Author Topic: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article  (Read 20276 times)

Steve_Shipman

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2015, 11:39:06 AM »
What David and Lou say is exactly why NALC and LCMC congregations and people should continue to support Lutheran CORE. "Shelter" does not mean that we are helping people to stay in the ELCA but that we are sustaining the witness of those who are in it (I hope those who left would not be like poor Jonah griping under his gourd vine if the ELCA actually would repent!). And "Voice" reminds the ELCA that there are many within and outside of it who do not agree with many of its directions. It also may tell the larger community that the ELCA is not of one mind on many issues. Like it or not, as has been so well stated, we are in this together in the minds of our neighbors. CORE was intended to be a vehicle for all of us to work together in faithful proclamation and mission.
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mariemeyer

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2015, 03:19:31 PM »
Larry Peters writes...

"I respect the decisions of those who stay but I cannot for the life of me understand how it is helpful for those who disagree or those who enacted the decisions because they believed in them to coexist with this issue constantly between them.  I would suspect that it would be as exhausting and frustrating as those in Missouri who wanted Dr. Becker to change his mind or leave and Dr. Becker who decided the fighting had reaped enough toll upon him and his family. 

Many may want the church to be an umbrella in which differences are allowed to stand but when those differences are as essential to the life of the church and part of the church's core values, how does it benefit either side to remain?  The LCMS is maddeningly consistent in its public statements and those who disagree are left with little realistic hope that Missouri will change much or change soon.  In the same way, those who charted the course for the ELCA are maddeningly consistent in their direction and choice and there is little realistic hope that the ELCA will revisit or consider changing what they decided.  In both of these church bodies, the course is clear.  So how does it help anyone when people continue to foment for a point of view that has already been rejected?"

I respond,

Might those of us who stay in Missouri do so because we are persuaded that Mother Missouri's "maddeningly consistent" public statements are contributing to her decline. They reflect Mother Missouri's distorted self-image as the most doctrinally pure Lutheran Church in the world.

Sadly, there is no CORE within the LCMS where we can speak without being dismissed as  persons under the influence of culture or as persons who simply dismiss those portions of Scripture and the Confession with which we disagree.   

This thread has helped me to understand who men like Paul Hinlicky and Steve Shipman stay in the ELCA. It has also prompted me to reflect on why I stay in the LCMS knowing that not a few in LCMS have pointedly suggested I leave.  Staying is not all that complicated if one thinks Mother Missouri is a mother in failing health.

Marie Meyer


Mike Bennett

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2015, 06:27:15 PM »
 
  I genuinely want to know why people would want those in their church body who disagree radically with the direction of that church body and why those who radically disagree would want to stay when there is no chance of that church revisiting or reversing its decisions?

So, I ask for information, feelings, reasons, whatever that might help me understand. . . to Erma and those others who have chosen to stay...

This is not a well organized response, but hits the high points for me, an ELCA layman:

1. I do not know of a Church body with whose views I find myself agreeing all the time. I understand from my Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox friends that such thinking is itself arrogant. One goes where The Church is, and submits. But where is The Church?

2. I think I can serve God and my neighbor in the ELCA congregation where I find myself, teaching junior high aged kids, assisting in reverent worship, helping make music, and generally being a positive influence as God gives me grace to do so.

3. As a broad statement, I hate schism and the willfulness that gives rise to it. I understand it case by case, but the net result after 2000 years is repugnant to me.

4. Who says ELCA will not change?  For how long was Arianism in the ascendancy?

5. After all that big talk, a rotten Pastor call when our faithful Pastor retires in a few years could be the last straw. I cannot deny it.

Mike Bennett





“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

Pr. Terry Culler

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2015, 06:47:07 PM »
We should keep in mind that doctrinal separation is not schism.
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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2015, 07:38:46 PM »
We should keep in mind that doctrinal separation is not schism.

I'm using the term in the every day dictionary way, because that's how I know to communicate. Doctrinal difference is one of the reasons mentioned there. It's a pretty common word, so i don't know how else to use it.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2015, 07:45:41 PM by Mike Bennett »
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2015, 08:06:13 PM »
We should keep in mind that doctrinal separation is not schism.

I'm using the term in the every day dictionary way, because that's how I know to communicate. Doctrinal difference is one of the reasons mentioned there. It's a pretty common word, so i don't know how else to use it.

But I do understand that the act of leaving one Church body for another is not itself schismatic. I said my response wasn't well-organized!
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 06:24:56 PM by Mike Bennett »
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #36 on: July 28, 2015, 08:36:10 PM »

  I genuinely want to know why people would want those in their church body who disagree radically with the direction of that church body and why those who radically disagree would want to stay when there is no chance of that church revisiting or reversing its decisions?
So, I ask for information, feelings, reasons, whatever that might help me understand. . . to Erma and those others who have chosen to stay...

This is not a well organized response, but hits the high points for me, an ELCA layman:
1. I do not know of a Church body with whose views I find myself agreeing all the time. I understand from my Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox friends that such thinking is itself arrogant. One goes where The Church is, and submits. But where is The Church?
2. I think I can serve God and my neighbor in the ELCA congregation where I find myself, teaching junior high aged kids, assisting in reverent worship, helping make music, and generally being a positive influence as God gives me grace to do so.
3. As a broad statement, I hate schism and the willfulness that gives rise to it. I understand it case by case, but the net result after 2000 years is repugnant to me.
4. Who says ELCA will not change?  For how long was Arianism in the ascendancy?
5. After all that big talk, a rotten Pastor call when our faithful Pastor retires in a few years could be the last straw. I cannot deny it.

Mike Bennett

As a fellow layman in the ELCA, I agree with all five of your points. So, really, I'm not unhappy in the ELCA at all. It's been a great blessing to me and my family. To lend perspective, though, I'd want to offer a few additional points:

1. I am not confronted daily with difficult decisions of conscience regarding false teaching. I can withdraw my support and involvement from those areas that trouble my conscience without suffering any real consequence. After a while you just develop an instinct to back away from those areas and focus on contributing in areas that built up the church. It's just not possible to fight every battle. Some of you who are ordained probably don't have that luxury.
2. Bear in mind that some of the ELCA's most ardent defenders in this forum frankly don't represent the ELCA as I know it. They, in the least humble way possible, put themselves forward as spokespersons, but really they represent only themselves. I've met wonderful, lovely people who hold varying opinions on all the hot button issues, and most of them are open to hearing opposing viewpoints. Additionally, most have a reverence for the scriptures and a desire to submit to God's Word. Temperamentally, I'd say most ELCA Lutherans are more like Bp. Eaton.
3. I don't see the ELCA changing in my lifetime, but this is where God has put me for this time.
4. It's always best to let God do the heavy lifting. God is in charge and perfectly able to reform the ELCA.

DCharlton

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2015, 05:05:33 PM »
I notice that the latest Forum Letter that this response from Robert Benne was published, along with one by Peter Speckard and an ELCA loyalist.  Not having attended any of the CORE Convocations and not being a member of CORE of the NALC, I assume I am missing some of the subtext.  Apparently there has been fairly significant disagreement between the ELCA and NALC members of CORE.  Some of that has been reflected in Lutheran Forum as well. 

I thought Pr. Speckard's response added quite a bit to the discussion.  I appreciate the reference to Faramir's rear guard action.  I'd like to think there is something noble about remaining in place as I have done.  On the other hand, I found his skepticism about the prospects of an ecumenical realignment troubling.  Not because it seemed false or misplaced, but because I have had the same thoughts.  I'm not sure the moderate middle will survive.  (I've even heard suggestions that some of our favorite pan-Lutheran organizations have served their purpose and will soon begin to decline.) 
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 05:15:34 PM by DCharlton »
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peter_speckhard

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2015, 05:51:41 PM »
I notice that the latest Forum Letter that this response from Robert Benne was published, along with one by Peter Speckard and an ELCA loyalist.  Not having attended any of the CORE Convocations and not being a member of CORE of the NALC, I assume I am missing some of the subtext.  Apparently there has been fairly significant disagreement between the ELCA and NALC members of CORE.  Some of that has been reflected in Lutheran Forum as well. 

I thought Pr. Speckard's response added quite a bit to the discussion.  I appreciate the reference to Faramir's rear guard action.  I'd like to think there is something noble about remaining in place as I have done.  On the other hand, I found his skepticism about the prospects of an ecumenical realignment troubling.  Not because it seemed false or misplaced, but because I have had the same thoughts.  I'm not sure the moderate middle will survive.  (I've even heard suggestions that some of our favorite pan-Lutheran organizations have served their purpose and will soon begin to decline.)
It is a good (though, as you note, sometimes troubling) discussion, and next month's FL will feature Hinlicky keeping the discussion going by responding to the responses. Make sure you subscribe to FL. Your subscriptions are what make such discussions possible, including the more free-wheeling variety we get for free in this forum.

Dave Likeness

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2015, 05:58:57 PM »
In the Sept. 2015 Forum Letter, Robert Benne states:
"I see little hope that the slow movement of the ELCA toward
liberal Protestantism will abate."

I agree with his assessment for the following reasons:

1. The ELCA has caved in to the culture and changed the Biblical
definition of marriage to "two persons who love each other".
This is a total renouncement of God's plan for marriage to be
between a male and female.

 2. The ELCA is in altar fellowship with denominations who deny the Real
Presence of Christ in Holy Communion as well as the fact that it offers
the forgiveness of sins.

3. The ELCA allows for the ordination into the Holy Ministry of
practicing homosexuals.  Romans Chapter 1 is clear that sodomy
is not natural for men.  Since pastors are the spiritual leaders
of a Christian congregation they should not be engaged in sodomy.

