A Missourian’s Perspective on Missouri

Started by Weedon, April 29, 2024, 07:11:46 PM

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John Mundinger

Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

PrTim15

What a nice thread...thank you

Ultimately LCMS brought my family and my wife's to America, college, marriage, seminary and a joyful pastoral ministry at a congregation that has been good to my family...brought an understanding of Scripture and the Gospel that is rock solid. Grateful and indebted for those blessings.

The rivalry which goes back quite a ways before me, is something that I was drawn into and wasted time in, but that's on me not the LCMS. I think the culture of LCMS of rivalry and both gloating and bullying losers is a painful piece of our and quite frankly many institutions.

In my later years, I'm mostly grateful:)


Donald_Kirchner

#47
Quote from: Weedon on May 01, 2024, 08:44:26 AMThe LCMS founders left Saxony, not Prussia.

"The Evangelical Church of the Prussian Union and the merging of Lutheran and Reformed congregations into a single Church became a model for other German kingdoms. In the Kingdom of Saxony, the State Church – a Lutheran church – was organized as a department of the state with the secular high courts holding authority over ecclesiastical matters. As a result of "Unionism", Lutheran teachings and practices began to be altered by the state. Many Lutheran congregations resisted this forced union by worshipping in secret and many even went so far as crossing into neighboring German states to have their children baptized or to receive communion from an orthodox Lutheran pastor.[2] While persecution of Confessional Lutherans in Prussia was much more severe with police disrupting their congregational meeting places and imprisoning pastors, Confessional Lutherans in Saxony still faced oppressive restrictions.[3]

A confessional Lutheran pastor, Martin Stephan, who originally hailed from Moravia, grew more and more opposed to the new teaching and practices. Stephan eventually developed a plan to emigrate. Stephan's influence and support grew steadily. An important source for his followers was the theological school of University of Leipzig. Several theological students and six pastors turned to Stephan for spiritual leadership. For those following him, the increasing conflict with rationalism and forced unionism of the Lutheran church with the Reformed church made Stephan the champion of Lutheran orthodoxy in the eyes of those following him.

In order to practice their faith freely according to the Book of Concord, Stephan, in 1830, prepared to emigrate to North America. Stephan contacted friends in Baltimore, Maryland, for possible sites of settlement. A final decision to leave the homeland was not made until the spring of 1836, when the first planning meeting took place.[4]" [emphasis added]

[2] "Saxon Immigration Collection, 1811-1962". Concordia Historical Institute. 2014-08-27. Retrieved May 4, 2019.

[3] "History of the First German-Lutheran Settlement in Altenburg, Perry County Missouri". www.archivaria.com. Retrieved May 4, 2019.

[4] Kirsch, Lani Marie (2013). For conscience's sake: the 1839 emigration of the Saxon Lutherans (PhD thesis). University of Missouri-Kansas City. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
Don Kirchner

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

Jeremy_Loesch

A perspective on Missouri that I believe is pretty positive:  the church workers are pretty cohesive. 

We had ten colleges/universities, had a number of prep schools.  We now have 6.5 colleges (Waiting for Texas situation to be resolved).  And we have two seminaries.  The church workers pretty much all know each other.  A new graduate from CSL would at least know the professors I had as those professors transition into emeritus roles.  And new graduates may have professors now who were classmates of mine that I graduated with.  So while we are 25 years apart in age, there is some continuity.  I think the same can be said for teachers and DCEs.  A teacher graduate from Seward is placed at a school and about 30 miles away a teacher graduate from Mequon is placed and the two of them played against each other on the basketball court or something like that.  That cohesiveness helps us to 'speak the same language'.  I don't think you find that in other denominations.

It was nice at the recent SED church worker conference to see the workers talking together in the dining area and at the banquet and elsewhere.  There is a cohesiveness that is helpful to daily life and work in the church.

Jeremy   

Matthew Borrasso

Quote from: Jeremy_Loesch on May 01, 2024, 09:15:56 AMA perspective on Missouri that I believe is pretty positive:  the church workers are pretty cohesive. 

We had ten colleges/universities, had a number of prep schools.  We now have 6.5 colleges (Waiting for Texas situation to be resolved).  And we have two seminaries.  The church workers pretty much all know each other.  A new graduate from CSL would at least know the professors I had as those professors transition into emeritus roles.  And new graduates may have professors now who were classmates of mine that I graduated with.  So while we are 25 years apart in age, there is some continuity.  I think the same can be said for teachers and DCEs.  A teacher graduate from Seward is placed at a school and about 30 miles away a teacher graduate from Mequon is placed and the two of them played against each other on the basketball court or something like that.  That cohesiveness helps us to 'speak the same language'.  I don't think you find that in other denominations.

It was nice at the recent SED church worker conference to see the workers talking together in the dining area and at the banquet and elsewhere.  There is a cohesiveness that is helpful to daily life and work in the church.

