Author Topic: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?  (Read 31559 times)

Richard Johnson

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #240 on: October 31, 2010, 09:06:44 PM »
Someone explain to me why I should not take offense at Gregory Davidson's comment that I should be "put out to pasture" or that my words are "ignorant" or "despicable".


Because, Charles, his point is valid. As a general rule--and of course there are always exceptions--a pastoral response to someone sharing a story of deep personal meaning does NOT include comparing that person's experience with others, and particular with the assertion that "you might not approve" of those experiences. Whatever you intended, your comment came off as sounding less like "that was a moving story" than like "you know, lots of people have moving stories, and yours isn't so special." People who exercise pastoral care learn that there are times, lots of times, when the best thing is just to say "thank you for sharing that" and to keep the moralizing to themselves. Because it's not, well, pastoral.

But I have to think that you know this.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #241 on: October 31, 2010, 09:10:18 PM »
Deaconess Schave writes:
I took your comment to mean that others choose to abort and find some sort of peace and presumably God (?) through so doing. 

I comment:
I think you choose to read something ugly in that process. I (and tens of thousands of others) will say that it is possible for a people to choose to have an abortion and find peace, forgiveness and newness of life through that difficult decision, tainted by sin as are all our decisions. Their stories, also painful, can also be instructive and inspiring.

I agree, but only once they come to recognize that they are in need of forgiveness for their action.  Any woman who thinks otherwise is suppressing a whole lot of guilt and shame.  The law is written on our hearts, and she knows instinctively that she has broken it.  Her body and soul both react to the unnatural act of an abortion because it goes against how she was created by God.

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #242 on: October 31, 2010, 09:15:29 PM »
I am learning to just forgive Pastor Austin on the spot rather than get angry.   ;D 

LutherMan

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #243 on: October 31, 2010, 09:19:14 PM »
I'll betcha' underneath that grumpy exterior, somewhere, is a likable pussycat.   ;)

ptmccain

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #244 on: October 31, 2010, 10:06:20 PM »
So, now is it time to shut this topic down?

George Erdner

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #245 on: October 31, 2010, 10:08:39 PM »
So, now is it time to shut this topic down?

Why do you insist on trying to get threads shut down? If people stop posting in them, they die without intervention.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #246 on: October 31, 2010, 10:41:05 PM »
Esteemed moderator Richard writes (to me):
But I have to think that you know this.

I comment:
Actually, yes, I do. But there are times when....
But I have to think that you know this.

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #247 on: November 01, 2010, 07:14:40 AM »
Esteemed moderator Richard writes (to me):
But I have to think that you know this.

I comment:
Actually, yes, I do. But there are times when....
But I have to think that you know this.

Maybe we could keep the thread alive a little longer since there appears to be yet another insult leveled at me by Charles.  I love the number seven given my twin's birthdate is 7/7 and all, but this forgiveness 70 times 7 thing is awfully hard, Charles.   ;D  So Charles, what exactly about my story posted upthread warrants that it was one of those "times when"?  Please help us to unlock the secret code of ELCA pastoral response hidden in your comments that apparently Pastor Johnson is privy to, as well.  It cracks me up that every time now on this forum when I've forgiven your nastiness or encouraged your better behavior, you respond with another insult.  If this is ELCA pastoral care, I sure hope others will step up on here to make up for your approach.  You make me so thankful that God brought me out of your church body when He did if this is what parishioners can expect from their pastor.  Or perhaps it's as simple as this being a case of when the truth hurts, and the only thing some people can do in response to that hurt is lash back.

I was humbled by a thank you yesterday at our joint Reformation service for my story above by an LFL board member who I've invited to take a look at this thread . . . maybe he'll chime in about their efforts to reach out to the ELCA.


Charles_Austin

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #248 on: November 01, 2010, 07:34:38 AM »
One more time.
Deaconess Schave, I have the highest regard for your story, your faith and your witness. It is, as I have said several times now, instructive and inspiring.
I will say it again. It is instructive and inspiring. It is special. Your are obviously a woman of faith who knows how to act on her faith.

Deaconess Schave writes (to me):
If this is ELCA pastoral care, I sure hope others will step up on here to make up for your approach.  
I comment:
I am not your pastor. I am not pastor to anyone in this discussion. And you are not my parishioner. We are supposedly colleagues of equal standing in a theological discussion. This is not a place for pastoral care, except in rare, limited ways.

The deaconess writes:
You make me so thankful that God brought me out of your church body when He did if this is what parishioners can expect from their pastor.  
I comment:
See above. See also my earlier reference to Luke 18:9-14.

Ironically, people on this forum (not you) have mocked and derided the faith stories of others, especially gays, who have struggled their way through immense difficulties and come out stronger in faith and with a desire to serve Jesus Christ. They (not you) have said that when such people speak at Assemblies, we should turn away.
I only suggest here - with no insult, derision, or "un-pastoral" attitude - that other women who have taken a different course than yours, women who might not agree with your stance on abortion, are also women of faith with stories that can be inspiring and instructive.
That's all. I do not know how else I can counter the hostility to my remarks.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 07:53:34 AM by Charles_Austin »

kls

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #249 on: November 01, 2010, 10:37:03 AM »
See also my earlier reference to Luke 18:9-14.

I'll leave it up to the reader to determine who is the Pharisee and who is the tax collector in this instance.  It certainly wasn't out of pride that I put myself out there for the cyber world to take note of my past sins so that others might be spared from the same destructive path I took.  From the hundreds of women I've been blessed to counsel on either abortion prevention or post-abortion stress, I doubt they'd characterize our conversations as anything close to what you set forth in your reference to Luke 18.

But OK, Charles, I get that you don't see it as your duty to be pastoral even on such a public forum as this.  I guess I've come to expect more out of pastors based on the ones I've been blessed to know through the years.  Let's call a cease-fire and be done.  Diaconally speaking, I continue to love you in Christ no matter how much you dislike my message, which is really God's . . .

Jeremiah 1:4 (ESV)
The Call of Jeremiah
Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

For a church body that is supposedly a champion of women's rights, sadly, the rights of tiny little girls who would become women aren't considered a bit.  Glad Jeremiah got to live!  Now I have these words of his to comfort me.  God's mercy is available to all sinners who come to Him in humble repentance, even me.

« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 10:54:06 AM by Kim Schave »

DeHall

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #250 on: November 01, 2010, 10:56:22 AM »
I only suggest here - with no insult, derision, or "un-pastoral" attitude - that other women who have taken a different course than yours, women who might not agree with your stance on abortion, are also women of faith with stories that can be inspiring and instructive.
That's all. I do not know how else I can counter the hostility to my remarks.


Find one, and have them post their story here.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #251 on: November 01, 2010, 10:57:37 AM »
Any woman who thinks otherwise is suppressing a whole lot of guilt and shame.  The law is written on our hearts, and she knows instinctively that she has broken it.  Her body and soul both react to the unnatural act of an abortion because it goes against how she was created by God.

It is a comment like this, not your personal story, that spurs Charles and me to respond (and his biblical reference). You are judging all women who have had an abortion. You make unproven assumptions about all women who have had an abortion. Even if all the women whom you have counseled have a lot of guilt and shame -- the fact that they are coming for counseling indicates that they are not a random sampling of all women who have had an abortion.
"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]

Scott6

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #252 on: November 01, 2010, 11:06:03 AM »
Any woman who thinks otherwise is suppressing a whole lot of guilt and shame.  The law is written on our hearts, and she knows instinctively that she has broken it.  Her body and soul both react to the unnatural act of an abortion because it goes against how she was created by God.

It is a comment like this, not your personal story, that spurs Charles and me to respond (and his biblical reference). You are judging all women who have had an abortion. You make unproven assumptions about all women who have had an abortion. Even if all the women whom you have counseled have a lot of guilt and shame -- the fact that they are coming for counseling indicates that they are not a random sampling of all women who have had an abortion.

First of all, the comments that are objectionable were not responses to the post you quote but to Kim's very personal story.  It was that which spawned Charles' less-than-charitable comment, and then an even less charitable -- actually quite offensive -- comment in response to Richard's admonition.

Second, Kim makes a claim re: the preaching of the law.  There is no doubt that there are many secure sinners.  Just as there are many that are terrified.  Those are certainly two responses to hearing the Law, with the latter receiving the pronouncement of forgiveness and the former continue to need to hear the Law.  If you object to this approach, then you are objecting to what is very basic to Lutheran thought -- the proclamation of Law and Gospel.

Third, Kim is indeed making another move, which is to say that if folks stop to reflect on what they've done (or even if they don't, it's still there awaiting reflection), then they regret taking what is most obviously a life as opposed to believing the popular line that it's only a bit of flesh.  If you disagree with this, fine.  But given that it's an observable phenomenon, the way to counter it would be to hear from someone who feels quite secure in their decision to have an abortion and see the picture of a life that yields.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 11:09:24 AM by Scott Yakimow »

ptmccain

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #253 on: November 01, 2010, 11:26:14 AM »
Kim,

I wanted to let you know that your courageous sharing of your story has already been such a blessing to many. When I posted it on my blog and Facebook wall, I heard from a LOT of women who have struggled with similar issues. The stories came pouring out and the opportunity for sharing the comfort and hope found only, and always, in Christ were powerful and deeply moving to me.

So, thanks again for your powerful witness.

Blessings,
Paul

Charles_Austin

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Re: Is Lutherans For Life "too LCMS" for ELCA Pro-Life People?
« Reply #254 on: November 01, 2010, 11:57:13 AM »
Deaconess Schave writes:
But OK, Charles, I get that you don't see it as your duty to be pastoral even on such a public forum as this. 
I comment:
Nonsense again. It is my duty to be "pastoral" to those with whom I have a pastoral relationship. I might choose to do that in some other situations, but I have not "duty" to do that.
n.b. Nothing in the following paragraph is intended to apply to the personal situation of Deaconess Schave.
FWIW, about 80 percent of the women with difficult pregnancies that I have dealt with over 40+ years had the baby, and usually gave it up for adoption. I have in mind one of those women who, 20 years later, experienced such anxiety over having done that that she needed serious counseling and medication. And I know women who did not carry the pregnancy full term who - while I think they understand all the sinfulness involved in the matter (they certainly heard it from me) - accept God's forgiveness and live full lives of faith, neither haunted by that particular deed, nor making it the focal point for God's grace in their life.