Author Topic: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community  (Read 146866 times)

Pr. Don Kirchner

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #120 on: December 19, 2012, 10:27:49 AM »
However, it is violating the First Commandment by bringing false gods before His Face.


Which Pr. Morris did not do.

Accusations that Pastor Morris sinned are over the line, and represent the "not possible at any time" framework of some in the LCMS.  Unfortunately, that framework begins with "you have sinned, repent now," rather than listening to the context, to the guidelines presented by the denomination, or to the totality of the situation at hand.  That to me is a shame.

And even condemnations from a brother who suggested that, since Pr. Morris knew it was a sin and acted anyway, there is not forgiveness!
Pr. Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but itís not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Pr. Don Kirchner

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #121 on: December 19, 2012, 10:32:56 AM »
I thought we were not discussing Pr. Morris in this thread. 

You are mistaken. I am, and President Benke, who started the thread, is too, as an example in discussing the issue
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 10:34:28 AM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Pr. Don Kirchner

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Dave Benke

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #122 on: December 19, 2012, 10:33:31 AM »
However, it is violating the First Commandment by bringing false gods before His Face.


Which Pr. Morris did not do.

Accusations that Pastor Morris sinned are over the line, and represent the "not possible at any time" framework of some in the LCMS.  Unfortunately, that framework begins with "you have sinned, repent now," rather than listening to the context, to the guidelines presented by the denomination, or to the totality of the situation at hand.  That to me is a shame.

I am convinced that the LC-MS guidelines as written, received and approved for guidance and use do indeed provide a helpful framework for determining participation, and do give sufficient breadth for the Office of the Public Ministry to be conducted in an appropriate orthodox Lutheran manner. 

Dave Benke

I thought we were not discussing Pr. Morris in this thread.  Besides which, he read Scripture.  He did not pray as Pr. Kirchner noted.

Pr. Austin asked this general question.

If I stand on a platform and pray to God, the father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; how is that taking God's name in vain?
I am not using God's name to "curse, swear, use witchcraft, lie, or deceive by His name," but I am calling upon it "in every trouble," and I am using God's name to "pray, praise, and give thanks."
How is that violating the second commandment?

I responded..

Mike

Pastor Morris was brought up by Don in response to your thought, which DOES apply to any and every prayer opportunity, and which IS dealt with in the Missouri Synod's approved guidelines.

Dave Benke

Charles_Austin

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #123 on: December 19, 2012, 10:35:29 AM »
Peter writes:
If the argument is over the appropriateness of offering a prayer to God in a context when that prayer is clearly (to the observer) one prayer among many offered to one god among many, well, that is a whole different argument.

I comment:
Peter leaps to a conclusion as to what is clear to the "observer," fearing that the "observer" will see our God knocked down to stand alongside other gods.
Again, I think this is an attitude based upon fear and a lack of trust that our clear words about God will be heard.
Furthermore, as I indicated upstream, I have a greater regard for the intelligence and perception of the "observer" than do those who think he or she is so easily duped into a syncretistic pantheism.
Finally, I repeat my assertion that - even given the "risks," (which I don't think are all that great) - it is better for me to be there and pray than to not be there in protest or out of fear.

John_Hannah

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #124 on: December 19, 2012, 10:36:54 AM »

Of course, Christians are for now still free to say what they believe behind the walls of a Church building but not so much in the public square.


Pastor Morris was free to say what he believed and he said it. For that he is highly commended.


Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #125 on: December 19, 2012, 10:38:15 AM »
Minority faith groups are free to speak according to their doctrine such as a Muslim using the name allah. But Christians are not to speak the Name of Jesus in public lest someone be offended or feel excluded.

In my opinion, you have posed a false dichotomy that does little to help us work through the complexities of this issue.

Christians are just as free as Muslims to speak the Lord's name in public.  And, just as the government is constrained from promoting at public expense Christian prayer at public events, public display of Christian symbols, etc., the government would be constrained in matters of Muslim prayer, symbols, etc.  The difference that is that Christians have asked for that kind of special treatment.  I am not aware of too many comparable requests from Muslims.

