Author Topic: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation  (Read 101366 times)

Team Hesse

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #495 on: March 09, 2012, 10:53:46 AM »
Both Mr. Gustafson and Pastor Engebretson, it seems to me, go to great lengths to avoid saying they don't trust "modern" knowledge or find that it threatens their faith.
They are not, I think, "fundamentalists" in the narrow sense; but I don't know how they reconcile the Bible's "geology" and "astronomy" with what we know from that dread "modern" science.

Theo-logia is a different thought world from anthropo-logia, or bio-logia. We are called to "metanoia", literally "a changed mind". The thoughts of this world are a different intellectual horizon than the mind of Christ. Two kingdoms, two kinds of righteousness, two thought worlds---best not to mix them.....

Lou

Charles_Austin

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #496 on: March 09, 2012, 11:29:02 AM »
No, Pastor Christ, what is sad is the declaration that we must reject knowedge, intellect, exploration, discovery etc., because we are afraid that it might contradict some views that we consider "God's."


Pilgrim

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #497 on: March 09, 2012, 11:50:35 AM »
No, Pastor Christ, what is sad is the declaration that we must reject knowedge, intellect, exploration, discovery etc., because we are afraid that it might contradict some views that we consider "God's."

Tim notes: You know Charles, having read you for years, there seems to be present an increasing inability for you as someone, presumably well trained in words, to simply understand plain words. Nowhere did I indicate or say that I rejected knowledge, intellect, exploration, discovery, etc. because we are afraid that it might contradict some views that we consider "God's."

Brian said, (and I quote): "I believe that the ELCA is quite in tune with the thinking of the secular world."

Now place that clear quoted statement beside this equally clear statement and you will, perhaps... maybe... just maybe... discern the source of my sadness: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2).

Brian suggests an alignment of our conformation to the "secular world". And routinely exegetes his texts in precisely that way. Plainly, that is 180-degrees opposite of what we are called, by God, to be and do. (That says nothing, I repeat NOTHING, about rejecting learning on this fallen side of life.) But that a Pastor of the Church, entrusted with the care of precious ones for whom Christ died, should make such a statement - well, to me, that is why it is the saddest thing I've read herein.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 11:52:43 AM by Pilgrim »
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

DCharlton

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #498 on: March 09, 2012, 12:04:09 PM »
Brian, this shows how out touch the ELCA is with the common pew people. As well, people were leaving before CWA2009, because they saw what was coming and they had no voice in it.  After, CWA 2009, and the decree comes into effect, the plug was pulled, and the water started to drain out of the ELCA, and still is.

The Leadership wasn't interested in what we believed, what we felt, or why money was with held from the ELCA before and after the fact.

To make this type of comment just show you how out of touch you and HQ, and the Bishops have been over the past few decades.  I really find your comment disingenuous, to say the least.  :o ::)


A comprehensive study was done by Presbyterians on membership losses before 2009. Their conclusion was what I stated. Our denominations were losing members before 2009. If the ELCA and LCMS and WELS are loosing members at about the same rate, it cannot be attributed to being liberal or conservative.


I've also read surveys of the unchurched and one of the major complaints against the church is what they consider a judgmental attitude towards homosexuals.


I believe that the ELCA is quite in tune with the thinking of the secular world. A friend's daughter returned to the church because of the 2009 vote. I doubt that she is the only one.

Wow.  A new source for knowledge of what people in the ELCA think.  First we had facebook, now studies done by Presbyterians.  Anything BUT the Study of Human Sexuality done by the ELCA itself.  Can't trust the last, because it is not statistically valid.  Facebook on the other hand, or a study of another denomination?  Trustworthy.
David Charlton  

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Charles_Austin

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #499 on: March 09, 2012, 12:17:44 PM »
My concern, Pastor Christ, is for those all-too-frequent times when the scientific "knowledge of the secular world" is rejected by the church because the church claims it knows the whole deal. Galileo comes to mind, along with some others, including today's "creationists" or "young-earth" believers.
That "be not conformed to the world" verse - so often flung into these discussions - is not, I believe, intended to cut us off from what the world has to teach us about itself and about humanity.

