Author Topic: ELCA prays to "Mother God"  (Read 52184 times)

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12782
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #405 on: May 16, 2020, 04:06:21 PM »
I'll ask Prs. Tibbetts and Charlton, in your experience in the ELCA  post CWA 2009 how has mutual respect and respect for bound conscience worked out?
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Donald_Kirchner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 11788
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #406 on: May 16, 2020, 04:19:47 PM »
It was clearly stated at my ALC seminary that we had a "functional" view of ordination. We are "set apart" to do certain things. (Since women are able to do those things, they could also be ordained.)

Wow. Try to follow the [il]logic of that argument.  :o

What do you have troubles following?

Your illogical statements. E.g., your illogic would render this:

The Levites are set apart for the priesthood.
Those of some other tribes are able to do the duties of the priesthood.
Therefore, members of other tribes can be priests.

If members of other tribes can be priests, then premise A is false.

Now, if you stated that, in the past, Levites were set apart for the priesthood, but later Israel took a functional view of the priesthood and, if members of other tribes were able to perform the duties, then they could be priests, your argument would make sense. IOW, the Levites were no longer set apart for the priesthood.


There was a change in the new covenant. 1 Peter 2:9-10 declares it:


But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are Godís own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light. Once you werenít a people, but now you are Godís people. Once you hadnít received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (CEB)


I believe this applies to all believers. We are all priests. We all are to speak of the wonderful acts of God who called us out of darkness into his amazing light.


If the covenant hadn't changed, how could most of us be priests? One had to be born into the tribe of Levi to qualify. So, if you weren't born into a Jewish family with the surname Levi (or perhaps Cohen), we wouldn't qualify.


In addition, the functions of the Levitical priesthood disappeared with the destruction of the temple.


Are you capable of maintaining a focus?   ::)
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but itís not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10440
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #407 on: May 16, 2020, 05:05:08 PM »
I'll ask Prs. Tibbetts and Charlton, in your experience in the ELCA  post CWA 2009 how has mutual respect and respect for bound conscience worked out?

I'm neither Pr. Tibbetts nor Pr. Charlton, but IMO, it hasn't worked out at all. I know personally of pastors who have been told they will not be recommended for call in my synod because they hold the "wrong" position (and this is a synod where there would be plenty of congregations that would be sympathetic to their "wrong" position). There is simply no recognition here that any position other than the "correct" one exists in the ELCA. No such recognition in the denominational magazine. We are, on the other hand, offered plenty of opportunities to celebrate and recognize those who hold or embody the "correct" position. We are invited to celebrate views of sexuality that go far beyond what the 2009 CWA actually even considered. But respect for the traditional position? Well, unless you define respect as "nobody has brought you up on charges," not really.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

James J Eivan

  • Guest
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #408 on: May 16, 2020, 05:53:02 PM »
I'll ask Prs. Tibbetts and Charlton, in your experience in the ELCA  post CWA 2009 how has mutual respect and respect for bound conscience worked out?
Just ask the former president of United Lutheran Seminary how mutual respect and bound conscience worked for her. She was castigated for beliefs she held years before the 2009 decision.

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43496
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #409 on: May 16, 2020, 07:46:03 PM »

If what you say is true, how is it possible for Lutheran Core to exist with ELCA members? Wouldn't the evil ELCA have run all of them out of its tent?

If it became more monolithic after 2009, it was due to a large part because the more traditional folks left.

Since you have such negative feelings towards the ELCA, why do you stay? Can you say anything good about your church body?

I've also noted that most of the votes at churchwide assemblies pass with over 90% approval. In many cases, to vote "no" would be like voting against mothers and apple pie.

I see you don't have any more arguments to make.  You go from defending the notion of "non-binary decisions" and 'the church of 'AND'" to questioning my loyalty to the ELCA.

Am I loyal to the ELCA?  I wasn't aware that loyalty to the ELCA required uncritical subscription to the muddled ideas of a former presiding bishop.

I note that you didn't answer your own question. Are you loyal to the ELCA?

While I liked Bishop Hanson, I think that we have an even better bishop now. Of course one should be critical; but that doesn't mean only lambasting the negative things. Critics also praise what is good. I asked if you can say anything good about your church body.

I can answer both questions, but I won't when they are an attempt to change the subject.  The subject was whether such a thing as a non-binary decision exists and whether the ELCA in fact has succeeded in being "the church of AND."


I've said that binary decisions exist AND often the reasoning behind one making such a binary decision is non-binary; but quite complex.


As I recall, Ronald Heifetz in Leadership Without Easy Answers, argues that for every complex problem there's a simple solution Ö and it's wrong. Trying to push everything into a binary issue is simple Ö and it's wrong.
"The church Ö 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]

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43496
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #410 on: May 16, 2020, 07:51:27 PM »
It was clearly stated at my ALC seminary that we had a "functional" view of ordination. We are "set apart" to do certain things. (Since women are able to do those things, they could also be ordained.)

Wow. Try to follow the [il]logic of that argument.  :o

What do you have troubles following?

Your illogical statements. E.g., your illogic would render this:

The Levites are set apart for the priesthood.
Those of some other tribes are able to do the duties of the priesthood.
Therefore, members of other tribes can be priests.

If members of other tribes can be priests, then premise A is false.

Now, if you stated that, in the past, Levites were set apart for the priesthood, but later Israel took a functional view of the priesthood and, if members of other tribes were able to perform the duties, then they could be priests, your argument would make sense. IOW, the Levites were no longer set apart for the priesthood.


There was a change in the new covenant. 1 Peter 2:9-10 declares it:


But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who are Godís own possession. You have become this people so that you may speak of the wonderful acts of the one who called you out of darkness into his amazing light. Once you werenít a people, but now you are Godís people. Once you hadnít received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (CEB)


I believe this applies to all believers. We are all priests. We all are to speak of the wonderful acts of God who called us out of darkness into his amazing light.


If the covenant hadn't changed, how could most of us be priests? One had to be born into the tribe of Levi to qualify. So, if you weren't born into a Jewish family with the surname Levi (or perhaps Cohen), we wouldn't qualify.


In addition, the functions of the Levitical priesthood disappeared with the destruction of the temple.


Are you capable of maintaining a focus?   ::)


The answer should be obvious by now. No.


Just because someone can do something, doesn't mean that they should be doing it. Anyone can read the words of institution, but in our church bodies, the ability to read isn't what qualifies one to fulfill that function in the church.


Nearly all of us can pound a nail into a board, but that doesn't mean we should be the general contractor when building a house. I've seen too many shows with Mike Holmes where do-it-yourselvers did home repairs/remodeling and did them wrong.


Yes, clergy are called by God. Do you not believe that doctors, lawyers, plumbers, teachers, housewives, etc. are also called by God?
"The church Ö 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]

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43496
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #411 on: May 16, 2020, 07:55:32 PM »
I'll ask Prs. Tibbetts and Charlton, in your experience in the ELCA  post CWA 2009 how has mutual respect and respect for bound conscience worked out?

I'm neither Pr. Tibbetts nor Pr. Charlton, but IMO, it hasn't worked out at all. I know personally of pastors who have been told they will not be recommended for call in my synod because they hold the "wrong" position (and this is a synod where there would be plenty of congregations that would be sympathetic to their "wrong" position). There is simply no recognition here that any position other than the "correct" one exists in the ELCA. No such recognition in the denominational magazine. We are, on the other hand, offered plenty of opportunities to celebrate and recognize those who hold or embody the "correct" position. We are invited to celebrate views of sexuality that go far beyond what the 2009 CWA actually even considered. But respect for the traditional position? Well, unless you define respect as "nobody has brought you up on charges," not really.


Well, when I was seeking a Call in that synod, I was told that there was nothing available for me - and it wasn't because I was traditional. Granted, the synod staff has changed since I left nearly 13 years ago. It also seems to me that many of the more traditional pastors in that synod, like some of those that were in our conference, have retired. They don't have the influence that they used to.
"The church Ö 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]

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43496
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #412 on: May 16, 2020, 08:05:08 PM »
I'll ask Prs. Tibbetts and Charlton, in your experience in the ELCA  post CWA 2009 how has mutual respect and respect for bound conscience worked out?
Just ask the former president of United Lutheran Seminary how mutual respect and bound conscience worked for her. She was castigated for beliefs she held years before the 2009 decision.


I'm not sure how much of her troubles were her decades old beliefs, or the non-transparency about them. I don't believe that the students learned of it until after she was appointed. When I was visiting Wartburg Seminary they were looking for a new NT professor. One of them was at the campus while I was there and there was a Q & A with the students. I suspect that if there was such a thing at Union for Theresa Latini where she could have renounced her former beliefs and give her support towards LGBT folks at an RIC seminary, before she was appointed? /called? to her position, the outcome might have been different.
"The church Ö 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]

DCharlton

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 6851
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #413 on: May 16, 2020, 08:07:01 PM »
I'll ask Prs. Tibbetts and Charlton, in your experience in the ELCA  post CWA 2009 how has mutual respect and respect for bound conscience worked out? 

I think there would be general agreement in the ELCA that is has not worked out as promised.  That is what my bishop has told me.  Bishop Eaton was elected in part because she acknowledged that.  Even a good number of my colleagues would agree.

The disagreement would be over why it did not work.  I think it didn't work because it could not work.  The proposal was inherently contradictory. As I have argued on this thread, it was decision that had consequences that could not be avoided.  As much as some wanted to believe it was possible, the ELCA could not embrace structured flexibility.  We could not have four different standards for pastors which were applied equally at the churchwide, synodical and congregational levels. In the end we would have one standard, even as we do today. 

The question that remains is whether the proponents of the 2009 decision deceived themselves into thinking it was possible, or whether they set out to deceive others.  My guess is that it depends on who you are talking about.  I believe that at least some people on the sexuality task force believed it could work.  I think most of the voting members of the 2009 CWA thought it would work.  However, I think that many leaders, possibly including PB Hanson, knew it wouldn't work but used it to get the policy changes they wanted. 
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

DCharlton

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 6851
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #414 on: May 16, 2020, 08:51:19 PM »

If what you say is true, how is it possible for Lutheran Core to exist with ELCA members? Wouldn't the evil ELCA have run all of them out of its tent?

If it became more monolithic after 2009, it was due to a large part because the more traditional folks left.

Since you have such negative feelings towards the ELCA, why do you stay? Can you say anything good about your church body?

I've also noted that most of the votes at churchwide assemblies pass with over 90% approval. In many cases, to vote "no" would be like voting against mothers and apple pie.

I see you don't have any more arguments to make.  You go from defending the notion of "non-binary decisions" and 'the church of 'AND'" to questioning my loyalty to the ELCA.

Am I loyal to the ELCA?  I wasn't aware that loyalty to the ELCA required uncritical subscription to the muddled ideas of a former presiding bishop.

I note that you didn't answer your own question. Are you loyal to the ELCA?

While I liked Bishop Hanson, I think that we have an even better bishop now. Of course one should be critical; but that doesn't mean only lambasting the negative things. Critics also praise what is good. I asked if you can say anything good about your church body.

I can answer both questions, but I won't when they are an attempt to change the subject.  The subject was whether such a thing as a non-binary decision exists and whether the ELCA in fact has succeeded in being "the church of AND."

I've said that binary decisions exist AND often the reasoning behind one making such a binary decision is non-binary; but quite complex.

As I recall, Ronald Heifetz in Leadership Without Easy Answers, argues that for every complex problem there's a simple solution Ö and it's wrong. Trying to push everything into a binary issue is simple Ö and it's wrong.


Some things by their nature require decisions.  The ELCA cannot have four different standards for its ministers.  It can only have one.  The suggestion that we could have structured flexibility in the ELCA was always an illusion.  The question remains whether the proponents of the 2009 decision deceived themselves or only others.

The same is true in all communities.  Some things can be optional. Diversity can be allowed in many areas.  But a community requires some boundaries.  Some things are excluded.  The principles or the rules that constitute those boundaries are non-negotiable.  Without them, the community either dissolves or is absorbed by the larger context.  We are confusing ourselves if we think that every principle, every rule, can be left unresolved.  In many areas, a non-binary solution is possible, but those principles or rules that define the community, only yes or no is possible.
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

DCharlton

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 6851
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #415 on: May 16, 2020, 08:59:00 PM »
I'll ask Prs. Tibbetts and Charlton, in your experience in the ELCA  post CWA 2009 how has mutual respect and respect for bound conscience worked out?
Just ask the former president of United Lutheran Seminary how mutual respect and bound conscience worked for her. She was castigated for beliefs she held years before the 2009 decision.

I'm not sure how much of her troubles were her decades old beliefs, or the non-transparency about them. I don't believe that the students learned of it until after she was appointed. When I was visiting Wartburg Seminary they were looking for a new NT professor. One of them was at the campus while I was there and there was a Q & A with the students. I suspect that if there was such a thing at Union for Theresa Latini where she could have renounced her former beliefs and give her support towards LGBT folks at an RIC seminary, before she was appointed? /called? to her position, the outcome might have been different.

What is interesting to our current discussion is that being RIC requires a binary choice.  I have been told by the national spokesperson of Reconciling Works that any congregation that wants to be RIC has to support position #4 of HSGT.  You are either fully support full inclusion or LGBT people or you can't be RIC.  There is no middle ground, such as position #2 or 3.  When I asked about RIC seminaries, the same person refused to answer.  My guess is that she didn't want to tell me the truth, that indeed RIC sees no middle ground there either.  You are either for full inclusion or not.  No middle ground allowed. 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 09:01:16 PM by DCharlton »
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43496
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #416 on: May 16, 2020, 09:08:41 PM »
I'll ask Prs. Tibbetts and Charlton, in your experience in the ELCA  post CWA 2009 how has mutual respect and respect for bound conscience worked out? 

I think there would be general agreement in the ELCA that is has not worked out as promised.  That is what my bishop has told me.  Bishop Eaton was elected in part because she acknowledged that.  Even a good number of my colleagues would agree.

The disagreement would be over why it did not work.  I think it didn't work because it could not work.  The proposal was inherently contradictory. As I have argued on this thread, it was decision that had consequences that could not be avoided.  As much as some wanted to believe it was possible, the ELCA could not embrace structured flexibility.  We could not have four different standards for pastors which were applied equally at the churchwide, synodical and congregational levels. In the end we would have one standard, even as we do today. 

The question that remains is whether the proponents of the 2009 decision deceived themselves into thinking it was possible, or whether they set out to deceive others.  My guess is that it depends on who you are talking about.  I believe that at least some people on the sexuality task force believed it could work.  I think most of the voting members of the 2009 CWA thought it would work.  However, I think that many leaders, possibly including PB Hanson, knew it wouldn't work but used it to get the policy changes they wanted.


I don't see the Statement talking about "structured flexibility".*
I don't see it talking about "four standards" for clergy.
I see it talking about acceptable differences within the membership of our church; like being Republican or Democrat.


*In reviewing the Ministry Policy resolutions, "structured flexibility" is used in a resolve of the the forth resolution: "that this church, because of its commitment to respect the bound consciences of all, declare its intent to allow structured flexibility in decision-making regarding the approving or disapproving in candidacy and the extending or not extending of a call to rostered service of a person who is otherwise qualified and who is living or contemplates living in a publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationship;"


As I see it, this "structure flexibility" was only in terms of the call and ordination of clergy who might enter or be in a PALMS relationship.


I also noticed another resolve in that resolution where we have often failed according to reports in this forum:


that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America make provision in its policies to recognize the conviction of members who believe that this church should not call or roster people in a publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationship;


I'm one who was hopeful that it could work. Part of the problem that I've heard is that usually folks only talked about their own "bound consciences," but that wasn't what the phrase was primarily about. It was "respect the bound consciences of all" and "respect the bound consciences of those with whom they disagree." The language (and attitude and actions) of respect for others was often lacking. The language on both sides centered only on having "bound consciences" rather than on "respect." That was/is a problem.


"The church Ö 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]

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43496
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #417 on: May 16, 2020, 09:14:04 PM »
I'll ask Prs. Tibbetts and Charlton, in your experience in the ELCA  post CWA 2009 how has mutual respect and respect for bound conscience worked out?
Just ask the former president of United Lutheran Seminary how mutual respect and bound conscience worked for her. She was castigated for beliefs she held years before the 2009 decision.

I'm not sure how much of her troubles were her decades old beliefs, or the non-transparency about them. I don't believe that the students learned of it until after she was appointed. When I was visiting Wartburg Seminary they were looking for a new NT professor. One of them was at the campus while I was there and there was a Q & A with the students. I suspect that if there was such a thing at Union for Theresa Latini where she could have renounced her former beliefs and give her support towards LGBT folks at an RIC seminary, before she was appointed? /called? to her position, the outcome might have been different.

What is interesting to our current discussion is that being RIC requires a binary choice.  I have been told by the national spokesperson of Reconciling Works that any congregation that wants to be RIC has to support position #4 of HSGT.  You are either fully support full inclusion or LGBT people or you can't be RIC.  There is no middle ground, such as position #2 or 3.  When I asked about RIC seminaries, the same person refused to answer.  My guess is that she didn't want to tell me the truth, that indeed RIC sees no middle ground there either.  You are either for full inclusion or not.  No middle ground allowed.


Even though I have supported the changes in our church, I have never sought to have a congregation become RIC. I'm afraid that for some people, this publicized welcome of LGBT folks becomes an unwelcome for some other folks. While I believe some within RIC see it as an organization seeking to bring reconciliation between people of differing bound consciences, it usually indicates support for only one Statement position.
"The church Ö 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 J Eivan

  • Guest
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #418 on: May 16, 2020, 09:46:55 PM »
I'll ask Prs. Tibbetts and Charlton, in your experience in the ELCA  post CWA 2009 how has mutual respect and respect for bound conscience worked out?
Just ask the former president of United Lutheran Seminary how mutual respect and bound conscience worked for her. She was castigated for beliefs she held years before the 2009 decision.


I'm not sure how much of her troubles were her decades old beliefs, or the non-transparency about them. I don't believe that the students learned of it until after she was appointed. When I was visiting Wartburg Seminary they were looking for a new NT professor. One of them was at the campus while I was there and there was a Q & A with the students. I suspect that if there was such a thing at Union for Theresa Latini where she could have renounced her former beliefs and give her support towards LGBT folks at an RIC seminary, before she was appointed? /called? to her position, the outcome might have been different.
Interesting...my understanding is that she had renounced the problematic beliefs long before-hand ... if so, they should never have been an issue.

DCharlton

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 6851
    • View Profile
Re: ELCA prays to "Mother God"
« Reply #419 on: May 16, 2020, 10:12:09 PM »
*In reviewing the Ministry Policy resolutions, "structured flexibility" is used in a resolve of the the forth resolution: "that this church, because of its commitment to respect the bound consciences of all, declare its intent to allow structured flexibility in decision-making regarding the approving or disapproving in candidacy and the extending or not extending of a call to rostered service of a person who is otherwise qualified and who is living or contemplates living in a publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationship;"

As I see it, this "structure flexibility" was only in terms of the call and ordination of clergy who might enter or be in a PALMS relationship.

Yes.  You are correct.  And that structured flexibility was never implemented.  There is no "structured flexibility in the decision-making regarding the approving or disapproving in candidacy".   There could not have been, the ELCA cannot have more than one standard for its ordained clergy at a time.  There is no structured flexibility in decision-making at the synodical or churchwide.  The only structured flexibility is the structured flexibility that existed from the very beginning of the ELCA.  It has always been the case that a congregation cannot be forced to call a candidate.

What was the purpose of all of this talk about structured flexibility?  Was it a bad idea that proved impractical, or was it a ruse from the very beginning?  Remember that "structured flexibility" along with "bound conscience" was the key to selling the 2009 social statement and policy changes.   
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?