Author Topic: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community  (Read 217145 times)

Satis Est

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #735 on: February 07, 2013, 11:09:24 AM »
Honestly.  You are handed, on a silver platter, the perfect audio and visual to produce a beautiful, reverent, quality PR piece that could have introduced the LCMS to the non-church going American and invited him/her to come and learn more about the Lord of Life who even in the midst of such horrible tragedy is "making all things new." 

Instead, you make the pastor apologize for reading from the Bible and praying the Trinitarian benediction among non-LCMS folks. 

We really are determined to slam the door in the faces of people who don't know Jesus.  Unbelievable.

Norman Teigen

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #736 on: February 07, 2013, 11:12:27 AM »
Thanks for the clarification, Mark Birkholz.  What a coincidence.  Two faithful Lutherans with the same name.  God bless your work in the Lord's service.
Norman Teigen

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #737 on: February 07, 2013, 11:14:12 AM »
Rather, he spoke out in an effort to undermine the efforts of the Brotherhood of John the Steadfast to do the work of the Synod President, as they think it should be done, rather than trusting the Synod President to do the job to which he (and not BJS) is called!

How do you know he did this to contradict BJS?  I don't recall reading that in his piece. 

What I saw in the immediate aftermath of the joint worship service was an unprecedented silence (and backtracking by BJS when a post and comments were deleted) on social media over the issue to allow for Synod leadership to do its work, a pastor to minister to the grieving, and a community to heal.  It truly was of epic proportions in that usually vocal pastors and LCMS laity had enough respect to allow the situation to play out in the background as it should have.

Bringing the negative publicity to the forefront is only going to bring additional angst on the pastor involved.  Much to some's dismay, it isn't hurting the reputation of the SP.  He acted pastorally over the issue, and like I said, if his guidance was for this pastor not to participate (I have no clue if this is the case except for Marie's words to the affirmative), the blame lies squarely on the one who didn't heed this guidance and brought on the negative publicity.

What so many are missing, commenters on news articles included, is that the Church strives to be faithful to God, not man.  A very large portion of our Synod felt that this was a violation of Scriptural mandate and caused offense to our God, and that counts for something when making decisons that will clearly not add to unity in our Life Together as Synod.

mariemeyer

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #738 on: February 07, 2013, 11:25:01 AM »
Speaking of President Emeritus Kieschnick:

http://www.icontact-archive.com/BLfgmhzNAinjEDvhgKWsUlcib5clKGYU?w=2


Talk about spin... 

Such open criticism of the current leader from a former one ("Others call for the pastorís apology...") is usually considered unbecoming of an emeritus.  It reminds me of when "President Emeritus" Jimmy Carter tried to undermine the leadership of then current President Bush, unlike George Bush, who still hasn't publicly criticized Barrack Obama...

Wow, is this a concentrated effort to unveil a re-election strategy right here on the ALPB?  Nice spin.

If Marie's previous comments on here that were subsequently deleted can be taken as truthful, she had knowledge that the pastor was informed NOT to participate in the service beforehand.  Only she can verify this, of course.  I would not underestimate the propensity of the membership of Synod to look unfavorably on a pastor who didn't follow the guidance of Synod leadership.  Nor would I underestimate their ability to place the blame for the negative publicity squarely on the pastor who didn't follow the guidance offered to him (which I would presume was given for the very reason that we see unfolding before our eyes).

I'd be careful to jump on the bandwagon of throwing around the negative publicity.  If I was a bettin' woman, I'd bet it backfires.

Several recent ALPB posts, looking for someone to hold responsible for how the story of  first public Newtown community event unfolded in the LCMS and is now being told in the public press, have turned to persons who stood by past LCMS statements that allowed an LCMS pastor to participate in the event.  As some named in this way I offer the following.

Events related to the Sunday evening community gathering were quickly addressed within the LCMS. The timing of what was said by whom and when are difficult to recall. The stories are conflicting. My memory is that I first read reactions on The Steadfast Lutheran where very critical comments were made some of which were painful to read.  After reading TSL I commented on this Forum. What I knew prior to the civic event was that the President of the New England District had been consulted and found no reason to conclude an LCMS pastor could not particpate.  As  previously stated here, he and a representative from LCMS Disaster Relief were present at Christ the King when the pastor informed the congregation of the community event. I also knew that President Harrison had been consulted.  I believe that information was also noted on the Steadfast Lutheran. 

