Author Topic: Celebrate the 500th anniversary  (Read 13315 times)

Voelker

  • Guest
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #120 on: October 14, 2015, 11:50:08 PM »
Good luck with your convention resolution, Dr. Benke. I predict a rough road. Wish I could be there, glutton for discomfort that I am.

As I said upstream, we have the LCMS omnibus resolutions, where overtures submitted end up when the Synod has already addressed a particular issue.  I would guess an overture on this matter would be put in omnibus referencing the 1983 resolution.

The floor committee does that, but the convention can pull it out by majority vote if they want to discuss the matter anymore.  But the floor committees carry a whole lot of weight at synodical conventions.
Far too much weight. I've seen mirror-image resolutions presented as if nothing had been done to them, with nary a peep from any but those who had offered the original resolution. Too much that should be discussed on the floor gets buried, and far too much time is given to ten-minute sales pitches and mom-&-apple-pie drivel, with attending 20-minute arguments over wording.

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 45268
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #121 on: October 15, 2015, 12:35:33 AM »
Rev. Austin,

If you want to apologize for the sins of others, then go ahead and do so.  I will not, for the reasons I have stated above.  Nor will I give in to your navel-gazing, "I-am-the-center-of-the-world" mindset which puts you in the middle of everything (even things which happened 400 years before you were born) and insists that everyone must think as do you.  If you've got a problem with that, I really do not care.


Do you believe that some of what Luther wrote about Jews is wrong? Do you believe that the use of his writings to support the holocaust was wrong? What do you call admitting to the Jews that such things were wrong?

Nobody in this discussion has agreed with Luther's anti-Semitic writings.  Nobody in this discussion  has agreed with the use of Luther's writings to support the holocaust.  Everybody in this discussion has agreed that we should admit to not only Jews but everybody that such things are wrong?  What do you call stating formally that "we deplore and disassociate ourselves from Luther’s negative statements about the Jewish people, and, by the same token, we deplore the use today of such sentiments by Luther to incite anti-Christian and/or anti-Lutheran sentiment?"


I call it apologizing.
"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]

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13705
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #122 on: October 15, 2015, 01:04:53 AM »
So does it matter that much if we say apologies or simply repudiate Luther's anti-Semitic rants?
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

George Erdner

  • Guest
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #123 on: October 15, 2015, 01:09:05 AM »
I was taught as a youngster that we Lutherans didn't select the name "Lutheran", it was given to us as an epithet and stuck. It was also explained to me that one of the main reasons why we Lutherans never use overblown honorifics in describing Martin Luther is because we believe that when he was right, he was right and when he was wrong he was wrong. Not every word he wrote or utters is inspired. Not everything he taught was correct. He wasn't like a Pope whose word has to be believed because of the office he held. That's why I never heard anyone pastor or layman who called himself "Lutheran" ever refer to Luther as "Blessed Martin" or any other such pseudo-papist beatification lingo. At least, I never heard or read it until I started hanging out in here.

I must admit, things are probably a lot easier for the adherents of the faith traditions initially lead by Calvin or Wesley. Presbyterians and Methodists seldom have to explain any errors that their founding fathers made the way we Lutherans do. Maybe this is just another one of those many, many, MANY examples of people obsessed with offenses committed by or against their ancestors.

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 15325
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #124 on: October 15, 2015, 03:11:59 AM »
The "obsession," if any, is with the telling others of the free grace of God, received through the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, an "obsession" whose mission has been and is clouded and compromised by our own sin and by the sins and errors of the past.
There are many in the world for whom the sins and errors (both ours and those of our forbears) actually define and "explain" the Gospel and "Church."
That is "where they are" in understanding us and our faith.
And when the sins and errors have so fed currents of anti-semitism or racism and the horrendous results of those evils, we cloud and compromise the mission of the church and make it impossible for them to understand us and hear the Gospel if we do not acknowledge, reject, and - yes, darn it! - apologize.
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

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 15325
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #125 on: October 15, 2015, 07:12:42 AM »
Pastor Fienen writes:
So does it matter that much if we say apologies or simply repudiate Luther's anti-Semitic rants?

