Author Topic: The ELCA Requires Nothing  (Read 47049 times)

Pastor Ted Crandall

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #405 on: January 12, 2013, 04:14:35 PM »
...if there is a possibility that God might want division. Maybe God does. Maybe God don't. It takes more then "John or Peter don't like it" as  a basis for an answer. And suppose we can't say, then we need to be honest about that as well. But there are implications to the answer. One of those implications is to admit that we don't know if God wants a unified church and quit insisting on it. Scary . . .

I'd like to hear more about this.  I've never even considered the possibility that God wants division... 

I can see on the one hand, where God would not want us being united with those who oppose his Word, but I can also see where he wishes that those who cause the division by opposing his Word would stop and be one with Him and His.

About 20 pages ago the assertion was made that theology is basically a mental game. In ELCA that is sometimes used to say: "Well, it does not matter we all love Jesus, and that is enough, never mind what you do with it."

I used that question in response to John who is committed to unity somehow but wants to talk about "things held in common" and in the process of the debate seemed to join the "theology is a mental game" line.  He also states that God's work is still, somehow,  being done through the hands of us sinners (GOd's work; our hands - is and ELCA slogan BTW)  David and I made mention how that thinking functions in ELCA and why we are suspicious.

Further, the thread deals with an article that criticizes people who left ECLA. It is about division.

To answer the question one has to do one of several things: One has to use sacred sources in which case one does theology way beyond "we love Jesus." Or one has to make a case that God has nothing to do with it and merely a human decision which also needs theology to be done because one has to explain why God is not involved.  For that matter, one has to answer the question whether one even has the answer without violating Theology of Glory territory.

So the question asked that many necessary theological alleys be traveled including the alleys labeled: 'Theology is good for something after all." and "maybe the departures from ELCA were necessary losses." The latter is after all what the article is about.
 
If the question itself intrigues you I would be happy to explore it. I have ideas but no answers. But maybe we need to do it on another thread. Be happy to start it . just say the word.


I would greatly appreciate you for starting a new thread. 

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #406 on: January 12, 2013, 04:16:41 PM »
I leave it open that the Church could add, not to Christian doctrine, but to the written confession of the Church.

Pr. Crandall - please help me understand what you mean by a distinction between "Christian doctrine" and the "written confession of the Church".

The Creeds and the Book of Concord did not change the teaching of God in any way, but added to the written confession of the Church.  They did not add to the teaching of God or take anything away.  What they teach is what the Word of God has always taught, which is Christian doctrine.


The creeds and the book of Concord attacked the teachings of some within the church. They declared them heretical. We presume that those who shut down these other teachings were acting on behalf of God; but the creeds did not float down from heaven. They were not written on a tablet of stone. They are the work of a committee of folks who were opposed to what some others were teaching.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

DCharlton

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #407 on: January 12, 2013, 04:30:48 PM »
Some would reopen what has previously been settled in Lutheranism.  Others, including some posters here, leave open the possibility that future churchwide assemblies might add to or subtract from our confessions.  According to this theory, the consciences of pastors and congregations would be bound by these decisions.  It is in this context that talk of open  questions and continuing dialog is heard. 

I leave it open that the Church could add, not to Christian doctrine, but to the written confession of the Church.  Didn't a churchwide assembly add to the written confessions each time one of the Creeds were written?  Didn't the Church again add to the written confession of the Church when the Book of Concord was written?  Is it inconceivable that after nearly 500 years "It's Time" again to address contemporary misunderstandings of God's Word, just as the Church once addressed the Trinity and Justification? 

"This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved."

What made these mere mortals think they could use such immoderate language when they added to the written confession of the catholic faith?

I'm just glad that, subscribing to the Book of Concord, I am not required to subscribe to the decisions of synodical conventions or churchwide assemblies, whether their new confessions represent the Fundamentalism and Moralism of the right or the Marxism and Modernism of the left. 
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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #408 on: January 12, 2013, 04:44:27 PM »
I leave it open that the Church could add, not to Christian doctrine, but to the written confession of the Church.

Pr. Crandall - please help me understand what you mean by a distinction between "Christian doctrine" and the "written confession of the Church".

The Creeds and the Book of Concord did not change the teaching of God in any way, but added to the written confession of the Church.  They did not add to the teaching of God or take anything away.  What they teach is what the Word of God has always taught, which is Christian doctrine.


The creeds and the book of Concord attacked the teachings of some within the church. They declared them heretical. We presume that those who shut down these other teachings were acting on behalf of God; but the creeds did not float down from heaven. They were not written on a tablet of stone. They are the work of a committee of folks who were opposed to what some others were teaching.

Those who wish to embrace the teachings condemned in the Book of Concord are free to do so, at least in the United States of America.  No one should try to force them to believe otherwise.  They simply shouldn't insist on being called Lutheran. 

A person who wishes to kick the basketball will be ejected from the game.  He shouldn't complain that the rules are arbitrary and that other sports consider kicking the ball to be within the rules.  Rather he should go play football.  Or Brian may be more like the man penalized for handling the ball in Association Football.  He complains that in American Football, Australian Rules Football and Gaelic Football one may handle the ball, so why not in Association Football. 
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 04:50:08 PM by DCharlton »
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Pastor Ted Crandall

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #409 on: January 12, 2013, 06:37:04 PM »
Some would reopen what has previously been settled in Lutheranism.  Others, including some posters here, leave open the possibility that future churchwide assemblies might add to or subtract from our confessions.  According to this theory, the consciences of pastors and congregations would be bound by these decisions.  It is in this context that talk of open  questions and continuing dialog is heard. 

I leave it open that the Church could add, not to Christian doctrine, but to the written confession of the Church.  Didn't a churchwide assembly add to the written confessions each time one of the Creeds were written?  Didn't the Church again add to the written confession of the Church when the Book of Concord was written?  Is it inconceivable that after nearly 500 years "It's Time" again to address contemporary misunderstandings of God's Word, just as the Church once addressed the Trinity and Justification? 

"This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved."

What made these mere mortals think they could use such immoderate language when they added to the written confession of the catholic faith?

I'm just glad that, subscribing to the Book of Concord, I am not required to subscribe to the decisions of synodical conventions or churchwide assemblies, whether their new confessions represent the Fundamentalism and Moralism of the right or the Marxism and Modernism of the left.

I concur completely.  And of course, I am not talking about a white paper from Bishop Hanson or "It's Time" from President Harrison.  I'm talking about the possibility of the Church writing another creed that could contain the line, "This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved."

What would it take for the Church to write another such creed? 

readselerttoo

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #410 on: January 12, 2013, 06:51:46 PM »
Some would reopen what has previously been settled in Lutheranism.  Others, including some posters here, leave open the possibility that future churchwide assemblies might add to or subtract from our confessions.  According to this theory, the consciences of pastors and congregations would be bound by these decisions.  It is in this context that talk of open  questions and continuing dialog is heard. 

I leave it open that the Church could add, not to Christian doctrine, but to the written confession of the Church.  Didn't a churchwide assembly add to the written confessions each time one of the Creeds were written?  Didn't the Church again add to the written confession of the Church when the Book of Concord was written?  Is it inconceivable that after nearly 500 years "It's Time" again to address contemporary misunderstandings of God's Word, just as the Church once addressed the Trinity and Justification? 

"This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved."

What made these mere mortals think they could use such immoderate language when they added to the written confession of the catholic faith?

I'm just glad that, subscribing to the Book of Concord, I am not required to subscribe to the decisions of synodical conventions or churchwide assemblies, whether their new confessions represent the Fundamentalism and Moralism of the right or the Marxism and Modernism of the left.

I concur completely.  And of course, I am not talking about a white paper from Bishop Hanson or "It's Time" from President Harrison.  I'm talking about the possibility of the Church writing another creed that could contain the line, "This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved."

What would it take for the Church to write another such creed?


I don't know.  Ask a Presbyterian (Reformed).  The Barmen Declaration is considered a valid confession within that denomination.  There is a fundamental difference between what Lutherans understand to be confession and what Reformed believe to be confession.  That is one of the express differences between Lutherans and the Reformed as is the issue of Christology.   One of my reasons to bring up Barmen is because it doesn't talk enough about the issue of two words of God:  God's law and God's Gospel.  Barmen wants to talk as if only there was one word:  Jesus Christ.  For Lutherans there are two valid words of God as noted above.  The problem we face as American Lutherans is that some within the Lutheran church actually focus on the Barthian conception of God as found in Barmen.  That is why many of the so-called Lutheran intact churches (ie. Bavaria, etc.) could not sign off on Barmen.  This was to preserve the Lutheran confessional position.

Pastor Ted Crandall

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #411 on: January 12, 2013, 07:00:01 PM »
I admit that I come to this conversation with a bias, having been an observer/parishioner affected by the Seminex dabacle.  Apart from the honest disagreement, that event impressed me as a political power struggle in search of theological legitimacy.  That political struggle continues in LCMS. 

If, as you say, there were essentially no theological issues in what you call "the Seminex debacle" (and assuming that today's ELCA shares the theology of the pastors who exiled themselves from the LCMS), then I perceive you believe the ELCA and the LCMS have essentially the same theology.  Please correct me, if I am wrong.  Can you offer an example or two of the parts of ELCA's theology to which you cannot subscribe and must stay in the LCMS? 

In your writings you consistently criticize the LCMS, except the parts that closely resemble the ELCA.  Is it possible your bias comes from being catechized by pastors in the LCMS who could conscientiously be members of the ELCA? 


Coach-Rev

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #412 on: January 12, 2013, 07:18:12 PM »
Worse, our divisions, or, at least our poor behavior in dealing with divisions, bear false witness to the Gospel.  So, I think it is more important than "so what".

I think we've discovered Johan's true identity, since he, like Charles, doesn't want to use the quote feature.  ;)

This is not a difference over the real presence in the Sacrament, these are fundamental issues involving changing what Scripture actually says.  Seems to me that bears more false witness than your suggestion of it being merely because of "division".

I think you are referring to his reply to me where he manually parsed. He does not seem to be averse to the use of the feature nor incapable of it technically as his reply shows.

Neither does he know your reason for leaving I think, as he is new here and it might be good to give him the summary of the causes for your farewell. Coming to think of it Pr. Christian - remember him; wrote that article - might benefit from such knowledge as well.

It was my poor attempt at humor, since others often complain of Charles' lack of use of the quote feature.  I know he normally does use it.   I'll stress the word "poor" and apologize.  I've deleted the post as well.

Johan Bergfest

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #413 on: January 12, 2013, 07:41:15 PM »
I admit that I come to this conversation with a bias, having been an observer/parishioner affected by the Seminex dabacle.  Apart from the honest disagreement, that event impressed me as a political power struggle in search of theological legitimacy.  That political struggle continues in LCMS. 

If, as you say, there were essentially no theological issues in what you call "the Seminex debacle"...


Pr. Crandall - if you are going to quote what I said, please refrain from editing it for the purpose of distorting it.  What I really said, highlighted so that you can see the parts that you ignored was:

Pr. Kruse - I am not suggesting that there are not legitimate reasons for disagreement.  I admit that I come to this conversation with a bias, having been an observer/parishioner affected by the Seminex dabacle.  Apart from the honest disagreement, that event impressed me as a political power struggle in search of theological legitimacy.  That political struggle continues in LCMS.  Although I am less familiar with the subtleties, I suspect political struggles, apart from the CCM and human sexuality questions, are also a significant undercurrent in the ELCA/NALC/LCMC struggle.


In your writings you consistently criticize the LCMS, except the parts that closely resemble the ELCA.  Is it possible your bias comes from being catechized by pastors in the LCMS who could conscientiously be members of the ELCA?

I was catechized by two LCMS pastors, both of whom are now with the Lord, and several years prior to the Seminex debacle.  Were they alive today, one of those men would be somewhere between "Jesus First" and ACELC, definitely leaning toward the confessional side but probably quietly critical of behavior like the admonition.  I can't say for certain where the other man would be - Jesus First?, ELCA? NALC?.  For sure, he would be on your "fecal roster" because he was one of the "44".  Please remember that I also have shared with you more than once that there was no difference in the instruction in the doctrines of the Evangelical Lutheran Church that I received from both men and I am grateful for the instruction that I received from each.

I am not critical of the LCMS.  I am critical of the confessional movement within the LCMS.  As others have commented on it in the LCMS/NALC thread, the LCMS today is not the LCMS as it existed in 1973.  One person in the other thread expressed gratitude for that.  I do not.  In response to the confessional cacaphony, LCMS has been very vigilant in defending agains "liberal" theology.  One consequence is that LCMS, or, at least those aligned with the confessional movement, have embraced a measure of neo-calvinism.  LCMS is now a heterodox horse of a different color - one which, in my opinion, has embraced a quest for "pure doctrine" in a manner that looks very much like legalism.  And, that opinion is reenforced by behavior by some that looks like an intentional effort to purge LCMS of everyone who does not capitulate to the admonition.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 07:43:40 PM by Johan Bergfest »

Pastor Ted Crandall

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #414 on: January 12, 2013, 08:12:21 PM »
Pr. Crandall - if you are going to quote what I said, please refrain from editing it for the purpose of distorting it.  What I really said, highlighted so that you can see the parts that you ignored was...

You didn't just read my mind and discover my evil intent, right?  (I'm sure you didn't put the worst construction on my actions intentionally.) 

OK, so you admit there were legitimate theological differences, but you practically dismiss them as too minor to be concerned about, when compared to the politics involved.  Is that a fair assessment of your view of "the Seminex debacle"? 

Again I ask:

Can you offer an example or two of the parts of ELCA's theology to which you cannot subscribe and must stay in the LCMS? 

Dan Fienen

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #415 on: January 13, 2013, 01:14:44 AM »
What does the ELCA stand for?  Naturally there are the Confessional commitments in the Constitution.  But beyond those, what does the ELCA stand for?

Over the years, there have been a number of Social Statements, press releases, statements by the PB and the like communicating to the membership and the world at large the opinion of, if not the ELCA as a whole,  the opinion of those who would normally be expected to speak for the ELCA.   None of  these, I hasten to add, approach being considered part of the formal confession of This Church, or with the expectation that everybody in This  Church will agree.  Still, taken together they at least give an idea of what the ELCA stands for.  The ELCA is a progressive church body, whose theology comes out of the Lutheran tradition and is open to most of the theological tools and themes common to Western mainline Protestant churches.  When it comes to social stands and themes, the ELCA is comfortable with what is normally considered "progressive" positions and generally parallels what would be typicsl of the Democratic party.

This is, roughly speaking, what I take the ELCA to stand for. 

Perhaps it is just the LCMS in me, but it seems to me that at least one consideration that some people have in choosing a church and denomination is that it stands for much the same things that they do.  Similarly, for a congregation they might generally want to be associated with other congregations and a denomination where there is a congruence in what they stsnd for.  If nothing else one ends up explaning over and over that yes, my church/denomination stands for this but I don't.

Obviously, there are other considerations involved in choices of affiliation, but could this not be one, more important to some than to others?  What I would suggest is that this could be another reason for disaffiliation other than phobias against certain groups of people, egomania, or frustrated greed formal power (see the artcle that started this thread).  As the dissonance between the stands taken by the larger group and some congregations and individuals has groen, eventually it became too much and they sought another affiliation with others whose stands are  closer to their own.

None of this questions the legitimacy of the decision processes whereby stands were taken.  I'm simply suggesting another interpretation for why some have felt the need to leave.

But has the ELCA taken a stand on homosexuality?   Officially, this church has adopted four different stands on homosexuality as acceptable in this church (HSGT).  But formal documents do not tell the whole  story.  And the question of where to stand on homosexuality is not just a church question but is very much a cultural and societal issue.  Might some find that being a part of a denomination that tolerates but does not support where they stand on this hot issue insufficient and seek an affiliation that supports their stand?

Much has been made of the promise thst no congregation will be forced to act against their conscience and call a worker in a PALMSGR or to perform same-sex marriage or quasi-marriage (depending on local laws)  ceremonies.  True enough, but that does not speak to need of some for congruence between what they stand for and what their church body stands for.  It is unreasonable for individuals or individual congregation to dictate directly where the  denominatin will stand on an issue.  Is it perhaps also unreasonable to expect the individuals or individual congregations to automatically be comfortable being part of an organization that has taken stands so different from their own?  Can it perhaps be understood that eventually dome see the need to leave without denigrating them for not accepting what the perceive is unacceptable?

In the case of the ordinstion of people in a PALMSGR,  on the local level opting out is fairly simple and straight forward,   simply don't call such an individual.  But to the conscientious objector, thst only works on the local level.  Once one becomes involved in the larger church (cluster, synod and denomination), simply refusing to recognize partnered homosexuals as suitable for ordination is no longer possible.  Can a congregation the conscientiously refuses to call a pastor in a same-sex partnership also refuse to acknowledge a neighboring ELCA pastor as legitimate?  How about a bishop? 

The ELCA has taken her stand as a church body that ordains  partnered homosexuals.  Given the realities of the whole situation I don't see hoe she could have done otherwise.   (Not that I agree with the decision, I emphatically do not , but for this discussion here,  that's irrelevant.)   Some within the ELCA cannot tolerate that, for reasons different than ego, fear, or power hunger.  They have taken a stand but outside the ELCA becsuse in their conscince their stand no longer fits inside.

Dan
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 01:32:08 AM by Dan Fienen »
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Charles_Austin

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #416 on: January 13, 2013, 03:30:05 AM »
Pastor Fienen writes:
What does the ELCA stand for?  Naturally there are the Confessional commitments in the Constitution.
I comment:
Yes. Thank you for that. But we will have a problem below with the "stands for" comment.

Pastor Fienen writes:
Over the years, there have been a number of Social Statements, press releases, statements by the PB and the like communicating to the membership and the world at large the opinion of, if not the ELCA as a whole,  the opinion of those who would normally be expected to speak for the ELCA. 
I comment:
This is a bit imprecise. Social statements are "teachings," rather than "position papers" as narrowly defined; rather than "stands." It is not necessary to affirm what ELCA social statements say in order to be in the ELCA and they make no pretense of communicating what the "ELCA as a whole" stands for. And, yes, there is nothing wrong with our leaders having opinions and expressing them. Pastors do it every Sunday and every time they teach.

Pastor Fienen:
None of  these, I hasten to add, approach being considered part of the formal confession of This Church, or with the expectation that everybody in This  Church will agree.
Me:
Thank you for that. But I don't think you are comfortable with that.

Pastor Fienen:
Still, taken together they at least give an idea of what the ELCA stands for.
Me:
We continue the problem with "stands for."

Pastor Fienen:
The ELCA is a progressive church body, whose theology comes out of the Lutheran tradition and is open to most of the theological tools and themes common to Western mainline Protestant churches.
Me:
I don't care for the use of a single, partisan modifier for any church body, but I guess we sort of have to live with that. I'm not sure what all those "tools" are that are "common."

Pastor Fienen:
When it comes to social stands..., the ELCA is comfortable with what is normally considered "progressive" positions and generally parallels what would be typicsl of the Democratic party.
Me:
Aside from our confessions of faith, governing documents, synods, congregations, and church-wide organization; there is no "ELCA." To use "the ELCA" in this broad context is inaccurate and technically impossible. "The ELCA," in any of its "expressions" - congregations, and synods, for example - might be comfortable with the views of other parties. And that would be o.k.

Pastor Fienen:
This is, roughly speaking, what I take the ELCA to stand for.
Me:
See above. A congregation of the ELCA could take positions, if it wanted to, on any number of things that would not fit your stereotype stated above. And it would not endanger its relationship with the ELCA for doing that. You want to box us in. Bad idea.

Pastor Fienen: 
Perhaps it is just the LCMS in me, but it seems to me that at least one consideration that some people have in choosing a church and denomination is that it stands for much the same things that they do.
Me:
Yes, that is the LCMS in you. It depends upon the "things," doesn't it? I am a member of the ACLU;I do not endorse quit a bit of the things they do and downright oppose some other things. But I support their general purpose and believe they do good work.

Pastor Fienen:
Similarly, for a congregation they might generally want to be associated with other congregations and a denomination where there is a congruence in what they stsnd for.  If nothing else one ends up explaning over and over that yes, my church/denomination stands for this but I don't.
Me:
No, you don't. And even if you do, so what? It's all part of our discussion and individual witness. I even welcome the chance to explain or disagree.

Pastor Fienen:
Obviously, there are other considerations involved in choices of affiliation, but could this not be one, more important to some than to others?
Me:
But as for those congregations and people leaving the ELCA, are we not being told their departure goes far far beyond a simple difference of opinions about one thing or another? I think you diminish and minimize the conscientious stance of those who have left.

Pastor Fienen:
What I would suggest is that this could be another reason for disaffiliation other than phobias against certain groups of people, egomania, or frustrated greed formal power (see the artcle that started this thread).
Me:
Yes, but this being a real world, and our friends and colleagues being real people; it is not incorrect to state that those things did play a role in the decisions of some. Not all, but some; and I don't know why people are so upset that in this one place, a man speaks that truth.

Pastor Fienen:
None of this questions the legitimacy of the decision processes whereby stands were taken.  I'm simply suggesting another interpretation for why some have felt the need to leave.
Me:
Let us not forget those who have contended that the whole process was corrupt, manipulated and even "illegal."

Pastor Fienen:
But has the ELCA taken a stand on homosexuality?   Officially, this church has adopted four different stands on homosexuality as acceptable in this church (HSGT).
Me:
See above. A social statement is a teaching, not a "stand" in the usual sense of that word.

Pastor Fienen:
But formal documents do not tell the whole  story.  And the question of where to stand on homosexuality is not just a church question but is very much a cultural and societal issue.  Might some find that being a part of a denomination that tolerates but does not support where they stand on this hot issue insufficient and seek an affiliation that supports their stand?
Me:
And if you want to pick a church because it aligns comfortably with what you believe socially and politically and supports you politically, go for it. I find that disturbing.

Pastor Fienen:
In the case of the ordinstion of people in a PALMSGR,  on the local level opting out is fairly simple and straight forward,   simply don't call such an individual.  ...  Can a congregation the conscientiously refuses to call a pastor in a same-sex partnership also refuse to acknowledge a neighboring ELCA pastor as legitimate?
Me:
Can you LCMS pastors acknowledge nearby pastors of other denominations who are women? Can you partner with them in certain things, even if you would not have them on your clergy roster? (BTW, I know that some of you can't.)

Pastor Fienen:
The ELCA has taken her stand as a church body that ordains  partnered homosexuals.  ... Some within the ELCA cannot tolerate that, for reasons different than ego, fear, or power hunger.
Me:
No one disputes this.
What continues to amaze me is 1) Pastor Fienen's repeated on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand stereotype of the dynamics of the ELCA, 2) the refusal in this small discussion thread to recognize that some people did indeed leave the ELCA for reasons that were other than pure, undiluted, noble, honorable, self-less commitment to "The Truth Of All Things."
I think it's great that some in the ELCA question some of our teachings on social issues. (I think it's great that some in the LCMS question some of its teachings.) I think it's great that a congregation can call a partnered gay or lesbian pastor and It think it's great that we cannot force a congregation to call anyone.
Pastor Fienen seems uncomfortable with this; and tries to project his feelings on the ELCA. I don't think he understands us or grasps the idea of real diversity within a church body.
Hence my lengthy response.
We are, Pastor Fienen and others, a multi-faceted church body. I think that's terrific. I've got people in my current parish who, I know for certain, hold views on political and social issues that are nowhere near those expressed in some of our social statements or by our Presiding Bishop. (And I print some of them in our newsletter, even though I wish he had a better ghost-writer.) But they recognize that we in the church do not have to agree on everything to be in the church together.

Pastor Ted Crandall

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #417 on: January 13, 2013, 06:23:42 AM »

Amazingly "liberal" and "open" and even - dare I say? - quasi-"revisionist" words, Pastor Crandall. WTG!

I see you've taken my advice about fiber! 

Quote
Oh, but I suspect you meant that as irony or sarcasm. Sorry.

Maybe not. 
 :)

Actually, I so exceeded my quota of cynicism and sarcasm (which is the definition of snarky) that your suspicion was completely warranted.  Nevertheless, this time I was being serious, not sarcastic. 

Still being serious, you'll be pleased to know I registered for the Viet Nam draft in '73 as a Conscientious Objector.  (I'm not making this up!)

I don't expect you to be nearly as pleased to hear that CTS proved to me from Scripture that I could serve in the military with a clear conscience, so I dropped out of the seminary just before vicarage and instead enlisted in the Navy.  I ended up serving a full 20 years, 16 of them as a chaplain and most of the 16 as a chaplain to the Marines. 

LCMS and long exposure to the USMC...  If not indulgence, can I get a little understanding for being immoderate?  Please note I even changed my quote so as not to annoy you -- that way. 

Charles_Austin

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #418 on: January 13, 2013, 07:31:15 AM »
Pastor Crandall writes:
Still being serious, you'll be pleased to know I registered for the Viet Nam draft in '73 as a Conscientious Objector.  (I'm not making this up!)
I comment:
I am only pleased if that was your sincere conscientious viewpoint. (Apparently it wasn't. And why would you be making it up anyway?)

Pastor Crandall writes:
I don't expect you to be nearly as pleased to hear that CTS proved to me from Scripture that I could serve in the military with a clear conscience, so I dropped out of the seminary just before vicarage and instead enlisted in the Navy.
I comment:
Guess you haven't exceeded your self-alloted ration of snark. Why would I not be pleased to hear that CTS taught you something that can be found in the Bible and the teachings of the Church, namely that Christian can indeed serve in the armed forces. If that was your call, why should I not be pleased?

Pastor Crandall:
I ended up serving a full 20 years, 16 of them as a chaplain and most of the 16 as a chaplain to the Marines. 
Me:
It looks like you graduated from seminary in 1990. Was that after your military service? Were you a chaplain before you were ordained LCMS? The years don't quite add up, but I might be looking at things in the wrong way.
Nonetheless, thank you for your service in the military and to our armed forces. Some of my current best friends are ex-Marines.
P.S. I don't know what any of this has to do with fiber in my diet.

Now as to the topic at hand.
Can we set aside this nonsense that says "The ELCA requires nothing"? Probably not.
Can we set aside this nonsense that attempts to define the ELCA totally by its social statements.
Can we set aside this nonsense that says the ELCA - congregations, synods, and church-wide agencies all together remember? - is just the prayer room for the Democratic party?

Johan Bergfest

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #419 on: January 13, 2013, 08:00:30 AM »
You didn't just read my mind and discover my evil intent, right?  (I'm sure you didn't put the worst construction on my actions intentionally.)


Pr. Crandall - actually, I made no effort to read your mind.  All I did was to read your words and your words convey a very different meaning.
If, as you say, there were essentially no theological issues in what you call "the Seminex debacle"...

OK, so you admit there were legitimate theological differences, but you practically dismiss them as too minor to be concerned about, when compared to the politics involved.  Is that a fair assessment of your view of "the Seminex debacle"? 

Wrong, again.  I do not dismiss those legitimate theological differences.  However, I think that politics more than the theological differences have been the drivers of the division.  Absent the politics, we would have witnessed a very different shape and tone to the conversation.  Now, before you suggest otherwise, it takes two parties to make for political warfare.


Can you offer an example or two of the parts of ELCA's theology to which you cannot subscribe and must stay in the LCMS?

I'm not sure that you and I would agree which is "theology" and which is "practice" when it comes to the ELCA.  In fact, I don't think we would agree on that point when it comes to the LCMS, either. 

Suffice it to say that the organized church, in which my spiritual roots were initially nourished and in which they are still deeply rooted, no longer exists.