Jeremy   

Having spent a number of years academically in circles outside of our system and synod I can echo Jeremy's thoughts here. There is a remarkable degree of cohesiveness and agreement on many of the major issues that I think we in the synod often take for granted.
"Too often we attack or defend before we have genuinely understood." - Anthony Thiselton

PrTim15

I've been in same boat in different academic tradition, had to laugh at two items, first when the Professor looked at my first paper and said, why did you work so hard, he laughed at things like spelling, grammar and sentence structure which of course was all pretty compulsively handled. Secondly, it became a ongoing point of conversation that I was the last guy who knew original languages and believed in Scriptural authority, they would smile and defer to "the Lutheran" when it came to Scriptural questions.

John Mundinger

Quote from: Matthew Borrasso on May 01, 2024, 09:27:46 AM
Quote from: Jeremy_Loesch on May 01, 2024, 09:15:56 AMA perspective on Missouri that I believe is pretty positive:  the church workers are pretty cohesive. 

We had ten colleges/universities, had a number of prep schools.  We now have 6.5 colleges (Waiting for Texas situation to be resolved).  And we have two seminaries.  The church workers pretty much all know each other.  A new graduate from CSL would at least know the professors I had as those professors transition into emeritus roles.  And new graduates may have professors now who were classmates of mine that I graduated with.  So while we are 25 years apart in age, there is some continuity.  I think the same can be said for teachers and DCEs.  A teacher graduate from Seward is placed at a school and about 30 miles away a teacher graduate from Mequon is placed and the two of them played against each other on the basketball court or something like that.  That cohesiveness helps us to 'speak the same language'.  I don't think you find that in other denominations.

It was nice at the recent SED church worker conference to see the workers talking together in the dining area and at the banquet and elsewhere.  There is a cohesiveness that is helpful to daily life and work in the church.

Jeremy 

Having spent a number of years academically in circles outside of our system and synod I can echo Jeremy's thoughts here. There is a remarkable degree of cohesiveness and agreement on many of the major issues that I think we in the synod often take for granted.

My sense is that, pre-Seminex, the emphasis on academics taught church workers how to think about theology.  Post-Seminex the emphasis was more on what to think about theology.  Cohesiveness has always been a consequence of the synod's academic structure.  Cohesiveness also has contributed to "group think".

Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

Donald_Kirchner

#52
Quote from: Charles Austin on May 01, 2024, 08:12:37 AMAn outsider reflects.
The LCMS has never resolved the conflicting parts of its history and the small but real "evolutions" 😉 in the life of the Synod on American soil.
-You fled the Prussian Union because it forced Lutheran-Reformed compromises in sacramental theology and civil interference in the churches. You remain fearful of such things...

Quote from: Weedon on May 01, 2024, 08:44:26 AMThe LCMS founders left Saxony, not Prussia.

Obviously, Charles, you are not of German background.  ;D

Snippet from Dr. Robert Kolb Systematics lecture:

Kolb: "There is nothing in the world...nothing... worse than a Prussian."

Kirchner: "Question, Dr Kolb. Can Prussians too be saved?"

Kolb: "Yeeaahh..."
Don Kirchner

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

D. Engebretson

As one born in 1960 my commitment to my Synod and what it teaches and stands for does not arise from a desire to 'turn back the clock' to a supposedly more pristine era.  I grew up in essentially a transitional era with the TLH as my parish was moving to adopt the LBW and others would shortly adopt the LW.  My pastors already wore albs, and one introduced a chasuble at Easter when I was in sem; I do not remember seeing any in Geneva gowns.  I think there may have been a German service yet in the 70s, but I did not attend it and it disappeared relatively soon in my youthful years.  I attended a Synodical college just a few years after the Walk Out in St. Louis (freshman year - 1979), but thankfully did not feel the effects of it where I studied.  My college years, looking back, seem relatively normal. 

Pastors of my generation came into the ministry in the throes of the Church Growth Movement (I entered the ministry in 1987), and the waning years of the Charismatic Movement (later to be renamed "renewal movement"). While the 'Battle for the Bible' occupied the years before I entered the sem, the early years of my ministry were occupied with what we might called the 'Battle for the Church.'  Would it be driven by a foreign neo-Pentecostal movement that depended on an emotional foundation?  Would it be driven by a business model that stressed numbers as signs of success (theology of glory), or would it be grounded in the theology of the cross. I am deeply thankful in those early years that I had Sasse's books which Prof. Marquart had used in systemtatics courses.  Ministering in a poor, lightly populated area where I did not see the kind of growth the 'experts' told me was the sign of a true church that was on fire for the Lord, I was able to be reoriented back to Christ and the cross and the call to be faithful 'in season and out of season.'

Now in my latter years I've lived to see a level of confusion in the world and the church I could not have imagined, even in the shadow of the rather turbulent 60s and 70s.  I have seen the culture creep into the church and once again claim ground and set up a foreign presence.  I have watched and seen an erosion of commonality even on the agreement of the basics, seeing churches drift apart theologically to degrees we might not have predicted decades earlier.  Whereas the Christian Church may have yet enjoyed some sense of respectability in the culture-at-large (albeit quickly disappearing, and in some cases gone), I now see the church much more like Paul may have envisioned it in his time as pockets in the sea of Roman and Greek culture, or our distant missionary forbearers who took the gospel to the pagan lands from which many of us now discern our genetic makeup (think Patrick or Cryil and Methodius or Boniface.)

