Author Topic: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2005)  (Read 8843 times)

Dennis

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2005, 05:23:11 AM »
If you read the other Eucharistic prayers, it seems that the phrase "communion of the body and blood of Christ," can mean both a reference to Jesus and to the community.  Here the Reformed are more faithful to the ancient church practice than we, because they do invoke the Holy Spirit during the Communion liturgy.  This is done by Roman Catholics, Orthdox, Anglicans, Reformed. which adds up to quite a sizeable crowd.  The Eucharistic prayer goes back to Hippolytus.  This is troubling for me, because the idea of Verba alone goes back only to Luther.  I understand the theological ideas behind the Verba being "proclaimed" and standing alone, but it really does contradict the practice of the church for 1500 years or so.  I wish Luther had been like Cranmer and rewritten the prayer.

I think one of the best we have is what was produced for the SBH and is currently in the LBW Altar Book as III.
There we pray "With your Word and Holy Spirit"

G.Edward

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2005, 12:44:39 PM »
Does anyone really want to create a "dissenting lutheran synod"?   :'(

Why not work towards strengthening our connections to the world-wide Lutheran church and seek something like delegated oversight at churchwide?  

Certainly there are bishops within the LWF leadership who seem ready to serve as overseers.  We have the technology and money to make this happen whenever we want.  We don't have to have the same kind of pyramid organizational structure we've had since Constantine.

It seems like the majority of LWF members are opposed to the sharp left turn the North American ELCA & ELCIC leadership are trying to bring about.  As in the Anglican church, a majority of people in the pews are opposed to the kind of innovations in vogue lately.  

In the same way, the twenty-some thousand responses to JTF confirmed the sense of the church even though the task force minimized their collective common sense in its report and recommendations by relegating their responses to an appendix and neglecting to write openly about them and what they might mean.

Why aren't we calling out to our brothers and sisters around the world for their help?   ???

Or, to ask the same question another way:  Just how big is our sense of the church?  Might it not reach further than Chicago and 1987?

Dennis

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2005, 12:56:30 PM »
Anglicans went to bishops in other countries because they need a leader/overseer who is in the historic episcopate and in communion with the See of Canterbury.  That is part of being an Anglican.

This is apples to oranges.

Lutherans have never viewed the church in the same way, obviously.  The overseer, whether Bishop, President, or Presiding Pastor does not need to be approved by or in communion with Lutherans in other countries.  

What would be interesting is if some of these "macro/micro synods" applied to join the Lutheran World Federation, as well as other ecumenical groups to which the ELCA now belongs.  If they were to do that, they would be in communion with world Lutheranism, including the ELCA!

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2005, 10:21:20 PM »
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Any dissenting synod arising in the wake of the coming Orlando churchwide assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America must be as comprehensively Lutheran as possible, without sectarian agendas intruding.

Pastor Saltzman's opening sentence (posted by Pr. Johnson) superbly throws down the gauntlet.  My dissatisfaction over his article  -- and he appears to be seeking something he can live with rather than "satisfaction" with his conclusions, so he's expecting (pastors like) me to be dissatisfied -- arises from two key elements of his gauntlet, the resolution of the first affecting the acceptability of the second.

The first element is the undefined nature of such a "dissenting synod."  Is Saltzman thinking this would be a new, independent national synod, ala Missouri, Augustana, etc. (or the independent regional/ethnic synods that formed the ULCA and LCA)?  Or would it be something like a new "non-geographic synod" formed by an ELCA constitutional process (which we debated for a while in our Synod Assembly until the Parliamentarian found an excuse to have a proposed Memorial ruled out-of-order)?  Or is Saltzman thinking of something that internally ignores the rest of the ELCA (along the lines of the Free Synod in the Church of Sweden, or WordAlone's new proposed "association") where congregations of various pieties continue their current relationship and involvement to the greater church, while praying and working together in opposition to pro-gay ELCA leadership who will tolerate a open, loyal opposition party?

