Author Topic: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies  (Read 6742 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #90 on: October 25, 2021, 05:45:24 PM »

I believe that Christ is truly present in the sacrament even among those Christians who see it as nothing but a memorial meal.


You cannot know that for sure. It is speculation just as the opposite is speculation.


We can know it just as certainly as we believe all of Christ's promises: This is my body. Or, if you prefer, wherever two or three gather in my name, I am there.
"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: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #91 on: October 25, 2021, 06:00:05 PM »

I believe that Christ is truly present in the sacrament even among those Christians who see it as nothing but a memorial meal.


You cannot know that for sure. It is speculation just as the opposite is speculation.


We can know it just as certainly as we believe all of Christ's promises: This is my body. Or, if you prefer, wherever two or three gather in my name, I am there.
Again, mere wordplay. One might respond, "So you're saying Christ isn't there when two or three gather but not in His Name? He says He's God, and God is everywhere. So what difference does it make if they're gathered in His Name or in some other name? In fact, He was there before they gathered and afterward, and with them in their solitude, so gathering itself is irrelevant, too. Nothing can possibly matter because God is in His heaven and all's right with the world."

The fact is that Christ is present in different ways according to His promises, but you ignore distinctions so as to make the words (but not the meanings) all agree.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #92 on: October 25, 2021, 06:16:38 PM »
Note to Brian:

Quote
That person is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

But anyone who does not believe these words or doubts them is unworthy and unprepared, for the words “for you” require all hearts to believe.

Luther is saying in the Catechism that faith is key to receiving the Sacrament and its benefits. Without faith, one might receive the Sacrament but under the warning of condemnation and without the promise of its benefits. With my catechism students, I use Hebrews 11:6.

https://youtu.be/haTWX2LdVYI

Cited at 4:15 or so. I go on to talk about persons who doubt or struggle with their worthiness, using a few of the Christian Questions with their answers. Keeping it simple for our people is important. Luther emphasized the words of institution and faith in those words.

Very nice presentation.

One minor point on "Without faith, one might receive the Sacrament but under the warning of condemnation..." It appears that the warning is not that strong.

"For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world." 1 Cor 11:29-32

Note that the word is krima or judgment, leading to discipline, not condemnation, so that we not be condemned, i.e., katakrima. See Romans 8:1 where what is translated as condemnation is  katakrima, not krima. As stated above,

As the beloved Dr. Nagel stated, "Yes, it's a krima/judgment. But, a krima/judgment can become a katakrima/condemnation."


This doesn't change my point: in the sacrament Christ is present regardless of the recipient's (or the presider's) belief.
"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: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #93 on: October 25, 2021, 06:19:46 PM »
Note to Brian:

Quote
That person is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

But anyone who does not believe these words or doubts them is unworthy and unprepared, for the words “for you” require all hearts to believe.

Luther is saying in the Catechism that faith is key to receiving the Sacrament and its benefits. Without faith, one might receive the Sacrament but under the warning of condemnation and without the promise of its benefits. With my catechism students, I use Hebrews 11:6.

https://youtu.be/haTWX2LdVYI

Cited at 4:15 or so. I go on to talk about persons who doubt or struggle with their worthiness, using a few of the Christian Questions with their answers. Keeping it simple for our people is important. Luther emphasized the words of institution and faith in those words.

Very nice presentation.

One minor point on "Without faith, one might receive the Sacrament but under the warning of condemnation..." It appears that the warning is not that strong.

"For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world." 1 Cor 11:29-32

Note that the word is krima or judgment, leading to discipline, not condemnation, so that we not be condemned, i.e., katakrima. See Romans 8:1 where what is translated as condemnation is  katakrima, not krima. As stated above,

As the beloved Dr. Nagel stated, "Yes, it's a krima/judgment. But, a krima/judgment can become a katakrima/condemnation."


This doesn't change my point: in the sacrament Christ is present regardless of the recipient's (or the presider's) belief.
But by your way of doing theology, the point is that He is present everywhere regardless of anything, so who really cares one way or the other?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #94 on: October 25, 2021, 06:26:23 PM »
I believe that Christ is truly present in the sacrament even among those Christians who see it as nothing but a memorial meal.

Lutherans do not.


Lutherans do, too. The issue is whether Christ is present with salvation or with condemnation. We do not believe that Christ's promise: "This is my body," suddenly means, "This is my body only if you correctly believe." Or, even worse, "This is my body … just kidding if you don't really believe it." It is not our beliefs, whether orthodox or faulty that determine Christ's ability to keep his promises.
Separate issues. Whether one receives the body and blood for salvation or condemnation is not the same question as whether the body and blood is even there. In other words, the question is whether it is even efficacious if someone who doesn't believe in the Real Presence goes through the motions of saying the words. Then it would be an ex opere operato question, as though one were doing a Harry Potter trick. That's why the words themselves, the human understanding of them, and intent of speaking them all play into the actual meaning of them.


Are you suggesting that the omniscient God is not present when people believe that God is not present?
"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]

George Rahn

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Re: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #95 on: October 25, 2021, 06:28:43 PM »
Note to Brian:

Quote
That person is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

But anyone who does not believe these words or doubts them is unworthy and unprepared, for the words “for you” require all hearts to believe.

Luther is saying in the Catechism that faith is key to receiving the Sacrament and its benefits. Without faith, one might receive the Sacrament but under the warning of condemnation and without the promise of its benefits. With my catechism students, I use Hebrews 11:6.

https://youtu.be/haTWX2LdVYI

Cited at 4:15 or so. I go on to talk about persons who doubt or struggle with their worthiness, using a few of the Christian Questions with their answers. Keeping it simple for our people is important. Luther emphasized the words of institution and faith in those words.

Very nice presentation.

One minor point on "Without faith, one might receive the Sacrament but under the warning of condemnation..." It appears that the warning is not that strong.

"For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world." 1 Cor 11:29-32

Note that the word is krima or judgment, leading to discipline, not condemnation, so that we not be condemned, i.e., katakrima. See Romans 8:1 where what is translated as condemnation is  katakrima, not krima. As stated above,

As the beloved Dr. Nagel stated, "Yes, it's a krima/judgment. But, a krima/judgment can become a katakrima/condemnation."


This doesn't change my point: in the sacrament Christ is present regardless of the recipient's (or the presider's) belief.

And to not believe that Jesus’ body and blood are there for their reception is to not receive Christ himself nor his benefits.  Like In John’s Gospel chapter 3:18, unbelief is condemnation already because one does not receive Christ and his benefits.  Unbelievers do not get salvation, at that point of unbelief and non-reception of Christ’s body and blood.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #96 on: October 25, 2021, 06:30:21 PM »
But by your way of doing theology, the point is that He is present everywhere regardless of anything, so who really cares one way or the other?


By my way of doing theology, the point is that God keeps his promises. When folks gather in Jesus' name, he is there because he said so. When the words are stated: Baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, the God present (even when the baptized are so young that they don't know what's going on). We proclaim Jesus' words, "This is my body," it happens just as certainly as when God said, "Let there be light," there was light. Or, "Your sins are forgiven," they are forgiven. It's the power and authority of God's Word that is efficacious, not the amount of faith that the folks have.
"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: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #97 on: October 25, 2021, 06:35:39 PM »
And to not believe that Jesus’ body and blood are there for their reception is to not receive Christ himself nor his benefits.  Like In John’s Gospel chapter 3:18, unbelief is condemnation already because one does not receive Christ and his benefits.  Unbelievers do not get salvation, at that point of unbelief and non-reception of Christ’s body and blood.


So, in John 3:18, who is doing the judging (κρίνω)? The passive: "the one not believing already has been judged" is likely a divine passive, indicating that it is God who judges the unbeliever. That doesn't change my point that Christ is present in the sacrament. His promise is that "This is my body." By saying those words, God keeps his promise and is present in a special and tangible way in the sacrament.
"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: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #98 on: October 25, 2021, 06:37:38 PM »
But by your way of doing theology, the point is that He is present everywhere regardless of anything, so who really cares one way or the other?


By my way of doing theology, the point is that God keeps his promises. When folks gather in Jesus' name, he is there because he said so. When the words are stated: Baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, the God present (even when the baptized are so young that they don't know what's going on). We proclaim Jesus' words, "This is my body," it happens just as certainly as when God said, "Let there be light," there was light. Or, "Your sins are forgiven," they are forgiven. It's the power and authority of God's Word that is efficacious, not the amount of faith that the folks have.
But in your way there is no location to it or variation in the kind of presence we're talking about. He is present in the bread and wine in the same way as He is present in the nearest pumpkin. Or are you saying pumpkins are unique in being entirely apart from God's presence? He hears our prayers because He hears everything. He is present where two or three are gathered because He is omnipresent.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #99 on: October 25, 2021, 06:50:24 PM »
But by your way of doing theology, the point is that He is present everywhere regardless of anything, so who really cares one way or the other?


By my way of doing theology, the point is that God keeps his promises. When folks gather in Jesus' name, he is there because he said so. When the words are stated: Baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, the God present (even when the baptized are so young that they don't know what's going on). We proclaim Jesus' words, "This is my body," it happens just as certainly as when God said, "Let there be light," there was light. Or, "Your sins are forgiven," they are forgiven. It's the power and authority of God's Word that is efficacious, not the amount of faith that the folks have.
But in your way there is no location to it or variation in the kind of presence we're talking about. He is present in the bread and wine in the same way as He is present in the nearest pumpkin. Or are you saying pumpkins are unique in being entirely apart from God's presence? He hears our prayers because He hears everything. He is present where two or three are gathered because He is omnipresent.


There is a tangible and specific presence in the sacrament that is different than his presence in the Word, in community, in the world.


We claim his presence where two or three gather in his name, not because he is omnipresent; but because Jesus said so. He has given us a specific word of promise about his presence in that situation. One reason we call it Holy Communion, because it is a special communion with Christ that is different than ordinary communions we might have with the divine.
"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]

George Rahn

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Re: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #100 on: October 25, 2021, 08:27:17 PM »
And to not believe that Jesus’ body and blood are there for their reception is to not receive Christ himself nor his benefits.  Like In John’s Gospel chapter 3:18, unbelief is condemnation already because one does not receive Christ and his benefits.  Unbelievers do not get salvation, at that point of unbelief and non-reception of Christ’s body and blood.


So, in John 3:18, who is doing the judging (κρίνω)? The passive: "the one not believing already has been judged" is likely a divine passive, indicating that it is God who judges the unbeliever. That doesn't change my point that Christ is present in the sacrament. His promise is that "This is my body." By saying those words, God keeps his promise and is present in a special and tangible way in the sacrament.

God is passing judgment of condemnation upon one who refuses what God is giving here in the sacrament.  Jesus is God.  His word is truth and When he declares what he says in the Words of Institution of the sacrament of Holy Communion, Jesus’ words are what he says they are.  The bread is his Body, etc.  given for you.  The benefits of reception are clear.  Jesus does not speak to obfuscation here.  By not receiving the person is an unbeliever and does not discern Jesus’ body.  Instead of salvation the unbeliever is condemned at that point.

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Re: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #101 on: October 25, 2021, 09:51:19 PM »
How depressing it must be, and what a burden it must be for you who have to discern and define with such fervor where God is not present and how God is absent (at least in the "form" that counts)!
You also eagerly sign up for the policing of God's grace to make sure that everyone has subscribed on to "right doctrine" or it's "No sacrament for you!"
The Lord invites and you want to verify credentials, demand proof of id and do a quick mind-check to make sure everything is "right."
Oh, and even if someone should happen to be "right" with regard to sacrament (and "correct" Lutheran words and meaning, of course), but belongs to a Lutheran church that does something else you claim violates God's rule book, it's "bar the doors!" or "fence off the altar rail" because that "other" thing - like thinking women could be pastors - cancels out the Lutheran words and meaning on the sacrament.
Yuck.
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.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #102 on: October 25, 2021, 11:10:31 PM »
How depressing it must be, and what a burden it must be for you who have to discern and define with such fervor where God is not present and how God is absent (at least in the "form" that counts)!
You also eagerly sign up for the policing of God's grace to make sure that everyone has subscribed on to "right doctrine" or it's "No sacrament for you!"
The Lord invites and you want to verify credentials, demand proof of id and do a quick mind-check to make sure everything is "right."
Oh, and even if someone should happen to be "right" with regard to sacrament (and "correct" Lutheran words and meaning, of course), but belongs to a Lutheran church that does something else you claim violates God's rule book, it's "bar the doors!" or "fence off the altar rail" because that "other" thing - like thinking women could be pastors - cancels out the Lutheran words and meaning on the sacrament.
Yuck.
You seem more depressed than anyone else in the thread. I guess not caring about "right doctrine" isn't the upper it is advertised to be. 

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #103 on: October 26, 2021, 02:39:24 AM »
And to not believe that Jesus’ body and blood are there for their reception is to not receive Christ himself nor his benefits.  Like In John’s Gospel chapter 3:18, unbelief is condemnation already because one does not receive Christ and his benefits.  Unbelievers do not get salvation, at that point of unbelief and non-reception of Christ’s body and blood.


So, in John 3:18, who is doing the judging (κρίνω)? The passive: "the one not believing already has been judged" is likely a divine passive, indicating that it is God who judges the unbeliever. That doesn't change my point that Christ is present in the sacrament. His promise is that "This is my body." By saying those words, God keeps his promise and is present in a special and tangible way in the sacrament.

God is passing judgment of condemnation upon one who refuses what God is giving here in the sacrament.  Jesus is God.  His word is truth and When he declares what he says in the Words of Institution of the sacrament of Holy Communion, Jesus’ words are what he says they are.  The bread is his Body, etc.  given for you.  The benefits of reception are clear.  Jesus does not speak to obfuscation here.  By not receiving the person is an unbeliever and does not discern Jesus’ body.  Instead of salvation the unbeliever is condemned at that point.


1 Corinthians 11:23 can be understood as God passing judgment on those who refused to share the meal with other believers. Paul's advice at the end of the paragraph was not, "Come to the proper understanding of Christ's real presence," but "wait for each other."


I think that we need to take just as seriously Paul's words about the sacrament in 1 Corinthians 10:


16 Isn’t the cup of blessing that we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Isn’t the loaf of bread that we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Since there is one loaf of bread, we who are many are one body, because we all share the one loaf of bread. (CEB)


There is to be one loaf of bread and one cup. (There's nothing in scriptures about using individual wafers or cups.) Eating from the one loaf makes us one body; because, we, together, are sharing in Christ's body and blood. Perhaps if a community requires more than one loaf and one cup; it's become too large to be the type of body that is in communion with each other as they are in communion with Christ.
"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: Filling Future Pastoral Vacancies
« Reply #104 on: October 26, 2021, 02:44:03 AM »
How depressing it must be, and what a burden it must be for you who have to discern and define with such fervor where God is not present and how God is absent (at least in the "form" that counts)!
You also eagerly sign up for the policing of God's grace to make sure that everyone has subscribed on to "right doctrine" or it's "No sacrament for you!"
The Lord invites and you want to verify credentials, demand proof of id and do a quick mind-check to make sure everything is "right."
Oh, and even if someone should happen to be "right" with regard to sacrament (and "correct" Lutheran words and meaning, of course), but belongs to a Lutheran church that does something else you claim violates God's rule book, it's "bar the doors!" or "fence off the altar rail" because that "other" thing - like thinking women could be pastors - cancels out the Lutheran words and meaning on the sacrament.
Yuck.
You seem more depressed than anyone else in the thread. I guess not caring about "right doctrine" isn't the upper it is advertised to be.


“Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. And, I suppose I should add, it is traditionalism that gives tradition such a bad name.”
― Jaroslav Pelikan, The Vindication of Tradition: The 1983 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities

Pretty much the same can be said of "right doctrine." When it's just holding on to the faith of our ancestors; it's not very exciting. When it informs us about how to talk about our experiences with God today, it can't help but be a life-giving and faith affirming topic.
"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]