Author Topic: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation  (Read 101373 times)

DCharlton

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #510 on: March 09, 2012, 03:46:16 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.

In spite of what Pharisee may mean, that's not really a good description of the Pharisees is it?  The Essenes where the ones who had literally separated themselves.  The Pharisees were a lay movement that sought to extend obedience to the Torah into every aspect of life and to all the people of Israel.  Jesus did disagree with them about whether one ought to associate with sinners, the unclean, Gentiles, etc...  On the other hand, when it came to elevating human traditions above Scripture, he was the conservative.  I don't recall him criticizing them for failure to embrace Greek, Roman or pagan culture, however. 

As N.T. Wright describes it, one of the primary criticisms that Jesus leveled against the Pharisees and others sects, was their neglect of their vocation along with the embrace of violence.    They neglected their call to be a light to the nations, which would have meant engagement with the Gentile world.  Instead, they hid their light under a basket while at the same time coveting the military might of their pagan rulers. 

The vocation of Israel and the Church was not to "get in tune" with the world.  It was to love the world and be engaged in the world, while not embracing the ways of the world.  Jews in the diaspora and early Christians did "get in tune" by speaking and writing in Greek, learning and utilizing Greek philosophy, etc...  And yet their way of life remained distinct.  There were aspect of Greek and Roman culture that the clearly rejected. 
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 03:58:29 PM by DCharlton »
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readselerttoo

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #511 on: March 09, 2012, 03:51:00 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.



On the surface the issues seem to be easily discerned and resolved in terms of side-making and side-taking.  In reality the issues of method go much deeper and there is both truth and error in  scientific theory as well as in the scriptural words.  In my 58 years I have come to realize that both truth and error are sometimes indistinguishable and certainly the claims made by the experts need to constantly be tested for sufficient basis.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 04:58:01 PM by readselerttoo »

DCharlton

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #512 on: March 09, 2012, 03:56:19 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.

On the surface the issues seem to be easily discerned and resolved in terms of side-making and side-taking.  In reality the issues of method go much deeper and there is both truth and error in  scientific theory as well as in the scriptural words.  In my 58 years I have come to realize that both truth and error are sometimes indistinguishable and certainly the claims made by the experts need to constantly be tested for sufficient conditions.

Not to mention the oft repeated trope that the Church was always the last to embrace scientific knowledge.  One thinks of the notion that the Church opposed Columbus because he thought the world was round.  In fact, Christian thinkers knew the world was round centuries before Columbus sailed.  For instance, both Thomas Aquinas and Dante knew the world was round. 
David Charlton  

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Chuck Sampson

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #513 on: March 09, 2012, 04:07:51 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.
Et tu, SCPO?  8)

Charles_Austin

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #514 on: March 09, 2012, 04:49:42 PM »
And let us not read too much into the "growth" of the Roman Catholic Church, for most of the increase in numbers is due to Spanish-speaking immigrants.

readselerttoo

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #515 on: March 09, 2012, 04:52:28 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.

On the surface the issues seem to be easily discerned and resolved in terms of side-making and side-taking.  In reality the issues of method go much deeper and there is both truth and error in  scientific theory as well as in the scriptural words.  In my 58 years I have come to realize that both truth and error are sometimes indistinguishable and certainly the claims made by the experts need to constantly be tested for sufficient conditions.

Not to mention the oft repeated trope that the Church was always the last to embrace scientific knowledge.  One thinks of the notion that the Church opposed Columbus because he thought the world was round.  In fact, Christian thinkers knew the world was round centuries before Columbus sailed.  For instance, both Thomas Aquinas and Dante knew the world was round.


The hybris of the modern world includes desperately seeking a way to manage discrepancy in method by using the Kantian category to encase results.  At that point then the side-taking and side-making assures us that we have it right and they (in the past) had it wrong.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #516 on: March 09, 2012, 06:03:43 PM »
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.


A quote from Anne Lamott (unknown reference): “You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” (http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/7113.Anne_Lamott)


A quote from the Introduction to The Five Gospels: "Beware of finding a Jesus entirely congenial to you." (p. 5)


So do we keep from creating Jesus in our own image?
"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]

Dadoo

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #517 on: March 09, 2012, 07:02:26 PM »
And let us not read too much into the "growth" of the Roman Catholic Church, for most of the increase in numbers is due to Spanish-speaking immigrants.

