Author Topic: Another contribution to the endless controversy  (Read 30755 times)

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #510 on: June 23, 2021, 03:58:21 PM »
In our confessional terminology, this is the "mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren."...I've heard this passage used as only applying to the clergy. 

By whom? Are these folks who converse with and console themselves?

You certainly hang with some strange dudes, Dave!

I recall that is was in this forum that some applied it only to clergy.

Please show me who those "some" are so I can ask them the above question.

Thanks.

I've never been good at recalling names (or biblical references) even when I remember the content of what someone said or the verse. I could do a search in this forum, but you could do that, too, if you really wanted to discover the name(s).

Well, I don't need to search the forum because there aren't any names to discover. I don't believe that anyone on this forum has expressed such a viewpoint.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 04:35:29 PM by Donald_Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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peter_speckhard

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #511 on: June 23, 2021, 04:17:22 PM »
Sorry, all the imbedded quotes coupled with using my phone with random autocorrects was driving me nuts. So I'm reposting without quoting.

I said that lay members of congregations pray for, care for, visit, and comfort, one another all the time and that if we're using the pastor/shepherd vocation in its broadest sense then it is a vocation every Christian has and no pastor has any objection to when they exercise it. You agreed, except that you claimed a bunch of hyper-Euro guys somewhere objected to their members doing those things. I called b.s. on that assertion. They don't and never have objected to their members praying for each other, visiting each other in the hospital or nursing home, taking care of each other etc. What they object to is not lay members serving in a vocation that is for all Christians in its broadest sense. What they object to is lay members filling a more narrowly defined vocation that is only for some Christians and that overlaps with what a pastor is called to do. You applied their objections to that latter thing as though it were an objection to the former thing. It would be the same as if someone objected to lay readers in worship and you described their reactionary ways by saying, "I've heard of pastors in the Upper Midwest who forbid their members from reading the Bible because that is the pastor's job." That isn't an accurate summary of the objection at all. Everyone is called to read the Scriptures. Not everyone is called to read them in public worship. That argument may or may not be true, but you can't even refute it if you refuse to acknowledge the distinction on which it hinges. Every Christian as a member of the Body of Christ is called to pray for and take care of people. No pastor opposes that idea. You have never met a pastor who objects to that idea or even heard from a friend about a pastor who objects to that idea. What they object to (in your estimation wrongly) is a different, related thing which you insist on presenting as though it were the same thing.

If I'm in the hospital and my friend from church comes to visit me, there is no question what is going on. He is a being a brother in Christ to me by visiting me and praying with me. If I'm in the hospital and someone says, "Hi, I'm the visitation minister from your church and I'd like to pray with you," there is one sense in which the same thing is happening-- a sibling in Christ has come to pray with me. But in another sense it is a totally different thing. There isn't clarity. Is this just a function of Christians being Christians to each other? Because it seems more like a pastoral visit from the church. Only it isn't the pastor, so what are we talking about here? We started the conversation talking about a certain vocation being applied in its broadest sense that applies to all Christians (my Christian friend from church visiting me) but then you characterized objections to an narrower sense of the term as though they were objections to the broadest sense of the term.       

Dave Benke

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #512 on: June 23, 2021, 04:34:05 PM »
In our confessional terminology, this is the "mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren."...I've heard this passage used as only applying to the clergy. 

By whom? Are these folks who converse with and console themselves?

You certainly hang with some strange dudes, Dave!

I think, Don, that you're brighter than this, and I think you've articulated the answer they give because you already have heard it.  "The Brethren" is an encoded version of "The Ordained."
But as I said, I think you already know this.

Dave Benke

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #513 on: June 23, 2021, 04:39:30 PM »
In our confessional terminology, this is the "mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren."...I've heard this passage used as only applying to the clergy. 

By whom? Are these folks who converse with and console themselves?

You certainly hang with some strange dudes, Dave!

I think, Don, that you're brighter than this, and I think you've articulated the answer they give because you already have heard it.  "The Brethren" is an encoded version of "The Ordained."
But as I said, I think you already know this.

Dave Benke

Really?! You think I've heard others say that they converse with and console themselves?! Nope, Dave, never have heard such a thing.

So, these dudes whom you've heard express such a view... Do they also say that Matt 18:20 is only about clergy winkels?
« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 04:52:03 PM by Donald_Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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Dave Benke

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #514 on: June 23, 2021, 04:44:56 PM »
If I'm in the hospital and my friend from church comes to visit me, there is no question what is going on. He is a being a brother in Christ to me by visiting me and praying with me. If I'm in the hospital and someone says, "Hi, I'm the visitation minister from your church and I'd like to pray with you," there is one sense in which the same thing is happening-- a sibling in Christ has come to pray with me. But in another sense it is a totally different thing. There isn't clarity. Is this just a function of Christians being Christians to each other? Because it seems more like a pastoral visit from the church. Only it isn't the pastor, so what are we talking about here? We started the conversation talking about a certain vocation being applied in its broadest sense that applies to all Christians (my Christian friend from church visiting me) but then you characterized objections to an narrower sense of the term as though they were objections to the broadest sense of the term.   

Just plain Wow, Peter.  About the only person that's going to claim lack of clarity is.....a clergyman, or in this instance you. 

The visitation minister comes in, says can I offer a prayer with you.  And I would say "Thanks."  The visitation minister would ask what's up, what prayers I might need, express concern, bring consolation, and then pray with me.  And when the minister left I would say "Thanks" again. 

Are you saying you and your congregation would not allow non-ordained visitors to exercise their wider sense pastoral gifts of praying/visiting/tending?  Are you further saying you wouldn't encourage your congregation to move in that direction under the training of an ordained visitation clergyman?  We haven't even broached the topic of extraordinary eucharistic ministers, which should also be on the table.  So this is preliminary - what I think you are doing is objecting to congregations utilizing non-ordained visitation ministers, to use the term you mentioned, because it's too unclear. 

Dave Benke

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #515 on: June 23, 2021, 04:56:12 PM »
In our confessional terminology, this is the "mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren."...I've heard this passage used as only applying to the clergy. 

By whom? Are these folks who converse with and console themselves?

You certainly hang with some strange dudes, Dave!

I think, Don, that you're brighter than this, and I think you've articulated the answer they give because you already have heard it.  "The Brethren" is an encoded version of "The Ordained."
But as I said, I think you already know this.

Dave Benke

Really?! You think I've heard others say that the converse with and console themselves?! Nope, Dave, never have heard such a thing.

So, these dudes whom you've heard express such a view... Do they also say that Matt 18:20 is only about clergy winkels?

Try it this way.  Somebody upstream commented about the concept that true forgiveness can only be given in Holy Absolution, ie through the Pastor absolving the penitent.  That is something I have also heard, a bell that can't be unrung.  So if mutual conversation and consolation is rooted Scripturally in Matthew 18 (among others), then the only person who can truly accomplish consolation is the ordained pastor who absolves.  Why should others engage in it?  It's a task for pastors to engage in with their parishioners, not for everyone.  Further, who hears the confession of and absolves pastors?  A father confessor, another pastor.  So the primary consolation is from pastor to pastor, and the secondary consolation is in the Third Sacrament - Penance/Absolution.

It follows from the same theory of  "lack of clarity" when it comes to laypeople engaging in forgiveness, or visitation, or reading a lesson in church.  These are distinctive areas of the pastoral office.  Stay home.  I'll make the visits.  Come to church or to my office.  I'll give you true forgiveness.  Stay in the pews.  I'll take the readings.  Your participation would fog up the Rood Screen.

Dave Benke
« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 04:58:42 PM by Dave Benke »

D. Engebretson

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #516 on: June 23, 2021, 06:16:52 PM »
Why don't we just articulate those functions of the pastoral office that are unique to it and then we'll know what not to debate.  Unless, someone claims there are no specific functions unique to the OHM.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #517 on: June 23, 2021, 06:17:48 PM »
Good grief! You and Marie carry a lot of baggage!

Again, the clergy-only BS you manufacture (as Steve says, your story keeps changing) is something Iíve never heard. And I hung out for quite a while years back at the Steadfast site among other places.

BTW, your ďTry it this wayĒ explanation is logically flawed.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 06:29:54 PM by Donald_Kirchner »
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Dave Benke

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #518 on: June 23, 2021, 06:24:22 PM »
Why don't we just articulate those functions of the pastoral office that are unique to it and then we'll know what not to debate.  Unless, someone claims there are no specific functions unique to the OHM.

Proclamation/Preaching, Consecration of the Eucharist, Baptism in most circumstances for three.

Dave Benke

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #519 on: June 23, 2021, 06:26:05 PM »
Good grief! You and Marie carry a lot of baggage!

Again, the clergy-only BS you manufacture (as Steve says, your story keeps changing) is something Iíve never heard. And I hung out for quite a while years back at the Steadfast site among other places.

Hmmm. 

So then - do you/would you train lay people to visit/tend/pray on behalf of the congregation?  I'm hearing you say "Yes, I would/I have."

Dave Benke

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #520 on: June 23, 2021, 06:38:11 PM »
They need further training to visit, pray, etc?!

Of course they can and, as a Christian, will do these things. Why does that puzzle you, Dave? To quote your comment to me, youíre brighter than that.
Don Kirchner

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Dave Benke

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #521 on: June 23, 2021, 06:53:18 PM »
They need further training to visit, pray, etc?!

Of course they can and, as a Christian, will do these things. Why does that puzzle you, Dave? To quote your comment to me, youíre brighter than that.

You're getting all lawyerly on me, Don, answering to the side of what's asked, but it's OK.

A) I'm not puzzled.  I am, however, interested.

B) The question is about your pastoral practice in your congregation -

Do you train laypeople in your congregation to undertake ministries of visitation/tending/prayer?  Are they trained/organized by you for that purpose, and if so, how is it going? To give you context from recent posts, this is what Peter indicated might lead to a lack of clarity - a visitation minister asking to pray for him while visiting him in a hospital.  But the two questions can be answered yes or no, that will work for me.

Dave Benke

peter_speckhard

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #522 on: June 23, 2021, 06:55:48 PM »
If I'm in the hospital and my friend from church comes to visit me, there is no question what is going on. He is a being a brother in Christ to me by visiting me and praying with me. If I'm in the hospital and someone says, "Hi, I'm the visitation minister from your church and I'd like to pray with you," there is one sense in which the same thing is happening-- a sibling in Christ has come to pray with me. But in another sense it is a totally different thing. There isn't clarity. Is this just a function of Christians being Christians to each other? Because it seems more like a pastoral visit from the church. Only it isn't the pastor, so what are we talking about here? We started the conversation talking about a certain vocation being applied in its broadest sense that applies to all Christians (my Christian friend from church visiting me) but then you characterized objections to an narrower sense of the term as though they were objections to the broadest sense of the term.   

Just plain Wow, Peter.  About the only person that's going to claim lack of clarity is.....a clergyman, or in this instance you. 

The visitation minister comes in, says can I offer a prayer with you.  And I would say "Thanks."  The visitation minister would ask what's up, what prayers I might need, express concern, bring consolation, and then pray with me.  And when the minister left I would say "Thanks" again. 

Are you saying you and your congregation would not allow non-ordained visitors to exercise their wider sense pastoral gifts of praying/visiting/tending?  Are you further saying you wouldn't encourage your congregation to move in that direction under the training of an ordained visitation clergyman?  We haven't even broached the topic of extraordinary eucharistic ministers, which should also be on the table.  So this is preliminary - what I think you are doing is objecting to congregations utilizing non-ordained visitation ministers, to use the term you mentioned, because it's too unclear. 

Dave Benke
No, I'm not saying anything like that, nor am I objecting. My congregation has female teachers doing children's messages and on occasion serving as lay readers, and we have a long history (though not currently) of having deaconesses do visitation ministry as well as members of the Board of Deacons assisting in that way. Carl Lewis couldn't jump to a conclusion further off from the truth than what you've managed.

What I'm pointing out is how discussions go wrong when you (and you're particularly good at it) subtly shift the terms of the discussion to make those who argue against you appear mean and foolish by attributing to them positions they never took. We began by agreeing that we were discussing the broadest possible application of the term pastoral vocation, and that it entailed doing things to which all Christians are called as God gives them opportunity, like praying for one another and visiting one another. I used the example of my mom, who counsels, visits, prays with and for, and sees to the needs of many people in her congregation despite being a widow herself. That's what we were talking about. You then introduced the idea that some pastors would object to that kind of thing. If my mom were in their congregation they would tell her to stop because she is a woman and a layman doing a pastor's job. I said that was just flat out untrue. You then pointed to people who object to congregations using laity as visitation ministers, which isn't the same thing at all as what we were talking about. 

Put on your old DP mitre for a moment. You get a complaint from an irate layperson that the pastor doesn't visit the sick. The caller's mom was in the hospital for a week and nobody came. This is the tenth time you've gotten this same complaint from different people, so you go to the pastor to find out what the deal is.

Scenario A) The pastor points out that he saw on facebook that at least one member of the congregation, whether from the mom's quilting club, choir, or prayer group at church visited her almost every day, so it isn't like the poor old woman was neglected by her church or didn't get visited or prayed for just because the pastor never showed up. My guess is that you as DP would (rightfully) point out that being visited by one's close friends at church isn't the same thing as getting a pastoral visit, and it was the lack of the latter that had her upset. The gist of the encounter would be you siding with the complaining caller and his mom that the pastor/congregation needed to be more vigilant about visiting the sick and hospitalized.   

Scenario B) The pastor points out that the Visitation Minister, whom he trained and supervises on a ongoing basis, visited the mom twice and did a devotion with her each time. The arrangement is that the Visitation Minister makes routine visits to the hospital to see any member who might be there, and if it is a particularly urgent case or some special need, he or she calls in the pastor. In this case the woman was mostly in for observation and had plenty of other support from church members so the Visitation Minister thought there was no need to call in the pastor. My guess is that you as DP would see the complaint differently. The church and pastor were not derelict. They might have misjudged the urgency of the case, but they were "on it" so to speak. It simply wasn't fair of the man to say that his mom was in the hospital for a week and nobody came to visit her.

But here is the distinction. In both scenarios the same number of people came to visit her and the same pastoral care (in the broadest sense) happened. People who were spiritually formed and trained under the pastor's guidance at church to behave in a Christian way did so. But your as DP would recognize the complaint as valid in one case and invalid (or less valid) in the other case. Why? Because there is a difference and you know it. The question is how to define it. In both cases a visit from the pastor himself would have solved the problem. Absent that, there is lay pastoral care and then there is lay pastoral care. In the broadest sense of the term pastoral vocation, the one that applies to everyone, the one we were talking about upstream, the mom got the same pastoral care in both scenarios. In the narrowest sense, meaning care from the pastor himself, she similarly got the same (lack of) care. So in the broadest and narrowest sense of "pastoral care" the scenarios are the exact same. Yet you know there is a difference between them. The difference between the scenarios is in some middle sense of pastoral vocation that is not clear. Did the woman get pastoral care from her church or not? Does it matter if one of the friends who visited her was the officially designated "visitation minister"? That question is where you and the hyper-uber-ultra-arch guys you find so distasteful disagree. You know that. It is wrong of you to say they simply object to laypeople praying for, visiting, or comforting the flock.

     
« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 11:02:32 PM by peter_speckhard »

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #523 on: June 23, 2021, 07:03:39 PM »
Dave,

No.

No.

BTW, I donít have a call/congregation.
Don Kirchner

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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #524 on: June 23, 2021, 07:48:52 PM »
Why don't we just articulate those functions of the pastoral office that are unique to it and then we'll know what not to debate.  Unless, someone claims there are no specific functions unique to the OHM.

Proclamation/Preaching, Consecration of the Eucharist, Baptism in most circumstances for three.

Dave Benke


I believe that we have only one: consecration of the eucharist. We have lay people preach. Lay people can baptize in an emergency. In Wyoming when the closest ELCA congregation was 100 miles away, I had one of our lay people lead the non-communion service when I went on vacation.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]