Dadoo

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #500 on: March 09, 2012, 01:10:04 PM »
Brian, this shows how out touch the ELCA is with the common pew people. As well, people were leaving before CWA2009, because they saw what was coming and they had no voice in it.  After, CWA 2009, and the decree comes into effect, the plug was pulled, and the water started to drain out of the ELCA, and still is.

The Leadership wasn't interested in what we believed, what we felt, or why money was with held from the ELCA before and after the fact.

To make this type of comment just show you how out of touch you and HQ, and the Bishops have been over the past few decades.  I really find your comment disingenuous, to say the least.  :o ::)


A comprehensive study was done by Presbyterians on membership losses before 2009. Their conclusion was what I stated. Our denominations were losing members before 2009. If the ELCA and LCMS and WELS are loosing members at about the same rate, it cannot be attributed to being liberal or conservative.


I've also read surveys of the unchurched and one of the major complaints against the church is what they consider a judgmental attitude towards homosexuals.


I believe that the ELCA is quite in tune with the thinking of the secular world. A friend's daughter returned to the church because of the 2009 vote. I doubt that she is the only one.

Wow.  A new source for knowledge of what people in the ELCA think.  First we had facebook, now studies done by Presbyterians.  Anything BUT the Study of Human Sexuality done by the ELCA itself.  Can't trust the last, because it is not statistically valid.  Facebook on the other hand, or a study of another denomination?  Trustworthy.

Now now, let' be scientific here. The Association of religious data Archives http://www.thearda.com/ records a decrease in membership between 1990 and 2008 for LCMS of 10%, the ELCA 12%, and WELS 7%. The UCC, the most liberal denomination and most in tune with our 2009 decision(position 4 all the way) shrunk by 28 % in that timeframe. In the meantime the RC grew by 14% and reports that its clergy pool is now in the neighborhood of 58,000 up from the low 40 thousands. So: The Lutherans have shrunk in order of "progressiveness," the really "progressives have imploded, while the authoritarian and much maligned RC mopped up. Go figure.
Peter Kruse

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

Pilgrim

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #501 on: March 09, 2012, 01:16:09 PM »
My concern, Pastor Christ, is for those all-too-frequent times when the scientific "knowledge of the secular world" is rejected by the church because the church claims it knows the whole deal. Galileo comes to mind, along with some others, including today's "creationists" or "young-earth" believers.
That "be not conformed to the world" verse - so often flung into these discussions - is not, I believe, intended to cut us off from what the world has to teach us about itself and about humanity.

Tim says: Duly noted and no argument, but as if on auto-pilot, you missed the point.  :-\
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

Chuck Sampson

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #502 on: March 09, 2012, 01:34:51 PM »
I believe that the ELCA is quite in tune with the thinking of the secular world.

Tim notes: THAT is one of the saddest statements I've ever read on this board, from anyone. It speaks untold volumes. :( :( :( :(
Well, at least it is made it a straightforward way, sans the usual dodging, weaving, and prevaricating.  (Trying to keep the 8th Commandment . . .)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #503 on: March 09, 2012, 01:58:43 PM »
The fact of the matter is that many of those who no long attend never really believed in the first place.


As I recall, somewhere around 80% of the unchurched say that they believe in God, that Jesus Christ is God, that the Bible is the Word of God. What they don't believe in, is the church. There is a belief that one can be a good Christian and not attend church. In fact, I was recently visiting a winter visitor and another person from their RV Park was witnessing to them about his miraculous healing and all the work he's been doing for the Lord. When asked, "What church do you belong to?" He answered, "I don't belong to any church." We just had a speaker at a breakfast who is proud at being an independent missionary. He has started churches and schools and hospitals in many different countries -- often going to people who have never heard the Word of God. He does attend church, but has no ecclesiastical authority over his ministry.
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #504 on: March 09, 2012, 02:02:50 PM »
All that shows is that in spite of what those left behind in the ELCA might claim, the reason people have left is NOT just about sex.  This is, of course, the argument that has been presented time and time again by those who HAVE left, but is dismissed by those who remain and support the ELCA (or the PCUSA or whatever denom you wish to choose), and is not worth re-hashing here again.


