Author Topic: The Battle Lines are Drawn  (Read 10557 times)

EENGELBRECHT

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Re: The Battle Lines are Drawn
« Reply #105 on: July 25, 2007, 09:05:26 PM »
I would say that when offense is intended, sin is involved, but necessarily when it is taken.  I am guessing that many people, when they are confronted in a pastoral manner about their sinful behavior might actually take offense at being called to task.  So does a pastor a priori sin in pointing out a person's sin?

I think this is a real struggle for us all. It's so much easier to talk about offense, meanness, inappropriateness, etc. That word "sin" is really hard for us.

At my first parish a conflict arose during a building project. One congregational leader was accusing another of acting inappropriately and started gathered supporters to back his position. Folks started drawing up sides. I grew really concerned that the leadership was going to be torn apart. The elders and I pulled folks together for a meeting. We read from the pastorals about how every accusation against an elder should be supported by two or three witnesses. Then we invited the group to tell us what the accused brother's sins were.

Dead silence. No one wanted to say what he had done was a sin. They had taken offense but in the end couldn't bring themselves to say, "He's sinned against me/us." Thank God, from there we were able to talk it all through and pray together and for one another. Everyone calmed down and the project went back on track. The Lord delivered us from a split.

This experience makes me think that we need to talk more about sin, confession of sins, and forgiveness of sins to avoid the dynamic of people dealing with one another without a clear command or promise from the Lord. Instead of escalating matters, I think sincere discussion of sin and forgiveness helps resolve matters.

In Christ,
EE

JMOtterman

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Re: The Battle Lines are Drawn
« Reply #106 on: July 25, 2007, 10:08:28 PM »
No. You still did sin, the sin was against yourself and against God because your intent was to slander the other breaking the 8th commandment even if they did not take offense.

Okay. When offense is intended or taken, sin is involved.

I would say that when offense is intended, sin is involved, but necessarily when it is taken. I am guessing that many people, when they are confronted in a pastoral manner about their sinful behavior might actually take offense at being called to task. So does a pastor a priori sin in pointing out a person's sin?

Matt,

What does the Bible say?

Drive out the wicked from among you
Pauline Parallels 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, Romans 1 29-32, Romans 13:11-14, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 2 Corinthians 12:19-21, Galatians 5:16-26, Ephesians 4:17-24, Ephesians 4:25-32, Ephesians 5:3-14, Colossians 3:5-11, Romans 16:17-20a, 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1,  2 Thessalonians 3:14-15
1 Corinthians 5:9-13  9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral persons--10 not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world.  11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber.  Do not even eat with such a one.  12 For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge?  13 God will judge those outside. "Drive out the wicked person from among you."

NRS 1 Corinthians 6:1 When any of you has a grievance against another, do you dare to take it to court before the unrighteous, instead of taking it before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?  3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels-- to say nothing of ordinary matters?  4 If you have ordinary cases, then, do you appoint as judges those who have no standing in the church?  5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to decide between one believer and another, 6 but a believer goes to court against a believer-- and before unbelievers at that?  7 In fact, to have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?  8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud-- and believers at that.  9 Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers-- none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.  11 And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.  12 "All things are lawful for me," but not all things are beneficial. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be dominated by anything.  13 "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food," and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is meant not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 

Discipline and Restoration
Pauline Parallels 2 Corinthians 2:5-11, Romans 16:17-20a, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, Galatians 6:1-6, 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15, Phlm 15-20
2 Corinthians 2: 5-11
5 But if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but to some extent-- not to exaggerate it-- to all of you.
6 This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person; 7 so now instead you should forgive and console him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.  8 So I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.  9 I wrote for this reason: to test you and to know whether you are obedient in everything.  10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ.  11 And we do this so that we may not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. 


