Author Topic: Johnson Goes Ballistic  (Read 14679 times)

Charles_Austin

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #45 on: August 02, 2007, 04:39:08 PM »
The One Holy and Apostolic Gardening Club is manifest in human organizations, and it is those organizations to which I refer. I shall not declare that the LC-MS garden is invested with cinch bugs and produces mushy fruit just because they do not plant and water the way we do in the ELCA. But it seems to me that some in the LC-MS and some who have left the ELCA seed-planters are driven to insist that our tomatoes are rotten and our zucchinis have no taste because of how we grow them. Meanwhile, cooks all over the country are producing fine ratatouille with ingredients from both our plots. And sometimes they even mix them together.

Kurt Strause

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #46 on: August 02, 2007, 04:53:52 PM »
From my reading on ancient liturgies, the creeds were not part of the traditional mass. Rather, the trinitarian confession was part of the Great Thanksgiving as mention of God the Creator, and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were essential elements of the Prayer.

The first part is partly true: creeds were not universally confessed at every mass, although within a couple of hundred years after the Nicene Creed was formulated it was universal in the Eastern Church, and common at least throughout the West.
The second part is true: the Great Thanksgiving was, and still is, the Church's traditional location for its public confession of the Trinitarian Dogma.
The third part is not quite right: The Church gives thanks to God the Father, through God the Son, in the power of God the Holy Spirit, among which his many roles is Creator. (And Redeemer, and Sanctifier, and Law-Giver, and Judge, and many other roles described in scripture). Praying in this manner is what keeps any churchly assembly in communion with the Church. (And thus points to one of my criticisms of ELW.)

Kurt Strause
ELCA pastor, Lancaster, PA

mchristi

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #47 on: August 02, 2007, 05:03:18 PM »
I agree with you, Mike.  The question for the ELCA (in particular) is do we truly consider the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds the "Church's Creed(s)"?  I would argue "YES," but I seem to be in the minorty view.  After all, our new "worship book" (ELW) omits the Athanasian Creed completely and uses novel translations of the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds that are, as of the present moment, not shared by any other tradition outside of the ELCA and ELCIC.

Novel translations?  Hmmm.  The people who work on the Consultation on Common Texts might think differently about how novel they are.  They are not unique to the ELCA or the ELCIC, and are used in other traditions.  They are printed in "The Presbyterian Hymnal" from 1990.  In 1993 the Nicene Creed, at least, was used in the worship book of the Wisconsin Synod.

I don't think that the absence of the Athanasian Creed from the hymnal, although perhaps regrettable, makes it any less the "church's creed."  While I know that some places do use it on Trinity Sunday, it hasn't been a regular practice for many of our churches (nor was it used as a liturgical creed before the Reformation).  One can make arguments for including it and for it not being necessary to include it.

On the other hand, I see little reason to agree with your statement that seeing the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds as the "church's creeds" is a minority view.  It seems to me that seeing them as not having such status is the minority view (although it isn't hard to find that minority, unfortunately).

Mark C.

ptmccain

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #48 on: August 02, 2007, 05:05:30 PM »
I shall not declare that the LC-MS garden is invested with cinch bugs and produces mushy fruit

And I shall not declare, along the lines of this gardening theme, that there seem to be nuts and fruits aplenty these days, here and there, in this place and that.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2007, 05:08:48 PM by ptmccain »

Charles_Austin

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #49 on: August 02, 2007, 05:11:20 PM »
Pastor McCain writes:
And I shall not declare, along the lines of this gardening theme, that there seem to be nuts and fruits aplenty these days, here and there, in this place and that.

I note:
It is dangerous to muddy the metaphor. The whole purpose of gardening is to produce nuts and fruits; so, thank you. (Even though we who till the soil take offense when pejorative meanings are attached to our crops.)
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 01:23:31 AM by peter_speckhard »

pilgrimpriest

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #50 on: August 02, 2007, 05:12:35 PM »

I'll offer my guess. The Nicene Creed is the Creed of the Church. It came out of a church controversy and created and revised by a church committee and is a statement of what we believe.

The Apostles' Creed, which took a long time to be formed into its final wording, perhaps 700 years, was a confession of individuals about to be baptized. Thus the "I believe" language. It has remained connected to baptism, and catechesis, which originally led to baptism, now, more often than not, leads to affirmation of baptism, has kept that connection.


Well, ahem, putting on my church historian cap, though without benefit of my library close at hand, Brian is at least in the ballpark here, though I would not say it quite this way.  The Nicene Creed (more properly, the Niceano-Constantinopolitan Creed, since it was adopted at the Council of Nicea and then somewhat revised at the Council of Constantinople to get to the form in which we have received it) was not the product of a "committee" but a Council of the Church, authorized and representative of the church as a whole in the 4th century. "Committee" generally, except in Soviet language, suggests a small group. This was several hundred bishops.

And the Apostles' Creed was not "a confession of individuals" but was the "confession of the church" cast into a form appropriate for catechesis and for use at baptism.

The two creeds are both "creeds of the church," albeit in somewhat different ways and with different purposes. The one is intended to be a basic document for catechesis and baptism (thus its association with confirmation), and the other is a more specifically doctrinal piece meant to rule "out of bounds" certain heretical notions in the 4th century. They both have their uses, and IMO they should both be committed to memory by Christians.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Apostles' and Athanasian Creeds are Western formulations of relatively late constructs (from about the 8th century) and are not widely known or used at all in the Eastern Churches. The use of the term "Ecumenical" to describe them is somewhat one-sided.  For his part, Charlemagne detested the Nicene Creed as a "Byzantine formulation."

At Baptism & Chrismation the "creed" recited is the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (without the filioque... and that is so even among Byzantine Catholics!). As far as its use in the Divine Liturgy is concerned, the Creed's first appearance at Liturgy was in Antioch in about A.D. 517 and it seems the practice of reciting it at Liturgy was fairly well cemented in the East by the end of the 6th Century.  The only other "creedal" addition was the formulation of the Emperor Justinian (d. A.D. 565), "Only begotten Son and Immortal Word of God...," which was attached to the Second Antiphon in response to the Monophysite controversy.  Also the creed in the East begins with "I believe..." rather than the Western usage "We believe..." which is more in keeping with the original formulation. Why the "I" replaces the "We" is likely as an affirmation of the individual's baptismal profession. The only other time "I" is used liturgically is in the "Prayer Before Communion," (I believe, O Lord, and I confess...").

As to creed (and in my experience the liturgy) at Lutheran Bible Camp: you go Richard! In my former Lutheran life, the camp directors, staff and many pastors would balk at any trace of the Church's liturgical and sacramental tradition at Camp. At home they would wonder why the kids abandoned the church after Confirmation only to reappear at the local Assembly of God. And why not? We were training them to be perfect Pentecostals where every Sunday is like Bible Camp!

Fr. Bob

Charles_Austin

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #51 on: August 02, 2007, 06:32:08 PM »
Father McMeekin writes:
In my former Lutheran life, the camp directors, staff and many pastors would balk at any trace of the Church's liturgical and sacramental tradition at Camp. At home they would wonder why the kids abandoned the church after Confirmation only to reappear at the local Assembly of God. And why not? We were training them to be perfect Pentecostals where every Sunday is like Bible Camp!

I comment:
Agreed. Completely. I haven't been to church camp in a long time, but I recognize what Father McMeekin describes. Rather than making our youth events look like the best of what could happen in our parishes (and thereby encouraging them to replicate it), we make such things as much unlike a parish as possible; with the effects mentioned above.

Maryland Brian

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #52 on: August 02, 2007, 06:41:37 PM »
They both have their uses, and IMO they should both be committed to memory by Christians.

  Might have been interesting to ask the pastors in question how often they teach the doctrines of the church from their pulpits.  Or, at least how often they teach something from the catechism.  Luther recommended a sermon series on something from the catechism at least once a year.

MD Brian


Richard Johnson

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #53 on: August 02, 2007, 07:55:38 PM »
They both have their uses, and IMO they should both be committed to memory by Christians.

  Might have been interesting to ask the pastors in question how often they teach the doctrines of the church from their pulpits.  Or, at least how often they teach something from the catechism.  Luther recommended a sermon series on something from the catechism at least once a year.

MD Brian



In my group of 9 kids here at camp, I passed out copies of the second article of the creed and the explanation from the SC. While most of them recognized the creed, none of them seemed to recognize the catechism.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Mel Harris

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #54 on: August 02, 2007, 08:06:43 PM »

  Might have been interesting to ask the pastors in question how often they teach the doctrines of the church from their pulpits.  Or, at least how often they teach something from the catechism.  Luther recommended a sermon series on something from the catechism at least once a year.


That is what I have done with Midweek Lenten Services (and with Midweek Advent Services when I have had them).  I had assumed that most others were doing the same.  Maybe I should not have made that assumption.

Mel Harris

Eric_Swensson

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #55 on: August 02, 2007, 08:16:09 PM »
They both have their uses, and IMO they should both be committed to memory by Christians.

  Might have been interesting to ask the pastors in question how often they teach the doctrines of the church from their pulpits.  Or, at least how often they teach something from the catechism.  Luther recommended a sermon series on something from the catechism at least once a year.

MD Brian


We ejnoyed having the commandments on Sundays and Lord's Prayer on Wed eves during last Lent.

1Ptr5v67

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #56 on: August 03, 2007, 01:09:11 AM »
If you want to talk about anything, talk about the significance and importance (or not) of teaching the Apostles' Creed to confirmands.

There is a recent article over on                               
http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=6454
authored by a Catholic layman,  that reports on VG Robinson's attitude toward the creeds, 

Excerpt:
Quote
Bishop Robinson recalled a life-changing conversation he had with the chaplain at an Episcopalian college he attended.

One day when I was ranting and raving about how much of the Nicene Creed I didn't believe, he (college chaplain to Robinson) said "well, when you're in church, just say the parts of the creed you do agree with. Be silent for the others. We're not asking you do so something against your integrity". And again I thought whew, that's what one would hope for from a religion - honesty and integrity. And I guess that's a theme that has carried throughout my life in Ministry - that God wants us to be honest and full of integrity.
End of Excerpt

Author's evaluation of the above:
Quote
The advice? (that Robinson received) The advice was to play make-believe, to pretend to be faithful to the Creed, but in fact to be quietly altering it to suit one's own tastes.

My summary of the article is that it points out  the results of a failure to attempt to memorize,  failure to know, failure to understand, failure to believe in and failure to adhere to the creeds,   can be summed up by a quote from J. K Chesterton:   
Quote
One small mistake in doctrine can lead to huge blunders in human happiness.

If no attempt is made to memorize the creeds,  then consider how much easier it will be to fall into the temptation of altering the creeds to suit our own desires.
fleur-de-lis

peter_speckhard

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #57 on: August 03, 2007, 01:21:43 AM »
Interestingly, when we had this argument at my mission church, the people in favor of using something besides the boring old creeds called their proposed replacement "Words of Unity". My persistent question to them was "unity with whom?" Reciting the Apostles' Creed acknowledges, creates, and expands unity with the larger church and the church through the ages. Writing our own "words of unity" seems counter-productive to their own stated purpose.

btw, if snide pot-shots, back-handed put-downs, perpetuation of negative stereotypes and all other form of grenade-lobbing against a denomination by former members of that denomination are out of bounds, then the LCMS is owed a lot more apologies than it owes, at least in my experience. However, for the sake of peace Paul McCain (who is not a former member of the ELCA)thought better of his reference to the ELCA and changed it to something more broad, but Charles quoted the pre-changed version in a later post, so I went back to edit Charles' post to match Paul's.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #58 on: August 03, 2007, 04:02:56 AM »
Our esteemed moderator writes:
However, for the sake of peace Paul McCain (who is not a former member of the ELCA)thought better of his reference to the ELCA and changed it to something more broad, but Charles quoted the pre-changed version in a later post, so I went back to edit Charles' post to match Paul's.

I comment:
I am not sure to what posting this refers. So when a comment is edited, deleted or otherwise tweaked by our esteemed moderator, can we be advised via personal notice or can the details of the revision be posted here? I can't find what Pastor McCain's reference was, nor am I sure which "pre-changed" words I cited.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Johnson Goes Ballistic
« Reply #59 on: August 03, 2007, 04:15:40 AM »
O.k. I spotted it. The original reference was to "nuts and fruits" in the "ELCA," which was modified to read "here and there." Seems to me this alteration drastically dilutes the original. If Pastor McCain  thought the reference to crops was intemperate, he could apologize for it. If the moderator thought it inappropriate, and admonition could have been issued.
It doesn't seem right to have our esteemed moderator change his words for him, nor does it seem right to have the moderator revise my post without my permission. But then, I have never been - deo gratias - a moderator, so I am not sure of the duties and protocol.
Personally, I was neither offended nor surprised; for Pastor McCain makes it clear in various ways that he would not have ELCA produce in his salad bowl.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 04:18:00 AM by Charles_Austin »