No, this is not a false dichotomy. It is a reality. To cite one example: some years ago, a court in Indiana ruled that prayers in the state legistlature mnay not invoke the Name of Jesus but that a Muslim may pray using "allah" because that is just another name of God.

Watch any regularly scheduled civic event in whuich prayers are offered or Scripture is read. The Christian participants will rarely read from the New Testament. They will close their prayer with something like "in your name we pray" rather than "in Jesus' Name we pray." These events take time to schedule and prepare.

The rules seem to be less tight in services arising almost spontaneously from a catastrophe such as Newtown. Indeed there the Name of Jesus was invoked. But I would not be surprised if some legal action arises in protest of that use of the Name. Not immediately, but somewhere down the road.

Mike Gehlhausen

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #126 on: December 19, 2012, 10:38:31 AM »
I thought we were not discussing Pr. Morris in this thread. 

You are mistaken. I am, and President Benke, who started the thread, is too, as an example in discussing the issue

Fair enough.

I myself am not discussing him or his specific situation beyond this minor tangent.  That is what got the other thread locked, and I do want to be sensitive to a raw issue and let the wounds of Newtown heal.

I have tried to deal with this topic in a general manner accordingly.

Mike

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #127 on: December 19, 2012, 10:39:57 AM »

Of course, Christians are for now still free to say what they believe behind the walls of a Church building but not so much in the public square.


Pastor Morris was free to say what he believed and he said it. For that he is highly commended.


Peace, JOHN

Please see my response to Johan Bergfest above.

Dave Benke

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #128 on: December 19, 2012, 10:41:45 AM »
However, it is violating the First Commandment by bringing false gods before His Face.


Which Pr. Morris did not do.

Accusations that Pastor Morris sinned are over the line, and represent the "not possible at any time" framework of some in the LCMS.  Unfortunately, that framework begins with "you have sinned, repent now," rather than listening to the context, to the guidelines presented by the denomination, or to the totality of the situation at hand.  That to me is a shame.

And even condemnations from a brother who suggested that, since Pr. Morris knew it was a sin and acted anyway, there is not forgiveness!

I didn't know anyone suggested that, but that kind of infliction of condemnation represents to me the tremendous difficulty of conducting fruitful dialog in the Church, and in our LC-MS Koinonia Project.

Charles' remarks and those awhile back by Scott are to me on point - the "perception risk" in terms of absolute non-participation as it becomes known seems as though it would be "they're so arrogant, they think they know all the answers."  But in the world as it is today the perception is "wow - they have a really tiny version of God, if their representatives don't even bother to show up when the world is in pain."  Who needs them, OR their version of God.

Dave Benke

Charles_Austin

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #129 on: December 19, 2012, 10:51:01 AM »
Pastor Gard writes:
To cite one example: some years ago, a court in Indiana ruled that prayers in the state legistlature mnay not invoke the Name of Jesus but that a Muslim may pray using "allah" because that is just another name of God.
I comment:
A dumb ruling that probably wouldn't stand review. And why take a worst-case scenario as emblematic of the entire situation?

Pastor Gard writes:
Watch any regularly scheduled civic event in whuich prayers are offered or Scripture is read. The Christian participants will rarely read from the New Testament. They will close their prayer with something like "in your name we pray" rather than "in Jesus' Name we pray." These events take time to schedule and prepare.
I comment:
And is not the Old Testament still scripture? Or does it have to be "baptized" by never standing alone without a New Testament reading? If I pray "in your name," there is no doubt as to what that name is.

Pastor Gard:
The rules seem to be less tight in services arising almost spontaneously from a catastrophe such as Newtown. Indeed there the Name of Jesus was invoked. But I would not be surprised if some legal action arises in protest of that use of the Name. Not immediately, but somewhere down the road.
Me:
More fear. More suspicion. More paranoia. And the fear that unless we beat people over the head with the name, "JESUS," somehow God is not present.