Note: the study was not about people who left one denomination for another, but about folks who no longer are attending any church. Almost never did they leave a congregation because it was too liberal or too conservative.
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #505 on: March 09, 2012, 02:09:02 PM »
I think there is a difference here that I failed to communicate in my last post.  I am not "afraid" of modern knowledge.  I studied the sciences and other 'secular' disciplines in college just like many. As one who spent part of my academic years in psychology, I respect the many findings in that field as well, and have undoubtedly applied some of it in my daily ministry. Of course, I also recognize their limitations, as you have as well, and do not take the discoveries of any era as absolute truth.  However, when we talk about the "thinking of the secular world," as Pr. Stroffregen phrased it, we are talking about more than just the collective information gained by formal learning.  We are also talking about the attitudes, opinions and social customs of the world and our own culture.  It was to these that I was addressing my remarks.  Even Paul informs us not to be conformed to the general thinking and behavior of the world, but be transformed by the renewal of our minds.  In this sense the church often becomes 'counter-cultural.'  We do not follow the world's trends simply because a majority adopt them.  We speak the truth in love, recognizing that we must judge some of the culturally driven behaviors that result in actions and beliefs outside of God's will.  Now, within that realm I realize you and I disagree with what constitutes God's will, especially when it comes to areas such as human sexuality.  But my point is that I am not running scared from science and the revealed knowledge of the left kingdom.  I am critiquing the social trends and opinions with the revealed Word of God.


The irony is that what is revealed about Jesus in the Word of God is that his actions were so contrary to the thinking of the religious establishment that they have him executed. His followers came primarily from the "sinful" category of the world. That certainly should give us pause about creating a "religious attitude" that "separates" itself from the world. Our best guess is that the word "Pharisee" meant something like "separated ones".
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 05:51:34 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #506 on: March 09, 2012, 02:12:15 PM »
I believe that the ELCA is quite in tune with the thinking of the secular world.

Tim notes: THAT is one of the saddest statements I've ever read on this board, from anyone. It speaks untold volumes. :( :( :( :(


Just remember that it was those who had "separated" themselves from the world (the probably meaning of "Pharisee") that Jesus had the most difficulties with.
"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]

James Gustafson

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #507 on: March 09, 2012, 02:22:16 PM »
The irony is that what is revealed about Jesus in the Word of God is that his actions were so contrary to the thinking of the religious establishment that they have him executed. His followers came primarily from the "sinful" category of the world. That certainly should give us pause about creating a "religious attitude" that "separates" itself from the world. Our best guess is that the word "Pharisee" meant something to "separated ones".

Just remember that it was those who had "separated" themselves from the world (the probably meaning of "Pharisee") that Jesus had the most difficulties with.

Jesus had just as many difficulties with his own followers, disciples and apostles. 

And Like the apostles in the gospels, who expected Christ to become the Messiah the first century Jewish people in that Roman world were expecting him to be, and thought they needed Him to be, many of the twenty first century christian leaders here are trying to turn Christ into being the Messiah they think they need Him to be, they think they need Him to fit in and be relevant to the problems of this century.  They want Him to solve the problems the twenty first century people think they have. 

The reality is that both are wrong, we don't need Christ to be the Messiah we think we need, we need to become the people that welcome the Messiah who comes as He is.

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #508 on: March 09, 2012, 02:38:36 PM »
Just remember that it was those who had "separated" themselves from the world (the probably meaning of "Pharisee") that Jesus ha]d the most difficulties with.

Tim responds: And just remember that syncretism was, and remains and enemy of the faith. But then, you know that very well, obviously.  :-\
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #509 on: March 09, 2012, 03:27:16 PM »
Well, at least it is made it a straightforward way, sans the usual dodging, weaving, and prevaricating.  (Trying to keep the 8th Commandment . . .)

     Sure you are.