Author Topic: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.  (Read 4855 times)

David Garner

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #60 on: February 04, 2021, 12:09:13 PM »
The posting from a man - sorry I thought he was a pastor - leaving the LCMS seems to have struck a nerve. Interesting.
The first responses were various put downs, flavored with a cupful of defensiveness ("we're not like that!").
I think a better first response would have been to take the man at his word concerning what he had experienced and see how one can relate to him rather than to oneself responding to him.  (Oops! sorry, I forgot that "experience" and "feeling" don't count here, only cold, non-emotional, in-your-head "objectivity" matters.)
A second response might have been: "Sorry you had a bad reaction to our congregation. Best wishes to you as you find a new place to take part in the Church."
And a third reaction might be to consider: "How did we fail him? How could we have better communicated to and with someone like him?"
But his posted comments sure rattled a few cages in this modest forum.
The "better responses" were just modest suggestions from my far side of the aisle.
As is this suggestion from one who fusses daily about words. Mr. Garner wrote of the man's comments: "These are merely judgments hidden inside repentance, like Russian eggs, only with rotten cores."
I gently note: Russian eggs, if you mean the elegant Faberge eggs, are not real eggs, so they cannot have "rotten cores," if eggs do indeed have cores. The sort of egg-shaped matryoshka dolls nested together can't have "rotten cores" either; but the analogy could work if re-crafted in various ways.

My conclusion is you prefer his judgments to ours, and therefore when we object to his judgmental and unfair (and, let me say it a third time, inaccurate and triumphalistic) words, you get defensive.

That's really not my problem.  Your own advice might be heeded by you.  Instead of being offended that your preferred judgmentalism is being criticized, maybe ask why and see if you can be less gleeful over someone being dishonest, unfair and uncharitable toward those he left behind.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Dan Fienen

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #61 on: February 04, 2021, 12:17:15 PM »
The posting from a man - sorry I thought he was a pastor - leaving the LCMS seems to have struck a nerve. Interesting.
The first responses were various put downs, flavored with a cupful of defensiveness ("we're not like that!").
I think a better first response would have been to take the man at his word concerning what he had experienced and see how one can relate to him rather than to oneself responding to him.  (Oops! sorry, I forgot that "experience" and "feeling" don't count here, only cold, non-emotional, in-your-head "objectivity" matters.)
A second response might have been: "Sorry you had a bad reaction to our congregation. Best wishes to you as you find a new place to take part in the Church."
And a third reaction might be to consider: "How did we fail him? How could we have better communicated to and with someone like him?"
But his posted comments sure rattled a few cages in this modest forum.
The "better responses" were just modest suggestions from my far side of the aisle.
As is this suggestion from one who fusses daily about words. Mr. Garner wrote of the man's comments: "These are merely judgments hidden inside repentance, like Russian eggs, only with rotten cores."
I gently note: Russian eggs, if you mean the elegant Faberge eggs, are not real eggs, so they cannot have "rotten cores," if eggs do indeed have cores. The sort of egg-shaped matryoshka dolls nested together can't have "rotten cores" either; but the analogy could work if re-crafted in various ways.

My conclusion is you prefer his judgments to ours, and therefore when we object to his judgmental and unfair (and, let me say it a third time, inaccurate and triumphalistic) words, you get defensive.

That's really not my problem.  Your own advice might be heeded by you.  Instead of being offended that your preferred judgmentalism is being criticized, maybe ask why and see if you can be less gleeful over someone being dishonest, unfair and uncharitable toward those he left behind.
I cannot help but remember the numerous diatribes from our Humble Correspondent against those who left the ELCA after 2009 and yet had the temerity to "toss hand grenades behind them as they left." But when one leaves the LCMS in a huff and levels judgments and accusations at those he left, well we need to take those to heart and sympathize with the man that he had been so badly treated by the LCMS. Perhaps I am responding a bit emotionally, but we can't always be unfeeling and coldly rational.
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David Garner

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #62 on: February 04, 2021, 12:23:22 PM »
The posting from a man - sorry I thought he was a pastor - leaving the LCMS seems to have struck a nerve. Interesting.
The first responses were various put downs, flavored with a cupful of defensiveness ("we're not like that!").
I think a better first response would have been to take the man at his word concerning what he had experienced and see how one can relate to him rather than to oneself responding to him.  (Oops! sorry, I forgot that "experience" and "feeling" don't count here, only cold, non-emotional, in-your-head "objectivity" matters.)
A second response might have been: "Sorry you had a bad reaction to our congregation. Best wishes to you as you find a new place to take part in the Church."
And a third reaction might be to consider: "How did we fail him? How could we have better communicated to and with someone like him?"
But his posted comments sure rattled a few cages in this modest forum.
The "better responses" were just modest suggestions from my far side of the aisle.
As is this suggestion from one who fusses daily about words. Mr. Garner wrote of the man's comments: "These are merely judgments hidden inside repentance, like Russian eggs, only with rotten cores."
I gently note: Russian eggs, if you mean the elegant Faberge eggs, are not real eggs, so they cannot have "rotten cores," if eggs do indeed have cores. The sort of egg-shaped matryoshka dolls nested together can't have "rotten cores" either; but the analogy could work if re-crafted in various ways.

My conclusion is you prefer his judgments to ours, and therefore when we object to his judgmental and unfair (and, let me say it a third time, inaccurate and triumphalistic) words, you get defensive.

That's really not my problem.  Your own advice might be heeded by you.  Instead of being offended that your preferred judgmentalism is being criticized, maybe ask why and see if you can be less gleeful over someone being dishonest, unfair and uncharitable toward those he left behind.
I cannot help but remember the numerous diatribes from our Humble Correspondent against those who left the ELCA after 2009 and yet had the temerity to "toss hand grenades behind them as they left." But when one leaves the LCMS in a huff and levels judgments and accusations at those he left, well we need to take those to heart and sympathize with the man that he had been so badly treated by the LCMS. Perhaps I am responding a bit emotionally, but we can't always be unfeeling and coldly rational.

Which is why I suggested perhaps the best thing to do when leaving one tradition for another is not to make it a thing.

I failed at that.  I took myself too seriously and overestimated my own importance.  It's one reason I remain skeptical when people set forth their laundry list of reasons they left the old for the new.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #63 on: February 04, 2021, 12:30:31 PM »
The posting from a man - sorry I thought he was a pastor - leaving the LCMS seems to have struck a nerve. Interesting.
The first responses were various put downs, flavored with a cupful of defensiveness ("we're not like that!").
I think a better first response would have been to take the man at his word concerning what he had experienced and see how one can relate to him rather than to oneself responding to him.  (Oops! sorry, I forgot that "experience" and "feeling" don't count here, only cold, non-emotional, in-your-head "objectivity" matters.)
A second response might have been: "Sorry you had a bad reaction to our congregation. Best wishes to you as you find a new place to take part in the Church."
And a third reaction might be to consider: "How did we fail him? How could we have better communicated to and with someone like him?"
But his posted comments sure rattled a few cages in this modest forum.
The "better responses" were just modest suggestions from my far side of the aisle.
As is this suggestion from one who fusses daily about words. Mr. Garner wrote of the man's comments: "These are merely judgments hidden inside repentance, like Russian eggs, only with rotten cores."
I gently note: Russian eggs, if you mean the elegant Faberge eggs, are not real eggs, so they cannot have "rotten cores," if eggs do indeed have cores. The sort of egg-shaped matryoshka dolls nested together can't have "rotten cores" either; but the analogy could work if re-crafted in various ways.
What thread are you reading? The first page of responses were perfectly normal reactions much like your first two suggestions, leading to a discussion of how Lutherans do or do not focus on the Holy Spirit. You got involved and the thread started to degenerate. Stunner. Just because I object to the subjective being used as objective doesn't mean I don't like, appreciate, or find great value in the subjective. Feelings are a tremendous gift from God. That gift is misused when feelings take the place of observation, which is another great gift of God.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #64 on: February 04, 2021, 12:43:37 PM »
I don't think we all do that, no.  In fact, to my mind, making the pastor the most important piece of the puzzle is a grave mistake.  The pastor ought to be faithful to the church and its practice, not some sort of go-getter marketing whiz who brings in new members.  If he's being faithful, new members will come (because part of being faithful is being active in the community and doing outreach).


I didn't mean to imply that the pastor was the most important piece of the puzzle; but one's own expectations. Often they are about the pastor; but a congregation that exudes acceptance is even more important to some people.


A friend ended up becoming a Mormon because of the gracious welcome he received by the people there. He told them upfront that he didn't agree with all their teachings. (He's quite knowledgeable about Judaism (having studied it in Jerusalem,) Islam (having studied it in Saudi Arabia,) and various forms of Christianity, (growing up Roman Catholic, being a member of a ultra-conservative Protestant congregation in Southern California). Agreeing with their teachings was not required of him.



We used to meet weekly for Bible Study. I helped him with Greek. He helped me with Hebrew.

Are you suggesting we do something in response to anecdotes such as this?  If so, what?


We choose to join a congregation for self-centered reasons. We choose to leave a congregation for self-centered reasons. We are self-centered people even when it comes to our faith.
"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]

David Garner

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #65 on: February 04, 2021, 12:48:44 PM »
I don't think we all do that, no.  In fact, to my mind, making the pastor the most important piece of the puzzle is a grave mistake.  The pastor ought to be faithful to the church and its practice, not some sort of go-getter marketing whiz who brings in new members.  If he's being faithful, new members will come (because part of being faithful is being active in the community and doing outreach).


I didn't mean to imply that the pastor was the most important piece of the puzzle; but one's own expectations. Often they are about the pastor; but a congregation that exudes acceptance is even more important to some people.


A friend ended up becoming a Mormon because of the gracious welcome he received by the people there. He told them upfront that he didn't agree with all their teachings. (He's quite knowledgeable about Judaism (having studied it in Jerusalem,) Islam (having studied it in Saudi Arabia,) and various forms of Christianity, (growing up Roman Catholic, being a member of a ultra-conservative Protestant congregation in Southern California). Agreeing with their teachings was not required of him.



We used to meet weekly for Bible Study. I helped him with Greek. He helped me with Hebrew.

Are you suggesting we do something in response to anecdotes such as this?  If so, what?


We choose to join a congregation for self-centered reasons. We choose to leave a congregation for self-centered reasons. We are self-centered people even when it comes to our faith.

Okay.  Is that a no then?
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #66 on: February 04, 2021, 12:49:45 PM »
Just boil it down.  Here is what the author said:

"LCMS likes to support work in foreign lands, but anything close to home they are hesitant to speak. I noticed our church made a point to speak about their work for local charities of political correctness but hands-on work for the local poor not so much."

"As I repented my self-centeredness, the Holy Spirit's influence on me grew. . I wanted to do more and more for others. I knew that I needed more spiritual growth and that the conservative attitudes were suffocating me. I decided to leave the LCMS. I have found a more spirit-led church in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America."

"When my church was invited to provide a meal and church service for the addicts and poor at the community center I worked at, there was always a feeling that most of the ministers and helpers didn’t want to get their hands dirty. The addicts felt as if they were talked to instead of recognized and talked with. There seemed to be little effort to ask about the addict’s lives, where they came from, what they had been through. Just a lesson about Jesus and goodbye."

"I don’t see how a person can grow and mature spiritually in a controlled environment where the Holy Spirit is quenched. Maybe that is why the church is afraid to speak out on social injustice. Maybe that’s why the LCMS split. I don’t know. But what I do know is without the Spirit the body dies. Without the full power of the Holy Spirit, we live in fear, not faith. We are to selflessly serve ALL of God's children regardless of politics. ALL means all. We should put the will of the Father, Son, and HOLY SPIRIT first in our lives. Maybe that should be a lesson for all. A lesson conservatives and the LCMS refuse to hear."

So, to recap, the author judges his fellow parishioners and his pastor(s).  He declares them to be "Spirit quenched," to regard the poor and homeless as dirty.  He declares them to be "without the full power of the Holy Spirit," and living in fear (Pastor Austin should recognize that last one, for he bleats it like a sheep, and often).  He implies that they are self-centered, because he was "repenting" of his self-centeredness, a cute little sleight of hand where he basically says "I, too, was once a sinner like them, but now I am ever so woke and they are still mired in their sins."  That is, he words it as if it is a confession, when in reality it is a judgment.  Similarly, he bids the LCMS to serve ALL of God's children regardless of politics, and yet also believes he was repenting of his conservatism.  These are merely judgments hidden inside repentance, like Russian eggs, only with rotten cores.

Pastor Speckhard rightly points out "hey, that guy is judging the spirituality, motivations, politics, faith and morality of other people."

And Pastor Austin objects "how dare you judge that guy's spirituality and motivations?"

Projection.


It seems to me that he was judging their actions, or more correctly, their non-actions. It was Jesus who said that we would be known by our fruit. If there is no obvious fruit, what does that say about the tree?
"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]

Dave Likeness

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #67 on: February 04, 2021, 12:55:12 PM »
In the LCMS as with other denominations there have been church-hoppers.

In a city of 80,000 to 100,000 you might find 4 or 5 LCMS congregations.
Of course that does not include the LCMS parishes in the suburbs.   So
some folks will find another LCMS parish when they become upset with the
circumstances at their current congregation.  Some will quietly transfer their
membership and others will make a big scene out of it.

It is possible that a family will end up belonging to 3 or 4 different parishes
in the same metro area during their lifetime.  It happens and nobody keeps
score.  Church hoppers are usually folks with a thin skin and desire to have
things done their way. It is rarely over doctrinal issues that cause them to hop,
but rather petty spats with other members or the clergy.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 12:57:26 PM by Dave Likeness »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #68 on: February 04, 2021, 12:58:38 PM »
The posting from a man - sorry I thought he was a pastor - leaving the LCMS seems to have struck a nerve. Interesting.
The first responses were various put downs, flavored with a cupful of defensiveness ("we're not like that!").
I think a better first response would have been to take the man at his word concerning what he had experienced and see how one can relate to him rather than to oneself responding to him.  (Oops! sorry, I forgot that "experience" and "feeling" don't count here, only cold, non-emotional, in-your-head "objectivity" matters.)
A second response might have been: "Sorry you had a bad reaction to our congregation. Best wishes to you as you find a new place to take part in the Church."
And a third reaction might be to consider: "How did we fail him? How could we have better communicated to and with someone like him?"
But his posted comments sure rattled a few cages in this modest forum.
The "better responses" were just modest suggestions from my far side of the aisle.
As is this suggestion from one who fusses daily about words. Mr. Garner wrote of the man's comments: "These are merely judgments hidden inside repentance, like Russian eggs, only with rotten cores."
I gently note: Russian eggs, if you mean the elegant Faberge eggs, are not real eggs, so they cannot have "rotten cores," if eggs do indeed have cores. The sort of egg-shaped matryoshka dolls nested together can't have "rotten cores" either; but the analogy could work if re-crafted in various ways.

My conclusion is you prefer his judgments to ours, and therefore when we object to his judgmental and unfair (and, let me say it a third time, inaccurate and triumphalistic) words, you get defensive.

That's really not my problem.  Your own advice might be heeded by you.  Instead of being offended that your preferred judgmentalism is being criticized, maybe ask why and see if you can be less gleeful over someone being dishonest, unfair and uncharitable toward those he left behind.
I cannot help but remember the numerous diatribes from our Humble Correspondent against those who left the ELCA after 2009 and yet had the temerity to "toss hand grenades behind them as they left." But when one leaves the LCMS in a huff and levels judgments and accusations at those he left, well we need to take those to heart and sympathize with the man that he had been so badly treated by the LCMS. Perhaps I am responding a bit emotionally, but we can't always be unfeeling and coldly rational.

Which is why I suggested perhaps the best thing to do when leaving one tradition for another is not to make it a thing.

I failed at that.  I took myself too seriously and overestimated my own importance.  It's one reason I remain skeptical when people set forth their laundry list of reasons they left the old for the new.


And yet, it's part of every one of your posts: "former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS)". This indicates at least two Lutheran bodies. I'm stating that such shifts come from self-centered reasons. Tom Krause owned up to his. Do you?


I would also admit that I have not been willing to leave the ALC, TALC, ELCA of my youth for self-centered reasons. I believe that they have the best expression of the Gospel of any denomination that I have experienced.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 01:01:04 PM 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]

D. Engebretson

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #69 on: February 04, 2021, 01:12:35 PM »
As a pastor I have dealt with any number of discontented members over the years who have had expectations of their church and denomination that simply could not be met.  At least not without changing the very confession of the church or the pastor himself.  As a pastor you attempt, the best you can, to be understanding. At least I would like to believe most of us do; there are always exceptions. But sometimes the criticism is not looking for that.  It's looking for change. And at times we receive ultimatums: "If you don't do this or that, then more people will leave," or "If you don't do this or that the church will die," or things to that effect.  Usually the ultimatums do not materialize to the degree that the discontented person threatens, but the desire is to issue a parting warning, hoping that the pastor will have a sense of panic and change things before it all implodes.  Or the discontented person attempts to form a coalition of like-minded folks and have this group exert collective pressure for the desired change.  I've had that, too. You can take it all personally and attempt to please everyone, but those of us who have been around the church block a time or two know only too well that you can't please them all.  Faithful leadership listens and dialogues where possible, but in the end it must establish direction, not hold its moistened finger in the air looking to determine the direction of the winds of change. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #70 on: February 04, 2021, 01:54:29 PM »
David Garner does not need anyone to defend him, but I’m going to jump in here nonetheless to point out that he has actually been an example of graciousness in the way he has spoken of his former confession of the faith. I think, Brian, the reason he puts that tag line at the bottom is not in the spirit of “glad I’m done with YOU guys” —else why even participate here?—but as a sort of showing of his bonafides as one who is actually well acquainted with the Lutheran Church. FWIW.
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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #71 on: February 04, 2021, 02:37:54 PM »
Just boil it down.  Here is what the author said:

"LCMS likes to support work in foreign lands, but anything close to home they are hesitant to speak. I noticed our church made a point to speak about their work for local charities of political correctness but hands-on work for the local poor not so much."

"As I repented my self-centeredness, the Holy Spirit's influence on me grew. . I wanted to do more and more for others. I knew that I needed more spiritual growth and that the conservative attitudes were suffocating me. I decided to leave the LCMS. I have found a more spirit-led church in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America."

"When my church was invited to provide a meal and church service for the addicts and poor at the community center I worked at, there was always a feeling that most of the ministers and helpers didn’t want to get their hands dirty. The addicts felt as if they were talked to instead of recognized and talked with. There seemed to be little effort to ask about the addict’s lives, where they came from, what they had been through. Just a lesson about Jesus and goodbye."

"I don’t see how a person can grow and mature spiritually in a controlled environment where the Holy Spirit is quenched. Maybe that is why the church is afraid to speak out on social injustice. Maybe that’s why the LCMS split. I don’t know. But what I do know is without the Spirit the body dies. Without the full power of the Holy Spirit, we live in fear, not faith. We are to selflessly serve ALL of God's children regardless of politics. ALL means all. We should put the will of the Father, Son, and HOLY SPIRIT first in our lives. Maybe that should be a lesson for all. A lesson conservatives and the LCMS refuse to hear."

So, to recap, the author judges his fellow parishioners and his pastor(s).  He declares them to be "Spirit quenched," to regard the poor and homeless as dirty.  He declares them to be "without the full power of the Holy Spirit," and living in fear (Pastor Austin should recognize that last one, for he bleats it like a sheep, and often).  He implies that they are self-centered, because he was "repenting" of his self-centeredness, a cute little sleight of hand where he basically says "I, too, was once a sinner like them, but now I am ever so woke and they are still mired in their sins."  That is, he words it as if it is a confession, when in reality it is a judgment.  Similarly, he bids the LCMS to serve ALL of God's children regardless of politics, and yet also believes he was repenting of his conservatism.  These are merely judgments hidden inside repentance, like Russian eggs, only with rotten cores.

Pastor Speckhard rightly points out "hey, that guy is judging the spirituality, motivations, politics, faith and morality of other people."

And Pastor Austin objects "how dare you judge that guy's spirituality and motivations?"

Projection.


It seems to me that he was judging their actions, or more correctly, their non-actions. It was Jesus who said that we would be known by our fruit. If there is no obvious fruit, what does that say about the tree?

How do you know that his former congregation had no fruit? Have you ever been there? (Let me guess. The answer is "No.")

Maybe he was looking for a church that produced apples and was in one that produced kumquats. Plenty of fruit, just not what he was looking for.

Reading his story, I wanted to be kind and simply say, "Not every church is for every person." But upon rereading it, I noticed how judgmental he is. What he is saying is clear: "Since that church isn't doing what I want, then its obvious that the Spirit is not present." You really want to go down that road?
These are things that we can discuss among learned and reasonable people, or even among ourselves. (Luther, SA III, paraphrased).

Dan Fienen

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #72 on: February 04, 2021, 03:12:47 PM »

There is usually more than one side to every story. Tom Krause had harsh things to say about the LCMS and in particular the congregation that he left and that he found to be self-centered and lacking in the work of the Holy Spirit. There has been some speculation as to whether or not Tom's assessment was accurate. Let us not forget that another member of that congregation has also posted here and commented with a different perspective.

I am a member of the “spirit-less” conservative church that Tom Krause has decided to leave for his own personal reasons.  I wish him well in his new-found home of freedom in the ELCA for it will certainly reflect his political beliefs more closely.  I agree with Brian’s comment: “People seek out congregations and even denominations for their own needs; and their needs will vary greatly.”   In order to paint a fairer picture of this “heartless” congregation: we raised several thousand dollars over Christmas Eve to distribute to local food pantries.  In a recent year, we raised $50,000 for Convoy of Hope, a Christian disaster relief organization with a world-wide reach (LCMS:  think “Orphan Grain Train).  We support Victory Mission (which touches lives on the periphery of society).  We support “Camp Barnabas” (which serves persons with developmental challenges). We support a Christian school that provides Christian education and teaching of values to members and non-members alike.  Tom mentions that the pastors/congregation (??) make a point to speak about [our] work for “local charities of political correctness, but work for the local poor not so much.”  Oddly, he later mentions how we are to “serve all of God’s children regardless of politics.”  Which is it?  When he asked for a prayer to be said in behalf of “children and parents locked in cages,” I’m not sure what he expected.  Was it to decry a practice begun by a previous administration?  Is there more context to the issue, less politics?  He has a problem with churches that are “afraid to speak out on social issues.”  Perhaps he can now ask for prayers on behalf of 60 million lives lost through abortion or against groups working to undermine the nuclear family.  Pastors on this forum will recognize how frustrating it is when someone leaves their church (and wants to draw others with them), but colors their motivation in just one way.  There are usually other issues that can never be satisfied or resolved.  Our church, like every church, has both positives and negatives.  If you focus on negatives, you may be inclined to leave.  If you focus on the positives, you stay and choose to work with God’s people and seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance to keep the focus on preaching “Christ, and Him crucified.”
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #73 on: February 04, 2021, 03:13:30 PM »
David Garner does not need anyone to defend him, but I’m going to jump in here nonetheless to point out that he has actually been an example of graciousness in the way he has spoken of his former confession of the faith. I think, Brian, the reason he puts that tag line at the bottom is not in the spirit of “glad I’m done with YOU guys” —else why even participate here?—but as a sort of showing of his bonafides as one who is actually well acquainted with the Lutheran Church. FWIW.

William, there you go again!  Putting the best construction on everything.  Explaining everything in the kindest way. :D

David Garner

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Re: One Man's Story - leaving his denomination.
« Reply #74 on: February 04, 2021, 03:26:10 PM »
It seems to me that he was judging their actions, or more correctly, their non-actions. It was Jesus who said that we would be known by our fruit. If there is no obvious fruit, what does that say about the tree?

He is judging what he perceives to be their non-actions.  He is judging them as fruitless, but he is judging based on falsehood (to wit, he found a "more Spirit-led" church in the ELCA that supposedly broke off from the LCMS and has now grown well beyond the LCMS's numbers -- I don't have to point out to you how utterly ridiculous that assertion is).  He is judging them based on his subjective perception, uncharitably so. And he is triumphalistically repeating lies, if not making them up himself, in order to pretend he left Sodom to find the promised land.

Are you agreeing with him that there is no fruit in the LCMS?

And yet, it's part of every one of your posts: "former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS)". This indicates at least two Lutheran bodies. I'm stating that such shifts come from self-centered reasons. Tom Krause owned up to his. Do you?

I would also admit that I have not been willing to leave the ALC, TALC, ELCA of my youth for self-centered reasons. I believe that they have the best expression of the Gospel of any denomination that I have experienced.

I guess I'm not sure what you're arguing against here.  I never said I had no reasons for leaving the LCMS and the WELS.  I suppose one could categorize them as "self-centered," but that seems an odd way to go about it.  My reasons were thought through, carefully, prayerfully, and with great difficulty. Pastor Weedon, whose kind words above are much appreciated, can tell you that better than most.  He spent about an hour on the phone with me advising me, agonizing with me, and trying to help me deal with my concerns.  When I left, it was with much gratitude, for him, for my former pastors (including the one whose parish we left), and our friends.  Having acknowledged my failings of hubris and self-importance in making my conversion public, I will also say, I wrote this about a year after we started attending an Orthodox parish, and several months after our Chrismation.  It was the 10th anniversary of my baptism and confirmation:

https://forheisgoodandlovesmankind.blogspot.com/2011/04/thank-god-for-lutherans.html

Perhaps you see all of that as self-centered reasons, and perhaps that's what it is.  But I hope you, and if not you, certainly others, see a different tone in what I have to say about the Lutheran Church we left versus Mr. Krause's approach, which you describe somewhat heroically as "owning up" (even though his "owning up" was saying he repented of his self-centeredness, not embracing it as you describe it), but which I would describe as being very uncharitable, unkind and unfair to those he left behind.  I love the people who brought me into historic Christianity, who taught me, who formed me, and who still influence me to this day.  And I love the Lutheran tradition and the Lutheran Confessions, even as I have grown to disagree with some of them (we still agree on far more than we disagree, though).  I certainly would not describe the synods I left or the people in those parishes as Spirit quenched, not wanting to get their hands dirty, or seduced by a conservatism that is something to repent of. I have some minor disagreements with my Lutheran brethren.  But I would never speak of them as Mr. Krause does.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).