If something like the last is what Pr. Saltzman is describing, then this Evangelical Catholic believes he can live with a continued ambiguity on CCM, JDDJ, a eucharistic prayer, lay presidency, and Lutheranism’s identity.  After all, I'm living with them right now.  I'm not happy about the state of these issues in the ELCA, but neither have I been convinced that I must depart over their current status.  The current options (see my list on Pastor Zip's US Lutheran Web Links <http://homepage.mac.com/pastorzip/uslutheranlinx.html>) are, for me at least, all less attractive than an ELCA that is, admittedly, growing uglier and uglier.  I can walk together with others opposed to the advancement of the Gay Agenda and who would, if elected, restore a faithful, pastoral response to homosexuals without going after Evangelical Catholics doing "our thing."

But if Pr. Saltzman's "dissenting synod" is more like the first two I've described (a official dissenting Synod, either within or independent of the ELCA), I'm afraid the second key element I'm afraid the second key element begins to hold sway.  Lay presidency in the ELCA is a sectarian intrusion.  So are the most extreme polemics against Eucharistic Prayers, vestments, and the episcopate that continue to be spotlighted by WordAlone and other "protestant" Lutheran organs that oppose an Evangelical Catholic stance on the Ministry and the Liturgy.

Like Pastor Saltzman, I have sought dialogue and endeavored to work with WordAlone supporters and leaders to provide options to the ELCA's gay advance.  Like Pastor Saltzman, I have gone out of my way to not give offense (though not always successfully) and held back when a similar graciousness was not extended towards me.  But the "dissenting synod" Pr. Saltzman describes is, apart from being committed to the reformation of the ELCA from within the ELCA, not "as comprehensively Lutheran as possible."  Rather, on every point he mentions of the (using my best construction here) "interpretive disputes amongst 'confessional' Lutherans," he gives away catholicity for a narrow, hyper-protestant sectarianism.

If that's what a dissenting Lutheran Synod has to offer, well, that is different from being "nothing else but another Liberal Protestant establishment."  But it's not a better alternative for the sheep I've been called to serve.  And Pastor Saltzman seems to have dropped, rather than thrown, his gauntlet.


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« Last Edit: March 18, 2006, 02:50:32 PM by przip »
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G.Edward

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (cont.)
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2005, 10:40:53 PM »
Quote


Historic Episcopate. As an issue for dissenting ELCA’ers, again, this is not a question where we should part company. There is no Lutheran theological imperative that requires bishops in historic succession. It would be nice, though, if everyone could acknowledge that the Confessions do speak winsomely of good bishops. There is ample biblical and traditional precedent for the office of the bishop. Along with the late Warren Quanbeck of Luther Seminary, I think we should work at recovering the ministry of bishops.



The historic office of bishop seems to me to have been both a symbol of unity among several congregations of a local area, a center of orthodox teaching, and an example of pastoral practice.  We lack these today.

A bishop cannot really be a pastor to 300 pastors spread across much of an entire state or region.  Time and distance along with human limitations make it impossible for a bishop to fulfill this historic role.

A bishop consumed with administration cannot even hope to begin to exercise the teaching office historically located in the office of bishop, nor can they begin to invest the time and effort necessary to admonish and correct.

The bishops I have known do fantastic jobs given the challenges, but I believe we would do ourselves a favor as a church if we returned to a more local, distributed model, not unlike the conference deans of the Evangelical Church in Germany.  

