Poll

How should pseudonyms be handled on ALPB

Maintain the status quo and stop whining about them.
30 (58.8%)
Forbid them.
3 (5.9%)
Allow them, but discourage their use.
6 (11.8%)
Make up strict rules for the Moderators to enforce.
2 (3.9%)
Publish some guidelines and ask for voluntary compliance
10 (19.6%)

Total Members Voted: 39

Author Topic: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe  (Read 5662 times)

Steverem

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2013, 01:24:40 PM »
Don't really have a need for a pen name here (see blog address below if curious), but if we're passing out fake names, I want dibs on "Max Power."

George Erdner

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2013, 01:25:30 PM »
For the serious student of the literature of the ancient near east, however, we have an entire bundle of books locked together from the intertestamental period called "The Pseudepigrapha."  Meaning ALL the books were written pseudonymously.  Which is cool, knowing that these birds were pretending to be Enoch, or some other bogus person, and yet people were reading and heeding what they wrote.

This is the dream of the pseudonymous author, no?
"They like me!   They really, really like me!"

Dave Benke


I think perhaps we should differentiate between publishing a book or other work that is a completed work in and of itself and engaging in conversation with others. There is a certain appeal to having one's work evaluated strictly on its own merits, with no baggage associated with one's identity. That's why certain well-known writers have published books using a pseudonym to see if the books will be accepted on their own merits instead of simply being purchased by people who are Stephen King fans.


It bothers me to see opinions that are sound and logical rejected because of who posted them. It also bothers me to see people "borrow" the authority of someone else and simply post links because they're too lazy to add their own commentary. As I recall, others in here have said the same thing.


And, in the interest of honesty, I must confess that on some political discussion forums in the early 2000's, I used a pseudonym consisting of my father's and grandfather's middle names. It looked like a "real" name, but it wasn't really my name.

D. Engebretson

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2013, 01:33:03 PM »
Quote
But I understand - from Pastor Hannah's writings and others - how the witch-hunters in the LCMS might drive some to remain nameless.

Bingo!

Take for example, the issue of WO. The big reason why it is not talked about in LCMS circles is the fear of persecution. I know of several (Scriptural inerrancy believing) LCMS clergy that have no objections to WO, but would rather keep their opinions to themselves - so as to not the rock the boat.

Obviously the "fear of persecution" is not universal among rostered pastors in the LCMS who choose to speak out in favor of WO, or other members of the Synod.  Dr. Becker went so far as to register formal dissent.  The OWN site claims to be "a growing number of people who think the ordination of women should be publicly discussed in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod" with over 1,300 "likes."   Just how powerful is this "fear of persecution" if people are as outspoken today as they are?
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

JMK

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2013, 01:48:47 PM »
Quote
The OWN site claims to be "a growing number of people who think the ordination of women should be publicly discussed in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod" with over 1,300 "likes."   Just how powerful is this "fear of persecution" if people are as outspoken today as they are?

Are the 1,300 "likes" on the OWN site all from LCMS clergy? Or, are they a combination of clergy and laity in the LCMS? Or, could they be from folks outside of the LCMS?

"Fear of persecution" in the LCMS is a very real fear - especially with the new regime change. And, in a climate where their is a surplus of clergy, it is easy to have a fear that there could be a purging of the rosters to make more room for the young turks that don't rock the boat.


D. Engebretson

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2013, 02:01:09 PM »
Quote
The OWN site claims to be "a growing number of people who think the ordination of women should be publicly discussed in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod" with over 1,300 "likes."   Just how powerful is this "fear of persecution" if people are as outspoken today as they are?

Are the 1,300 "likes" on the OWN site all from LCMS clergy? Or, are they a combination of clergy and laity in the LCMS? Or, could they be from folks outside of the LCMS?

"Fear of persecution" in the LCMS is a very real fear - especially with the new regime change. And, in a climate where their is a surplus of clergy, it is easy to have a fear that there could be a purging of the rosters to make more room for the young turks that don't rock the boat.

One could have made this claim just as easily during the previous administration.  I don't deny that some may have this fear, but wonder if it's grounded in realistic possibilities.  As a circuit counselor and one who has regular contact with my district president (as I did with the previous two or three as well), I know of no official move to "purge the rosters" and "make room for the young turks that don't rock the boat."  If anything the younger, more conservative pastors are more likely to end up smaller churches tucked away in rural and small towns.  With more of the larger churches having migrated quite fully over to a contemporary worship format, and many even of the midsized parishes doing the same, these "young turks," as you call them, are hardly in the running for many of the parishes out there today.  While district presidents have some control over the call process by supplying the call lists, it is the congregation that has the final say, and I don't see - at least not in my district - any concerted effort to unduly influence the calling congregation, especially in favor of these so-called "young turks."  So, do you have any credible information that would substantiate a reason for this fear, any real move to "purge the rosters" under the Harrison administration?
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

LCMS87

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2013, 02:02:56 PM »
I think we should respect the position of those who post anonymously, but I think those who do should bear the burden of not hiding behind a pseudonym for the purpose of posting aggressive personal attacks one wouldn't post under one's own name.

A good point, but I'd go a bit further.  Even some things one would post under one's own name one ought not post when using a pseudonym.  That is, the standards one follows when posting anonymously should be even higher than those one might follow when posting under one's own name.

I would note that every time this has become an issue on this forum, it's a result of a pseudonymous poster breaching propriety.  If all pseudonymous posters observed proper decorum, there wouldn't be any worry.  When concern over pseudonymity has become an issue here, most of the time I agree with the person who initiated the complaint.  That is, the pseudonymous poster crossed the line.

D. Engebretson

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2013, 02:04:46 PM »
Are the 1,300 "likes" on the OWN site all from LCMS clergy? Or, are they a combination of clergy and laity in the LCMS? Or, could they be from folks outside of the LCMS?

I suspect it is a combination of all of the above.  My point was not that it is all clergy, but rather how a group such as OWN and other efforts today could be so open if the climate was only one of outright "persecution" as you call it.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

mariemeyer

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2013, 02:07:02 PM »
For the record:

While at Concordia, Portland Matt Becker was brought up on charges of teaching false doctrine regarding WO.  He was cleared. Not all pastors are willing to go through the process of clearing their name.  I do not know the current status of charges against Matt.

Although I cannot give names, I can tell you that there are any number of rostered LCMS women who agree with thoughts I have expressed here, but cannot state them openly for fear of losing their positions.  One reason I asked that I no longer be rostered was that it afforded me the freedom to openly question how the LCMS defines and applies the order of creation. 

I no longer live in the fear of being removed from the roster, but this does not negate the hurftulness of being told I ought to leave the LCMS. 

Marie

JMK

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2013, 02:13:50 PM »
Quote
As a circuit counselor and one who has regular contact with my district president (as I did with the previous two or three as well), I know of no official move to "purge the rosters" and "make room for the young turks that don't rock the boat." ...do you have any credible information that would substantiate a reason for this fear, any real move to "purge the rosters" under the Harrison administration?

No, I do not have basis to substantiate a fear. However, there was a case awhile back of an LCMS professor at Valpo, in favor of WO, being chastised. I have also heard a credible witness report that the current LCMS President once declared (at a gathering of circuit counselors) that advocates of WO were heretical. Hopefully, the loud rhetoric has been turned down lately.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 02:18:38 PM by Johannes Andreas Quenstedt »

swbohler

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2013, 02:45:38 PM »
Quote
The OWN site claims to be "a growing number of people who think the ordination of women should be publicly discussed in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod" with over 1,300 "likes."   Just how powerful is this "fear of persecution" if people are as outspoken today as they are?

Are the 1,300 "likes" on the OWN site all from LCMS clergy? Or, are they a combination of clergy and laity in the LCMS? Or, could they be from folks outside of the LCMS?

"Fear of persecution" in the LCMS is a very real fear - especially with the new regime change. And, in a climate where their is a surplus of clergy, it is easy to have a fear that there could be a purging of the rosters to make more room for the young turks that don't rock the boat.

One could have made this claim just as easily during the previous administration.  I don't deny that some may have this fear, but wonder if it's grounded in realistic possibilities.  As a circuit counselor and one who has regular contact with my district president (as I did with the previous two or three as well), I know of no official move to "purge the rosters" and "make room for the young turks that don't rock the boat."  If anything the younger, more conservative pastors are more likely to end up smaller churches tucked away in rural and small towns.  With more of the larger churches having migrated quite fully over to a contemporary worship format, and many even of the midsized parishes doing the same, these "young turks," as you call them, are hardly in the running for many of the parishes out there today.  While district presidents have some control over the call process by supplying the call lists, it is the congregation that has the final say, and I don't see - at least not in my district - any concerted effort to unduly influence the calling congregation, especially in favor of these so-called "young turks."  So, do you have any credible information that would substantiate a reason for this fear, any real move to "purge the rosters" under the Harrison administration?

After my private letter asking for an investigation into the worship services at Holy Trinity (ELCA) and Yankee Stadium was made public (in violation of the bylaws) by the synod president, I was black-listed by the president and BOD of the very district in which you serve, Rev. Engebretson (my home district, by the way).  I received threatening letters from several rostered clergy (even one or two who post here regularly) which stated they were seeking ways to remove me from my call.  The synod president at the time went before a joint conference of Minnesota North and South pastors and intimated that I had refused to meet with him, when in actuality it was he who refused to respond to any of my letters and emails and efforts at resolution; certainly such words from a sitting synod president negatively impacted my reputation and consideration for calls.  But again we are told that it is only the "confessionals" who do such things, and that President Harrison is just itching to purge the synod!

Coach-Rev

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2013, 02:53:48 PM »
Don't really have a need for a pen name here (see blog address below if curious), but if we're passing out fake names, I want dibs on "Max Power."

No problem, Max!

Didn't I see that as a setting on a hair dryer, though?  ;)

John, an Unlikely Pastor

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2013, 03:03:56 PM »
For what it's worth
I do use a partial pseudonym.  But my real name is John Heille, I am a pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Fairmont, Minnesota if you must know.
Peace to all, John

Hey, John! My wife's family lives near Ceylon; some of the nieces and nephews attend church in Fairmont (LCMS).  Nice area.  We'll be there the first weekend in June for a niece's wedding; I forget which church it will be at in Fairmont.  A classmate of mine, Russell Reimers, is pastor at my in-laws' church in Ceylon.
I have a wedding at a park that weekend so I don't think it will be at Grace, you would sure be welcome to swing by if you'd like.
peace to you, John
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Weedon

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2013, 03:11:28 PM »
I don't see the hysteria. It's a principled argument: Lutherans do not innovate in doctrine or practice as per the AC. WO is both. Hence, it is not a practice that can be acceptable in the Church of the Augsburg Confession.

As to pseudonymns: no problem if you want to use them. But don't expect me to take you seriously in anything you say. Period.

Jay Michael

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2013, 03:15:31 PM »
But I understand - from Pastor Hannah's writings and others - how the witch-hunters in the LCMS might drive some to remain nameless.
Rarely if ever is the term "witch-hunters" used in reference to one with which one agrees with ... leaving the use of the term as a reference to one who disagrees with you.

That being said, it seems that the term "witch-hunters" is in itself divisive and hardly demonstrates tolerance and respect for fellow Forum contributors ... and is no more acceptable coming from a non-pseudonym contributor than a pseudonym contributor.

Is the use of "witch-hunter" actually a God pleasing way to "defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything."

peter_speckhard

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Re: The Use of Pseudonyms on ALPB, yes, no, or maybe
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2013, 03:21:12 PM »
There is no right to be on a roster. A roster is simply a descriptive list-- here are people who can be described as believing and teaching x. An LCMS roster can be expected to list people who teach according to our agreed-upon teachings and practices. It is not in any sense of the word persecution to claim that x doesn't describe a person's beliefs accurately and therefore that person should not be on the list of people who believe x. Does Dave Benke "persecute" the members of ACELC when he calls them to cease and desist from what he considers schismatic activity? No, I don't think that is a fair word for it. And he is a DP in an actual position of authority and official representation. Then why is it "persecution" or "bullying" when others in synod call people like Dr. Becker to cease and desist from what they consider to be schismatic or heterodox activity?