Started by Dave Benke, December 18, 2012, 06:39:16 AM
Quote from: Ryan Fouts on February 14, 2013, 12:16:36 PMThere have been apologies aplenty... by people who, arguably, didn't really need to apologize for their actions. The oddity is that the one group that really kick started this whole thing, while PRAISING apologies as the Lutheran way... is not offering an apology themselves for their role in this matter. That is -- the Brothers of John the Steadfast. It would go a long way if they would make an apology for the offense they caused in all of this... at least they would be consistent. Will such an apology come? Whether they, themselves, feel like they are guilty for this matter... the fact is that their forum has provided such a public display of inner controversies that has allowed the media to pick up on a scandal like this. The oddity is that I agree with the Brothers a lot of the time... but I wish they would find a way to change their forum, so that the commentary would be viewable through "log in" only, and not in "googleable" view from the public... and the media.
Quote from: Ryan Fouts on February 14, 2013, 12:11:15 PMI think the definition the resolution identifies is the rub... I think it's far simpler.Ask people, "Why are you gathering today?"If the answer is, "to worship God," then it is to worship God... it's a worship service.If the answer is, "to hear some comfort after this unspeakable tragedy" then it doesn't matter what "elements" might seem to bear some similarity to "worship," they are not gathering to worship.
Quote from: Dave Benke on February 14, 2013, 07:50:28 AMCouncils err and the CTCR does not always agree with Scripture and the Confessions. I would not call Pastor Henrickson's proposal draconian,You, Pastor Messer and others are entitled to your opinion with regard to the CTCR and the resolutions of the LC-MS. You are then in dissent from them and the positions of your church body. Dave Benke
Quote from: Mike Gehlhausen on February 14, 2013, 12:53:54 PM The question in my mind is when other prayers are being offered especially those to other gods. Even if we don't pray, our participation lends to the impression that we are just one choice among many, and we are so desperate to have a seat at the table we don't care if anyone is misled.
Quote from: Mike Gehlhausen on February 14, 2013, 12:53:54 PMPeople always say that we will be seen as uncaring if we don't go. First of all, I doubt anyone would notice. But if they did, then we have an opportunity to explain that we just simply do not place proclamation of the Triune God alongside the advancement of false gods.
Quote from: Pastor Ted Crandall on February 14, 2013, 03:21:06 PMChaplains,Please join with me in congratulating our newest flag officer, Chaplain Dan Gard, CAPT, CHC, USNR to Rear Admiral (lower half) for the Naval Reserve Chaplain community. Dan is currently serving as Joint Task Force chaplain, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Dr. Gard serves the church as full-time professor of Exegetical Theology, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne and is also the Dean for Military Chaplain Programs at the Seminary. Blessings, Dan, on your promotion and service to God and Country! Mark J. SchreiberCAPT, CHC, USN (Ret.)Director, Ministry to the Armed Forces
QuoteAnd as I stated before, there seems to be an underlying doubt about the efficacy of The Word and its status as a performative speech act manifested by those who question and/or condemn his actions.
Quote from: peter_speckhard on February 14, 2013, 12:57:56 PMOne important aspect of this discussion is "whose" event is it? Who decides what happens next, who is in a position to permit or refuse someone from getting up and saying something, who invites or does not invite someone to be a part of the leadership. At my church it is me. At a Catholic church it is the priest or bishop. Some places it is the mayor. Or Oprah. Or whoever. That authority is a big part of what makes an "event" LCMS, or Roman Catholic, or whatever. The problem with "interfaith" is that it pretends not to belong to any one faith, but in order to do so it actually belongs to American Civil religion. Universalism is to an interfaith service what Roman Catholicism is to a Catholic service. Just as there are no "non-denominational" Christians, but only Christians who don't know the right word for the theology they believe, teach, and confess, so there are no "interfaith" services but only Unitarian/Universalist services that are glad to include Christians as part of their understanding of "universal".