Gladfelteri

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2005, 07:31:02 AM »
As an officer of the Order of Corporate Reunion (OCR) I have a standing  offer to help any theologically and biblically conservative Lutheran Synod (which does not ordain women) recover the historic Apostolic Succession through our Bishops and other Bishops (Old Catholics) who are OCR members gratis with no strings attached (other than round trip airline tickets and expenses.)  This would place their bishops in the Apostolic Succession in more than 20 separate lines of succession.  Send me an e-mail for details.   :)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2005, 07:32:35 AM by Gladfelteri »

Richard Johnson

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2005, 12:47:04 PM »
Quote
As an officer of the Order of Corporate Reunion (OCR) I have a standing  offer to help any theologically and biblically conservative Lutheran Synod (which does not ordain women) recover the historic Apostolic Succession   :)


Irl,
I'm just a tad puzzled about something. In visiting one of your web pages http://www.evcomin.org/ I see what I take to be a photo of you, and a woman I take to be your wife, who is identified as "The Rev. Dr. Linda J. Merrill-Gladfelter, Pastor/Administrator." So what gives here? Have I understood the relationships correctly? Is she ordained in some different synod? Doesn't it cause a problem to you to be strongly opposed to the ordination of women, and yet apparently married to an ordained woman?

And then of course I'm puzzled by someone who seems to place such significance on ministry in apostolic succession hawking wedding services on a web site.

It just doesn't seem to make sense to me. But maybe I've misinterpreted things, or maybe I'm just not getting it here. Could you enlighten us?
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Gladfelteri

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2005, 06:57:09 PM »
The website, www.evcomin.org is not one of my websites.  It is the website of  my wife, Linda's, organization which is NOT part of the ECCL.  Linda is not a Priest or even a lay member of the ECCL, although she is very supportive of my work.   Linda is an ordained Minister of one of the Community Church Associations and reports to her own (Protestant) Bishop.  

She does serve under an Indult ("from the Latin: indultus, leave, permission:  In Canon Law, a temporary or indefinite personal favor granted by the competent ecclesiastical authority. If not revoked and still in use they are not abolished by the Code of Canon Law." - reference:  The New Catholic Dictionary) as the Chancellor of the ECCL but that is a non-sacerdotal, lay position the duties of which consist of serving as the Chief Financial Officer and Event Planner for official major denominational functions.  Since she has an M. A. Bus. and was the former Manager of the Houston Youth Symphony and Ballet and Director of the Miller Outdoor Theater in Houston for quite some time, lives under my roof, and I definitely do NOT have any of her skill-sets. I would be crazy not to take advantage of her help. (As Chancellor, she also works with an outside independent C. P. A. who serves as the ECCL's de-facto Comptroller.)

Her organization, Evangelical Community Ministries, which she is the Pastor / Director, is NOT a part of the ECCL.  It does hold an Independent Ministry Charter from the ECCL, but organizations which hold "Independent Ministry Charters," as stated on the ECCL's official website, are "organizations belonging to other Denominations, and are led by clergy who belong to other Denominations. These Ministries are not agencies or ministries of the ECCL, nor are they under the ECCL's ecclesiastical oversight in any way. The Independent Ministry Charter does not imply any form of Communion with them or with the Church to which they belong. The Independent Ministry Charter is nothing more than the ECCL's unique way of endorsing these fine organizations and their activities."

My wife reports her pastoral activities to her own Bishop who requires more detailed information more frequently than I do for my own clergy!  If some other Church / Ekklesia chooses to ordain women, that is up to them, and I do respect their decision to do so.  That is just something the ECCL will not be able do until there is a broad "consensus fidelium across Catholic Christianity that this is to be done (or else we will be tethered to the "Protestant" side of the "Religious Grand Canyon" even if only just barely.)  Since Linda is, as we would say, a "Rostered Pastor" of another denomination, I am "cool with that." That makes her a "free agent," as far as I am concerned.  And ECCL Canon Law, for that matter, has never required that ECCL clergy wives even be members of the ECCL.  

