Author Topic: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity  (Read 7906 times)

Steverem

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #120 on: November 10, 2015, 11:56:34 AM »
I have known the IRD since its beginning. For years, I had no real "opinion" on the nature of the organization and thought I understood its raison d'etre. I now have an opinion and I believe it is a self-serving, possibly even hate-filled organization who desires to inflict as much harm as it can on a large segment of American Christianity. But I also see that it has had relatively little influence, despite its sometimes bombastic declarations.

Seriously, you have no understanding of IRD, its composition, purposes, or intents - or its effectiveness.  And I say this as someone who does.

But, by all means, feel free to think that because you once knew people who were part of the organization three decades ago that you have some sort of inside knowledge of what drives it now.  Whatever makes you feel superior to the rest of us ...

Charles Austin

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #121 on: November 10, 2015, 12:57:04 PM »
It constantly amazes me how people in this forum who have never met me seem so certain that they know how I feel and why I feel that way.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Charles Austin

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #122 on: November 10, 2015, 01:12:09 PM »
From the IRD Website (My comments added)
IRD is especially committed to reforming the social witness of the churches. In 1981, IRD was founded by concerned United Methodists and other Christians distressed that denominational and ecumenical officials were openly supporting Marxist causes and opposing democracy and human rights. (This, of course, was disputed by the denominations. CA)

We continue to monitor and report on similar egregious political shenanigans. (Kind words, open to dialogue, right? CA)

Many church elites, often claiming to speak on our behalf, lobby for abortion rights, homosexual rights, big government, extreme environmentalism, pacifism, and anti-Americanism. (Church elites, meaning those chosen by the churches to lead denominations and their agencies. Pacifism being, of course, a non-Christian concept. Pro-Americanism being, of course, a necessary point of Christian doctrine. CA)

IRD strives to be a voice for church members whom church bureaucrats would prefer to ignore. (According to....? See above. ) We connect church members with renewal groups who believe in biblical and historic Christianity. (Because that truth of truth doesn't exist in the denominations. We got it. They don't. CA) And we teach them how to work for change in their denominationsówith a focus on the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Anglican Communion.

I comment:
There has been in this forum outrage and vigorous denunciation of the "outsiders" who have allegedly influenced, if not controlled denominational decisions on matters of sexuality. Self-selected groups with an "agenda" are accused of all kinds of political and financial machinations in order to change denominational practices. Yuck! say people here. Bad! say people here. Lefties interfering with true religion, say people here.
But... IRD does that and there is no complaint? IRD, in its early days funded by some of the most right-wing organizations in the nation? IRD, whose stated goal is to oppose and remove the leadership of American denominations?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 01:15:45 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Dan Fienen

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #123 on: November 10, 2015, 03:01:17 PM »
It constantly amazes me how people in this forum who have never met me seem so certain that they know how I feel and why I feel that way.
It constantly amazes me how you in this forum seem so certain that you know how people that you have never met feel, why they feel the way that they do and what their motivations are.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #124 on: November 10, 2015, 03:04:31 PM »
Does the fact that the phrase "on the way" in the title of this thread is written with scare quotes mean that it is being used in an ironic sense?

Given that the thread title is the headline from the ELCA News Service, I have great confidence that 1) there are no scare quotes in the headline and 2) there is no ironic sense in it.  Rather (as reading the news release itself shows), it's a direct quote.

Pax, Steven+
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #125 on: November 10, 2015, 03:38:07 PM »

But... IRD does that and there is no complaint? IRD, in its early days funded by some of the most right-wing organizations in the nation? IRD, whose stated goal is to oppose and remove the leadership of American denominations?

FWIW, the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau has been a member of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, one of whose founders was (then) Pastor Richard John Neuhaus.  (Note: I am unable to find a list of member organizations on the IRD's website, so I cannot attest that there continues to be an official IRD-ALPB relationship.)  Perhaps the observer ought not be so surprised (?) that there is little protest about IRD here, especially given that it has generally not directly worked on Lutheran church matters.