Quote from: Charles Henrickson on February 14, 2013, 11:14:16 AMQuote from: Dave Benke on February 13, 2013, 01:05:28 PMPastor Henrickson's Overture published on this day to abrogate the Koinonia Project by having the LC-MS convention prohibit participation in inter-faith events is most unfortunate. The overture is simply an attempt to dictate practice by majority convention vote on a matter up for Koinonia dialog, sidestepping that which is going to be on the Koinonia table.Quote from: Dave Benke on February 13, 2013, 05:20:53 PMthe draconian steps outlined in the overture proposed by Rev. Henrickson. . . .Quote from: Dave Benke on February 14, 2013, 07:50:28 AMPastor Henrickson's proposal is thoroughly draconian because it mentions the Koinonia Project even as it throws the Koinonia Project under the bus. The Koinonia Project is dead upon arrival when issues of concern are solved by convention resolutions. That's why Pastor Henrickson's proposed overture is fundamentally cynical and in counterdistinction to the stated aims of the Koinonia Project and in fact to the desires of the President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, who has commissioned the Koinonia Project under the auspices of the First Vice-President of the LC-MS.Several things here.First, Pastor Benke, the overture to which you refer is not "Pastor Henrickson's Overture." It is an overture adopted, unanimously, by the voters' assembly of St. Matthew Lutheran Church of Bonne Terre, Missouri, and adopted, unanimously, by the circuit forum of the Farmington Circuit of the Missouri District.Second, I am surprised, Pastor Benke, that you are even aware of this overture. Back in November, you said that you "never read" steadfastlutherans. Yet the only place this overture has appeared so far is at . . . steadfastlutherans. Which you don't read. And you comment on the overture here, almost before the electrons are dry over at steadfast. Weird.Third, since you have referred several times now to this overture, we might as well post it here, too, so people can read it. Then, in a subsequent post, I may make some comments on it.To Provide Guidance on Participation in Interfaith and Joint Worship ServicesWHEREAS, the LORD God commanded his people, "You shall have no other gods before me" (Exod. 20:3), and judged them severely when they mixed the one true faith with the worship of the golden calf (Exod. 32); andWHEREAS, the prophet Elijah did not participate in any "interfaith prayer service" on Mount Carmel, but rather mocked and condemned the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18); andWHEREAS, our Lord Jesus Christ declared, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6); andWHEREAS, the apostle Peter boldly testified to the exclusive nature of salvation in Jesus alone, saying, "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12); andWHEREAS, the apostle Paul did not participate in any "interfaith prayer service" alongside pagan priests when he spoke at the Areopagus (Acts 17); andWHEREAS, the apostle Paul wrote, "I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them" (Rom. 16:17); andWHEREAS, the Constitution of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod requires, as a condition of membership, "Renunciation of unionism and syncretism of every description, such as . . . Taking part in the services and sacramental rites of heterodox congregations or of congregations of mixed confession" (Article VI. 2. b.); andWHEREAS, interfaith prayer services and joint worship services with clergy of religious bodies with which we are not in fellowship--whether those services are called "vigils" or "events" or some other term, and whether they may also include some civic elements--those are services in which multiple clergy members of various religious bodies take turns in leading parts of the service (invocations, prayers, readings, messages, blessings); andWHEREAS, participation by our ministers in such services may understandably cause offense to the people of our Synod; andWHEREAS, in its 2004 report, "Guidelines for Participation in Civic Events," the CTCR could not come to agreement on "the issue of so-called 'serial' or 'seriatim' prayers involving representatives of different religious (Christian and/or non-Christian) groups or churches" (p. 19), thus rendering their guidelines less than optimal and helpful; andWHEREAS, the 2010 Convention resolved "To Study Article VI of Synod's Constitution" (2010 Res. 8-30B), which would include study of the meaning and application of "Renunciation of unionism and syncretism of every description"; andWHEREAS, the Koinonia Project is likely to discuss this whole matter and work toward a greater consensus among us; therefore be itResolved, that, unless and until the Synod decides otherwise, the rostered ministers of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, not participate in interfaith services or joint services with clergy of religious bodies with which we are not in fellowship.
Quote from: Dave Benke on February 13, 2013, 01:05:28 PMPastor Henrickson's Overture published on this day to abrogate the Koinonia Project by having the LC-MS convention prohibit participation in inter-faith events is most unfortunate. The overture is simply an attempt to dictate practice by majority convention vote on a matter up for Koinonia dialog, sidestepping that which is going to be on the Koinonia table.
Quote from: Dave Benke on February 13, 2013, 05:20:53 PMthe draconian steps outlined in the overture proposed by Rev. Henrickson. . . .
Quote from: Dave Benke on February 14, 2013, 07:50:28 AMPastor Henrickson's proposal is thoroughly draconian because it mentions the Koinonia Project even as it throws the Koinonia Project under the bus. The Koinonia Project is dead upon arrival when issues of concern are solved by convention resolutions. That's why Pastor Henrickson's proposed overture is fundamentally cynical and in counterdistinction to the stated aims of the Koinonia Project and in fact to the desires of the President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, who has commissioned the Koinonia Project under the auspices of the First Vice-President of the LC-MS.
QuoteIt is disrespectful toward the President of the LC--MS, Matthew Harrison, who has stated, "One view is that by standing side-by-side with non-Christian clergy in public religious events, we give the impression that Christ is just one path among many. Others view participation as an opportunity share Christ and to truly love a hurting community, which may not happen if we are not participating. We struggle with the tension between these two views."To eliminate that tension by writing your overture is to disrespect the President of the LC--MS, who clearly recognizes that the tension must be dealt with by dialog, and not by peremptory resolutions. For that reason, the overture is ill-advised. Let's keep on talking. I believe there are clear Lutheran and Scriptural principles that foster participation in these events, and that Pastor Morris correctly understood those principles and lived up to them magnificently in his Christian witness through word and deed, including participation in the prayer service.
Quote from: pastormesser on February 14, 2013, 03:02:45 PMPresident Benke, I don't understand what you mean that I (and others) am in dissent from the positions of my church body. Are you suggesting that the 2004 CTCR Guidelines for Participation in Civic Events established a position of our church body? The Resolution adopted in 2004 (Res. 3-06A) certainly doesn't make that claim. The Resolution adopted, in the first Resolved, simply commends those Guidelines "for study to help pastors, teachers, and church workers make decisions about participation in civic events," and in the second Resolved, resolves that "we encourage all the members of Synod to continue to study these issues under the guidance of the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions as we face the ongoing challenges to bring God's unchanging Word to bear on our increasingly pluralistic and polytheistic culture."
Quote from: pastormesser on February 14, 2013, 03:02:45 PMI don't think the overture adopted by Pr. Henrickson's congregation and circuit forum is draconian at all. This issue is obviously one over which there is deep division in our synod and needs to be addressed. Is it draconian to suggest that we steer clear of participating in these events, when we know that it will cause offense and further divide us, until we have addressed this definitively, either through the Koinonia Project or more definitive guidelines or whatever? If we're all for working toward greater consensus and unity within our synod, shouldn't we be about the business of avoiding offense until that greater consensus and unity is reached?