Author Topic: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!  (Read 10059 times)

Juan Jeanniton

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SOME CASES OF CONSCIENCE ON LUTHERAN CHURCH GOVERNMENT

To all my fellow ALBP forum members!

Now, where it concerns the question of Lutheran Church Government, I now make the following foundational a priori assumptions:

1: That 1 Corinthians 14:34/35 and 1 Timothy 2:11/12 are still in full force today exactly as written and exactly as it reads at face-value; and that it absolutely forbids women to PUBLICLY ADDRESS the ASSEMBLY (includes of course, PREACHING, TEACHING, EXHORTATION, LITURGICALLY READING THE SCRIPTURE, LEADING IN PUBLIC PRAYER, PROPHESYING, SPEAKING IN TONGUES, EXORCISM, ...) and/or put forth questions in a voice LOUD and PUBLIC ENOUGH TO PUBLICLY ADDRESS the ASSEMBLY; and that this precept is a universal and perpetual divine law;

2: That neither CONGREGATIONAL SINGING nor DEVOTIONAL RESPONSES are included in the prohibition;

3: That the REASONS for these prohibitions are universal and of natural moral equity, based on the divine order of creation of the sexes, according to which, the man is the head of the woman; and that this divine order of creation of the sexes is part and parcel of the divinely prescribed perpetual and universal natural law of mankind;

4: That the Lutheran Confessions of Faith are to be subscribed according to a quia and not just merely a quatenus sense, or else one cannot be Lutheran;

5: That C. F. W. Walther's doctrine of the supremacy of the Voter Assembly within the local congregation (to wit, the congregation though its congregational meetings, and through the votes of all adult male members of the congregation in such meetings, are the supreme governing authority in the local congregation, which by the way, was the classical distinctive doctrine of Congregationalism, and which WELS and the CLC continue to hold even today) is the ONLY church polity which agrees with the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions on church government.

Special emphasis will be placed under the fifth assumption. The burden of proof is on those who DENY the fifth assumption which I have made. No wonder that women and children were INELIGIBLE to VOTE in such a Voter Assembly, since C F W Walther officially taught for a DOCTRINE that the Voter Assembly of a given local congregation possesses SUPREME de jure divino ecclesiastical authority and jurisdiction in all matters of the local congregation provided firstly that no doctrine taught in the Bible & Lutheran Confessions should be debated, nor changed, nor relaxed, nor abrogated, nor any NEW doctrines should be added thereunto and secondly that the decision made by the congregation should not be contrary to the laws of God nor to the doctrines taught in the Bible and Lutheran Confession! "Woman Suffrage" + "Voter Supremacy" = HERESY. Woman suffrage and Waltherian Voter Supremacy cannot both be mixed together in the same Voter Assembly of the same local congregation without violating the Divine Order of Creation of the Sexes: Genesis 3:16, 1 Corinthians 11:3, 7-10, 1 Corinthians 14:34 (quoting Genesis 3:16), 1 Timothy 2:11-13.

Now under all 5 of these assumptions:

1: According to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, is the unit of electoral representation in a congregational voter assembly the family or the individual?

2: According to the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, are adult sons (i.e. at least 21 years old) living with their father eligible to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their father, or is that contrary to their duty of obedience to their father?

3: In light of the teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, especially including that part of the Table of Duties which prescribes it to be the duty of servants to be obedient to their masters, are male servants living in the household of their male master of the house to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their master, or is that a violation of the plain Scriptural precepts which teach that servants MUST obey their masters?

Dave Benke

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Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2021, 02:58:02 PM »
Are you now, or have you ever been, Jack Cascione?

To be clear:
a) I hope you're not Jack Cascione, because he's from Queens and has received the blessing reserved for Queens natives and residents (yes, that includes both Donald Trump and Andrew Cuomo, and AOC - I know - we all know).
b) None of our male slaves have ever voted in congregational assembly.  Because - what are you even talking about?
c) Moderators - help!

Dave Benke
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D. Engebretson

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Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

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Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2021, 03:17:54 PM »
Some insight into this thread's author can also be found in a comment at this site:
http://ihoppe.com/blog/?p=3704
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Juan Jeanniton

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Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2021, 03:50:53 PM »
Are you now, or have you ever been, Jack Cascione?

To be clear:
a) I hope you're not Jack Cascione, because he's from Queens and has received the blessing reserved for Queens natives and residents (yes, that includes both Donald Trump and Andrew Cuomo, and AOC - I know - we all know).
b) None of our male slaves have ever voted in congregational assembly.  Because - what are you even talking about?
c) Moderators - help!

Dave Benke


Nope, I am not Jack Cascione. Now, Jack Cascione is the most staunch advocate in this 21st century, of C F W Walther's DOCTRINE of the supremacy of the Voter Assembly, which used to be the historical classical teaching of the LCMS until 1969, and which the WELS and CLC still hold even today.
Some insight into this thread's author can also be found in a comment at this site:
http://ihoppe.com/blog/?p=3704
But on this ALPB forum, I have decided to give C F W Walther the benefit of the doubt on his doctrine of Voter Supremacy.

One of the proof-texts from the Bible & Lutheran Confessions that Walther, Vehse, and Cascione have used in order to support their system of Voter Supremacy is that “In 1 Cor. 3:6, Paul makes ministers equal, and teaches that the Church is above the ministers. Hence superiority or lordship over the Church or the rest of the ministers is not ascribed to Peter [in preference to other apostles]. For he says thus: All things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, i.e., let neither the other ministers nor Peter assume for themselves lordship or superiority over the Church; let them not burden the Church with traditions; let not the authority of any avail more than the Word [of God]; let not the authority of Cephas be opposed to the authority of the other apostles, as they reasoned at that time: "Cephas, who is an apostle of higher rank, observes this; therefore, both Paul and the rest ought to observe this." Paul removes this pretext from Peter, and denies [Not so, says Paul, and makes Peter doff his little hat, namely, the claim] that his authority is to be preferred to the rest or to the Church.” (Canon V, A Treatise on the Power and Supremacy of the Pope, which should be better entitled, A Treatise AGAINST the Pretended and Unjust Power and Supremacy of the Pope.)

Christians must be warned that it is essential for the well-being of both the "Clergy" and the "Laity" that the office of the Pastor and Elders be placed neither too high or too low. For when "it is placed too high it becomes quite easy to shift the balance of rights and duties to the side of the clergy over the congregation, establishing an infringement of their Christian freedom, a misuse in the handling of church hierarchy and other evils. When however the status of the" ordained ministers "is placed too low, usually the emphasis shifts to the side of the congregation with a depreciated esteem for the ministry and public service to God, tied together with a proud, separatist existence, an overstepping of Christian freedom, a great hindering in the exercising of spiritual caregiving and church discipline, and thus confusion and all kinds of sectarian disorder." (The Pastoral Letter of Pastor Grabau of Buffalo from the Year 1840 and the Assembled Correspondence between him and many Lutheran Pastors from Missouri, The Publishing rendered as a Protest against the Assertion of Hierarchical Principles within the Lutheran Church, New York: Printed by H. Ludwig & Co., 70 Vesey Street, 1849, page 6.)

With these two remarks in mind in addition to my 5 cardinal assumptions, what is the true and scriptural answer to my 3 questions on Church Government which I have posed?

1: According to the Reine Lehre pure teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, is the unit of electoral representation in a congregational voter assembly the family or the individual?

2: According to the Reine Lehre pure teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, are adult sons (i.e. at least 21 years old) living with their father eligible to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their father, or is that contrary to their duty of obedience to their father?

3: In light of the Reine Lehre pure teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, especially including that part of the Table of Duties which prescribes it to be the duty of servants to be obedient to their masters, are male servants living in the household of their male master of the house to vote in the same Voter Assembly of the SAME local congregation as their master, or is that a violation of the plain Scriptural precepts which teach that servants must obey their masters?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 04:02:38 PM by Juan Jeanniton »

peter_speckhard

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Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2021, 04:34:08 PM »
I guess it depends on the constitution of the congregation. The Bible and Confession say nothing of age 21 being relevant, nor whether one lives in a separate house from one’s parents, nor really anything of the nuts and bolts of voters’ assemblies generally. So it would be a matter of whatever the constitution of the congregation says, which, of course, would itself be something that had to be voted on to take effect, which makes it a chicken/egg kind of question.

Juan, can you PM with some kind of information verifying your identity? We’ve had some problems with people logging on with fake names.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 04:37:20 PM by peter_speckhard »

Dave Benke

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Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2021, 05:02:04 PM »
Dave - Interesting that you should connect this thread with Jack Cascione.  See:https://steadfastlutherans.org/2009/09/rev-jack-cascione-brings-to-light-the-lcms-leaderships-lawsuit-against-four-simple-church-ladies-in-california-by-pr-rossow/comment-page-1/

Oh, boy.  My bad.  The dreaded last-ditch Lutherquest Invasion of the Last Bastion of Possible Dialog among Lutherans has begun.  My guess is that in the end it will be more of a whimper than a bang, unless there's a throng of folks heretofore unknown willing to die on the hill preventing women from voting in congregational assemblies. 

Personally, I think voting MACHINES should be banned from congregational assemblies because the spirit of Hugo Chavez rests inside the gearboxes of those communist contraptions.

Dave Benke
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peter_speckhard

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Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2021, 05:06:29 PM »
Dave - Interesting that you should connect this thread with Jack Cascione.  See:https://steadfastlutherans.org/2009/09/rev-jack-cascione-brings-to-light-the-lcms-leaderships-lawsuit-against-four-simple-church-ladies-in-california-by-pr-rossow/comment-page-1/

Oh, boy.  My bad.  The dreaded last-ditch Lutherquest Invasion of the Last Bastion of Possible Dialog among Lutherans has begun.  My guess is that in the end it will be more of a whimper than a bang, unless there's a throng of folks heretofore unknown willing to die on the hill preventing women from voting in congregational assemblies. 

Personally, I think voting MACHINES should be banned from congregational assemblies because the spirit of Hugo Chavez rests inside the gearboxes of those communist contraptions.

Dave Benke
The interesting thing about the link is that it repeatedly describes the four ladies as simple. Their simplicity seems to be the main takeaway.

Charles Austin

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Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2021, 06:01:59 PM »
Let us not encourage in this forum anything remotely like any discussion, style, representation or “personality“ on that “quest“ site.
It is, in every way, what this form does not want to be.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist. When the nation is troubled, the patriot depends on the Constitution. The opportunistic traitor tries to dump or ignore the Constitution.

Juan Jeanniton

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Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2021, 07:09:59 PM »
Now, given our 5 assumptions, let us now start of Case of Conscience #1: According to the Reine Lehre pure teachings of the Bible and Lutheran Confessions, is the unit of electoral representation in a congregational voter assembly the family or the individual?

More precisely:

Case I - Family Representation and the Voter Assembly: It is written in the Sacred Scriptures that "God setteth the solitary in families" (Psalms 68.6). The majority of conservative historians have come to the conclusion that the political unit of society and of the State is the family. That was the established conventional wisdom of conservative Bible-believing Christians in the 19th Century, However, a certain Lutheran article, over 100 years ago, in The Lutheran Church Review, Volume 18, page 484, 485, opposed the opinion of the then synodical committee that "A congregation violates no Scriptural or Lutheran principle where a family is not otherwise represented by providing for the votes of communicant members without regard to sex" (Engl Min 1898 p 81) as being contrary to the plain teaching of the Scriptures in the New Testament against women usurping ecclesiastical authority over men. The reasons given in that article are: (1) "If the Scriptures recognize us as voters at all, they do not recognize us as families, but as individuals. No one votes for a family, but for himself only." (2) "The "opinion" assumes that "a family" - possibly composed of a number of male and female members - may be "represented" by one male member at a congregational meeting, and one vote would be cast for the whole family. We deny the right of such representation of the female members of the family, but granting this right, for argument's sake, it is very doubtful whether the one vote expresses the views and convictions of all the other members of the family." You only need to read the 3rd and 4th reasons to see that the source agrees that for women to vote in the voter assembly is a usurpation of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction the Scriptures reserves only for (duly qualified, if not also specially appointed) adult males. The source's fifth and last reason is: (5) "It is also a fallacy to suppose, that a wife, who is "represented" by a husband at a congregational meeting thereby exercises more rights and privileges than a widow or single woman, if the latter are debarred from voting. The husband of a wife votes only for himself and not for his wife, depositing only one vote. The wife has, therefore, no more to say in the matter than the widow or single woman. If the right of voting is to be given to the widow and the female members of a family not otherwise represented, as seems to be contemplated in the report of the committee, it must in justice be given to all women, whether single or married." The 1st, 2nd, and 5th reasons of given in that source, however, are contrary to the received conventional wisdom of his time, which held that women are represented by their fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons at the ballot box, and which held that the family is the political unit. It is the plain teaching of Scripture that a house (including a family) divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3.24/26, Luke 11.17/18). Therefore, it follows that the burden of proof is on those who DENY that the family is the electoral unit of representation in the Voter Assembly of a local congregation, to prove from the Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions that if "the Scriptures recognize us as voters at all, they do not recognize us as families, but as individuals", and to prove the given 1st, 2nd, and 5th reasons (however, everyone knows that the source's 3rd and 4th reasons are the natural result of C. F. W. Walther's doctrine of Voter Supremacy and the Bible's teaching found in 1 Timothy 2:12). So, is the claim of the article, The Lutheran Church Review, Volume 18, page 484, 485, expressed in its 1st, 2nd, and 5th reasons the true teaching of the Scripture or not on this case of conscience? Please provide a sound theological proof from the Bible and Lutheran Confessions. At least one thing is obvious: "woman suffrage" and "voter supremacy" cannot both be mixed together in the same Voter Assembly of the same local congregation without resulting in a violation of the Divine Order of the Creation.

Charles Austin

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Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2021, 07:44:40 PM »
????
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist. When the nation is troubled, the patriot depends on the Constitution. The opportunistic traitor tries to dump or ignore the Constitution.

Juan Jeanniton

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Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2021, 08:04:16 PM »
????

What is there about Case of Conscience #1 that you don't understand?

Richard Johnson

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Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2021, 08:26:49 PM »
????

What is there about Case of Conscience #1 that you don't understand?

What is it that you think is worth understanding?
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2021, 08:38:31 PM »
Ezekiel 18 removes the family ties. Every individual is responsible for their own lives. (see also Jeremiah 31:29-30). Children are not connected to their parents, nor parents to their children. Every individual is judged on their own merits.


Most of the newer translations of Psalm 68:6a do not translate בַּיִת with "family," but with "house," its more literal meaning. "God settles the lonely in their homes." (CEB)
"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]

Charles Austin

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Re: Some Cases of Conscience on Lutheran Church Government!
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2021, 09:13:05 PM »
Until I tried - and failed - to make sense and seek relevance in “case of Conscience #1,” I thought the old goofiness about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin was the dumbest thing to talk about in church circles.
Bye now.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist. When the nation is troubled, the patriot depends on the Constitution. The opportunistic traitor tries to dump or ignore the Constitution.