Pax, Steven+
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John_Hannah

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #126 on: November 10, 2015, 04:14:55 PM »

FWIW, the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau has been a member of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, one of whose founders was (then) Pastor Richard John Neuhaus.  (Note: I am unable to find a list of member organizations on the IRD's website, so I cannot attest that there continues to be an official IRD-ALPB relationship.)  Perhaps the observer ought not be so surprised (?) that there is little protest about IRD here, especially given that it has generally not directly worked on Lutheran church matters.

Pax, Steven+

As far as I know, the ALPB no longer has a formal relationship with IRD. Perhaps, it's something that lapsed when RJN was no longer editor.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Steverem

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #127 on: November 10, 2015, 05:26:48 PM »

But... IRD does that and there is no complaint? IRD, in its early days funded by some of the most right-wing organizations in the nation? IRD, whose stated goal is to oppose and remove the leadership of American denominations?

FWIW, the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau has been a member of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, one of whose founders was (then) Pastor Richard John Neuhaus.  (Note: I am unable to find a list of member organizations on the IRD's website, so I cannot attest that there continues to be an official IRD-ALPB relationship.)  Perhaps the observer ought not be so surprised (?) that there is little protest about IRD here, especially given that it has generally not directly worked on Lutheran church matters.

Pax, Steven+

Not sure about ALPB's engagement with IRD in the past, but I'm pretty sure it's been a while since there has been any formal connection.  I started working at IRD in 1999, and I didn't know of any formal relationship between the two during my time there.

For the record, the IRD is not an association, and is not composed of "members," be they ALPB or anyone else.  However, they have helped to create programs like the Association for Church Renewal.  (I believe this is the most recent incarnation of the ACR - The Common Ground Christian Network.  Frankly, I've been out of the loop for a while and wasn't aware of this rebranding.)  Lutheran CORE and NALC (and the Great Commission Network before those) have been a part of that association for some time.

I will admit that the current tone of IRD is a bit more strident that it was during my tenure.  Much of that, I believe, is due to the current president's denominational background.  (Methodists are much more happy to "mix things up," and Mark is definitely not afraid of a fight.)  My personal style is more akin to Mr. Tooley's predecessors (Jim Tonkowich, Alan Wisdom, Diane Knippers, Kent Hill), who were a more irenic and scholarly in approach, but that does not diminish the work that has been done, and is continuing to be done, at the IRD.  As for the organization's "successes" - a highly subjective term, to be sure - I won't go through a laundry list here, lest it look like bragging, but I will suggest that ELCA Lutherans might not see the impact the IRD has had in different venues (e.g., reforms in the United Methodist Church - which, last time I checked, was larger in the U.S. than the ELCA and LCMS combined; human rights work in places like South Sudan, China, and elsewhere).  The fact that the IRD has more-or-less outlived the NCC - the large ecumenical network which IRD was initially created to challenge - is worth noting.

Richard Johnson

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #128 on: November 10, 2015, 07:23:20 PM »
I haven't run across anything in working on the ALPB history that suggests that ALPB as an organization was a "member" of IRD; and the kerfuffle that arose from Neuhaus's involvement makes be question whether that is really true. What's your source for this, Steven?
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MJohn4

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #129 on: November 10, 2015, 07:50:18 PM »
... But I also see that it has had relatively little influence, despite its sometimes bombastic declarations.

Wasn't it the IRD that alerted Americans to the issue of mainline churches funding the Soviet and Cuban backed government in a civil war in Angola? That was during the heady days of liberation theology, of course. I could be wrong.

MJohn4

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Re: Lutheran, Catholics "on the way" to greater unity
« Reply #130 on: November 10, 2015, 08:13:10 PM »
... bombastic declarations.

Do you mean like these?

"Jesus Christ is Lord. That is the first and final assertion Christians make about all of reality, including politics. Believers now assert by faith what one day will be manifest to the sight of all: every earthly sovereignty is subordinate to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ." -RJN

https://theird.org/about/founding-document/


John Mundinger

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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