Author Topic: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?  (Read 32597 times)

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #195 on: October 24, 2010, 07:21:01 AM »
Deaconess Schave writes (re Pastor Stoffregen):
And being sorry for our sins doesn't fit into the equation?  Hmmmm . . . what a nice pastor you must be.  I'll bet everyone likes you.

I comment:
Cheap shot, deaconess. Unworthy of you.



I'm learning from the best on here!  Unworthy of me?  Please . . . how many times have I said what a wretched sinner I am?  Very impressive that you'll point out my perceived sin since my point is the following:  my husband/pastor has had to deal with some pretty irrate people through the last several years for calling out their sin in order to bring them to repentance.  If a pastor isn't making members angry at times (through a loving admonishment for sinful behavior), I question his ability to bring them to a true understanding of repentance.  What is the reason for this Jesus we're preaching about if we can't recognize our sinful state?

Charles_Austin

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #196 on: October 24, 2010, 07:26:34 AM »
Deaconess Schave writes:
What is the reason for this Jesus we're preaching about if we can't recognize our sinful state?
I comment:
Been down this road before. We preach about Jesus so that people know about God's grace. First. Foremost. Finally. All else follows.
You seem to enjoy the "calling out sin" and making people irate because you do so. O.k with me, I guess, if it works for you.

But your shot at Pastor Stoffregen was still out of line.

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #197 on: October 24, 2010, 07:31:34 AM »
You're pushing me really close to that breaking point we discussed in another thread.

Am I to understand you have a few choice words waiting in your arsenal for me?  Threats and name calling bother me little.  I've probably been called every name known to man (and woman) in my lifetime.  Give it your best shot, though.   ;)

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I don't care about what people with first hand knowledge know. What matters most to people deciding whether or not to work with a group that's strongly identified with the LC-MS is what the people doing the deciding think they know about the LC-MS. I don't know how many times I can repeat that it's not about what the people who've entered through your door think about you, it's what the people who won't go through your door because of their misconceptions that are caused by things like Pastor Speckhard's insult to those who don't share his views. And I realize that he only said it in here, not to the world at large. But it is typical of the kind of statements that come from people in the LC-MS that perpetuate the bad reputation the LC-MS has to deal with.

And you make for such the ambassador of the organizations you represent based on your behavior on this forum.  It goes both ways, George, honestly.

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The real question is why should anyone who has a plethora of choices of anti-abortion groups to join venture over into unknown territory to an organization with a bad reputation just to see if the reputation is true or not?

Only a couple of people on this forum are equating the LCMS-ness of LFL to mean it's a "bad" organization.


kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #198 on: October 24, 2010, 07:33:40 AM »
Deaconess Schave writes:
What is the reason for this Jesus we're preaching about if we can't recognize our sinful state?
I comment:
Been down this road before. We preach about Jesus so that people know about God's grace. First. Foremost. Finally. All else follows.
You seem to enjoy the "calling out sin" and making people irate because you do so. O.k with me, I guess, if it works for you.

But your shot at Pastor Stoffregen was still out of line.

If there had been a tongue-in-cheek emoticon, it would have been used.  You are so funny and make me laugh, though.  How easy it is to point out others' bad behavior.

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #199 on: October 24, 2010, 07:40:09 AM »
Has Lutherans For Life gotten more anti-abortion candidates elected to Congress? Has Lutherans For Life gotten any new judges appointed? What's Lutherans For Life's track record for accomplishment?

Again, George, they are an EDUCATIONAL organization working within the church.  They are not political, and they are not the hands-on ministry that other pro-life organizations are.  Their purpose is very specific.  Their record of accomplishment will likely only be known in heaven.  Not everyone will feel called to support this organization.  It remains as a viable source of information for the Lutheran churches and members who wish to make us of it.  For those who don't wish to, they simply don't need to.

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #200 on: October 24, 2010, 07:49:06 AM »
Deaconess Schave writes:
What is the reason for this Jesus we're preaching about if we can't recognize our sinful state?
I comment:
Been down this road before. We preach about Jesus so that people know about God's grace. First. Foremost. Finally. All else follows.