Evangelical Community Ministries is her full-time ministry, and provides customized weddings and other pastoral care for those with no Church home.  I do perform weddings for her Ministry on occasion as one of her contract clergy, when a couple wants to be married by someone who is in the apostolic succession - but I am only one of many ministers who are contract clergy for her organization.  And her Ministry, Evangelical Community Ministries is the agency which advertises (which is typical for destination wedding ministries.)  I have no problem with that.  That is simply how it is.  (My denomination, the  ECCL does not advertise its pastoral services.)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2005, 08:08:13 PM by Gladfelteri »

ROB_MOSKOWITZ

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2005, 09:33:09 PM »
Quote


Like Pastor Saltzman, I have sought dialogue and endeavored to work with WordAlone supporters and leaders to provide options to the ELCA's gay advance.  Like Pastor Saltzman, I have gone out of my way to not give offense (though not always successfully) and held back when a similar graciousness was not extended towards me.  But the "dissenting synod" Pr. Saltzman describes is, apart from being committed to the reformation of the ELCA from within the ELCA, not "as comprehensively Lutheran as possible."  Rather, on every point he mentions of the (using my best construction here) "interpretive disputes amongst 'confessional' Lutherans," he gives away catholicity for a narrow, hyper-protestant sectarianism.

If that's what a dissenting Lutheran Synod has to offer, well, that is different from being "nothing else but another Liberal Protestant establishment."  But it's not a better alternative for the sheep I've been called to serve.  And Pastor Saltzman seems to have dropped, rather than thrown, his gauntlet.
spt+


Rev. Tibbetts you will have to forgive me but I am confused by your post.   I am a former (Id jest recovering) E.C..     When I was back east and very E.C. I did not mind those who where more protestant.  Infact id say I did not care, it was their perogative.    I wonder now if this stark distinction even existed.   As shown in the posts following yours the so called E.C. camp is as diverce as the so called protestant camp.

I remember talking with my home Pastor while on internship.   He put forth how great CCM was and I replied I guess but you know its adiaphora?   When I was in my first call I had a very conservative Bishop.   One of the few I still respect.   So I would have still considered my self E.C.

Now I have moved and now serve 2 protestant Lutheran churches.   Over the last couple of years I have moved away from that which I believe made me and E.C. (Although a good friend says im fooling myself) and consider myself and Evangelical Lutheran Pastor (protestant).

The sexuality game was a part of this only in that it first showed on the part of the Episcopals that the HE afforded absolutely no defense of the traditional faith or mooring to the conservative church.     As the years have gone by this point has been further made by actions of the ELCA bishops.

Now I still have friends who are E.C.s (boy that sounds like a slur and I mean it not to be, other than its late and Im too lazy to spell it out, forgive me!).   I harbor no resentment toward them, its now their perogative even know im on the other side of this so called fence.   It does make it hard when talking about synods and Bishops because our views now greatly differ.

Anyway, you will have to excuse me.   I see your characterization of WordAlone as very sectarian.    That's a new word for me I don't think I have ever used such.

I think what was put forward by Rev. Saltzman to be an honest thrown gauntlet.   He may have not thrown it in the direction you would have liked but perhaps you can only throw one gauntlet in one direction.

Consequently.    Since coming to Protestant Lutheranism it is my practice to read scripture and confessions daily.    I think there is an important distinction to be made here.    Although the broad camps of E.C.s and P.L.s may read confessions differently, they still read them!    I believe we can even more agree upon the Word of God.   This must be the fiber of any relationship in the church don't you think?   This is the fiber that differs us from the revisionist.   It makes the difference.   I think.

Well Im not sure how this P.L. got on this list.   Im not even sure Im supposed to be posting here?  

Yours In Christ
Rob Moskowitz

« Last Edit: July 01, 2005, 09:41:55 PM by ROB_MOSKOWITZ »

Gladfelteri

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2005, 08:55:47 AM »
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What would be interesting is if some of these "macro/micro synods" applied to join the Lutheran World Federation, as well as other ecumenical groups to which the ELCA now belongs.  If they were to do that, they would be in communion with world Lutheranism, including the ELCA!
 Actually, back in 2000, the ECCL did just that in a letter to the head of the WLF in Geneva.  After a long delay, the ECCL was told, in a very politely worded letter from an ELCA Pastor who was the WLF's representative in the US, in so many words, that the ELCA was the only member Church of the WLF in the United States, and that would remain the case.  If we (the ECCL) wished to become a part of world Lutheranism, represented by the WLF, we would have to "shut down" and, either as parishes and/or as individuals join the ELCA.

At that point we realized that the WLF was no longer an "Association" of Lutheran Churches if, indeed, it ever had been, but had become, in effect, a "Communion" not unlike the Anglican Communion with only one "jurisdictional Province" per nation;  and the ECCL - and by extension, the other microsynods (both Confessing Evangelical and Evangelical Catholic) were viewed by them as, in effect, "vagantes organizations" (technically valid, perhaps, but in some sense "less than licit," or "vagantes" (vagrant) in much the same way as the ECUSA views the smaller "Continuing Anglican" Churches clergy; and the Roman Catholic Church views many if not most of the North American Old Catholic Churches. From our perspective, anyway, to be the position of the WLF today more than ever.

The implications of this were not lost on the ECCL or other Lutherans, and provided the driving force behind the creation of  two new alternate Lutheran "Federations" or "Communions:" (1) The Association of Independent Evangelical Lutheran Churches (  http://www.associationofindependentevangelicallutheranchurches.org/english/information/iassoc.html  ) (which, although its head is a Bishop in the historic apostolic succession lineages which I am in, an Evangelical Catholic organization but has more of a centrist, "Protestant Lutheran" orientation over-all; and (2) the Augustana Evangelical Catholic Communion, which is Evangelical Catholic and strongly oriented toward an eventual reconciliation with Rome.  ((http://home.sprintmail.com/~gallups/id2.html )  The ECCL actually belongs to both organizations.

Now, with ELCA Bishop Hansen heading the WLF and some of the African WLF member churches like that of Tanzania already issuing official statements (llike the ELCT's Bukoba Statement - http://www.elct.org/news/2004.05.001.html) against the ordination of openly gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex "unions," were the WLF to approach the ECCL and other microsynods for that matter inviting us to join them, we would have to give that long and prayerful consideration.  

And in any case, were the ECCL to join the WLF it would quickly find itself openly lining up with the Tanzanians and other Global South Lutheran Churches against the ELCA and ELCIC's "open-ness to diversity" on these points.  So I have to wonder just how productive that would really be.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2005, 09:41:29 AM by Gladfelteri »

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2005, 07:06:06 PM »
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Rev. Tibbetts you will have to forgive me but I am confused by your post.

Well, brother Rob, I suppose that is fair given that I'm confused by yours, too. :(

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Gladfelteri

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2005, 07:18:50 PM »
Dennis, actually, the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod has founded an international "Federation" or "Communion" of Churches they are in Pulpit and Altar Fellowship with: The International Lutheran Council (http://www.ilc-online.org);  and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) has also founded an International "Federation" or "Communion" of Churches they are in Pulpit and Altar Fellowship with:  The Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (http://www.celc.info/cgi-bin/home.cgi)

So the Lutheran World Federation (WLF) is not the "only game in town:"  Just the "Liberal" one . . . .   ;)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2005, 08:09:31 PM by Gladfelteri »

G.Edward

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2005, 01:41:27 AM »
ECCL's goal of reconciliation with Rome fits with what seems to have been Luther and his fellow reformers' intent, or at least their underlying hope.  With that up front, I hope some of the ECCL folks in this neighborhood will teach me about where they are coming from.

Let me begin by stating that I'm not convinced in any way that visible unity of human organizations is how the unity Christ spoke of will be manifested.  I suspect that unity will be brought about by the work of the Holy Spirit and it will transcend any organizational structure / synod / federation we can conceive.

Since Rome has not repealed any of the papal decrees regarding the reformers/reformation, I don't see how we "return to Rome" without doing exactly what Luther and his counterparts would not do - recant - and still have any integrity.  While some of the issues may have faded into the dim corners of the last 475 years, it seems like we are still effectively at 1530.

It seems to me that - at least early on -  Luther and the reformers were willing to submit to the authority of Rome and accept the HE/pope if the pope and Rome saw the light on the several theological and scriptural misinterpretations / abuses the reformers raised for discussion.  We know that we've only recently reached the point of agreeing about what we agree and disagree on in JDDJ (already noted in CA - 1531).  What am I missing here?

Not only that, but I'm interested in the scriptural basis for regarding 1) Peter as the head of the church when the whole of scripture and the earliest writings of the church fathers seem to indicate a more collegial arrangement; 2) the bishop of Rome as the earthly head of Christianity when, but for the spoils of war and the particularities of geography / economics, the Orthodox churches could make the same claim for the Partriarch of Constantinople; and 3) the historic episcopate itself as anything other than a human institution serving human ends.

I'm also not convinced, by the way, that women don't have as much place as men serving as church leaders (pastors and bishops) - unless we follow the gospel according to Thomas!  It seems like the canon of scripture supports men and women in these roles.  Please feel free to address my misunderstanding here as well.

I'm sorry if you ECCL folks have already covered some parts of this, but I hope you'll indulge my curiosity.

Gladfelteri

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2005, 06:49:54 AM »
Brian, I respectfully disagree on this one.  This is not about "us."  This is an Epiklesis, an invocation of the Holy Spirit over the "gifts and creatures of bread and wine," as the Book of Common Prayer puts it; and which a technical part of a Prayer of Consecration which the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church of Scotland, and even the non-Chalcedonian churches (with the possible exception of the Nestorians) and the ECUSA's Book of Common Prayer have retained thanks to the influence of the Non-Juring Scottics Anglican Bishops who consecrated Bishop Samuel Seabuty, the ECUSA's first Bishop.  

The Epiklesis goes back at least to the Prayer of consecration in the Mass Liturgy of St. Hippolytus (which is in the Minister's Desk Edition of the LBW.)

The absence of an Epiklesis certainly does not invalidate the Consecration of the Bread and Wine, but it is a nice connection with the practice of the wider Church Catholic.

Whether or not this is "Lutheran" or "Lutheran enough," is, as Bill Clinton would say, depends on just what you mean by "Lutheran . . ."   ;)


Gladfelteri

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Re: Issues for a Dissenting Lutheran Synod (July 2
« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2005, 07:03:58 AM »
G. Edward, you and the ECCL have fundamentally different understandings of the doctrines of the nature of the Church, Church Polity, and of the nature of the Office of the Public Ministry of Word and Sacrament.

The ECCL accepts the Roman Catholic (and "high-church") Anglocatholic doctrine on these matters.  We also follow the views of Martin Luther prior to his meeting with Cardinal Cajetan in 1520 as normative (the so-called, "Catholic Luther," not those of the late-career of "Protestant Luther.")

The ECCL, as you will note from our website, accepts as confessional documents insofar as (quatenus) they are faithful witnesses to the Gospel, Tracts for the Times by John Henry Newman before he converted to Roman Catholicism, and put them on the same level as those portions of the Book of Concord (1580) which we also accept insofar as (quatena) they are trustworthy witnesses to the Gospel.

When there is a disagreement between the Lutheran Confessions (especially the ones presented after the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, we view them through an Anglocatholic (high-church Anglican) lens and so come down on the side of Western Catholic donctrines.  

In other words, the ECCL ain't Protestant at all (nor was Luther in 1520 - or even as late as 1537.)  We stick with the so-called "Catholic Luther" and the goals he had in 1520; not as things developed later on, and absolutely disagre with WordAlone and their allies on these doctrines.  That is simply how it is.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2005, 02:52:09 PM by Gladfelteri »