You are saying that as if it was a bad thing . . .
Peter Kruse

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Don Whitbeck

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #518 on: March 09, 2012, 07:14:37 PM »
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.

Thank you, Pastor Tim Christ, for your wonderful witness, to God's Truths. Thus the work of the Holy Spirit is there changing and guiding towards a new mind in Christ, a new life in Christ.

Accepting it, and living still in a sinful state, I believe is not the way God told us to live our lives.  Sorry to say, the ELCA, doesn't believe in the correct functions of the Holy Spirit.  To me, it's like calling God a liar.  Christ also gives us many examples through his Apostle Paul, although rejected by the Liberal Revisionist of our time.

Respectully,
The Voice of God will NEVER Contradict the Word of God

Dan Fienen

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #519 on: March 10, 2012, 10:03:57 AM »
Perhaps this conversation illustrates the danger of playing the numbers game.  The ELCA must be doing things right because it is and remains the largest Lutheran body in the US.  No Missouri is right because its rate of decline is slower than that of the ELCA.  The decisions of CWA '09 must have been correct because umpteen thousand ELCA Facebook participants like it.
 
If one carefully chooses and interprets numbers, one can prove just about anything.  There are also untold other factors that affect the raw numbers cited and that are not taken into account by the flattering or damning interpretations.  Don't forget that sometimes Jesus was wildly popular and at other times not so much.  At one point He asked His disciples if they would leave also like everybody else.
 
If the choices made at CWA '09 were the correct ones and the policies enacted according to God's will, then they should have been made thus even if half or more of the church left as a result.  If they were not according to God's will, then they should not have been been made thus even if half or more of the church would have left as a result.
 
I have a bit of a different spin on votes taken on things like LCMS doctrinal statements and ELCA social statements and subsequent policy.  We do not establish God's will or God's truth by majority vote.  God determines for Himself what His will is and what truth is.  What we do when we vote on such things is to determine what we as a body understand God's truth and God's will to be.  Majorities may be wrong - but that cannot stop us from stepping forward on what we as a group understand it to be.  For those who disagree, they may try to convince the rest of the error of their ways, determine that the issue is not important enough to argue about, or leave to find or form a group that sees God's will and truth the way they do.  Doctrine is not established by majority vote, but it may be recognized as such by such a vote.  The alternative is to have no official doctrine, accept everything and so stand for nothing.
 
Dan
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Dadoo

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #520 on: March 10, 2012, 10:42:08 AM »
Perhaps this conversation illustrates the danger of playing the numbers game.  The ELCA must be doing things right because it is and remains the largest Lutheran body in the US.  No Missouri is right because its rate of decline is slower than that of the ELCA.  The decisions of CWA '09 must have been correct because umpteen thousand ELCA Facebook participants like it.
 
If one carefully chooses and interprets numbers, one can prove just about anything.  There are also untold other factors that affect the raw numbers cited and that are not taken into account by the flattering or damning interpretations.  Don't forget that sometimes Jesus was wildly popular and at other times not so much.  At one point He asked His disciples if they would leave also like everybody else.
 
If the choices made at CWA '09 were the correct ones and the policies enacted according to God's will, then they should have been made thus even if half or more of the church left as a result.  If they were not according to God's will, then they should not have been been made thus even if half or more of the church would have left as a result.
 
I have a bit of a different spin on votes taken on things like LCMS doctrinal statements and ELCA social statements and subsequent policy.  We do not establish God's will or God's truth by majority vote.  God determines for Himself what His will is and what truth is.  What we do when we vote on such things is to determine what we as a body understand God's truth and God's will to be.  Majorities may be wrong - but that cannot stop us from stepping forward on what we as a group understand it to be.  For those who disagree, they may try to convince the rest of the error of their ways, determine that the issue is not important enough to argue about, or leave to find or form a group that sees God's will and truth the way they do.  Doctrine is not established by majority vote, but it may be recognized as such by such a vote.  The alternative is to have no official doctrine, accept everything and so stand for nothing.
 
Dan

As one who love statistics I must humbly admit that 57.3% of all statistics are meaningless or just plain made up.

That said: I would make not of your last paragraph. It seems to say that one way or another we"vote" on doctrine. Who does the voting? SOme will chime in and say that the HS through the people gathers does so since we all have the HS. But what about close votes? It has always bothered me. Are we saying to one another: "You do not have the HS?" And what about formation? It sound great that a bunch CHristians gather to discern something.But how were they formed? Where they formed intentionally? WHere they formed in a manner recognizable from one place of origin of the voter to the next? DOes not this way of making "doctrine" or near doctrine decisions assume that the voters have all undergone a rather similar time of "formation?" One might say two thing here: Once upon a time we assumed that these decisions were only made by those rigorously trained and tested: the Ordained. We may also note that once upon a time there was  an assumption of a fair amount of uniformity even amount the lay people. Stories told of grandparents with Catechisms by their chair side along with a bible or Catechism quoted often and at length an probably be found and rehearsed. THe question here is: Are we still formed in a consistent fashion? All of us, clergy and lay.

I find one thing missing from you post: Time. We vote today but the votes we take have already been taken. We over rule the past at our peril. To break with faith handed down to us is to break with the faith, unless the matter at hand really is adiaphora. When Faith is at stake, there is no ignoring the cloud of witnesses that has gone before. To insist that a matter can be taken care of by those who have the handicap of being alive right now is to break with th eFaith
Peter Kruse

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

Timotheus Verinus

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #521 on: March 10, 2012, 11:34:24 AM »
.... When Faith is at stake, there is no ignoring the cloud of witnesses that has gone before. To insist that a matter can be taken care of by those who have the handicap of being alive right now is to break with the Faith

 ;D Careful Peter. You may get characterized as a nostalgic narcissist. And besides, that's  not a fair statement. 2012 is an election year. And we do too let the dead vote!!!

 ;D ;D ::)

"To insist that a matter can be taken care of by those who have the handicap of being alive right now is to break with the Faith"

Nicely worded,

TV
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #522 on: March 10, 2012, 11:52:18 AM »
Perhaps this conversation illustrates the danger of playing the numbers game.  The ELCA must be doing things right because it is and remains the largest Lutheran body in the US.  No Missouri is right because its rate of decline is slower than that of the ELCA.  The decisions of CWA '09 must have been correct because umpteen thousand ELCA Facebook participants like it.


My statement about the facebook participants' views did not argue about the decision being right or wrong -- but that they offer a better reflection of the thinking in the ELCA than the few ELCAers here (and not a statement about what thinking is right or wrong -- that's the judgment you put on it, but not what I said.)
 
Quote
I have a bit of a different spin on votes taken on things like LCMS doctrinal statements and ELCA social statements and subsequent policy.  We do not establish God's will or God's truth by majority vote.  God determines for Himself what His will is and what truth is.  What we do when we vote on such things is to determine what we as a body understand God's truth and God's will to be.  Majorities may be wrong - but that cannot stop us from stepping forward on what we as a group understand it to be.  For those who disagree, they may try to convince the rest of the error of their ways, determine that the issue is not important enough to argue about, or leave to find or form a group that sees God's will and truth the way they do.  Doctrine is not established by majority vote, but it may be recognized as such by such a vote.  The alternative is to have no official doctrine, accept everything and so stand for nothing.

A workshop for congregation councils asked the question: "How do you know if your decisions are faithful ones?" The same question can apply to synods, districts, or national denominational decisions. Often in congregations decisions are judged by their effectiveness or efficiency -- or, in other terms, "the numbers" -- more people, lower costs, etc. Numbers are measurable.


How do you propose that we determine faithfulness in our decisions? How does a legislative body determine what is God's truth and will for them at this time? Was it God's will for Luther to be kicked out of the church and begin a split in the Western Church? Was it God's will for Seminex and the AELC to happen that split the LCMS? Was it God's will that LCMC and NALC be formed that further split the church? Why is one "split and a new church body" God's will and not another?


Or, a much more common occurrence, how does a congregation determine if calling a candidate as its pastor is God's will?



"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 #523 on: March 10, 2012, 11:59:33 AM »
Perhaps this conversation illustrates the danger of playing the numbers game.  The ELCA must be doing things right because it is and remains the largest Lutheran body in the US.  No Missouri is right because its rate of decline is slower than that of the ELCA.  The decisions of CWA '09 must have been correct because umpteen thousand ELCA Facebook participants like it.
 