What do we need God's grace for?  If it isn't from our sinful state, than I don't understand your point.  Can you help me me understand?

And truly, what you call a "shot" at Brian was really a compliment.  I'm sure he is liked if he doesn't make the tough call with parishioners as in the case of how he counseled a woman contemplating abortion on this thread.

George Erdner

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #201 on: October 24, 2010, 08:24:48 AM »
Understand, Lutherans For Life ain't the only anti-abortion game in town. You folks don't have a monopoly on fighting abortion.

I put forth the types of pro-life organizations above in another post.  LFL is an information clearinghouse for the most part.  THE TOPIC OF THIS THREAD relates to LFL, so that is the organization being discussed.  Not yet has anyone said it's the only game in town.  And you say people don't get your point?

That's great that you support candidates who will work against those who are in favor of legalized abortion on demand.


I realize that other anti-abortion groups aren't the topic, but your persistent hammering away at the point that if one didn't join Lutherans For Life one wasn't against abortion could only be addressed by pointing out that it wasn't the only game in town.

Has Lutherans For Life gotten more anti-abortion candidates elected to Congress? Has Lutherans For Life gotten any new judges appointed? What's Lutherans For Life's track record for accomplishment?

Again, George, they are an EDUCATIONAL organization working within the church.  They are not political, and they are not the hands-on ministry that other pro-life organizations are.  Their purpose is very specific.  Their record of accomplishment will likely only be known in heaven.  Not everyone will feel called to support this organization.  It remains as a viable source of information for the Lutheran churches and members who wish to make us of it.  For those who don't wish to, they simply don't need to.

Then the third degree Pastor McCain has been giving me about what I'm doing personally makes even less sense. If Lutherans For Life is only an educational organization, then what difference does it make if many people participate. When all is said and done about working against abortion, what is said matters little. Only what is done really matters.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #202 on: October 24, 2010, 10:17:29 AM »
Isn't is possible for a woman to believe that she made the right decision to have an abortion -- especially when the decision was inline with her church's guidance?

Absolutely! Many do.  And they've been deceived by Satan just as Eve was that it was a good and salutary thing to do.  Then, if you review the post-abortion links I provided upthread, you'd come to understand how the guilt and shame manifests itself.  It may take years and years, but it happens.  Period.

So, in your opinion it is better to save the life of the child than the mother, because the abortion will cause the mother to be full of guilt and shame.
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peter_speckhard

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #203 on: October 24, 2010, 01:33:43 PM »
Sorry, Brian, when she realizes (if she hasn't already) what a dreadful mistake she made in taking the life of an unborn baby, "trust" and "respect" are not going to be her words of choice for her pastor.  I strongly urge you to research information relating to post-abortion syndrome and seek her out for additional counsel.  It is the loving and pastoral thing to do, even if you neglected these duties on the front end. 

Isn't is possible for a woman to believe that she made the right decision to have an abortion -- especially when the decision was inline with her church's guidance?
It is indeed possible to believe anything, especially when it is in keeping with church guidance. Which is why it is important for church guidance to be true.

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #204 on: October 24, 2010, 01:56:12 PM »
So, in your opinion it is better to save the life of the child than the mother, because the abortion will cause the mother to be full of guilt and shame.

First of all Brian, please let me know if I owe you an apology for my snarkiness earlier.  Charles points out that I made a cheap shot at you.  I've since participated in the Divine Service and thought I should probably reconcile this with you.  I honestly meant that you are probably a very likable guy if you don't have to point out sin to people.  I have been personally angry at pastors who have pointed out where I'm wrong in the past.  I was a little annoyed with Charles this morning as a matter of fact, but I respect that he's a pastor who wanted to point out that I may have sinned against you.  If there is a need for me to seek your forgiveness, I'd love for you to tell me so.  It wouldn't quite be right for me to rail on you guys for not pointing out sin if I am not willing to make things right as a result of my own.