I warn those who sinned
Pauline Parallels 2 Corinthians 13:1-7, Romans 1: 16-17, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, 2 Corinthians 9: 1-5,
2 Corinthians 12:14-21, 2 Corinthians 13: 5-10,  1 Corinthians 6:4-5a, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

2 Corinthians 13:1-7
 NRS 2 Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. "Any charge must be sustained by the evidence of two or three witnesses." 2 I warned those who sinned previously and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again, I will not be lenient--3 since you desire proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful in you.  4 For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.  5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?-- unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test!
6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed.  7 But we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong-- not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed.  8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.

Just a few verses dealing with sin...PJ

LutherMan

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Re: The Battle Lines are Drawn
« Reply #107 on: July 25, 2007, 10:12:14 PM »
Don,,,,,, I'll let you in on a little secret - not don't tell anybody - janielou13 is actually Charles Austin b

Will you please go answer Rev. McCain's question in LCMS Convention reports in the Kieschnick thread re: Luther and communing at RC altars?  Thanks.

JMOtterman

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Re: The Battle Lines are Drawn
« Reply #108 on: July 25, 2007, 10:27:50 PM »
I would say that when offense is intended, sin is involved, but necessarily when it is taken.  I am guessing that many people, when they are confronted in a pastoral manner about their sinful behavior might actually take offense at being called to task.  So does a pastor a priori sin in pointing out a person's sin?

I think this is a real struggle for us all. It's so much easier to talk about offense, meanness, inappropriateness, etc. That word "sin" is really hard for us.

At my first parish a conflict arose during a building project. One congregational leader was accusing another of acting inappropriately and started gathered supporters to back his position. Folks started drawing up sides. I grew really concerned that the leadership was going to be torn apart. The elders and I pulled folks together for a meeting. We read from the pastorals about how every accusation against an elder should be supported by two or three witnesses. Then we invited the group to tell us what the accused brother's sins were.

Dead silence. No one wanted to say what he had done was a sin. They had taken offense but in the end couldn't bring themselves to say, "He's sinned against me/us." Thank God, from there we were able to talk it all through and pray together and for one another. Everyone calmed down and the project went back on track. The Lord delivered us from a split.

This experience makes me think that we need to talk more about sin, confession of sins, and forgiveness of sins to avoid the dynamic of people dealing with one another without a clear command or promise from the Lord. Instead of escalating matters, I think sincere discussion of sin and forgiveness helps resolve matters.

In Christ,
EE

EE,
I would agree with you that sincere discussion of sin and forgiveness helps resolve matters.  Sin, not as a way of continuing a pattern of shame i.e. not shaming people to continue on a path of destruction, sin though acknowledging our misguided, poor choices, bad words, harmful ways uh vices and allowing God's Spirit to convict so that to all the world and God we confess not only our sins from 1 John 1:8-9 but in our confession of sins we also confess of our belief in Christ Jesus as Lord and God, Romans 10:9-10.    

PJ

MMH

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Re: The Battle Lines are Drawn
« Reply #109 on: July 25, 2007, 10:53:23 PM »
I wrote-
    I would say that when offense is intended, sin is involved, but necessarily when it is taken.  I am guessing that many people, when they are confronted in a pastoral manner about their sinful behavior might actually take offense at being called to task.  So does a pastor a priori sin in pointing out a person's sin?

But I see I should have written
      I would say that when offense is intended, sin is involved, but not necessarily when it is taken.  I am guessing that many people, when they are confronted in a pastoral manner about their sinful behavior might actually take offense at being called to task.  So does a pastor a priori sin in pointing out a person's sin?

The point I was trying to make is that one could take offense over a truthful and indeed loving statement/admonishment.  But the fact that one takes offense does not make the statement/admonishment a sin.

BTW- thanks for the examples from parish experience.  I would point out also that as we loose the vocabulary of sin, we loose the ability to forgive.  Some of the most hate-filled and angry people I have encounterd in the parish are the "progressives" who  shy away from talk of sin.

Matt+

Keith Falk

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Re: The Battle Lines are Drawn
« Reply #110 on: July 25, 2007, 11:00:09 PM »

BTW- thanks for the examples from parish experience.  I would point out also that as we loose the vocabulary of sin, we loose the ability to forgive.  Some of the most hate-filled and angry people I have encounterd in the parish are the "progressives" who  shy away from talk of sin.

Matt+


I loved reading this sentence... I'm not sure if Pr. Hummel meant "loose" or "lose", but either way... it is a powerful statement.

As we loose (loose... free... release...) the vocabulary of sin, we loose the ability to forgive

As we lose (mislay... deplete... squander...) the vocabulary of sin, we lose the ability to forgive
Rev. Keith Falk, STS

JMOtterman

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Re: The Battle Lines are Drawn
« Reply #111 on: July 25, 2007, 11:23:58 PM »
Matt,

That is a great insight about sin and forgiveness.

PJ

Keith,

Amazing work on an interesting and inspired play on words.

PJ

EENGELBRECHT

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Re: The Battle Lines are Drawn
« Reply #112 on: July 26, 2007, 07:26:54 AM »
I would point out also that as we loose the vocabulary of sin, we loose the ability to forgive. 

I was recently at a workshop with a gentleman from Ambassadors of Reconciliation. He was noting how when someone says, "I'm sorry" we typically say, "That's okay" or "No problem" instead of "I forgive you." I think this illustrates your point. I suppose one could argue that the person intends the same thing but I think these conventions of speech show how uncomfortable sin/forgiveness makes us all feel.

Yet as Lutherans, forgiveness of sins is about the chief doctrine: justification. It's the main thing we are called to proclaim as Christians, the reason why the Church exists!

Somewhere I recall Luther describing the doctrine of original sin as "chief" (Ger: haupt) doctrine. Makes sense, given his emphasis on justification.

In Christ,
EE

Deb_H.

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Re: The Battle Lines are Drawn
« Reply #113 on: July 26, 2007, 09:15:34 AM »
Yet as Lutherans, forgiveness of sins is about the chief doctrine: justification. It's the main thing we are called to proclaim as Christians, the reason why the Church exists!

Somewhere I recall Luther describing the doctrine of original sin as "chief" (Ger: haupt) doctrine. Makes sense, given his emphasis on justification.

Indeed, for clarity, conciseness, and sheer beauty of language, I have found nothing to match the first four articles of the Augsburg Confession.  You can't get to Article IV without Articles I, II, and III.  Article I tells of God; Article II speaks of Original Sin; Article III speaks of Jesus; and then Article IV ties them all together in the confession of the very nature of the Christian faith -- salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone.  Lose any one of the pieces (Articles I, II, & III) and Article IV disappears.  In the early church, the arguments were about Article III issues (the nature of Jesus), but in our post-modern church what has been lost is the sense of Article II (we are all sinners and can do nothing about it). 

Lou

peter_speckhard

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Re: The Battle Lines are Drawn
« Reply #114 on: July 26, 2007, 11:27:28 AM »
I would point out also that as we loose the vocabulary of sin, we loose the ability to forgive. 

I was recently at a workshop with a gentleman from Ambassadors of Reconciliation. He was noting how when someone says, "I'm sorry" we typically say, "That's okay" or "No problem" instead of "I forgive you." I think this illustrates your point. I suppose one could argue that the person intends the same thing but I think these conventions of speech show how uncomfortable sin/forgiveness makes us all feel.

Yet as Lutherans, forgiveness of sins is about the chief doctrine: justification. It's the main thing we are called to proclaim as Christians, the reason why the Church exists!

Somewhere I recall Luther describing the doctrine of original sin as "chief" (Ger: haupt) doctrine. Makes sense, given his emphasis on justification.

In Christ,
EE
Along these same lines, it is important to note that forgiveness and tolerance are not only not the same thing, they are mutually-exclusive things. You can only forgive that which is not to be tolerated, and you can only tolerate that which need not be forgiven. But you can never both forgive and tolerate the same thing.