Author Topic: Another contribution to the endless controversy  (Read 49229 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #60 on: June 02, 2021, 01:46:59 PM »
Wrong on two points, Peter. I’m suggesting that a gracious God is able to say OK to both views on what constitutes coordination. What we must wait to bring together is how you and I are going to get along and have full church fellowship while holding these desperate views.
As for the “novelty and innovation” semi-insult, I commend your deft, though incomplete “moderation.”
I’ll be in fellowship with you, even though you don’t ordain women.
Can you be in fellowship with me, and simply not go to ELCA services where women preside?
You are simply sidestepping the whole issue of what God has revealed to be His will. What errors a gracious God may choose to tolerate is a separate issue entirely from what is truth and what is error. And you assume that being in full fellowship is the absolute mandate that matters more than any other consideration.


Is it truth that women's head should be covered? Or is that an error? Are those the only two choices?


Being one as the Trinity is one is Jesus' prayer for us. I think that it matters a lot. How that unity is expressed is still up for grabs. I am certain that our disunity hurts our witness in the world.
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #61 on: June 02, 2021, 01:54:28 PM »
Dave, your mask is slipping. You shouldn’t let people see that in your view true dialog can only happen between people who doubt their own position, and those who favor dialog are really expressing their openness to the idea that what they believe could be false. You should continue to publicly favor dialog in any and every situation while insisting that openness to dialog is the sign of supreme confidence in one’s own position, and unwillingness to dialog is a sign of fear.

The LCMS is not pretending any more than the ELCA is pretending. Both have considered a question. Both have answered it. The LCMS has taken the side of global Christendom through the centuries. The ELCA has taken the side of novelty and innovation. Both sides are equally certain.

Peter, I love what you said above - especially the portion I emphasized.  People can debate whether we're interpreting the WO prohibition texts correctly.  What they CAN'T debate is the simple fact that the vast majority of Christians throughout history and still today view the WO prohibition texts as clearly teaching that it is not God's will for women to serve in the pastoral office.  Therefore, as I said in a previous post, those minority of modern Christians who have jumped head first into the practice of WO are not only engaging in "novelty and innovation" but are NOT practicing Christian humility out of respect for the Church catholic.


And for much of human history, women were not allowed to hold public office. Women were not allowed to vote. In some places, women were not allowed to attend school. In contrast to that centuries-long tradition of women being second class humans, scriptures, and thus God, often elevates them to be superior to men in faith. There was a female judge in Judges. Judah had a queen. The Moabite Ruth becomes an example of faithfulness. Even Luther argued that Mary is the supreme example of what it means to trust God. The gospels agree that God chose women to be the first to witness the resurrection and to be messengers of that truth to the disciples.
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #62 on: June 02, 2021, 02:00:10 PM »
Pastor Charlton, are all theological concepts totally universal and eternal? Can the Spirit not guide the church in different ways in different times or different places? The date of Easter controversies come to mind, the time when Christians were excommunicated for not observing Easter on the “right” day. Or the Synod of Whitby in 664 which imposed the “Roman” way of computing the date for Easter on the Irish and Britons?
Now: Dare  I play with speculation concerning The Spirit?
“Well, here are all these Christians passionate about a male-only clergy,” thinks The Spirit. “They’ve got a lot of history and some quirky theology behind them, but it would be a whopping can of worms opened to make a fast change.”
   The Spirit takes another sip of chamomile tea. “Then, we’ve got these Protestants and others just tearing along, with some trendy theology and after only a couple-hundred years of discussion, ordaining women right and left. Bishops even! It’s not doing any real harm and is actually doing some good in some places for some people. I don’t like the rift between those two groups, but losing those ELCA folks would be bad for the Church, and making those LCMS people put women in their pulpits would probably be bad for their churches and the Church. They will both overstate their positions, but let Us let them both continue with Our blessing. There’s time to find ways to bring them together.”
See. Both can be right.

What an incredibly obtuse and ignorant response to what I said.  It doesn't really warrant a response, but I'll try anyway.

