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Messages - Pilgrim

Quote from: Harvey_Mozolak on July 09, 2019, 03:37:51 PM
for clarity sake.... an assault weapon (I am not expert on all the names and nuances but one that shoots automatically and has large annunciation capacity for instance, silencers, night sights probably, adaptation for launching grenades) should not be owned or used by folks (other than the military or police types).  They should not be used for target shooting or hunting of animals.  Now whether a given weapon is proper for large police forces or should be restricted to military use is another issue and for instance a rocket launcher should not be in the police arsenal but brought in specially from/thru/by the military if there is some unique need.

FYI, down here we are being overrun with feral hogs. AK-47s equipped with night vision scopes are extremely helpful in curtailing a significant environmental threat, since the hogs are generally nocturnal. I understand your perspective and am not unsympathetic, but where your feet happen to be planted (your cultural environment) has a lot to say about what you say and when your feet are planted elsewhere, perhaps you don't know as much as you think you do. Shades of a scene from "Smokey and the Bandit"!!!
Quote from: Charles Austin on July 08, 2019, 05:32:45 PM
Theologically, Dave et alia, I tend to agree with you. But missionally, I think that moving back and forth across the "redline" might be beneficial for our time.
The ELCA has not declared fellowship with any Baptist or Pentecostal denomination and is not likely to do so.
As I have said here numerous times, we do not deny our differences in emphasis, and we hope we could find ways to fully resolve the differences. But in the meantime, we shall share the meal together and share of the mission together. This could mean that, rather than losing our understanding of Sacramental theology, which many people here seem to fear, we will enhance the sacramental theology of our ecumenical partners.

Perhaps, or the movement may indeed go in the other direction (and it would appear to many that it already has), ala the cultural acquiescence and pliability of the ELCA in terms of instead of holding solid to Word and Sacrament, to being far more public in its support for what can properly be called "ideologies" not "theologies".
Quote from: Charles Austin on July 06, 2019, 09:05:12 PM
Pilgrim writes:
Me thinks you're a product of watching too many of the "Dirty Harry" movies. Out here in the real world of gun ownership it really is quite different.
I comment:
No. It is what I am hearing in what gun enthusiasts say and write. If you were are not "that way," then you need to understand that "that way" is how you come across.

Charles, Am I to assume the "you" is singular or plural? Otherwise your "that way" is arrogant and insulting and is slamming me into a large group of people and you don't even know me. Shame on you. This is apparently the "who" you come across as in this forum that you are ardently blind to.
Quote from: Charles Austin on July 06, 2019, 05:38:19 PM
And if it falls upon us to kill a law-breaker, is that the "retribution" of God?
Maybe. Maybe not.
And so if that task appears to fall upon us, and should we choose  to accept it, we should do so with fear and trembling and a sense of our own sinfulness and of the darkness of the task we take upon ourselves.
But we live in a gun culture and the romance of the gun seems a part of our being. So sometimes I fear that we approach these situations with this sentence in our minds: "I'm ready for this!" - BANG! "Got you, you son of a bitch!"

Me thinks you're a product of watching too many of the "Dirty Harry" movies. Out here in the real world of gun ownership it really is quite different.
Retirement is looming on my horizon as well. Part of the reason was also widowhood for me. My ministry and life partner for over 40-years was called to the Church Triumphant, leaving an enormous hole in my life. Although the good Lord has graciously and powerfully moved to bless me with a remarkable helpmate for the rest of my journey, that traumatic shift in my life seemed to me to signal an end to ministry as I had lived it for so long. Since I'm already receiving social security and having other sources of retirement income, I'm blessed in that the finances should not be an issue, as well as owning my own home. Having served in my present call for almost 20-years, I sense it is also time for new leadership here, as well as the emotional reality that the illnesses and family turmoil and funerals I conduct are no longer for "members" so to speak, but for "friends" and that takes an enormous toll as I have aged. I do not envision ceasing to be engaged in ministry, but with a new focus and lessoned time demands that frees me up for my new spouse, children and grandchildren and some of those things postponed over the years.
I once shared with someone who posed the question regarding women's ordination that it could well be that either side of the argument could be wrong. Too much emphasis on Paul in some particular passages that may have been intended to a much more limited situation of which we are unaware. Too little attention to other passages and obvious Biblical evidence of  women in leadership roles. You put your money down and you make your choices and for both sides I pray we say, "God forgive us if we erred." The one thing that has always brought a smile to my face over the years is the simple observation that states, "If it were not for the women, we men would not know about the resurrection!"
Your Turn / Re: Celebrations of Life
August 01, 2018, 05:43:33 PM
The Lord's Supper is for the forgiveness of sins and, and, and, and, and .... so much more that it is finally incomprehensible this side of eternity. The feeding points to the meal, unequivocally!
Your Turn / Re: Celebrations of Life
August 01, 2018, 05:16:18 PM
Quote from: Charles Austin on March 23, 2018, 05:28:50 PM
Yes, here it is again. The big, bad, evil ELCA acting in order to...
Preserve what legitimately belongs to it. At the  request of some of its members. How awful.

With all due respect Charles, your blind defense of all things ELCA, has years of dust accumulating on it. There are way too many stories over many years of party line Bishops and synods behaving like Pharisees and taking to the Law like bunch of clones for you to continue to air blanket dismissals with language like "the big, bad ELCA". It is a ecclesastical tragedy of the highest order that the 2009 decisions have been steamrolled over any and all who even speak of orthodoxy having a place and a voice in the conversation. To claim credentials as a journalist and to be be as unrelentingly biased as you are on this forum truly calls into question whether your journalistic training ever progressed beyond even an introductory course in the subject. Were not journalists once proudly hailed as watchdogs, not lapdogs, not all that many years ago? Your constant refrain has had you sitting in the lap of the ELCA for years getting your ears scratched and quite content to never question nor ever consider biting the hand that feeds you. If retirement doesn't work out, I hear TASS is hiring.
Quote from: Charles Austin on March 21, 2018, 05:58:52 PM
There are a lot of questions I can't answer, Peter, which makes me different from some folks here.
Let's try to narrow the focus and maybe, just maybe, touch a bit of reality.
What I see in my brief exposure  ;) to the document at hand is this. Again; I may not catch their real thing, but this is what I see.
1. We in the churches tolerate couples living together outside of the marriage bond. Our children do it; our council members do it; sometimes our parents and grandparents do it. Folks coming to us for weddings have usually been living together, sometimes for years.
2. But we insist that pastors and deacons have only one "valid" means of partnered living - marriage.
3. Is this fair?
4. Does this make marriage a kind of "norm" and the only way for people to form intimate living arrangements?
5. Can we discuss this with an eye towards recognizing - for pastors and deacons - the same tolerance in living arrangements as we grant to our laypeople?
That is how I see the discussion. Not quite as racy as swingers' parties or as lurid as prostitution, and - please note - not as easy to dismiss or bat down. (Spike that last thought; it's very easy for some people to dismiss and bat down. But not everyone.)

I'm late catching up on this, but Charles, I highlighted your point #3, and ask simply, what does "fair" have to do with anything? You, of all people, are aware that life is not "fair" ("rains on the just and the unjust") by any stretch of the imagination, and "fair" has utterly nothing to do with our call to obedience in the proclamation of Law and Gospel. If anything, our "reality" is the ultimate "unfairness" to which we seek to proclaim what God alone, has in fact done to redeem us and the whole of creation.

I can understand, and respectfully disagree, with the humanistic notion of the church striving to be fair, but the simple, and obvious, "reality" of all this LBGT+ and "naked and ashamed" stuff is plain and simple narcissism - or "sin", the self-turned inward, playing god.

Quote from: Charles Austin on March 19, 2018, 09:03:59 AM
In some quarters, the word for those who avail themselves of something because they can do so without paying - even though others do pay - is freeloader.
Society tolerates them, sometimes eyeing them with pity or a sense of mercy. Maybe they really can't afford about two bucks a month for what they get. But usually not, a freeloader thinks he or she is entitled or enjoys the sense of getting something for "nothing." (It's not nothing because others are paying for it to even be there.)

Had to chuckle at this one. On the golf course such folks are referred to as "sandbaggers", apparently not possessing the ability to even be honest with themselves as it concerns an ordinary game and presuming that they are fooling others (whom they are not fooling at all)!

Then again, perhaps the comparison may not be so far-fetched after all!
Your Turn / Re: Concordia Selma to Close
February 28, 2018, 01:45:37 PM
Quote from: Charles Austin on February 28, 2018, 09:28:27 AM
Pastor Enebretsen:
Admitting to "white privilege" is admittedly a new thing in my history.  And I honestly don't know what one is supposed to do with it.
I comment:
Well, acknowledging it may be good enough. At least for some people. And if we do not acknowledge it, we become complicit in perpetuating it.

Pastor Engebretsen:
Am I supposed to assume a certain level of guilt?
Not necessarily.

Pastor Engebretsen:
But if I don't have to "atone" for it, then what? Or is this awareness supposed to lead ultimately to major changes in society to 'level the playing field'?
Do not try to be utopian. But we hope changes will come, don't we?

Pastor Engebretsen:
Didn't we try this with "affirmative action"?
We not only tried; in many cases, we succeeded.

Pastor Engebretsen:
And what of all those African-Americans who have succeeded well beyond the general white population?   Did they succeed 'against all odds' in a heroic way, were they simply assisted by forms of affirmative actions, or did many of them succeed the way many of their white counterparts did, through skill, scholarship and hard work?
Some succeeded by overcoming great odds. Some were assisted by affirmative action; and some just worked hard and succeeded. And some failed, even when assisted by affirmative action. But some were never given the proper chance or an equal footing.

Pastor Engebretsen:
Not all whites are unequally "privileged."  Some whites succeed at a much lower level than blacks. 
That means nothing. And I don't know how you measure the "levels" or comparisons.

Now THAT last line is funny! Charles claims to not know how to do precisely what he did with every single one of his previous answers - measure and comparisons!!!
Your Turn / Re: Close to Closed
February 13, 2018, 12:17:32 PM

I will grant you what you state as the "truth". What you must admit, however, is that "perception", by one on the outside, can be quite different. Does it not thus compel one to contemplate the application of truth appropriate the context or the individual, i.e., Jew to Jew, Gentile to Gentile, etc.?
I also attended one of Alban's "Long Term Pastorate" seminars when I had been about 8-9 years in a previous parish. I found it extremely beneficial. I'm now in the 19th year in the parish I currently serve and am aware I will be retiring from here.

I suspect it also depends upon context. Rural/small town parishes tend to have more stability among the faithful and when a fit is good, it's like a good marriage or good wine - it improves with time.

My situation is suburban with tremendous movement both in and out over the years. In this situation, it may well be that I have been a stabilizing presence within this particular culture. Nonetheless, it has been a blessing. And I echo the concern to properly prepare both congregation and leadership for the transition which lies closer with each passing year.

I've experienced both blessing and bane with previous Pastors retiring within the parish they served. Both retiree and the present Pastor have it within them to either make it work as a blessing for the Kingdom, or to do great damage to the ministry in that place. My observation is that it usually begins and ends with "egos", on both sides.
Quote from: Charles Austin on February 08, 2018, 11:53:40 AM
And yes, Pastor. This is who we are. We do things like this. This is not all we do, this is not all of who we are, but we do do this. Do you suggest we keep it secret when we do this?

Yes, Charles, what you say is nothing new. However, what gets routinely communicated to the parishes across the church is another matter that you are well aware of. I'm only suggesting that if you are fully convinced that this "is" the ELCA and this "is" what you do, you should be much more proactive in broadcasting and promoting this reality. Or is it remotely possible that even in the upper echelons there is an awareness that being too bold and forthright would result in another and even more rapidly increasing loss of finances, parishes and people?

I lived and served as a loyal trooper through all the years when the gradual erosion was evident until such time that the ELCA reached a point where its lack of fidelity to Scripture and Confessions became blatantly transparent to the point that many of us of who took and continued to take our vows of ordination seriously had no alternative but to realize that, although we did not leave the Church, the ELCA had left us.
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