Author Topic: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?  (Read 31486 times)

James_Gale

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #60 on: October 21, 2010, 01:58:54 PM »
That false images are perpetuated among some is not anything that the LCMS can do to change. People will believe what they want to believe especially if they never check it out from themselves. What they will find in almost every place are Lutherans who will welcome them. No, we will not compromise on issues like women's ordination or close/d communion in order to appear more likeable. But our parishes would welcome anyone who comes to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I think that closed Communion is considered the big hang-up among these people.  Even though it is the historical teaching of the Christian church that Scripture teaches that the Eucharist is a manifestation of unity in confession, those who have not indicated a willingeness to join in the LCMS' confession in what we believe and teach are then insulted when we do not admit them to the Supper.

Mike

I think you're right -- mostly.  I don't know that people feel insulted.  I think that they feel unwelcome.  Most Lutherans don't expect to receive communion at an RC parish.  But to be Lutheran denied communion in a Lutheran church is something different.

In saying this, I'm not trying to get into an argument about the propriety of close(d) communion.  I understand the supporting argument and respect the LCMS's right to live out its convictions.  I'm simply describing why many non-Missouri Lutherans are reluctant to worship in an LCMS congregation.

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #61 on: October 21, 2010, 02:17:49 PM »
You miss my point.  The "fact" is that many non-Missouri Lutherans will not visit LCMS congregations because of what they have heard from others regarding their experiences.  That "fact" is indeed factual. 

The wonderful ministries of individual LCMS congregations is beside the point.  As is the argument in support of close(d) communion.

But I'm telling you ELCA folks visit LCMS congregations quite frequently in my experience.  Maybe in your world they don't, in mine, they do.  What point did I miss, because I'm still missing it.   ???

And beyond what we say or do, God gets people where He wants them when He wants them whether we initially like a particular church's teaching or not.

James_Gale

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #62 on: October 21, 2010, 02:24:57 PM »
You miss my point.  The "fact" is that many non-Missouri Lutherans will not visit LCMS congregations because of what they have heard from others regarding their experiences.  That "fact" is indeed factual. 

The wonderful ministries of individual LCMS congregations is beside the point.  As is the argument in support of close(d) communion.

But I'm telling you ELCA folks visit LCMS congregations quite frequently in my experience.  Maybe in your world they don't, in mine, they do.  What point did I miss, because I'm still missing it.   ???

And beyond what we say or do, God gets people where He wants them when He wants them whether we initially like a particular church's teaching or not.

I'm sure that some do.  But many -- perhaps most -- would not.  And that includes a number of the "conservatives" who are in the ELCA or who have recently left it.

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #63 on: October 21, 2010, 02:29:13 PM »
But to be Lutheran denied communion in a Lutheran church is something different.

We are similar in name only.  This very "denial" (which really isn't a denial at all) of the Lord's Supper can ultimately bring people to realize what it truly means to commune and hold a common confession.  We do not share a common confession with the ELCA.  I've witnessed people leave a worship service angry once they've read the communion policy, and it's a shame since they've missed the Gospel coming to them by way of the preaching and liturgy.

The LCMS holds a position doctrinally that places itself in a position to be serving God, not the desires of man.  Some may not visit the LCMS because of it's reputation, some will.  I'll take criticism any day over our adherence to Scripture versus the reputations other church bodies have for their lack of the same.   ;)


George Erdner

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #64 on: October 21, 2010, 02:31:09 PM »
My only point -- and George's, I think -- is that as a result, other Lutherans seeking a church to visit or join will steer clear of LCMS congregations.  Right or wrong, that's a fact.

Not in the LCMS churches I've been in, so your statement of "fact" is not 100% factual.   ;D  

Anyone experiencing "anger" over being told they can't commune ought to revisit the scriptures that the LCMS bases this practice on.  The law kills . . . it did so for me, too.  But God did His amazing work and opened my eyes and heart to the truth that comes by way of the Gospel . . . an amazing Savior in whom I receive the body and blood of each week.  I better know what I'm partaking in when I do so.  Thus the policies LCMS churches have.  It's really quite simple, and really quite loving.

Did you not read this?

Quote
I only ask two things by way of replies to this post. Please don't remind me that the bad reputation of the LC-MS is based on misunderstandings and misconceptions, and that the negatives that most people think about the LC-MS aren't true. I know that, and I already said that. And please don't tell me about how welcoming people in the LC-MS are to people who enter their churches. Again, I know that to be true, but I'm talking about the people who won't walk into an LC-MS church to encounter that welcome.

It is a fact that many Lutherans will not walk into an LC-MS church at all because they believe (rightly or wrongly) that they will be embarrased to be turned away at the altar. What is done at your congregation to make visitors feel welcome only affects the people the come into your church. It does nothing to convince those who will not enter to change their minds.

Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp?

Like it or not (and prior responses to this same basic message indicates most LC-MS people like it not), the burden of dispelling a bad reputation, even one that is totally undeserved, falls on the shoulders of the people who have the bad reputation.

I won't dispute that the LC-MS does not deserve the reputation it has among other Lutherans. But the reputation is there, and it's up to the LC-MS to reach out to those who won't come to them because of mistaken perceptions about the LC-MS.


George,

I do not dispute the assertion that the LCMS does not have the most welcoming of reputations among the ELCA. Years ago, as a member of the LCA, I thought the same thing. And then I visited LCMS parishes and found out the the common wisdom was, welll...... a common lie. I'm not sure how one defends oneself from malicious untruths except to keep doing what is good and right in the face of those falsehoods.  

That false images are perpetuated among some is not anything that the LCMS can do to change. People will believe what they want to believe especially if they never check it out from themselves. What they will find in almost every place are Lutherans who will welcome them. No, we will not compromise on issues like women's ordination or close/d communion in order to appear more likeable. But our parishes would welcome anyone who comes to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Please see my reply to Kim (above).

You miss my point.  The "fact" is that many non-Missouri Lutherans will not visit LCMS congregations because of what they have heard from others regarding their experiences.  That "fact" is indeed factual.  

The wonderful ministries of individual LCMS congregations is beside the point.  As is the argument in support of close(d) communion.

But I'm telling you ELCA folks visit LCMS congregations quite frequently in my experience.  Maybe in your world they don't, in mine, they do.  What point did I miss, because I'm still missing it.   ???

And beyond what we say or do, God gets people where He wants them when He wants them whether we initially like a particular church's teaching or not.

There are millions of people in the ELCA. There are probably hundreds of thousands of them who want to leave but who have no alternative place to go. Are your "quite frequent" visits sufficient to welcome hundreds of thousands of people?

And the assertion that "God gets people where He wants them when He wants them" is the universal cop-out for shirking responsibility for evangelism. The Great Commission wasn't "Go therefore and sit back and watch as I make disciples of all nations."

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #65 on: October 21, 2010, 02:32:01 PM »
I'm sure that some do.  But many -- perhaps most -- would not.  And that includes a number of the "conservatives" who are in the ELCA or who have recently left it.

If you can back up these claims with facts, then I'll buy it.  Until then, your use of the word "most" just doesn't fly.  It doesn't mesh with my experience, sorry.

Lutheranistic

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #66 on: October 21, 2010, 02:32:27 PM »
You miss my point.  The "fact" is that many non-Missouri Lutherans will not visit LCMS congregations because of what they have heard from others regarding their experiences.  That "fact" is indeed factual. 

The wonderful ministries of individual LCMS congregations is beside the point.  As is the argument in support of close(d) communion.

But I'm telling you ELCA folks visit LCMS congregations quite frequently in my experience.  Maybe in your world they don't, in mine, they do.  What point did I miss, because I'm still missing it.   ???

And beyond what we say or do, God gets people where He wants them when He wants them whether we initially like a particular church's teaching or not.
At the risk of sounding like a resolution coming out of a chuchwide assembly, I think that both Mr. Gale and Dcs. Schave are correct. Kim, I think what Mr. Gale (and I) see are those who don't show up in your church because of perceived lack of "welcome". No doubt some are either willing to take the risk, or a particular LCMS congregation (such as yours) has the reputation of being particularly welcoming, whether or not practicing a strict communion policy. Many don't get that far, and that's really unfortunate for both the LCMS and for those who might otherwise find a loving, orthodox home there.

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #67 on: October 21, 2010, 02:44:43 PM »
Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp?

Because you present no facts to back up your over-arching claims that "most" people won't come to an LCMS church.  You're making broad generalizations based on your own experience in your circle of influence, presumably.  In my little circle, the facts are quite different.

Quote
There are millions of people in the ELCA. There are probably hundreds of thousands of them who want to leave but who have no alternative place to go. Are your "quite frequent" visits sufficient to welcome hundreds of thousands of people?

What???  If hundreds of thousands of people showed up at our church door in Cincinnati, well I suppose my pastor would have to tell them all to go down to the Ohio River where he'd cast himself out on a boat so they all could hear him.  He'd explain our communion policy in a way that they would understand that it's out of his love for them that he must first talk to them.  Hopefully he would have remembered to bring a fishing net to feed them all, too.   ;)

Quote
And the assertion that "God gets people where He wants them when He wants them" is the universal cop-out for shirking responsibility for evangelism. The Great Commission wasn't "Go therefore and sit back and watch as I make disciples of all nations."
Maybe others use that as a cop-out, I sure don't.  I love nothing more than evangelizing.  I can't hold the Good News in . . . it's just too darned exciting not to share.

So back to the thread topic, women considering abortion or suffering from post-abortion syndrome need this Good News!  ELCA members can help accomplish this by looking into Lutherans for Life a little more.

George Erdner

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #68 on: October 21, 2010, 03:08:40 PM »
Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp?

Because you present no facts to back up your over-arching claims that "most" people won't come to an LCMS church.  You're making broad generalizations based on your own experience in your circle of influence, presumably.  In my little circle, the facts are quite different.

In the thread about what ELCA dissidents plan to do, there was a poll. Of the 45 who identified themselves in the ELCA, 29 indicated that they had either left or wanted to leave, or 64%. If that's double the actual percentage churchwide, that's still around one-third of the people in the ELCA have either left or want to leave. If the percentage of people (like me) who say that they want to leave but haven't found a new place to go is accurate, that's one-third of the people in the ELCA. Of that third of the ELCA's millions of members who want to leave but can't find an alternative to move to, most of them are in geographic proximity to LC-MS congregations. And yet, for some reason, they don't want to be affiliated or associated with LC-MS congregations.

This issue has come up in many, many threads in here over the past year. I'm not the only one who has mentioned how misperceptions of the LC-MS that the LC-MS does nothing proactive to dispel are one of the main reasons.

If up to one-third of ELCA pewsitters would rather be in a non-ELCA church but are staying put because they don't see that they have a viable alternative, even though there are plenty of LC-MS congregations out there that they could join, what do you think is the reason?

So back to the thread topic, women considering abortion or suffering from post-abortion syndrome need this Good News!  ELCA members can help accomplish this by looking into Lutherans for Life a little more.

And apparently the excuse -- oops, I mean, reason -- that those in the ELCA are so reluctant to do so is because we are so "unloving" especially with our closed Communion practices.

And I'm hoping that we don't give into the pressure to change in order to get more ELCA participation in Lutherans For Life.  For open communion is a lot more unloving.

Mike

I'll wager that most people don't even know about "Lutherans for Life" unless they hear about it in their church. So, if you want to recruit ELCA people for Lutherans for Life, you'll need to inform the ELCA pewsitters that it exists, and then convince them that they will be welcomed as something other than observers who are only allowed on the sidelines.

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #69 on: October 21, 2010, 03:10:03 PM »
And apparently the excuse -- oops, I mean, reason -- that those in the ELCA are so reluctant to do so is because we are so "unloving" especially with our closed Communion practices.

And I'm hoping that we don't give into the pressure to change in order to get more ELCA participation in Lutherans For Life.  For open communion is a lot more unloving.

Mike

I can attest as a former ELCA member that it is indeed unloving to let anything fly.  It was the abortion issue that brought me into the LCMS, and I don't look back with anything but gratitude to that day when that particular LCMS pastor told me I couldn't commune until I talked to him first (angry as I was at first!).  

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #70 on: October 21, 2010, 03:13:15 PM »
And apparently the excuse -- oops, I mean, reason -- that those in the ELCA are so reluctant to do so is because we are so "unloving" especially with our closed Communion practices.

And I'm hoping that we don't give into the pressure to change in order to get more ELCA participation in Lutherans For Life.  For open communion is a lot more unloving.

Mike

I can attest as a former ELCA member that it is indeed unloving to let anything fly.  It was the abortion issue that brought me into the LCMS, and I don't look back with anything but gratitude to that day when that particular LCMS pastor told me I couldn't commune until I talked to him first (angry as I was at first!).  

Conversely, when my wife, who grew up LCMS, confirmed LCMS, has a degree from an LCMS college, was told by her parent's pastor that she couldn't receive communion because she belonged to the ELCA, became quite bitter towards the LCMS, and encouraged her parents to find another Lutheran Church (which they have done).
"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]

LutherMan

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #71 on: October 21, 2010, 03:22:35 PM »
Conversely, when my wife, who grew up LCMS, confirmed LCMS, has a degree from an LCMS college, was told by her parent's pastor that she couldn't receive communion because she belonged to the ELCA, became quite bitter towards the LCMS, and encouraged her parents to find another Lutheran Church (which they have done).
Yes, and this must be the zillionth time you have told us that.

Can we please get this thread back on topic?

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #72 on: October 21, 2010, 03:25:08 PM »
If up to one-third of ELCA pewsitters would rather be in a non-ELCA church but are staying put because they don't see that they have a viable alternative, even though there are plenty of LC-MS congregations out there that they could join, what do you think is the reason?

I don't know until I personally meet them.  Some of the ones I HAVE personally met, including some who didn't at all like our communion policy, ultimately came to the same conclusion that I did (once it was taught correctly), that it is indeed a loving policy.  What parent lets their child do whatever they want, especially when spiritual harm may come to them?  You have to say "no" to some things until a proper understanding is obtained. 

We had a former-Baptist member join our church about a year or so ago who was so enamored with the fact that she wasn't able to commune until she received the proper instruction on the LCMS beliefs.  It was a PRIVILEGE for her to be able to do so, not a right.  I wish I would have written down her words that day she communed for the first time . . . they were beautiful in describing what it was like for her.

Enough on communion . . . as far as I know, LFL doesn't hold worship services with communion distribution at their events, so communion cannot be used as an excuse where LFL is concerned.  You either support the Sanctity of Human Life or you don't.  There is a common bond among people who do which crosses ALL denominational lines.  Local pregnancy resource centers are an amazing example of this.  People from all faiths come together for the sake of helping both mother and child in the name of Jesus.  What an amazing ministry to be a part of!
 

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #73 on: October 21, 2010, 03:26:29 PM »
Conversely, when my wife, who grew up LCMS, confirmed LCMS, has a degree from an LCMS college, was told by her parent's pastor that she couldn't receive communion because she belonged to the ELCA, became quite bitter towards the LCMS, and encouraged her parents to find another Lutheran Church (which they have done).
Yes, and this must be the zillionth time you have told us that.

No, it's now 1 zillion and 1.

Quote
Can we please get this thread back on topic?

Isn't giving a reason why an ELCA person despises the LCMS part of this topic?
"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]

J.L. Precup

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #74 on: October 21, 2010, 03:27:46 PM »
But to be Lutheran denied communion in a Lutheran church is something different.

We are similar in name only.  This very "denial" (which really isn't a denial at all) of the Lord's Supper can ultimately bring people to realize what it truly means to commune and hold a common confession.  We do not share a common confession with the ELCA.  I've witnessed people leave a worship service angry once they've read the communion policy, and it's a shame since they've missed the Gospel coming to them by way of the preaching and liturgy.

The LCMS holds a position doctrinally that places itself in a position to be serving God, not the desires of man.  Some may not visit the LCMS because of it's reputation, some will.  I'll take criticism any day over our adherence to Scripture versus the reputations other church bodies have for their lack of the same.   ;)



When it comes to the Sacraments, it is not "a position to be serving God."  It is a position of God serving people.  That is one of the concepts of an altar.  We do not place things on it to please God, but God places His own Son on it to serve us.  The pastor at the Lord's table is a servant, the one who serves what the Host has prepared, not one who checks ID cards.

You are correct, it is the Lord's Supper.  That means it is not ours.  Closed communion means it is a meal for Christians.  Period.  Even the LCMS for all of its bluster recognizes this on one level.  Our "joint Lutheran" congregations around the world (of which there are only a few), offer the Lord's Supper to all Lutherans.  I know because I served one for six years...then 26 years as a chaplain in which we not only could, but were urged to serve all Lutherans with Word and Sacrament.  It is the Lord's Supper!  Today, I respond to His invitation to eat and drink when I worship in a LCMS congregation or an ELCA congregation.  This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our sight.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.