Author Topic: LSB and Ash Wednesday Liturgy  (Read 5686 times)

Michael_Rothaar

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Re: LSB and Ash Wednesday Liturgy
« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2012, 01:05:06 PM »
I have a theological question.  Is the forgiveness of sins ultimately dependent on the sincerity of my confession?  That sounds almost legalistic to me. And in my sinfulness, can I even be sure of the sincerity of my confession? 

Thanks for mentioning this important pastoral concern about the words for worship. Along with the "sincerity" issue you raise, I'm not sure I've ever been capable of -- in the words of that New York liturgy -- "fully purpos[ing] a life of obedience and piety." Hence my terror as a child/youth in hearing my pastor speak the paragraph that began, "On the other hand, by the same authority..."

That said, I'm pastorally uncomfortable with an unqualified absolution in a corporate worship setting. It's the right choice for private confession. But without the mutual comfort and consolation, and the exhortation, available in the one-to-one setting, the absolution might lead the uninformed or weak in faith to believe that amendment of life is unnecessary, or that the words themselves are empty and formulaic.
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Charles_Austin

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Re: LSB and Ash Wednesday Liturgy
« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2012, 01:23:53 PM »
Mr. Gale writes:
This all changed, of course, when Augustana adopted the SBH and joined the LCA.

I comment:
To be more precise, Augustana did not "join" the LCA. Augustana was part of the merger that created the LCA. And Augustana had "adopted" the SBH prior to the merger.

James_Gale

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Re: LSB and Ash Wednesday Liturgy
« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2012, 01:43:18 PM »
Mr. Gale writes:
This all changed, of course, when Augustana adopted the SBH and joined the LCA.

I comment:
To be more precise, Augustana did not "join" the LCA. Augustana was part of the merger that created the LCA. And Augustana had "adopted" the SBH prior to the merger.


Correction gratefully accepted.

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: LSB and Ash Wednesday Liturgy
« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2012, 01:57:37 PM »
That said, I'm pastorally uncomfortable with an unqualified absolution in a corporate worship setting. It's the right choice for private confession. But without the mutual comfort and consolation, and the exhortation, available in the one-to-one setting, the absolution might lead the uninformed or weak in faith to believe that amendment of life is unnecessary, or that the words themselves are empty and formulaic.

Ah, how one loves the conditional absolution, insuring that the measuring will immunize one from any idea that grace really is free or will accidentally be given to the unworthy.  "If I...then...." 

http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3431.msg187123#msg187123

"...s there a danger in publically telling people that they are forgiven? No, because if people believe it, then it is so!"

http://jackkilcrease.blogspot.com/2011/05/elca-theologian-responds-to-my-post-on.html

« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 02:03:37 PM by dgkirch »
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James Gustafson

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Re: LSB and Ash Wednesday Liturgy
« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2012, 02:00:00 PM »
I have a theological question.  Is the forgiveness of sins ultimately dependent on the sincerity of my confession?  That sounds almost legalistic to me. And in my sinfulness, can I even be sure of the sincerity of my confession?

I would surmisse that the sincerity of a confession is dependent on the faith of the one confessing. Since faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit, I would guess that since sincerity (in that situation) is such a close cousin of faith, it is also a gift of the Holy Spirit.

You know (to the both of you and myself and everyone else really), the reformation was an attempt to give surety.  When extraordinarily articulate people such as yourselves sincerely ask such questions, it's proof that the reformation has failed. 

Erma S. Wolf

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Re: LSB and Ash Wednesday Liturgy
« Reply #50 on: February 02, 2012, 02:15:29 PM »

I have a theological question.  Is the forgiveness of sins ultimately dependent on the sincerity of my confession?  That sounds almost legalistic to me. And in my sinfulness, can I even be sure of the sincerity of my confession?

"Is the forgiveness of sins ultimately dependent on the sincerity of my confession?" 
     No. Our sins were forgiven in the once-for-all sacrifice on the cross of our Lord and Savior.  God's act of sheer grace in applying that sacrifice to the forgiveness of our sins is complete in and of itself.
     The sincerity of my confession is part of my hearing and understanding the "For you" in that act of God.  What changes my life is not knowing that Jesus died to forgive the sins of sinners; it is in realizing that I am a sinner, and Jesus death on the cross brings about the forgiveness of my sins.  Then amendment of life is a response to that grace. 

"Can I even be sure of the sincerity of my confession?"  Again, no.  "Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief."  Thankfully, God does not dispense grace and forgiveness like a slot-machine! ("insert sincere confession in slot a, pull lever b, if you pass the sincerity test receive forgiveness! Otherwise, keep trying!")   

James_Gale

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Re: LSB and Ash Wednesday Liturgy
« Reply #51 on: February 02, 2012, 03:19:34 PM »

I have a theological question.  Is the forgiveness of sins ultimately dependent on the sincerity of my confession?  That sounds almost legalistic to me. And in my sinfulness, can I even be sure of the sincerity of my confession?

"Is the forgiveness of sins ultimately dependent on the sincerity of my confession?" 
     No. Our sins were forgiven in the once-for-all sacrifice on the cross of our Lord and Savior.  God's act of sheer grace in applying that sacrifice to the forgiveness of our sins is complete in and of itself.
     The sincerity of my confession is part of my hearing and understanding the "For you" in that act of God.  What changes my life is not knowing that Jesus died to forgive the sins of sinners; it is in realizing that I am a sinner, and Jesus death on the cross brings about the forgiveness of my sins.  Then amendment of life is a response to that grace. 

"Can I even be sure of the sincerity of my confession?"  Again, no.  "Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief."  Thankfully, God does not dispense grace and forgiveness like a slot-machine! ("insert sincere confession in slot a, pull lever b, if you pass the sincerity test receive forgiveness! Otherwise, keep trying!")


Thanks, Pr. Wolf.  If I'd taken a shot at answering my own question, it would have been along these lines, although not nearly so well stated.  I think that the use of the concept of sincerity in the absolution was misguided because of the confusion that could result.  But that's probably not a debate worth having, given that the absolution has not been used regularly in worship since about 1958.

George Erdner

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Re: LSB and Ash Wednesday Liturgy
« Reply #52 on: February 02, 2012, 03:41:58 PM »
I think that the use of the concept of sincerity in the absolution was misguided because of the confusion that could result.  But that's probably not a debate worth having, given that the absolution has not been used regularly in worship since about 1958.

Then what is this statement from the LBW?
 
P          Almighty God, in his mercy, has given his Son to die for us and, for his sake, forgives us all our sins. As a called and ordained minister of the Church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
 
 

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: LSB and Ash Wednesday Liturgy
« Reply #53 on: February 02, 2012, 03:43:31 PM »
It's a different absolution, George, from the one that was being discussed.
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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: LSB and Ash Wednesday Liturgy
« Reply #54 on: February 04, 2012, 11:32:34 AM »
And whether an indicative-operative, a declaration of grace, or something in between they are all a form of absolutio. As Precht points out, any declarative formula didn't come about until around the year 1000.
Don Kirchner

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Dave Benke

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Re: LSB and Ash Wednesday Liturgy
« Reply #55 on: February 04, 2012, 07:35:28 PM »
How did they manage for that whole first millenium without it?

Dave Benke

George Erdner

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Re: LSB and Ash Wednesday Liturgy
« Reply #56 on: February 04, 2012, 09:59:49 PM »
How did they manage for that whole first millenium without it?

Dave Benke

Maybe that's where the expression, "It goes without saying" came from.