I comment:
One is cold, impersonal, linear, and technical.
The other is personal, emotional and relational.
Can you, Pastor Fienen, tell which is which and whether it matters?
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.

Donald_Kirchner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12507
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #126 on: October 15, 2015, 08:45:32 AM »
And when the sins and errors have so fed currents of anti-semitism or racism and the horrendous results of those evils, we cloud and compromise the mission of the church and make it impossible for them to understand us and hear the Gospel if we do not acknowledge, reject, and - yes, darn it! - apologize.

Which, according to BS, we did in 1983 before there was an ELCA. But you want more emotional and touchy-feely?

Kind of like the contrast between the LCMS’ Reformation 2017 page and the ELCA’s Reformation 2017 page, even to the detail of the logo the two church bodies have chosen for the celebration, What a good contrast between our two church bodies.

The ELCA’s web page is all touchy-feely social-Gospelly, and The LCMS web site is very much anchored in proclamation and theology, i.e., the Gospel.

Notice too the web site names:

ELCA500.org …. Really? The ELCA is 500 years old?

LutheranReformation.org …. Hmmm, not  a word about The LCMS there, while the ELCA site is about the ELCA

Bottom line, Charles, as Rev. Bohler astutely observed, you and others demand an "emotional" apology because, in the end, it's all about you and your feelings of enlightened, progressive superiority over those ignorant folks from 500-700 years ago and, in the present, demonizing those with whom you disagree.

In other words, it's all about you.

So, when is the ELCA going to apologize for Luther's rants against the Jews and the Judensau? Or, since there is a Judensau at the cathedral in Uppsala, Sweden from the 14th century, when are you going to apologize for your ancestors? Make it a personal, emotional one.

http://www.concordatwatch.eu/topic-50027.834
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 08:49:08 AM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13622
    • View Profile
    • Saint Peter's Lutheran Church
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #127 on: October 15, 2015, 08:56:39 AM »
And when the sins and errors have so fed currents of anti-semitism or racism and the horrendous results of those evils, we cloud and compromise the mission of the church and make it impossible for them to understand us and hear the Gospel if we do not acknowledge, reject, and - yes, darn it! - apologize.

Which, according to BS, we did in 1983 before there was an ELCA. But you want more emotional and touchy-feely?

Kind of like the contrast between the LCMS’ Reformation 2017 page and the ELCA’s Reformation 2017 page, even to the detail of the logo the two church bodies have chosen for the celebration, What a good contrast between our two church bodies.

The ELCA’s web page is all touchy-feely social-Gospelly, and The LCMS web site is very much anchored in proclamation and theology, i.e., the Gospel.

Notice too the web site names:

ELCA500.org …. Really? The ELCA is 500 years old?

LutheranReformation.org …. Hmmm, not  a word about The LCMS there, while the ELCA site is about the ELCA

Bottom line, Charles, as Rev. Bohler astutely observed, you and others demand an "emotional" apology because, in the end, it's all about you and your feelings of enlightened, progressive superiority over those ignorant folks from 500-700 years ago and, in the present, demonizing those with whom you disagree.

In other words, it's all about you.

So, when is the ELCA going to apologize for Luther's rants against the Jews and the Judensau? Or, since there is a Judensau at the cathedral in Uppsala, Sweden from the 14th century, when are you going to apologize for your ancestors? Make it a personal, emotional one.

http://www.concordatwatch.eu/topic-50027.834

Although most of the hyperbolic commentary here is not helpful, I agree that the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation does provide the LWF and its global partners including the ELCA, along with the LCMS and its global partners, a fine opportunity to release statements opposing anti-Semitism and its connections to Lutheranism through Luther's late-life tracts and opinions.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Donald_Kirchner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12507
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #128 on: October 15, 2015, 09:03:16 AM »
And when the sins and errors have so fed currents of anti-semitism or racism and the horrendous results of those evils, we cloud and compromise the mission of the church and make it impossible for them to understand us and hear the Gospel if we do not acknowledge, reject, and - yes, darn it! - apologize.

