Author Topic: Bergendorf Quote  (Read 8850 times)

MEKoch

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Bergendorf Quote
« on: July 18, 2007, 04:21:09 PM »
My bishop, Elizabeth Eaton, of the Northeastern Ohio Synod, wrote about the divisions about sexuality in the Synod.  What was interesting was her use of a quote by Conrad Bergendorf in 1939 in an open letter to the LCMS.

"You inquire whether the Augustana Synod could subscribe to doctrinal statements already drawn up by the Missouri Synod (The Brief Statement, I imagine).  I do not know if I can make myself clear in my reply without seeming to avoid the issue, which is exactly what I do not intend.  I must say, that I question the method of attaining fellowship which consists in one party offering a document to the other to be signed on the dotted line.  Indeed it is just this method which will preclude our coming closer. It is my contention that we are to meet each other as Lutheras, and not as suppliants asking for the right to be called Lutherans by other who have decided what Lutheranism is.  The question is ultimately not an intellectual question and can't be answered by formulae.  For I believe that I speak truly when I saw that many Lutherans do not accept the Missouri Synod as judge of their faith, or of their Lutheranism.  You treat us as non-Lutherans.  We resent it.  At once a gulf is created." 

The parenthesis is my editorial edition.  Michael Koch

Eric_Swensson

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2007, 04:42:11 PM »
1) So I guess he would have had trouble at Nicea, too? At Augsburg?

2) His argument is totally an emotion based one, so I guess that is its appeal to Bp Eaton?

3) Yeah, I don't like it either!

Anyway, #3 withstanding, I'd sooner fellowship in these latter days with people who know what they believe based on doctrine than on feelings. Feelings are secondary, they change, and sometimes they are just gas.

Dadoo

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2007, 05:15:47 PM »
As I read her letter I note this:  THe Berdorf quote- which by the way has something to commend itself but that is another matter- here is used as a way of saying that: "We have to talk about this. We cannot just impose something on the other side."  That would imply that we have not talked at all-  One side just handed the other a take-it-or -leave-it paper.  That is not what happened and is not what is happening.  We have talked.   We have had debate for over 20 years now.  (and,yes, taught consistently "no" for 100's more)  This argument does not work for me somhow but better minds might explain itbetter.
By the way the bish's article also mentions that Prof Erling made a presentation to the new bishs that basically said that we, the ELCA, are a stronger church because of all of our mergers because we know how to talk and debate with one another.  What is up with that?  I am not sure that I see veracity of that point at all.  WHere is the data for it?

Keep the Faith

Peter
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

David Charlton

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2007, 09:04:04 PM »
Remember that among many in the ELCA to compare someone with the LCMS is to call them bigoted, self-righteous, mean spirited and fundamentalist.  Not the best way to encourage a spirit of unity.

Bergendorf was apparently addressing doctrinal disagreements and the implication that the Augustana synod wasn't truly Lutheran.  It was not about an issue of morality that had been without dispute for 2000 plus years. 

Now, perhaps we're being unfair, the bishop may have been referring to those who say the gospel of unqualified acceptance have is the only true gospel.  You never know.

ROB_MOSKOWITZ

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2007, 09:27:47 PM »
This Sunday Bp. Eaton told a congregation that they could not be in the LCMC and stay in the ELCA.     They also could not keep their Pastor whom she removed from the ELCA roster for serving whom she deems schismatics and stay in the ELCA.

I think the main question to her was why if we are all Lutherans?

Yours In Christ
Rob Moskowitz
« Last Edit: July 18, 2007, 10:48:19 PM by ROB_MOSKOWITZ »

Dadoo

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2007, 10:05:24 PM »
By the Way: here is Bishop Eaton's full letter

http://neos-elca.org/unified_mailing/2007/07-2007/Bishops_Newsletter.pdf

Again the Bergendorf comparison does not work for me but then..

Enjoy

Keep the Faith

Peter
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

Mel Harris

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2007, 12:40:50 AM »

This Sunday Bp. Eaton told a congregation that they could not be in the LCMC and stay in the ELCA.     They also could not keep their Pastor whom she removed from the ELCA roster for serving whom she deems schismatics and stay in the ELCA.


Rob,

While it is not unexpected, given what you have previously reported, I am very sorry to hear that this has happened. 

Mel Harris

Maryland Brian

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2007, 10:37:02 AM »
This Sunday Bp. Eaton told a congregation that they could not be in the LCMC and stay in the ELCA.     They also could not keep their Pastor whom she removed from the ELCA roster for serving whom she deems schismatics and stay in the ELCA.

Rob,


I'm confused.  She's been in office five months, has dismissed a pastor and told a congregation they have to make a decision and THEN releases a letter that says:

My job is to hold the synod together. I believe it is possible, even while debating this deeply
dividing issue. If we acknowledge that we are sinners and the one with whom we disagree is
someone for whom Christ died, if we recognize each other as Lutherans and commit ourselves to
working out what this means, we can “walk together”


If I'm not mistaken, this is the same sort of confusion we see going on in TEC.  Which is it, a call to hold the church together or a call to dismiss those deemed "schismatic"?  I would think a strong case could also be made that membership in LCNA is also "schismatic" and the entire Reconciled in Christ movement is schismatic.  I mean, if you're going to start labeling people and booting them out, why not just go at it and be done with it?  That would leave the vastly reduced moderate middle to muddle along in a Post Modern and Post Denomination world.

Is this a dynamic of the latest breed of Bishops or was this something taught to the new Bishops or is this simply the logical outcome of the implosion coming to the ELCA along the lines we're already seeing in TEC?

Also - is the idea that LCMC membership means one cannot also be an ELCA congregation unique to this Bishop or is this the coming policy?

BTW, I would have hoped a Bishop of the Church would understand herself as the chief guardian of orthodoxy and evangelism in Christ's name, but that's just me....


Maryland Brian

Eric_Swensson

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2007, 10:47:44 AM »
This Sunday Bp. Eaton told a congregation that they could not be in the LCMC and stay in the ELCA.     They also could not keep their Pastor whom she removed from the ELCA roster for serving whom she deems schismatics and stay in the ELCA.

Rob,


I'm confused.  She's been in office five months, has dismissed a pastor and told a congregation they have to make a decision and THEN releases a letter that says:

My job is to hold the synod together. I believe it is possible, even while debating this deeply
dividing issue. If we acknowledge that we are sinners and the one with whom we disagree is
someone for whom Christ died, if we recognize each other as Lutherans and commit ourselves to
working out what this means, we can “walk together”


If I'm not mistaken, this is the same sort of confusion we see going on in TEC.  Which is it, a call to hold the church together or a call to dismiss those deemed "schismatic"?  I would think a strong case could also be made that membership in LCNA is also "schismatic" and the entire Reconciled in Christ movement is schismatic.  I mean, if you're going to start labeling people and booting them out, why not just go at it and be done with it?  That would leave the vastly reduced moderate middle to muddle along in a Post Modern and Post Denomination world.

Is this a dynamic of the latest breed of Bishops or was this something taught to the new Bishops or is this simply the logical outcome of the implosion coming to the ELCA along the lines we're already seeing in TEC?

Also - is the idea that LCMC membership means one cannot also be an ELCA congregation unique to this Bishop or is this the coming policy?

BTW, I would have hoped a Bishop of the Church would understand herself as the chief guardian of orthodoxy and evangelism in Christ's name, but that's just me....


Maryland Brian

Brian's observations and questions are worthy of a broader audience. It is such things that we should be considering in our conference, synod and national gatherings and what the CoB should be discussing.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2007, 10:56:48 AM »
Also - is the idea that LCMC membership means one cannot also be an ELCA congregation unique to this Bishop or is this the coming policy?
It is not unique that that bishop. I believe it was over a year ago that a congregation in the Rocky Mountain Synod was given the same choice: ELCA or LCMC, but not both. As LCMC becomes more denomination-like, (and the ELCA Yearbooks already list them as a "Lutheran Body,") bishops will ask congregations to make a choice. I believe that most of the congregations in the LCMC association are no longer rostered in the ELCA.
"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]

Maryland Brian

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2007, 11:16:01 AM »
I believe it was over a year ago that a congregation in the Rocky Mountain Synod was given the same choice: ELCA or LCMC, but not both. As LCMC becomes more denomination-like, (and the ELCA Yearbooks already list them as a "Lutheran Body,") bishops will ask congregations to make a choice. I believe that most of the congregations in the LCMC association are no longer rostered in the ELCA.

  It was the confusion of doing the booting within months of her election and saying "Gee, can't we all just get along because I'm called to hold the synod together" rhetoric that raised my question.  Which is it?  Boot or get along?

MD Brian

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2007, 11:19:17 AM »
If I'm not mistaken, this is the same sort of confusion we see going on in TEC.  Which is it, a call to hold the church together or a call to dismiss those deemed "schismatic"?  I would think a strong case could also be made that membership in LCNA is also "schismatic" and the entire Reconciled in Christ movement is schismatic.  I mean, if you're going to start labeling people and booting them out, why not just go at it and be done with it?  That would leave the vastly reduced moderate middle to muddle along in a Post Modern and Post Denomination world.

Is this a dynamic of the latest breed of Bishops or was this something taught to the new Bishops or is this simply the logical outcome of the implosion coming to the ELCA along the lines we're already seeing in TEC?

I was hoping for a place to offer this:  Sarah Hey of the Anglican Standing Firm in Faith website recently posted a long essay on the state of internal TEC politics.  She profiled the distinction between the two ascendant leadership groups:  institutional progressives and ideological progressives; and how the ideologues have gained the upper hand, as evidenced by the election of PB Schori and her public interviews, the property lawsuits, confrontation with the African primates, etc.  Sarah describes the institutional types as flumoxed by this turn of events, as their approach has been incremental and obfuscated public pronouncements so that the people in the pews (whom she believes are way more conservative) are unaware of it all.  It would seem this ideologue attitude corresponds to what MD Brian has said of LCNA and RIC types, that they don't care if they destroy the institution in their attempts to achieve their goals, because its the right thing to do.

Again the canary in the coal mine for the ELCA...are we about to see a more concerted "in your face" confrontation, as opposed to the more "institutional" approach of Bp. Hanson (as witness his reaction to the rainbow stole brigade on the last CWA floor debate)?

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/4445/


Sterling Spatz
« Last Edit: July 19, 2007, 11:23:44 AM by MaddogLutheran »
Sterling Spatz
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2007, 11:20:27 AM »
I believe it was over a year ago that a congregation in the Rocky Mountain Synod was given the same choice: ELCA or LCMC, but not both. As LCMC becomes more denomination-like, (and the ELCA Yearbooks already list them as a "Lutheran Body,") bishops will ask congregations to make a choice. I believe that most of the congregations in the LCMC association are no longer rostered in the ELCA.

  It was the confusion of doing the booting within months of her election and saying "Gee, can't we all just get along because I'm called to hold the synod together" rhetoric that raised my question.  Which is it?  Boot or get along?

It's like removing inactive members from the congregation. While it may seem like the congregation council "boots" them out of the church, in reality, it was the members' own actions (or lack of actions) by which they removed themselves. The council just honestly declares what is: such people are no longer active members of the congregation. I think the "get along" approach means that those congregations and clergy are free to have their conservative views within the ELCA, but when they join another Lutheran body, they have removed themselves from the ELCA.
"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]

Eric_Swensson

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2007, 11:26:04 AM »
If I'm not mistaken, this is the same sort of confusion we see going on in TEC.  Which is it, a call to hold the church together or a call to dismiss those deemed "schismatic"?  I would think a strong case could also be made that membership in LCNA is also "schismatic" and the entire Reconciled in Christ movement is schismatic.  I mean, if you're going to start labeling people and booting them out, why not just go at it and be done with it?  That would leave the vastly reduced moderate middle to muddle along in a Post Modern and Post Denomination world.

Is this a dynamic of the latest breed of Bishops or was this something taught to the new Bishops or is this simply the logical outcome of the implosion coming to the ELCA along the lines we're already seeing in TEC?

I was hoping for a place to offer this:  Sarah Hey of the Anglican Standing Firm in Faith website recently posted a long essay on the state of internal TEC politics.  She profiled the distinction between the two ascendant leadership groups:  institutional progressives and ideological progressives; and how the ideologues have gained the upper hand, as evidenced by the election of PB Schori and her public interviews, the property lawsuits, confrontation with the African primates, etc.  Sarah describes the institutional types as flumoxed by this turn of events, as their approach has been incremental and obfuscated public pronouncements so that the people in the pews (whom she believes are way more conservative) are unaware of it all.  It would seem this ideologue attitude corresponds to what MD Brian has said of LCNA and RIC types, that they don't care if they destroy the institution in their attempts to achieve their goals, because its the right thing to do.

Again the canary in the coal mine for the ELCA...are we about to see a more concerted "in your face" confrontation, as opposed to the more "institutional" approach of Bp. Hanson (as witness his reaction to the rainbow stole brigade on the last CWA floor debate)?

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/4445/


Sterling Spatz

Sterling, that same analysis of the two types of revisionist groups was offered here after the April 2006 Council meeting by Pr Kimball. He attended the whole meeting and said it was the same. He used different terms, but it is significant that the two denoms are led by the same dynamic.

Eric_Swensson

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Re: Bergendorf Quote
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2007, 11:31:04 AM »
I believe it was over a year ago that a congregation in the Rocky Mountain Synod was given the same choice: ELCA or LCMC, but not both. As LCMC becomes more denomination-like, (and the ELCA Yearbooks already list them as a "Lutheran Body,") bishops will ask congregations to make a choice. I believe that most of the congregations in the LCMC association are no longer rostered in the ELCA.

  It was the confusion of doing the booting within months of her election and saying "Gee, can't we all just get along because I'm called to hold the synod together" rhetoric that raised my question.  Which is it?  Boot or get along?

It's like removing inactive members from the congregation. While it may seem like the congregation council "boots" them out of the church, in reality, it was the members' own actions (or lack of actions) by which they removed themselves. The council just honestly declares what is: such people are no longer active members of the congregation. I think the "get along" approach means that those congregations and clergy are free to have their conservative views within the ELCA, but when they join another Lutheran body, they have removed themselves from the ELCA.

Oh, exactly the same. Exactly the same, not. An lay individual is free to do things a clergy individual is not, but a whole congregation's actions being declared the same as an individual, it beggars belief. Of course, before we go forward, it is a false start. Your "individual" has in fact gone somewhere. Rob and his congregation still reside at their saem address.

Shalll we get into the fact that the address predates the ELCA by, what is it Rob, 150 years?

As Rob said, they are still Lutheran!