I am committed to a serious and conservative view of Holy Scripture not as a reaction against the higher critics of another century, but because the Word is the last lifeline for our dying times; the only source of true hope in a decaying culture. I still see this in my Synod.  Perfect?  Not by a long shot.  But it's still out there doing what the church has been called to do from the beginning: baptizing all nations and teaching all about Christ.     
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Jeremy_Loesch

Quote from: John Mundinger on May 01, 2024, 09:40:55 AM
Quote from: Matthew Borrasso on May 01, 2024, 09:27:46 AM
Quote from: Jeremy_Loesch on May 01, 2024, 09:15:56 AMA perspective on Missouri that I believe is pretty positive:  the church workers are pretty cohesive. 

We had ten colleges/universities, had a number of prep schools.  We now have 6.5 colleges (Waiting for Texas situation to be resolved).  And we have two seminaries.  The church workers pretty much all know each other.  A new graduate from CSL would at least know the professors I had as those professors transition into emeritus roles.  And new graduates may have professors now who were classmates of mine that I graduated with.  So while we are 25 years apart in age, there is some continuity.  I think the same can be said for teachers and DCEs.  A teacher graduate from Seward is placed at a school and about 30 miles away a teacher graduate from Mequon is placed and the two of them played against each other on the basketball court or something like that.  That cohesiveness helps us to 'speak the same language'.  I don't think you find that in other denominations.

It was nice at the recent SED church worker conference to see the workers talking together in the dining area and at the banquet and elsewhere.  There is a cohesiveness that is helpful to daily life and work in the church.

Jeremy 

Having spent a number of years academically in circles outside of our system and synod I can echo Jeremy's thoughts here. There is a remarkable degree of cohesiveness and agreement on many of the major issues that I think we in the synod often take for granted.

My sense is that, pre-Seminex, the emphasis on academics taught church workers how to think about theology.  Post-Seminex the emphasis was more on what to think about theology.  Cohesiveness has always been a consequence of the synod's academic structure.  Cohesiveness also has contributed to "group think".



Appreciate that, but I don't think that is correct.  The face to face conversations I've taken part in reveal 'group of one' think.  There is far more diversity than is apparent.  Theological diversity?  Yes, there may be some group think, but that is what is to be expected.  Church workers are charged to proclaim the Word. 

I believe I was in Dr. Norman Nagel's class on Holy Baptism when a classmate said in response to a query, "I think such and such."  And Dr. Nagel's jaw dropped, and he probably clutched the lapels of his jacket and got that gleam in his eye then responded: "No one in your congregation cares what you think.  You tell them what the Bible says."

Group think?  Nah.  Unity of thought on God's Holy Word and the doctrine of the church that is drawn from it. 

Jeremy 

Donald_Kirchner

#55
Quote from: Jeremy_Loesch on May 01, 2024, 09:55:17 AMI believe I was in Dr. Norman Nagel's class on Holy Baptism when a classmate said in response to a query, "I think such and such."  And Dr. Nagel's jaw dropped, and he probably clutched the lapels of his jacket and got that gleam in his eye then responded: "No one in your congregation cares what you think.  You tell them what the Bible says." 

I was there! Pure gold!  ;D

I often have referenced, over the years, my notes from Nagel's "Holy Baptism" class, even to this day. I keep that file readily available at my home desk.

"Faith is no big deal. You never ask someone if they have faith. You ask them if they have a Savior! Jesus is the big deal!"
Don Kirchner

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

Jeremy_Loesch

Right on Don!  Such a great class.  Loved every moment with Dr. Nagel.

Jeremy

PrTim15

Dr Nagel's Christology Class was formative, "it's all in the names."

John Mundinger

Quote from: Jeremy_Loesch on May 01, 2024, 09:55:17 AMGroup think?  Nah.  Unity of thought on God's Holy Word and the doctrine of the church that is drawn from it. 


Unity in hermeneutic, i.e. group think
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

Revpeter

Quote from: Donald_Kirchner on April 30, 2024, 02:12:27 PMRevpeter,

I trust that this is your comment:

"When I served in Upstate NY synod 1994-2005, The Bishop at the time had each pastor designate someone to be their pastor.  In our first calls (1994-1999) we were also assigned a mentor pastor.  I found both to be extremely helpful."

I like that. It does away with the idea and comment that I've heard now and then over the years: "The District President is my pastor." No, he's the hammer. it has a potential conflict between the confidentiality/seal of the confessional and the Prez's need to take disciplinary action.

Yes that was me.  I'm still in touch with my mentor pastor, who is long retired by now but still likes to chat
ELCA Pastor serving in NW Iowa

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