If one carefully chooses and interprets numbers, one can prove just about anything.  There are also untold other factors that affect the raw numbers cited and that are not taken into account by the flattering or damning interpretations.  Don't forget that sometimes Jesus was wildly popular and at other times not so much.  At one point He asked His disciples if they would leave also like everybody else.
 
If the choices made at CWA '09 were the correct ones and the policies enacted according to God's will, then they should have been made thus even if half or more of the church left as a result.  If they were not according to God's will, then they should not have been been made thus even if half or more of the church would have left as a result.
 
I have a bit of a different spin on votes taken on things like LCMS doctrinal statements and ELCA social statements and subsequent policy.  We do not establish God's will or God's truth by majority vote.  God determines for Himself what His will is and what truth is.  What we do when we vote on such things is to determine what we as a body understand God's truth and God's will to be.  Majorities may be wrong - but that cannot stop us from stepping forward on what we as a group understand it to be.  For those who disagree, they may try to convince the rest of the error of their ways, determine that the issue is not important enough to argue about, or leave to find or form a group that sees God's will and truth the way they do.  Doctrine is not established by majority vote, but it may be recognized as such by such a vote.  The alternative is to have no official doctrine, accept everything and so stand for nothing.
 
Dan

As one who love statistics I must humbly admit that 57.3% of all statistics are meaningless or just plain made up.

That said: I would make not of your last paragraph. It seems to say that one way or another we"vote" on doctrine. Who does the voting? SOme will chime in and say that the HS through the people gathers does so since we all have the HS. But what about close votes? It has always bothered me. Are we saying to one another: "You do not have the HS?" And what about formation? It sound great that a bunch CHristians gather to discern something.But how were they formed? Where they formed intentionally? WHere they formed in a manner recognizable from one place of origin of the voter to the next? DOes not this way of making "doctrine" or near doctrine decisions assume that the voters have all undergone a rather similar time of "formation?" One might say two thing here: Once upon a time we assumed that these decisions were only made by those rigorously trained and tested: the Ordained. We may also note that once upon a time there was  an assumption of a fair amount of uniformity even amount the lay people. Stories told of grandparents with Catechisms by their chair side along with a bible or Catechism quoted often and at length an probably be found and rehearsed. THe question here is: Are we still formed in a consistent fashion? All of us, clergy and lay.

I find one thing missing from you post: Time. We vote today but the votes we take have already been taken. We over rule the past at our peril. To break with faith handed down to us is to break with the faith, unless the matter at hand really is adiaphora. When Faith is at stake, there is no ignoring the cloud of witnesses that has gone before. To insist that a matter can be taken care of by those who have the handicap of being alive right now is to break with th eFaith
My last paragraph should probably be another post - another thought not really connected to the rest.  We vote on what we as a group have descerned as God's doctrine.  As a group we may be wrong - we need to continue to study and prayerfully strive to discern God's will in the matter.  But as a group we need to say that this is what we believe and this is what we will do on the basis of what we believe - that we do not believe and so that we will not do.  I do not know of any other way that works better for a group to establish what they as a group believes. 
 
As to the cloud of witnesses that have gone before - listening to them should be a part of the discernment process, keeping also in mind that they could have been wrong, and that there are often several clouds to be consulted.  Luther and his colleagues were careful to show how they were agreeing with the ancient church fathers.  His Roman opponents also had clouds of witnesses to whom they appealed.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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DCharlton

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Re: Estranged members sue ELCA-LCMC congregation
« Reply #524 on: March 10, 2012, 12:29:39 PM »
My statement about the facebook participants' views did not argue about the decision being right or wrong -- but that they offer a better reflection of the thinking in the ELCA than the few ELCAers here (and not a statement about what thinking is right or wrong -- that's the judgment you put on it, but not what I said.)

You seem to imply that "the few ELCAers here" claim to represent the majority in the new ELCA.  I think you know better than that, so why repeat it?

I've also asked several times why you rely on the self selected sample of a facebook group, but rejected the self selected sample when it was found in the surveys related to the Study on Human Sexuality.  You repeatedly dismissed those studies because they were not statistically valid, saying that they were not an accurate representation of what the majority of ELCA people thought.  Then you repeatedly put membership on a facebook group forward as an indicator of what the majority in the ELCA think.  Are you suffering from amnesia or being disingenuous?
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?