Author Topic: The ELCA Requires Nothing  (Read 42993 times)

George Erdner

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #525 on: January 15, 2013, 11:50:56 PM »
If the ELCA required nothing, they would be unaware anyone had left because they would not be able to distinguish those on the outside from those on the inside. Why not just declare every congregation in the world an ELCA congregation, require nothing of them and be done with it?


That doesn't make any sense. The ELCA is, after all, a voluntary association. They know who chooses to be in and who chooses to go out. They simply don't have any real requirements that anyone has to fulfill in order to stay in.


Dadoo

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #526 on: January 16, 2013, 06:53:22 AM »
If the ELCA required nothing, they would be unaware anyone had left because they would not be able to distinguish those on the outside from those on the inside. Why not just declare every congregation in the world an ELCA congregation, require nothing of them and be done with it?


That doesn't make any sense. The ELCA is, after all, a voluntary association. They know who chooses to be in and who chooses to go out. They simply don't have any real requirements that anyone has to fulfill in order to stay in.

But George,

"Choosing to be in might" be interpreted as "something" that was to be required of a congregation. The article said that nothing is required. This is a great idea that Peter S. has here. You just declare every congregation out there ELCA. Even if you just start with all Lutheran congregations because headquarters might somehow find itself bound to that. It would make ecumenical dialog so much easier. Want to talk to the LCMS? Well, they already are congregations of the ELCA, just send them a letter urging them to do XYZ as congregations of the ELCA. If they ignore it  . . . well nothing lost since nothing is required. THey resent being ELCA? Well, we don't require them to like us. They do not respect or acknowledge us? Well, it would be wrong for us to expect that since we expect nothing. They want out of ELCA after we so graciously bestowed membership upon them at no cost or obligation including the obligation of having to ask or even conceive of wanting to be ELCA?

THEY ARE SCHMUTZ! THEY ARE *%&$^&PHOBIC! THEY ALL HAVE BIG HEADS! WE ARE GLAD THEY ARE GONE! THEY WERE DEFECTIVE HUMAN BEINGS ANYHOW!THEY'LL MISS US . . . .JUST YOU WAIT . . . IT'LL ALL END IN TEARS FOR THEM. LET THAT BE A LESSON TO THE NEXT CONGREGATION THAT WANTS TO LEAVE!

But look at the up side. We would have finally created a unified Lutheran church in AMerica. And just look at the prestige we would get for being so big. We might actually get invited to the White House for another photo opportunity . . .
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 07:20:23 AM by Dadoo »
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

Charles_Austin

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #527 on: January 16, 2013, 08:34:48 AM »
So the tone and style of language that "we" - that is those of us still in the ELCA and supporting its decisions - are not supposed to use about those who have left seems perfectly acceptable so long as it is used against those of us who have stayed in the ELCA and support its decisions.
"We" dare not say that those who left include egotists, whiners, homophobes, weak-livered Lennies, pastors who would have a hard time getting a call no matter what their political party or those whose favorite agenda failed.
But, Pastor Kruse and others can mock the ELCA as "expecting nothing," (which is not precisely what the author of that article said),  making ridiculous declarations of fellowship, declaring "everyone" in, being captive to a political hit squad, and just on the cusp of endorsing worship of Hera, marrying your dog and your four cousins (at the same time), pederasty and using a teaspoon to slurp one's soup.
I have no problem with whimsy, satire, or even sarcasm; although I get whapped on the metacarpals if I employ it.
Yet Peter's attempts at satire and the flights of fancy by Pastor Kruse just hang out there.
Curious.



DCharlton

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #528 on: January 16, 2013, 08:50:47 AM »
Two false notions have been reintroduced on this page:

1.  That the ELCA, just as Pr Christian says, requires nothing.  That's false.  Without even thinking about it, I can come up with two things.  It requires a congregation to call a pastor who is on the roster of the ELCA.  It requires a congregation to avoid dual affiliation.  Congregations can be disciplined for those things.

2.  That mockery or disagreement with certain pastors in the ELCA constitutes disloyalty to the ELCA.   The mockery on this thread is not toward the ELCA for requiring nothing, but toward Pr Christian's article which say that it doesn't.  By the way, Pr Christian did indeed say, "The ELCA requires nothing."  Go and read the article.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 08:56:57 AM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

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George Erdner

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #529 on: January 16, 2013, 08:53:59 AM »
Two false notions have been reintroduced on this page:

1.  That the ELCA, just as Pr Christian says, requires nothing.  That's false.  Without even thinking about it, I can come up with two things.  It requires a congregation to call a pastor who is on the roster of the ELCA.  It requires a congregation to avoid dual affiliation.  Congregations can be disciplined for those things.

2.  That mockery or disagreement with certain pastors in the ELCA constitutes disloyalty to the ELCA.   


What makes the requirement you mentioned so hollow is that too often, things that the ELCA can do, and should do, doesn't get done. What looks like a requirement on paper turns into merely an expectation if violations are often simply winked at.


And, though you're right about disagreeing with certain self-exalted pastors constitutes disloyalty to the ELCA, there is no consequence other than snark attacks, so that isn't a requirement, either.


Charles_Austin

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #530 on: January 16, 2013, 09:02:47 AM »
Mr. Erdner writes:
And, though you're right about disagreeing with certain self-exalted pastors constitutes disloyalty to the ELCA, there is no consequence other than snark attacks,

I comment:
Yet.  ;) >:(

Johan Bergfest

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #531 on: January 16, 2013, 09:03:25 AM »
Two false notions have been reintroduced on this page:

I think a third false notion has been introduced, i.e. the implication that we can resolve complex issues within the Body of Christ by appealing to our inner et peccator.

Dadoo

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #532 on: January 16, 2013, 09:11:18 AM »
So the tone and style of language that "we" - that is those of us still in the ELCA and supporting its decisions - are not supposed to use about those who have left seems perfectly acceptable so long as it is used against those of us who have stayed in the ELCA and support its decisions.
"We" dare not say that those who left include egotists, whiners, homophobes, weak-livered Lennies, pastors who would have a hard time getting a call no matter what their political party or those whose favorite agenda failed.
But, Pastor Kruse and others can mock the ELCA as "expecting nothing," (which is not precisely what the author of that article said),  making ridiculous declarations of fellowship, declaring "everyone" in, being captive to a political hit squad, and just on the cusp of endorsing worship of Hera, marrying your dog and your four cousins (at the same time), pederasty and using a teaspoon to slurp one's soup.
I have no problem with whimsy, satire, or even sarcasm; although I get whapped on the metacarpals if I employ it.
Yet Peter's attempts at satire and the flights of fancy by Pastor Kruse just hang out there.
Curious.

Charles,

It is not my experience that you let anything "just hang out there." THis case included, since you replied to it and in the process defended the article and pointed to potential hysteria in those who took issue with it, using sarcasm and funny imagery, and who, in my case, had a bit of fun with the implications of it. So nothing would "just hang out there." "We" have at least one voice, yours, to challenge things publicly and apparently immediately.

"We" are on a moderated blog here. "We" are those gathered who actually engage and argue with one another. The article that started the matter was in an edited denominational magazine. If Pastor Christian had posted his comments here and if he had continued to engage those who would reply, this would have been no concern. As it is, his claims will hang there for at least a month before letters to the editor reply to it and challenge the content of his column. Who knows who will read the letters. Who knows who will receive his claims but no counter argument. At least here, when one of "we" says something, some other "we" also also speaks, as you have just done.

As far as supporting the decisions of the ELCA, Charles, a word: The ELCA did make a decision. It was not a good decision as far as I was concerned and the body of my posts spell out why. But, that decision has been made and I conduct myself according to it. It is not as if those of us who stayed ELCA are now in grumpy seclusion angrily building sandcastles or hiding in our studies kicking the cat. As part of that engagement we are happy to not let things hang.  We speak out. The decision did not include a gag order. We therefore still speak out, as the Bp. urged us to do (see page 1). In doing that, we do no different than you, including sarcasm and comedy. We are here and we are engaged. That is one of the issues raised with Pr. Christian's article. We are not in seclusion and we resent being asked to be in seclusion.(see page 1)
As part of that engagement we are happy to not let things hang. In doing that, we do no different than you, including sarcasm and comedy.
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

Johan Bergfest

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #533 on: January 16, 2013, 09:15:56 AM »
I have no problem with whimsy, satire, or even sarcasm; although I get whapped on the metacarpals if I employ it. Yet Peter's attempts at satire and the flights of fancy by Pastor Kruse just hang out there.
Curious.

As part of that engagement we are happy to not let things hang. In doing that, we do no different than you, including sarcasm and comedy.

Can someone say timeout?

DCharlton

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #534 on: January 16, 2013, 09:29:56 AM »
The moderators can and sometimes do.  Since this thread has devolved into argument between Charles and another poster, it may be time to close it down. 

By the way, as you spend more time here, you will notice that most threads end in the same way.  Charles and someone else get into a personal argument, sometimes with insults included, sometimes not.  It's where all threads go to die. 
David Charlton  

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Coach-Rev

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #535 on: January 16, 2013, 10:15:13 AM »
Two false notions have been reintroduced on this page:

1.  That the ELCA, just as Pr Christian says, requires nothing.  That's false.  Without even thinking about it, I can come up with two things.  It requires a congregation to call a pastor who is on the roster of the ELCA.  It requires a congregation to avoid dual affiliation.  Congregations can be disciplined for those things.

2.  That mockery or disagreement with certain pastors in the ELCA constitutes disloyalty to the ELCA.   The mockery on this thread is not toward the ELCA for requiring nothing, but toward Pr Christian's article which say that it doesn't.  By the way, Pr Christian did indeed say, "The ELCA requires nothing."  Go and read the article.

There are other things, Pr. Charlton, such as adherence to the ELCA constitution, the statement of faith, and so on.  Of course that opens up a whole new question (or actually an old, tiresome one) of why, when congregations fail to adhere to such things, they are allowed to do so unhindered?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #536 on: January 16, 2013, 11:43:39 AM »
Two false notions have been reintroduced on this page:

1.  That the ELCA, just as Pr Christian says, requires nothing.  That's false.  Without even thinking about it, I can come up with two things.  It requires a congregation to call a pastor who is on the roster of the ELCA.  It requires a congregation to avoid dual affiliation.  Congregations can be disciplined for those things.

2.  That mockery or disagreement with certain pastors in the ELCA constitutes disloyalty to the ELCA.   The mockery on this thread is not toward the ELCA for requiring nothing, but toward Pr Christian's article which say that it doesn't.  By the way, Pr Christian did indeed say, "The ELCA requires nothing."  Go and read the article.

There are other things, Pr. Charlton, such as adherence to the ELCA constitution, the statement of faith, and so on.  Of course that opens up a whole new question (or actually an old, tiresome one) of why, when congregations fail to adhere to such things, they are allowed to do so unhindered?


Because (1) we may not know what the bishop has done. There are other disciplinary measures besides removal from the roster.


Because (2) the one who has the power and authority to discipline has not deemed removal necessary. The person empowered to discipline isn't you or me. Although ten pastors within a synod can bring disciplinary charges against another pastor and three congregations within a synod can bring disciplinary charges against a congregation. As far as I know, there has never been disciplinary charges brought about by these means.
"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]

George Erdner

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #537 on: January 16, 2013, 03:40:08 PM »
Two false notions have been reintroduced on this page:

1.  That the ELCA, just as Pr Christian says, requires nothing.  That's false.  Without even thinking about it, I can come up with two things.  It requires a congregation to call a pastor who is on the roster of the ELCA.  It requires a congregation to avoid dual affiliation.  Congregations can be disciplined for those things.

2.  That mockery or disagreement with certain pastors in the ELCA constitutes disloyalty to the ELCA.   The mockery on this thread is not toward the ELCA for requiring nothing, but toward Pr Christian's article which say that it doesn't.  By the way, Pr Christian did indeed say, "The ELCA requires nothing."  Go and read the article.

There are other things, Pr. Charlton, such as adherence to the ELCA constitution, the statement of faith, and so on.  Of course that opens up a whole new question (or actually an old, tiresome one) of why, when congregations fail to adhere to such things, they are allowed to do so unhindered?


You're forgetting the basic premise of this thread, stated in this paragraph from the article the thread is about (emphasis added). The ELCA requires nothing of congregations. A congregation will not be removed from the roster for lack of giving, lack of diversity in membership, lack of a youth ministry, lack of mission activity, lack of social work in its community, lack of Bible studies, wrong vestments or secular music on Sundays. As has been often pointed out, the ELCA has expectations of congregations, which you and Pastor Charlton have mentioned. But, since failure to live up to those expectations has no consequences, then they aren't requirements.


For an expectation to be a requirement, there must be some real teeth in the enforcement of the expectations.

DCharlton

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #538 on: January 16, 2013, 04:09:37 PM »
A congregation in my synod was disciplined for calling a pastor who was not on the ELCA roster.  I believe that some synods have removed congregations for dual-affiliation, but I'm not sure about that. 

There are consequences.  And at some times discipline is applied. 
David Charlton  

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Charles_Austin

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Re: The ELCA Requires Nothing
« Reply #539 on: January 16, 2013, 04:19:12 PM »
One of the really dumb-rumped aspects of this thread is the thought that "removal" is the only discipline, punishment, consequence or whoopdoodle involved in not meeting certain "expectations."
If a pastor consistently fails to have his or her congregation provide a fair share of the synod's mission support, do you not think that impinges on a pastor's reputation in the eyes of his or her colleagues or the synod staff, including people who might have a hand in the "next call"?
If a congregation's youth ministry program is so abysmal that teens go elsewhere or parents complain, do you not think that has consequences?
If a congregation isolates itself from nearby congregations, refusing to take part in local or synod events or takes a radically different direction than other ELCA congregations in its territory, do you not think that has consequences? (Witness the battery acid heaved the direction of certain "contemporary worship" congregations in the LCMS by those of that Synod who think such worship is abominable.)
If a pastor absents him or herself from synod events, denounces the bishop, hurls every brickbat within reach at the ELCA and everything it does, do you not think that has consequences?
"Expulsion" from the ELCA is not the only possible consequence.
I know pastors who have not been proposed for certain calls because they fail in providing fair mission support when it is perfectly clear the congregations have the funds to do so.
I know pastors whose "lone wolf" and "I'm not the ELCA" attitude have had serious consequences for themselves and their congregations. (I have received into membership refugees from a couple of lone wolf we're-not-the-ELCA congregations.
And on a couple of occasions, when asked to be a "reference" for a pastor, I (and some of my colleagues) have either refused to do so or made it clear that we would be require to note certain things in our comments that might not be helpful to the pastor's cause.
The article that has so many people prune-faced says (in unfortunate ways) that congregations may not be "removed from the roster" for certain things. This does not mean that those same things might not have consequences.