Author Topic: An Exception to the Rule  (Read 15364 times)

RogerMartim

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
  • Vede que grande amor nos tem concedido o Pai...
    • View Profile
An Exception to the Rule
« on: July 03, 2016, 08:58:08 PM »
My aunt who is 88 is dying from lymphoma. She has been LCMS all her life and remains so. A good number of her family however are members of ELCA.

She called her LCMS pastor and requested that she wanted her family to be with her when it will probably be the last time she will ever be able to physically go to church. She asked him if it would be OK that the ELCA relatives receive communion with her. These ELCA folks are every bit of faithful Christians as she is and they take their faith seriously.

The pastor emphatically said MOST CERTAINLY that they would be welcome to commune. This pastor is by every stretch of the imagination a true LCMS pastor. He adheres to any of the strictures that St. Louis provides for him the right path. He also knows that there are just a few points of disagreements that stand between his church body and other Lutheran entities but we are grateful that he didn't deny the Body and Blood of Our Lord in the Sacrament to all those who believe.


Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 14900
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2016, 10:51:26 PM »
A kind pastor, indeed.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns could’ve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13380
    • View Profile
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2016, 10:51:45 PM »
We have  pastoral discretion  and that pastor was exercising his discretion.   I may or may not decide the same.  I would need to know much more about the situation and people involved.  In any case  hard cases and cases decided by discretion should not be considered as establishing precedent.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Diego

  • Guest
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2016, 10:54:35 PM »
Sounds like it was up to the Pastor, to me. Our Pastor allows all Lutherans to receive in our LCMS Church. In my small hometown as a boy, the LCMS church allowed all believers in the Real Presence to receive after speaking with the Pastor first, if there was a valid enough need for Communion.

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 14900
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2016, 10:57:32 PM »
Thank you, Pastor Fienen, for completely ruining the good feelings about the LCMS and its pastors that I had when reading the account just upstream.
Your "I may or may not decide the same.  I would need to know much more about the situation and people involved." was a chilling blast of cold air.
Then your "In any case hard cases and cases decided by discretion should not be considered as establishing precedent" reminded me that it is indeed exclusionary rules first, exclusionary rules always, and God forbid anyone should think otherwise.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns could’ve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13380
    • View Profile
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2016, 11:29:39 PM »
Charles, as usual you overreact.  I did not say, nor did I mean, "exclusionary rules first, exclusionary rules always, and God forbid anyone should think otherwise."  Instead, Pastoral discretion means that at times regular rules may be set aside for good cause.  You seem to want to push us into either adopting the ELCA policy of communion open to anyone baptized (with discussion on going of whether the baptism is optional) or never ever bending a rule and "God forbid anyone should think otherwise."  You habitually mischaracterize us to promote your rant.

You in the ELCA have your own understanding of what good pastoral stewardship of the sacrament of the altar involves.  We in the LCMS have a different understanding.  That a given pastor may be more open in his communion hospitality on a given occasion and a given situation does not mean that the LCMS has abandoned its understandings and policies and simply adopted the ELCA's.  Much as that sticks in your craw - as your response just now to me clearly indicates.  We both think each other wrong.  That is what happens in disagreements.  It's too bad that you can only have good feelings about the LCMS when we abandon our policies and adopt yours.

If one could take a survey and find out that 90% of LCMS pastors would agree with the pastor in question in that situation and welcome the ELCA relatives to commune, that still would not change our regular policy.  It would just mean that exceptions are possible.  (And realistically, could one get 90% of LCMS pastors to agree on anything?  What about 90% of ELCA pastors?)

We are different church bodies and disagree about some things.  That you cannot handle our disagreements without snipe and snark says something about your approach to people who are different than you, and that something is not complementary.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2016, 11:51:38 PM by Dan Fienen »
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

SomeoneWrites

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2596
    • View Profile
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2016, 01:21:07 AM »
Thank you, Pastor Fienen, for completely ruining the good feelings about the LCMS and its pastors that I had when reading the account just upstream.
Your "I may or may not decide the same.  I would need to know much more about the situation and people involved." was a chilling blast of cold air.
Then your "In any case hard cases and cases decided by discretion should not be considered as establishing precedent" reminded me that it is indeed exclusionary rules first, exclusionary rules always, and God forbid anyone should think otherwise.