Which, according to BS, we did in 1983 before there was an ELCA. But you want more emotional and touchy-feely?

Kind of like the contrast between the LCMS’ Reformation 2017 page and the ELCA’s Reformation 2017 page, even to the detail of the logo the two church bodies have chosen for the celebration, What a good contrast between our two church bodies.

The ELCA’s web page is all touchy-feely social-Gospelly, and The LCMS web site is very much anchored in proclamation and theology, i.e., the Gospel.

Notice too the web site names:

ELCA500.org …. Really? The ELCA is 500 years old?

LutheranReformation.org …. Hmmm, not  a word about The LCMS there, while the ELCA site is about the ELCA

Bottom line, Charles, as Rev. Bohler astutely observed, you and others demand an "emotional" apology because, in the end, it's all about you and your feelings of enlightened, progressive superiority over those ignorant folks from 500-700 years ago and, in the present, demonizing those with whom you disagree.

In other words, it's all about you.

So, when is the ELCA going to apologize for Luther's rants against the Jews and the Judensau? Or, since there is a Judensau at the cathedral in Uppsala, Sweden from the 14th century, when are you going to apologize for your ancestors? Make it a personal, emotional one.

http://www.concordatwatch.eu/topic-50027.834

Although most of the hyperbolic commentary here is not helpful, I agree that the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation does provide the LWF and its global partners including the ELCA, along with the LCMS and its global partners, a fine opportunity to release statements opposing anti-Semitism and its connections to Lutheranism through Luther's late-life tracts and opinions.

Dave Benke

Publish the 1983 resolution?

And then the Reformed can jump in and apologize for the Basel Judensau?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 09:30:36 AM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Steven W Bohler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4346
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #129 on: October 15, 2015, 09:04:37 AM »
Yeah, and I suppose while we are at it we should apologize for Luther's bigamy advice to Philip of Hesse.  And his intemperate words directed at Eck.  And to the pope.  And the enthusiasts.  And Carlstadt.  And Melanchthon.  And "the Turk".  And on and on and on.  And then when we are done with all that apologizing, we can possibly slip in a quick word or two about the Gospel somewhere.  If there is time or space or anyone left to listen.  Because what REALLY matters at this 500th anniversary of the Reformation is that nobody gets their feelings hurt about things said or done centuries ago.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 09:31:57 AM by Steven W Bohler »

Steven W Bohler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4346
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #130 on: October 15, 2015, 09:10:51 AM »
And when the sins and errors have so fed currents of anti-semitism or racism and the horrendous results of those evils, we cloud and compromise the mission of the church and make it impossible for them to understand us and hear the Gospel if we do not acknowledge, reject, and - yes, darn it! - apologize.

Which, according to BS, we did in 1983 before there was an ELCA. But you want more emotional and touchy-feely?

Kind of like the contrast between the LCMS’ Reformation 2017 page and the ELCA’s Reformation 2017 page, even to the detail of the logo the two church bodies have chosen for the celebration, What a good contrast between our two church bodies.

The ELCA’s web page is all touchy-feely social-Gospelly, and The LCMS web site is very much anchored in proclamation and theology, i.e., the Gospel.

Notice too the web site names:

ELCA500.org …. Really? The ELCA is 500 years old?

LutheranReformation.org …. Hmmm, not  a word about The LCMS there, while the ELCA site is about the ELCA

Bottom line, Charles, as Rev. Bohler astutely observed, you and others demand an "emotional" apology because, in the end, it's all about you and your feelings of enlightened, progressive superiority over those ignorant folks from 500-700 years ago and, in the present, demonizing those with whom you disagree.

In other words, it's all about you.

