Author Topic: Lutheran Orthodox Church?  (Read 1723 times)

Eugene Crowner

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Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2018, 11:14:47 AM »

My father never made any claim about the apostolic succession other than mentioning it a few times as being a point of interest.  He said that since the Swedish Church, as a body, left the Catholic Church, the apostolic succession came down to him through the Swedes and the Augustana Synod.

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Mark Brown

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Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2018, 11:42:39 AM »
a) It's interesting to take a peek at the Micro Lutheran Denominations in Pastor Zip's enumeration.  Lots of them are split off of the right edge, either in terms of things like women's voting privileges or kind of the liturgical/eccleisal right - ELDoNA comes to mind.  Many of them seem to me to be one generation denominations - when this generation of pastors retires, who's going to replace them? 
b) Which leads to Apostolic Succession.  Here's the Wikipedia article on the topic, with much to check out when it comes to Lutherans - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostolic_succession.  Since the Apostles' Teaching is what's historically been at the heart of it for Lutherans, it's kind of difficult to get wound up over the other point of view, which is biological and ontological.  And yet many do.  Certainly it's a distinctive for the RCC.
It's one of those inside out things where Lutherans tend to think of it as adiaphora and extra-biblical and those with it, who are accused to adding to the biblical record with (oh, no) the traditions of the church catholic through history point to the Biblical record.  "You are Peter and upon this Rock" is right there in the Bible but we Lutherans interpret the Rock to be Apostolic Teaching based on his confession, even though the resultant gift of binding and loosing is given to Peter in the second person singular - that is to him personally - and not to all the disciples in that passage.  Am I wrong there?  That's the way it reads to me.  So we take our reading off of "They continued steadfast in the apostles' teaching and fellowship" in Acts.

Ecclesiology.  A soft spot, a weak spot, a chink in the Lutheran armor.

Dave Benke

That is what is always interesting in teaching confirmation classes on the part of the catechism that in my experience is often skipped - Absolution and the Office of the Keys.

Yes, it is often way beyond half the kids, but not the half that needs to hear it; I jump into a big word - hermeneutics - or just method of interpretation.  And that section becomes something of a capstone.  "What you have been doing the past year and a half has been learning a way of living with biblical authority - you interpret it with help from the church and it interprets you as it binds and looses."  It is also a beginning of sorts in that I've literally had the question posed to me "well, what system is our real school teaching us?"  To which I answered, "great question, maybe you should find out." (The real answer as far as I can tell is nothing, modern education is nihilist, the only thing that matters and only for a time is power.)  And the big place is listing out Matt 16:18-19, Matt 18:18 and John 20:23 and asking, what do you do with this?  Forgiveness and binding seems important.  Who has the authority?  Or is this enough of a discrepancy to just pitch the entire thing?  And you walk through what various groups teach.  You bring in the Smalcald Article III.4 on the Gospel. 

It seems like a week spot, ecclesiology, and maybe it is.  But in that conversation, the Lutheran church is the only one that attempts to keep all those truths instead of pitching the rest in favor of the favorite one.

David Garner

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Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2018, 11:43:55 AM »
I apologize for my poor understanding of the ELCA situation.  But isn't it still much of a muchness if there are rules dictated by an agreement with some other institution?


The "rule" about the ordination of bishops (the historic episcopate) comes from the Council of Nicaea in 325. We, perhaps, should wonder why Lutherans abandoned this practice after over a 1000 years of use.

Wasn't there a problem with getting bishops to ordain Lutherans?

Correct.  Which is why I said above the Lutheran claim that the historic episcopacy doesn't preserve the Church from falling into Church-dividing error is reasonable.  In fact, the only qualification I would give to that is simply that there are currently separated church bodies (at least four, but honestly many more if one gets into heretical sub-sects) that all claim to have 1) apostolic succession, and 2) the historic succession of bishops back to the Apostles.  So the fact that one such group is in error will be no surprise at all to the other three.  The question really is whether anyone has maintained the Apostolic faith at all, while at the same time maintaining the historic episcopacy.

We certainly contend we have, but I wouldn't expect any Lutheran to agree with that.  Which is why I said, I'd much rather deal honestly with real Lutherans than pretend I have something in common with a sect that is basically playing church.  We have much in common with Lutherans.  This just isn't one of those things.
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David Garner

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Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2018, 11:51:29 AM »
As a minor side note, Canon 4 of First Nicaea is actually a concession (and this is apparent from the text).  What the Council held was it was preferable for a newly elected bishop to be consecrated by all the bishops in his province, and if only 3 are used (there must be at least 3), then the written consent of the brother bishops is to be obtained prior to consecration.  It also indicates the Metropolitan should ratify the consecration. 

I think as applied to this issue though, the problem is simple.  At least 3 are required, and Lutherans at the time of the Reformation could not find a sufficient number of bishops to canonically consecrate new Lutheran bishops.  The loss of the historic episcopacy was somewhat of an historical accident rather than a feature of Reformation theology.  The Reformers would have been happy to maintain it, but were denied the opportunity.  Whether that denial is right or wrong likely depends on which side of the fence one sits.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2018, 12:16:07 PM »
The loss of the historic episcopacy was somewhat of an historical accident rather than a feature of Reformation theology.  The Reformers would have been happy to maintain it, but were denied the opportunity.  Whether that denial is right or wrong likely depends on which side of the fence one sits.
During the 1997 Concordat dispute and 1999 CCM controversy I frequently attempted to point out to the Word Alone folk that in the grand history of Christianity what had happened among Lutherans in losing the historic episcopate was an aberration; however because that aberration had become the "normal" a return to the historic episcopate was being attacked as though that were the real aberration and innovation.

It is difficult to penetrate the illusion that what one considers normal is, in fact, abnormal.

The final words of John 9 come to mind.
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Chrismated Antiochian Orthodox, eve of Mary of Egypt Sunday, A.D. 2015

Charles Austin

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Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2018, 12:18:15 PM »
In my experience, those “Lutherans” going all gooey about apostolic succession and seeking it from renegade bishops from the East are 1) schismatics who could not get ordained any other way, 2) clericalists in the worst sense, 3) goofy historical romantics, or 4) just cope-and-miter nuts missing a few theses in their theology. And sometimes just frauds.
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2018, 12:33:12 PM »
In my experience, those “Lutherans” going all gooey about apostolic succession and seeking it from renegade bishops from the East are 1) schismatics who could not get ordained any other way, 2) clericalists in the worst sense, 3) goofy historical romantics, or 4) just cope-and-miter nuts missing a few theses in their theology. And sometimes just frauds.

I have far less experience than you do with these groups, but I wouldn't doubt your assessment.  For those seeking a legitimacy that they can't get from being a part of a major denomination, I can see where hitching onto an offshoot of the historic episcopacy would be attractive.  Also a kind of finger in the eye of those snooty large denomination types who lack that distinction.


The idea of the historic apostolic succession was good as a kind of insurance against going off the tracks.  The bishops as a whole would teach and authorize new bishops and hopefully weed out aberrant theology along the way.  What I would reject is the idea of some sort of contagious mystical authority that is transmitted by  personal contact.  Unfortunately, it doesn't really guarantee against doctrinal drift, especially when it evolved into a rather rigid top down hierarchy where if the top bishop drifted, everyone else was pulled along.
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Mike Bennett

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Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2018, 03:28:31 PM »

My father never made any claim about the apostolic succession other than mentioning it a few times as being a point of interest.  He said that since the Swedish Church, as a body, left the Catholic Church, the apostolic succession came down to him through the Swedes and the Augustana Synod.

Eugene Crowner

He was a bishop?
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

JEdwards

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Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2018, 10:11:37 PM »
As a minor side note, Canon 4 of First Nicaea is actually a concession (and this is apparent from the text).  What the Council held was it was preferable for a newly elected bishop to be consecrated by all the bishops in his province, and if only 3 are used (there must be at least 3), then the written consent of the brother bishops is to be obtained prior to consecration.  It also indicates the Metropolitan should ratify the consecration. 

I think as applied to this issue though, the problem is simple.  At least 3 are required, and Lutherans at the time of the Reformation could not find a sufficient number of bishops to canonically consecrate new Lutheran bishops.  The loss of the historic episcopacy was somewhat of an historical accident rather than a feature of Reformation theology.  The Reformers would have been happy to maintain it, but were denied the opportunity.  Whether that denial is right or wrong likely depends on which side of the fence one sits.
I am certainly not an expert, but my understanding of the RC view is that while a single bishop could theoretically consecrate another bishop, the canonical requirement for 3 consecrating bishops functions as a sort of insurance policy against the possibility that one consecrating bishop might later be found to have a defect of intention or some irregularity in his own consecration.

When the schismatic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre illegally ordained bishops for the Society of St Pius X, only one additional bishop (de Castro Mayer) served as co-consecrator.  Nevertheless, Rome does not appear to question the validity of these consecrations (even though she considers the bishops as having no jurisdiction for episcopal ministry).

Peace,
Jon

Eugene Crowner

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Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2018, 11:51:31 AM »

My father never made any claim about the apostolic succession other than mentioning it a few times as being a point of interest.  He said that since the Swedish Church, as a body, left the Catholic Church, the apostolic succession came down to him through the Swedes and the Augustana Synod.

Eugene Crowner




He was a bishop?

No, simply a faithful parish pastor.  Sorry if I am unfamiliar with the intricacies of church politics.

Eugene Crowner

David Garner

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Re: Lutheran Orthodox Church?
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2018, 12:02:04 PM »
As a minor side note, Canon 4 of First Nicaea is actually a concession (and this is apparent from the text).  What the Council held was it was preferable for a newly elected bishop to be consecrated by all the bishops in his province, and if only 3 are used (there must be at least 3), then the written consent of the brother bishops is to be obtained prior to consecration.  It also indicates the Metropolitan should ratify the consecration. 

I think as applied to this issue though, the problem is simple.  At least 3 are required, and Lutherans at the time of the Reformation could not find a sufficient number of bishops to canonically consecrate new Lutheran bishops.  The loss of the historic episcopacy was somewhat of an historical accident rather than a feature of Reformation theology.  The Reformers would have been happy to maintain it, but were denied the opportunity.  Whether that denial is right or wrong likely depends on which side of the fence one sits.
I am certainly not an expert, but my understanding of the RC view is that while a single bishop could theoretically consecrate another bishop, the canonical requirement for 3 consecrating bishops functions as a sort of insurance policy against the possibility that one consecrating bishop might later be found to have a defect of intention or some irregularity in his own consecration.

When the schismatic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre illegally ordained bishops for the Society of St Pius X, only one additional bishop (de Castro Mayer) served as co-consecrator.  Nevertheless, Rome does not appear to question the validity of these consecrations (even though she considers the bishops as having no jurisdiction for episcopal ministry).

Peace,
Jon

I am also not well-versed in the Roman Catholic view.  I think it might help to look at the elevation of bishops as encompassing three things:

1)  Election
2)  Consecration
3)  Reception

One can have a valid election, and even a valid consecration, without reception.  Meaning, until the bishop is seen by his brothers as such, his validity is in question, even as his election and consecration might otherwise be considered valid.  This seems to square with your observation regarding the Society of St. Pius X bishops being considered validly consecrated, and yet not received into the Church, but like you, I hesitate to speak for Catholics and their view.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).