Law Suits and Christian Practice

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

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Dave Benke

Quote from: RDPreus on May 04, 2023, 05:44:39 PM
Quote from: Dave Benke on May 04, 2023, 05:22:05 PM
Ted Kober provides through Peacemakers great Lutheran material for conflict resolution.  In a congregational setting, it's tough to monitor every step along the way.  And the system can be gamed because a congregational voters' assembly is King at least in our LCMS version of Lutheran.  Ergo, there are democratic or pseudo democratic elections periodically, which can have a dramatic effect on any conflict, especially one in which the pastor is involved.  So everyone plays nice, then even though the ecclesiastical supervisor urges that all elections be held in abeyance, they go ahead anyway.  And the resolvable Scripturally based resolution is overtaken by the voters' assembly, which votes to stop paying the pastor, or excommunicate the group put out of power through the election process, etc. etc.  And those congregations go right down the tank, and the pastors (if involved) are devastated.  Not Ted Kobe's fault.  Not the Bible's fault.  Not the LUtheran Confessions' fault.  Human failure.

To a certain point, I recall members of the Board of Directors of the LCMS suing the LCMS and its President for election fraud.  A fraud which did not exist.  That went to a panel which I was on, and got sort of resolved.  The suing Board members, upon the electoral vistory of the United List, eventually all got put back on either the Board of Directors or other Boards.  Absolute malarkey.  Absolutely an indicator of the LCMS disease labeled as infighting.

Dave Benke

Dave, I was not in the LCMS when Jerry Kieschnick was sued.  I defended their lawsuit at the time.  I was wrong to do so.  They shouldn't have done it.

Thanks for this post, RD!

"Reserved case confession"  is unknown to me, and if someone was using that term, I can guarantee it was not discussed at the level of the Council of Presidents for a 24 year period when I was there.  Whoever you were dealing with, Pastor Ed, must have not understood the confessional seal.  Because your pastor back then would have had no one to talk to about what he heard from you, that being the promise made in ordination.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Donald_Kirchner

#31
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 05, 2023, 08:54:32 AM
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.

I have never heard of something so bizarre among Lutheran clergy! What happened to the confessional seal?

But yes, certain confessors could be put into an uncomfortable position. For example, the now-and-then-heard idea that the DP is the pastor's pastor. Baloney! He's the hammer! Don't put him in the awkward position of confessing something to him for which one should be disciplined or removed.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

peter_speckhard

I'm not trying to run a major, large scale organization, but St. Paul's is a large enough operation that I can sympathize with leadership if I imagine trying to get to the bottom of rumored dissatisfaction or complaints and encountering little clusters of informal, private conversations concerning serious problems that nobody will share with leadership or with the HR people specifically hired to deal with such problems. The problems either have to be big enough to address or small enough to ignore.

I don't know how anyone can tell you to come to confession with him-- did mean accompany him as he went to private confession, or that he wanted you to confess to him? Nobody has the authority to do either one of those things. And in any event, it wouldn't solve the problem of you being privy to informal, private conversations of others-- you don't go to confession to blab other people's secrets safely. I'm sure the DP can't share anything, but it would surprise me if he got involved because someone complained that you wouldn't go to confession with them or share details of other people's lives. What would the complaint be? And if the complaint was that you were hiding something in your own life, how is that even a complaint? And what can the DP do about it other than ask you how everything is going?   

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

I'll make a few comments.  My sense is that encouraging Private Confession is receiving new emphasis in recent decades so if that is true, naturally there may be some confusion surrounding the practice.

My DP did tell me not to confess to him, though there would have been no harm in it. I  don't think my confession would have resulted in special discipline.

I'm not surprised to see Pres. Behnke say the DPs haven't discussed reserved cases, especially if urging Private Confession is a newer emphasis. Having read a lot of Luther, I recognized the irregularities when someone insisted that I come to him for private confession or in a church authority urging a particular confessor rather than allowing for my own pastor. These are things not done in Lutheran practice. My avoiding them was never intended as rebellion but as upholding what I knew to be sound practice. Regarding the DP, I would even think it possible that he was told to say what he did.

Regarding HR, I am fully empathetic with the HR need to handle company matters. But private meetings easily go beyond the professional to the personal when someone is in the company of a pastoral figure. My colleagues called me "the good boss" because they had high trust in me. I went to leadership with the recommendation that the company have a designated chaplain precisely to protect the professional/private boundaries. I wonder how such things were handled at the synod institution where a chaplain was present.

For professional reasons I would report up company matters that came to light. But I did not think it ethical to report personal matters that people brought to me. Somehow that roused suspicion and anger with some in St. Louis.  As I've said all these developments might have been avoided with a single face-to-face meeting if trust had endured. But was targeted as a "problem person" and things grew worse from there.

Brian Stoffregen

#34
In actually looking at 1 Corinthians 6, there are some modifiers of the lawsuits (kriterion in 6:2, 4).

The first is elachistos in v. 2. It is used as the superlative of mikros = "smallest," "least," "most unimportant." Paul uses it in 1 Cor 15:19: he is the "least" of the apostles. It is usually translated in 6:2 as "trivial." A few translations use "insignificant."

The second is biotikos in v. 4. This adjective is related to bios = "things pertaining to (daily) life." A comment in BDAG related to these verses: "concerning quarrels in daily life which, in contrast to grave offenses, are not to be brought to court, but settled at home." Some translations use "ordinary." Others don't even translate it.

Going beyond trivial, daily issues that become lawsuits, an essay by Mike Yaconelli in The Wittenburg Door (Number 82/December 1984 January 1985)) may show how this may go beyond the courtroom and can apply to most our congregations..

The Tyranny of Trivia

There is something wrong with the organized church. You know it. I know it. We all see that something is wrong – drastically wrong. Just one semi-close look at the organized church – with its waning influence, its corruption, and its cultural impotence – tells us that something has gone awry. But, the question is, what has gone awry? What *is* wrong?

I think I know.

The problem with the church is not corruption. It is not institutionalism. No, the problem is far more serious than something like the minister running away with the organist. The problem is pettiness. Blatant pettiness.

Visit any local church board meeting, and you will be immediately shocked by the sheer abundance of pettiness. The flower committee chairman has decided to quit because someone didn't check with her before they put flowers on the altar last Sunday. The Chairman of the Board is angry because a meeting was held without his knowledge. One of the elders is upset with the youth director because the youth director wants to take the church youth group to a secular Rock concert. The Woman's Kitchen committee is up in arms because, at the last youth group meeting (which has mushroomed from 15 kids to 90 kids in six months), the kids took some sugar from the kitchen. The janitor is threatening to quit because the youth group played a game on the grass over the weekend, and now the lawn needs extra work.

I can understand each and every one of the gripes mentioned above. I also understand that the same general argument is always made for each one of these gripes:

If you don't have order, you have chaos. It sounds like a little thing, but if everyone was allowed to do "__________,"  think what that would mean.

Ah, yes, think what it would mean. What would it mean? Probably nothing. And yet, in every church in this country, boards, ministers, and church members – in the name of "what would this mean?" – are running around trying to answer that very question. In other words, churches are so preoccupied with the petty, they can't spend the time required to do what does matter. So, I would like to say what people in church leadership are apparently having a difficult time saying today: There is no excuse for pettiness in the Church. Pettiness should have no place at all in any church for any reason.

Petty people are ugly people. They are people who have lost their vision. They are people who have turned their eyes away from what matters and focused, instead, on what doesn't matter. The result is that the rest of us are immobilized by their obsession with the insignificant. It is time to rid the church of pettiness. It is time the Church refused to be victimized by petty people. It is time the Church stopped ignoring pettiness. It is time the Church quit pretending that pettiness doesn't matter.

Pettiness is a cancer that has been allowed to go undetected; a molehill that has been allowed to become a mountain. Pettiness has become a serious disease in the Church of Jesus Christ – a disease which continues to result in terminal cases of discord, disruption, and destruction. Petty people are dangerous people because they appear to be only a nuisance instead of what they really are – a health hazard.

The most basic result of the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives is our deliverance from the sin of pettiness. It really is true that, in Jesus, we are freed from the bondage of the insignificant and let loose from the tyranny of the trivial.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Rob Morris

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.

I wrote to you, first, privately, then, on the forum, to tell you that GAN AINM was most definitely not the main nag. That I know who he is, and that he is a lay person completely uninvolved with central synod doings. You ignored every one of those messages. I also wrote to tell you that a now-former parishioner of mine, who had worked with you had been completely cut off by you when you believed that she was part of a mob effort against you - something deeply hurtful to her, and I had offered to connect you to one another. You replied that you believed that the system had gotten to me so that I would level false accusations against you.

I have no question that you went through some horrible things. I also believe that your behavior, while perhaps well motivated, has not set for us an example of how people are to deal with one another.

Only much later, did you or anyone officially connected with the ALPB acknowledge that you had signed a nondisclosure agreement, which prevented you from naming the bad actor. Information that would've been extremely helpful at the time, but which certainly colors how people are to interpret your actions.

peter_speckhard

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on May 05, 2023, 07:36:46 PM
In actually looking at 1 Corinthians 6, there are some modifiers of the lawsuits (kriterion in 6:2, 4).

The first is elachistos in v. 2. It is used as the superlative of mikros = "smallest," "least," "most unimportant." Paul uses it in 1 Cor 15:19: he is the "least" of the apostles. It is usually translated in 6:2 as "trivial." A few translations use "insignificant."

The second is biotikos in v. 4. This adjective is related to bios = "things pertaining to (daily) life." A comment in BDAG related to these verses: "concerning quarrels in daily life which, in contrast to grave offenses, are not to be brought to court, but settled at home." Some translations use "ordinary." Others don't even translate it.

Going beyond trivial, daily issues that become lawsuits, an essay by Mike Yaconelli in The Wittenburg Door (Number 82/December 1984 January 1985)) may show how this may go beyond the courtroom and can apply to most our congregations..

The Tyranny of Trivia

There is something wrong with the organized church. You know it. I know it. We all see that something is wrong – drastically wrong. Just one semi-close look at the organized church – with its waning influence, its corruption, and its cultural impotence – tells us that something has gone awry. But, the question is, what has gone awry? What *is* wrong?

I think I know.

The problem with the church is not corruption. It is not institutionalism. No, the problem is far more serious than something like the minister running away with the organist. The problem is pettiness. Blatant pettiness.

Visit any local church board meeting, and you will be immediately shocked by the sheer abundance of pettiness. The flower committee chairman has decided to quit because someone didn't check with her before they put flowers on the altar last Sunday. The Chairman of the Board is angry because a meeting was held without his knowledge. One of the elders is upset with the youth director because the youth director wants to take the church youth group to a secular Rock concert. The Woman's Kitchen committee is up in arms because, at the last youth group meeting (which has mushroomed from 15 kids to 90 kids in six months), the kids took some sugar from the kitchen. The janitor is threatening to quit because the youth group played a game on the grass over the weekend, and now the lawn needs extra work.

I can understand each and every one of the gripes mentioned above. I also understand that the same general argument is always made for each one of these gripes:

If you don't have order, you have chaos. It sounds like a little thing, but if everyone was allowed to do "__________,"  think what that would mean.

Ah, yes, think what it would mean. What would it mean? Probably nothing. And yet, in every church in this country, boards, ministers, and church members – in the name of "what would this mean?" – are running around trying to answer that very question. In other words, churches are so preoccupied with the petty, they can't spend the time required to do what does matter. So, I would like to say what people in church leadership are apparently having a difficult time saying today: There is no excuse for pettiness in the Church. Pettiness should have no place at all in any church for any reason.

Petty people are ugly people. They are people who have lost their vision. They are people who have turned their eyes away from what matters and focused, instead, on what doesn't matter. The result is that the rest of us are immobilized by their obsession with the insignificant. It is time to rid the church of pettiness. It is time the Church refused to be victimized by petty people. It is time the Church stopped ignoring pettiness. It is time the Church quit pretending that pettiness doesn't matter.

Pettiness is a cancer that has been allowed to go undetected; a molehill that has been allowed to become a mountain. Pettiness has become a serious disease in the Church of Jesus Christ – a disease which continues to result in terminal cases of discord, disruption, and destruction. Petty people are dangerous people because they appear to be only a nuisance instead of what they really are – a health hazard.

The most basic result of the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives is our deliverance from the sin of pettiness. It really is true that, in Jesus, we are freed from the bondage of the insignificant and let loose from the tyranny of the trivial.

This rings true in one way. Pettiness is how sinful self-centeredness often shows up in church life. But there is another way of looking at it. We think of kids as being petty because they care about things that a more mature person realizes don't really matter. I wanted the blue cup, not the red cup! She sat at lunch right she knew I wanted to sit! If I can't be the first baseman, then I'm going home! etc. We usually try to calm those tantrummy kids down by letting them know they're making too big a deal out of something that doesn't really matter. Who cares what color your cup is? You sat literally two feet from where you wanted to be sitting, so what? Not everyone can play first base, try another position for a change and take your turn at first later. And so forth.

That is a hard thing to do with some of the things people get petty about in church. If someone deeply cares about the altar flowers, of whether the hymns are pitched too high for them to sing, you can't say, "Who cares?" They're supposed to care. The youth director leaving all kinds of extra work for the janitor without alerting him in advance is fine if nobody cares about the janitor's day. The problem is that we all have different niche things we truly care about and things we don't care about. Some people in this forum are driven to distraction if the liturgist wears the wrong vestments, or fidgets a lot, or gets too chatty during the announcements. Why? Because the service matters to us. Decorum matters to us. It is something sacred. Sure, most of the people in the congregation might not notice, might not care even if they do notice, and might actually prefer it the annoying way.

The key is to treat all these things as important because everything from whether the choir robes were properly ironed to whether the hymnals are all replaced rightside up in the pew is important to someone. So the approach to pettiness from leadership ought not strictly be "quit focusing on things that don't matter." There is an element of teaching people to keep the central things central. But there is also the matter of teaching people that the peripheral matters matter more to some than to others and it is a big family trying to share a house, so dedicate yourself to the things that matter to you and respect that other people have different priorities.

It used to drive me nuts that we didn't serve coffee and donuts in the narthex but rather in the cafeteria on the other side of the building in order to preserve the carpet in the narthex. Saying that the carpet didn't matter as much as the fellowship was true, but some people are trustees to the core of their being. Saying that the purpose of the carpet is to get worn out and we're budgeting for the replacement carpet even as we're installing this carpet because we want feet on it is a different approach, one that honors some people's special emphasis on maintenance, planning, and good order.   

Steven W Bohler

Quote from: Rob Morris on May 06, 2023, 07:02:59 AM
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.

I wrote to you, first, privately, then, on the forum, to tell you that GAN AINM was most definitely not the main nag. That I know who he is, and that he is a lay person completely uninvolved with central synod doings. You ignored every one of those messages. I also wrote to tell you that a now-former parishioner of mine, who had worked with you had been completely cut off by you when you believed that she was part of a mob effort against you - something deeply hurtful to her, and I had offered to connect you to one another. You replied that you believed that the system had gotten to me so that I would level false accusations against you.

I have no question that you went through some horrible things. I also believe that your behavior, while perhaps well motivated, has not set for us an example of how people are to deal with one another.

Only much later, did you or anyone officially connected with the ALPB acknowledge that you had signed a nondisclosure agreement, which prevented you from naming the bad actor. Information that would've been extremely helpful at the time, but which certainly colors how people are to interpret your actions.

Thank you, Rev. Morris.  I knew there were others who had tried to work through this properly but I was too lazy to go back and read through the threads.  You have summed up quite well what I was trying to say in my initial post.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Quote from: Rob Morris on May 06, 2023, 07:02:59 AM
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.

I wrote to you, first, privately, then, on the forum, to tell you that GAN AINM was most definitely not the main nag. That I know who he is, and that he is a lay person completely uninvolved with central synod doings. You ignored every one of those messages. I also wrote to tell you that a now-former parishioner of mine, who had worked with you had been completely cut off by you when you believed that she was part of a mob effort against you - something deeply hurtful to her, and I had offered to connect you to one another. You replied that you believed that the system had gotten to me so that I would level false accusations against you.

I have no question that you went through some horrible things. I also believe that your behavior, while perhaps well motivated, has not set for us an example of how people are to deal with one another.

Only much later, did you or anyone officially connected with the ALPB acknowledge that you had signed a nondisclosure agreement, which prevented you from naming the bad actor. Information that would've been extremely helpful at the time, but which certainly colors how people are to interpret your actions.

Rob, you're upset because I did not trust your testimony (I've never met you) and because I was unwilling to put myself at risk legally by describing the protection order early on. Can you appreciate that right after I published the article I had no idea about the outcomes? I had reams of people making demands of me and I chose not to respond to many of them, in particular I was asked to do interviews in the secular press and I turned those down. I wanted the synod to mull over what had happened. The goal of the article was always educational, never an effort to "get" anyone so that was another reason I have not named names to this day.

So I chose to put myself at risk and no one else, not even persons who threatened to kill me and destroy me---and that beforei ever published the article.

The thread is about lawsuits and the article by Christian Preus in particular. A most interesting feature was Walther's decision to pursue a lawsuit against a pastor who slandered him. This was viewed as an exception at the time and acceptable because it involved no financial damages. I had never heard that story. Still, I don't know about taking such a matter outside the church. I suppose Walther viewed it as a last resort.

Steven W Bohler

Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 06, 2023, 09:36:37 AM
Quote from: Rob Morris on May 06, 2023, 07:02:59 AM
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.

I wrote to you, first, privately, then, on the forum, to tell you that GAN AINM was most definitely not the main nag. That I know who he is, and that he is a lay person completely uninvolved with central synod doings. You ignored every one of those messages. I also wrote to tell you that a now-former parishioner of mine, who had worked with you had been completely cut off by you when you believed that she was part of a mob effort against you - something deeply hurtful to her, and I had offered to connect you to one another. You replied that you believed that the system had gotten to me so that I would level false accusations against you.

I have no question that you went through some horrible things. I also believe that your behavior, while perhaps well motivated, has not set for us an example of how people are to deal with one another.

Only much later, did you or anyone officially connected with the ALPB acknowledge that you had signed a nondisclosure agreement, which prevented you from naming the bad actor. Information that would've been extremely helpful at the time, but which certainly colors how people are to interpret your actions.

Rob, you're upset because I did not trust your testimony (I've never met you) and because I was unwilling to put myself at risk legally by describing the protection order early on. Can you appreciate that right after I published the article I had no idea about the outcomes? I had reams of people making demands of me and I chose not to respond to many of them, in particular I was asked to do interviews in the secular press and I turned those down. I wanted the synod to mull over what had happened. The goal of the article was always educational, never an effort to "get" anyone so that was another reason I have not named names to this day.

So I chose to put myself at risk and no one else, not even persons who threatened to kill me and destroy me---and that beforei ever published the article.

The thread is about lawsuits and the article by Christian Preus in particular. A most interesting feature was Walther's decision to pursue a lawsuit against a pastor who slandered him. This was viewed as an exception at the time and acceptable because it involved no financial damages. I had never heard that story. Still, I don't know about taking such a matter outside the church. I suppose Walther viewed it as a last resort.

You put no one at risk?  Seriously?  You, for all intents and purposes, put virtually EVERY person working at CPH at risk with your article -- how could any of them defend themselves against such slander?  You falsely accused gan ainm of being your alleged Main Nag -- and a number of people knew who gan ainm.  You wrote of "our pastor" doing things to you from the pulpit -- and only later said that "our pastor" was not your pastor but another.  Rev. Morris has now mentioned yet another person you falsely accused of being part of your so-called "Machine".  It appears that just about anyone who questions you or your claims gets subjected to the same treatment.  And yet you continue to see yourself as the victim.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Quote from: Steven W Bohler on May 06, 2023, 10:11:39 AM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 06, 2023, 09:36:37 AM
Quote from: Rob Morris on May 06, 2023, 07:02:59 AM
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.

I wrote to you, first, privately, then, on the forum, to tell you that GAN AINM was most definitely not the main nag. That I know who he is, and that he is a lay person completely uninvolved with central synod doings. You ignored every one of those messages. I also wrote to tell you that a now-former parishioner of mine, who had worked with you had been completely cut off by you when you believed that she was part of a mob effort against you - something deeply hurtful to her, and I had offered to connect you to one another. You replied that you believed that the system had gotten to me so that I would level false accusations against you.

I have no question that you went through some horrible things. I also believe that your behavior, while perhaps well motivated, has not set for us an example of how people are to deal with one another.

Only much later, did you or anyone officially connected with the ALPB acknowledge that you had signed a nondisclosure agreement, which prevented you from naming the bad actor. Information that would've been extremely helpful at the time, but which certainly colors how people are to interpret your actions.

Rob, you're upset because I did not trust your testimony (I've never met you) and because I was unwilling to put myself at risk legally by describing the protection order early on. Can you appreciate that right after I published the article I had no idea about the outcomes? I had reams of people making demands of me and I chose not to respond to many of them, in particular I was asked to do interviews in the secular press and I turned those down. I wanted the synod to mull over what had happened. The goal of the article was always educational, never an effort to "get" anyone so that was another reason I have not named names to this day.

So I chose to put myself at risk and no one else, not even persons who threatened to kill me and destroy me---and that beforei ever published the article.

The thread is about lawsuits and the article by Christian Preus in particular. A most interesting feature was Walther's decision to pursue a lawsuit against a pastor who slandered him. This was viewed as an exception at the time and acceptable because it involved no financial damages. I had never heard that story. Still, I don't know about taking such a matter outside the church. I suppose Walther viewed it as a last resort.

You put no one at risk?  Seriously?  You, for all intents and purposes, put virtually EVERY person working at CPH at risk with your article -- how could any of them defend themselves against such slander?  You falsely accused gan ainm of being your alleged Main Nag -- and a number of people knew who gan ainm.  You wrote of "our pastor" doing things to you from the pulpit -- and only later said that "our pastor" was not your pastor but another.  Rev. Morris has now mentioned yet another person you falsely accused of being part of your so-called "Machine".  It appears that just about anyone who questions you or your claims gets subjected to the same treatment.  And yet you continue to see yourself as the victim.

Steven, you are stating things factually incorrect.  I bid you peace since I see nothing fruitful in dialoguing with you.

The thread is about the worthy topic of lawsuits and Christian practice.

Rob Morris

Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 06, 2023, 09:36:37 AM
Quote from: Rob Morris on May 06, 2023, 07:02:59 AM
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.

I wrote to you, first, privately, then, on the forum, to tell you that GAN AINM was most definitely not the main nag. That I know who he is, and that he is a lay person completely uninvolved with central synod doings. You ignored every one of those messages. I also wrote to tell you that a now-former parishioner of mine, who had worked with you had been completely cut off by you when you believed that she was part of a mob effort against you - something deeply hurtful to her, and I had offered to connect you to one another. You replied that you believed that the system had gotten to me so that I would level false accusations against you.

I have no question that you went through some horrible things. I also believe that your behavior, while perhaps well motivated, has not set for us an example of how people are to deal with one another.

Only much later, did you or anyone officially connected with the ALPB acknowledge that you had signed a nondisclosure agreement, which prevented you from naming the bad actor. Information that would've been extremely helpful at the time, but which certainly colors how people are to interpret your actions.

Rob, you're upset because I did not trust your testimony (I've never met you) and because I was unwilling to put myself at risk legally by describing the protection order early on. Can you appreciate that right after I published the article I had no idea about the outcomes? I had reams of people making demands of me and I chose not to respond to many of them, in particular I was asked to do interviews in the secular press and I turned those down. I wanted the synod to mull over what had happened. The goal of the article was always educational, never an effort to "get" anyone so that was another reason I have not named names to this day.

So I chose to put myself at risk and no one else, not even persons who threatened to kill me and destroy me---and that beforei ever published the article.

The thread is about lawsuits and the article by Christian Preus in particular. A most interesting feature was Walther's decision to pursue a lawsuit against a pastor who slandered him. This was viewed as an exception at the time and acceptable because it involved no financial damages. I had never heard that story. Still, I don't know about taking such a matter outside the church. I suppose Walther viewed it as a last resort.

So, if you had met me in person you would at least show some semblance of care and accountability for the two lay people within my sphere whom your false accusations hurt? That's the only reason I'm still chipping in here.

Your position is that the extenuating circumstances excuse and absolve you of any possible blame for any mistakes you have made. I will acknowledge the extenuating circumstances, but the cheap grace doesn't slide by quite so easily.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Quote from: Rob Morris on May 06, 2023, 12:23:40 PM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 06, 2023, 09:36:37 AM
Quote from: Rob Morris on May 06, 2023, 07:02:59 AM
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.

I wrote to you, first, privately, then, on the forum, to tell you that GAN AINM was most definitely not the main nag. That I know who he is, and that he is a lay person completely uninvolved with central synod doings. You ignored every one of those messages. I also wrote to tell you that a now-former parishioner of mine, who had worked with you had been completely cut off by you when you believed that she was part of a mob effort against you - something deeply hurtful to her, and I had offered to connect you to one another. You replied that you believed that the system had gotten to me so that I would level false accusations against you.

I have no question that you went through some horrible things. I also believe that your behavior, while perhaps well motivated, has not set for us an example of how people are to deal with one another.

Only much later, did you or anyone officially connected with the ALPB acknowledge that you had signed a nondisclosure agreement, which prevented you from naming the bad actor. Information that would've been extremely helpful at the time, but which certainly colors how people are to interpret your actions.

Rob, you're upset because I did not trust your testimony (I've never met you) and because I was unwilling to put myself at risk legally by describing the protection order early on. Can you appreciate that right after I published the article I had no idea about the outcomes? I had reams of people making demands of me and I chose not to respond to many of them, in particular I was asked to do interviews in the secular press and I turned those down. I wanted the synod to mull over what had happened. The goal of the article was always educational, never an effort to "get" anyone so that was another reason I have not named names to this day.

So I chose to put myself at risk and no one else, not even persons who threatened to kill me and destroy me---and that beforei ever published the article.

The thread is about lawsuits and the article by Christian Preus in particular. A most interesting feature was Walther's decision to pursue a lawsuit against a pastor who slandered him. This was viewed as an exception at the time and acceptable because it involved no financial damages. I had never heard that story. Still, I don't know about taking such a matter outside the church. I suppose Walther viewed it as a last resort.

So, if you had met me in person you would at least show some semblance of care and accountability for the two lay people within my sphere whom your false accusations hurt? That's the only reason I'm still chipping in here.

Your position is that the extenuating circumstances excuse and absolve you of any possible blame for any mistakes you have made. I will acknowledge the extenuating circumstances, but the cheap grace doesn't slide by quite so easily.

No, Rob. I'm saying I don't trust your account of things that happened. I stand by what I published and I've learned nothing new that would cause me to change things. You have learned, in the meantime, that I had specific legal reasons for not submitting to the lines of questioning on this thread.

I believe that if I spilled a bunch of names into the open, told things that were said to me in private, and stirred all this up once again, it would do far more harm than good.

As with Steven, I bid you peace.

The thread is about lawsuits and Christian practice.

Rob Morris

Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 06, 2023, 01:06:33 PM
Quote from: Rob Morris on May 06, 2023, 12:23:40 PM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 06, 2023, 09:36:37 AM
Quote from: Rob Morris on May 06, 2023, 07:02:59 AM
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.

I wrote to you, first, privately, then, on the forum, to tell you that GAN AINM was most definitely not the main nag. That I know who he is, and that he is a lay person completely uninvolved with central synod doings. You ignored every one of those messages. I also wrote to tell you that a now-former parishioner of mine, who had worked with you had been completely cut off by you when you believed that she was part of a mob effort against you - something deeply hurtful to her, and I had offered to connect you to one another. You replied that you believed that the system had gotten to me so that I would level false accusations against you.

I have no question that you went through some horrible things. I also believe that your behavior, while perhaps well motivated, has not set for us an example of how people are to deal with one another.

Only much later, did you or anyone officially connected with the ALPB acknowledge that you had signed a nondisclosure agreement, which prevented you from naming the bad actor. Information that would've been extremely helpful at the time, but which certainly colors how people are to interpret your actions.

Rob, you're upset because I did not trust your testimony (I've never met you) and because I was unwilling to put myself at risk legally by describing the protection order early on. Can you appreciate that right after I published the article I had no idea about the outcomes? I had reams of people making demands of me and I chose not to respond to many of them, in particular I was asked to do interviews in the secular press and I turned those down. I wanted the synod to mull over what had happened. The goal of the article was always educational, never an effort to "get" anyone so that was another reason I have not named names to this day.

So I chose to put myself at risk and no one else, not even persons who threatened to kill me and destroy me---and that beforei ever published the article.

The thread is about lawsuits and the article by Christian Preus in particular. A most interesting feature was Walther's decision to pursue a lawsuit against a pastor who slandered him. This was viewed as an exception at the time and acceptable because it involved no financial damages. I had never heard that story. Still, I don't know about taking such a matter outside the church. I suppose Walther viewed it as a last resort.

So, if you had met me in person you would at least show some semblance of care and accountability for the two lay people within my sphere whom your false accusations hurt? That's the only reason I'm still chipping in here.

Your position is that the extenuating circumstances excuse and absolve you of any possible blame for any mistakes you have made. I will acknowledge the extenuating circumstances, but the cheap grace doesn't slide by quite so easily.

No, Rob. I'm saying I don't trust your account of things that happened. I stand by what I published and I've learned nothing new that would cause me to change things. You have learned, in the meantime, that I had specific legal reasons for not submitting to the lines of questioning on this thread.

I believe that if I spilled a bunch of names into the open, told things that were said to me in private, and stirred all this up once again, it would do far more harm than good.

As with Steven, I bid you peace.

The thread is about lawsuits and Christian practice.

That's fine. It's the outcome I expected. It won't stop me from hoping, praying, and trying for a more God-honoring one. I remain very sorry for what you have gone through as well as sorry for what you have unintentionally put others through.

John_Hannah

I know people who worked near Edward at the time. I trust his account. Let's leave it alone for now?

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

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