So, when is the ELCA going to apologize for Luther's rants against the Jews and the Judensau? Or, since there is a Judensau at the cathedral in Uppsala, Sweden from the 14th century, when are you going to apologize for your ancestors? Make it a personal, emotional one.

http://www.concordatwatch.eu/topic-50027.834

Although most of the hyperbolic commentary here is not helpful, I agree that the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation does provide the LWF and its global partners including the ELCA, along with the LCMS and its global partners, a fine opportunity to release statements opposing anti-Semitism and its connections to Lutheranism through Luther's late-life tracts and opinions.

Dave Benke

Publish the 1983 resolution?

I fear that would be seen as too little, too late by some.  Because it is NEVER enough. And we (especially LCMS of Germanic heritage!)are not sorry enough.  And we are not good enough.  And what about the homosexuals?  And Walther's "pro-slavery" stand?  And the Indians.  And the poor.  And __________ and _________ and __________. 

The same sort of folks who get upset at confessing that we are poor, miserable sinners (how dare anyone condemn abortion, or homosexuality, or any of the other things we NOW say are OK?) seem to take delight in groveling and wallowing in the sins of others, in the distant past.  THOSE we will confess, because we are better.  Or more enlightened.  Or because it takes the light off of MY sins, today.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 09:30:34 AM by Steven W Bohler »

Donald_Kirchner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12507
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #131 on: October 15, 2015, 09:38:54 AM »
Because it is NEVER enough. And we (especially LCMS of Germanic heritage!)are not sorry enough.

Indeed.


The RCs:

"[In 1959] Bishops began to speak out about the Holocaust, and in 1961 the bishops responded to the Eichmann trial by singling out the Jews as victims and presenting Germans as perpetrators who acted out of antisemitic hatred. The bishops instructed that a prayer be recited in all Catholic Churches on June 11, 1961, begging the Lord to “lead all to understanding and change of outlook, and those who among us were also guilty, through conduct, neglect or silence [help] atone for our sins.” In statements immediately before and after the Second Vatican Council, the German bishops owned up to the guilt of their country and their church for Nazi crimes.

In November 1975, the common Diocesan Synod issued a document entitled “Our Hope,” in which they admitted that the German Catholic Church turned its back too often on the fate of persecuted Jewish people, worried too much about the threat to its own institutions, and remained silent about the crimes committed against the Jews and Judaism. The statement ends with the striking assertion that the German churches have “a special obligation within the universal church precisely to bring about a new Christian relation to the Jewish people and its religious history.”

The “Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Judaism,” issued by the German bishops in Bonn in May 1980, again acknowledged the church’s guilt and called on Germans to rip out the evil of antisemitism at its roots. “In Germany we have particular cause to ask forgiveness of God and of our Jewish brethren.... we may not, nor do we wish to, either forget or suppress what has been done by our nation to the Jews.” The document calls attention to all the positive elements found in Judaism and to all the commonalities linking Christianity and Judaism, and even though it interprets Jesus’ statement that “salvation is from the Jews” to mean that everyone is saved through Jesus Christ, and it had nothing to say about two major issues, the state of Israel and the mission to the Jews, the document represented an advance in the official position of the German Catholic Church.

In 1988, on the fiftieth anniversary of Kristallnacht, the German and Austrian bishops issued a joint declaration focusing on the Church’s reaction to the national pogrom that took place on the night of November 9-10, 1938. They acknowledged that after the event “our predecessors in the episcopate did not raise a common protest from the pulpit.” In other words, they admitted that the official Church had been silent. They expressed understanding for the difficult situation the bishops were in at the time, but they asked “if in November 1938 yet other expressions of brotherly solidarity would not have been possible and expected,” and they said that the failure to do something “saddens us today.” The bishops went on to encourage stronger ties and increased dialogue between Christians and Jews.

On January 23, 1995, the German bishops issued a statement on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The bishops declared that “many times there was failure and guilt among Catholics” and that “the failure and guilt of that time have also a church dimension.” Calling on German Catholics to reject antisemitism and to cultivate mutual contacts with Jews, the bishops made it clear that the position of the Catholic Church at the end of the century was radically different from that of the amnesia-filled 1950s."

