELCA leadership speaks volumes about the difficulties and pressures facing those orthodox-traditional pastors and laity who remain in the ELCA.  On what grounds can you encourage or convince them they should trust (and act with trust and support) for the synodical and churchwide leadership of the ELCA, including the supposed promise that their "bound consciences" will be respected?


To think that an ALC or LCA bishop could make guarantees about the new church before it was even formed suggests a gift of foresight and prophecy that I doubt any of our ecclesiastical leaders really have.

Boy, Brian, I wish I kept those two books on how the ELCA was formed.  This guy was there from the very beginning to the very end.  Much of what was stated here was also published in his books of promised made, and not kept.  Those who were representing the ALC felt betrayed in the end.


I was also there through the whole process. A neighboring pastor was on the CNLC -- and we met at his church every week for pericope studies. We heard directly from him about what was going on. He was ALC, but he never talked about being betrayed. He was also elected the first bishop of that new synod, which was about 2/3 LCA! Yes, the ALC had to give up some things, but so did the LCA. The ELCA is a new Lutheran Church -- different from any of the predecessor bodies.

I was also a reporter for a transition team. I attended all the meetings and sent out a newsletter to every congregation after each meeting. In that particular synod (called Missouri-Kansas at the time) there were six predecessor bodies (and six bishops) to deal with.

Found them Brian.



High Expectations: Understanding the ELCA's Early Years, 1988-2002 [Paperback]
Edgar R. Trexler
(Author)


Anatomy of a Merger: People, Dynamics, and Decisions That Shaped the ELCA [Paperback]
Edgar R. Trexler   
(Author)
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #426 on: March 07, 2012, 09:13:50 PM »

No one could give any "assurances" about what the ELCA would require until the merge was actually completed. If "many bishops" gave you those assurances prior to the merger, they were stupid to do so and you were stupid to believe them.

And then 48 hours later,


Pastor Awtrey writes:
On the one hand good old ALC pastors and bishops like those mentioned and Pr. Culler were "not paying attention," or worse (I haven't quite sorted out what invincible ignorance is??).
Ok we can discount those guys...
I comment:
I make a simple point. All of the plans for the merger, in excruciating detail, were available to anyone who wanted them. Great efforts were made to explain the merger. Some people chose not to find out what was going on.

Not trying to issue a "gotcha" here, Charles, but trying to see if perhaps we could make sure that we are on the same page when it appears that we are not.  When "we" are speaking of "assurances given," these reference things that were said when the CNLC had settled on the relevant issues -- i.e, the "excruciating detail" that, indeed, was available well before the churchwide and synodical constituting conventions. 

The critique we, both former ELCA folks and staying-in-the-ELCA critics, are offering -- and have offered consistently for several years now, but which has fallen on hears that do not hear -- is that from 1986 to about 1994, we looked at the words of the (your appelation, here) "excruciating detail" of concern and asked "We read this to mean thus-and-so; are we correct in this understanding?" the assurances were, "Yes, that is what the words say."  And then by (say) 2005, we were being told, "No, that is not what the words say," often followed by, "and they never said that.  How could you have gotten such an interpretation?" 

Or, in 1991, "No, the words don't mean that; this is the furthest thing from our minds," only to be told in 2010, "Of course that's what they mean.  Why would you think otherwise?"  "Well, we were given assurances by our leaders."  To which, two days ago, you replied "No one could give any 'assurances' about what the ELCA would require until the merge was actually completed."  Only to insist today that all you are trying to say is, "All of the plans for the merger, in excruciating detail, were available to anyone who wanted them."

Do you understand this?  (Not "do you accept this," but "do you understand what we are saying?")

Kyrie eleison, Steven+
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Don Whitbeck

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #427 on: March 07, 2012, 10:07:05 PM »
Unfortunately, Pastor Fienen, what you try to say with irony and hyperbole has been said in these circles and elsewhere without those two "qualifiers" by such people as Paul T. McCain (formerly of these precincts) and a few other folk. And if we in the ELCA have to keep hearing about certain folk who might be at the edge of our orthodoxy, you will have to bear the burden of those who claim to speak so absolutely and decisively for yours; vociferously denouncing, as they do so, anyone who disagrees with them.
As we must bear your funlminations against those who have found the ELCA wanting in orthodoxy (how dare they say that!  >:( ) or who disagree that what mainstream ELCA espouses as proper (or even the only proper) way to study and interpret the Bible is entirely orthodox.  In order, it sometimes seems, to qualify as civilized and proper discourse, we must first agree that while the ELCA way is not our way, it is just as much a proper and orthodox Lutheran way.
 
Dan

Pastor Fienen writes: we must first agree that while the ELCA way is not our way, it is just as much a proper and orthodox Lutheran way.


Can you tell me how so?  If that's the case, then all of these people that left before 2009 CWA decree, and all of those Bishops, Pastors, and Congregations that left thereafter, must of have some other reason for doing so.

I'm sure you are aware that the LCMS Convention as declared otherwise, a few times now.  Would President Harrison or officers of the Synod declare it also to be so?

Respectfully,
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Charles_Austin

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #428 on: March 07, 2012, 10:28:11 PM »
Pastor Awtrey writes (edited):
I'm going to try one more time to help Charles understand what my history says to this key element.
My confession never changed (he says six times)
I comment:
As a child and young person, my "confession" was the catechism and the Common Service Book, later the Service Book and Hymnal.  I never knew the Book of Concord or the Augsburg Confession even existed until college.
     And my "confession" changed as I learned about it.
     My "confession" changed again as I learned systematics, was taught how to read scripture critically, and came to understand more about church history.
     My "confession" changed yet again, as Lutherans became ecumenically involved and we learned from other segments of the church.
     Often this was unsettling and uncomfortable and I had to come to terms with things that at first seemed contrary to what my "confession" was.

Pastor Awtrey:
6. My confession never changed - along with LCMS calls, I received calls from those in The AALC who were in full fellowship "recognized" (note "not created," etc. item 3.) In order to answer easily those calls, the LCMS DP and I, and AALC leadership mutually agreed to transfer my membership over to The AALC.
Me:
Well something must have changed, if your "confession" was consistent with that of the LCMS when they were showering you with calls, and then you decided to go elsewhere for ordination, something changed.

Pastor Awtrey:
So you see, what we cannot embrace is that - "that while the ELCA way is not our way, it is just as much a proper and orthodox Lutheran way." Because ... well it isn't !!! If it was I would still be ULCA-LCA-ELCA.
Me:
And there you have it. The end of dialogue. The declaration of judgement. I am orthodox, you are not. Your way of being Lutheran is not a proper way.
     Honestly, Pastor Awtrey, you wander through the fields of Lutheranism and its various manifestations, trying this, then that, and now - apparently - declaring that your orthodoxy is the bee's knees and nuts to the rest of us. It just don't wash.
    And I simply do not get this romanticism about "grandma's" church. If my church were exactly as it was in 1901, when she arrived from Sweden, or in 1954, when I was confirmed, I probably would not be in it.
     Once again, you cause me to doubt your frequent declarations of "concern" and your assertions that you are not pillaging the ELCA for your own church body; for you have judged it and condemned it.
     So in any conversation with anyone in the ELCA, you are going to have to say to them - if you are consistent and honest - "Well, after all the ELCA is not orthodox and their contention that they are is false."
     For that is what you have written.

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #429 on: March 07, 2012, 10:31:30 PM »
"Confessional Lutheran," I have already - too many times - violated my general principle of not getting involved in dialogue with people who will not post their real names, and I find some of your comments extremely hard to follow, so I shall back off.

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #430 on: March 07, 2012, 10:36:25 PM »
Pastor Fienen writes: we must first agree that while the ELCA way is not our way, it is just as much a proper and orthodox Lutheran way.


Can you tell me how so?  If that's the case, then all of these people that left before 2009 CWA decree, and all of those Bishops, Pastors, and Congregations that left thereafter, must of have some other reason for doing so.

I took that to be sarcasm, and a statement he didnt believe but that the ELCA revisionists claim to believe. FWIW.

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #431 on: March 07, 2012, 10:51:42 PM »
I have little interest in mounting a defense of ELCA actions in August, 2009, or of subsequent ELCA actions to close ranks around those 2009 decisions.  This is by way of offering the usual de rigeur disclaimers, in the forlorn hope that my complaint below be not misunderstood.  And so. . .


1. I was born and raised in a corner of the SC Synod, which affiliated with ULCA-LCA. But it was always a Synod in fellowship, not a division of a corporation. Through those roots I say that my confession hasn't changed since at least the 1300's, traced through pre-reformation, the Reformation.
2. My confession never changed - I moved out of SC and naturally looked first into LCA churches. That was when I noted - "This is not my Grandmother's church" I went to an ALC church and found the same confession, and was in ALC.

. . . .

Charles, do you see how that works - my confession from pre-Reformation times forward, never changed. I never changed. The exotic new thingie American Lutheran Church flittered with the winds of change. I continued to find faithful congregations within that same confession.


Does anyone else see something distinctly peculiar in this biographical litany?  Pr. Awtry has "my confession," and then he migrates from one church body to another as he sees them progressively dissolving their allegiance to "my confession."  It sounds like nothing so much as the story of one who has discerned "my confession" in "my Grandmother's church," and now goes wandering in the wilderness seeking that once-familiar promised land.  So the commitment here is not to the Church of Jesus Christ, evanescent wraith that it is, but to "my confession" -- we belong not to the body of Christ, but to "my confession."

I find this distinctly weird.  Even for a Lutheran.  But maybe mine is strictly a minority position.

Tom Pearson

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #432 on: March 07, 2012, 10:53:51 PM »
Unfortunately, Pastor Fienen, what you try to say with irony and hyperbole has been said in these circles and elsewhere without those two "qualifiers" by such people as Paul T. McCain (formerly of these precincts) and a few other folk. And if we in the ELCA have to keep hearing about certain folk who might be at the edge of our orthodoxy, you will have to bear the burden of those who claim to speak so absolutely and decisively for yours; vociferously denouncing, as they do so, anyone who disagrees with them.
As we must bear your funlminations against those who have found the ELCA wanting in orthodoxy (how dare they say that!  >:( ) or who disagree that what mainstream ELCA espouses as proper (or even the only proper) way to study and interpret the Bible is entirely orthodox.  In order, it sometimes seems, to qualify as civilized and proper discourse, we must first agree that while the ELCA way is not our way, it is just as much a proper and orthodox Lutheran way.
 
Dan

Pastor Fienen writes: we must first agree that while the ELCA way is not our way, it is just as much a proper and orthodox Lutheran way.


Can you tell me how so?  If that's the case, then all of these people that left before 2009 CWA decree, and all of those Bishops, Pastors, and Congregations that left thereafter, must of have some other reason for doing so.

I'm sure you are aware that the LCMS Convention as declared otherwise, a few times now.  Would President Harrison or officers of the Synod declare it also to be so?

Respectfully,
You misunderstand me by not taking into account the entire sentence.  What I meant was a counterfactual.  My entire sentence had two main parts.  "In order, it sometimes seems, to qualify as civilized and proper discourse," (it seems to me that some want to demand that if our discourse is to be considered proper then) "we must first agree that while the ELCA way is not our way, it is just as much a proper and orthodox Lutheran way."  I am not agreeing that is what we should do, but rather what it seems to me some are demanding that we do.
 
Dan

 
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pearson

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #433 on: March 07, 2012, 11:08:53 PM »
And just to show how sweetly even-handed I can be. . .


    And I simply do not get this romanticism about "grandma's" church. If my church were exactly as it was in 1901, when she arrived from Sweden, or in 1954, when I was confirmed, I probably would not be in it.
     

I don't get this romanticism about the past, either, just as I don't get the romanticism of the present and the romanticism of the future.  Why should I find sloppy sentimentalism like, "This is who we have agreed to be as Church, and we can be proud of how we presently embody the Gospel," or "We cannot stand still -- we must move forward into God's future," any more alluring than "Be still, and listen to the truth from 1580"?

Swooning progressives are no more immune to romanticizing their metaphysical vision than are recidivist conservatives.

Tom Pearson

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #434 on: March 07, 2012, 11:56:10 PM »
"Confessional Lutheran," I have already - too many times - violated my general principle of not getting involved in dialogue with people who will not post their real names, and I find some of your comments extremely hard to follow, so I shall back off.
Is this something like "bound conscience"?   ;D