Author Topic: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?  (Read 3450 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #45 on: October 27, 2021, 12:24:32 PM »
I have heard from lesbian clergy in our church who have peeked into this forum and stated: "I would never post anything there." Their reluctance doesn't come from anything Charles has posted.
"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: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #46 on: October 27, 2021, 12:34:55 PM »
I have heard from lesbian clergy in our church who have peeked into this forum and stated: "I would never post anything there." Their reluctance doesn't come from anything Charles has posted.

They won't post because they are too focused on their politics and sociological views.  Like some of us we rely on our tradtions rather than the word of God.  "So if the Son sets you free..."

Mark Brown

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #47 on: October 27, 2021, 12:38:02 PM »
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.

Look, actual theology makes distinctions that are supposedly binding.  The Formula of Concord stated what was the argument, it stated positive conclusions, and it stated negative conclusions.  The argument, stated well by Peter, is "what do we do about the former mainline?" This is a serious question because those bodies have individually made decisions at the denomination/church level that have placed them far outside of historical normative Christian teaching and outside of present worldwide normative church teaching. And they present themselves as if nothing is out of order.  They do this while still claiming the name of brother and confessional identity. 

This is a very practical argument because in the USA you have people who move constantly.  So you get practical problems like an ELCA member wants to "transfer membership" to an LCMS congregation, what do you do? Likewise sadly you have LCMS members who move who might request a transfer to an ELCA congregation.  Now members who are paying attention might not do that, but pastors still have a responsibility to sheep that don't hear quite as clearly.  None of that casts judgment upon individuals within institutions.  I'm sure there are Christians, fine pastors and even fine congregations within the ELCA and the broader mainline.  But that doesn't change the fact that the formal teaching of that church is contrary to scripture and confessions. And it does not change the fact that the call to repentance at that level has been ignored.  And it doesn't change the fact that their formative institutions are merely hardening these positions as good and true.  Transferring someone into such a body is transferring them into a known wolf den. Accepting somebody in transfer doesn't question a baptism - although there are documented ELCA places where that might be appropriate - but it does question as the agenda reception asks "Do you hold all the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures to be the inspired Word of God and the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, drawn and confessed in the small catechism, to be faithful and true?"  Do they hold the sixth commandment as the church in all times and places has taught?  Or have they been formed by the contemporary ELCA and so do not?

Another series of questions that broadens out the circle to include other bodies is women's ordination.  There is an intuitive theological distinction between churches that practice women's ordination and those that erase the 6th commandment.  Why would clear and formal separation from the later be appropriate and necessary, while one might bear with the former practice?  Which is to ask why would the LCMS, LCMC and NALC be able to see each other as Lutheran, but the ELCA as an institution has placed itself outside?

A church that wants to do theology would provide both positive and negative conclusions to those problems.  And they would provide them clearly.  Charles is so annoyed at my little pretend motion that he won't address me by name and does what he always does and claims it says all the people aren't Christian instead of simply the institution. I'm sure you John think that I'm just being hyper-political or uber-fundy or some other epithet to signal "I'm not so gauche".  But I'd say to you that this is real theology that has impact on people's lives and very possibly eternal fates.  And refusing to engage by the mere dodge of thinking that asking such things is in bad taste is the political act.  And we have played politics with this for at least 30 years.  There comes a time to be in earnest.  Clear anathemas on formal teaching should be spelled out.  Would that change what most American Christians do?  I doubt it.  They are largely libertines who will not broach binding doctrine.  But at least then I would have done my job as a watchman and warned them.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2021, 12:49:51 PM »
I have heard from lesbian clergy in our church who have peeked into this forum and stated: "I would never post anything there." Their reluctance doesn't come from anything Charles has posted.
What do they fear would happen if they did post something here? Where do they find a forum with more diversity of participation? Or do they just not bother with online forums at all? If we set out to attract them into participating here, what would we have to do? And if we did that, who would either leave or not come here because we did that?

Look back at the dustup about EE's article on mobbing. Some of our most valued participants left because they would not participate in a forum that posted such things. But if we took it down, other people would leave because their views were censored and the forum was captive to a "certain element" of the LCMS. Some issues are non-negotiable, and different people have differing tolerance levels and different issues that are non-negotiable.

I don't have a problem with people who don't want to participate here. No forum is for everybody. I don't blame someone for saying they think posting here would not be a good thing to do. So be it. I do have a problem with people who blame the nature of the forum for those people's decisions.

The fact is, all this complaining about the diversity of the forum is like complaining that Aaron Rodgers isn't a good enough quarterback. He isn't perfect, but unless you have a better quarterback in mind to replace him with, maybe change your complaints about his interceptions to something more resembling appropriate gratitude for how good he is. This is without question the best forum for Lutheran-related discussion among the full spectrum of Lutherans in the country. It is not an echo-chamber. It features genuine disagreement and conflict. It covers any and every topic Lutherans might care about. It features the most diversity of opinion and Lutheran church body affiliation bar none. If your lesbian clery friends don't like it, well, a lot of people don't like it. That can be said about any forum. They're welcome to join and participate. 
« Last Edit: October 27, 2021, 02:29:03 PM by peter_speckhard »

Charles Austin

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #49 on: October 27, 2021, 01:06:22 PM »
Regarding “Mary,” i’m not sure Peter has a good grasp on what would or would not offend a woman either real or fictional, but that’s another matter.
I often ask myself why I bother to keep participating here. And I still want to be a voice for the ELCA. I want to correct some of the silly things that are said about us and try to witness as to what we really are. And I like to raise some topics that never seem to get mentioned here, such as mission and outreach. Furthermore I like some of the postings I read here, even some from LCMS posters.
Finally, it amuses me that some people think I am “trouble“ here. I stay in to keep annoying them, and consider it  “good trouble.“
Retired ELCA Pastor: We are not a very inter-Lutheran forum. Posters with more than 1,500 posts: ELCA-6, with 3 of those inactive/rare and 1 moderator; LCMS-25, with 4 inactive/rare and 1 moderator. Non-Lutherans, 3; maybe 4 from other Lutheran bodies. 3 formerly frequent posters have gone quiet.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #50 on: October 27, 2021, 01:08:39 PM »
I'm curious if anyone knows about an online Lutheran forum similar to this one. Especially one that is more diverse in the way some believe this one should be. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
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David Garner

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #51 on: October 27, 2021, 01:16:11 PM »
I stay in to keep annoying them, and consider it  “good trouble.“

That's called "trolling" in the real world.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Norman Teigen

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #52 on: October 27, 2021, 01:47:15 PM »
These are the words of Satan, not the words of Christ.
Norman Teigen

Charles Austin

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #53 on: October 27, 2021, 01:53:01 PM »
Bully. Rat. Heretic. False teacher. Liar. Hypocrite.
I have acquired all these monicker here. Plus eaten enough snark to expand my waistline.
No matter. It’s the way things are here.
Retired ELCA Pastor: We are not a very inter-Lutheran forum. Posters with more than 1,500 posts: ELCA-6, with 3 of those inactive/rare and 1 moderator; LCMS-25, with 4 inactive/rare and 1 moderator. Non-Lutherans, 3; maybe 4 from other Lutheran bodies. 3 formerly frequent posters have gone quiet.

Michael Slusser

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #54 on: October 27, 2021, 02:09:36 PM »
I have noticed over the years that there are lots more "guests" than "users," that is, that more read in this Forum than choose to register and post in it (at the moment, by a factor of 7:1). They seem to be willing to pan what comes down our sluice in the hopes that something of interest to them will turn up. If they find "users" slanging each other, they apparently are willing to bear with it, though I expect that it wears on them. Should the ALPB Forum bear a warning about the use of "trigger words"? I think our guests are well aware of them.

Peace,
Michael
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #55 on: October 27, 2021, 02:13:43 PM »
Poor Pr. Austin, he is so beset and put upon, and treated so badly when all he wants to is correct those of us lost in errors maze or stuck benighted in the sixteenth century, and have some fun by being annoying. I hereby nominate him as martyr of the year here on ALPB, he suffers so much at the hands of us fundy sub-Lutherans.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Norman Teigen

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #56 on: October 27, 2021, 02:15:20 PM »
In response to  the recent words of Satan in this Forum,  I offer this  from Bach's Cantata  No. 80: 

Der Furst diesel Welt,
Wie saur er such stilt,
Tut er runs. Koch night,
Das macho, er its gericht'?
Ein Wortlein kann ihn fallen.

The Prince of this world,
however grimly he presents himself,
can do nothing against us,
since he is already condemned,
a little word can fell him.

Norman Teigen

Richard Johnson

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #57 on: October 27, 2021, 02:22:55 PM »
I stay in to keep annoying them, and consider it  “good trouble.“

That's called "trolling" in the real world.

I think you mean "virtual world." An online forum is not the "real world."  ::)
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

David Garner

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #58 on: October 27, 2021, 02:27:15 PM »
I stay in to keep annoying them, and consider it  “good trouble.“

That's called "trolling" in the real world.

I think you mean "virtual world." An online forum is not the "real world."  ::)

Do you find it odd that Pastor Austin admits he comes here to annoy people, and you thought the best course of action to remedy that was to nitpick my word choice?

I do.  But I'm not a moderator here, and you are, so while we're discussing why people do or do not come to this forum, let me suggest only one of us has any real authority to do something about it.  My only choice is to limit my time here, something I've done in the past and frankly am considering doing again right now.  And in case you want to document why, you, a moderator, following me around in this thread taking shots at me while you are defending a troll is pretty high on the list.

(insert juvenile rolling eyes emoji or some other dismissive horse squeeze here)
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Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: Is the ALPB Forum Online a safe space?
« Reply #59 on: October 27, 2021, 03:03:57 PM »
I participate on ALPB because it allows me to hear from others with different, sometimes very different, points of view. I learn from the dialogue.

At times it seems like members of the forum see themselves competing to rule the forum. There's a difference between makes one's point well and attempting to shout others down or get them so angry that they turn to the worst rhetoric or vocabulary and get thrown out.

I try not to participate in the tit-for-tat exchanges that make the forum sometimes painful and offensive to read. Secular political discussion seems especially prone to bringing out the talons and teeth, so I generally stay away from those topics.

I am a firm LCMS conservative but with politeness I find that I can communicate positively with the more liberal participants. I would encourage all members of the forum to practice simple politeness. It will make a better forum, which may grow more interesting to those currently not participating.
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