Stop...Go...Wait...Uh...

Started by PrTim15, February 04, 2023, 12:11:21 PM

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PrTim15

Had to laugh at this article this morning. Now it's full stop for the Gottesdienst bunch. Capitulation from earlier in the week when they were ready to nail the CTCR to the stake and give them the Jan Hus treatment...

https://www.gottesdienst.org/gottesblog/2023/2/2/musing-on-the-large-catechism-controversy
https://www.gottesdienst.org/podcast/2023/2/1/tgc-258-anatomy-of-a-confusion-large-catechism-edition

Now this...nothing to see here, all good...

https://www.gottesdienst.org/gottesblog/2023/2/2/the-president-has-spoken


Someone put their finger in the air, found where the political winds were blowing and didn't appreciate the aroma. I"ll just go back to doing what God has called me to do through St. John's and pray for our leaders and the sad state of the LCMS.

Jim Butler

Quote from: PrTim15 on February 04, 2023, 12:11:21 PM
Had to laugh at this article this morning. Now it's full stop for the Gottesdienst bunch. Capitulation from earlier in the week when they were ready to nail the CTCR to the stake and give them the Jan Hus treatment...

https://www.gottesdienst.org/gottesblog/2023/2/2/musing-on-the-large-catechism-controversy
https://www.gottesdienst.org/podcast/2023/2/1/tgc-258-anatomy-of-a-confusion-large-catechism-edition

Now this...nothing to see here, all good...

https://www.gottesdienst.org/gottesblog/2023/2/2/the-president-has-spoken


Someone put their finger in the air, found where the political winds were blowing and didn't appreciate the aroma. I"ll just go back to doing what God has called me to do through St. John's and pray for our leaders and the sad state of the LCMS.

Yes, that is quite the walk back. It makes me wonder if Pr. Beane actually believed anything that he wrote. Because if he really believed what he said in the first two articles, then he should be going ballistic at this point. He should be accusing Matt Harrison of supporting CRT, false doctrine, erring teachers, and a host of other things. But when he saw that it was a lost cause, he just drops it.

But, unlike you, I don't see the LCMS as being in a "sad state." First, while I disagree with the criticisms leveled, and they way they were handled, it is a sign that we take our doctrine and practice seriously. People got upset because they think doctrine and practice matter--and that's not a bad thing. (I should note that this was a small minority of voices. The vast majority of the people that I know who read the essays had no problem with what was written in any of them.)  Second, it appears that Pr. Steve Bohler had it right: Harrison asked CPH to halt distribution and took the time to reread the essays that had these people upset and then determined that there was no 'there' there. He did his job. And he took the time in his response to the Synod to let everyone know that what people wrote went beyond criticism and became personal attack--and that is always wrong. I appreciated those words.

And who knows, maybe the controversy will cause more people to read the volume--or at least the Large Catechism itself.

So no, Tim, I don't think the LCMS is in a "sad state." Do we have our problems? Yes, but so does every other church body. You put a whole bunch of sinner together and you can't be too surprised when sin shows up. But, overall, I'd take our problems over the problems I see in other church bodies. Some of those truly are in a sad state.
"Pastor Butler... [is] deaf to the cries of people like me, dismissing our concerns as Satanic scenarios, denouncing our faith and our very existence."--Charles Austin

Tom Eckstein

#2
Quote from: PrTim15 on February 04, 2023, 12:11:21 PM
Had to laugh at this article this morning. Now it's full stop for the Gottesdienst bunch. Capitulation from earlier in the week when they were ready to nail the CTCR to the stake and give them the Jan Hus treatment...

https://www.gottesdienst.org/gottesblog/2023/2/2/musing-on-the-large-catechism-controversy
https://www.gottesdienst.org/podcast/2023/2/1/tgc-258-anatomy-of-a-confusion-large-catechism-edition

Now this...nothing to see here, all good...

https://www.gottesdienst.org/gottesblog/2023/2/2/the-president-has-spoken


Someone put their finger in the air, found where the political winds were blowing and didn't appreciate the aroma. I"ll just go back to doing what God has called me to do through St. John's and pray for our leaders and the sad state of the LCMS.

Tim, I wonder how much "push back" Larry Beane will get for this.   But I hope they follow his advice.

You're right.  We must always pray for our LCMS.  We're sinners who live only by God's grace.  However, there's also MUCH GOOD in our LCMS.  All glory to God!
I'm an LCMS Pastor in Jamestown, ND.

PrTim15

You gentlemen have better souls than I have. I see the strength of the LCMS almost exclusively in the life of the congregation. In our congregation we have had 19 deaths since Christmas and we have one member on hospice. That's good work, hard work and evangelical work. The politics of the synod has absolutely zero effect in terms of this type of ministry.

I too wonder how the Gottesdienst crew walk back their rhetoric, perhaps they will crow fudge, unlike Pontius Pilate who said, "What I have written I have written." or Dr Luther who said something about standing up.

peter_speckhard

Quote from: PrTim15 on February 04, 2023, 12:49:52 PM
You gentlemen have better souls than I have. I see the strength of the LCMS almost exclusively in the life of the congregation. In our congregation we have had 19 deaths since Christmas and we have one member on hospice. That's good work, hard work and evangelical work. The politics of the synod has absolutely zero effect in terms of this type of ministry.

I too wonder how the Gottesdienst crew walk back their rhetoric, perhaps they will crow fudge, unlike Pontius Pilate who said, "What I have written I have written." or Dr Luther who said something about standing up.
The thing is, who keeps reading Gottesdienst and linking to it?

PrTim15


Jim Butler

Quote from: PrTim15 on February 04, 2023, 12:49:52 PM
You gentlemen have better souls than I have. I see the strength of the LCMS almost exclusively in the life of the congregation. In our congregation we have had 19 deaths since Christmas and we have one member on hospice. That's good work, hard work and evangelical work. The politics of the synod has absolutely zero effect in terms of this type of ministry.

I too wonder how the Gottesdienst crew walk back their rhetoric, perhaps they will crow fudge, unlike Pontius Pilate who said, "What I have written I have written." or Dr Luther who said something about standing up.

I agree that the strength of the LCMS is in its congregations. That, after all, is where the real work is done. I'm on the opposite coast (just outside of Boston where it is currently -5). I also can say that the politics of synod has almost no effect on our ministry--either here or in our jail ministry.

But, there will be occasions when it will become important. I'm not going to be here forever; where will St. Luke's secure a pastor who will lead them faithfully in the Scriptures and not someone who follows the latest social movement? What if a pastor is leading the congregation wrongly? Who can step in and work with the congregation on removing him?

I could go further, but suffice to say that Synod has its place. Sometimes, the politics are important. I'm convinced that if Jack Preus had not been elected in 1969, then the LCMS would be part of the ELCA today and St. John's, Orange, would be celebrating Pride Sunday in June.

Seriously, if you really believed that what the Synod does has almost zero effect on your congregation, then why did you allow your name to stand for President of the LCMS? Why did you write emails and blog posts about why you should be elected? It's because you know that it does have an effect--and an important one at that.
"Pastor Butler... [is] deaf to the cries of people like me, dismissing our concerns as Satanic scenarios, denouncing our faith and our very existence."--Charles Austin

Jim Butler

Quote from: peter_speckhard on February 04, 2023, 01:08:42 PM
Quote from: PrTim15 on February 04, 2023, 12:49:52 PM
You gentlemen have better souls than I have. I see the strength of the LCMS almost exclusively in the life of the congregation. In our congregation we have had 19 deaths since Christmas and we have one member on hospice. That's good work, hard work and evangelical work. The politics of the synod has absolutely zero effect in terms of this type of ministry.

I too wonder how the Gottesdienst crew walk back their rhetoric, perhaps they will crow fudge, unlike Pontius Pilate who said, "What I have written I have written." or Dr Luther who said something about standing up.
The thing is, who keeps reading Gottesdienst and linking to it?

Unlike you, Peter, I am on some social media (Facebook). I saw a lot of LCMS people--including one of my own members--reading and linking to those blog posts. A friend of mine is on Twitter and he said it was even worse there. I think Tim linked to it for the same reason I did--here is what people are saying. Others linked to it because they thought Pr. Beane had a direct line to God on this.

Given the harshness of their rhetoric, the folks have painted themselves into a corner. If they honestly believed what they are saying, they have to plan for Matt Harrison's removal as Synod president. I'll go even farther: if they honestly believe what they were saying, they'd have to file charges of false doctrine against everyone on the LCMS roster who was involved with this project, beginning with Matt Harrison. That's what makes this interesting to me.
"Pastor Butler... [is] deaf to the cries of people like me, dismissing our concerns as Satanic scenarios, denouncing our faith and our very existence."--Charles Austin

PrTim15

Honestly there was a futility in keeping my name on that ballot. That time was traumatic and painful. I served our district and was effective in that. I have watched the synod flail, even in the last week. I grateful for what the synod does as reflected in the kingdom of the left hand, but you're right, especially on the coasts, that there's not much that effects the funeral I have in 40 mins:)

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Well, the story is a comedy rather than a tragedy. That's good news. Reminds me of an old Warner Brothers bit: "Oh, we the boys of the chorus. We hope you like our show. We know you're rooting for us! And now we have to go."

George Rahn

Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on February 04, 2023, 01:30:08 PM
Well, the story is a comedy rather than a tragedy. That's good news. Reminds me of an old Warner Brothers bit: "Oh, we the boys of the chorus. We hope you like our show. We know you're rooting for us! And now we have to go."

https://youtu.be/0jTHNBKjMBU

Steven W Bohler

Quote from: George Rahn on February 04, 2023, 02:39:30 PM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on February 04, 2023, 01:30:08 PM
Well, the story is a comedy rather than a tragedy. That's good news. Reminds me of an old Warner Brothers bit: "Oh, we the boys of the chorus. We hope you like our show. We know you're rooting for us! And now we have to go."

https://youtu.be/0jTHNBKjMBU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESEiJlseLWo

Dave Benke

Quote from: Jim Butler on February 04, 2023, 01:12:45 PM
Quote from: PrTim15 on February 04, 2023, 12:49:52 PM
You gentlemen have better souls than I have. I see the strength of the LCMS almost exclusively in the life of the congregation. In our congregation we have had 19 deaths since Christmas and we have one member on hospice. That's good work, hard work and evangelical work. The politics of the synod has absolutely zero effect in terms of this type of ministry.

I too wonder how the Gottesdienst crew walk back their rhetoric, perhaps they will crow fudge, unlike Pontius Pilate who said, "What I have written I have written." or Dr Luther who said something about standing up.

I agree that the strength of the LCMS is in its congregations. That, after all, is where the real work is done. I'm on the opposite coast (just outside of Boston where it is currently -5). I also can say that the politics of synod has almost no effect on our ministry--either here or in our jail ministry.

But, there will be occasions when it will become important. I'm not going to be here forever; where will St. Luke's secure a pastor who will lead them faithfully in the Scriptures and not someone who follows the latest social movement? What if a pastor is leading the congregation wrongly? Who can step in and work with the congregation on removing him?

I could go further, but suffice to say that Synod has its place. Sometimes, the politics are important. I'm convinced that if Jack Preus had not been elected in 1969, then the LCMS would be part of the ELCA today and St. John's, Orange, would be celebrating Pride Sunday in June.

Seriously, if you really believed that what the Synod does has almost zero effect on your congregation, then why did you allow your name to stand for President of the LCMS? Why did you write emails and blog posts about why you should be elected? It's because you know that it does have an effect--and an important one at that.

There have been two course reversals in this, as both the Synod President and Beane & Co. have done the turnabout. 

As one who spent a lot of time inside the national system, the value was support and encouragement for regional and local mission, honest engagement at that level with theological and practical issues of importance, and a sense of direction that was outward bound with the Gospel. 

The only advice I'd have for those charged with it today is to keep the same values. 

What is different, I think, is the overall diminishment and aging of congregational membership.  A recent chart indicates that the denomination with the oldest average age of membership in the US across lines including other faiths is the LCMS, with an average age of over 58.  The ELCA is at 56 and WELS at 53.  That diminishment was exacerbated and accelerated during the pandemic and continues.  From diminishment to thriving cannot be the domain only of larger congregations, which have more diversity of program offerings.  The smaller congregations have to take every opportunity to focus outward with the Gospel, even as the responsible regional leadership assists with honest assessment about viability and future options that make sense, as difficult as some of them might be.  That to me is where the intestinal fortitude and Gospel commitment is actually necessary in the next decade.  That to me is not and will not be a concern of the tinfoil hat brigade and the ultra-confessional brigade.  So in that sense Tim is on point.  It's not the national church level that's bad.  It's a national focus driven by the ultra-confessional brigade that is a distraction from what is of importance.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Steven W Bohler

Quote from: Dave Benke on February 05, 2023, 07:32:14 AM
Quote from: Jim Butler on February 04, 2023, 01:12:45 PM
Quote from: PrTim15 on February 04, 2023, 12:49:52 PM
You gentlemen have better souls than I have. I see the strength of the LCMS almost exclusively in the life of the congregation. In our congregation we have had 19 deaths since Christmas and we have one member on hospice. That's good work, hard work and evangelical work. The politics of the synod has absolutely zero effect in terms of this type of ministry.

I too wonder how the Gottesdienst crew walk back their rhetoric, perhaps they will crow fudge, unlike Pontius Pilate who said, "What I have written I have written." or Dr Luther who said something about standing up.

I agree that the strength of the LCMS is in its congregations. That, after all, is where the real work is done. I'm on the opposite coast (just outside of Boston where it is currently -5). I also can say that the politics of synod has almost no effect on our ministry--either here or in our jail ministry.

But, there will be occasions when it will become important. I'm not going to be here forever; where will St. Luke's secure a pastor who will lead them faithfully in the Scriptures and not someone who follows the latest social movement? What if a pastor is leading the congregation wrongly? Who can step in and work with the congregation on removing him?

I could go further, but suffice to say that Synod has its place. Sometimes, the politics are important. I'm convinced that if Jack Preus had not been elected in 1969, then the LCMS would be part of the ELCA today and St. John's, Orange, would be celebrating Pride Sunday in June.

Seriously, if you really believed that what the Synod does has almost zero effect on your congregation, then why did you allow your name to stand for President of the LCMS? Why did you write emails and blog posts about why you should be elected? It's because you know that it does have an effect--and an important one at that.

There have been two course reversals in this, as both the Synod President and Beane & Co. have done the turnabout. 

As one who spent a lot of time inside the national system, the value was support and encouragement for regional and local mission, honest engagement at that level with theological and practical issues of importance, and a sense of direction that was outward bound with the Gospel. 

The only advice I'd have for those charged with it today is to keep the same values. 

What is different, I think, is the overall diminishment and aging of congregational membership.  A recent chart indicates that the denomination with the oldest average age of membership in the US across lines including other faiths is the LCMS, with an average age of over 58.  The ELCA is at 56 and WELS at 53.  That diminishment was exacerbated and accelerated during the pandemic and continues.  From diminishment to thriving cannot be the domain only of larger congregations, which have more diversity of program offerings.  The smaller congregations have to take every opportunity to focus outward with the Gospel, even as the responsible regional leadership assists with honest assessment about viability and future options that make sense, as difficult as some of them might be.  That to me is where the intestinal fortitude and Gospel commitment is actually necessary in the next decade.  That to me is not and will not be a concern of the tinfoil hat brigade and the ultra-confessional brigade.  So in that sense Tim is on point.  It's not the national church level that's bad.  It's a national focus driven by the ultra-confessional brigade that is a distraction from what is of importance.

Dave Benke

I do not think Rev. Beane has done a reversal, merely that he is acknowledging that the process is at an end.  Complaints were made, the synod president reviewed the work but did not find anything to stop distribution of the book, and there is no more in the process that can be done.  Now, it is up to pastors and laity (as I read his post at Gottesdienst) to effect change at a more local level, while keeping the synod and its leaders in their prayers.  What would you have him say/do?  Tell his readers to vote for the Congregations Matter endorsed candidates?  Of course not.  Storm CPH and burn it down?  Lynch the editors/writers of the book? 

John_Hannah

#14
Quote from: Dave Benke on February 05, 2023, 07:32:14 AM
Quote from: Jim Butler on February 04, 2023, 01:12:45 PM
Quote from: PrTim15 on February 04, 2023, 12:49:52 PM
You gentlemen have better souls than I have. I see the strength of the LCMS almost exclusively in the life of the congregation. In our congregation we have had 19 deaths since Christmas and we have one member on hospice. That's good work, hard work and evangelical work. The politics of the synod has absolutely zero effect in terms of this type of ministry.

I too wonder how the Gottesdienst crew walk back their rhetoric, perhaps they will crow fudge, unlike Pontius Pilate who said, "What I have written I have written." or Dr Luther who said something about standing up.

I agree that the strength of the LCMS is in its congregations. That, after all, is where the real work is done. I'm on the opposite coast (just outside of Boston where it is currently -5). I also can say that the politics of synod has almost no effect on our ministry--either here or in our jail ministry.

But, there will be occasions when it will become important. I'm not going to be here forever; where will St. Luke's secure a pastor who will lead them faithfully in the Scriptures and not someone who follows the latest social movement? What if a pastor is leading the congregation wrongly? Who can step in and work with the congregation on removing him?

I could go further, but suffice to say that Synod has its place. Sometimes, the politics are important. I'm convinced that if Jack Preus had not been elected in 1969, then the LCMS would be part of the ELCA today and St. John's, Orange, would be celebrating Pride Sunday in June.

Seriously, if you really believed that what the Synod does has almost zero effect on your congregation, then why did you allow your name to stand for President of the LCMS? Why did you write emails and blog posts about why you should be elected? It's because you know that it does have an effect--and an important one at that.

There have been two course reversals in this, as both the Synod President and Beane & Co. have done the turnabout. 

As one who spent a lot of time inside the national system, the value was support and encouragement for regional and local mission, honest engagement at that level with theological and practical issues of importance, and a sense of direction that was outward bound with the Gospel. 

The only advice I'd have for those charged with it today is to keep the same values. 

What is different, I think, is the overall diminishment and aging of congregational membership.  A recent chart indicates that the denomination with the oldest average age of membership in the US across lines including other faiths is the LCMS, with an average age of over 58.  The ELCA is at 56 and WELS at 53.  That diminishment was exacerbated and accelerated during the pandemic and continues.  From diminishment to thriving cannot be the domain only of larger congregations, which have more diversity of program offerings.  The smaller congregations have to take every opportunity to focus outward with the Gospel, even as the responsible regional leadership assists with honest assessment about viability and future options that make sense, as difficult as some of them might be.  That to me is where the intestinal fortitude and Gospel commitment is actually necessary in the next decade.  That to me is not and will not be a concern of the tinfoil hat brigade and the ultra-confessional brigade.  So in that sense Tim is on point.  It's not the national church level that's bad.  It's a national focus driven by the ultra-confessional brigade that is a distraction from what is of importance.

Dave Benke

Agree totally, Dave. (I would not call the spoilers, "ultra-confessionalists" but "pseudo-confessionalists." See Rob Morris' post on the other thread.)

If they were "ultra-confessionalists" they would not be spoilers. Arthur Carl Piepkorn was an "ultra-confessionalist", as far right and conservative about the Confessions as anyone I have ever known. On issues that were not confessional he was genial, generous, gracious and open to a second or third opinion. He believed in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church and could not bring himself to "spoiling" it.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

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