Author Topic: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions  (Read 14923 times)

Steven Tibbetts

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LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« on: August 30, 2004, 10:17:52 PM »
Re: Sept '04 *Omnium Gatherum*:

Okay, I think I've got "moderates," "conservatives," and "confessionalists" pretty straight.  But what does one call an ELCA, uh, "conservative" who would *not* accept women's ordination?

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« Last Edit: August 30, 2004, 10:18:51 PM by przip »
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Chuck

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2004, 11:56:20 AM »
Uh...Lou Smith? ???
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2004, 09:20:35 PM »
Well, Chuck, as you should know, Lou is not the only one in that party.  He's just been more public than most about joining it.

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Steven_Woyen

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2005, 06:49:02 PM »
How about most members of the STS. >:(

Richard Johnson

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2005, 05:44:40 AM »
Quote
How about most members of the STS. >:(


Of course no poll has been taken, but I would be very surprised if "most members of the STS" reject the ordination of women. It might be fair to say that SOME members of the STS are not convinced that the matter has been definitively settled. But there are, of course, a number of ordained women who are members of STS.
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DanTC56

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2005, 08:06:24 AM »
The matter of womens ordination HAS been settled. Female pastors are prohibited. Why? Because God's Word says so. Now if only the ELCA would accept this......<sigh>...

K

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2005, 06:47:00 PM »
'scuse my ignorance. What's "STS"?

I echo Dan's sigh.

Gladfelteri

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2005, 06:52:58 PM »
Quote
'scuse my ignorance. What's "STS"?

The Society of the Holy Trinity.  Their home page is:  http://www.societyholytrinity.org/about_the_society_of_the_holy_tr.htm

Gladfelteri

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2005, 07:00:00 PM »
Quote

Of course no poll has been taken, but I would be very surprised if "most members of the STS" reject the ordination of women. It might be fair to say that SOME members of the STS are not convinced that the matter has been definitively settled. But there are, of course, a number of ordained women who are members of STS.


In my own experience, the STS members I know who self-identify as Evangelical Catholics and understand Lutheranism as a form of "non-Roman" Catholicism would be more comfortble if there was a "moritorium" on the further ordination of women unless and until there would be a broad "consensus fidelium" across Western Catholic Christianity (including the Roman Catholic Church) that this is proper and necessary.  Lets face it -- as long as a Church ordains women, even as Deacons, "puppies will fly" before it has any chance of reunion or even intercommunion with the Roman Catholic Church.

Of course those STS members I know who are not so "Catholic-oriented" and consider themselves and Lutheranism to be solidly Protestant (the minority, in my experience) seem to have no such scruples.

This is not the result of any poll - just my own impressions coming from my own personal experience.  Others may and probably will have other impressions.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2005, 07:01:58 PM by Gladfelteri »

Steven_Woyen

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2005, 07:22:30 PM »
Gladfelter...

I have had the same experience as well with the STS.  

It seems there is some baggage that's inherited when you subscribe to this quasi-monastic rule of the STS (like asking for a WordAlone ordination).  Many STS members that I have met have come across as liturgical moralists who relish in stating "the ELCA doesn't educate good pastors" and other broad statements.

When I first started seminary a few years ago I became aware of the STS through a friend of mine who joined upon graduation and ordination.  I went to the website and I thought to myself "Hey, I agree with this.  I like what they have to say."  Then I met some members and I quickly was turned off to the organization.  Are there issues that I don't like with the ELCA?  Yes!  Do I advocate the historic liturgy?  Yes!  

BUT!!

I don't believe in being a bulldozer when it comes to local liturgical practices and I think you must let the work of the Spirit come into the congregation if pastors feel they need to make major worship changes.  The STS pastors I have met don't take congregational history into account and simply reply matter-of-factly "Well, they're wrong (the congregation)."  My seminary friend who joined STS believed fervently that he was "ontologically changed" when he was ordained.  This kind of an attitude will not endear yourself to a congregation, especially if they were an ALC congregation!!

To sum up, I must respectfully disagree with the suggestion that "most" STS members favor (or acknowledge) women's ordination.  This hasn't been my experience with STS members and the sweeping comments made against ELCA seminaries, seminary students, female pastors, and female bishops (like in Upstate New York) doesn't support their cause and it further violates the Eighth Commandment.

Richard Johnson

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2005, 06:39:39 AM »
Quote
Gladfelter...

It seems there is some baggage that's inherited when you subscribe to this quasi-monastic rule of the STS (like asking for a WordAlone ordination). . .  Many STS members that I have met have come across as liturgical moralists . . .

I don't believe in being a bulldozer when it comes to local liturgical practices . . . The STS pastors I have met don't take congregational history into account and simply reply matter-of-factly "Well, they're wrong (the congregation)."  My seminary friend who joined STS believed fervently that he was "ontologically changed" when he was ordained.  This kind of an attitude will not endear yourself to a congregation, especially if they were an ALC congregation!!

To sum up, I must respectfully disagree with the suggestion that "most" STS members favor (or acknowledge) women's ordination.  This hasn't been my experience with STS members


There are so many sweeping generalizations and inaccuracies here that one hardly knows where to begin.

First of all, indicting a group because "my experience" with "many of them whom I've met" is the basest kind of stereotype. It's sort of on a par with "most of the French I have met have been . . ." and ergo "the French are . . ." Are there, within the STS, pastors who are pastorally insensitive liturgical moralists? Of course there are. Those same pastors, by the way, are also "in the ELCA" or "in the LCMS" or "in the ELCiC," but you aren't making conclusions about the whole on the basis of the few you say you have met.

When I first became acquainted with the STS, my reaction was, "Well, there are a few kind of odd ducks involved with this . . . but on balance, not much odder and not in any greater proportion than, say, my average synod or conference meeting."

As for making changes in congregational worship, the fact of the matter is that on occasion a new pastor comes to a congregation and finds some liturgical practices that are so egregious that it is appropriate simply to terminate them. When I came to my present call, the previous pastor had practiced what he called "quiet communion" one Sunday a month--that is, anybody who felt they wanted or needed to receive Holy Communion more often than the once a month it was offered could just linger after church, come up to the altar and he'd give them a little bread and wine. Sorry, but that's not a practice I'm going to respect or continue. Other liturgical matters--probably most liturgical matters--ought to thoroughly discussed and understood before changes are made, and I'm sure the large majority of STS pastors are sensitive to that.

As for STS being "quasi-monastic," that shows an ignorance both of the STS and of monasticism. What convinced me to subscribe to the STS Rule was precisely the opposite: the words of subscription include the phrase "for the sake of my ordination vows." This is not a new vow, or a "super vow," and has nothing whatsoever in common with Word Alone's demand for non-episcopal ordination. It is an expression of intention to take seriously the vows I have already made as an ELCA pastor--not "more seriously than anyone else" but "more seriously than I have heretofore done."

As for being "ontologically changed" in ordination, your sarcastic reference to this shows clearly that it is a view of ordination you don't personally hold, and that of course is an opinion that is shared by plenty within the Lutheran community. It is not the ONLY understanding among Lutherans, however, and those who have a different view than yours include plenty of people who have no connection with STS.

STS members are those who have subscribed to the Rule of the Society--period. There is diversity of opinion within the Society about virtually any other issue you might name, beyond those addressed by the Rule. There are women who are active members; one chapter dean is a woman. I think for the overwhelming majority of us who are members, the Society provides a sense of "ministerium" and "collegiality" which is simply lacking in our institutional associations.

For anyone not familiar with the Society, I suggest you look at the Rule and other materials available online at www.societyholytrinity.org.

The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Steven_Woyen

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2005, 07:31:11 AM »
Richard,

Again, I must respectfully disagree.

What I meant by "ontologically changed" was a reference to a more noble estate than that of Christian.  I would suggest a reading of Luther's Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation Concerning the Reform of the Christian Estate (LW 44; WA 6).

It's true there are those who may issue broad statements regarding your organization.  But, don't assume ignorance on my part regarding your organization or what its "rule" is.

If there are those who see it as a "ministerium" as you say some do, that fine.  But what is wrong with your colleagues in your synodical conference?  What SPECIFIC issues do you object to among your fellow non-STS ELCA pastors that you need to subscribe to a "rule?"  You say that it isn't a "super-vow," but an upholding of your ordination vows made in the ELCA (or predessor bodies).  Don't you think there might be pastors who aren't STS members are upholding their ordination vows?  I plan to uphold my vows when I'm ordained, do I need to join the STS to show this?  No.  Will I seek "ministerium" among my synodical colleagues?  Sure, and I'm sure you do too, but I don't need a subscription to a rule to do this.  Does this mean I have a "Protestant" view of the clergy?  Does this mean I'm one of these "low-church" types of clergy.  Certainly not!  I don't need to practice a "self-chosen piety" (Col. 2:23) to serve in the pastoral office.

No doubt this conversation will fuel the disdain some may have for ELCA seminaries and seminarians, but I cannot subscribe nor support the Society of the Holy Trinity.  

And, I repeat, don't assume that I'm an ignorant boob about your organization and I will promise not to assume that STS is a sexist misongyistic political action group mad at the ELCA.

Gladfelteri

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2005, 08:41:03 AM »
Quote
Richard,

Again, I must respectfully disagree.

What I meant by "ontologically changed" was a reference to a more noble estate than that of Christian.  I would suggest a reading of Luther's Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation Concerning the Reform of the Christian Estate (LW 44; WA 6)..

Those who do, in fact "divide the Office of the Public Ministry" into three Orders - Deacon, Priest/Presbyter, and Bishop,) think that ideally, Ordination should be in the historic Apostolic Succession, and that Ordination is for life, will insist that a person is, in fact, "ontologically changed" by their ordination.  

This opinion is widespread among Evangelical Catholic Lutherans (but is obviously rejected by "Word Alone" types and by many if not most "middle-of-the-road Lutherans.)

"Painting with a very broad brush," Lutherans who understand Lutheranism to be a variant form of Western Catholicism and self-identify as "Catholics" will very often tend to believe that a person is "ontologically changed" by Ordination.  (To be honest, that is my own opinion.)

Those who understand Lutheranism to be a form of Protestantism and self-identify as "Protestants" will just as emphatically deny that any "ontological change" occurs.  "You gots to pay your money and make your choice" here.

Please remember that this these are broad generalities.  We all know what Mark Twain (?) wrote of generalities - none of them are worth a "darn" - including this one.  But still, generalities can be useful.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2005, 08:46:35 AM by Gladfelteri »

Stephen Vogt

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2005, 08:42:52 AM »
What do you call a member of the ELCA who does not accept women's ordiantion?   Even though I am in the LCMS, I still think of you as a "brother."     Having said that there are brothers in both the ELCA and the LCMS whom I wouldn't give the time of day to.  

We are learning that denominational labels don't mean much to the world these days, which is why we in the LCMS are always trying to make it clear to visitors at worship and those we meet that we had nothing to do with the "sex study."    It seems to be the first question we get asked.  

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2005, 08:44:39 AM »
Quote
Richard,
If there are those who see it as a "ministerium" as you say some do, that fine.  But what is wrong with your colleagues in your synodical conference?  What SPECIFIC issues do you object to among your fellow non-STS ELCA pastors that you need to subscribe to a "rule?"  You say that it isn't a "super-vow," but an upholding of your ordination vows made in the ELCA (or predessor bodies).  Don't you think there might be pastors who aren't STS members are upholding their ordination vows?  I plan to uphold my vows when I'm ordained, do I need to join the STS to show this?  No.  Will I seek "ministerium" among my synodical colleagues?  Sure, and I'm sure you do too, but I don't need a subscription to a rule to do this.  Does this mean I have a "Protestant" view of the clergy?  Does this mean I'm one of these "low-church" types of clergy.  Certainly not!  I don't need to practice a "self-chosen piety" (Col. 2:23) to serve in the pastoral office.

I am in the same conference as Richard. Three of the pastors in our conference are members of STS. Most of us are not. I am not. The purposes of our monthly conference meetings is not the same as the STS retreats. You can't create the same sense of community in monthly two-hour meeting as you can on quarterly week-end retreats.

At our monthly meetings, there are no distinctions between the STS members and those who are not. There is no questioning of how well we our living out our ordination vows. I think that the assumption is that we are all doing the best we can. We all struggle with problems of shepherding groups of sinful people.

I am a member of SBL. That does not mean that I take the Bible any more seriously than the other pastors. (Although I do nearly all my NT studies in Greek.) It means that I have a particular interest in the Biblical studies that their Journal of Biblical Literature and other publications offer. (Most are not applicable to preaching or teaching lay people in the parish.)

I am a member of APT (Association of Psychological Type). This does mean that I am likely to have a greater knowledge of psychological types and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator than most other people. That's one of my interests and an area where I've had training. I probably use it more in my ministry than other ministers.

Richard has a PhD in history. I recently asked him a question about Constantine. He had a good answer. He may be a member of some historical societies that I wouldn't be interested in joining.

I've joined groups that I believe will help me in my own interests and the way I seek to fulfill my ordination vows. STS is not one of those. Others have found it to be a community that helps them individually in their personal and professional lives as ordained clergy.
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