Author Topic: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement  (Read 16371 times)

DCharlton

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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #180 on: March 23, 2018, 12:34:29 PM »
I don't see any evolution on marriage. It's still pretty much what it's always been: a publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous relationship.

Long before 2009 people were having sex outside of marriages. That's become more acceptable. There's been a change in society's views about that.

Context, context, context.  I had already said that our culture had changed 40 years ago, or before.  I was talking about how our current discussion in the ELCA (context, remember?) was evolving.

You talked about the evolution of marriage. I disagree that marriage had evolved. I agree that our discussion and culture and attitudes about sexual relationships have changed. Our understanding of marriage is still the same as it was 40 years ago when I got married.

No.  I talked about the evolution of attitudes within the ELCA regarding the requirement of marriage for clergy.  It was the rapid evolution of opinions among ELCA clergy regarding V&E.  Everyone but you seemed to know exactly what I was talking about. 

 

I'm an ELCA clergy. I don't know what you're talking about. Marriage was and is the standard for clergy who are in a sexual relationship. After 2009, we also included "PALMS" for same-sex couples when they were not able to marry in all states. I believe V&E should be rewritten to remove that language and use "marriage" since same-sex marriages are legal in all states. The guidelines for candidacy committees stated that where same-sex couples could legally marry, that was the expected relationship for same-sex candidates in a relationship.

No kidding.  It is the standard today.  But you and Charles are already arguing that marriage/PALMSGR is not the only way.  Nadia Bolz-Weber and friends are arguing that it is not the best way, but only one way, and that to say it is the best way is oppressive.  All that we are awaiting is a compromise akin to HSGT that will permit congregations who so choose to call pastors who are in relationships other than marriang/PAMSGR. 

You are employing the same mode of argument to undermine the standard of marriage that you employed to undermine the standard of heterosexuality.  You are not the only one, as Nadia Bolz-Weber and Friends are doing the same.  In 30 years, since the beginning of the ELCA to today, the belief that heterosexuality is the only option for pastors has gone from the official policy to being considered a dangerous form of bigotry akin to White Supremacy and Nazism.  I don't think it will take any longer for the consensus of HSGT, that sex belongs in marriage/PALMGR, to be overturned and cast aside as a form of bigotry.  2039 at the latest is my prediction.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #181 on: March 23, 2018, 12:40:48 PM »
Since Brian is being willfully obtuse, I will restate how I see the evolution taking place:

1.  2009 - The ELCA affirms marriage or PALMSGR as the standard for pastors.
2.  2018 - Brian and Charles affirm marriage or PALMSGR and the "best way," but not "the only way."


You made a ver significant change when talking about Charles and I. I don't believe that we have affirmed that marriage is not the only way for pastors.


I would also note that after 2015 when same-sex marriage was legal in all 50 states, I believe that "marriage" not PALM became the standard for all clergy. Even before then, things like "registered domestic partners" was required in states that offered that option as a sign that a gay couple's relationship with publicly accountable and intended to be life-long and monogamous.



I can't speak for Charles, but I've stated that clergy should be held to a higher standard because we are role models. While members of our congregations might live together without the "piece of paper," that should not be the way of the clergy.



Quote
Now in the case of same-sex marriage, it has taken less than 9 years since the passage of HSGT for those who believe heterosexuality to be he standard to be routinely condemned as the moral equivalent of Klansmen and Nazis by our colleagues.  With the rapid pace of change, it seems sound to conclude that it will take no more than a generation for people who agree with HSGT that marriage is the standard for pastors to be derided as Klansmen and Nazis.


You may think what you want about same-sex marriage. It is the reality in our world - and for our clergy. You aren't going to stop it. It's also likely that you will have a relative in the the generation or two who will be in a same-sex marriage.
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #182 on: March 23, 2018, 12:42:41 PM »
I don't see any evolution on marriage. It's still pretty much what it's always been: a publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous relationship.

Long before 2009 people were having sex outside of marriages. That's become more acceptable. There's been a change in society's views about that.

Context, context, context.  I had already said that our culture had changed 40 years ago, or before.  I was talking about how our current discussion in the ELCA (context, remember?) was evolving.

You talked about the evolution of marriage. I disagree that marriage had evolved. I agree that our discussion and culture and attitudes about sexual relationships have changed. Our understanding of marriage is still the same as it was 40 years ago when I got married.

No.  I talked about the evolution of attitudes within the ELCA regarding the requirement of marriage for clergy.  It was the rapid evolution of opinions among ELCA clergy regarding V&E.  Everyone but you seemed to know exactly what I was talking about. 

 

I'm an ELCA clergy. I don't know what you're talking about. Marriage was and is the standard for clergy who are in a sexual relationship. After 2009, we also included "PALMS" for same-sex couples when they were not able to marry in all states. I believe V&E should be rewritten to remove that language and use "marriage" since same-sex marriages are legal in all states. The guidelines for candidacy committees stated that where same-sex couples could legally marry, that was the expected relationship for same-sex candidates in a relationship.

No kidding.  It is the standard today.  But you and Charles are already arguing that marriage/PALMSGR is not the only way.  Nadia Bolz-Weber and friends are arguing that it is not the best way, but only one way, and that to say it is the best way is oppressive.  All that we are awaiting is a compromise akin to HSGT that will permit congregations who so choose to call pastors who are in relationships other than marriang/PAMSGR. 

You are employing the same mode of argument to undermine the standard of marriage that you employed to undermine the standard of heterosexuality.  You are not the only one, as Nadia Bolz-Weber and Friends are doing the same.  In 30 years, since the beginning of the ELCA to today, the belief that heterosexuality is the only option for pastors has gone from the official policy to being considered a dangerous form of bigotry akin to White Supremacy and Nazism.  I don't think it will take any longer for the consensus of HSGT, that sex belongs in marriage/PALMGR, to be overturned and cast aside as a form of bigotry.  2039 at the latest is my prediction.


Where have we ever argued that marriage is not the only way FOR CLERGY?



"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]

James_Gale

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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #183 on: March 23, 2018, 01:00:57 PM »
I don't see any evolution on marriage. It's still pretty much what it's always been: a publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous relationship.

Long before 2009 people were having sex outside of marriages. That's become more acceptable. There's been a change in society's views about that.

Context, context, context.  I had already said that our culture had changed 40 years ago, or before.  I was talking about how our current discussion in the ELCA (context, remember?) was evolving.

You talked about the evolution of marriage. I disagree that marriage had evolved. I agree that our discussion and culture and attitudes about sexual relationships have changed. Our understanding of marriage is still the same as it was 40 years ago when I got married.

No.  I talked about the evolution of attitudes within the ELCA regarding the requirement of marriage for clergy.  It was the rapid evolution of opinions among ELCA clergy regarding V&E.  Everyone but you seemed to know exactly what I was talking about. 

 

I'm an ELCA clergy. I don't know what you're talking about. Marriage was and is the standard for clergy who are in a sexual relationship. After 2009, we also included "PALMS" for same-sex couples when they were not able to marry in all states. I believe V&E should be rewritten to remove that language and use "marriage" since same-sex marriages are legal in all states. The guidelines for candidacy committees stated that where same-sex couples could legally marry, that was the expected relationship for same-sex candidates in a relationship.

No kidding.  It is the standard today.  But you and Charles are already arguing that marriage/PALMSGR is not the only way.  Nadia Bolz-Weber and friends are arguing that it is not the best way, but only one way, and that to say it is the best way is oppressive.  All that we are awaiting is a compromise akin to HSGT that will permit congregations who so choose to call pastors who are in relationships other than marriang/PAMSGR. 

You are employing the same mode of argument to undermine the standard of marriage that you employed to undermine the standard of heterosexuality.  You are not the only one, as Nadia Bolz-Weber and Friends are doing the same.  In 30 years, since the beginning of the ELCA to today, the belief that heterosexuality is the only option for pastors has gone from the official policy to being considered a dangerous form of bigotry akin to White Supremacy and Nazism.  I don't think it will take any longer for the consensus of HSGT, that sex belongs in marriage/PALMGR, to be overturned and cast aside as a form of bigotry.  2039 at the latest is my prediction.


The ELCA did not start with a commitment to follow Scripture wherever it leads.  Instead, it picked a desired outcome, realized that Scripture does not support that outcome, and therefore crafted a mostly Scripture-free justification.  Without Scripture as a guide, we are left to follow the cultural winds.  The ELCA will get to the destination you predict well before 2039. 


That said, resistance and backlash eventually will come.  I think that people will tolerate and even support same-sex marriage.  But attacks on marriage as an institution are another matter.  In my experience, young, urban, socially liberal, affluent couples place a high value on marriage and raising children as a couple.  Many of them don't see same-sex marriage as a threat to that notion.  Full-on attacks against marriage obviously are a different matter. 


Moreover, social liberalism must confront internal inconsistencies that ultimately will collapse upon one another.  For example, the sexual liberation movement advanced the notion that women are every bit as able as men to take the lead in sexual relationships.  Women don't need men or parents or anyone else to take care of them.  Today we see on college campuses and elsewhere a return to the notion that women in fact need protecting from men and from "rape-culture."  Similarly, many on the left instinctively support the notion of trans-gender rights.  However, parents among their ranks are at best ambivalent about government mandates requiring middle-school girls to share locker-room showers with biological boys who "identify" as female.


Eventually, the revisionist movements will weaken one another and the stigma against advocating natural-law principles will fade.  But that could take many years.

James_Gale

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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #184 on: March 23, 2018, 01:03:24 PM »
I don't see any evolution on marriage. It's still pretty much what it's always been: a publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous relationship.

Long before 2009 people were having sex outside of marriages. That's become more acceptable. There's been a change in society's views about that.

Context, context, context.  I had already said that our culture had changed 40 years ago, or before.  I was talking about how our current discussion in the ELCA (context, remember?) was evolving.

You talked about the evolution of marriage. I disagree that marriage had evolved. I agree that our discussion and culture and attitudes about sexual relationships have changed. Our understanding of marriage is still the same as it was 40 years ago when I got married.

No.  I talked about the evolution of attitudes within the ELCA regarding the requirement of marriage for clergy.  It was the rapid evolution of opinions among ELCA clergy regarding V&E.  Everyone but you seemed to know exactly what I was talking about. 

 

I'm an ELCA clergy. I don't know what you're talking about. Marriage was and is the standard for clergy who are in a sexual relationship. After 2009, we also included "PALMS" for same-sex couples when they were not able to marry in all states. I believe V&E should be rewritten to remove that language and use "marriage" since same-sex marriages are legal in all states. The guidelines for candidacy committees stated that where same-sex couples could legally marry, that was the expected relationship for same-sex candidates in a relationship.

No kidding.  It is the standard today.  But you and Charles are already arguing that marriage/PALMSGR is not the only way.  Nadia Bolz-Weber and friends are arguing that it is not the best way, but only one way, and that to say it is the best way is oppressive.  All that we are awaiting is a compromise akin to HSGT that will permit congregations who so choose to call pastors who are in relationships other than marriang/PAMSGR. 

You are employing the same mode of argument to undermine the standard of marriage that you employed to undermine the standard of heterosexuality.  You are not the only one, as Nadia Bolz-Weber and Friends are doing the same.  In 30 years, since the beginning of the ELCA to today, the belief that heterosexuality is the only option for pastors has gone from the official policy to being considered a dangerous form of bigotry akin to White Supremacy and Nazism.  I don't think it will take any longer for the consensus of HSGT, that sex belongs in marriage/PALMGR, to be overturned and cast aside as a form of bigotry.  2039 at the latest is my prediction.


Where have we ever argued that marriage is not the only way FOR CLERGY?


Do you believe that marriage is the "only way for clergy"?  If so, what is the basis for that belief?  I ask because after CWA 2009, I wonder whether any plausible basis exists for any restrictions against any sexual relationship between or among consenting adults.

MaddogLutheran

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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #185 on: March 23, 2018, 01:04:49 PM »
You may think what you want about same-sex marriage. It is the reality in our world - and for our clergy. You aren't going to stop it. It's also likely that you will have a relative in the {next} generation or two who will be in a same-sex marriage.
You may think what you want about non-marital sexual relationships. It is the reality in our world - and for our clergy. You aren't going to stop it. It's also likely that you will have a relative in the next generation or two who will be in non-marital sexual relationships.

The point that many of us traditionalists have tried to make, from the beginning of all this, is that you start and end with marriage, and why it, and only it, is blessed by the church.  Choosing to focus on other "relationships" is beside the point, and you end up in a ditch.

No one has ever denied that many other configurations are possible.  To imply, as you do, that any of them are "new" is preposterous.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 01:09:39 PM by MaddogLutheran »
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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #186 on: March 23, 2018, 01:08:46 PM »
Where have we ever argued that marriage is not the only way FOR CLERGY?
There is no difference between clergy and laity.

What is different is that "this church" has the power to punish clergy for not complying.  Which of course returns us to the question by what authority is marriage "the only way".  It should be scripture, but Mr. Gale has done an excellent job above explaining why that is not  the case.
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DCharlton

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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #187 on: March 23, 2018, 01:14:41 PM »
Quote
Now in the case of same-sex marriage, it has taken less than 9 years since the passage of HSGT for those who believe heterosexuality to be he standard to be routinely condemned as the moral equivalent of Klansmen and Nazis by our colleagues.  With the rapid pace of change, it seems sound to conclude that it will take no more than a generation for people who agree with HSGT that marriage is the standard for pastors to be derided as Klansmen and Nazis.

You may think what you want about same-sex marriage. It is the reality in our world - and for our clergy. You aren't going to stop it. It's also likely that you will have a relative in the the generation or two who will be in a same-sex marriage.

Actually, it is not clear that I may think what I want about same-sex marriage.  HSGT promises that people who think same-sex marriage is wrong or unwise have a place in the ELCA.  It is clear, however, that they have no place at United Lutheran Seminary. 

I have never publicly opposed same-sex marriage and I have no plans to try to stop it.  I do believe that Christians should be able to teach what the believe about marriage without threat of punishment, especially in the ELCA.  United Lutheran Seminary disagrees with me.
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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #188 on: March 23, 2018, 01:26:44 PM »
I saw the arguments leading up to 2009 to be a strong support of marriage. They are to be publicly accountable (which today means getting a marriage license). They are to be lifelong - not ending when one gets tired or bored with the other person. They are to be monogamous - there are to be no extramarital sexual relationships. Do you have problems with any of those requirements?

I don't think anyone here has a problem with any of those requirements, so I'm not sure what your point is. But you leave out the one requirement that is essential for marriage, that a marriage is between a man and a woman. You're not alone in doing this, of course. Churchwide 2009 overlooked this too.


And so has the United States and a few other countries.

Since when do we let the United States and a few other countries tell us what our theology of marriage should be? Oh yeah,...2009.

Nope. The year was 1639 when Massachusetts began requiring marriage licenses. Their use expanded until the mid-19th century when they were required. Before then, if a couple said that they were married, they were considered married. Common-law marriages were the norm. When clergy began signing marriage licenses, the State had told the church what marriages would be.

Unless an older couple comes to you and wants to be married by the Church but not by the State because of financial (e.g., deceased spouse's pension) reasons. Then the State can't tell you what to do. You'll help them perpetuate the fraud.   ::)

No one has ever asked me to do that. They just live together. What fraud? They don't have the piece of paper required by the state to be married. Living together no longer constitutes a "marriage" by the state definition.

We've discussed this before, and you stated that you would have no problem with marrying them without them obtaining a marriage license. Hence, you are not going to allow the State to tell you what a marriage is. That's why I mentioned it.
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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #189 on: March 23, 2018, 01:33:30 PM »
When clergy began signing marriage licenses, the State had told the church what marriages would be.

I don't think so, Pr. Stoffregen. Signing a marriage license does not do violence to a Christian understanding of marriage. It does raise questions regarding clergy performing a state function though. In that regard the church entered some murky waters. I think we've had that discussion before and there were a variety of opinions on that. But more to the point, male and female are of the essence of Christian marriage, a license is not. A license may be the current form of public accountability in the United States, but it doesn't rise to the level of what is essential.

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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #190 on: March 23, 2018, 01:35:42 PM »
Remarriage is certainly an issue, but Jesus clearly sets out the proper cause for a divorce which would pertain to more than just those who are planning to remarry.  I highly doubt that what he discusses there was intended to apply only to situations of remarriage.


