Author Topic: WordAlone  (Read 29822 times)

LutherMan

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #105 on: June 30, 2007, 09:29:06 AM »
Is there any newsworthy info from the WA convention?

Charles_Austin

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #106 on: June 30, 2007, 09:39:49 AM »
The current issue of The Lutheran has a full-page story on the Word Alone gathering.

LutherMan

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #107 on: June 30, 2007, 10:22:11 AM »
Thank you, I guess I meant to say their June meeting, not the March/April convention.

Vern

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #108 on: July 02, 2007, 05:14:49 PM »
If you wonder where WordAlone is strong take a lokk at the Churches on their website. You might be surprised.

The biggest complaint against CCM was that Lutheran pastors would have to be ordained by Episcopal bishops.

Vern

Charles_Austin

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #109 on: July 02, 2007, 05:17:51 PM »
Vern writes:
The biggest complaint against CCM was that Lutheran pastors would have to be ordained by Episcopal bishops.

I comment:
Not true. Simply not true. And part of the hysteria that has clouded discussion of this for far too many years.

ptmccain

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #110 on: July 02, 2007, 05:34:00 PM »
Pr. Austin is correct. But of course, under the terms of the agreement, all bishops in the ELCA, going forward, must be consecrated by an Episcopalian bishop, which is, if I'm not mistaken, is what makes Episcopalians, Episcopalians: the bishop [episkopos] is the thing.

Quoting from the CCM:
"The creation of a common and fully interchangeable ministry of bishops in full communion will occur with the incorporation of all active bishops in the historic episcopal succession."

In other words, the agreement is a public confession by the ELCA that its bishops are not in "historic succession" until, and unless, they have been consecrated by Episcopal bishops. This concept of "historic succession" is not the position of the Lutheran Confessions, which do not require any such "historic succession" for "full communion" either within a church, or between churches. The CCM makes this mandatory, not optional. When all Lutheran bishops have been consecrated by Episcopalian bishops, then there will be a realization of "full communion" between the bishops and of course, historic succession, as the Episcopalians understand it, will be a part of every Lutheran ordination, since Lutheran pastors will be ordained going forward by bishops who have been incorporated into the "fully interchangeable ministry of bishops in full communion" as a result of their being ordained by a bishop who has received "historic episcopal succession" from an Episcopalian bishop.

The requirement, which is mandatory, in the CCM that a bishop must be involved in the ordination of a pastor is simply, and flatly, contradictory of the Lutheran Confessions which make it clear that:

Since the grades of bishop and pastor are
not different by divine authority, it is clear
that ordination administered by a pastor in
his own church is valid by divine law.

(Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, 65).

Under the CCM, Lutheran congregations in this agreement, are precluded from exercising their divine right under the Gospel to ordain pastors for themselves. 

Wherever the Church is, there is the authority
to administer the Gospel. Therefore,
it is necessary for the Church to retain the authority
to call, elect, and ordain ministers.
This authority is a gift that in reality is given
to the Church. No human power can take
this gift away from the Church. As Paul testifies
to the Ephesians, when “He ascended . . .
He gave gifts to men” (Ephesians [4:8]). He
lists among the gifts specifically belonging to
the Church “pastors and teachers” [4:11], and
adds that they are given for the ministry, “for
building up the body of Christ” [4:12]. So
wherever there is a True Church, the right to
elect and ordain ministers necessarily exists.

(Treatise, par. 67).
« Last Edit: July 02, 2007, 06:02:42 PM by ptmccain »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #111 on: July 02, 2007, 05:50:16 PM »
The biggest complaint against CCM was that Lutheran pastors would have to be ordained by Episcopal bishops.
Where did you hear that? In the years of discussing the Concordat and then CCM, that was not mentioned as a complaint. Having an ELCA bishop officiate at ordinations was not the primary complaint, but the requirement that ELCA bishops had to officiate was the major complaint.

In fact, (I just re-read the section,) there is no requirement that Episcopal bishops be present at ordinations of ELCA pastors.

20. In accord with the historic practice whereby the bishop is representative of the wider church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America agrees to make constitutional and liturgical provision that a bishop shall regularly preside and participate in the laying-on-of-hands at the ordination of all clergy. Pastors shall continue to participate with the bishop in the laying-on-of-hands at all ordinations of pastors. Such offices are to be exercised as servant ministry, and not for domination or arbitrary control. All the people of God have a true equality, dignity, and authority for building up the body of Christ.

It does state that a bishop or bishops from the Episcopal Church shall participate in the laying on of hands at the installation of ELCA bishops.
"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]

Charles_Austin

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #112 on: July 02, 2007, 05:59:51 PM »
Pastor McCain writes re ordination and our agreement with the Episcopalians:
The CCM makes this mandatory, not optional.

I comment:
We've been down this road many times in this discussion. We as Lutherans agree, repeat we agree that the confessions do not require the historic episcopate. But for the sake of fellowship and our common ministry with the Episcopal Church, we agree to a certain form of the historic episcopate. We don't have to do this to be saved; we don't have to do it to be Lutheran; it doesn't make us Episcopalian; and it is not contrary to our confessions. We are able to approve various types of church governance. We agree to do it for the sake of this agreement and its possibility of expanded ministry. That's all.

Eric_Swensson

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #113 on: July 02, 2007, 06:07:15 PM »
"You don't have to believe it, you just have to do it." -Martin Marty

ptmccain

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #114 on: July 02, 2007, 06:13:50 PM »
We've been down this road many times in this discussion. We as Lutherans agree, repeat we agree that the confessions do not require the historic episcopate. But for the sake of fellowship and our common ministry with the Episcopal Church, we agree to a certain form of the historic episcopate. We don't have to do this to be saved; we don't have to do it to be Lutheran; it doesn't make us Episcopalian; and it is not contrary to our confessions. We are able to approve various types of church governance. We agree to do it for the sake of this agreement and its possibility of expanded ministry. That's all.

Pr. Austin, these points are all certainly commendable, but the CCM does not present the historic episcopacy in the moderate tones that you present it here. It is precisely contradictory to our most basic confession, the Augsburg Confession, to agree that consecration by a bishop in historic succession is necessary "for the sake of fellowship and common ministry." The Augustana states it very beautifully and it would make your points true and valid if the CCM had affirmed very clearly this beautiful truth of the Sacred Scriptures, and the Gospel of Christ: " The Church is the congregation of saints [Psalm 149:1] in which the Gospel is purely taught and the Sacraments are correctly administered.For the true unity of the church it is enough to agree about the doctrine of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments." Precisely because the CCM does not explicitly affirm this core reality of the Biblical witness it is contrary both to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. The Lutheran architects of the CCM allowed historic episcopal succession to be placed alongside of the true evangelical magna carta of the Lutheran Church and to lead people to believe that the consecration of a bishop in historic succession and then the ordination received from such a bishop is required for there to be "full communion" between churches.

The contradiction of the most foundational of our Lutheran Confessions are plain to see, and many much wiser than me have pointed this out within the ranks of the ELCA.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #115 on: July 02, 2007, 06:19:48 PM »
The contradiction of the most foundational of our Lutheran Confessions are plain to see, and many much wiser than me have pointed this out within the ranks of the ELCA.
There are also many people much wiser than either of us who attest that CCM does not contradict our Lutheran Confessions.

It was clear during years of discussion about this, that there is not an agreement in the ELCA about what "is sufficient" in the Augsburg Confession means. One way of illustrating it was whether or not it was seen as a ceiling or a floor. As a ceiling, nothing more could be added to it. As a floor, it formed the foundation, upon which other things could be added.
"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]

ptmccain

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #116 on: July 02, 2007, 06:30:06 PM »
The fact that it was a "deal breaker" indicates its necessity for unity between the ELCA and the ECUSA. And the AC makes it abundantly clear what is necessary for unity.

Gladfelteri

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #117 on: July 02, 2007, 06:30:59 PM »
Another point is that the loss of the episcopacy in apostolic succession was not something that Luther and his colleagues in the earliest stage of the Wittenberg Reformation wanted to keep.  The loss of the episcopacy was forced on them, and they had to make adjustments accordingly.  It was only later that they decided that the loss of the episcopacy was a good thing.  But initially, it was not what they expected or wanted.  And The Swedes did, in fact keep the episcopacy in historic apostolic succession.  If it was such a bad thing, why didn't the Swedes throw it out on confessional grounds?

Gladfelteri

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #118 on: July 02, 2007, 06:34:50 PM »
The fact that it was a "deal breaker" indicates its necessity for unity between the ELCA and the ECUSA. And the AC makes it abundantly clear what is necessary for unity.
If the UAC made it so clear that the episcopacy in historic apostolic succession was such a bad thing, why did the Swedes retain it and carefully maintain it?  I know, the Swedish Pietists did throw it out, but that is immaterial.  The Church of Sweden did retain it and has maintained it.

You are right though, that this does go to the nature of the Church, and the nature of and exercise of authority in the Church; and Lutheranism has developed somewhat differently here than in Europe for all sorts of reasons.

ptmccain

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Re: WordAlone
« Reply #119 on: July 02, 2007, 06:36:02 PM »
I think it is very important to make clear distinctions. There is nothing wrong with "historic episcopacy." But when it is made a requirement of the church's external unity, that is quite another thing. That's the key difference. The Lutheran Confessions are quite clear that ranks and grades in the ministry are appropriate, but not by divine mandate, but only by external arrangment for the sake of order in the church. Our own Synod is in church fellowship with several churches which have a historic episcopate, but in each case they have made it very clear that this is not by divine mandate, or required for there to be unity and full communion, but for the sake order which they choose. That's an important distinction.