It is extremely difficult to put the best construction on your construction. 
LCMS raised
LCMS theology major
LCMS sem grad
Atheist

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 14900
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2016, 04:45:51 AM »
Pastor Fienen writes:
You seem to want to push us into either adopting the ELCA policy of communion open to anyone baptized (with discussion on going of whether the baptism is optional) or never ever bending a rule and "God forbid anyone should think otherwise."

I comment:
No. No. No. I was responding to this particular situation, where a dying 94-year old LCMS woman wants her ELCA family members to be able to commune with her on what may be her last celebration of the sacrament, and her pastor said this would certainly be acceptable. I found the pastor's response satisfying.
Then you killed the buzz. I found it depressing when you immediately wrote concerning the situation at hand: "I may or may not decide the same.  I would need to know much more about the situation and people involved."
Then you had to add that even if something like this should (OMG!) happen, we should absolutely not consider it any kind of "precedent." And the idea of "precedent" was not even in sight, but so far away (for anyone who understands LCMS policy) that a trip to Mars would be an easier jaunt.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns could’ve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Steven Tibbetts

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10213
  • Big tents are for circuses.
    • View Profile
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2016, 08:13:53 AM »
Thank you, Pastor Fienen, for completely ruining the good feelings about the LCMS and its pastors that I had when reading the account just upstream. ...

It is extremely difficult to put the best construction on your construction.

It was constructed that way.

 :(
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 14900
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2016, 08:27:44 AM »
Look at it this way Steven. I do not see what good construction could be put on the possibility of denying a dying 95 year old woman the request to commune with her family.. I could not see what good construction could be put on the possibility of even considering that.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns could’ve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13380
    • View Profile
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2016, 08:35:34 AM »
But then, you never could understand the LCMS nor do you particularly want to.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 14900
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2016, 08:40:00 AM »
I understand the lcms better than you think.it is some things about it and some people in it that I do not understand.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns could’ve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

David Garner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 7976
    • View Profile
    • For He is Good and Loves Mankind
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2016, 08:41:33 AM »
Thank you, Pastor Fienen, for completely ruining the good feelings about the LCMS and its pastors that I had when reading the account just upstream.
Your "I may or may not decide the same.  I would need to know much more about the situation and people involved." was a chilling blast of cold air.
Then your "In any case hard cases and cases decided by discretion should not be considered as establishing precedent" reminded me that it is indeed exclusionary rules first, exclusionary rules always, and God forbid anyone should think otherwise.

Translation: "if you don't agree with me and my practice, you are a bad person."

Nice.  Oh, and "God forbid anyone should think otherwise" is the most ironic thing you've ever said here, and that's saying something.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

RogerMartim

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
  • Vede que grande amor nos tem concedido o Pai...
    • View Profile
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2016, 08:50:33 AM »
I've been mostly quiescent in this website because I am not, as a lay person, the most knowledgeable in Matters Lutheran, but I must add though that you, Pastor Tibbetts, are the most negative respondent. I've seen you dig back in years past of observations by others to come up with a way to disparage them. Every quip of yours seems to involve a barb. I might get knocked off line for what I am going to say, but you contribute nothing to this forum other than one-liners and negative ones at that.

Buckeye Deaconess

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3047
    • View Profile
Re: An Exception to the Rule
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2016, 08:58:39 AM »
I've been mostly quiescent in this website because I am not, as a lay person, the most knowledgeable in Matters Lutheran, but I must add though that you, Pastor Tibbetts, are the most negative respondent. I've seen you dig back in years past of observations by others to come up with a way to disparage them.

You've got the wrong guy.  Pr. Tibbetts is one of the more gracious posters on here.