Author Topic: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics  (Read 144514 times)

Pastor Ted Crandall

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1650 on: May 12, 2013, 05:22:45 AM »
Sadly, the divisions are not caused by fidelity to the apostolic deposit, but always by some falsification of it - be it by addition or subtraction.  So pretending that the subtraction or addition doesn't matter doesn't help at all; what helps is being intractable in all that He has given us; and liberal with all that we have done with what He has given us.

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,  that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,  I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.  Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.  O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.  I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Through their word... 

Charles_Austin

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1651 on: May 12, 2013, 06:00:54 AM »
NC Lutheran, R.L. Austin writes (re not communing):
This was my situation during college. There not being a suitable Lutheran church nearby (i.e. one with liturgical worship) I started attending a high church Episcopal parish near school.
I ask:
Do you mean there was a Lutheran church nearby, but it was not "suitable" because it did not have what was in your opinion "liturgical worship"? So, as you explained in the rest of that posting, you chose to attend an Episcopal church and have a "suitable" worship style ("smells, bells, trained musicians, great architecture"), but no reception of the Body and Blood of our Lord?
     Does this not elevate style over substance, especially if there was an LCMS parish nearby?
 
NC Lutheran R.L. Austin writes:
Even though the rector insisted our view was the same, the Articles were in the prayer book and constitution and I couldn't get past that.
I wonder (yet again):
Once more we encounter that valid, but impossible, longing for an idealized "doctrinal unity" that would mean (and does mean, for those LCMS pastors who individually excommunicate other pastors by refusing to commune with them) it could get really hard to commune with almost anyone else.
     The 39 Articles, like our Confessions, are the creation of a flawed humanity, a creation that contains, but does not comprise the Gospel.
     I believe that one of the "trade-offs" we make in ecumenical enterprise is the understanding that while various Christian communities, that is, various parts of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church have disagreements; we may find ways to see that some - not all, but some - of those disagreements should not keep us from communing together especially in times of need.
    If would be too bad if, during your college years, you deeply desired the sacrament; but did not receive it because the Lutheran church did not celebrate a "suitable" liturgy and the Episcopal church had - in your opinion - some flaws in a doctrinal statement.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 07:57:48 AM by Charles_Austin »

John_Hannah

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1652 on: May 12, 2013, 06:36:33 AM »
John,

In the Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV, our Churches maintain that "No one is admitted to the Sacrament without first being examined." and "Paul severely threatens those who use the Eucharist in an unworthy manner, “Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:27)." And St. John Chrysostom is cited approvingly: "Chrysostom says 'that the priest stands daily at the altar, inviting some to the Communion and keeping back others.'" The Apology reinforces that no one is admitted to the sacrament without examination:  "The Sacrament is offered to those who wish to use it, after they have been examined and absolved" and "The people use it after having first been instructed and examined."

....


PR. WEEDON (WILL)

You make an excellent case against practicing "open communion." You are correct.

I do not think that the alternatives are "open" vs. "closed" (i.e., closed to all not in affiliation with the LCMS). Neither of those extremes is acceptable. Neither is confessional. The usual conversation in Missouri present this false choice and most pastors are using better judgement, although most deny it, of course, given the lack of trust in far too many circuits.

Mr. Mundinger is simply making the case against "communion closed by affiliation." He, too, is correct.

My $0.02.  Peace, JOHN
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 07:35:07 AM by John_Hannah »
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

John Mundinger

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1653 on: May 12, 2013, 07:16:15 AM »
John,

I ask yet again: the confessions assert that the Lutheran pastor is to instruct, examine, and absolve those he communes. Do you agree that he is to do this? You asked for a passage from the Symbols to justify "closed communion." My suspicion (and it's no more than that) is that what you object to is in fact the pastor being steward of the mysteries, and so called upon to do the examination prior to communing a person.

Pastor Weedon - I thought that I had indicated agreement with the practice of "examination".  What I object to is the use of standards other than those specified by the Confessions during the examination for the purpose of determining who is worthy to receive.  The practice of "close(d)/closed communion" employes criteria other than "faith in these words" and, thereby, excludes persons who are worthy and would benefit from receiving it.  By doing so, the pastor may be the steward of the mysteries, but not the mysteries of the Sacrament.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

John Mundinger

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1654 on: May 12, 2013, 07:22:31 AM »
we celebrate the Eucharist at each service (even weddings and funerals) and I pay very close attention to all who present themselves at the Communion rail, and pause and spend a moment with some basic doctrinal discernment if I have not spoken with them before the service began.

Padre Dave - I am comfortable with that, provided that you use the criteria that Luther prescribed in the Catechism to discern worthiness, and only those criteria.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

Mel Harris

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1655 on: May 12, 2013, 07:32:13 AM »

Pastor Weedon wrote (re not communing):
This was my situation during college. There not being a suitable Lutheran church nearby (i.e. one with liturgical worship) I started attending a high church Episcopal parish near school.
I ask:
Do you mean there was a Lutheran church nearby, but it was not "suitable" because it did not have what was in your opinion "liturgical worship"? So, as you explained in the rest of that posting, you chose to attend an Episcopal church and have a "suitable" worship style ("smells, bells, trained musicians, great architecture"), but no reception of the Body and Blood of our Lord?
     Does this not elevate style over substance, especially if there was an LCMS parish nearby?

Pastor Weedon writes:
Even though the rector insisted our view was the same, the Articles were in the prayer book and constitution and I couldn't get past that.
I wonder (yet again):
Once more we encounter that valid, but impossible, longing for an idealized "doctrinal unity" that would mean (and does mean, for those LCMS pastors who individually excommunicate other pastors by refusing to commune with them) it could get really hard to commune with almost anyone else.
     The 39 Articles, like our Confessions, are the creation of a flawed humanity, a creation that contains, but does not comprise the Gospel.
     I believe that one of the "trade-offs" we make in ecumenical enterprise is the understanding that while various Christian communities, that is, various parts of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church have disagreements; we may find ways to see that some - not all, but some - of those disagreements should not keep us from communing together especially in times of need.
    If would be too bad if, during your college years, you deeply desired the sacrament; but did not receive it because the Lutheran church did not celebrate a "suitable" liturgy and the Episcopal church had - in your opinion - some flaws in a doctrinal statement.


Charles,

       Please take another look at the post you are responding to in your post above.  It was not posted by Pastor Weedon.

              Mel Harris

Charles_Austin

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1656 on: May 12, 2013, 07:55:04 AM »
Thank you. I have fixed my post and hope that it did not embarrass Pastor Weedon. My questions, then, were to NCLutheran, the one who bears a most dignified surname.
Nonethless, cheers,
CMA
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 07:58:23 AM by Charles_Austin »

Weedon

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1657 on: May 12, 2013, 08:14:48 AM »
Dear Pastor Hannah,

You will recall that I have long argued on this forum that "closed"/"open" is not the paradigm that I would choose to use. I recommend instead a responsible communion practice. A communion practice that recognizes the responsibility of the pastor in administration of the sacrament, of the communicant in reception of the sacrament, and of the congregation in its responsibility toward the guests and regular members in its midst.

George,

"Are you a member of the LCMS?" is simply an abandonment of the responsibility that is given the steward of the mysteries in that place. Korby once encountered a young man at his altar rail whom he didn't know. "Who are you and why are you here?" he asked. The young fellow answered: "It's okay; I'm Missouri Synod." Korby responded: "But that's not what I asked. Who are you and why are you here?"

The answer he was looking for was: "I'm a poor sinner, baptized into Christ, and desirous of receiving His body and blood for the forgiveness of my sin" or something along those lines! Korby could apparently pull that off without being needlessly offensive - he was rumored to have that way about him.

And yes, I do think most folks assume that the examination was the one time event that happened with confirmation. That would perhaps be enough if sin and Satan assailed us only in our youth. But for many a year, this was the normal spiritual care of souls that took place in the Lutheran Church (see that long quote from Chemnitz/Andraea again!). It was the place to talk about spiritual growth.

John,

The point of examination is never who is worthy to receive, but whether this baptized Christian is prepared to receive the Sacrament worthily. The adverb makes all the difference, for there is of course not a single fallen human being who is "worthy" to receive the gift our Lord gives.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 08:18:30 AM by Weedon »
William Weedon, Assistant Pastor
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John_Hannah

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1658 on: May 12, 2013, 08:27:42 AM »
Dear Pastor Hannah,

You will recall that I have long argued on this forum that "closed"/"open" is not the paradigm that I would choose to use. I recommend instead a responsible communion practice. A communion practice that recognizes the responsibility of the pastor in administration of the sacrament, of the communicant in reception of the sacrament, and of the congregation in its responsibility toward the guests and regular members in its midst.

....


WILL

I do remember that, indeed. I posted more for the sake of the deeply polarized Missouri Synod than for you. Nonetheless, Mr. Mundinger does tell an important truth, namely, that Missouri's normal, convention approved articulation of its Eucharistic practice is NOT from the Book of Concord but from later documents and reflecting other interests, some quite anti-catholic, anti-evangelical, and sectarian. (It might actually be in your interest to recognize that since you are the official champion of better Lutheran Eucharistic practices.)


Peace, JOHN
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 09:05:48 AM by John_Hannah »
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

John Mundinger

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1659 on: May 12, 2013, 08:46:32 AM »
John,

The point of examination is never who is worthy to receive, but whether this baptized Christian is prepared to receive the Sacrament worthily. The adverb makes all the difference, for there is of course not a single fallen human being who is "worthy" to receive the gift our Lord gives.

My grammar might have been incorrect.  However, that doesn't change the criteria.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

George Erdner

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1660 on: May 12, 2013, 10:17:29 AM »
George,

"Are you a member of the LCMS?" is simply an abandonment of the responsibility that is given the steward of the mysteries in that place. Korby once encountered a young man at his altar rail whom he didn't know. "Who are you and why are you here?" he asked. The young fellow answered: "It's okay; I'm Missouri Synod." Korby responded: "But that's not what I asked. Who are you and why are you here?"

The answer he was looking for was: "I'm a poor sinner, baptized into Christ, and desirous of receiving His body and blood for the forgiveness of my sin" or something along those lines! Korby could apparently pull that off without being needlessly offensive - he was rumored to have that way about him.

And yes, I do think most folks assume that the examination was the one time event that happened with confirmation. That would perhaps be enough if sin and Satan assailed us only in our youth. But for many a year, this was the normal spiritual care of souls that took place in the Lutheran Church (see that long quote from Chemnitz/Andraea again!). It was the place to talk about spiritual growth.



The thing is, despite such anecdotal accounts of examinations other than checking membership status, at most LCMS altars this morning, if there are visitors and other strangers present, those visitors and strangers will have their memberships checked. And, at most LCMS altars this morning, those who are worshiping at their home congregations will not be examined or questioned about anything.


You're still dodging two issues. First, you aren't answer what these examinations should entail. How much depth must the examiner delve into? How many points of theological understanding must the would-be communicant get right in order to be welcome?


Second, how do you reconcile the vast difference between the theoretical ideals you speak of, and the actual practice in the churches?

Jay Michael

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1661 on: May 12, 2013, 01:09:22 PM »
Thank you. I have fixed my post and hope that it did not embarrass Pastor Weedon. My questions, then, were to NCLutheran, the one who bears a most dignified surname.
Nonethless, cheers,
CMA
Selective "I have fixed" ... though repeatedly pointed out, the humble correspondent has REFUSED to retract his words
Quote from: Charles M. Austin
Jay. has called another participant here "condescending and impudent" (even though he says he is "ignoring" that participant's remarks). Jay.'s insults stand.
despite having his error pointed out here with the clear words
Quote from:  Pastor Ted Crandall
No, that was not Jay.
and still later here with the clear request
Quote from: Jay
Still awaiting an apology and full retraction of your blatant error!
along with the brotherly advice
Quote from:  Jay.
Maybe you will now try to use the quote function which would have prevented this error!
Sinfully defiant, the humble correspondent refuses to acknowledge his error and resorts to name calling that should be beneath the dignity of a man of his claimed experience and stature by saying here
Quote from:  Rev Charles M. Austin
...Jay., in a dog-with-a-bone manner ... I will not apologize for that ...
Tragically the humble correspondent is unaware that his deliberate perversions of the truth known in some circles as lies reflect in a negative manner on each and every forum participant. His impenitence ... after being made aware of his error is an issue that should be reviewed in light of John 20 and Matthew 18.

Please Rev Austin ... for the sake of ALL forum participants please handle this error in the same positive respectful manner you handled the misquote attributed to Rev. Weedon here.

Charles_Austin

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1662 on: May 12, 2013, 01:30:00 PM »
No. I apologized for misquoting. Let it go.

NCLutheran

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1663 on: May 12, 2013, 01:46:43 PM »
Do you mean there was a Lutheran church nearby, but it was not "suitable" because it did not have what was in your opinion "liturgical worship"? So, as you explained in the rest of that posting, you chose to attend an Episcopal church and have a "suitable" worship style ("smells, bells, trained musicians, great architecture"), but no reception of the Body and Blood of our Lord?
     Does this not elevate style over substance, especially if there was an LCMS parish nearby?

There were a few Lutheran churches nearby, but none of them featured liturgical worship - and several featured no order of worship at all, a la the Baptists. It's very hard to have liturgical worship with no ordo of any kind.  :D

It should be obvious that the other things I mentioned are simply my preferences. They are not essentials - if you would happen to come to North Carolina and see my ancestral church, you would see it is very plain indeed. But in those circumstances, the "extras" helped me to focus on the gifts I received (the Word, liturgy, and fellowship) and allowed me to worship in the style that is comfortable to me. That option was immensely preferable to being forced to worship in a way that simply not how I relate and communicate with God.

But let me be very personal about the situation: my own prayer is weak, feeble, and shallow. I can't tell you of a single instance in my life where I have felt that my prayer has been listened to by God, and most days I doubt God knows of my existence. I need the liturgy because I have assurance that through it for at least one hour a week, I am known, heard, and hopefully saved. So if my choice is between liturgy or none, I will always choose the liturgy even at the expense of the sacrament. That one hour of assurance is worth it.

Quote
Once more we encounter that valid, but impossible, longing for an idealized "doctrinal unity" that would mean (and does mean, for those LCMS pastors who individually excommunicate other pastors by refusing to commune with them) it could get really hard to commune with almost anyone else. The 39 Articles, like our Confessions, are the creation of a flawed humanity, a creation that contains, but does not comprise the Gospel. I believe that one of the "trade-offs" we make in ecumenical enterprise is the understanding that while various Christian communities, that is, various parts of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church have disagreements; we may find ways to see that some - not all, but some - of those disagreements should not keep us from communing together especially in times of need.
If would be too bad if, during your college years, you deeply desired the sacrament; but did not receive it because the Lutheran church did not celebrate a "suitable" liturgy and the Episcopal church had - in your opinion - some flaws in a doctrinal statement.
Had it truly been a time of need, I would have had no hesitation communing with the Episcopalians. But since it was my choice to attend there, I could hardly commune on those grounds.

When I became a member of the LCMS, I took a vow to uphold and be ruled by her teachings, including ones with which I disagree. I take that vow seriously. I have and continue to advocate for certain causes within the LCMS - more open communion policy being one, along with inclusion of full Eucharistic prayers, a change of attitude towards homosexuals, and developing a more episcopal polity. However, I do not have the authority to disobey those rules. To flaunt closed communion is to make myself a church of one, and I strongly reject the notion that church is individual.

The view of the Eucharist as espoused in Article 28 of the 39 simply is not a Lutheran understanding of the sacrament. All churches should be in contact with each other, and although I sound arrogant in saying this, I like to think that through my experience I can talk to both Lutherans and Anglicans in their own language with full altar and pulpit fellowship as a goal. The way to fellowship is through honest discussion of differences and shared celebration of similarities, not just pretending the differences don't exist.

Hope this answers your questions, Pastor of the Most Dignified Surname!  ;D

John Mundinger

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Re: And So It Begins: 2013 LCMS Politics
« Reply #1664 on: May 12, 2013, 02:03:51 PM »
When I became a member of the LCMS, I took a vow to uphold and be ruled by her teachings, including ones with which I disagree.

When I became a communicant member in the LCMS, I confessed my belief in the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  I don't recall that any sort of pledge of allegiance to the LCMS was part of the rite of confirmation.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine