Author Topic: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions  (Read 14925 times)

hansen

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2005, 10:18:38 AM »
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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.


And that's to give us hope of what the ELCA seminaries are turning out?

Gladfelteri

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2005, 11:35:21 AM »
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What do you call a member of the ELCA who does not accept women's ordiantion?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.  

I would simply call him a theologically conservative ELCA Pastor.

« Last Edit: March 07, 2005, 12:26:50 PM by Gladfelteri »

Richard Johnson

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2005, 11:40:41 AM »
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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.



I didn't say you were a boob.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Gladfelteri

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2005, 12:32:25 PM »
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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.

I hear that statement from STS members from time to time (not often, but rather every now and then) and  this is how that statement comes through my "filter:"  "The ELCA doesn't educate Evangelical Catholic PRIESTS - - it educates Protestant Ministers . . ."  That is what I think they are really saying - - or at least mean to say . . .

Just my impression, for what it is worth . . .

Incidentally, my denomination, the ECCL (http://www.ecclnet.org) does encourage its Priests to join the STS.  Our Vicar General for the Middle Atlantic and New England is a member.  It is a good organization, in my humble opinion!


« Last Edit: March 07, 2005, 12:36:14 PM by Gladfelteri »

DanTC56

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2005, 01:02:58 PM »
Irl, how can you recommend such a society that has a policy of admitting female pastorettes? Now before any STS members jump down my throat and say that the STS has no policy on admitting female pastors,I must counter that indeed it does. If I am correct,membership is extended to any/all pastors who are rightly called and ordained. Now Pr"Susan Creamcheese" can apply. She can be called and ordained by an ELCA congregation,and not a word will be said in objection to her admission. By the very fact that her admission was not contested,logic follows that the STS does indeed have a policy supportive of female pastors. But to get back to my original question,Irl,Why are you supportive of the STS ?

Gladfelteri

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2005, 03:59:10 PM »
We support the STS because they are the organization of the Evangelical Catholic (read "high-church") element in American Lutheranism.   We think it is wise to support the one (to my knowledge) Lutheran organization fostering the understanding that Lutheranism is a variety of Western Catholicism, and of course, to network within that group, politically . . . )

The ECCL Priests who are members of the STS do not believe in the ordination of women under any circumstances until there is a broad "consensus fidelium" across Western Catholic Christianithy - including the Roman Catholic Church that this is proper and Scriptural, and the leadership of the STS knows this.  

If the STS ever adopts a formal policy that its members must as an article of faith and a condition of membership, must state either verbally or in writing, that they support the ordination of women "across the board," the Archbishop will order the ECCL Priests who are STS members to leave the STS.  And that will be that.  But that is not the situation right now.

That said, to support the STS as American Lutheranism's only "high-church" Evangelical Catholic organization we encourage our clergy to join.  Personally, I do not belong to the STS.  I belong to the OCR (the Order of Corporate Reunion) and the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS;)  but I would join the STS as well if I had the time to do participate fully, attend the retreats, etc., but unfortunately, I do not.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2005, 08:09:21 PM by Gladfelteri »

Richard Johnson

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2005, 05:04:01 PM »
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Irl, how can you recommend such a society that has a policy of admitting female pastorettes? Now before any STS members jump down my throat and say that the STS has no policy on admitting female pastors,I must counter that indeed it does. If I am correct,membership is extended to any/all pastors who are rightly called and ordained. Now Pr"Susan Creamcheese" can apply.


I'm going to jump down your throat for an entirely different reason, Dan. As the administrator/moderator of Forum Online, I have kept a hands-off policy regarding the posts of its various members, regardless of my views on the opinions expressed. However, it seems to me you are skating on pretty thin 8th commandment ice here. The language you are using shows your utter contempt for those who are supportive of the ordination of women. You are within your rights to have any opinion you choose; within your rights to feel contempt for other people, if you can square that with your conscience. In this particular Forum, however, I would caution you to speak to issues if you will, but refrain from this kind of sarcasm. If you cannot do that, I will have no choice but to delete your posts.

Parenthetically I might add that one of the many things I appreciate about the Society is that we have the ability and the commitment to discuss issues like the ordination of women in a loving and respectful way, and, when necessary, to come to differing conclusions without resorting to anathemas.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2005, 09:28:28 PM »
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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.


Steven, I notice that you used the "anger" smiley when reviving this thread.  I'm not sure what the cause of that is, but it might be helpful to note that I opened this subject in response to a particular item written in the Sept 2004 issue of *Forum Letter*.

It is certainly fine if a Lutheran pastor doesn't subscribe to the STS Rule.  Those of us who have subscribed to the Rule have done so because we believe it helps our ministry.  It provides something for me that my Conference's Professional Leaders does not (and will not), though I participate in that fully, too (unlike a significant percentage of the Conference clergy).  

The STS is not for every Lutheran pastor.  Those of us who have subscribed to the Rule know that.  

FWIW, my personal experience with Society members -- and I have attended all the General Retreats (except the founding one -- incidentally, 2 of the 20 STS founders are women) and have only missed a couple chapter retreats since subscribing 7 years ago -- is that most of the members are supportive of women's ordination.  

Not knowing where you are located or which STS pastors you've dealt with, it would be difficult for me to guage how typical your experiences with Society are.  I'll note, however, that it is the Rule to which we subscribe.  The personalities of those who have subscribed are about as varied as the personalities of Lutheran pastors in general.

Pax et bonum, Steven+
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DanTC56

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2005, 09:45:49 AM »
Pr.Johnson :  I believe that my "contempt",as you call it--I call it irritation---is reserved more towards towards a society that does exactly what it says it does NOT do: it supports womens ordination by admitting female pastors to the society,even as it says at the same time that it has no policy towards female clergy. Very simple. I have no"contempt"for anyone sir. I disapprove of female pastors very strongly,but I don't hate them. I believe that they are misguided,as are the people that support them. I was also curious as to why Irl would support such a society that admits female pastors,especially when he has demonstrated such a deeply conservative bent at this board. I am sorry that you see a possibly evil intent behind my previous post. If it upset you,I apologize,but I disagree with your assessment of it. I will however endeavor to further refine and edit the language of my future posts. I find this board highly stimulating,and enjoy it immensely...

Norsk

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2005, 10:32:02 AM »
To perhaps nudge this thread back to the original topic (ELCA dissenters on ordination of women, not the STS), may I query whether in fact the ELCA in its various institutional forms still makes space for dissenters on this issue?  Though I was only 10 years old when the decision to ordain women was taken by my predecessor body, I distinctly recall solemn and emphatic commitments that the consciences of those opposed to women's ordination would always be respected, that no congregation would be forced to call a female as pastor, etc etc.  Are these commitments still valid, or did they die with the merger (as did, apparently in the view of ELCA leadership, all the predecessor bodies' human sexuality teachings)?

Routinely I hear anecdotal stories of congregations being told that they should expect a very long vacancy unless they are willing to call a woman.  If true (and anecdotes can often be overstated but usually have a grain of truth), isn't this a violation of those promises?  Could a book on ministry that opposed the ordination of women get published by AF?  Could an article opposed to the ordination of women get published by the Lutheran?  At a more fundamental level, one might look at the demographics of seminary student bodies, and ask whether our seminaries are doing their part to meet those old promises.

If all those old promises have now been jettisoned, if the above is an accurate representation of the current environment in the ELCA on this question, then there is an easy answer to the question at the top of this thread:  "persecuted".
« Last Edit: March 08, 2005, 10:32:56 AM by Norsk »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2005, 11:09:53 AM »
Congregations are always free to Call whomever they wish. I don't think that they can state on their information form, "We will not consider a female pastor," but that could be the attitude of the Call Committee and/or congregation. I've heard that there are members at my congregation who spoke against calling a female pastor.

I had also heard that a previous congregation I had served, there was a member who spoke against them calling a divorced and remarried pastor.

I know that in its latter years, the ALC mandated that no congregational constitutions or bylaws could prohibit females from serving on the congregation council. Congregations were forced to revise their documents, but that didn't mean that they had to elect females to the council. I'm sure that true with the constitutions/bylaws for ELCA congregations, they cannot prohibit the calling of female clergy (or females serving on the council,) but that doesn't mean that they have to Call one. However, if a vacant congregations wants to wait until they perfect (male) pastor comes along, it will be a long wait.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2005, 02:01:27 PM »
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may I query whether in fact the ELCA in its various institutional forms still makes space for dissenters on this issue?

The first female ordained Assistant to the Bishop in my synod handled the mobility process.  She was quite open about acknowledging that there were congregations where she would not even think about sending a woman.  The second (and current) one isn't as open about it, but seemed to be following that practice -- at least in the early part of her term.  

OTOH, when a congregation in our synod is in the call process, there are not a lot of candidates available to congregations to consider.  Perhaps it is the mobility process in this synod -- the Bishop only nominates one person at a time; the name of a pastor available for call goes to only one congregation at a time -- combined with lots of low-paying parishes, but especially if a congregation is pigeon-holed as a "first call" or "second call" parish, they will be lucky to get *any* names.  If you don't call the name offered, you may wait another year to receive another name.

As for ELCA pastors who oppose the ordination of women, I know a few who believe they have paid a price for holding that view.  I think it's more likely that they don't say anything at all (especially to bishops and colleagues) and avoid confrontations on the issue.  Nevertheless, it seems acceptable for some colleagues to treat as pariahs fellow ELCA clergy who are rumored to oppose women's ordination.

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Could a book on ministry that opposed the ordination of women get published by AF?  Could an article opposed to the ordination of women get published by the Lutheran?

Nah!  They only publish "progressive" heresies.

Kyrie eleison, Steven+
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Norsk

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2005, 05:29:32 AM »
As opposed to what...orthodox heresies?  ;)

Seriously, though, I would question whether congregations in the ELCA really still are free to call whomever they want.  As the above post indicates, synodical bishops have become much more controlling of the call process in the past 10-20 years than had previously been the case, esp in the old ALC.  There are a number of anecdotal stories of synodical bishops refusing to sign the call documents for a pastor in good standing on the ELCA clergy roster, validly chosen by the congregation in question, simply because the pastor was not a candidate "approved" by the bishop.  (and to the extent those anecdotes are accurate, proving at least one WordAlone prediction to have been correct...)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2005, 05:52:02 AM by Norsk »

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2005, 03:58:35 PM »
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There are a number of anecdotal stories of synodical bishops refusing to sign the call documents for a pastor in good standing on the ELCA clergy roster, validly chosen by the congregation in question, simply because the pastor was not a candidate "approved" by the bishop.  (and to the extent those anecdotes are accurate, proving at least one WordAlone prediction to have been correct...)

The courts have determined that synods and bishops are liable for the misbehavior of a pastor. I would think that to protect themselves, bishops need to have some assurances that any pastor they "approve" will not become a liability.

When I was looking for a Call, I discovered that there are some bishops who will only pass on a pastor's profile to congregations after personally meeting with the pastor. In another case, I had some phone interviews with a bishop before he would recommend me to a congregation.

My hunch is that if the stories are correct, it is likely because a congregation did not work through the bishop's office. They found a pastor they wanted, then told the bishop to sign the papers.

In order to "prove" if these stories are correct, we would need to have names.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Norsk

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Re: LCMS (and ELCA) Distinctions
« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2005, 10:06:42 AM »
I suspect that your "hunch" is correct.  In fact, I'll gladly stipulate that it is correct: these congregations did not "work through their bishop's office."  SO WHAT?  At most they are guilty of rudeness toward their bishop and bishop's staff.  This isn't Rome; bishops don't assign pastors to congregations.  What justification can there be for a bishop refusing to sign call papers for a pastor who is rostered in good standing in the ELCA, called in a process which was conducted in accord with the congregation's constitution?   As much as some might want to enhance the bishop's role in this process, at the end of the day someone must have the ultimate decision on choosing a pastor: bishop or congregation. The buck must stop somewhere, and if it stops with the congregation, as we always maintain, then the bishop cannot refuse to sign off on a validly rostered, validly called pastor.


(I'm using a little shorthand here, so before someone reprises the "but the bishop is liable argument," let me clarify:  Lutheran synods/bishops have faced liability for bad apple pastors only when it has been shown that they knew of a problem with the pastor and did nothing about it.  That's why I use the phrase "validly rostered" -- if a bishop knows of a problem with a pastor, then he believes that pastor to be invalidly rostered.  he has a duty to act, sure enough, but in that case has a duty to seek a change in the pastor's roster status.)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2005, 02:02:22 PM by Norsk »