Author Topic: Quite a discussion going on at LQ called "Unionism at Fort Wayne Seminary?"  (Read 17289 times)

John Dornheim

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Pastor Kiner is, I believe, rightly outraged. However, all should remember that everyone in the ELCA, whether STS or not, is - in the official mind of the LC-MS - not "Lutheran" enough, not welcome at LC-MS altars or LC-MS congregations, at least officially.

Charles, I do remember that fact and am routinely amused that the ELCA seems to do its absolute best to re-inforce that view.  It grows tiresome trying to "explain" what is going on in the ELCA to LCMS, Roman Catholic, and most other Christian traditions who are alarmed at our stances and actions.  FWIW, the ELCA hasn't done much to show that they care that the LCMS doesn't find us to be an "orthodox" Lutheran body, we seem to actually rejoice in that fact.  But it's not my intent to attack you here.  Let's just leave it at that I do (and have since I left the LCMS many years ago...) understand and grieve the fact that all ELCA members are not officially welcomed at the Table with our LCMS brothers and sisters.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS


It does bother me, too, but I don't really care because I don't let it affect me. I won't go where I am uninvited. Regardless, I think that the decision was wrong. STS should have looked for another venue or held its eucharist at another location. Dare I say that I see little distinction between this and what some decry our brothers in drag for doing.
John Dornheim

Pr. Jerry

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Again, I'd like to point out that some of the more vociferous and outraged participants in that discussion aren't even LCMS.  There are WES/ELS/CLC/Ind. Lutherans rasing most of the clamor.  Those Lutherans are out for  :o  the blood of LCMS'ers, sort of like some in ELCA believe we in the LCMS are out for their blood...
Two of my WELSian brothers don't believe I am sufficiently Lutheran.

Point noted...  I wasn't trying to claim that the most vocal folks on LQ represent the LCMS either...  But I think that the Presdient of CTSFW is more representative.  I know for a fact that he was not lied to and that we were genuinely respectful of the LCMS in our actions.  I also understand that he's under considerable fire and is seeking cover at the moment.  But to portray the STS as having acted decptively and to somehow thumbed our nose at the LCMS is just plain wrong.  Some hospitality.

Again, I am relieved that the Society will not be gathering at CTS in the future because I would then be in the regretable position of having to deny my Senior's call to gather with the rest of the Society.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

grabau14

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Speaking as a LCMS Lutheran, there are several reasons why Missouri looks with suspiscion on the STS

1.  You are High Church and you elevate the Office of the Holy Ministry.  I happen to like that about you.  But Missouri loves their low church congregational understanding of the  Office of the Holy Ministry.

2.  Those of use who are High Church, with a high view of the Holy Office cannot be a apart of a group that has women pastors (When there are some pastors who are under the threats of the religious police in Finnland for not wanting to assist in a Eucharist with a Priestess, I personally believe we do them a injustice when we associate with women clergy in the states even if the cause of reform in the ELCA and all of Lutheranism)    It is for this reason primarily that the Society of St. Polycarp was started (Our Retreat will be in lovely New Orleans after Easter  :D  more information on that to come.)

Rev'd. Matthew J. Uttenreither  SSP

Pr. Jerry

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Pastor Kiner is, I believe, rightly outraged. However, all should remember that everyone in the ELCA, whether STS or not, is - in the official mind of the LC-MS - not "Lutheran" enough, not welcome at LC-MS altars or LC-MS congregations, at least officially.

Charles, I do remember that fact and am routinely amused that the ELCA seems to do its absolute best to re-inforce that view.  It grows tiresome trying to "explain" what is going on in the ELCA to LCMS, Roman Catholic, and most other Christian traditions who are alarmed at our stances and actions.  FWIW, the ELCA hasn't done much to show that they care that the LCMS doesn't find us to be an "orthodox" Lutheran body, we seem to actually rejoice in that fact.  But it's not my intent to attack you here.  Let's just leave it at that I do (and have since I left the LCMS many years ago...) understand and grieve the fact that all ELCA members are not officially welcomed at the Table with our LCMS brothers and sisters.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS


It does bother me, too, but I don't really care because I don't let it affect me. I won't go where I am uninvited. Regardless, I think that the decision was wrong. STS should have looked for another venue or held its eucharist at another location. Dare I say that I see little distinction between this and what some decry our brothers in drag for doing.
John Dornheim

John I know that you don't see much difference between this and that and therein lies the problem between you and I.  If you cannot see how having a promise made in good faith is different than two people making a mockery of the Mass then I there is nothing I can say to convice you.  I suppose what you're saying and what the folks on the LQ site are saying are quite similar...  They see us as having "snuck in" with our cassocks and all and somehow hoodwinking Dean Wenthe just as the "sisters of perpetual indulgence" snuck in in their clown faces, beards, and leather habits and hoodwinked the poor Archbishop of San Francisco.  By God, John, you're right...the STS and the "sisters" are morally equivalent.  Why didn't I see it before?  

Like I said earlier, we are only slightly more despised in LCMS circles than in ELCA circles.  It is good to know where you stand in the world.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Charles_Austin

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Pastor Kiner writes:
I do (and have since I left the LCMS many years ago...) understand and grieve the fact that all ELCA members are not officially welcomed at the Table with our LCMS brothers and sisters.

I add:
And so do I; though I was never a member of the LC-MS. (But I dated an LC-MS girl for a while, and when at the Lutheran Council in the USA was sort of in the employ of that church body.)

Richard Johnson

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Regardless, I think that the decision was wrong. STS should have looked for another venue or held its eucharist at another location. Dare I say that I see little distinction between this and what some decry our brothers in drag for doing.

Incredible.

I think it has been made clear here, but let's say it again: What Dean Wenthe was reported to have said (and let's remember that we are hearing this second or third hand) is simply not true. I do not think it is my place to discuss all the details of this, but I am confident that there was full disclosure and quite open discussion about all issues ahead of time.

And to compare this to the other situation . . . incredible.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

John_Hannah

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Like I said earlier, we are only slightly more despised in LCMS circles than in ELCA circles.  It is good to know where you stand in the world.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Quote

JERRY AND ALL OTHER STS MEMBERS:

Please remember that not all LCMS pastors despise you. Actually it is only a minority. Luther Quest is surely ugly! It is not representative.

FWIW, I was a founding member of STS. Never regretted it. See you in Mundelein.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH, STS and LCMS
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

John Dornheim

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Regardless, I think that the decision was wrong. STS should have looked for another venue or held its eucharist at another location. Dare I say that I see little distinction between this and what some decry our brothers in drag for doing.

Incredible.

I think it has been made clear here, but let's say it again: What Dean Wenthe was reported to have said (and let's remember that we are hearing this second or third hand) is simply not true. I do not think it is my place to discuss all the details of this, but I am confident that there was full disclosure and quite open discussion about all issues ahead of time.

And to compare this to the other situation . . . incredible.

Richard, we are all well aware of Missouri's position. What happens in a congregation does not have the prominence of a seminary, and, in my opinion, it is wrong to seek to have a worship service on their grounds which leads some to ignore the position (even if they are opposed to them in practice). It should have been held in a more hospitable place.
John Dornheim

ps and, fwiw, I write as one who was a member of STS back in the day and who did subscribe to the 9.5 theses.

peter_speckhard

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It shouldn't surprise anyone here that I consider myself a fairly straighforward, conservative LCMS guy, because, naturally, that is the only God-pleasing thing to be. But quite often I find myself in sympathy with the abstract position put forward by conservatives but put off by the demeanor. Ben Ball and others here have talked about the collegiality of the confessional crowd and how they can argue over a beer and remain friends, and that was my experience at Fort Wayne the year I was there (though I don't like beer; maybe that is my problem) but that dynamic doesn't translate very well to any impersonal medium like an online forum. Every time I've talked to the "confessional" guys I've more or less considered myself one of them and thought them quite thoughtful, articulate, and pastoral. But every time I read one of their blogs or check into a site like LQ, my impression (and again, it is only an impression-- I often agree in principle with some of things said) is one of a bunch of incredibly self-important blowhards working themselves into a frenzy for fun. There seems to be an insatiable longing for the role of Athanasius contra mundum, and some people, no matter what context they're in, gravitate to that role. If the next LCMS convention completely adopted everything they wanted, and every congregation complied-- no more contemporary worship, women communion assistants, pastors involved in unionism or syncretism, whatever-- it would only be a matter of one convention cycle before some of them would be in a state of confession against some others over something else-- girl acolytes, individual cups, etc.-- and if those things got taken care of, it would be something else. In short, I cannot picture a church body in which some of these guys would be content and not find a reason to be in a state of confession against it, which is why an increasing number of them belong to church bodies that include little more than a few pastors and their relatives.

But remember, a lot of them left Missouri for more confessional waters and are now merely looking for justification. Everyone who went to that STS thing loved the campus, the people, the chapel, the bookstore, etc. Why let the discussions at LQ sour things? Remember (if I'm not mistaken-- Richard, help me out here with your historian's hat) the immigrants led by Stephan and later Walther worshiped in an Episcopalian church building in St. Louis until they got their feet under them, so it isn't like they can now claim that worship by another church body fouls the very building in which it takes place.

And also remember that the tone doesn't translate well. If you picture the LQ discussions as a rowdy bunch of people arguing in a bar, with all the requisite insults, hyperbole, threats, etc, that go along with that kind of discussion, and forgotten once the discussion is over, then a lot of what is said will not only make sense, but be pretty persuasive. It is only reading it in print as though it is a series of more formal letters that gives it that repellent quality.  

revjagow

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Like I said earlier, we are only slightly more despised in LCMS circles than in ELCA circles.  It is good to know where you stand in the world.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Quote

JERRY AND ALL OTHER STS MEMBERS:

Please remember that not all LCMS pastors despise you. Actually it is only a minority. Luther Quest is surely ugly! It is not representative.

FWIW, I was a founding member of STS. Never regretted it. See you in Mundelein.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH, STS and LCMS

What he said. 

Today was the first time I ever checked out the LutherQuest site.  Yeeeeeeaaaaah! 

Because the standards for discourse on this board are obviously faaar higher, I will refrain from typing the editorial in my head.
Soli Deo Gloria!

LutherMan

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I registered for LQ slugfest back in 2004, and have yet to post over there... 

Pr. Jerry

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Like I said earlier, we are only slightly more despised in LCMS circles than in ELCA circles.  It is good to know where you stand in the world.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Quote

JERRY AND ALL OTHER STS MEMBERS:

Please remember that not all LCMS pastors despise you. Actually it is only a minority. Luther Quest is surely ugly! It is not representative.

FWIW, I was a founding member of STS. Never regretted it. See you in Mundelein.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH, STS and LCMS

Thank you for the reminder, John...

I don't really know why I am bothered by this ongoing...(ahem!) stuff...  It was hardly unexpected.  It fits with our Senior's words.  But still... 

I know many LCMS clergy and have a generally high oppinion of them.  Maybe its that I thought that two-some-odd months later this situation would have died down a little.  Maybe its that I am reminded that the Christian vocation is lonely or that there is not a "safe harbor" at the moment.  The STS has been as close to a home that I have experienced as a pastor, yet all of us are subject to the whims and storms that affect our parent denominations.  Maybe I am reminded most forcibly that I faced precisely this type of dilemma as a younger man in the LCMS and decided to go with the fledgling ELCA because of their campus ministry system.  There is no "going home" sometimes.  Maybe I am reminded just how far apart Christians remain and how foreign our Lord's prayer that "they may be one..." still seems in our present context.   

Whatever the reason, I am truly grieved over this.  Perhaps, as John says, I should just shake it off and move on (this is me trying to be charitable, John...).  It's not a bad idea, because as our Senior said we exist at the margins.  And this is what happens at the margins.

I thank you and Dave both for your friendship and support.  Indeed I will see you in Mundelein.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
 

Richard Johnson

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it is wrong to seek to have a worship service on their grounds which leads some to ignore the position

We did not seek. We were invited.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Steven Tibbetts

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However, all should remember that everyone in the ELCA, whether STS or not, is - in the official mind of the LC-MS - not "Lutheran" enough, not welcome at LC-MS altars or LC-MS congregations, at least officially.

Charles, that is not quite true.  It is the ELCA that the LCMS Convention has declared "not Lutheran" enough.  They have not declared that of every member of the ELCA. 

Furthermore, their official policy of close(d) communion is very much the same as the policy of the ELCA's predecessors 50 years (or fewer) ago.  There are ELCA congregations in this part of the land whose official policy remains the Galesburg Rule.  Don't assume any stranger, having told the usher he is a member at an ELCA congregation, is welcome at every ELCA altar.

Individual LCMS parish pastors continue to be able to exercise pastoral judgment by admitting non-LCMS (or members of other churches with whom Missouri has not declared altar fellowship) -- but that judgment may be subject to challege (and rightly so) if it appears that a pastor is just letting anybody in.

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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Steven Tibbetts

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We did not seek. We were invited.

Thank you, Dick.  I was about to write that.  And it is precisely that we were invited that I am disturbed by what that LutherQuest thread reported second-hand of a telephone conversation with the CTS-FW President, for the implication in that report is that we sought them out.

I'm one of those who has been very open to the potential of the Society having some sort of relationship with the Fort Wayne seminary, and will repeatedly attest that my reception there as an ELCA pastor for several events, not all related to the Society, has been very gracious and welcoming.  I've had conversations with other LCMS pastors who think like Pr. Uttenreither when it comes to the STS' female clergy, and I  continue to remind them that members of the Society are not unanimous in their acceptance of the ordination of women, and that being in relationship with others always means some sort of compromise.  I can even mention matters on which such pastors and I are in full agreement, but our stance is not received well within Missouri and some are, if only over beer and brats, willing to acknowledge the similarity in such compromises of the "true" faith that they have accepted. 

In the end, it seems that our ultimate disagreement -- and the one that prevents our communion -- is over not what we believe and teach, but over which compromises each is able to tolerate.  And, frankly, I don't know how to overcome that, other than to continue sharing beer and brats when the opportunity arises and see what happens.

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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