This morning I became aware of the fact that newspapers throughout the country had picked up on President Harrison's letter and that of Pr Morris. I do not think any member of the LCMS wants to jump on any bad publicity band wagon.  My concern from the time President's Harrison letter ws made public was for the Newtown community.  Sunday night was the first public response to the shooting. It was a time for grieving planned by religious leaders so that persons of all faiths could hear their leaders address what happened. It was clearly stated that the persons had gathered from different faiths to pull together in addressing an unspeakable tragedy. I do not recall any leader saying, "Let us join in prayer."  The sorrowful tone was set by the Jewish cantor who sang a song of lament.  The Muslim spoke as one who shared the sorrow of impacted families.   

Personally I am saddened by the negative publicity. At a time when members of Newtown community  are working together from within their faith communities toward some degree of healing, division with the LCMS regarding their first coming together is working its way into the public media.  There are no winners here...only losers.

Marie   

Johan Bergfest

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #739 on: February 07, 2013, 11:33:50 AM »
How do you know he did this to contradict BJS?  I don't recall reading that in his piece. 

What I saw in the immediate aftermath of the joint worship service was an unprecedented silence (and backtracking by BJS when a post and comments were deleted) on social media over the issue to allow for Synod leadership to do its work, a pastor to minister to the grieving, and a community to heal.  It truly was of epic proportions in that usually vocal pastors and LCMS laity had enough respect to allow the situation to play out in the background as it should have.

Dr. Kieschnick did not criticize BJS by name.  However, he spoke strongly against the kind of criticism raised by Pr. Henrickson and those who responded to his blog at BJS.  Since that blog was pulled, at least two subsequent blogs were started on the same topic.  Pr. Rossow called for everyone to have enough respect to allow the situation to play out, but only after the vile post that he made in Pr. Henrickson's blog had been read and responded to by others and Pr. Rossow started one of the related blogs that currently is running near the top of the BJS site.

scott8

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #740 on: February 07, 2013, 11:38:32 AM »
NBC...

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/07/16882169-lutheran-pastor-apologizes-for-taking-part-in-sandy-hook-service?lite

Read the comments.

I read the first couple of dozen. The writers identified themselves as former adherents of organized religion, atheists, wiccan and ELCA. I am in state of shock that they are upset. Truly shocked.

You're missing the point.  The concern here is regarding the impressions given to the public at large by our public actions.  Pres. Harrison vocalizes this concern when he writes: "There is sometimes a real tension between wanting to bear witness to Christ and at the same time avoiding situations which may give the impression that our differences with respect to who God is, who Jesus is, how he deals with us, and how we get to heaven, really donít matter in the end."

The impressions that result from the latest public action are just as open to scrutiny as are those from the first public action.  If we can ask whether or not a confusion arose from what Pr. Morris did, we can just as well ask what confusions arise from the latest action Pres. Harrison took, especially as it is being being more widely disseminated in the secular media.

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #741 on: February 07, 2013, 11:40:08 AM »
And rather than engaging in mudslinging as some seem to be doing, I will bring to the forefront a great piece originally quoted by Mike G.  For those of you who truly wish to understand why those like me do not agree with participation in such a joint worship service with a "sermon" offered by POTUS, one who at every turn is taking strides to infringe upon our religious freedoms, please take the time to read the article.  The author is the 4th Vice President of the Synod, someone who didn't get elected to such a position through anything less than popular support.  The numbers who believe as I do are far greater than some on here would have us believe.

http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=4719.msg281683#msg281683

As those who think like me also offer, there were far more numerous ways for a pastor and congregation to get involved in bringing hope and healing to a community than participation in such a service, a service in which so many falsehoods were presented, it pains me to think of how God must have responded to being put on a platform with other gods.  Clear, public proclamation means His Son, the crucifed and risen Jesus Christ, stands alone on His own platform.  That platform is best found within our own churches or our own worship services where confusion is avoided.  Apart from worship, this platform is taken out to those hurting through performing acts of mercy and showing love for neighbor, all done in the name of the one and only God, the Father of Jesus.