Johan Bergfest

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #130 on: December 19, 2012, 10:52:15 AM »
No, this is not a false dichotomy. It is a reality.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

Christians have pushed, society has pushed back.  Christians have redoubled their efforts, society has pushed back harder. etc. etc.

On nation "under God"...public display of the 10 Commandments in courthouses...prayer in public schools....public displays of creches and crosses...Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays...etc.  I can think of no other religion that has attempted to impose itself on the rest of society.  And, it seems to me, that as Christians have attempted to impose religion, they have done so in a manner that does not bear a true witness to God's saving grace in Jesus Christ.

peter_speckhard

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #131 on: December 19, 2012, 10:56:35 AM »
Those who assess one side of this debate as acting out of fear or lack of trust are simply wrong, at least in the case of those people I'm familiar with. But if that is the perception, then it is just another example of the received perception not being the same as what was stated or intended, which does not mean the people misperceiving things are unintelligent or easily duped but that we should acknowledge that smart people can simply get the wrong impression. 

Dave Benke

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #132 on: December 19, 2012, 11:07:25 AM »
Those who assess one side of this debate as acting out of fear or lack of trust are simply wrong, at least in the case of those people I'm familiar with. But if that is the perception, then it is just another example of the received perception not being the same as what was stated or intended, which does not mean the people misperceiving things are unintelligent or easily duped but that we should acknowledge that smart people can simply get the wrong impression.

No question.  Look at the spike in gun sales after Newtown.  You'd think - wait a minute, isn't this a time to consider DISarming?  It works in the other direction against reason; panic purchasing based on fear.

Dave Benke

Mike Gehlhausen

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #133 on: December 19, 2012, 11:12:34 AM »
Those who assess one side of this debate as acting out of fear or lack of trust are simply wrong, at least in the case of those people I'm familiar with. But if that is the perception, then it is just another example of the received perception not being the same as what was stated or intended, which does not mean the people misperceiving things are unintelligent or easily duped but that we should acknowledge that smart people can simply get the wrong impression.

No question.  Look at the spike in gun sales after Newtown.  You'd think - wait a minute, isn't this a time to consider DISarming?  It works in the other direction against reason; panic purchasing based on fear.

Dave Benke

Yes, tragic events are polarizing and perceptions sharply differ. Adrenaline kicks in, and one says and does rash things.

I know that I have.  I ask forgiveness for that.

I am hopeful that this important discussion continues, and I hope to add more light than heat.

Mike


Daniel L. Gard

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #134 on: December 19, 2012, 11:37:36 AM »
Pastor Gard writes:
To cite one example: some years ago, a court in Indiana ruled that prayers in the state legistlature mnay not invoke the Name of Jesus but that a Muslim may pray using "allah" because that is just another name of God.
I comment:
A dumb ruling that probably wouldn't stand review. And why take a worst-case scenario as emblematic of the entire situation?

Pastor Gard writes:
Watch any regularly scheduled civic event in whuich prayers are offered or Scripture is read. The Christian participants will rarely read from the New Testament. They will close their prayer with something like "in your name we pray" rather than "in Jesus' Name we pray." These events take time to schedule and prepare.
I comment:
And is not the Old Testament still scripture? Or does it have to be "baptized" by never standing alone without a New Testament reading? If I pray "in your name," there is no doubt as to what that name is.

Pastor Gard:
The rules seem to be less tight in services arising almost spontaneously from a catastrophe such as Newtown. Indeed there the Name of Jesus was invoked. But I would not be surprised if some legal action arises in protest of that use of the Name. Not immediately, but somewhere down the road.
Me:
More fear. More suspicion. More paranoia. And the fear that unless we beat people over the head with the name, "JESUS," somehow God is not present.

Again, thank you for your criticism. I appreciate it. Now it is time for me to take my meds and fide a safe place to hide.