Author Topic: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration  (Read 1972 times)

Randy Bosch

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2021, 12:27:15 PM »
Therefore at least in the view of some here the face of conservative Lutheran in influential public service leadership to God and country in these days and times is Ron Johnson.
Dave Benke

Interestingly nuanced restrictive qualifier, Dave "...at least in the view of some here..."  Well played.

You might at least also consider the work of Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.  She is a member of an LCMS congregation, at least in Wyoming when she was previously a Congresswoman when we were there.

She attended worship at the congregation to which we belonged on several occasions when she was visiting our part of the State on Sundays far from home.  No announcements, no press, no public relations "photo op" or talk.  Another Lutheran Christian worshipping on Sunday.  If you welcomed the visitor, she would share her name and participate in fellowship, without any political motive or politicking.  As a woman in leadership in the public square - and an LCMS Lutheran to boot - she did and continues to represent her constituents very well, not "at least in the view of some here"...

Charles Austin

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2021, 12:28:18 PM »
Excerpted from Living Lutheran this past January:
ELCA-affiliated members who won re-election to the Senate in 2020:
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.,
ELCA Lutheran incumbents continuing in the Senate:
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.,
WELS continuing in office
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.
LCMS and  the Senate
Sen, Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., joined the chamber for the first time, whereas LCMS member Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., lost his bid for reelection. Sen. Lummis rejoins Congress after having retired from the House of Representatives in 2016.
Leaving at the start of the 117th Congress:
Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., and Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., announced their retirements last year and did not seek reelection. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D-N.M.―lost their bids for reelection in 2020.
ELCA Members returning to the House:
Rep. John Carter, R-Texas; Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.; Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo.; Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif.; Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine; Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Pa.; and U.S. Delegate Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands. Other self-described Lutherans who will be returning are Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D.; Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich.; Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn.; Rep. Ron Estes, R-Kan.; Rep. Tracey Mann, R-Kan.; Rep. Donald Norcross, D-N.J.; and Rep. David Trone, D-Md.
WELS re-elected:
Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis.,
LCMS members re-elected:
Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind.; Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis.; and Rep. Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn.,
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

Charles Austin

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2021, 12:37:17 PM »
Having dealt with a number of members of the House and Senate on various religion-related matters over the years, I offer the following.
The elected officials are like any cross-section of a Lutheran congregation, no matter what flavor. Some are "active" some are not. Some are rather close to their Lutheranism, others are not. In office, most are interested in two things: getting the legislation they favor passed and getting re-elected. Most, especially Republicans, place a high value on "party loyalty;" some mavericks are present among Democrats.
Many do indeed listen when "the church" speaks, either through social statements or other means. They listen because they know that their constituents are part of "the church." But politics is the art of compromise and sometimes conceding. Those elected will compromise and on some matters they will concede that the legislation will not go their way.
Often, when hard-line "I have the will and word of God" politicians are elected, they fail in their office because when you have the "will and word of God," you cannot compromise; and if you do, those who elected you because you represent to them the "will and word of God" will turn on you.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

peter_speckhard

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2021, 12:48:30 PM »
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) grew up LCMS and attended LCMS parochial schools. His parents are still members of an LCMS congregation in Nebraska. He married a committed Evangelical and now is, I believe, part of a non-denominational church. He gave the address at Concordia-Bronxville's graduation ceremony a few years ago.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2021, 12:54:28 PM »
The Crossings Community will be discussing Ed Schroeder's article, "Is There a Lutheran Hermeneutic?"


[From The Lively Function of the Gospel, in The Caemmerer Festschrift, St. Louis, Concordia Publishing House, 1966, p. 81-97. Later published in The Promising Tradition: A Reader in Law-Gospel Reconstructionist Theology, ed. By Edward H. Schroeder, St. Louis, Missouri, 1973.]


Ed makes this argument (emphasis added):


As far as the history of Western Christian theology was concerned, Luther’s discovery brought St. Paul’s theology of the righteousness of God back into the center of theological conversation after a very long hibernation. Thus it is no surprise when the Lutheran Confessions in the following years give prime attention to this theology of God’s righteousness. But here something happens which Joachim Beckmann calls unique in the history of Christian theology up until that time.[1] The Lutheran confessors do not say: Here is one important element in the total package of Christian theology that has been lost, a brick that has fallen out of the edifice of the edifice of Christian theology, and now we desire to have it put back where it belongs so that the package may be complete. They do not treat this one as one article among the several important articles of faith, but they confess that it is the only article of faith. Even when we read the confessors’ discussions of other articles, we soon become aware that in all their varied assertions and affirmations they have only one confession, one article, which stands out as the recurring and monotonous theme under all the variations. Later it was even called “the article by which the church stands or falls” (articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae).


[1] Here and elsewhere below are reflected perspectives formulated in Joachim Beckmann, “Die Bedeutung der reformatorischen Entdeckung des Evangeliums fur die Auslegung der Heiligen Schrift,” Luther, XXXIV (1963), 20-30.

I bring this up because it seems that some Lutherans elevate other issues as articles of faith, e.g., pro-life positions, anti-same-sex marriages, etc. If "God's righteousness" given to us by God's grace through Christ (as he argues elsewhere in the article), the people in our pews might differ on these other issues - and not have it threaten the one article of faith. Pro-life and pro-choice members are sinners made righteous by the grace of God in Christ. Those on both sides of the homosexual relationship issues are sinners made righteous by the grace of God in Christ.


His whole essay can be found at https://crossings.org/table-talk/
"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]

John_Hannah

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2021, 12:57:27 PM »
I think that a distinction needs to be made between a Christian who is a major public figure - in this case a very major public figure - and the average member.  In the first case there is far greater ability to influence and lead.  Just as a pastor is in his own community.  I am very careful how I speak publicly because I know that my words carry more weight than the average person in my own area.  The president seems either unaware of that, or is counting on it, as he openly puts forth views that are in direct opposition to his own church body.  The president, more than any citizen, has a platform with greater and more powerful ability to persuade and convince. He is often the most known, the most photographed, the most quoted, the most followed.  Many regular Catholics, I suspect, watch his actions and listen to what he says and figure that this is in line with what the church believes and confesses.  They are not going to take the time to crosscheck what the pope says, or what encyclicals say on the subject.  They listen to the authority figures which they hear and see most regularly.

Therefore at least in the view of some here, the face of conservative Lutheran in influential public service leadership to God and country in these days and times is Ron Johnson.

Dave Benke

Senator Johnson is not very conservative as far as I can tell. He describes the rioters of Epiphany 2021 as law abiding in spite of the clear and myriad public evidence that they broke into the capital and assaulted law enforcement officers. So far, 400 rioters have been arrested, 100 under the Trump administration. Some of these may be charged with sedition.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2021, 01:25:34 PM »
Another paragraph from Schroeder's article.


If we have everything else in the Christian heritage, all the other articles of faith, but do not have this, we have nothing. At least, we have nothing specifically Christian to stand on. The opposite is also true. So long as we still have this one gratis gift, we may let everything else go— “life, goods, fame, child, and wife”—and we have not lost out on anything. In practice Luther applied this line from “A Mighty Fortress” to theology itself. If a supposed article of faith has nothing to do with this one article, it will become a competitor with the solus Christus. Whatever we let go without letting go of this one gracious gift is no real loss; we are still fully and truly Christian, and we dare let no one convince us we are not. If someone tries to do so, he is criticizing not us but our Lord Jesus Christ—the consequences of which, for the critic, are disastrous.


Are abortions and same-sex marriages part of what "we may let … go"? Going further, if they have nothing to do with the one article, are they in competition with solus Christus?


Discussions about the morality of abortions or same-sex marriages are good to have. To connect a position to Christianity ends up destroying the Christian 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]

peter_speckhard

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2021, 01:26:22 PM »
The Crossings Community will be discussing Ed Schroeder's article, "Is There a Lutheran Hermeneutic?"


[From The Lively Function of the Gospel, in The Caemmerer Festschrift, St. Louis, Concordia Publishing House, 1966, p. 81-97. Later published in The Promising Tradition: A Reader in Law-Gospel Reconstructionist Theology, ed. By Edward H. Schroeder, St. Louis, Missouri, 1973.]


Ed makes this argument (emphasis added):


As far as the history of Western Christian theology was concerned, Luther’s discovery brought St. Paul’s theology of the righteousness of God back into the center of theological conversation after a very long hibernation. Thus it is no surprise when the Lutheran Confessions in the following years give prime attention to this theology of God’s righteousness. But here something happens which Joachim Beckmann calls unique in the history of Christian theology up until that time.[1] The Lutheran confessors do not say: Here is one important element in the total package of Christian theology that has been lost, a brick that has fallen out of the edifice of the edifice of Christian theology, and now we desire to have it put back where it belongs so that the package may be complete. They do not treat this one as one article among the several important articles of faith, but they confess that it is the only article of faith. Even when we read the confessors’ discussions of other articles, we soon become aware that in all their varied assertions and affirmations they have only one confession, one article, which stands out as the recurring and monotonous theme under all the variations. Later it was even called “the article by which the church stands or falls” (articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae).


[1] Here and elsewhere below are reflected perspectives formulated in Joachim Beckmann, “Die Bedeutung der reformatorischen Entdeckung des Evangeliums fur die Auslegung der Heiligen Schrift,” Luther, XXXIV (1963), 20-30.

I bring this up because it seems that some Lutherans elevate other issues as articles of faith, e.g., pro-life positions, anti-same-sex marriages, etc. If "God's righteousness" given to us by God's grace through Christ (as he argues elsewhere in the article), the people in our pews might differ on these other issues - and not have it threaten the one article of faith. Pro-life and pro-choice members are sinners made righteous by the grace of God in Christ. Those on both sides of the homosexual relationship issues are sinners made righteous by the grace of God in Christ.


His whole essay can be found at https://crossings.org/table-talk/
Qn what you bolded, Ed Schroeder is simply wrong. Lots of non-Trinitarian folks and heretics who denied the two natures of Christ in various ways could easily believe in salvation by grace through faith as a stand-alone doctrine. Most Unitarian Universalists do, in fact.

Saying something is the doctrine on which the church stands or falls doesn't imply that it can stand even entirely separated from other doctrines. It is like a keystone that holds the arch up. But it doesn't float there by itself.

MaddogLutheran

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #38 on: March 23, 2021, 01:28:43 PM »
Senator Johnson is not very conservative as far as I can tell. He describes the rioters of Epiphany 2021 as law abiding in spite of the clear and myriad public evidence that they broke into the capital and assaulted law enforcement officers. So far, 400 rioters have been arrested, 100 under the Trump administration. Some of these may be charged with sedition.
Peace, JOHN
Perhaps you can provide the specific quote/citation, but I don't find this a fair characterization of Senator Johnson's opinion on what happened at the Capitol.  There's been a lot of that going around since then, to score political points.  Of course, there are fervent Trump supporters who are unrepentant and not contrite about what happened.

But again, since Stacey Abrams was celebrated for 2 years as the truly legitimate governor of Georgia by people outraged at Trump's stolen election rhetoric, I'm about done with everyone in the public square about this stuff.  No one has clean hands.

I'm only commenting on this point here because I think Senator Johnson's faith integrity is being wrongly impugned.  Otherwise I thought you and the powers that be at the ALPB weren't going to allow such political discussion.  Count me as confused as Pastor Bohler recently about that.  I've stayed silent since the "new" policy, and watched some of the same unpleasantness unfold like clockwork, from the same offenders.  Selective moderation is worse than no moderation, especially since you all chose to scapegoat anonymous posters when that clearly wasn't the primary cause of forum unpleasantness.

Sterling Spatz
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David Garner

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2021, 01:35:24 PM »
Senator Johnson is not very conservative as far as I can tell. He describes the rioters of Epiphany 2021 as law abiding in spite of the clear and myriad public evidence that they broke into the capital and assaulted law enforcement officers. So far, 400 rioters have been arrested, 100 under the Trump administration. Some of these may be charged with sedition.
Peace, JOHN
Perhaps you can provide the specific quote/citation, but I don't find this a fair characterization of Senator Johnson's opinion on what happened at the Capitol.  There's been a lot of that going around since then, to score political points.  Of course, there are fervent Trump supporters who are unrepentant and not contrite about what happened.

But again, since Stacey Abrams was celebrated for 2 years as the truly legitimate governor of Georgia by people outraged at Trump's stolen election rhetoric, I'm about done with everyone in the public square about this stuff.  No one has clean hands.

I'm only commenting on this point here because I think Senator Johnson's faith integrity is being wrongly impugned.  Otherwise I thought you and the powers that be at the ALPB weren't going to allow such political discussion.  Count me as confused as Pastor Bohler recently about that.  I've stayed silent since the "new" policy, and watched some of the same unpleasantness unfold like clockwork, from the same offenders.  Selective moderation is worse than no moderation, especially since you all chose to scapegoat anonymous posters when that clearly wasn't the primary cause of forum unpleasantness.

Sterling Spatz

In.

Deed.

Sir.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

RDPreus

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2021, 01:40:59 PM »
Another paragraph from Schroeder's article.


If we have everything else in the Christian heritage, all the other articles of faith, but do not have this, we have nothing. At least, we have nothing specifically Christian to stand on. The opposite is also true. So long as we still have this one gratis gift, we may let everything else go— “life, goods, fame, child, and wife”—and we have not lost out on anything. In practice Luther applied this line from “A Mighty Fortress” to theology itself. If a supposed article of faith has nothing to do with this one article, it will become a competitor with the solus Christus. Whatever we let go without letting go of this one gracious gift is no real loss; we are still fully and truly Christian, and we dare let no one convince us we are not. If someone tries to do so, he is criticizing not us but our Lord Jesus Christ—the consequences of which, for the critic, are disastrous.


Are abortions and same-sex marriages part of what "we may let … go"? Going further, if they have nothing to do with the one article, are they in competition with solus Christus?


Discussions about the morality of abortions or same-sex marriages are good to have. To connect a position to Christianity ends up destroying the Christian faith.

Does not the Christian religion stand opposed to abortion and same sex "marriage"?  How does saying so destroy the Christian faith?  How does it militate against justification through faith alone?

peter_speckhard

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #41 on: March 23, 2021, 01:57:43 PM »
Another paragraph from Schroeder's article.


If we have everything else in the Christian heritage, all the other articles of faith, but do not have this, we have nothing. At least, we have nothing specifically Christian to stand on. The opposite is also true. So long as we still have this one gratis gift, we may let everything else go— “life, goods, fame, child, and wife”—and we have not lost out on anything. In practice Luther applied this line from “A Mighty Fortress” to theology itself. If a supposed article of faith has nothing to do with this one article, it will become a competitor with the solus Christus. Whatever we let go without letting go of this one gracious gift is no real loss; we are still fully and truly Christian, and we dare let no one convince us we are not. If someone tries to do so, he is criticizing not us but our Lord Jesus Christ—the consequences of which, for the critic, are disastrous.


Are abortions and same-sex marriages part of what "we may let … go"? Going further, if they have nothing to do with the one article, are they in competition with solus Christus?


Discussions about the morality of abortions or same-sex marriages are good to have. To connect a position to Christianity ends up destroying the Christian faith.

Does not the Christian religion stand opposed to abortion and same sex "marriage"?  How does saying so destroy the Christian faith?  How does it militate against justification through faith alone?
St. Paul did so much destroying of the Christian faith, apparently. He said anyone who didn't care for his relatives had denied the faith and was worse than an unbeliever. Imagine denying salvation by grace through faith that way just because some otherwise good, faithful Christians were part of the pro-neglecting family camp.

John_Hannah

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #42 on: March 23, 2021, 01:59:48 PM »
Senator Johnson is not very conservative as far as I can tell. He describes the rioters of Epiphany 2021 as law abiding in spite of the clear and myriad public evidence that they broke into the capital and assaulted law enforcement officers. So far, 400 rioters have been arrested, 100 under the Trump administration. Some of these may be charged with sedition.
Peace, JOHN
Perhaps you can provide the specific quote/citation, but I don't find this a fair characterization of Senator Johnson's opinion on what happened at the Capitol.  There's been a lot of that going around since then, to score political points.  Of course, there are fervent Trump supporters who are unrepentant and not contrite about what happened.

But again, since Stacey Abrams was celebrated for 2 years as the truly legitimate governor of Georgia by people outraged at Trump's stolen election rhetoric, I'm about done with everyone in the public square about this stuff.  No one has clean hands.

I'm only commenting on this point here because I think Senator Johnson's faith integrity is being wrongly impugned.  Otherwise I thought you and the powers that be at the ALPB weren't going to allow such political discussion.  Count me as confused as Pastor Bohler recently about that.  I've stayed silent since the "new" policy, and watched some of the same unpleasantness unfold like clockwork, from the same offenders.  Selective moderation is worse than no moderation, especially since you all chose to scapegoat anonymous posters when that clearly wasn't the primary cause of forum unpleasantness.

Sterling Spatz

Thank you Sterling. I agree that we have drifted into the political thicket again and we should not. I hesitated but commented because Senator Johnson is a Lutheran.

As to the source of my remark see:

https://wkow.com/2021/03/17/sen-johnson-defends-saying-jan-6-crowd-less-threatening-than-black-lives-matter-protesters/

Johnson told 27 News he was defending a peaceful majority of Trump supporters who were in Washington but did not enter the Capitol on January 6.

"By and large, they were people that respect law enforcement, that would never even think of rioting or breaking the law and that's just the point I've been trying to make." Johnson said. "I've been trying to push back on the broad brush that 74 million Americans are somehow suspected terrorists."

I hope this helps. Back to radio silence.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Randy Bosch

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2021, 02:00:00 PM »
The thread title, "A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration", seemed to invite consideration of professed Christians within the current Biden-Harris (as the White House now characterizes itself) Administration.
As the thread has progressed, its nature has been revealed - virtue signaling without meaningful content descending into besmirching of non-"conservative" Christians in the public realm.  Coming next?  Clishmaclaver and bavardage?

"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."  Saul Bellow.

Stick a fork in it, please.