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Messages - racin_jason

I agree, George Rahn.

But we are talking about a bunch of lay people here. You put that verse out in front of a bunch of good-hearted retired guys, and that's where they are going to go with it.
Quote from: Rob Morris on February 16, 2024, 10:08:56 AMThe Lutheran confessions have always affirmed this. Radical Lutheranism dislikes it. Just file it as the 509th reason that radical Lutheranism is not confessional Lutheranism.

I resemble this have helped clarify the issue for me and I appreciate it.

Thanks to all who have contributed, good discussion.
In our Men's Bible Study this week, as we have been plowing through Hebrews, we discussed Hebrews 10:35: Do not, therefore, abandon that boldness of yours; it brings a great reward . Our Bible Study consists of mostly Lutheran laymen, as well as a sprinkling of a few from other traditions, including a retired pastor from the Vineyard movement. The question came up "Do we get rewarded for extra works" (you know, Jewel-in-the-crown type of stuff). The Vineyard pastor, who I have a great deal of respect for and who I consider a friend, said "yes, we do get rewards for extra-efforts". And referred to Paul and the Book of Revelation as well as the Parable of Talents" 

I countered that this was not a Lutheran teaching, even though there are undeniably passages in the Bible that seem to indicate salvation as a reward and even degrees. Instead, we are more shaped by the parable of the laborers in the vineyard who receive the same wage regardless of hours worked. We agreed to disagree.

But later in the morning he sent me this link, saying "See? Lutherans believe it too".

It's from a WELS pastor. When I did more research online, I could find a few other WELS pastors who taught this. But no ELCA or LCMS sites.

I find the notion of degrees in heaven repellent from a law/gospel point of view. It seems to me we are trading one set of laws for a new set of rewards that work withing a framework of the law, rather than the transformational, unconditional good news of the gospel. But hey, that's me.

Can anyone here speak to this little situation here? Either their personal thoughts on the teaching or where the teaching stands in the tradition of Lutheran theology? 

This seems to me an important teaching, and I am surprised there is not much out there on it. 
Catching up on this thread, everyone here is missing an important point:

when showing up for your mugshot when charged with conspiracy to solicit false statements and writings in a RICO case, do you really need to don that clerical collar?

I mean, what does any of this have to do with Word and Sacrament Ministry?

After all, this is a far cry from the Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights movement.   
Prior to being elected Bishop, Pastor Rohrer billed themselves as a motivational speaker. I wonder they anticipated this being a revenue source for the in, the pastor does speaking engagements/coaching/motivational speaking, the check gets written to the church, those funds go to compensation. That'd be legal, right?

Again, pure speculation on my part. But it might explain the strange wording around compensation. 
It appears that Bishop Eaton is proceeding with a disciplinary hearing. Somehow this needs to happen around the churchwide assembly in August.

Can anyone recall how those proceedings are conducted? Who's there? Where will the location be? Are elected ELCA officials presiding or is it an employee of the denomination?

There haven't been many disciplinary hearings in the short life of the ELCA. I can only recall Rev. Bradley Schmeling in the Southeastern Synod over his same-sex relationship prior to 2009. Have there been any others? Or do ecclesiastical court proceedings go against being "inclusive"? :)
This article by a new source for the LGBTQ community called the "Bay Area Reporter" offers a full-scale account of all that has gone down with the bishop in question. The entire ordeal is a complicated series of events that is covered well here.

There were grounds for discipline even BEFORE the person in question was elected bishop, IMHO.

Your Turn / Re: Russia and Ukraine
March 15, 2022, 01:42:48 PM
If I might interject, what does anyone here know about the Lutheran Church in Ukraine?

What is their history? Roots connecting to which church in Germany?
American Lutheran presence/relationship with Ukrainian Lutherans?
How many Lutheran congregations in Ukraine (I saw the number 400 online, but I think that body's geography went beyond Ukraine, so that number isn't accurate)?

(I hope this doesn't get lost in the shuffle of other worthy conversations, but I did NOT want to start another thread).

THANKS in advance. 
Your Turn / Re: Political/cultural/religious division
December 13, 2021, 03:58:37 PM
So each year the local Kiwanis club has clergy speak in December. It used to be billed "the 3 Wise Men" (ha ha!), rotating each year 3 of the 5 clergy in our small community consisting of 5 Protestant churches. Two developments skuttled the "Wise Men" moniker: first, because some of the churches starting calling female clergy, second, the Jewish Kiwanis members wanted their rabbi to talk, so he's been coming in and participating for the last few years, at an event now billed as the Kiwanis Holiday Meeting. Okay, fine whatever. I'm happy to speak and represent my church, and pass the cold scrambled eggs, please. 

Here are this year's instructions, I received via email, which is downright sociological, and speaks to the division of our time:

Each religious leader will be asked to reflect on the following prayer in a 5-minute talk.

When we encounter our "others," we learn what we could not have known
if we had stayed isolated. We accomplish what is impossible without
collaboration. We grow in ways we could not grow by ourselves. When
we enter such an encounter, we can bless what we each lack, for it is that
which brings us together.

Two caveats:   1) Please keep your remarks to  minutes as our members like our meetings to end by 9.  2)  Please keep in mind that we are a diverse, multi-religious organization and we do our best, whether discussing verses in either the Old or New Testament, to offer universal concepts that can be received by those in the audience in a positive, heartwarming manner.

So we have a Kiwanis group that is struggling with some post-pandemic ethical questions. We've been holed-up for 18 months and the question surfaces that maybe, just maybe, we have something to learn from our neighbors.

True as that is, the entire questions is naïve and romantic. It is hard for me not to read this without thinking of political divides, where we can't agree on basic facts pertaining to the 2020 election, what happened Jan 6th, masks and vaccines.

I just want to spend my five minutes questioning the premise of the question. Are you really sure we want to learn from others who are different than we are? Be careful what you ask for. But then I'm just being as divisive as everyone else. So I will bow to civic religion and make everybody feel good for a few a "heartwarming manner" way or the other.

Thanks for reading....
Your Turn / Re: David W. Preus
August 02, 2021, 07:27:48 PM
Dr. Preus was a regular presence at Luther Seminary when I attended in the 1990's, attending chapel and willing to engage students afterwards.

He was a great churchman whose ideas concerning the merger in 1988 did not get the traction they deserved, and he lived long enough to see some of his worst fears come to fruition, unfortunately.

He penned a short memoir, good reading for pastors, especially when he talks about parish ministry.
Your Turn / Stole without an Alb?
October 29, 2019, 01:55:34 PM
It has been out there for many years, but I don't recall this being discussed here: in the ELCA (at least) the practice of wearing a stole without an alb has greatly increased.

So the pastor comes out and leads the liturgy donning a suit and simply drapes his/her stole over the shoulders. Or over a t-shirt. Whatever.

I've heard one bishop in the ELCA bother speak out against the practice to deaf ears, apparently. Other ELCA bishops are embracing the practice wholeheartedly and we all know what that means: copious copying in congregations.

So yes, there are bigger problems facing the church than what we can hope is a temporary fashion trend. But am I the only one who is bugged by this practice? I mean, hey, it's one thing to be on a canoe trip with the youth and put the stole on for a service of Holy Communion. But on a regular Sunday morning, I say pick a lane and stick to it: Either alb AND stole OR just plain clothes.

Can anyone here give an argument against the practice? Or for it?

Meanwhile I will sit here curmudgeonly hoping I live long enough to see the trend reverse itself.

Quote from: peter_speckhard on August 28, 2019, 09:23:30 PM
Insisting that everyone acknowledge that "some are" bigots and homophobes is simple a way to control the discussion. What if the discussion were about welfare policy and I refused to discuss it until everyone agreed that, while not everyone on welfare is the Welfare Queen, nevertheless "some are" and those some represent the topic of the discussion? I think people would suspect that all I was doing was insisting the discussion take place strictly on my terms.

The issue is not homophobia. The issue is the nature of sexual immorality and definition of marriage. Anyone who keeps insisting that we all acknowledge the existence of bigotry is simply trying to avoid that fact.

Hey if you are perceived as intolerant in the ELCA, you can leave and the ELCA will be better off for it, so says a submission to our official synod blog page. Your post is prescient, this blog just came out today:
Quote from: Charles Austin on August 29, 2019, 12:04:11 PM
Racin_jason writes:
Because the wording of the memorial contained the word "sanctuary" which is so loaded for people to react to and altogether unhelpful, I did what any level-headed pastor would do ;) and simply didn't inform my congregation of the actions of churchwide.
Everything was quiet for two weeks until one Sunday two members asked me about the memorial, finding out about it from friends and/or family. Downplaying the authority of the memorial, I sent our synodical bishops' (bishop and bishop-elect) statement about the memorial and that satisfied their concerns.
I comment:
But do you see the folly of trying to keep the actions of our church hidden from parishioners rather than preparing them for the decisions and having the right way to explain them?

Other colleagues in my city have not fared as well. Several have had members leave the church and one even had two council members resign from council and leave the church.
Tough things happen. If they left just over that decision, I wonder how committed they were in general.
And again, what might have happened if the pastor had prepared the people, discussed the issue and answered questions in advance? They would know they do not have to agree. Or do anything.

Certainly I could have prepared them...and certainly they could seek to be informed. But I've found that telling congregations what the national church does only creates angry people, people who leave or threaten to leave, which creates more work for me. No regrets.

Staging events that inform the congregation of synod and churchwide happenings generates a collective yawn. People don't care about what the national church does until it does something they don't like. Then they get mad. I don't know how to change that dynamic.

I will also note that the motion to become a "sanctuary denomination" came off the floor as an preparing people has its limits.   

So in the church I serve,  I have had one household leave over the decision, or at least that is what they are saying though they haven't been to worship all that much for the last couple I file that under "there's the reason they say why they are leaving and then there's the real reason (whatever that might be)"

Over 95% of my congregants live in the church's zip code and 75 percent of our zip code voted for Trump in 2016.

Because the wording of the memorial contained the word "sanctuary" which is so loaded for people to react to and altogether unhelpful, I did what any level-headed pastor would do ;) and simply didn't inform my congregation of the actions of churchwide.

Everything was quiet for two weeks until one Sunday two members asked me about the memorial, finding out about it from friends and/or family. Downplaying the authority of the memorial, I sent our synodical bishops' (bishop and bishop-elect) statement about the memorial and that satisfied their concerns. 

Other colleagues in my city have not fared as well. Several have had members leave the church and one even had two council members resign from council and leave the church.

Since the triennial churchwide assembly in Milwaukee, there has been a lot of discussion at a congregational-level concerning the memorial that was passed declaring the ELCA a "sanctuary church body".

There is widespread confusion because though the declaration has zero authority over what individual congregations can or cannot do concerning immigrants and refugees, the headlines are causing those who support the rule of law in the nation to react and consider leaving the ELCA.

Fox News published a piece that did the ELCA no favors, having no one speak from the ELCA. You can watch that here

I'm curious if other pastors are having problems with this declaration similar to what I'm seeing in my conference and synod.

Here is the ELCA press release
​CHICAGO — The 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted Aug. 7 to approve a memorial that affirms the denomination's long-standing commitment to migrants and refugees and declares the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) a sanctuary church body. The ELCA is the first North American denomination to declare itself a sanctuary church body. 

As a sanctuary church, the ELCA publicly declares that walking alongside immigrants and refugees is a matter of faith. This declaration does not call for any person, congregation or synod to engage in illegal activity.

The ELCA has developed talking points to address what it means for this church to become a sanctuary denomination. In defining what this means for its congregations, the ELCA states that a sanctuary church will look different in the different contexts across the ELCA. The church cannot mandate or direct ELCA congregations and ministries to respond in certain ways.

The 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly passed the strategy to Accompany Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities (AMMPARO). Through the strategy, the ELCA invites its churches to become "welcoming congregations," which means to commit to spiritually and physically accompanying migrants in their communities, pray for migrant children and families, and advocate for a just and humane immigration system. More than 100 congregations and five synods across the ELCA identify as sanctuary. 
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