Author Topic: Proud to be an American  (Read 1973 times)

Dan Fienen

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Re: Proud to be an American
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2020, 12:21:24 PM »

Pr. Austin and I disagree on many things. One of which is whether committed same sex relationships should be accorded the same status of marriage as heterosexual monogamous committed relationships. My Christian fellowship (the LCMS) has not and has no intention of recognizing same sex marriage as a valid marriage so far as our church is concerned. By and large we consider that recognition by the secular state to have been unwise and ultimately detrimental to our civil society. However, our opinion has not prevailed and we all will have to live with the consequences.


Pr. Austin holds the contrary opinion. He (so far as I can tell, it is unwise to speak definitively for another, especially when we disagree so much) believes that committed same sex relationships are acceptable to God and blessed by Him similarly to heterosexual marriage. So it is completely reasonable and consistent with his Christian faith for him to be thankful that his understanding has prevailed in civil society and that American laws have been adjusted to allow for that.


In my opinion, that does not make him unChristian, just in this area an erring Christian. That he also thinks that I am wrong and erring in this area should be obvious. However, that is nothing new. Nor should it be particularly offensive to either of us that we disagree. To be in error does not automatically make one not a Christian. In the long run, we'll see who is correct. Quite frankly, I think that we have more serious disagreements than this. (It's the same with disagreements that I've had with women pastors, generally I had much more serious theological disagreements with them than over whether or not women should be ordained.)


If I would draw up a list of things that I am thankful for America for, legalized same sex marriage would not be on my list as it is on Pr. Austin's, but so what? I'm sure that we do share some thanks, and I'm glad that we do.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 02:00:55 PM by Richard Johnson »
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Proud to be an American
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2020, 12:54:58 PM »
CBS This Morning (11/25) had a segment about using marriage counseling techniques on our divided nation.


https://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs_this_morning/video/XeaVRw1DLAXDT6SsdyHPGEv6d8kireqW/applying-couples-therapy-techniques-to-help-heal-america-s-fractured-political-relationship/


In a nutshell, it means that each side takes responsibility for their own role in causing the divide. It means not talking about what the other has done or is doing; but what I/we have done or are doing.


Essentially, it's a lot like Jesus' advice that we must look at the log in our own eyes before we can hope to see the splinter in another's eye.
"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]

Dan Fienen

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Re: Proud to be an American
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2020, 01:13:24 PM »
Brian, a good idea. But as with any couples counseling, it will take both to effectively implement it. It also takes putting aside the gotcha games to which both sides have become addicted.


Even if such a reconciliation process does not materialize. It would be useful for both sides to internally take stock of themselves. Even if we cannot rely on each other to improve our working together, we can improve our own behavior.


In my years of ministry, I've learned, for example that responding to angry people with anger or with self justifying defensiveness is rarely productive. Learning to move myself beyond instant responding anger and applying active listening skills doesn't always lead to resolution, but at times does, and even more often lowers the temperature of the interaction. Tit for tat does not move our country forward.
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RDPreus

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Re: Proud to be an American
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2020, 01:39:06 PM »
To say that a position is unchristian is not necessarily to say that the one holding it is not a Christian.  When I am arguing that promoting same sex "marriage" is unchristian I am arguing a moral/theological argument about a particular position.  Same sex "marriage" is in contradiction to and is incompatible with the Christian religion.  Does this mean that a man who promotes same sex marriage is not a Christian?  That's a different question, a question I did not address, nor am I interested in addressing it.  But since you, Rev. Austin, cannot argue a coherent moral/theological argument in defense of your indefensible position in favor of same sex marriage, you change (twist) my words from identifying ~a position~ as unchristian to judging a man who promotes that position not to be a Christian. 

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Proud to be an American
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2020, 02:37:25 PM »
Brian, a good idea. But as with any couples counseling, it will take both to effectively implement it. It also takes putting aside the gotcha games to which both sides have become addicted.


Certainly, but we can't be concerned about whether or not the other side will implement it. Our focus needs to center on me/us, not them. What am I doing to help heal the divide?
"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]

Charles Austin

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Re: Proud to be an American
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2020, 04:07:35 PM »
Pastor Preusí denunciation stands. My attempt to respond to it has disappeared.
So carry on.
Retired ELCA Pastor: We are not a very inter-Lutheran forum. Posters with more than 1,500 posts: ELCA-6, with 3 of those inactive/rare and 1 moderator; LCMS-25, with 4 inactive/rare and 1 moderator. Non-Lutherans, 3; maybe 4 from other Lutheran bodies. 3 formerly frequent posters have gone quiet.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Proud to be an American
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2020, 04:40:26 PM »
Pastor Preusí denunciation stands. My attempt to respond to it has disappeared.
So carry on.
His point is that a position contrary to Christianity is unChristian, which is a different thing than saying nobody who holds that position can be a Christian. That doesnít really need a response, at least not like the responses Iíve been deleting.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Proud to be an American
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2020, 06:09:45 PM »
Pastor Preusí denunciation stands. My attempt to respond to it has disappeared.
So carry on.
His point is that a position contrary to Christianity is unChristian, which is a different thing than saying nobody who holds that position can be a Christian. That doesnít really need a response, at least not like the responses Iíve been deleting.


Whose Christianity? Luther's position was deemed so contrary to Christianity, he could be killed on sight. Many of us believe he was right in his position (at least most of them).
"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]

Dan Fienen

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Re: Proud to be an American
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2020, 07:37:56 PM »
Pastor Preusí denunciation stands. My attempt to respond to it has disappeared.
So carry on.
His point is that a position contrary to Christianity is unChristian, which is a different thing than saying nobody who holds that position can be a Christian. That doesnít really need a response, at least not like the responses Iíve been deleting.


Whose Christianity? Luther's position was deemed so contrary to Christianity, he could be killed on sight. Many of us believe he was right in his position (at least most of them).
I can only speak for my own understanding of what is and is not a teaching that is in accord with what God teaches in the Bible.  I certainly understand that other Christians have differing understandings than I do. I need to take responsibility for my beliefs and strive to live according to what I believe God has revealed and to be up front about those beliefs. That will at times mean respectfully disagreeing with others and pointing out why I believe they are wrong.
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Charles Austin

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Re: Proud to be an American
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2020, 07:54:35 PM »
And there is a v-a-s-t difference, Pastor Fienen, from referring to someone and/or their views as "other" than yours, and labeling matters in dispute and the people who hold different views as "unChristian". You do not do this, for which, thanks. But others do
And note that I used the reference to "matters in dispute." If someone denies that Jesus lived, that Jesus was the incarnate Son of God, that the Holy Trinity is an error, or sets aside the faith as described in the Creeds, I have no problem calling that person "unChristian" or to say that this person denies the true God. But on some other matters...
Retired ELCA Pastor: We are not a very inter-Lutheran forum. Posters with more than 1,500 posts: ELCA-6, with 3 of those inactive/rare and 1 moderator; LCMS-25, with 4 inactive/rare and 1 moderator. Non-Lutherans, 3; maybe 4 from other Lutheran bodies. 3 formerly frequent posters have gone quiet.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Proud to be an American
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2020, 11:10:49 PM »
And there is a v-a-s-t difference, Pastor Fienen, from referring to someone and/or their views as "other" than yours, and labeling matters in dispute and the people who hold different views as "unChristian". You do not do this, for which, thanks. But others do
And note that I used the reference to "matters in dispute." If someone denies that Jesus lived, that Jesus was the incarnate Son of God, that the Holy Trinity is an error, or sets aside the faith as described in the Creeds, I have no problem calling that person "unChristian" or to say that this person denies the true God. But on some other matters...


The creeds summarize the orthodox Christian faith. Those we do not compromise on.
"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]