Author Topic: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?  (Read 8098 times)

Weedon

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #45 on: July 05, 2013, 09:41:04 AM »
I just visited Wikipedia and found it as you say... Wikipedia...so dangerous to visit there. You fall in and never get out!
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Pastor Ted Crandall

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #46 on: July 05, 2013, 10:34:58 AM »
a) Purpose:  The purpose of the ACELC is, by circularizing the congregations of the denomination, to create the doctrinal standard to which those in the ACELC ascribe for all the congregations, thus becoming the doctrinal standard-bearers for the denomination. 

ACELC is not creating the doctrinal standard, but trying to restore it.  Was Luther creating a new doctrine, too? 

Quote
This is not done through either channels of dissent or through the national convention of the denomination, but is attempted by circularizing congregations to join their denomination within the denomination. 

The dissent process in the LCMS is broken, so the ACELC nailed the list of documented infractions to the internet door. 

I did not post the documentation of your 15-year-old apology in order to display my lack of forgiveness, President Benke.  I posted it to show that the unionism continued, even after your promise never to do it again. 

To those who have posted here their concern that souls are being lost while we bicker over doctrine: 

Many say, 'Instead of disputing over doctrine so much, we should much rather be concerned with souls and with leading them to Christ.' But all who speak in this way do not really know what they are saying or what they are doing. As foolish as it would be to scold a farmer for being concerned about sowing good seed and to demand of him simply to be concerned about a good harvest, so foolish it is to scold those who are concerned first and foremost with the doctrine, and to demand of them that they should rather seek to rescue souls. For just as the farmer who wants a good crop must first of all be concerned about good seed, so the church must above all be concerned about right doctrine if it would save souls. – C. F. W. Walther

Dave Benke

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #47 on: July 05, 2013, 10:36:18 AM »
Pastor Culler writes:
 But the constant anger that is displayed toward people whose differences are so minute that they can scarcely be understood by anyone outside Lutheranism is a turn off to say the least. 

I comment:
Pastor Culler echoes my point. About 80 percent of the people I deal with every week are not Lutheran or are nominally Christian. I sometimes dread even pointing them to denominational websites. These people are in need of basic gospel. They do not care, nor should they care, about the disputes of the 16th century between Luther and Zwingli. I'd just like to get them to "regular" worship once in a while, to receive Holy Communion once in a while (most were brought up Roman Catholic), to desire a basic knowledge of the Bible.
   When they read about a pastor clobbered like the Newtown pastor, it's really hard to continue the discussion. When they come to my services, no one asks a question about whether they can commune. Some receive, some don't, but most do.
   Receiving the sacrament is sometimes a step on the way to understanding and fuller fellowship; it is not some "reward" you get after passing a doctrinal test or being admitted to the closed fraternity. (If that's not "Lutheran" enough for some here, I don't care.)
   This week-end I will see a man with stage 4 cancer who professes his belief in God, but will have almost nothing to do with the church, and everything he reads in the papers about religion turns him off. I did officiate at his marriage to the woman he has been living with for 12 years; but I doubt I will ever get him into a church.
   The more we bark and bite at each other as if it were 1586, the less others will care about having anything to do with us.
   I'm not having universal success with my more "open" approach; but I'm darned sure being more closed isn't the way to go.

Yes to this post, and a hearty affirmation from the Missouri Synod commission on harmony that had basically the same exact thoughts a few years back.  In terms of the Missouri Synod, we are pretty much expected to be the barky-biteys by many, and live down to that expectation.  I don't think the "anything goes" option is either Lutheran or helpful, because Law/Gospel, Sin/Grace, our calling card duos, include Law and Sin.  As none other than CFW Walther opined, however, if Law and Sin appear to any and everybody to be triumphant in our preaching, teaching and living, then we're just Pentecostal wannabes, legalists on the loose. (I don't think he put it quite that way, though.)

Life in the parish for me is startlingly different from barkey-bitey.  The church-political outcome of that for the great many pastors and leaders who live the startlingly different daily life is that the national church-political sunderings and siftings are of no interest.  Therefore, those who like that kind of thing end up doing the attending, communicating, and deciding.  Which is not all that helpful to the denominational welfare.

So what about me?  Well, I'm in an elected office.  So this is, in my opinion, an aspect of my called public ministry.  I've tried to think through why I would be in these interchanges if I were not in elected office but solely a called parish pastor, and I haven't come up with any persuasive rationale except to get a few laughs from time to time.

Dave Benke

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #48 on: July 05, 2013, 10:47:01 AM »
I did not post the documentation of your 15-year-old apology in order to display my lack of forgiveness, President Benke.  I posted it to show that the unionism continued, even after your promise never to do it again

I would assume you're speaking of Yankee Stadium.  The unanimous decision of the Dispute Resolution Panel, in line with the Synodical Resolution from 2001 (3-07a) was and remains in opposition to your conclusion.   

In the same way, the ACELC wants me to believe that their opinions, like your false conclusion, are the true opinion, the true conclusion, the true definition of the doctrinal positions of the Missouri Synod.  You, for your part, are welcome to wax away. 

But you're not sending out communication to every congregation asking them to join you. 

Or are you?

Finally, the decision to call the Dispute Resolution Process broken and therefore ignore it and go on with life ignoring and calling out anyone who disagrees -

This is a wonderful opportunity for any and all in our lovely barkey-bitey denomination to do the same.  This, apparently, is your and the ACELC's desire.  "Walking together?"  "Life together?"  Not so much.

Dave Benke


Coach-Rev

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #49 on: July 05, 2013, 10:50:27 AM »
Of course I meant the snide lettering for the STS.  And I say that as someone who can not join the STS because I have zero interest in reunion with Rome until it renounces its errors

It is disturbing to me that this is the sole purpose you deduce for the society.  If you read the "rule" of the society, reunion with Rome is not mentioned.  Yes, as a part of the explanation to #8, it is a 'future longing," but why should it not be?  It does not mean capitulation to Rome.  It means that, as Jesus said, we are to be one (ref. John 17).  It means we wait patiently for Rome to recognize that Luther got it right.

The society is about liturgical, theological, and pastoral renewal, authority, commitment, accountability, and so on.  That you have such an erroneous view of the Society's purpose reflects more on you than the society.  I hope you'll take more time to review its purpose and function.  Take the time to be a guest at a chapter retreat.  Do these things, rather than refer to my STS brethren as SHT. 

Keith Falk

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #50 on: July 05, 2013, 11:05:18 AM »
FWIW - Pastor Culler admonished Pastor Crandall for the SHT reference; he (Pastor Culler) wasn't advocating its use.
Rev. Keith Falk, STS

Robert_C_Baker

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #51 on: July 05, 2013, 11:09:06 AM »
Why so defensive? This organization, and please let me remind you there are numerous such organizations both within the LCMS and without, uses various media to communicate its concerns. So did Jesus First, so does the United List, and so on. There is also the STS, ALPB, Logia (with its newly found love for experiential Erlangen theology), NICL, and Lutheran Forum. Heck, some of these organizations vociferously have either defended or criticized you in your ventures.

In short, we have quite a history within our church body of expressing our opinions and tolerating even sometimes contrary views. And I think that this is healthy.

However, in your own words, you do not like the fact that the ACELC provides lists of doctrinal statements (rather, doctrinal concerns), emails soliciting "members" (whatever that is) or informing others of their views, and having conferences.

What's now clear is that you don't like their theology. OK, fine. You made your point.

For my part, I don't yet see anything wrong with their views. In fact, among the members of this organization I count several godly, Bible-believing, Christ-loving men, who dearly love and are concerned about their Synod, so much so that they would offer both cheeks to those who would slap them with accusations of being "schismatics" and "seeking to form a church within a church."

If you truly love these men, then why don't you set up a meeting with them, rather than making normative judgments about their character and actions on the Internet?

Kind regards,

Robert



What I understand, Dave, is that you interpret their actions as "schismatic" and creating a "church within the church" on doctrinal grounds. That is your opinion, and you're welcome to it.

It is not my opinion, however, and I would suspect that many in our Synod who eschew heavy-handed, paternalistic, authoritarian missives from "on high" would agree with me.

We need healthy debate about serious doctrinal issues affective our Synod, not being beat over the head with a gilt crozier. That's unhealthy.

Robert

Dave Benke: "The circularizing of the denomination by the organization's original leaders is schismatic activity - they requested individuals and congregations to join in with them in their organization within the organization of the Missouri Synod for doctrinal reasons, many of which are in distinction to the held positions on doctrine and practice within the denomination.  That's pretty much the definition of schismatic activity."

And disallowing any form of dissent, or fraternal encouragement to seriously call into question the status quo of doctrine and practice, simply because said doctrine and practice are "held positions" within the denomination, is sheer tyranny.

The LCMS isn't the Roman Catholic Church, or Nazi Germany, Dave.

Robert

I also received this email.  I believe the ACELC to be unhealthy for the Missouri Synod and engaged in schismatic activity precisely because of this paragraph detailing their activity from their letter:

On July 15, 2010, the Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Congregations (ACELC) mailed a “Letter of Fraternal Admonition” to every congregation in the LCMS. At that time the ACELC was not an organized group, but merely a collection of individuals concerned about their church, and a number of matters of doctrine and practice that seemed to be contrary to God’s Word and the Lutheran Confessions.  Many responded favorably to that letter and several months later (March, 2011) the ACELC was officially formed.

The circularizing of the denomination by the organization's original leaders is schismatic activity - they requested individuals and congregations to join in with them in their organization within the organization of the Missouri Synod for doctrinal reasons, many of which are in distinction to the held positions on doctrine and practice within the denomination.  That's pretty much the definition of schismatic activity.

It is an attempt and will continue to be an attempt, from recent missives by the ACELC, to subvert the Koinonia process and project. 

What this email is, as far as I can tell, is an attempt to discredit the Commission on Constitutional Matters for answering a question posed to them according to the rubrics under which the CCM operates.  So in that regard, it's an attempt to undermine the operation of a denominational commission from doing the work it is called to do in the way that the bylaws of the denomination prescribe.  More unhealthy behavior by a group not healthy in and for the denomination.

Dave Benke

The person on the Council of Presidents who called this activity out at every turn was George Wollenburg (+).  You understand, Robert, that what is NOT being called out is dissent.  Dr. Wollenburg helped write the bylaws on dissent. 

What IS being called out is circularizing and creating a membership organization within the denomination on doctrinal grounds - a "church within the church."

Dave Benke

What missives?  The only missives I have received in this regard are the long listing of doctrinal statements from the ACELC and their many emails either enlisting new members or informing of their point of view and upcoming conferences to convince me of their point of view. 

The CCM received a question, answered it in a couple of paragraphs two years ago, and this is then to you the "missive from on high?"  All the energy is coming from the ACELC as I see it. 

Dave Benke

Coach-Rev

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #52 on: July 05, 2013, 11:51:40 AM »
FWIW - Pastor Culler admonished Pastor Crandall for the SHT reference; he (Pastor Culler) wasn't advocating its use.


Yep, chalk it up to poor use of the quote function on my part.  I was replying to two separate comments:  one by Pr Crandall and one by Pr. Culler.  My apologies to Pr. Culler for confusing the two.

My advise, however, would apply to both, since it is not, and has never been, the driving purpose for the society.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2013, 11:53:18 AM by Coach-Rev »

Pastor Ted Crandall

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #53 on: July 05, 2013, 12:36:18 PM »
Almighty God, you have built your Church on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the Cornerstone.  Continue to send your messengers to preserve your people in true peace that, by the preaching of your Word, your Church may be kept free from all harm and danger, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen. 

John Mundinger

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #54 on: July 05, 2013, 01:06:55 PM »
a) Purpose:  The purpose of the ACELC is, by circularizing the congregations of the denomination, to create the doctrinal standard to which those in the ACELC ascribe for all the congregations, thus becoming the doctrinal standard-bearers for the denomination. 

ACELC is not creating the doctrinal standard, but trying to restore it.  Was Luther creating a new doctrine, too? 

Quote
This is not done through either channels of dissent or through the national convention of the denomination, but is attempted by circularizing congregations to join their denomination within the denomination. 


Almighty God, you have built your Church on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the Cornerstone.  Continue to send your messengers to preserve your people in true peace that, by the preaching of your Word, your Church may be kept free from all harm and danger, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

In my opinion, it is more than a little arrogant to offer a prayer like that while engaged in a conversation in which it is clear that you think you are the answer to that prayer while those with whom you disagree are doing the work of Satan.
The dissent process in the LCMS is broken, so the ACELC nailed the list of documented infractions to the internet door. 

I did not post the documentation of your 15-year-old apology in order to display my lack of forgiveness, President Benke.  I posted it to show that the unionism continued, even after your promise never to do it again. 

To those who have posted here their concern that souls are being lost while we bicker over doctrine: 

Many say, 'Instead of disputing over doctrine so much, we should much rather be concerned with souls and with leading them to Christ.' But all who speak in this way do not really know what they are saying or what they are doing. As foolish as it would be to scold a farmer for being concerned about sowing good seed and to demand of him simply to be concerned about a good harvest, so foolish it is to scold those who are concerned first and foremost with the doctrine, and to demand of them that they should rather seek to rescue souls. For just as the farmer who wants a good crop must first of all be concerned about good seed, so the church must above all be concerned about right doctrine if it would save souls. – C. F. W. Walther

Pr. Crandall - your logic works only if you begin with the assumption that those with whom you disagree are living in unbelief.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2013, 01:11:34 PM by John Mundinger »
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Keith Falk

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #55 on: July 05, 2013, 02:15:12 PM »
What I found tacky was refering to the STS as SHT.

Dan
May I ask why?  Isn't Society of Holy Trinity abbreviated with those initials in English?


Because the Society does not refer to itself with those letters, and if one were to do so, it would lead to a phonetic pronunciation of SH!T.  Being that I believe you are a reasonably intelligent fellow, I am sure you deduced that.


I also note that Pastor Crandall did not address my post, so I will assume that he now understands why STS is not schismatic using Dr. Benke's definition.  Again, I note that Dr. Benke isn't a member anyhow, so I'm not sure what the point was anyhow.


Pastor Crandall, I would appreciate an apology for the offense your choice of abbreviation has caused.
Rev. Keith Falk, STS

Buckeye Deaconess

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #56 on: July 05, 2013, 02:58:44 PM »
Pastor Crandall, I would appreciate an apology for the offense your choice of abbreviation has caused.

Pastor Crandall, I think it would go a long way to soften the blow if you could honor this request.  I was too dense to get it when I first read it until someone else pointed it out.  Play nice, now.  :)

I guess I would add that it's hard for me to take allegations against the ACELC seriously when groups like Daystar and OWN are doing the same thing they are being demonized for.  It just seems like more of that selective double standard I'm always critical of.

LutherMan

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #57 on: July 05, 2013, 04:39:16 PM »
  I was too dense to get it when I first read it until someone else pointed it out.  Play nice, now.  :)
I didn't get it either until pointed out.  We Lutherans have always had an alphabet soup initials of committees & groups and since I don't read Latin, it seemed reasonable to me...

Charles_Austin

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #58 on: July 05, 2013, 04:42:38 PM »
The deaconess writes:
Pastor Crandall, I think it would go a long way to soften the blow if ...
I muse:
A soft blow is still a blow.

Pastor Ted Crandall

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Re: Does Matthew 18 Apply to ACELC's Antagonists?
« Reply #59 on: July 05, 2013, 04:58:25 PM »
Pastor Crandall, I would appreciate an apology for the offense your choice of abbreviation has caused.

I'm sorry you were offended.