4. The ELCA has failed to oppose abortion as an act of murder of
innocent children. 


Charles Austin

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2015, 06:46:48 PM »
 This "ELCA loyalist," (who wrote the article in the current issue) says everyone should subscribe to Lutheran Forum and Forum Letter and get that part of the discussion.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Twice-vaccinated.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2015, 06:52:08 PM »
This "ELCA loyalist," (who wrote the article in the current issue) says everyone should subscribe to Lutheran Forum and Forum Letter and get that part of the discussion.
Agreed. Just reading Charles and me both writing on the same topic without sniping at each other has to be worth the price of admission for anyone who frequents these discussions.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2015, 07:28:43 PM »
This "ELCA loyalist," (who wrote the article in the current issue) says everyone should subscribe to Lutheran Forum and Forum Letter and get that part of the discussion.
Agreed. Just reading Charles and me both writing on the same topic without sniping at each other has to be worth the price of admission for anyone who frequents these discussions.


In my study of the text for Sunday, I came across a possible subtle nuance in two Greek words.

The NRSV translates Mark 8: 33-34 thusly: Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest.

Two different words for “argue” are used. The first is διαλογίζομαι. It carries a nuance of having a well-reasoned discussion. In the Classical period, the word carried the sense of “to settle accounts.” Hence, “to calculate, consider carefully.”

The second word is διαλέγομαι. The nuance in this verb is more about personal opinions. Its classical meaning was “to pick out, to choose.” Or, in other words, “to express a personal preference.”

Granted, personal opinions may be well thought out and based on good evidence – or not.

Anyway, Jesus’ question implies that the disciples were having a well-thought out discussion about some important matter. The narrators comment suggests that the arguments were not so well thought out. Perhaps, “I’m better than you” or “Jesus picked me first," was what they were arguing about.

Related to this, this past week, Justice Stephen G. Breyer from the Supreme Court was on The Late Show with Steven Colbert. He was asked about the differences between the court's discussions and what we see in congress. He stated that while there are great differences of opinions, there is never shouting. There is never one justice putting down or attacking another one. They discuss the issues. This, it seems to me, is the nuance behind διαλογίζομαι. It is an adult discussion, like between supreme court justices. It is what the disciples were not doing "on the way."
 
"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]

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2015, 08:19:41 PM »
This "ELCA loyalist," (who wrote the article in the current issue) says everyone should subscribe to Lutheran Forum and Forum Letter and get that part of the discussion.
Agreed. Just reading Charles and me both writing on the same topic without sniping at each other has to be worth the price of admission for anyone who frequents these discussions.


In my study of the text for Sunday, I came across a possible subtle nuance in two Greek words.

The NRSV translates Mark 8: 33-34 thusly: Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest.

Two different words for “argue” are used. The first is διαλογίζομαι. It carries a nuance of having a well-reasoned discussion. In the Classical period, the word carried the sense of “to settle accounts.” Hence, “to calculate, consider carefully.”

The second word is διαλέγομαι. The nuance in this verb is more about personal opinions. Its classical meaning was “to pick out, to choose.” Or, in other words, “to express a personal preference.”

Granted, personal opinions may be well thought out and based on good evidence – or not.

Anyway, Jesus’ question implies that the disciples were having a well-thought out discussion about some important matter. The narrators comment suggests that the arguments were not so well thought out. Perhaps, “I’m better than you” or “Jesus picked me first," was what they were arguing about.

Related to this, this past week, Justice Stephen G. Breyer from the Supreme Court was on The Late Show with Steven Colbert. He was asked about the differences between the court's discussions and what we see in congress. He stated that while there are great differences of opinions, there is never shouting. There is never one justice putting down or attacking another one. They discuss the issues. This, it seems to me, is the nuance behind διαλογίζομαι. It is an adult discussion, like between supreme court justices. It is what the disciples were not doing "on the way."


What throws additional light on this is the fact that the creation and expression of opinion is of lesser value in court than the final verdict.  The gathering and discussing of different legal opinions (in Latin, opinio legis) in court become the conversation leading toward the verdict of the court.  In theological parlance opinio legis is only of value to carry out God's judgments of retribution (ie. justice) in the old saeculum and only there.  The left hand of God uses legal opinion to render the verdict in terms of innocence or guilt of the party scrutinized.  This has absolutely no relationship to how God's right hand operates and should not be referred to in the rendering of justice except in Christ's body which underwent the final verdict of guilty and merit of death so as to bring that old age to an end.  That is why Christ's suffering is so important (and continues to be) to the church because it is His suffering (not our own by itself) that brings true peace to the world finally.

Pr. Terry Culler

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Re: Bob Benne responds to Paul Hinlicky Lutheran Forum article
« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2015, 08:27:50 PM »
I've been active in Via de Cristo (Lutheran version of Cursillo) for 25 years.  I was speaking today to the acting Spiritual Director of our local community.  He told me we no longer have any female pastors (ELCA) involved because the ones who were say that we are too conservative.  One told him she did not believe in the atonement.  How, I ask, can a Christian have a reasoned discussion with someone who claims to be a Christian but denies the atonement?  What is left if the atonement is false?  There are limits to reasoned discussion and its utility.
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