Law Suits and Christian Practice

Started by Rev. Edward Engelbrecht, May 04, 2023, 09:04:06 AM

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Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Jesus says:

QuoteDo not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

Jesus advocates for more or less passive response. This is difficult to bear but usually has good effect. Evil tends to be self defeating. Unfortunately,  it is somewhat self perpetuating, too, as the doctrine of original sin shows.

Steven W Bohler

Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 04, 2023, 04:30:34 PM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on May 04, 2023, 04:12:55 PM
Forgive me, Rev. Engelbrecht, but I have a hard time reading your words above whilst remembering how you falsely and publicly accused someone on this discussion board of being the chief instigator of troubles and alleged "mobbing" in the synod.  I remember how you refused to discuss this with anyone, even after proof had been shown you (and those who published your allegations).  I remember how you refused to recant, let alone apologize, for the harm done to that individual.  I remember how you were willing to, for all intents and purposes, smear everyone at CPH and the Purple Palace as being involved in such activities because you refused to name names.  I remember how you took innocuous things (like a microphone stopping or a pastor looking at you from the pulpit!) and were convinced that these were proof of nefarious actions against you.  I remember how you allowed people to falsely assume who was meant by your reference to a pastor who you claimed admitted to engaging in "mobbing" against you.   I remember how a significant number of participants on this forum left because of how you and the ALPB handled this.  Perhaps you need to look a bit into the mirror....

Steven, who did I accuse? If the reference is available,  provide it.

Additionally,  if I've done everything or even anything you describe, why have I remained a member in good standing throughout? The reason is simple: I have acted cooperatively and faithfully throughout.

gan ainm

Charles Austin

#17
We used to refer to "the long arm of the law" meaning that the "law" was, sooner or later gonna gitcha.
In these narrower realms, I have observed "the long arm of Pastor Bohler's memory." Or some might say grudges. Or obsessions.
😸😸
ELCA PASTOR. Iowa born and raised. And look at this. Here's the old 1960s protestor and critic of our government as virtually the only "love this country" patriot in this forum.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Quote from: Steven W Bohler on May 04, 2023, 07:36:24 PM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 04, 2023, 04:30:34 PM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on May 04, 2023, 04:12:55 PM
Forgive me, Rev. Engelbrecht, but I have a hard time reading your words above whilst remembering how you falsely and publicly accused someone on this discussion board of being the chief instigator of troubles and alleged "mobbing" in the synod.  I remember how you refused to discuss this with anyone, even after proof had been shown you (and those who published your allegations).  I remember how you refused to recant, let alone apologize, for the harm done to that individual.  I remember how you were willing to, for all intents and purposes, smear everyone at CPH and the Purple Palace as being involved in such activities because you refused to name names.  I remember how you took innocuous things (like a microphone stopping or a pastor looking at you from the pulpit!) and were convinced that these were proof of nefarious actions against you.  I remember how you allowed people to falsely assume who was meant by your reference to a pastor who you claimed admitted to engaging in "mobbing" against you.   I remember how a significant number of participants on this forum left because of how you and the ALPB handled this.  Perhaps you need to look a bit into the mirror....

Steven, who did I accuse? If the reference is available,  provide it.

Additionally,  if I've done everything or even anything you describe, why have I remained a member in good standing throughout? The reason is simple: I have acted cooperatively and faithfully throughout.

gan ainm

Steven, I invited you to give a name and you gave a pseudonym, a false name. I'm sure you can see the problem with that.

Steven W Bohler

#19
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 05, 2023, 07:22:00 AM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on May 04, 2023, 07:36:24 PM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 04, 2023, 04:30:34 PM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on May 04, 2023, 04:12:55 PM
Forgive me, Rev. Engelbrecht, but I have a hard time reading your words above whilst remembering how you falsely and publicly accused someone on this discussion board of being the chief instigator of troubles and alleged "mobbing" in the synod.  I remember how you refused to discuss this with anyone, even after proof had been shown you (and those who published your allegations).  I remember how you refused to recant, let alone apologize, for the harm done to that individual.  I remember how you were willing to, for all intents and purposes, smear everyone at CPH and the Purple Palace as being involved in such activities because you refused to name names.  I remember how you took innocuous things (like a microphone stopping or a pastor looking at you from the pulpit!) and were convinced that these were proof of nefarious actions against you.  I remember how you allowed people to falsely assume who was meant by your reference to a pastor who you claimed admitted to engaging in "mobbing" against you.   I remember how a significant number of participants on this forum left because of how you and the ALPB handled this.  Perhaps you need to look a bit into the mirror....

Steven, who did I accuse? If the reference is available,  provide it.

Additionally,  if I've done everything or even anything you describe, why have I remained a member in good standing throughout? The reason is simple: I have acted cooperatively and faithfully throughout.

gan ainm

Steven, I invited you to give a name and you gave a pseudonym, a false name. I'm sure you can see the problem with that.

Actually, you asked for a "reference" not a name.  And I I gave it.  But, in any case, to answer your question: No, I do not see the problem with my answer.  The individual using that pseudonym (which was allowed at that time on this site) was personally known to a number of persons on this board.  In fact, they were the ones who implored you to recant that portion of your story.  You (and the ALPB) refused and continued the lie and slander. 

Let me put it this way.  If I said that the administrator for www.churchhistoryreview.org was a shoplifter and wife-beater, would you say I did not accuse you simply because I did not use your name but some other referent?

Steven W Bohler

Rev. Austin,

Aren't you doing the exact same thing for which you criticize me?

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Steven, I cannot accept the testimony of persons who intentionally chose false names so they could troll others on the forum.  The moderates and ALPB have rejected those behaviors and I believe that is a positive development. I'm not going to change my testimony now since some persons in your network are offering a different explanation for pseudonymous behaviors. I don't believe that narrative. To me it looks like the persons involved are still trying to cover up things they did.

Steven W Bohler

Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 05, 2023, 07:47:52 AM
Steven, I cannot accept the testimony of persons who intentionally chose false names so they could troll others on the forum.  The moderates and ALPB have rejected those behaviors and I believe that is a positive development. I'm not going to change my testimony now since some persons in your network are offering a different explanation for pseudonymous behaviors. I don't believe that narrative. To me it looks like the persons involved are still trying to cover up things they did.

1. It wasn't gan ainm that testified as to your slanderous error.  It was, as I recall, Rev. Loesch.  And Rev. Butler.  Rev. Weedon.  Rev. Brown.  And I am sure I am missing others.  Those are names of real individuals.  Are you now accusing them of trolling on this forum?

2. My network?  And what would that network be?  Are you suggesting that I too am a spy or agent?

3. The "moderators" and the ALPB were complicit with you in your slander.  They too have refused to recant or apologize.  However, I am not surprised that you see their support for you as a positive sign.

4. I am neither defending, nor opposing, the use of pseudonyms on this board.  Such use was allowed when gan aimn posted; it is not allowed now.

5. I agree with your last sentence, though.  However, who I see as the ones doing the covering up differs from your view, I am sure. 

peter_speckhard

Quote from: Steven W Bohler on May 05, 2023, 08:45:17 AM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 05, 2023, 07:47:52 AM
Steven, I cannot accept the testimony of persons who intentionally chose false names so they could troll others on the forum.  The moderates and ALPB have rejected those behaviors and I believe that is a positive development. I'm not going to change my testimony now since some persons in your network are offering a different explanation for pseudonymous behaviors. I don't believe that narrative. To me it looks like the persons involved are still trying to cover up things they did.

1. It wasn't gan ainm that testified as to your slanderous error.  It was, as I recall, Rev. Loesch.  And Rev. Butler.  Rev. Weedon.  Rev. Brown.  And I am sure I am missing others.  Those are names of real individuals.  Are you now accusing them of trolling on this forum?

2. My network?  And what would that network be?  Are you suggesting that I too am a spy or agent?

3. The "moderators" and the ALPB were complicit with you in your slander.  They too have refused to recant or apologize.  However, I am not surprised that you see their support for you as a positive sign.

4. I am neither defending, nor opposing, the use of pseudonyms on this board.  Such use was allowed when gan aimn posted; it is not allowed now.

5. I agree with your last sentence, though.  However, who I see as the ones doing the covering up differs from your view, I am sure.
I don't recall being complicit. I recall being highly critical of the article. I still don't find several aspects of it plausible. That having been said, it is forum, and people I take seriously were vehemently on both sides of that bruhaha. So what are you going to do? I'm not an investigative journalist. I'm not going to call around and get to the bottom of everything people post here or publish via the alpb.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Quote from: D. Engebretson on May 04, 2023, 10:20:58 AM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 04, 2023, 10:03:18 AM
Quote from: D. Engebretson on May 04, 2023, 09:28:22 AM
The BOD of my district is currently working their way through Ted Cober's book Built on the Rock: The Healthy Congregation (CPH, 2017).  As many are aware, Ted Kober has been associated for a long time with Ambassadors of Reconciliation.  He stresses the need for confession and absolution as part of the healing of conflicted congregations. 

Both the North and South Wisconsin Districts have brought their circuit visitors and presidium members together on two occasions over the years for training by AoR. 

Unfortunately, when I came out of seminary, they did not talk a lot (or at all) about the need for pastors or churches to employ C/A to address problems both within the congregation and within the pastor's life (marriage and family).  Private Confession, as far as I can remember, was not stressed for pastors.  I sense that today it is stressed much more.  That said, I don't think it is utilized very much. Going around the room polling the pastors on the BoD at our last meeting it was apparent that C/A is rarely used.

If we cannot come together to confess and share absolution, one of the only options left is the judicial one.  Or simply lining up the sides and shouting down the other.  Or slandering the other until reputations are sufficiently tarnished and damaged.  It happens all the time in the wider world of media and politics.  We simply 'copy and paste' what we see and hear into our own local worlds.

Thanks for your note,  Don. Good to see that your district is trying to address the issues.

I've described previously how I was slandered by a colleague in St. Louis and then urged by my district president to go to private confession and absolution, which I agreed to do. I was subsequently called by my DP and given a specific pastor to whom I should go for private confession.

This was an example of reserved case confession where the penetant is not allowed to choose his or her confessor but must go to a designated confessor. Luther and the Reformers rejected this medieval practice precisely because of the political abuses it created. In view of this bad practice, I chose to go to my own pastor, which deeply angered the colleague who had falsely accused me. The situation grew worse despite the fact that I had gone to private confession.

So I do not believe encouraging  private confession is a sufficient cure for the problem. What never happened was a face-to-face meeting with my colleague; he would never tell me directly his concerns even though I requested that repeatedly. In other words, the current practice demands transparency on the part of one accused but does not practice institutional transparency that allows reconciliation. This creates cover for politically motivated persons who manipulate the synod's practices. All he had to do was lie and insist that I was uncooperative and the political machine went into overdrive against me, furthering the abuse.

Does the district training include anything about reserved case confession and its dangers?

Thank you for this background, Ed.  I will admit that I am unaware of "reserved case confession".  Serving on my district's presidium I have never heard this mentioned or discussed by my DP.  It's news to me. 

But I agree with you that face-to-face meetings between the accused and the accuser are critical.  I was involved in only one formal reconciliation as a circuit visitor.  There we brought together two pastors and their respective CVs (I was one of the CVs).  The session ended well, although it did not start well.  Arrogance must be left at the door.  Unfortunately, we are all prone to it, and our need to defend and defame often kicks into overdrive.

Don, here is an article on how reserved cases currently exist in Roman Catholicism.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserved_cases

I'll see if I still have on file a list of passages from Luther's Works where he rejects the practice. In medieval practice reserved cases were politicized by bishops trying to control nobles and others in their jurisdiction. It was one way the medieval church stopped dissent. Think about the tensions between loyalist bishops and Lutheran princes during the Reformation and you can see the problem.

To break that monopoly, Lutherans taught that the penetant may choose his or her confessor. You can see how this practice might also protect persons mistreated by clergy---imagine being required to go to private confession with an abusive priest!

So teaching people to go to private confession is a good practice but it comes with some dangers of abuse. For example,  I had a colleague tell me to come to private confession with him when policy required him to report upward in the organization. I  declined under those circumstances and he took that as rebellion on my part.

I had colleagues come to me privately to discuss their lives because they trusted me. As a clergyman this put me in an awkward situation.  I was hearing informal private confessions and people asking me to forgive them. Some of us lobbied to have a local pastor serve as chaplain/confessor who would be outside the corporate requirements. That was rejected and I was told all problems had to be reported to HR. You see the conflicts. I was pressed to tell things told me privately and I would not do that. This was then used against me under the assumption that I was hiding something about my own life, which is how matters came to my district president.

Charles Austin

Pastor Bohler:
I am neither defending, nor opposing, the use of pseudonyms on this board.  Such use was allowed when gan aimn posted; it is not allowed now.
Me:
Most unfortunately, it is.
ELCA PASTOR. Iowa born and raised. And look at this. Here's the old 1960s protestor and critic of our government as virtually the only "love this country" patriot in this forum.

Steven W Bohler

Quote from: peter_speckhard on May 05, 2023, 08:48:45 AM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on May 05, 2023, 08:45:17 AM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 05, 2023, 07:47:52 AM
Steven, I cannot accept the testimony of persons who intentionally chose false names so they could troll others on the forum.  The moderates and ALPB have rejected those behaviors and I believe that is a positive development. I'm not going to change my testimony now since some persons in your network are offering a different explanation for pseudonymous behaviors. I don't believe that narrative. To me it looks like the persons involved are still trying to cover up things they did.

1. It wasn't gan ainm that testified as to your slanderous error.  It was, as I recall, Rev. Loesch.  And Rev. Butler.  Rev. Weedon.  Rev. Brown.  And I am sure I am missing others.  Those are names of real individuals.  Are you now accusing them of trolling on this forum?

2. My network?  And what would that network be?  Are you suggesting that I too am a spy or agent?

3. The "moderators" and the ALPB were complicit with you in your slander.  They too have refused to recant or apologize.  However, I am not surprised that you see their support for you as a positive sign.

4. I am neither defending, nor opposing, the use of pseudonyms on this board.  Such use was allowed when gan aimn posted; it is not allowed now.

5. I agree with your last sentence, though.  However, who I see as the ones doing the covering up differs from your view, I am sure.
I don't recall being complicit. I recall being highly critical of the article. I still don't find several aspects of it plausible. That having been said, it is forum, and people I take seriously were vehemently on both sides of that bruhaha. So what are you going to do? I'm not an investigative journalist. I'm not going to call around and get to the bottom of everything people post here or publish via the alpb.

I apologize, Rev. Speckhard.  Apparently my spellcheck changed "moderates" (the term used by Rev. Engelbrecht) to "moderators".  Yes, I recall that you also had issues with the article as written.

John_Hannah

Quote from: Steven W Bohler on May 05, 2023, 09:06:54 AM
Quote from: peter_speckhard on May 05, 2023, 08:48:45 AM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on May 05, 2023, 08:45:17 AM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 05, 2023, 07:47:52 AM
Steven, I cannot accept the testimony of persons who intentionally chose false names so they could troll others on the forum.  The moderates and ALPB have rejected those behaviors and I believe that is a positive development. I'm not going to change my testimony now since some persons in your network are offering a different explanation for pseudonymous behaviors. I don't believe that narrative. To me it looks like the persons involved are still trying to cover up things they did.

1. It wasn't gan ainm that testified as to your slanderous error.  It was, as I recall, Rev. Loesch.  And Rev. Butler.  Rev. Weedon.  Rev. Brown.  And I am sure I am missing others.  Those are names of real individuals.  Are you now accusing them of trolling on this forum?

2. My network?  And what would that network be?  Are you suggesting that I too am a spy or agent?

3. The "moderators" and the ALPB were complicit with you in your slander.  They too have refused to recant or apologize.  However, I am not surprised that you see their support for you as a positive sign.

4. I am neither defending, nor opposing, the use of pseudonyms on this board.  Such use was allowed when gan aimn posted; it is not allowed now.

5. I agree with your last sentence, though.  However, who I see as the ones doing the covering up differs from your view, I am sure.
I don't recall being complicit. I recall being highly critical of the article. I still don't find several aspects of it plausible. That having been said, it is forum, and people I take seriously were vehemently on both sides of that bruhaha. So what are you going to do? I'm not an investigative journalist. I'm not going to call around and get to the bottom of everything people post here or publish via the alpb.

I apologize, Rev. Speckhard.  Apparently my spellcheck changed "moderates" (the term used by Rev. Engelbrecht) to "moderators".  Yes, I recall that you also had issues with the article as written.

Not to worry, Pr. Bohler. I have heard that an important anonymous figure has apologized to gan aimn. This all went down in secret, of course.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Steven W Bohler

Quote from: John_Hannah on May 05, 2023, 10:09:36 AM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on May 05, 2023, 09:06:54 AM
Quote from: peter_speckhard on May 05, 2023, 08:48:45 AM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on May 05, 2023, 08:45:17 AM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 05, 2023, 07:47:52 AM
Steven, I cannot accept the testimony of persons who intentionally chose false names so they could troll others on the forum.  The moderates and ALPB have rejected those behaviors and I believe that is a positive development. I'm not going to change my testimony now since some persons in your network are offering a different explanation for pseudonymous behaviors. I don't believe that narrative. To me it looks like the persons involved are still trying to cover up things they did.

1. It wasn't gan ainm that testified as to your slanderous error.  It was, as I recall, Rev. Loesch.  And Rev. Butler.  Rev. Weedon.  Rev. Brown.  And I am sure I am missing others.  Those are names of real individuals.  Are you now accusing them of trolling on this forum?

2. My network?  And what would that network be?  Are you suggesting that I too am a spy or agent?

3. The "moderators" and the ALPB were complicit with you in your slander.  They too have refused to recant or apologize.  However, I am not surprised that you see their support for you as a positive sign.

4. I am neither defending, nor opposing, the use of pseudonyms on this board.  Such use was allowed when gan aimn posted; it is not allowed now.

5. I agree with your last sentence, though.  However, who I see as the ones doing the covering up differs from your view, I am sure.
I don't recall being complicit. I recall being highly critical of the article. I still don't find several aspects of it plausible. That having been said, it is forum, and people I take seriously were vehemently on both sides of that bruhaha. So what are you going to do? I'm not an investigative journalist. I'm not going to call around and get to the bottom of everything people post here or publish via the alpb.

I apologize, Rev. Speckhard.  Apparently my spellcheck changed "moderates" (the term used by Rev. Engelbrecht) to "moderators".  Yes, I recall that you also had issues with the article as written.

Not to worry, Pr. Bohler. I have heard that an important anonymous figure has apologized to gan aimn. This all went down in secret, of course.

Peace, JOHN

That's the kind of response that I expected from "moderates" and the ALPB.  Yeah, slander and sin are just a joke to some, I guess.

peter_speckhard

When that story first appeared, more than one non-clergy lurker who didn't know any of the personalities involved contacted me to ask whether we were getting punked by some sort of practical joke. While some of it seemed plausible and serious, other aspects of it seemed and still seem ludicrous, like a leader of a shadowy group wanting to be the "main nag" but scrambling the letters to avoid detection. Or distributing secret lists of irritating words and phrases to use in conversation in order to fluster someone into making a mistake. Or flicking the lights on and off during conference speeches t make the speaker look foolish. I asked at least for the name of the conference where that happened or a copy of the list and got nothing. There didn't even seem to be a motive. So it seemed goofy in the extreme that anyone would take the article seriously. That having been said, people I know and whose opinion I respect, not least of which Ed himself, who is a long time thoughtful and profound presence here, stood by the article and made it seem serious as a heart attack. So no matter which side you took, you were calling someone you respected either disturbingly and evil or unbelievably stupid. So after a while I just decided to stop dwelling on the topic and let it die as something inexplicable and over with. 

Lawsuits, of course, involve lawyers whose job it is to prove the other guy wrong, and they cannot rest until they think they've done so. No offense can ever just be covered over. It has to be settled, officially and forever, who was right and who was wrong. I guess it is easy for me to say let it die because I wasn't a party to the dispute, but avoiding lawsuits while maintaining a lawyerly spirit of prosecution or defense toward the neighbor is good as far it goes, but doesn't go far enough.

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