Author Topic: Care of our Jewish Neighbors  (Read 4249 times)

Dan Fienen

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2018, 11:23:22 AM »
Brian, could you offer some evidence of our Concordia University System promoting anti Semitism, or is it enough that they are conservative Lutheran to convict?
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Charles Austin

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2018, 11:46:03 AM »
I would like to know if the LC-MS or any of its agencies, theologians, universities or other entities signed on to the 1994 declaration of the Lutheran World Federation (and most Lutheran churches around the world including the ELCA) rejecting Luther's writings on the Jews and apologizing for the damage done by them. Or maybe the LC-MS has another statement rejecting the vicious things Luther said about the Jews and the impact it had on following centuries. Is there such a thing?
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2018, 11:54:01 AM »
Brian, could you offer some evidence of our Concordia University System promoting anti Semitism, or is it enough that they are conservative Lutheran to convict?


It depends on how much of Luther's anti-semitism is retained by conservative Lutherans. Has the LCMS distanced themselves from Luther's anti-Judaic diatribes as the ELCA has done?


http://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Declaration_Of_The_ELCA_To_The_Jewish_Community.pdf


We have seen in this forum some folks continue Luther's legacy of calling the pope the anti-christ.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 11:56:22 AM by Brian Stoffregen »
"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]

Charles Austin

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2018, 11:54:18 AM »
And I might say (note the "might" there) that if you have not, in any way possible, repudiated Luther's comments on the Jews and subsequent Lutheran anti-Semitism, then you are indeed culpable for what some are saying today.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Michael Slusser

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2018, 11:55:30 AM »
Frankly most Antisemitism  in this country is found on college campuses and has its well spring in the ideas of the radical left.
Really? Most people in this country aren't found on college campuses! Are you referring to some study that says that antisemitism is directly proportional to higher education, or something to that effect? If so, I'd like to see it.

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Dave Benke

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2018, 11:58:42 AM »
I would like to know if the LC-MS or any of its agencies, theologians, universities or other entities signed on to the 1994 declaration of the Lutheran World Federation (and most Lutheran churches around the world including the ELCA) rejecting Luther's writings on the Jews and apologizing for the damage done by them. Or maybe the LC-MS has another statement rejecting the vicious things Luther said about the Jews and the impact it had on following centuries. Is there such a thing?

Dated in the 500th year of Luther's birth from the Missouri Synod:

Q: What is the Missouri Synod's response to the anti-Semitic statements made by Luther?
A: While The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod holds Martin Luther in high esteem for his bold
proclamation and clear articulation of the teachings of Scripture, it deeply regrets and deplores
statements made by Luther which express a negative and hostile attitude toward the Jews. In light of
the many positive and caring statements concerning the Jews made by Luther throughout his lifetime, it
would not be fair on the basis of these few regrettable (and uncharacteristic) negative statements, to
characterize the reformer as "a rabid anti-Semite." The LCMS, however, does not seek to "excuse" these
statements of Luther, but denounces them (without denouncing Luther's theology). In 1983, the Synod
adopted an official resolution addressing these statements of Luther and making clear its own position
on anti-Semitism. The text of this resolution reads as follows:
WHEREAS, Anti-Semitism and other forms of racism are a continuing problem in our world; and
WHEREAS, Some of Luther's intemperate remarks about the Jews are often cited in this connection; and
WHEREAS, It is widely but falsely assumed that Luther's personal writings and opinions have some
official status among us (thus, sometimes implying the responsibility of contemporary Lutheranism for
those statements, if not complicity in them); but also
WHEREAS, It is plain from scripture that the Gospel must be proclaimed to all people--that is, to Jews
also, no more and no less than to others (Matt. 28:18-20); and
WHEREAS, This Scriptural mandate is sometimes confused with anti-Semitism; therefore be it
Resolved, That we condemn any and all discrimination against others on account of race or religion or
any coercion on that account and pledge ourselves to work and witness against such sins; and be it
further
Resolved, That we reaffirm that the bases of our doctrine and practice are the Scriptures and the
Lutheran Confessions and not Luther, as such; and be it further
Resolved, That while, on the one hand, we are deeply indebted to Luther for his rediscovery and
enunciation of the Gospel, on the other hand, 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; and be it further
Resolved, That in our teaching and preaching we take care not to confuse the religion of the Old
Testament (often labeled "Yahwism") with the subsequent Judaism, nor misleadingly speak about
"Jews" in the Old Testament ("Israelites" or "Hebrews" being much more accurate terms), lest we
obscure the basic claim of the New Testament and of the Gospel to being in substantial continuity with
the Old Testament and that the fulfillment of the ancient promises came in Jesus Christ; and be it
further
Resolved, That we avoid the recurring pitfall of recrimination (as illustrated by the remarks of Luther and
many of the early church fathers) against those who do not respond positively to our evangelistic
efforts; and be it finally
Resolved, That, in that light, we personally and individually adopt Luther's final attitude toward the
Jewish people, as evidenced in his last sermon: "We want to treat them with Christian love and to pray
for them, so that they might become converted and would receive the Lord" (Weimar edition, Vol. 51, p.
195).


The same convention affirmed "Inter-Lutheran Cooperation in Social Ministry" (!).

Dave Benke

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2018, 12:08:26 PM »
Thank you for that citation, Pastor/Bishop Benke. This humble correspondent will take issue with some of the language, but I think I can see how the statement was crafted, and I am glad it exists and can be cited in your circles.
I also refer everyone here to The Twisted Cross: The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich, by Doris Bergen. We were not a church of Bonhoeffers or Niemoellers. Lutherans for the most part supported the Nazi regime and allowed the state to dictate to the churches such things as removing all “Jewish” words from the liturgies and questioning the sincerity of anyone of Jewish descent who was a Christian. Many of the bishops of the “Deutsche Christen” state-dominated church were themselves members of the party. And many continued in office following the war.
I have also heard good things about Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany by Robert P. Erickson, but I have not read it.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Michael Slusser

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2018, 12:26:07 PM »
Frankly most Antisemitism  in this country is found on college campuses and has its well spring in the ideas of the radical left.
Really? Most people in this country aren't found on college campuses! Are you referring to some study that says that antisemitism is directly proportional to higher education, or something to that effect? If so, I'd like to see it.

Peace,
Michael
A 2016 survey of attitudes by the Anti-Defamation League concluded
https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/ADL_MS_Survey_Pres_1_25_17.pdf
Quote
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
ANTI-SEMITIC PROPENSITIES:  2016
The number of Americans who hold the most anti-Semitic propensities stands at 14 %.

Education remains a strong predictor of anti-Semitic propensities. The most well educated Americans are remarkably free of prejudicial views, while less educated Americans are more likely to hold anti-Semitic views.
That seems to be exactly opposite to what you assert, Pr. Culler.

Peace,
Michael
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Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2018, 12:36:41 PM »
I would like to know if the LC-MS or any of its agencies, theologians, universities or other entities signed on to the 1994 declaration of the Lutheran World Federation (and most Lutheran churches around the world including the ELCA) rejecting Luther's writings on the Jews and apologizing for the damage done by them. Or maybe the LC-MS has another statement rejecting the vicious things Luther said about the Jews and the impact it had on following centuries. Is there such a thing?

Dated in the 500th year of Luther's birth from the Missouri Synod:

Q: What is the Missouri Synod's response to the anti-Semitic statements made by Luther?
A: While The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod holds Martin Luther in high esteem for his bold
proclamation and clear articulation of the teachings of Scripture, it deeply regrets and deplores
statements made by Luther which express a negative and hostile attitude toward the Jews. In light of
the many positive and caring statements concerning the Jews made by Luther throughout his lifetime, it
would not be fair on the basis of these few regrettable (and uncharacteristic) negative statements, to
characterize the reformer as "a rabid anti-Semite." The LCMS, however, does not seek to "excuse" these
statements of Luther, but denounces them (without denouncing Luther's theology). In 1983, the Synod
adopted an official resolution addressing these statements of Luther and making clear its own position
on anti-Semitism. The text of this resolution reads as follows:
WHEREAS, Anti-Semitism and other forms of racism are a continuing problem in our world; and
WHEREAS, Some of Luther's intemperate remarks about the Jews are often cited in this connection; and
WHEREAS, It is widely but falsely assumed that Luther's personal writings and opinions have some
official status among us (thus, sometimes implying the responsibility of contemporary Lutheranism for
those statements, if not complicity in them); but also
WHEREAS, It is plain from scripture that the Gospel must be proclaimed to all people--that is, to Jews
also, no more and no less than to others (Matt. 28:18-20); and
WHEREAS, This Scriptural mandate is sometimes confused with anti-Semitism; therefore be it
Resolved, That we condemn any and all discrimination against others on account of race or religion or
any coercion on that account and pledge ourselves to work and witness against such sins; and be it
further
Resolved, That we reaffirm that the bases of our doctrine and practice are the Scriptures and the
Lutheran Confessions and not Luther, as such; and be it further
Resolved, That while, on the one hand, we are deeply indebted to Luther for his rediscovery and
enunciation of the Gospel, on the other hand, 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; and be it further
Resolved, That in our teaching and preaching we take care not to confuse the religion of the Old
Testament (often labeled "Yahwism") with the subsequent Judaism, nor misleadingly speak about
"Jews" in the Old Testament ("Israelites" or "Hebrews" being much more accurate terms), lest we
obscure the basic claim of the New Testament and of the Gospel to being in substantial continuity with
the Old Testament and that the fulfillment of the ancient promises came in Jesus Christ; and be it
further
Resolved, That we avoid the recurring pitfall of recrimination (as illustrated by the remarks of Luther and
many of the early church fathers) against those who do not respond positively to our evangelistic
efforts; and be it finally
Resolved, That, in that light, we personally and individually adopt Luther's final attitude toward the
Jewish people, as evidenced in his last sermon: "We want to treat them with Christian love and to pray
for them, so that they might become converted and would receive the Lord" (Weimar edition, Vol. 51, p.
195).


The same convention affirmed "Inter-Lutheran Cooperation in Social Ministry" (!).

Dave Benke

Huh.  So, the LCMS was on record as repudiating Luther's anti-Semitism.  More than 10 years before the statement signed by the ELCA.  Does that mean the ELCA were anti-Semites longer than the LCMS?  Because, as we all know, until such things are formally rejected we are automatically guilty of them.

SomeoneWrites

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2018, 12:50:17 PM »
I would like to know if the LC-MS....


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Dan Fienen

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2018, 01:13:22 PM »

Yes, but you have to understand that such a statement cannot be real until the LWF makes it.  Our statement wasn't official because we weren't a part of the LWF.


In addition to the official German Lutheran church that collaborated with the Nazis, there was the confessing Lutheran church that opposed the Nazis and often paid dearly for that opposition.  Does anyone know the pedigrees of the various current Lutheran churches in Germany and whether or not they derived from the official Nazi era church or the opposition confessing church?
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Dave Benke

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2018, 01:33:05 PM »
I would like to know if the LC-MS or any of its agencies, theologians, universities or other entities signed on to the 1994 declaration of the Lutheran World Federation (and most Lutheran churches around the world including the ELCA) rejecting Luther's writings on the Jews and apologizing for the damage done by them. Or maybe the LC-MS has another statement rejecting the vicious things Luther said about the Jews and the impact it had on following centuries. Is there such a thing?

Dated in the 500th year of Luther's birth from the Missouri Synod:

Q: What is the Missouri Synod's response to the anti-Semitic statements made by Luther?
A: While The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod holds Martin Luther in high esteem for his bold
proclamation and clear articulation of the teachings of Scripture, it deeply regrets and deplores
statements made by Luther which express a negative and hostile attitude toward the Jews. In light of
the many positive and caring statements concerning the Jews made by Luther throughout his lifetime, it
would not be fair on the basis of these few regrettable (and uncharacteristic) negative statements, to
characterize the reformer as "a rabid anti-Semite." The LCMS, however, does not seek to "excuse" these
statements of Luther, but denounces them (without denouncing Luther's theology). In 1983, the Synod
adopted an official resolution addressing these statements of Luther and making clear its own position
on anti-Semitism. The text of this resolution reads as follows:
WHEREAS, Anti-Semitism and other forms of racism are a continuing problem in our world; and
WHEREAS, Some of Luther's intemperate remarks about the Jews are often cited in this connection; and
WHEREAS, It is widely but falsely assumed that Luther's personal writings and opinions have some
official status among us (thus, sometimes implying the responsibility of contemporary Lutheranism for
those statements, if not complicity in them); but also
WHEREAS, It is plain from scripture that the Gospel must be proclaimed to all people--that is, to Jews
also, no more and no less than to others (Matt. 28:18-20); and
WHEREAS, This Scriptural mandate is sometimes confused with anti-Semitism; therefore be it
Resolved, That we condemn any and all discrimination against others on account of race or religion or
any coercion on that account and pledge ourselves to work and witness against such sins; and be it
further
Resolved, That we reaffirm that the bases of our doctrine and practice are the Scriptures and the
Lutheran Confessions and not Luther, as such; and be it further
Resolved, That while, on the one hand, we are deeply indebted to Luther for his rediscovery and
enunciation of the Gospel, on the other hand, 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; and be it further
Resolved, That in our teaching and preaching we take care not to confuse the religion of the Old
Testament (often labeled "Yahwism") with the subsequent Judaism, nor misleadingly speak about
"Jews" in the Old Testament ("Israelites" or "Hebrews" being much more accurate terms), lest we
obscure the basic claim of the New Testament and of the Gospel to being in substantial continuity with
the Old Testament and that the fulfillment of the ancient promises came in Jesus Christ; and be it
further
Resolved, That we avoid the recurring pitfall of recrimination (as illustrated by the remarks of Luther and
many of the early church fathers) against those who do not respond positively to our evangelistic
efforts; and be it finally
Resolved, That, in that light, we personally and individually adopt Luther's final attitude toward the
Jewish people, as evidenced in his last sermon: "We want to treat them with Christian love and to pray
for them, so that they might become converted and would receive the Lord" (Weimar edition, Vol. 51, p.
195).


The same convention affirmed "Inter-Lutheran Cooperation in Social Ministry" (!).

Dave Benke

Huh.  So, the LCMS was on record as repudiating Luther's anti-Semitism.  More than 10 years before the statement signed by the ELCA.  Does that mean the ELCA were anti-Semites longer than the LCMS?  Because, as we all know, until such things are formally rejected we are automatically guilty of them.

a) There was no ELCA in 1983.  I suppose in some wayback machine or other the statements of the ALC and LCA could be uncovered.  It might be that, since the three Lutheran entities were cooperating a lot more at the time that there was a coordinated effort to come up with statements or resolutions like this on the 500th anniversary of Luther's birth. 

b) Luther's birth date was specifically utilized by the Nazi regime (including the Bishop of Saxony at the time) as the evening of Kristallnacht, when the old instructions of Luther's fomenting (burn their synagogues, etc.) were implemented purposefully to connect Luther as an authorizer of Anti-Semitism.  The LCMS resolution points this out even as it denounces those statements of Luther.

I'm happy to bring this resolution to light at this specific time, and as you indicate, it is useful in our LCMS circles.

Dave Benke

Charles Austin

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2018, 03:16:43 PM »
A statement from the Lutheran Council, USA, was issued in 1971, at a time on the LCMS was part of the Lutheran council.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Daniel L. Gard

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #43 on: October 30, 2018, 04:13:37 PM »

Of course, I could understand the Concordias, following the teachings of Martin Luther to be anti-semites but I would need to see studies that showed anti-semitism on secular college campuses.

You may not be familiar with confessional subscription. The LCMS unconditionally subscribes to the Book of Concord. The other writings of Luther are not included. Pr. Benke has downstream provided the LCMS response to Luther's troubling private writings.

When it comes to the LCMS, I am curious about something. Is insulting us (including the Concordias) something you work at or is it a gift that you have?
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 05:11:53 PM by Daniel L. Gard »

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Care of our Jewish Neighbors
« Reply #44 on: October 30, 2018, 04:15:58 PM »
A statement from the Lutheran Council, USA, was issued in 1971, at a time on the LCMS was part of the Lutheran council.

So, why were you insinuating that the LCMS had not repudiated Luther's anti-Semitism by not signing the LWF document?