I was simply asserting that while two things cannot both be true at the same time and in the same way, they can both be wrong.  In other words, if I can prove proposition A to be false, it doesn't automatically prove that proposition B is true. 

Your argument that if two statements are taken equivocally they might both be true at the same time doesn't address the question.


What is true and what is false is not always so clear cut. Sometimes two different things can be true because they are different perspectives of the truth.
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #63 on: June 02, 2021, 02:03:16 PM »
Dave Likeness totally misunderstands the ELCA position when he writes that it is ”We can agree to disagree."
No that is not true. We say that our disagreements still exist, but we will work to overcome them. And to reach agreement. But meanwhile we can be in mission and ministry and in fellowship together.
We do not simply “agree to disagree.”


The unity I have with my brothers is not based on us agreeing with each other. It comes from having common parents. The emphasis on agreeing with each other in order to be in Christian fellowship is a false understanding of our relationship with each other who have a common Father.
"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]

DCharlton

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #64 on: June 02, 2021, 02:05:52 PM »
Pastor Charlton, it can be “true” that God finds an all-male priesthood for the Roman Catholic Church, the Missouri Synod, and maybe some others, “pleasing.”
And it can be “true” that God finds women clergy in the ELCA, the Episcopal church and numerous other denominations also “pleasing.“

Which does not in any way refute what I stated earlier.  In fact, I already said that when two statements are taken equivocally, they can contradict each other without either one having to be false.  For instance, the statements, "A dolphin is a mammal," and "A dolphin is a fish," when taken equivocally, can both be true.  (The reason they can both be true is that in some parts of the world, the fish known as the Mahi Mahi is called a dolphin.)

What I am talking about two statements that purport to be true at the same time and in the same way.  These two statements cannot be true at the same time and in the same way:

a.  God's Word prohibits women from serving in the office of Word and Sacrament.
b.  God's Word permits women to serve in the office of Word and Sacrament.

They cannot be true at the same time in the same way.  Both of them, however, can be false. 
« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 02:15:44 PM by DCharlton »
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #65 on: June 02, 2021, 02:09:08 PM »
We say that our disagreements still exist, but we will work to overcome them. And to reach agreement. But meanwhile we can be in mission and ministry and in fellowship together.
We do not simply “agree to disagree.”

Disagreements come in different ways and are of varying levels of seriousness.  Are there limits for the ELCA with regard to differences?  That is, are there some differences that preclude being in "mission and ministry and in fellowship together"? Or limit the degree of that fellowship and cooperation?  What unresolved differences would keep the ELCA from seeking or entering into such fellowship and cooperation?


Our full communion agreements are something more than "fellowship and cooperation". We can cooperate with non-Christian groups. We may even participate in inter-faith events. Our full communion agreements are based on the premise that the other believers, like us, have a proper understanding of the gospel: justification by God's grace through Jesus Christ, and the sacraments are administered according to the gospel.


For example, we and the Reformed agree in the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, but exactly how he is present remains a mystery. Some of those details is like arguing how many angels will fit on the head of a pin. They have little to nothing to do with our witness to the world about the grace of God.
"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]

DCharlton

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #66 on: June 02, 2021, 02:15:06 PM »
Pastor Charlton, are all theological concepts totally universal and eternal? Can the Spirit not guide the church in different ways in different times or different places? The date of Easter controversies come to mind, the time when Christians were excommunicated for not observing Easter on the “right” day. Or the Synod of Whitby in 664 which imposed the “Roman” way of computing the date for Easter on the Irish and Britons?
Now: Dare  I play with speculation concerning The Spirit?
“Well, here are all these Christians passionate about a male-only clergy,” thinks The Spirit. “They’ve got a lot of history and some quirky theology behind them, but it would be a whopping can of worms opened to make a fast change.”
   The Spirit takes another sip of chamomile tea. “Then, we’ve got these Protestants and others just tearing along, with some trendy theology and after only a couple-hundred years of discussion, ordaining women right and left. Bishops even! It’s not doing any real harm and is actually doing some good in some places for some people. I don’t like the rift between those two groups, but losing those ELCA folks would be bad for the Church, and making those LCMS people put women in their pulpits would probably be bad for their churches and the Church. They will both overstate their positions, but let Us let them both continue with Our blessing. There’s time to find ways to bring them together.”
See. Both can be right.

What an incredibly obtuse and ignorant response to what I said.  It doesn't really warrant a response, but I'll try anyway.

I was simply asserting that while two things cannot both be true at the same time and in the same way, they can both be wrong.  In other words, if I can prove proposition A to be false, it doesn't automatically prove that proposition B is true. 

Your argument that if two statements are taken equivocally they might both be true at the same time doesn't address the question.

What is true and what is false is not always so clear cut. Sometimes two different things can be true because they are different perspectives of the truth.

That's because the statements are equivocal.  They are not asserting that two contradictory things are true at the same time and in the same way.  Instead, they assert that two contradictory things are true from different perspectives.

You're also forgetting that to understand the example above, one has to know the truth.  The truth is that the object is neither a circle, nor a rectangle.  It is a cylinder.  Your example proves what I am asserting, that two contradictory propositions can both be false.
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Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #67 on: June 02, 2021, 02:15:29 PM »
Pastor Charlton, it can be “true” that God finds an all-male priesthood for the Roman Catholic Church, the Missouri Synod, and maybe some others, “pleasing.”
And it can be “true” that God finds women clergy in the ELCA, the Episcopal church and numerous other denominations also “pleasing.“

Which does not in any way refute what I stated earlier.  In fact, I already said that when two statements are taken equivocally, they can contradict each other without either one having to be false.  For instance, the statements, "A dolphin a mammal," and "A dolphin is a fish," when taken equivocally, can both be true.  (The reason they can both be true is that in some parts of the world, the fish known as the Mahi Mahi is called a dolphin.)

What I am talking about two statements that purport to be true at the same time and in the same way.  These two statements cannot be true at the same time and in the same way:

a.  God's Word prohibits women from serving in the office of Word and Sacrament.
b.  God's Word permits women to serve in the office of Word and Sacrament.

They cannot be true at the same time in the same way.  Both of them, however, can be false.


Your analogy is flawed because it is always humans who interpret God's Word. There were humans who wrote it. There were humans who copied it (sometimes seeking to "improve" it). There are humans who translate it. There are humans who read and interpret it.


More properly:
a. Your interpretation of God's word prohibits women from serving in the office of Word and Sacrament.
b. Our interpretation of God's word permits women to serve in the office of Word and Sacrament.


Both statements are true.
"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: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #68 on: June 02, 2021, 02:17:03 PM »
I don’t know what timing situation you described was, but it could be that the comments that your Synod president brought to one of our church wide assemblies prompted that reaction. I heard many at that assembly say, following your president’s remarks, “well there’s no point in even talking to them then.”
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #69 on: June 02, 2021, 02:21:06 PM »
That's because the statements are equivocal.  They are not asserting that two contradictory things are true at the same time and in the same way.  Instead, they assert that two contradictory things are true from different perspectives.

You're also forgetting that to understand the example above, one has to know the truth.  The truth is that the object is neither a circle, nor a rectangle.  It is a cylinder.  Your example proves what I am asserting, that two contradictory propositions can both be false.


Ah, in the illustration, we are able to see the Truth. In real life, not so much. We only have our perspectives. When we recognize this, we might be able to get closer to the Truth. When I argue that the shape is a circle, and you argue that the shape is a square; it makes a whale of a difference if I assume we are both right and we need to learn from each other. Together we might come to realize that we are both looking at a cylinder from different perspectives.

However, if either one of us assumes, "I've got the truth and the other is wrong," we will never get beyond our individual perspective. What we perceive as true, becomes Truth (and it's incomplete).


I see this as analogous to our full communion agreements. We assume that we both are seeing the truth of God and we need to learn from each other; rather than assuming we are right and you are wrong.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 02:23:15 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]

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #70 on: June 02, 2021, 02:24:13 PM »
Pastor Charlton, it can be “true” that God finds an all-male priesthood for the Roman Catholic Church, the Missouri Synod, and maybe some others, “pleasing.”
And it can be “true” that God finds women clergy in the ELCA, the Episcopal church and numerous other denominations also “pleasing.“

Which does not in any way refute what I stated earlier.  In fact, I already said that when two statements are taken equivocally, they can contradict each other without either one having to be false.  For instance, the statements, "A dolphin a mammal," and "A dolphin is a fish," when taken equivocally, can both be true.  (The reason they can both be true is that in some parts of the world, the fish known as the Mahi Mahi is called a dolphin.)

What I am talking about two statements that purport to be true at the same time and in the same way.  These two statements cannot be true at the same time and in the same way:

a.  God's Word prohibits women from serving in the office of Word and Sacrament.
b.  God's Word permits women to serve in the office of Word and Sacrament.

They cannot be true at the same time in the same way.  Both of them, however, can be false.

Your analogy is flawed because it is always humans who interpret God's Word. There were humans who wrote it. There were humans who copied it (sometimes seeking to "improve" it). There are humans who translate it. There are humans who read and interpret it.

No.  God also interprets God's Word.  Or better yet, God's Word is God's interpretation us.  God is the judge of what is true or not, regardless of how many different ways human beings interpret the Scriptures.

Quote
More properly:
a. Your interpretation of God's word prohibits women from serving in the office of Word and Sacrament.
b. Our interpretation of God's word permits women to serve in the office of Word and Sacrament.

Both statements are true.

What a lazy way of arguing?  You completely changed the meaning of the proposition in order to arrive at your preferred answer.  Did you try that in math class as a child, rewriting the equation so that it matched your preferred answer?
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Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Tom Eckstein

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #71 on: June 02, 2021, 02:33:36 PM »
Dave, your mask is slipping. You shouldn’t let people see that in your view true dialog can only happen between people who doubt their own position, and those who favor dialog are really expressing their openness to the idea that what they believe could be false. You should continue to publicly favor dialog in any and every situation while insisting that openness to dialog is the sign of supreme confidence in one’s own position, and unwillingness to dialog is a sign of fear.

The LCMS is not pretending any more than the ELCA is pretending. Both have considered a question. Both have answered it. The LCMS has taken the side of global Christendom through the centuries. The ELCA has taken the side of novelty and innovation. Both sides are equally certain.

Peter, I love what you said above - especially the portion I emphasized.  People can debate whether we're interpreting the WO prohibition texts correctly.  What they CAN'T debate is the simple fact that the vast majority of Christians throughout history and still today view the WO prohibition texts as clearly teaching that it is not God's will for women to serve in the pastoral office.  Therefore, as I said in a previous post, those minority of modern Christians who have jumped head first into the practice of WO are not only engaging in "novelty and innovation" but are NOT practicing Christian humility out of respect for the Church catholic.


And for much of human history, women were not allowed to hold public office. Women were not allowed to vote. In some places, women were not allowed to attend school. In contrast to that centuries-long tradition of women being second class humans, scriptures, and thus God, often elevates them to be superior to men in faith. There was a female judge in Judges. Judah had a queen. The Moabite Ruth becomes an example of faithfulness. Even Luther argued that Mary is the supreme example of what it means to trust God. The gospels agree that God chose women to be the first to witness the resurrection and to be messengers of that truth to the disciples.

The civic examples you give have NOTHING to do with how and why the vast majority of Christians have been opposed to WO.

The biblical examples you give of women do not speak to the issue of why women are not to serve in the pastoral office.  It's not unlike those who refer to the fact that women were the first witnesses of Jesus' resurrection.  What does that have to do with women serving in the pastoral office?  Those who hold to the biblical and catholic position that women should not serve in the pastoral office have NEVER suggested that women can't be witnesses about Jesus as any lay person (male or female) can.

The same reason a woman cannot represent Christ as the Head of His Bride is the same reason a woman can't be the head of her husband.  The fact that women have and can hold secular positions of authority has nothing to do with the reasons why women are not to be pastors.

It is a simple fact that the vast majority of Christians throughout history have been opposed to WO - and this is NOT for cultural reasons!

Finally, your point about women wearing head coverings or having "long hair" (1st Cor. ch. 11) - the universal principle that Paul is asserting is that there must be a distinction between male and female whereas the local expression of that in Corinth was that women had head coverings.  So, the local expression of the distinction between male and female can change whereas the fact that there must always be a distinction between male and female within the church does NOT change.  As for women serving as pastors, Paul's assertion that women are NOT to be pastors is not a local expression but is ITSELF a universal principle!  The context makes this clear!
I'm an LCMS Pastor in Jamestown, ND.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #72 on: June 02, 2021, 02:34:02 PM »
No.  God also interprets God's Word.  Or better yet, God's Word is God's interpretation us.  God is the judge of what is true or not, regardless of how many different ways human beings interpret the Scriptures.


I have hundreds and hundreds of commentaries. God didn't write any of them.


I have files and files of word studies where I look at how Greek and Hebrew words are used throughout scriptures. God didn't do that work. I did.


God may give me insights into the meaning of his Word as I look over my hours of work on a passage; but almost never does God just give me a magical insight without a lot of human work.

Quote
Quote
More properly:
a. Your interpretation of God's word prohibits women from serving in the office of Word and Sacrament.
b. Our interpretation of God's word permits women to serve in the office of Word and Sacrament.

Both statements are true.

What a lazy way of arguing?  You completely changed the meaning of the proposition in order to arrive at your preferred answer.  Did you try that in math class as a child, rewriting the equation so that it matched your preferred answer?


What I wrote is the truth. What you wrote is in error. There have been times when I've had to correct a math equation when it included mistakes.
"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]

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #73 on: June 02, 2021, 02:40:24 PM »
That's because the statements are equivocal.  They are not asserting that two contradictory things are true at the same time and in the same way.  Instead, they assert that two contradictory things are true from different perspectives.

You're also forgetting that to understand the example above, one has to know the truth.  The truth is that the object is neither a circle, nor a rectangle.  It is a cylinder.  Your example proves what I am asserting, that two contradictory propositions can both be false.

Ah, in the illustration, we are able to see the Truth. In real life, not so much. We only have our perspectives. When we recognize this, we might be able to get closer to the Truth. When I argue that the shape is a circle, and you argue that the shape is a square; it makes a whale of a difference if I assume we are both right and we need to learn from each other. Together we might come to realize that we are both looking at a cylinder from different perspectives.

However, if either one of us assumes, "I've got the truth and the other is wrong," we will never get beyond our individual perspective. What we perceive as true, becomes Truth (and it's incomplete).

I see this as analogous to our full communion agreements. We assume that we both are seeing the truth of God and we need to learn from each other; rather than assuming we are right and you are wrong.

I said nothing about assuming which side is right.  I am assuming that two propositions cannot be true at the same time and in the same way.  That doesn't rule out the possibility that both propositions are false.  Neither does it rule out that they are both true at different times and in different ways. Constant equivocation does not solve the problem of truth, it only avoids it.

I'm in favor of humility in our dialogue with other people.  It is certainly wise and helpful to assume that one does not have the whole truth, even when one is certain of having part of the truth.  On the other hand, denying the existence of truth altogether, as you seem to propose is dangerous.  In the real world, questions of truth and falsehood have consequences.   

If there is a God, and that God truly wills some things rather than others, then it matters whether a given thing is in accordance with God's will, or not.  What matters is neither my perspective, nor yours, but God's.  You may assert that God will forgive us for our false perspective, but again, it matters infinitely whether your assertion is true or not.   
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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #74 on: June 02, 2021, 02:43:09 PM »
I have hundreds and hundreds of commentaries. God didn't write any of them.

Only a fool would mistake a commentary for God's Word. 

Quote
What I wrote is the truth. What you wrote is in error. There have been times when I've had to correct a math equation when it included mistakes.

If I didn't know better, I would think you were joking. 
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?