ANewLeaf

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #742 on: February 07, 2013, 11:40:40 AM »
Honestly.  You are handed, on a silver platter, the perfect audio and visual to produce a beautiful, reverent, quality PR piece that could have introduced the LCMS to the non-church going American and invited him/her to come and learn more about the Lord of Life who even in the midst of such horrible tragedy is "making all things new." 

Instead, you make the pastor apologize for reading from the Bible and praying the Trinitarian benediction among non-LCMS folks. 

We really are determined to slam the door in the faces of people who don't know Jesus.  Unbelievable.

Yup.  (And note: everyone skipped right on by this post to go back to arguing with one another about who said what to whom and why and when and what their secret ulterior motives were.)  Hearing the Law is no fun, is it?

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #743 on: February 07, 2013, 11:51:42 AM »
Hearing the Law is no fun, is it?

Upholding God's Law isn't easy, is it?  Examine the Scriptures on how God reacts to other gods being presented alongside him.  First Commandment stuff, here.  Nobody in the LCMS faults a pastor and congregation for being the hands and feet of Christ in the face of tragedy . . . NOBODY!

peter_speckhard

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #744 on: February 07, 2013, 11:52:20 AM »
Honestly.  You are handed, on a silver platter, the perfect audio and visual to produce a beautiful, reverent, quality PR piece that could have introduced the LCMS to the non-church going American and invited him/her to come and learn more about the Lord of Life who even in the midst of such horrible tragedy is "making all things new." 

Instead, you make the pastor apologize for reading from the Bible and praying the Trinitarian benediction among non-LCMS folks. 

We really are determined to slam the door in the faces of people who don't know Jesus.  Unbelievable.
Why did he apologize? Nobody can make me apologize when I don't think I've done anything wrong, and nobody could force Pr. Morris to apologize. Was his apology a lie and he isn't really sorry? There are a couple of issues involved here, none of which have anything to do with one's proximity to non-LCMS folks. First, whether participation in these kinds of the services is a good idea or not, the place to discuss that is together in convention. Maybe we should rethink our policy on it. But the fact is we do have an agreed upon policy-- we don't participate in joint services led by people of differing faiths. Whether that is a salutary thing or not, it is what we agreed on. So if there is to be any trust in synod that so many people are clamoring for, the first thing we need to realize is that when we make an agreement, everyone has to be able to trust that we're all going to abide by it. But what we do instead, in many cases, is agree to something but insist on a discretion/exception clause that we take to mean that our agreement doesn't apply to us or mean anything at all. We vote for closed communion, practice open communion, and then get steamed when anyone objects and act like they're the problem and their objections bogus. We vote not to participate in joint services, do so anyway, and then get mad when anyone feels betrayed. If what Pr. Morris did in this circumstance was what we want LCMS pastors doing in these kinds of public tragedies, then the thing to do would be to refuse to participate, hold our own services and provide pastoral care apart, and then come to the convention and say, "We need to rethink our position on unionism. Look at the golden opportunity I had to squander because of our policies. It would have been much better had I been able to participate in the community service instead of inviting the community to come to the service we held at our church." Then people could argue both sides of that, a vote could be taken, and a new policy established, all with the trust of everyone that whatever the new policy was, we'd all abide by it. What I think is happening so often, be it Oprah's thing at Yankee Stadium or this time in Connecticut, is that people who disagree with the synodical stance on unionism but who think they'll never get the votes to overturn it simply ignore it and then use the ensuing controversy to belittle, mock, berate, and otherwise make to appear small and petty anyone who objects. Disagree with the policy, fine. Great. Make your case. I think you have a good one. I think there would be a fruitful discussion and possibly a new and more liberal policy. But all this wailing about the evil conservatives in synod is like complaining to the cop that yes, indeed you were speeding, but the speed limit is way too low. When you get pulled over is not the time to discuss the merits of the posted speed limit. It was voted on, it was posted, you knew what it was, you chose to drive faster. Take up your proposal for a better speed limit at a city council meeting, not at the time of getting pulled over. The cop is not the bad guy even if the speed limit is ludicrously low. And take up your objections to the synod's policy on unionism to the synod in convention, don't just start yelling at anyone who points out you're ignoring the agreed upon policy.

Johan Bergfest

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #745 on: February 07, 2013, 11:54:32 AM »
Upholding God's Law isn't easy, is it?

No, it isn't.  But, upholding God's law is not in the job description of those who know that they have redeemed by Christ the crucified.  Please explain why anyone who professes faith in the doctrine of justification desires to live out of the Deuteronomic law.

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #746 on: February 07, 2013, 11:58:38 AM »
Upholding God's Law isn't easy, is it?

No, it isn't.  But, upholding God's law is not in the job description of those who know that they have redeemed by Christ the crucified.  Please explain why anyone who professes faith in the doctrine of justification desires to live out of the Deuteronomic law.

I'm sorry, the pseudonym throws me off, and I can't recall what you are or aren't.  Are you an LCMS pastor saying that right teaching with respect to the Law is not a part of your job description?

Satis Est

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #747 on: February 07, 2013, 12:00:47 PM »
"You tithe mint and dill and cumin, and neglect the weightier matters of the Law: justice, and mercy, and peace."

The LCMS gets all (or most of all  :)) the teachings correct.  But time after time there is failure in how to live them out.

(And yes the ELCA fails also.  But then, they don't have most of the teachings correct, do they?)

LCMS87

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #748 on: February 07, 2013, 12:15:18 PM »
NBC...

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/07/16882169-lutheran-pastor-apologizes-for-taking-part-in-sandy-hook-service?lite

Read the comments.

I read a bunch of the comments.  They're like a lot of comments on other stories I've seen.  They don't lead one to great optimism concerning the future of our nation or the success of her schools.  Deep thinking and clear communication is rarely evidenced.

There was one comment, though, from someone who described himself as a atheist, that I found interesting.  I don't agree with everything, but he discerns much more than most commentators.  I particularly appreciate the final paragraph.  (I couldn't find a way to do so, or I'd have posted just a link.  Instead, here's the full comment.)

Rich-281385

As an atheist you might think I would side with every poster on this thread so far. But I don't. Morris didn't really apologize. It's one of those fake apologies where you apologize if anyone was offended, rather than apologize for your wrong (in his church's view) actions.

Morris could have stood on principle if he thought he was right and leave the church. He didn't. So either he agrees with the church's principle, or he's not of strong character. I'd bet it's the former.

The church wasn't saying that Morris could not lend aid to those devastated in the days after the killings, but rather that he cannot worship with different faiths. Presumably Morris could speak with and give comfort to those in the community without offering prayer. To me this is a little silly--maybe a lot silly--but it's HIS faith he violated, not mine.

I struggle with the common modern idea that each of us not part of an organization should be able to decide for them how they should act, which is beyond the simple and fair idea that if you don't like it, don't join it. Too many people want to impose on others their own reality, whatever that is. Frankly, given the state of the nation I'm not sure you people are the kinds of people we should be trying to emulate, not if your version of right and wrong, or of morality, is the scale on which we should be judged.

See, look at this another way...Say Morris had never participated in THAT service. Nothing was to prevent him from holding how own service. Nothing exists to prevent him from commemorating that tragic day, or from tending to those in need regardless of their faith. His offense, which to me makes no sense but to him does else he'd not have apologized, was simply to worship with other faiths.

I do love (sarcasm) the posts above that are prideful over the fact that they, in their churches, have absolutely no standards for who can or cannot take part in communion. If organized religion has any value beyond its more secular uses (schools, charity, etc) then it must be in making an effort to help people get right with God. So the idea you wouldn't care at all that someone is right with your God, and would casually offer thaty person communion with your God, bespeaks to me, almost, a disdain for your God himself. You have relegated God to a position of subjugation to you. How can this be?

No thanks in any event for all of this. I'll remain an atheist.

    4 votes

#1.32 - Thu Feb 7, 2013 10:34 AM EST

George Erdner

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Re: The Public Role of the Pastor In The Community
« Reply #749 on: February 07, 2013, 12:22:22 PM »
(And yes the ELCA fails also.  But then, they don't have most of the teachings correct, do they?)


The ELCA has most of the teachings correct and incorrect at the same time. The ELCA has multiple, contradictory  positions on far too many issues. Of course, one is far too many!