Author Topic: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"  (Read 122137 times)

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1065 on: July 22, 2015, 07:11:04 PM »
You are welcome, Pastor Gard, my experience with the Synod dates back to the early 1960s, including a period of time when I was in a way, an employee of the Synod  because I was working for the Lutheran Council in the USA, which was our common ALC, LCA and LC MS agency.
 And I have covered national conventions of your Synod, and conventions of Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians,  and several other denominations, some working for Lutheran church news agencies, or Religion News Service, some working for The New York Times, or for The Record of Hackensack, New Jersey, or the Hearst papers.  Therefore I feel comfortable in commenting on how I see you folks operating.

Yes, I am astounded about how comfortable you are. If you are happy with yourself then all the world must be as well.

Dave Likeness

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1066 on: July 22, 2015, 08:08:11 PM »
JAQ......One of the songs was "Jesus Loves Me This I Know"
and several hymns I remember, "What A Friend We Have
In Jesus"  and "Rock Of Ages".   None of the hymns/songs
were from the future "TOSB"

Pastor Fienen....I said we need MORE Bible Studies at
Conventions.  I have attended as a voting delegate 3 Synodical
conventions and all of them could have used MORE Bible Studies.
The recent District conventions have become so compressed
that one of my lay delegates said to me:  "Pastor, Bible studies
should be a priority."

Pastor Fienen....How many Synodical conventions have you
attended as a voting pastoral delegate?
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 08:14:01 PM by Dave Likeness »

FrPeters

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1067 on: July 22, 2015, 08:31:46 PM »
What a thread!  What thread drift!

Again, I make my point.  The issues raised by Dr. Becker were not new, had been dealt with many times before in Synodical resolution, CTCR statement, and seminary papers.  This was not an issue of one person raising a question but a pastor on the roster and a public teacher consistently advocating against the historic position of Synod with every persuasive option available without convincing the Synod until finally he was asked either to teach in accord with Synod or face expulsion for his refusal.  This is a simple matter of integrity -- the integrity of Synod's teaching and the integrity of Synod's teachers.  In the end I am truly sad that Dr. Becker did not retract his position and agree to teach in accord with the Synod's clear, historic, and public position.  We have no thought police and we do not equate questions with false teaching but neither of these were in play in this situation.  For all the complaints about the Facebook post of Pres. Harrison and the rhetoric over the top, the point remains that Synod was being painfully, boringly, irritatingly consistent in its teaching and Dr. Becker could not move the Synod from his consistent and historic position.  So what should be done?  We agree to let public teachers teach what they want when they want or we hold teachers accountable?  For all the distractions in this thread, the issue remains that this process was slow, deliberative, and patient to a fault.  I wish Dr. Becker no harm and I expect he wishes me none but the gulf between him and Missouri was painful not only to him; it was painful to the Synod.  Now that it is done he can get on with his life and Synod can as well.
Fr Larry Peters
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http://www.pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com/

Dave Likeness

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1068 on: July 22, 2015, 08:42:37 PM »
Father Peters.....on this thread the Synod is now
getting on with life and thread drift is what the LCMS
does after July 15, 2015.

Bottom Line:  Dollywood is the biggest tourist attraction
in your state.

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1069 on: July 22, 2015, 09:26:01 PM »
Pr Likeness,

Bible studies from one's pastor, the one to whom it is given to do, are a priority.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 09:28:32 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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Charles Austin

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1070 on: July 22, 2015, 10:11:58 PM »
Pastor Gard writes:
Yes, I am astounded about how comfortable you are. If you are happy with yourself then all the world must be as well.

I comment:
Ask you self how that bit of snarkishness helped any discussion here. You have frequently cited your experience as the basis for what you say here. I did the same. Are you not pleased with what you know from your experience? Doesn't mean that everything is tickety-boo for the world, but it's something.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired in Minneapolis. My only Thanksgiving cooking chore: providing fresh ground, fair trade, bird friendly coffee.

Dave Likeness

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1071 on: July 22, 2015, 10:17:53 PM »
You are correct Pastor Kirchner, one of the pastor's top
priorities for his flock is teaching Bible Study classes.
We had a average of 70-75 people in the Sunday morning
adult Bible class.  We had a morning  Bible study on Tuesdays
and one on Saturdays. Those both averaged about 25 people.
We also had a Wednesday evening Bible class which averaged
about 30-35 people.   I enjoyed teaching all of those classes.

Rev. Matthew Uttenreither

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1072 on: July 23, 2015, 12:33:38 AM »
I wish I could like the Reverend Doctor President Gard's comments.

Charles Austin

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1073 on: July 23, 2015, 03:14:16 AM »
Pastor Uttenreither writes:
I wish I could like the Reverend Doctor President Gard's comments.

I comment:
So do I. But...


Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired in Minneapolis. My only Thanksgiving cooking chore: providing fresh ground, fair trade, bird friendly coffee.

Charles Austin

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1074 on: July 23, 2015, 03:50:59 AM »
In Facebook, in the ELCA Pastors discussion, a pastor writes:
Learned today that my grandmother's LCMS pastor in downstate Illinois will not permit me to offer a few words of remembrance at Grandma's funeral on Friday. He didn't make the rules, he said; he was just afraid that President Harrison might find out. Apparently, my parents argued with him until he conceded that I could say something from the aisle, as long as I didn't ascend the chancel steps. I think to avoid drama, I'll just save my eulogizing for the luncheon...
Agreed that this is - but only in a way - second-hand information; on the other hand, why would a pastor prevaricate about this situation?
And - now listen carefully - I agree that big, stupendous, grand conclusions about the LCMS should not be drawn from an incident like this one alone, but it needs to be known that such incidents happen. And if any LCMS folks here want to apologize to this pastor who is not allowed to remember his grandmother at her funeral, you can go to Facebook "ELCA Clergy" and do so.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired in Minneapolis. My only Thanksgiving cooking chore: providing fresh ground, fair trade, bird friendly coffee.

Dan Fienen

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1075 on: July 23, 2015, 07:54:51 AM »
In Facebook, in the ELCA Pastors discussion, a pastor writes:
Learned today that my grandmother's LCMS pastor in downstate Illinois will not permit me to offer a few words of remembrance at Grandma's funeral on Friday. He didn't make the rules, he said; he was just afraid that President Harrison might find out. Apparently, my parents argued with him until he conceded that I could say something from the aisle, as long as I didn't ascend the chancel steps. I think to avoid drama, I'll just save my eulogizing for the luncheon...
Agreed that this is - but only in a way - second-hand information; on the other hand, why would a pastor prevaricate about this situation?
And - now listen carefully - I agree that big, stupendous, grand conclusions about the LCMS should not be drawn from an incident like this one alone, but it needs to be known that such incidents happen. And if any LCMS folks here want to apologize to this pastor who is not allowed to remember his grandmother at her funeral, you can go to Facebook "ELCA Clergy" and do so.
Would it be churlish of me to point out in our rush to judgment that we have here only one side of the story?  Not that I'm questioning the ELCA pastor's veracity but we don't know how the request was put to the LCMS pastor or exactly what his concerns were.  It is all second hand.

It does sound like it was not handled well, but we know little of the actual exchange with the pastor or his background that he is reacting from.  So yes, we should not draw big, stupendous, grand conclusions about the LCMS from this, or even such conclusions about this pastor.  He may not have handled it well, but if one looked, one could find pastors handling situations awkwardly in every church body.

I sympathize with the pastor who apparently just wanted to say a few words of remembrance at his grandmother's funeral and was treated as though he had requested to get into the pulpit and preach another sermon.  We can all wish that it had been handled better and more reasonably.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

John Mundinger

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1076 on: July 23, 2015, 07:59:42 AM »
This was not an issue of one person raising a question but a pastor on the roster and a public teacher consistently advocating against the historic position of Synod with every persuasive option available without convincing the Synod until finally he was asked either to teach in accord with Synod or face expulsion for his refusal.  This is a simple matter of integrity -- the integrity of Synod's teaching and the integrity of Synod's teachers.

Fr. Peters - it may be an issue of a rostered person consistently advocating against historic positions of the Synod.  However, the specific positions in question are articulated in documents other than those referenced in Synod's confession.  From that perspective, it also is a matter of integrity -- the integrity of holding a rostered person accountable to something other than his ordination vows.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

NCLutheran2

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1077 on: July 23, 2015, 08:01:20 AM »
Could the pastor in question not speak as a grandchild rather than another pastor? I agree with Pr. Fienen, it sounds like something more may be going on.

Eileen Smith

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1078 on: July 23, 2015, 08:14:15 AM »
In Facebook, in the ELCA Pastors discussion, a pastor writes:
Learned today that my grandmother's LCMS pastor in downstate Illinois will not permit me to offer a few words of remembrance at Grandma's funeral on Friday. He didn't make the rules, he said; he was just afraid that President Harrison might find out. Apparently, my parents argued with him until he conceded that I could say something from the aisle, as long as I didn't ascend the chancel steps. I think to avoid drama, I'll just save my eulogizing for the luncheon...
Agreed that this is - but only in a way - second-hand information; on the other hand, why would a pastor prevaricate about this situation?
And - now listen carefully - I agree that big, stupendous, grand conclusions about the LCMS should not be drawn from an incident like this one alone, but it needs to be known that such incidents happen. And if any LCMS folks here want to apologize to this pastor who is not allowed to remember his grandmother at her funeral, you can go to Facebook "ELCA Clergy" and do so.

I can share two similar incidents - and I echo your words, these incidents do not serve to paint the entire LCMS in one light.  One was in NY where an ELCA pastor was told politely that he could not to share some words about his mother-in-law at her funeral.  Another was shared with me by an LCMS pastor in the midwest who felt he had to refuse a similar request as he didn't feel comfortable with some of his colleagues finding out that he had allowed an ELCA pastor to speak at a funeral - lest it be reported to President Harrison.  To the latter, my midwestern friend, coming in on retirement, mentioned that he and a few others with whom he has served no longer feel comfortable speaking in LCMS clergy circles in any way that would be misconstrued as there is a sense that straying from the norm will be reported.   While I'm not suggesting this goes on in the entire synod, one is led to wonder how effective a communicator Pres. Harrison is (and perhaps others serving under him).   Does he communicate in a pastoral manner or "take no prisoners."  I'd guess to those who walk lockstep with him the former and those that don't, the latter. 

FrPeters

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Re: "Less Room in the LCMS Brotherhood"
« Reply #1079 on: July 23, 2015, 08:26:23 AM »
Quote
Learned today that my grandmother's LCMS pastor in downstate Illinois will not permit me to offer a few words of remembrance at Grandma's funeral on Friday. He didn't make the rules, he said; he was just afraid that President Harrison might find out. Apparently, my parents argued with him until he conceded that I could say something from the aisle, as long as I didn't ascend the chancel steps. I think to avoid drama, I'll just save my eulogizing for the luncheon...

For one thing, this is not the same as jointly leading the funeral or even preaching at the funeral and the pastor who feared (according to the account listed) was going well beyond LCMS concerns about unionism.  For another, when there are people who wish to speak at a relative's funeral and I do not know what to expect, I have them go first, before the actual funeral begins, so that it distances what can be inappropriate for the funeral from the actual funeral, it allows the person to recover from what is generally a fairly emotional moment, and it allows the church to have the final word of hope as our comfort and eternal life as the Gospel rather than memories or sentiment.  There are pastors (of all stripes) who do not allow eulogies of any kind at all and this is one way to hide this personal preference behind doctrinal integrity.  I spoke as a grandchild at my grandmother's funeral (Evangelical Covenant Church) without clericals.  I had a member's sister, a female Presbyterian minister, speak before the first hymn at her brother's funeral.  These things can be done appropriately and with dignity while respecting the fact that we are not in altar or pulpit fellowship. 

This is troublesome because it is indictment by anecdotal evidence.  I am sure that we could find many odd, strange, shameful, and insensitive things from an ELCA pastor or two or twenty or Episcopalian or Methodist or whatever. But to paint with the broad brush a whole church by the actions of a few is not accurate nor is it faithful.  Nothing good comes from each of us reaching down into our bag of memories and pulling out dumb or cruel things some pastor has said or done to us or our family.  The forum here should be about more than this.
Fr Larry Peters
Grace LCMS, Clarksville, TN
http://www.pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com/