Jesus (only in Matthew (5:31-32; 19:3-9), but not in Mark (10:2-12) or Luke (16:18)) gives a reason for divorce: πορνεία. He still calls marriages after divorce, "committing adultery." He also indicates that divorce is necessary because of "hardness of heart".

Do note not all marriages after divorce are adultery.  If the offended party (the one against whom the adultery was committed) can remarry.  That person is guiltless.


It depends on which verse you look at and how it is interpreted.


Jesus' words in Mark allow no exceptions:

Inside the house, the disciples asked him again about this. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if a wife divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”


Jesus' words in Luke allow no exceptions:

Any man who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and a man who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.


Jesus' words in Matthew include "except for πορνεία." Especially in light of Mark and Luke, that phrase can be connected only with the divorce. Divorce is allowed when there has been πορνεία, but marriages after a divorce still result in committing adultery.

Paul, in Romans 7, allows an exception for remarriage, but it is death, not πορνεία.

A married woman is united with her husband under the Law while he is alive. But if her husband dies, she is released from the Law concerning her husband. So then, if she lives with another man while her husband is alive, she’s committing adultery. But if her husband dies, she’s free from the Law, so she won’t be committing adultery if she marries someone else.

It seems clear to me that unless the first spouse is dead, marriages after divorce are committing adultery - even if the divorce was for the legitimate reason of πορνεία. And, I believe that was the traditional position of the church for most of the past 2000 years.

I find it most curious that in this case you are arguing for what you understand to be the "traditional position of the church for most of the past 2000 years."  Why?

On so many other issues, e.g. homosexuality, creation, the definition of marriage, etc., you argue against the catholic consensus.  What makes the issue of marriage after divorce different?

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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #191 on: March 23, 2018, 01:46:29 PM »
The ELCA did not start with a commitment to follow Scripture wherever it leads. 


True. We start with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and follow it wherever it leads. We are all sinners. We are all offered forgiveness and new life by God's grace through Jesus Christ.




Quote
That said, resistance and backlash eventually will come. 


Yes, and that resistance and backlash always takes the form of legalism: putting conditions on God's grace through Jesus Christ.

"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: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #192 on: March 23, 2018, 01:47:52 PM »
You may think what you want about same-sex marriage. It is the reality in our world - and for our clergy. You aren't going to stop it. It's also likely that you will have a relative in the the generation or two who will be in a same-sex marriage.

I've always thought it rather quaint that you feel that those opposed to same sex marriage are out of touch with reality, or somehow sheltered from the LGBTQIetc. community. We're not.

DCharlton

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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #193 on: March 23, 2018, 01:51:15 PM »
That said, resistance and backlash eventually will come.  I think that people will tolerate and even support same-sex marriage.  But attacks on marriage as an institution are another matter.  In my experience, young, urban, socially liberal, affluent couples place a high value on marriage and raising children as a couple.  Many of them don't see same-sex marriage as a threat to that notion.  Full-on attacks against marriage obviously are a different matter. 

I agree.  The question is what the resistance and backlash will look like.  Will it come in the form of organised resistance within the various denominations led by young parents, or will be the movement of families from one church/denomination to another? 

My guess is that two things are already happening.  1) As religious observance declines among younger people, those who remain will be the most committed to marriage.  2.) The most committed among the younger generations are less committed to any denomination or faith tradition.  They have long ago begun to migrate to congregations that affirm marriage and other traditional points of Christian doctrine. 

What that means for mainline churches like the ELCA is that the backlash will manifest itself as a rapid aging and decline of congregations, dropping enrollment in seminaries, etc...  Does that sound familiar?
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 01:53:26 PM by DCharlton »
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Re: Naked and Unashamed Summary Statement
« Reply #194 on: March 23, 2018, 01:51:35 PM »

I'm an ELCA clergy.

Your command of the English language is no better than your command of Biblical interpretation:

Definition of clergy (Merriam Webster)
1 : a group ordained to perform pastoral or sacerdotal functions in a Christian church Members of the clergy have been invited to participate in an interfaith service.
2 : the official or sacerdotal class of a non-Christian religion Buddhist clergy


I don't know what you're talking about.

Evidently.

The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS