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Messages - John Mundinger

#1
Your Turn / Re: Life Isn't Fair
Yesterday at 02:27:18 PM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on Yesterday at 02:22:47 PMAvoiding confusing justification with sanctification is an important part of properly dividing Law and Gospel. C.F.W. Walther compiled a masterful collection of seminary lectures on the subject. Although, he being Mr. LCMS and honored by the LCMS brethren, some of our ELCA brethren consider themselves honor bound to disdain him and dismiss his work.

I grew up in Walther League.  I don't disdain him.  But, I also recognize that Walther's writings are not enshrined in the Confessions. 

That said, it is not always obvious that those who insist on Walther's understanding regarding properly dividing Law and Gospel too often say things as though they confuse justification and sanctification and turn third use into second use.
#2
Your Turn / Re: Life Isn't Fair
Yesterday at 02:06:23 PM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on Yesterday at 01:18:28 PMA part of our Gospel preaching involves considering the question, once you have been saved, now what? God did not send Jesus to save us so that we can simply continue to sin - nothing's changed except that we can be even more free to sin since God's given us an infinitely renewable Get Out Of Hell Free card.

I'm not comfortable with the way you phrased the question, but I agree with what I think you are trying to say. 

I also think we have to be careful in both asking the question and in wrestling with answers to avoid confusing justification and sanctification; to avoid the implication that, somehow, we participate in the accomplishment of either within our own lifes; and, avoid turning third use into second use.
#3
Your Turn / Re: Life Isn't Fair
Yesterday at 01:08:29 PM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on Yesterday at 12:55:50 PMI'm not convinced that orientation can be studied scientifically. Here's why: orientation is something interior (will, thoughts, feelings) and therefore unobservable. Science, to be proper science, must be based on observation. As a discipline it cannot study the unobserved. Therefore, I would call into question any study that claims to study orientation scientifically.

Science may not be able to objectively quantify will, thoughts and feelings.  But, science can objectively quantify a variety of factors related to ontogeny and objectively correlate those with will, thoughts and feelings.

I suspect that science might never have a complete explanation for orientation.  But, science has compiled sufficient information to support the default assumption that orientation is not a choice.
#4
Your Turn / Re: Life Isn't Fair
Yesterday at 12:58:07 PM
Quote from: Terry W Culler on Yesterday at 11:00:25 AMMy concern in this discussion is the growing antinomianism among liberals in the Church. "God is good, God loves you" is fine as long as the Law is also applied.

I think that is a simplistic and not entirely accurate conclusion.  Rather, I think it more an honest disagreement about how the law applies.  And, much of that results from a disagreement about how literally to read the texts, how to understand the texts in historical context and how to apply the texts in current context.


#5
Your Turn / Re: Life Isn't Fair
Yesterday at 08:42:25 AM
Quote from: Matt Andersen on Yesterday at 08:28:00 AMMy initial post is still waiting moderator approval.  But in it I pointed out that the word "homosexuality" was adopted the end of the 19th century to describe a supposed psychological trait in which a person is sexually attracted to members of their own sex rather than the opposite sex.  It has largely been used in that way since.

If your initial post is #195, it is showing - it's just highlighted in pink.
#6
Your Turn / Re: Life Isn't Fair
Yesterday at 08:22:59 AM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on Yesterday at 07:45:12 AMThere's a lot of poor science out there trying to come to terms with a very complex question. I would hesitate to accept any of these hypotheses/theories. Overtime they prove to be unreliable.

I guess that depends on how you define "poor science".  It is correct to note that the science is inconclusive regarding specific causes of the various forms of non-conforming gender.  That isn't poor science.  The "poor science" is how some people misuse existing studies to draw conclusions that are not consistent with the referenced study. 

The study you referenced is not bad science.  It is incorrect to use that study to dismiss the theory that the uterine environment influences gender because birth order is only one factor that influences the uterine environment.

The working hypothesis is just that - a working hypothesis, a preliminary conclusion based on the compilation of peer-reviewed studies, subject to change, based on the results of additional peer-reviewed studies.  The working hypothesis may not conclusively identify the causes of non-conforming gender.  But, it does a pretty good job of identifying areas for future research.  It also does a pretty good job of supporting the conclusion that choice is a minor factor, if at all.

The following article is relevant.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13558358.2020.1818541
#7
Your Turn / Re: Life Isn't Fair
Yesterday at 07:33:51 AM
Quote from: Matt Andersen on July 21, 2024, 11:17:48 PMI probably have more right than anyone else here to complain about the way in which the conservative church has handled the topic of homosexuality.  But one thing that is most certainly NOT true is what you accuse conservative pastors of doing - calling out the sins of others while not addressing their own sin.  My experience with conservative pastors is that they are at least as aware of and repentant of their own sin as they are the sins they call out in others, and not slow to admit they are sinners.  You can accuse them of many things but ignoring the logs in their own eyes while going after the splinters in others is an accusation you can only make out of utter ignorance.

Thank you for sharing your story.  I appreciate that you had the courage to share and it is helpful to read a perspective from a pair of moccasins in which I am otherwise unable to walk.

That said, I disagree with the bolded sentence.  While that may be true in Lutheran pulpits on a Sunday morning, it is not the case in the public discourse.  Since the emergence of the gay pride movement and the rise of the moral majority, there has been an abundance of prominent conservative pastors speaking about the abominations of homosexuality - and, not just homosexual acts, but also homosexual orientation - and they have been doing so without acknowledging their own sins.

I also think it is important to reiterate that homosexuality is not the as great a threat to our social order as other sins - especially the sin of greed.  Yet, conservative pastors who public speak out against homosexuality are silent on that subject and tend to align with politicians who embrace greed as a positive value.

#8
Quote from: Dan Fienen on July 21, 2024, 03:23:06 PMAre you all for compartmentalizing life, making your life as a Christian separate and distinct from your life outside your home and church. When at a secular job, you shut the door on your faith and operate as though you were not a Christian? That seems to be what you suggest the baker, any of us operating in the secular world should do. What we do in our work has nothing to do with our Christianity.

As a life long Lutheran, I presume you've encountered the Lutheran doctrine of vocation.

I believe that we are called to live our faith 24/7 and I well understand the doctrine of vocation.  Speaking from personal experience, I became a more effective employee and experienced greater personal satisfaction when I gave up on the organizational culture and, instead, viewed my own employment from the perspective of vocation.

I'd also note how you would have counseled the baker.  I agree with that advice and I think, had he followed it, baking the cake would have been consistent with the Lutheran understanding of vocation. Refusing to do so, less so.
#9
Your Turn / Re: Life Isn't Fair
July 21, 2024, 03:21:52 PM
Quote from: Terry W Culler on July 21, 2024, 02:54:21 PMActually I have never once preached specifically against homosexuality. I have never served a congregation where that is an issue. I have preached against such things as gossip, greed, selfish behavior, and other sins which bedevil the average congregation. Also, I have never, not once, not ever preached Law without Gospel. In fact, I believe the Law is part of the Gospel, for without the Law we would not know what sin is. So as John Newton wrote, "it is grace has caused my heart to fear and grace my fear relieved."

The loudest "Christian" voices railing against homosexuality in the public square can't make that claim.

Quote from: Terry W Culler on July 21, 2024, 02:54:21 PMA person who does not repent of their sins, even those they don't know about, is probably not truly part of the faith, if they were they would be crushed by the weight of their sinfulness, coming to Christ as the only Way, Truth and Life. Luther would not recognize your version of Lutheranism.

In a left handed way, you are preaching works righteousness.  If persons who do not repent of all of their sins, even those they don't know are not truly part of the faith, then none of us can be part of the faith.

Confessing that I am spiritually blind, dead and God's enemy; that, on my own, I am a hopelessly lost and condemned creature; confessing my complete dependence on God's promise of forgiveness and eternal life, fulfilled in Christ Jesus; etc. is not the same thing as saying that I know all of my own sins, that I am capable of refraining from yielding to my evil desires, etc.  Why do you insist on laying on homosexuals a burden that you, yourself, are unable to carry?
#11
Your Turn / Re: Life Isn't Fair
July 21, 2024, 02:08:02 PM
Quote from: Terry W Culler on July 21, 2024, 12:29:52 PMSome people here seem to have the idea that, since we are all sinners, and since all sin is abhorrent to God, and since Christ, in His atoning sacrifice, paid the price for our sins, we should not call out sin when we discern its presence. Frankly, this is a sub-Christian ideal.  The Church is to purge itself, insofar as possible, of unrepented sins--which are sins we repeat and have no intention of stopping. Certainly we all continue sinning, but that's not an acceptable excuse. When I pronounce absolution I speak to those who repent of their sins and trust only in Christ, not to those who refuse to repent or trust in themselves.

You have an incorrect understanding of the perspective of those who have greater compassion for homosexuals than do you.

If we take ACII seriously, I think we all have to confess that we are guilty of sins that we do not recognize as sin, that we refuse to recognize as sin, sins that we intend to repeat and have no intention of stopping.  Thus, when you pronounce absolution, you are speaking to folks who have a lot of trust in themselves.

I think it is a debatable proposition whether homosexual behavior in the context of a mutually committed relationship is a egregious as you conclude, based on proof texting a literal read of an English translation.  That aside, there are problems with the manner in which you and others call out sin.

If you are preaching the Law without preaching the Gospel, you are not preaching the Word.  If you are preaching the Law in a manner that drives people away from the Gospel, you are being unfaithful to your call.

There are many sins that compromise the integrity of our society, most of which are more egregious, if less obvious, than homosexuality.  If the Church has a duty to purge itself of unrepented sins, why focus on homosexuality and not all sins?  Scripture has a lot more to say about the evils of greed and the unacceptable consequences of greed on the less fortunate.  It is curious that those who insist that they have a duty to preach against homosexuality have also aligned themselves with the political forces that oppose resolution of social and economic injustice.
#12
Your Turn / Re: Life Isn't Fair
July 21, 2024, 10:48:15 AM
Quote from: RF on July 21, 2024, 10:35:27 AM
Quote from: John Mundinger on July 21, 2024, 10:27:22 AM
Quote from: RF on July 21, 2024, 09:36:44 AM
Quote from: John Mundinger on July 21, 2024, 09:30:14 AM
Quote from: RF on July 21, 2024, 07:53:19 AMI think the difference is repentance. Same-sex "marriage" is basically a continuous unrepentant thumbing their nose at God's revealed Word.

Do a little introspection and I think you will discover that, in your own way, you also thumb your nose at God's revealed Word.  If refraining from intentional sin is the benchmark for repentance, none of us stands a chance.

From what you wrote, I think you might want to revisit the two parts of repentance and ponder the definitions.

Repentance is confessing "I can't!" I have no idea who you are.  But, assuming that you are Lutheran, I think you understand that.  Yet, you and others, insist on an "I can" standard of repentance for homosexuals.

You really need to do some research. Repentance consists of contrition and faith in God. It is a gift from God. It is not something you do. Confessional Lutherans generally understand this and would not insist on an "I can" standard. I'm sure I've left out a lot. Do your own research.

Said differently, repentance is turning away from myself (I can't!!) and turning toward Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith.

Based on conversations in this forum, I think Confessional Lutherans, in their pursuit of antinomians, have a bad habit of using third use to measure degrees of sanctification to conclude lack of justification.  And, thereby, drive unbelievers away from the Gospel.
#13
Quote from: Matt Hummel on July 21, 2024, 09:58:52 AMYour lack or moral imagination stems from an a priori that someone's opposition to same sex marriage is predicated on a distaste for homosexuality/homosexual behavior. Those who do not accept the zeit geist are of course ignorant and a least a teensy hateful.

I respect that folks are opposed to same sex marriage, that they consider homosexual behavior distasteful and immoral.  I do not understand how they are harmed by living in a society that grants the benefits of civil unions to those who choose to live together in a committed same-sex relationship.  And, I do not understand how they, specifically, and society, in general, is better off by denying them that benefit.

And, if you do not wish to be perceived as ignorant, perhaps you should consider better sources of information on the subject.  If you do not wish to be consider a teensy hateful, perhaps you should consider being a little more compassionate.
#14
Quote from: Dan Fienen on July 21, 2024, 09:27:17 AMCharles, at one time you had a sideline of crafting newsletters for organizations. As I recall, you even developed your own company and brand. I'm sure that you did a good job for your clients, using your considerable skill and craftsmanship to produce polished works that communicated their news and message well. You are a professional wordsmith, an artist with words.

Would you, back in the day, have contracted with your local Re-elect Richard Nixon organization to craft a winsome and winning newsletter for them, celebrating their efforts on behalf of the President? If you were still in the business, would you take on your local Elect Donald Trump committee as a client and craft a newsletter. Or how about the Local Right-to-Life organization that advocates for strict legal restrictions on abortion? Create effective newsletters to help them present their news and opinions?

The issue with the baker was not just selling any old cake for their same-sex wedding, but using his professional skills and craftmanship to create for them a custom cake to celebrate what the baker believed was wrong. The baker is an artist, an artist whose medium is flour, sugar, fondant, pigments to create a cake with a message. It was not that he would not sell them an off the shelf cake, standard design, but a custom cake crafted for just that occasion.

There are a couple of problems with your analogy.  First, I doubt that Rev. Austin would claim that crafting newsletters was religious expression.  Secondly, assuming that he has an established relationship with a list of clients, it would be reasonable to assume that he would not jeopardize those relationships and would be a bit selective in accepting new clients.

I can respect the baker's opposition to gay marriage and respect that his opposition is based in his religion.  I'm still trying to understand how professional baking cakes is a public expression of Christianity.
#15
Your Turn / Re: Life Isn't Fair
July 21, 2024, 10:27:22 AM
Quote from: RF on July 21, 2024, 09:36:44 AM
Quote from: John Mundinger on July 21, 2024, 09:30:14 AM
Quote from: RF on July 21, 2024, 07:53:19 AMI think the difference is repentance. Same-sex "marriage" is basically a continuous unrepentant thumbing their nose at God's revealed Word.

Do a little introspection and I think you will discover that, in your own way, you also thumb your nose at God's revealed Word.  If refraining from intentional sin is the benchmark for repentance, none of us stands a chance.

From what you wrote, I think you might want to revisit the two parts of repentance and ponder the definitions.

Repentance is confessing "I can't!" I have no idea who you are.  But, assuming that you are Lutheran, I think you understand that.  Yet, you and others, insist on an "I can" standard of repentance for homosexuals.
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