To your question, I love the mom, dad and baby and hope for nothing more than to be able to offer counsel from the perspective of all three of them when I'm priviliged to be in a situation to discuss the alternatives they're considering.  I've seen doctors misdiagnose threatening conditions for a mother only to be proven incorrect by 2nd opinions from other physicians, so this reason for having an abortion can be problematic.  

This is a link to the position a group of physicians takes on this scenario.  They can speak better than I can as to the true medical necessity of an abortion given the level of risk to the mother's life.

http://www.prolifephysicians.org/rarecases.htm

In the end, the author and creator of life picks who lives and who dies in my mind.  If in our sinful state we take matters into our own hands, the same forgiveness available to us all for the myriad of other sins we all commit every day is available.  Abortion is not an unforgivable sin by any means.  

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #205 on: October 24, 2010, 03:51:17 PM »
For anyone who is interested, allow me to share how I moved from being a pro-choice feminist who happened to be a member of the ELCA to the pro-mom/dad/baby woman of God that I am today who by the grace of God found a church home in the LCMS.  I know this is far too long for a typical post, but I hoped it might clarify why I am so passionate on this issue and donít hesitate to call abortion a sin.

I grew up outside the church, finally convinced my parents to begin attending an ALC church close to our home where my mother had attended as a kid.  I was baptized and confirmed at the age of 18.  My parents and I attended off and on until I graduated and left for Army basic training later that year.  It was nice to know I was in the club if I happened to die, basically.  I grew up somehow believing in God and being taught about Jesus on the occasion that I went to church with friends or a VBS at a local church.   I remember one time deciding with a friend that weíd memorize the Lordís Prayer together from the little Gideon Bible we acquired from somewhere.  She wasnít a church-goer either.  Those were my only experiences with God as a kid.

Both before and after my baptism I participated in helping friends make decisions to get abortions.  At that age, the world is ending if you donít solve your immediate problem . . . you certainly canít see that this too, shall pass.  My particular circle of friends at certain times didnít have parents they felt they could trust or pastors to turn to for wise counsel.  There was still actually shame in the 80ís for being known as sexually active, which isnít exactly the case these days in most secular circles.  Abortion was fine in my mind, what difference did it really make, itís just a blob of tissue that gets vacuumed out in a procedure simpler than having your tonsils taken out, right?  More power to any woman who wants to exercise her right to choose whatís best for her body.

Fast forward about eight years to 1995 when I was blessed to be carrying the future left and right guards for The Ohio State University as my husband and I would so lovingly joke.  It was totally out of the blue; twins do not run in either of our families.  Twin boys were on the way, and my husband couldnít be more proud as a dad.  The big items were purchased, the nursery was ready, we hadnít quite gotten to the point that we had showers scheduled, yet out of the blue at work one day I started feeling rather ill and subsequently lost a lot of fluid.  I was 24 weeksí into my pregnancy, we had known for only about 2 weeks we were expecting twins, and the dream all came crashing down in just one day.  I met my doctor at Christ Hospital (I cherish this hospital name yet today), then was transferred by ambulance to the nearest research hospital for an emergency C-section . . . it was too late to stop labor.  I found much comfort in the Biblical number of 7 on that July 7, 1995, day.

The only recourse for a mother at that point is to beg and plead with God to save her children.  I think I bargained in every way I could think of with him while I was still conscious on the operating room table.  I offered to dedicate them both to His service if God would allow them to live (Iím guessing the readings at church that week must have been based on 1 Samuel and were fresh in my mind, I donít know).   In the end, He would not grant that (or so it seemed at the time).

My one pound boys who could fit in the palm of our hands,  named Joshua and Zachary, lived for one day.  My husband has better recall than I do of all that happened in those 24 hours.  I tried to get down to the NICU once and ended up throwing up all over; I never made it back to see them.  Today I think itís because God was protecting me from the memories Iíd still have today of how fragile they must have looked hooked up to all the equipment.   My perfectly formed little blessings each had 10 perfect little fingers, 10 perfect little toes, handsome little faces, quite a bit of hair, and were simply created perfect in every way.  I wanted these little babies more than anything in the world, and for whatever reason, God said ďno.Ē  To say I was a little angry with Him would be an understatement!  Our faithful pastor baptized the boys in my husbandís presence in their little incubators; I was not able to witness it, but I cling to the assurance of this gift nonetheless.   

When it was time to take them off life-support, they were lovingly swaddled and brought to us so we could say good-bye.  I had to that point never seen anything in my life as precious as those little bundles.  We had about an hour or so to check out their little fingers and toes before we knew it was time to say good-bye.  There is a discoloration that takes place when the oxygen levels decrease as babies die, and that point had come.  Their tiny little noses started bleeding, and Iíll never forget wiping them with the greatest amount of love a mother can muster.  My favorite scene in the Mel Gibson ďThe Passion of the ChristĒ movie is when Mary is wiping up her sonís precious blood from the ground with a stark white piece of cloth.  His blood was simply not fit to be left there.  From the perspective of a mother, this just cannot be described, only experienced.

In the weeks following, after my father-in-law took down the nursery before I came home, after the tombstone and burial plot were picked out, after the graveside service, after the negotiating of final hospital bills, my pastor kept me focused on a very loving Father who allowed His own Son die to for my sake.  This Father had the power to stop the abuse His own son would endure, but He loved us so much that He chose not to stop it.  Oh, that pastors in all church bodies, especially the ELCA as this pastor was, would recognize the gift of Life.  He had lost his own child to cancer and knew all too well what we were experiencing.  Losing a child certainly gives you perspective on how much our society has come to devalue life.  Right around the time of my loss, the newspapers were awash in the story of Susan Smith drowning her children.  The unfairness of it all . . . one kills her sons while I want nothing more than for mine to live.

But wait, what about those years I didnít really seem to care so much about the lives I had so easily told my friends not to concern themselves with?  I had some tough lessons to learn in those months and years following my loss, but despite the harshness of those lessons, God was there at every turn with the assurance that only comes through His Word, and for every deceitful whisper Iíd hear from Satan, Godís Word came through all the more loudly.

THIS is why Iím an ardent defender of the unborn.  For another person to have to go through what I did to learn this lesson, well, I just wouldnít wish it on anyone.  For generations of women, men and children who havenít been taught how precious the gift of Life is, I dedicate my remaining years to try to help others come to understand it.

In the end, God did allow my sons to live.  They live eternally with a loving Jesus because of Godís gift of grace through the waters of Holy Baptism.  My insistence on helping others view Life with the same regard that I have come to have is my way of dedicating their lives to something important, I suppose.  They did not live nor die in vain if I am able to help one mother save the life of her own baby (and also save her from a lifetime of pain).  This is why Iím not afraid to call abortion a sin.  This is why I am pro-baby, pro-mother and pro-father (and ultimately, pro-God). 

LutherMan

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #206 on: October 24, 2010, 04:01:08 PM »
Wow.  Thank you for sharing.
God's Richest Blessings to you and yours.

ptmccain

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Wow...what a personal witness
« Reply #207 on: October 24, 2010, 04:02:34 PM »
Deaconess/Sister Schave, wow, thank you for your powerful personal witness and confession, and thanks for honoring us all by sharing it here.

I'd like to post it to my blog site, may I have your permission to do so?

Paul

Maryland Brian

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #208 on: October 24, 2010, 04:09:52 PM »
Thank you for the integrity, courage, and faith to share your story.

LutherMan

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #209 on: October 24, 2010, 04:12:45 PM »
We now are home to the most notorious baby-slayer in the nation since Tiller the Killer was killed.  His clinic is practically across the street from St. Mary's Catholic Church of Bellevue.
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http://www.drcarhart.com/

With the assassination of Dr. George R. Tiller on May 31, 2009, ACCON and Dr. Carhart took on the responsibility to provide all abortions, as protected, by the "Roe v. Wade" and "Doe v. BoltonĒ decisions rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States on January 22, 1973.