The German Evangelicals/Lutherans:

"In the Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt of October 1945, the German Evangelical Church acknowledged Christian complicity in Nazi atrocities...

The statement of the synod of the Evangelical Church, issued in 1950 at Berlin-Weissensee...had this to say: “We declare that, through omission and silence, we have, before the God of mercy, become co-responsible for the outrage committed against the Jews by people of our nation,” and on the subject of Judaism, it said: “We believe that God’s promise to the people of Israel whom he has chosen remains in force even after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.”

In January 1960, the Provincial Synod of Berlin-Brandenburg reacted to antisemitic riots with a statement that called on parents and educators to break “with the widespread embarrassing silence in our country about our share of the responsibility for the fate of the Jews” and asserted that “our salvation cannot be severed from Israel’s election.” Then in 1980 the Synod of the Protestant Church of the Rhineland issued “Toward Renovation of the Relationship of Christians and Jews,”[39] a statement which John Conway calls a “remarkable resolution” and which Franklin Littell describes as “without question the most impressive accomplishment to date of any official Church body, going far beyond previous landmarks in the re-thinking of Christian-Jewish relations.” In its statement the synod declared: “Stricken, we confess the co-responsibility and guilt of German Christendom for the Holocaust.” On the subject of Jews and Judaism, the synod declared that “We believe in the permanent election of the Jewish people as the people of God” and “We believe that in their calling Jews and Christians are always witnesses of God in the presence of the world and before each other.”

Since 1980, a spate of Protestant documents on Christians and Jews have been issued, such as “Points for Orientation on ‘Christians and Jews’” of the Synod of the Evangelical Church of Berlin, the German Baptists Declaration, and “Christians and Jews: A Declaration of the Lutheran Church of Bavaria."

Ironically, some say that more apologies are needed in order to clearly proclaim the gospel, yet it is seen as continued antisemitism to engage in mission work, i.e., proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to Jews.

"At the beginning of the twenty-first century, then, there is official support for Jews and Judaism, but there is also continued support for missionary activity among Jews." [emphasis added]

For shame!   :o
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 09:44:52 AM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13705
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #132 on: October 15, 2015, 09:42:14 AM »
I think that a resolution at the the Synodical Convention next summer again repudiating Luther's anti-Semitic rants would be a worthy addition to the Reformation anniversary celebratory resolutions and not just bundled into an omnibus resolution.  What Luther said was wrong and it has been used to justify wrong things.  Where the Reformers and especially Luther got it right, especially the Gospel, it is good for us to celebrate and affirm,   Where they were wrong we need to acknowledge that and sympathize with those wronged.   But just as all the good that Martin Luther did doesn't excuse his wrongs, neither does his sinful failings negate the good he did and the Gospel he proclaimed.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 09:51:40 AM by Dan Fienen »
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Rev. Matthew Uttenreither

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 313
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #133 on: October 15, 2015, 09:55:32 AM »
The ELCA says sorry for something that Luther did 500 years ago, yet in 2012 (?), the ELCA wanted all military funding to Israel from the US to stop.  I seem to remember the Jewish communities weren't happy with you guys then.

Donald_Kirchner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12507
    • View Profile
Re: Celebrate the 500th anniversary
« Reply #134 on: October 15, 2015, 10:11:20 AM »
Where the Reformers and especially Luther got it right, especially the Gospel, it is good for us to celebrate and affirm,   

Within the Jewish community that is seen as anti-Semitic, Pr. Fienen. You not only need to stop all talk about Gospel proclamation among the Jews. You need to apologize for Apple of His Eye ministry and all other past missional work among the Jews.

And while you're at it, you need to apologize for St. Paul* and Jesus Christ. But if you're BS then it's no problem. You simply switch definitions.   ::)

*While you're apologizing for Paul you may apologize to women too.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 10:14:55 AM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs