Author Topic: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?  (Read 6667 times)

David Garner

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2021, 06:53:14 AM »
It’s sort of like this. I agree that abusing women is bad. I’m just not going to be lectured about it by Bill Cosby.
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Richard Johnson

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2021, 06:54:03 AM »
Anyone who would like a heavily moderated forum would be more than welcome to participate in http://forums.orthodoxchristianity.net/

The rules are very clearly set forth and swiftly enforced...including "vacations" and posting under moderation (meaning that the moderator has to approve the content before the post actually appears)


On the other hand, a conservative ELCA female clergy who is vocally Republican, (yes, we have those,) started a group on Facebook called: ELCA Clergy - Uncensored. She did that after she was removed from another ELCA Clergy group for being too conservative for the administrator. She has made it clear that she will not censor any posts nor any posters.

Yeah, but again, Pastor Austin has run off more female ELCA clergy from this forum than any other single person.

Fascinating statistic. Source?
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David Garner

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2021, 06:56:41 AM »
Anyone who would like a heavily moderated forum would be more than welcome to participate in http://forums.orthodoxchristianity.net/

The rules are very clearly set forth and swiftly enforced...including "vacations" and posting under moderation (meaning that the moderator has to approve the content before the post actually appears)


On the other hand, a conservative ELCA female clergy who is vocally Republican, (yes, we have those,) started a group on Facebook called: ELCA Clergy - Uncensored. She did that after she was removed from another ELCA Clergy group for being too conservative for the administrator. She has made it clear that she will not censor any posts nor any posters.

Yeah, but again, Pastor Austin has run off more female ELCA clergy from this forum than any other single person.

Fascinating statistic. Source?

My recollection.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

John_Hannah

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2021, 08:50:57 AM »
It seems clear to me that the dominant character of this forum is Republican, Missouri Synod, and conservative culturally. As post Trump-Republican it means only anti-Democrat (the political party). As Missouri Synod, it means only sub-confessional or extra-confessional ideology (e.g., six day, tightly closed communion, prohibition of any and all ecumenism).

The dominant participants seldom attempt to convince but only denounce. Instead of discussion, there is only disgust. Instead of tolerance for alternate ideas, there is only rejection of personalities. The unfortunate Missouri habit to "blanket condemn" all persons affiliated with competitive church bodies is assumed to be proper and accurate. (E.g., "every single member of the ELCA is taken to believe in abortion, non-theistic evolution, etc.)

I guess that as long as the present members are happy, we will not expand participation. We represent only a minority of Americans, a minority of Christians, and a minority of Lutherans. But we are grateful for the opportunity to "knock" Pastors Austin. Stoffregen and other "heretics" that pop up occasionally.

That's the way it looks to me.

Peace, JOHN
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peter_speckhard

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2021, 09:30:26 AM »
So an LCMS pastor says what it means to be LCMS is to be either sub-Confessionsl or extra-Confessional. Does that qualify as the same sort of thing as calling some teaching or church body un-Lutheran? Should I feel unsafe that Pr. Hannah is here denouncing his own and my church body? Or should I maybe get over it and engage with his opinion if I think the topic important?

On the active threads right now we’ve had a lot of participation from Pr. Tim, who was the “moderate” candidate running against Harrison in the last LCMS election, Dave Benke, and John Hannah. That’s a pretty fair representation of the side of the LCMS to which Dave would not need to apply any prefixes like arch-, uber-, hyper-, super-, etc. which is the signal by which he identifies the other, lamentable, and much larger side of the synod. We’ve had Brian and Charles representing those who are happy with the direction of the ELCA as well people like Pr. Shelley who represents a smaller synod, several LCMS pastors who would indeed merit some sort of prefix from Dave, some ELCA Lutherans or ex-ELCA Lutherans unhappy with the direction of the ELCA who have joined the NALC or gone over to Rome, two now Orthodox laymen, one former LCMS, one former ELCA, and a smattering of others. Everyone is welcome. Nobody has been told not to participate. Nobody’s views have been censored. If you want more diversity, go invite someone to post here. Frankly, complaints about the lack of diversity in this forum strike me as mere whining because it is easily the most diverse forum of its kind in the known universe.

David Garner

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2021, 09:34:38 AM »
It seems clear to me that the dominant character of this forum is Republican, Missouri Synod, and conservative culturally. As post Trump-Republican it means only anti-Democrat (the political party). As Missouri Synod, it means only sub-confessional or extra-confessional ideology (e.g., six day, tightly closed communion, prohibition of any and all ecumenism).

The dominant participants seldom attempt to convince but only denounce. Instead of discussion, there is only disgust. Instead of tolerance for alternate ideas, there is only rejection of personalities. The unfortunate Missouri habit to "blanket condemn" all persons affiliated with competitive church bodies is assumed to be proper and accurate. (E.g., "every single member of the ELCA is taken to believe in abortion, non-theistic evolution, etc.)

I guess that as long as the present members are happy, we will not expand participation. We represent only a minority of Americans, a minority of Christians, and a minority of Lutherans. But we are grateful for the opportunity to "knock" Pastors Austin. Stoffregen and other "heretics" that pop up occasionally.

That's the way it looks to me.

Peace, JOHN

I'd wager my views would not be welcome should I go to an LCMS Church and present them, and I've presented them here, where they are generally not agreed with, but seem to be well received.

I wonder what the difference is?
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2021, 09:41:42 AM »
The forum needs more diversity.
It needs more understanding and less “but you are just wrong!” Or un-Lutheran or un-Biblical, etc. etc.
It needs a broader spectrum of voices from the LCMS (although it is abundantly clear why moderate or liberal LCMS people do not feel safe here).
It needs more conservative voices from within the ELCA rather than from those who have left us.
It needs more female voices.
And we need some way to recognize and accept that the LCMS is broader than the loudest voices here, including Peter (and that the LCMS  includes many like Matt Becker, now no longer LCMS) and that there is more to the ELCA than Brian and this humble correspondent (although I still believe we represent the mainstream of our church body.)
ALPB’s noble inter-Lutheran history and mission should take top billing and gain support, not “resolutions” declaring the ELCA heretical, or repeated “O! How terrible!, He’s doing it again!” posts passing judgment on individuals.


It seems clear to me that the dominant character of this forum is Republican, Missouri Synod, and conservative culturally. As post Trump-Republican it means only anti-Democrat (the political party). As Missouri Synod, it means only sub-confessional or extra-confessional ideology (e.g., six day, tightly closed communion, prohibition of any and all ecumenism).

The dominant participants seldom attempt to convince but only denounce. Instead of discussion, there is only disgust. Instead of tolerance for alternate ideas, there is only rejection of personalities. The unfortunate Missouri habit to "blanket condemn" all persons affiliated with competitive church bodies is assumed to be proper and accurate. (E.g., "every single member of the ELCA is taken to believe in abortion, non-theistic evolution, etc.)

I guess that as long as the present members are happy, we will not expand participation. We represent only a minority of Americans, a minority of Christians, and a minority of Lutherans. But we are grateful for the opportunity to "knock" Pastors Austin. Stoffregen and other "heretics" that pop up occasionally.

That's the way it looks to me.

Peace, JOHN


So, what should we do about it? Participation here is voluntary, we cannot draft participants to achieve a broader spectrum of opinions. Should we establish a quota system whereby participants are categorized as to the segment of the political/theological/denominational spectrum that they inhabit and then lock out some members of over represented segments so that we have roughly equal members from each segment actively participating?


The dominant participants seldom attempt to convince but only denounce. Instead of discussion, there is only disgust. Instead of tolerance for alternate ideas, there is only rejection of personalities. The unfortunate Missouri habit to "blanket condemn" all persons affiliated with competitive church bodies is assumed to be proper and accurate. (E.g., "every single member of the ELCA is taken to believe in abortion, non-theistic evolution, etc.)


Should we specify and enforce a tighter code of conduct and delete/ban those who denounce rather than convince or express disgust rather than discuss? What does it mean to have tolerance for alternate ideas? Does that mean accepting every idea expressed as right and proper without dissent?


I do agree that there has been much bad behavior by some of the participants and much, but not all, of that has been from conservatives. But not all. One participant regularly compares those who have a concern for correct doctrine as being like the Pharisees who opposed Jesus, and another regularly suggests that such concern is based not on faith but on fear, that opposition to certain behaviors derives not from a careful study of Scripture but gut revulsion and again fear. Questioning the sincerity of the faith of posters, questioning their openness to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, questioning their intelligence has not come from only one side. If we are to impose a stricter code of on line content, it must apply to all sides. Claims of "well they did it first" doesn't really justify bad behavior.


Many of the worst offenders over the years have either dropped out or were banned. What would an adequate code of conduct that could be enforced look like?


I started this thread with the question of whether this forum is a safe space. The complaint seems to be that it is not a safe space for those on the more liberal side of things and that because of that they are under represented here? What would make it a safe space for them? Does it need to be a space where their perspective is automatically accepted and agreed with?  Does it need to be a space where their interpretation of the world, Scripture, the Confessions, God's will is simply assumed to be correct without question? Or does it need to be a place where we are more civil and respectful of each other?


I'm all for being civil and respectful of each other. And believe it or not (certain individuals I suspect will not believe it) I am trying to moderate my own on line behavior to be more civil and respectful of others even if it to respectfully disagree vehemently. I also respectfully suggest that others who disagree with me would be as civil and respectful of me and people whom I agree with as they expect to be treated. Respect and civility needs to go both ways.


But there's the rub. We (and I include people in general, all of us) rarely see ourselves and the nature of our actions as clearly as we see that of others. Its the old mote and beam thing that Jesus commented on. It also means that if we are to enter discussion, we need to be willing to take disagreement, dissent, even denunciation as readily as we dish it out. If we are only to discuss with people who will primarily agree with us with only minor quibbles, then perhaps this is not the forum for you.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Richard Johnson

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2021, 09:42:52 AM »
Anyone who would like a heavily moderated forum would be more than welcome to participate in http://forums.orthodoxchristianity.net/

The rules are very clearly set forth and swiftly enforced...including "vacations" and posting under moderation (meaning that the moderator has to approve the content before the post actually appears)


On the other hand, a conservative ELCA female clergy who is vocally Republican, (yes, we have those,) started a group on Facebook called: ELCA Clergy - Uncensored. She did that after she was removed from another ELCA Clergy group for being too conservative for the administrator. She has made it clear that she will not censor any posts nor any posters.

Yeah, but again, Pastor Austin has run off more female ELCA clergy from this forum than any other single person.

Fascinating statistic. Source?

My recollection.

How would you even know how many female ELCA clergy have been "run off" by anyone? You are simply making a totally unfounded personal attack. I would remove it but I'm leaving it as an example of what we're trying (not very successfully) to eliminate.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

D. Engebretson

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2021, 09:44:02 AM »
Funny how growing up, going through a synodical college and seminary you consider yourself mainstream in your synod only to discover later you are now supposedly on the fringe.  I have served for several years as a circuit visitor/counselor, and now as district secretary.  I appear to get along with my fellow clergy and leadership in my district, even those who may at times differ significantly from me, especially in terms of worship.  But given my liturgical bent and my penchant for holding to things like close(d) communion, and the doctrine of a seven-day creation, etc. as upheld by the Synod, I guess I'm now in more of the outer edges of my church body.  I would have never dreamed in my earlier years that I would become so extreme.
Pastor Don Engebretson
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John_Hannah

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2021, 09:49:39 AM »
It seems clear to me that the dominant character of this forum is Republican, Missouri Synod, and conservative culturally. As post Trump-Republican it means only anti-Democrat (the political party). As Missouri Synod, it means only sub-confessional or extra-confessional ideology (e.g., six day, tightly closed communion, prohibition of any and all ecumenism).

The dominant participants seldom attempt to convince but only denounce. Instead of discussion, there is only disgust. Instead of tolerance for alternate ideas, there is only rejection of personalities. The unfortunate Missouri habit to "blanket condemn" all persons affiliated with competitive church bodies is assumed to be proper and accurate. (E.g., "every single member of the ELCA is taken to believe in abortion, non-theistic evolution, etc.)

I guess that as long as the present members are happy, we will not expand participation. We represent only a minority of Americans, a minority of Christians, and a minority of Lutherans. But we are grateful for the opportunity to "knock" Pastors Austin. Stoffregen and other "heretics" that pop up occasionally.

That's the way it looks to me.

Peace, JOHN

I'd wager my views would not be welcome should I go to an LCMS Church and present them, and I've presented them here, where they are generally not agreed with, but seem to be well received.

I wonder what the difference is?

You are quite right. Your views on church, ministry and sacrament would not be welcome. (I hasten to add that I generally agree with you as an LCMS outlier.)

What is welcome are your views on culture and politics. Sadly, the cultural and political seem to have replaced the theological here.

But that's where we're at.
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

David Garner

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2021, 09:51:31 AM »
Anyone who would like a heavily moderated forum would be more than welcome to participate in http://forums.orthodoxchristianity.net/

The rules are very clearly set forth and swiftly enforced...including "vacations" and posting under moderation (meaning that the moderator has to approve the content before the post actually appears)


On the other hand, a conservative ELCA female clergy who is vocally Republican, (yes, we have those,) started a group on Facebook called: ELCA Clergy - Uncensored. She did that after she was removed from another ELCA Clergy group for being too conservative for the administrator. She has made it clear that she will not censor any posts nor any posters.

Yeah, but again, Pastor Austin has run off more female ELCA clergy from this forum than any other single person.

Fascinating statistic. Source?

My recollection.

How would you even know how many female ELCA clergy have been "run off" by anyone? You are simply making a totally unfounded personal attack. I would remove it but I'm leaving it as an example of what we're trying (not very successfully) to eliminate.

I recall at least one saying she doesn't post here any longer because of him.  That's one more than I'm aware of saying the same of anyone else.

As for unfounded personal attacks, well, if I'm the best example of that you can think of, then feel free to use me as such.
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David Garner

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2021, 09:52:25 AM »
It seems clear to me that the dominant character of this forum is Republican, Missouri Synod, and conservative culturally. As post Trump-Republican it means only anti-Democrat (the political party). As Missouri Synod, it means only sub-confessional or extra-confessional ideology (e.g., six day, tightly closed communion, prohibition of any and all ecumenism).

The dominant participants seldom attempt to convince but only denounce. Instead of discussion, there is only disgust. Instead of tolerance for alternate ideas, there is only rejection of personalities. The unfortunate Missouri habit to "blanket condemn" all persons affiliated with competitive church bodies is assumed to be proper and accurate. (E.g., "every single member of the ELCA is taken to believe in abortion, non-theistic evolution, etc.)

I guess that as long as the present members are happy, we will not expand participation. We represent only a minority of Americans, a minority of Christians, and a minority of Lutherans. But we are grateful for the opportunity to "knock" Pastors Austin. Stoffregen and other "heretics" that pop up occasionally.

That's the way it looks to me.

Peace, JOHN

I'd wager my views would not be welcome should I go to an LCMS Church and present them, and I've presented them here, where they are generally not agreed with, but seem to be well received.

I wonder what the difference is?

You are quite right. Your views on church, ministry and sacrament would not be welcome. (I hasten to add that I generally agree with you as an LCMS outlier.)

What is welcome are your views on culture and politics. Sadly, the cultural and political seem to have replaced the theological here.

But that's where we're at.

How does the conversation generally get steered into the cultural and political?
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

peter_speckhard

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2021, 09:54:17 AM »
The only one who has successfully “run off” anyone on this forum, meaning setting out deliberately to get a particular participant to quit posting and succeeded has been Charles, who has done it multiple times. I have every PM, reported post, and alpb related email I’ve ever gotten going back probably fifteen years. There is no mystery or secret about who dominates, antagonizes, whines, attacks, and derides with the greatest consistency and rhetorical volume. It is Charles, hands down. Yet despite being banned a couple of times, he is back and tolerated. If we can tolerate his continued participation here, we can tolerate anyone’s. The forum is as diverse as we have the power to make it.

John_Hannah

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2021, 10:32:09 AM »
Funny how growing up, going through a synodical college and seminary you consider yourself mainstream in your synod only to discover later you are now supposedly on the fringe.  I have served for several years as a circuit visitor/counselor, and now as district secretary.  I appear to get along with my fellow clergy and leadership in my district, even those who may at times differ significantly from me, especially in terms of worship.  But given my liturgical bent and my penchant for holding to things like close(d) communion, and the doctrine of a seven-day creation, etc. as upheld by the Synod, I guess I'm now in more of the outer edges of my church body.  I would have never dreamed in my earlier years that I would become so extreme.

Actually you are in the mainstream of the Missouri Synod. The problem is that Missouri identity has fastened onto issues like closed communion and six/seven day. We should recognize that they are not "confessional" and doctrines confessed in the Lutheran Symbols. We may uphold them but it is questionable whether we may expel those who don't. Constitutionally we are held strictly to the Book of Concord and free to hold views not addressed there.

More importantly, Don, in my opinion you stand out as a participant who always offers thoughtful, respectful, and documented views. You are the best example of what I think would make a great forum if we all followed what you so carefully write. Furthermore you always relate your theology to your pastoral experience; another good characteristic.

Peace, JOHN
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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2021, 10:35:47 AM »
It seems clear to me that the dominant character of this forum is Republican, Missouri Synod, and conservative culturally. As post Trump-Republican it means only anti-Democrat (the political party). As Missouri Synod, it means only sub-confessional or extra-confessional ideology (e.g., six day, tightly closed communion, prohibition of any and all ecumenism).

The dominant participants seldom attempt to convince but only denounce. Instead of discussion, there is only disgust. Instead of tolerance for alternate ideas, there is only rejection of personalities. The unfortunate Missouri habit to "blanket condemn" all persons affiliated with competitive church bodies is assumed to be proper and accurate. (E.g., "every single member of the ELCA is taken to believe in abortion, non-theistic evolution, etc.)

I guess that as long as the present members are happy, we will not expand participation. We represent only a minority of Americans, a minority of Christians, and a minority of Lutherans. But we are grateful for the opportunity to "knock" Pastors Austin. Stoffregen and other "heretics" that pop up occasionally.

That's the way it looks to me.

Peace, JOHN

I'd wager my views would not be welcome should I go to an LCMS Church and present them, and I've presented them here, where they are generally not agreed with, but seem to be well received.

I wonder what the difference is?

You are quite right. Your views on church, ministry and sacrament would not be welcome. (I hasten to add that I generally agree with you as an LCMS outlier.)

What is welcome are your views on culture and politics. Sadly, the cultural and political seem to have replaced the theological here.

But that's where we're at.

How does the conversation generally get steered into the cultural and political?

I don't know. I recognize some threads do not. However, check out "Coronavirus" with 355 pages and hardly ever a theological thought.
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS