Draft ELCA Social Statement on Women & Justice Released

Started by RPG, November 22, 2017, 01:52:14 PM

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Richard Johnson

Quote from: Charles Austin on November 22, 2017, 05:08:06 PM
I do not predict, but I wonder whether the DRAFT social statement will 1) represent the final version, 2) actually make it to the assembly, and 3) win approval.

No, yes, and yes . . . history teaches us.

Quote from: Charles Austin on November 22, 2017, 05:08:06 PM
One might contend that the issues dealt with do not, in every case, need a "Social Statement" in order to be of concern for the ELCA or to form policy for the ELCA.

Some of us will contend that, but to no avail.

Quote from: Charles Austin on November 22, 2017, 05:08:06 PM

1. Whatever the final form the statement takes, the LCMS will find it "heterodox" or worse.
2. Certain folk outside the ELCA will take it as an occasion to say "See! That's why we left!!!"
3. Certain folk in the ELCA will speak as if the Whole Proclamation Of The Gospel depends upon it.
3. Many within the ELCA, perhaps more than is healthy for this church, will say "what social statement?"
4. People concerned about the issues it raises will tackle those issues pretty much the same way they are addressing them now.

And many within the ELCA will sigh and say, once again, "Why can't we do better than this?"

Quote from: Charles Austin on November 22, 2017, 05:08:06 PM
Personally, I'm not gonna read it this week-end.

A very wise decision.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

peter_speckhard

Quote from: WJV on November 22, 2017, 05:25:01 PM
Quote from: Charles Austin on November 22, 2017, 05:08:06 PM
1. Whatever the final form the statement takes, the LCMS will find it "heterodox" or worse.
"In both creation stories, the first human is neither male nor female but simply human" (p 12).
Not going to read this whole document right away, but the above statement will need to be changed in editing; it was probably just a matter of making a point too forcefully and not realizing the implications. They must mean that in Genesis the emphasis was not on the maleness or femaleness but the humanness of the first human. Not entirely sure about that in every respect, but fine, a point worthy of consideration. But to say that the first human is neither male nor female is preposterous on the surface and only gets more preposterous with every layer you dig beneath the surface.


Dan Fienen


Quote from: Richard Johnson on November 22, 2017, 03:46:19 PM
My initial reactions after just perusing the opening summary, and with the caveat that obviously this is an important issue.

(1) Another social statement vying to be the longest and most verbose in ELCA history (and a quick analysis suggests it may be in the lead).
(2) Another social statement burdened with jargon largely cribbed from secular culture.
(3) Another social statement that tries to shoehorn a wide variety of quite different issues into its purview (so it deals, for instance, with transgender rights, immigration, racism, Biblical translation, language about God, just to name a few).

And, very interestingly, given the news stories of the moment, a social statement that only uses the word "harassment" once in 60+ pages, and that in the context of harassing men and boys who do not "match the ideal model of masculinity"!

But then nobody ever accused the church of being ahead of the curve . . .
Just who are these social statements for?  Who are the intended audience?  Without making any comment pro or con about what the statement says or the positions it takes, if the statement is supposed to be for the lay membership of the ELCA to guide their thinking about some of these issues, wouldn't it be wise to write it in a style that invites reasonably well educated (high school, maybe a couple of years of college possibly in engineering or some other non-social science technical field) to read, understand, ponder and be enlightened by the statement?  If these are important topics, they should not be hedged about with an impenetrable thicket of social science jargon or academese.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Charles Austin

Here's your answer, Pastor Fienen, from the ELCA website:
ELCA social statements are teaching and policy documents that provide broad frameworks to assist us in thinking about and discussing social issues in the context of faith and life. They are meant to help communities and individuals with moral formation, discernment and thoughtful engagement with current social issues as we participate in God's work in the world. Social statements also set policy for the ELCA and guide its advocacy and work as a publicly engaged church. They result from an extensive process of participation and deliberation and are adopted by a two-thirds vote of an ELCA churchwide assembly.
The description and procedures for developing and adopting these social teaching and policy documents are established by "Policies and Procedures of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for Addressing Social Concerns."

Pastor Fienen asks:
Just who are these social statements for?  Who are the intended audience?
I note:
They are for "us," that is all of us, clergy, laity, social service agencies, the people of the ELCA.

Pastor Fienen:
Without making any comment pro or con about what the statement says or the positions it takes, if the statement is supposed to be for the lay membership of the ELCA to guide their thinking about some of these issues, wouldn't it be wise to write it in a style that invites reasonably well educated (high school, maybe a couple of years of college possibly in engineering or some other non-social science technical field) to read, understand, ponder and be enlightened by the statement?
I comment:
The social statements are "documents," with all that implies. But they are accompanied by many materials intended to interpret and help people study the statements and, if so moved, take action. There are many ways to "enlighten" people by the statement that go beyond the actual words of the statement.

Pastor Fienen:
If these are important topics, they should not be hedged about with an impenetrable thicket of social science jargon or academese.
Me:
Have you read any of the statements put out by your CTCR? I think you will find our social statements much more accessible to the "average person" than those documents. And I do not think you find many "impenetrable thickets" in the language of the statements. They are finalized at our national Assemblies (Conventions) and everyone gets a chance at smoothing out or clarifying. But, no, they are not always as clear as they should be.
This link, if followed, will give you a chance to judge for yourself:
http://www.elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements

ELCA PASTOR. Iowa born and raised. Former journalist. Former news director and spokesman for the LCA. Former LWF staff in Geneva, Switzerland.  Parishes in Iowa. New Jersey and New York.  Retired in Minneapolis.

Jim Butler

I like line 861 on page 30, "In Genesis 3:16, God is pictured as telling Eve: '[A]nd he shall rule over you.'"

A. This is a nice passive statement "God is pictured." Uh, who "pictured" this. Who is the actor?

B. "God is pictures as telling." this means: God didn't really say it. God would never say anything like that. This never really happened. This is just some misogynist picture in some unknown author's fevered imagination.

They talk about the rape and murder of the Levite concubine. Would it be too much to show that the author of Judges was using this as an example of the depravity that had crept into Israel and how they were failing in their calling as God's people?

They then mention that people struggle to interpret these texts. Well, how about some discussion on hermeneutics, the principles of interpretation, and then some actual exegesis and interpretation. Is that too much to ask for?

Oh, what is a "Theological Discernment" staffer (there's for of them listed)? What does s/he discern, exactly?

Seriously, just skimming this thing reads like a really bad gender studies paper. It could have come out of any secular university. I would like to see something distinctively Christian, but so far I haven't found anything.
"Pastor Butler... [is] deaf to the cries of people like me, dismissing our concerns as Satanic scenarios, denouncing our faith and our very existence."--Charles Austin

SomeoneWrites


337-338
"In both creation stories, the first human is neither male nor female but simply
human."


1 Timothy 2:13
"For Adam was formed first, then Eve."


---
Well, that doesn't line up at all. 
And the  document seems to go back and forth on a literal and mythical (in the story sense) interpretation of Genesis.  That's a bit confusing.


Also confusing
"6) We confess that we are justified by God's grace through faith. This promise
frees us from trying to earn God's love or justify ourselves, so that we can
do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God and our neighbors. "

"18) The central Lutheran belief that we are justified by grace through faith
empowers this church to challenge the structures of patriarchy and sexism that
ascribe value based on human standards. "

I don't see the connection, particularly as an atheist.  I don't even understand it as a former Lutheran. 
LCMS raised
LCMS theology major
LCMS sem grad
Atheist

gan ainm

#22
Quote from: Charles Austin on November 22, 2017, 05:08:06 PM
I do not predict, but I wonder whether the DRAFT social statement will 1) represent the final version, 2) actually make it to the assembly, and 3) win approval.
One might contend that the issues dealt with do not, in every case, need a "Social Statement" in order to be of concern for the ELCA or to form policy for the ELCA.
It will be interesting to see the discussion that ensues, who thumps the tub and who mounts the barricades.
But I do predict some things:
1. Whatever the final form the statement takes, the LCMS will find it "heterodox" or worse.

A Theologian of the Cross calls a thing what it is.  See more below re. Gehard Forde.

2. Certain folk outside the ELCA will take it as an occasion to say "See! That's why we left!!!"

No, we left long before the snowball was this far down hill from the mountain top.  God chose us to join a Christian congregation that proclaimed and believed Law and Gospel, that is guided by all God's Word rather than by John Lennon and the Beatles "All you need is love".  This paper appears to be yet another social justice cause to appease the "world" and its current thrusts, i.e. create heaven on earth with man in charge and all will be well.  Fortunately, God's Word tells us the way it really is, ... and who is in charge of heaven and earth.  Reminds me of Job 38:1 and following:  1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:  2 "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? ....

Gerhard Forde's book titled, "On Being a Theologian of the Cross" is a rich explanation of the heart of Martin Luther's 1518 Heidelberg Disputation.  He divides the 28 Theses of Luther into 4 digestible sections.  The Great Divide:  The Way of Glory versus the Way of the Cross:  Theses 19-24.  In theses Forde lays out that a Theology of Glory and a Theology of the Cross can be thought of as two completely different theologies.  From here the theses flesh out the implications of these two theologies in expressing that a supporter of Glory Theology consciously or subconsciously actually destroys and obstructs the cross of Christ.  One of the ways that this happens is through a Glory Theologian's rejection of suffering and reality in the context of their theology.

3. Certain folk in the ELCA will speak as if the Whole Proclamation Of The Gospel depends upon it.
3. Many within the ELCA, perhaps more than is healthy for this church, will say "what social statement?"
4. People concerned about the issues it raises will tackle those issues pretty much the same way they are addressing them now.

Personally, I'm not gonna read it this week-end.


My comments in bold above.

Keith Falk

Quote from: gan ainm on November 23, 2017, 07:29:00 AM
Quote from: Charles Austin on November 22, 2017, 05:08:06 PM
I do not predict, but I wonder whether the DRAFT social statement will 1) represent the final version, 2) actually make it to the assembly, and 3) win approval.
One might contend that the issues dealt with do not, in every case, need a "Social Statement" in order to be of concern for the ELCA or to form policy for the ELCA.
It will be interesting to see the discussion that ensues, who thumps the tub and who mounts the barricades.
But I do predict some things:
1. Whatever the final form the statement takes, the LCMS will find it "heterodox" or worse.

A Theologian of the Cross calls a thing what it is.  See more below re. Gehard Forde.

2. Certain folk outside the ELCA will take it as an occasion to say "See! That's why we left!!!"

No, we left long before the snowball was this far down hill from the mountain top.  God chose us to join a Christian congregation that proclaimed and believed Law and Gospel, that is guided by all God's Word rather than by John Lennon and the Beatles "All you need is love".  This paper appears to be yet another social justice cause to appease the "world" and its current thrusts, i.e. create heaven on earth with man in charge and all will be well.  Fortunately, God's Word tells us the way it really is, ... and who is in charge of heaven and earth.  Reminds me of Job 38:1 and following:  1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:  2 "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? ....

Gerhard Forde's book titled, "On Being a Theologian of the Cross" is a rich explanation of the heart of Martin Luther's 1518 Heidelberg Disputation.  He divides the 28 Theses of Luther into 4 digestible sections.  The Great Divide:  The Way of Glory versus the Way of the Cross:  Theses 19-24.  In theses Forde lays out that a Theology of Glory and a Theology of the Cross can be thought of as two completely different theologies.  From here the theses flesh out the implications of these two theologies in expressing that a supporter of Glory Theology consciously or subconsciously actually destroys and obstructs the cross of Christ.  One of the ways that this happens is through a Glory Theologian's rejection of suffering and reality in the context of their theology.

3. Certain folk in the ELCA will speak as if the Whole Proclamation Of The Gospel depends upon it.
3. Many within the ELCA, perhaps more than is healthy for this church, will say "what social statement?"
4. People concerned about the issues it raises will tackle those issues pretty much the same way they are addressing them now.

Personally, I'm not gonna read it this week-end.


My comments in bold above.


Careful, quoting Forde can get you into trouble in some LCMS circles!   ;D ;D ;D
Rev. Keith Falk, STS

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: gan ainm on November 23, 2017, 07:29:00 AM
No, we left long before the snowball was this far down hill from the mountain top.  God chose us to join a Christian congregation that proclaimed and believed Law and Gospel, that is guided by all God's Word rather than by John Lennon and the Beatles "All you need is love".


Could it be that God's Word commands us: "Love your neighbor as yourself" and "Love one another as I have loved you"? Jesus seems clear that all we need is love ... for God and for neighbor and for self. All the other commandments hang on these. He said it (quoting the Torah) long before the Beatles ever saing about love.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

DCharlton

#25
Commenting on ELCA Social Statements is always a perilous business.  The VP of my synod recently suggested that those who think the ELCA spends too much time on politics are complicit in the murders committed by Dylan Roof.  It is likely that those who criticize this statement will be told that they are complicit in the perpetuation of "toxic masculinity" and our "rape culture".  In this kind of atmosphere, many people choose not to take part in the process of review and discussion.
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

gan ainm

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 23, 2017, 11:20:37 AM
Quote from: gan ainm on November 23, 2017, 07:29:00 AM
No, we left long before the snowball was this far down hill from the mountain top.  God chose us to join a Christian congregation that proclaimed and believed Law and Gospel, that is guided by all God's Word rather than by John Lennon and the Beatles "All you need is love".


Could it be that God's Word commands us: "Love your neighbor as yourself" and "Love one another as I have loved you"? Jesus seems clear that all we need is love ... for God and for neighbor and for self. All the other commandments hang on these. He said it (quoting the Torah) long before the Beatles ever saing about love.

Absolutely correct that we are to love God and love neighbor.  And, if one truly loves their neighbor they will pray unceasingly that God give the neighbor the gift of repentance and does not remove that gift from the prayer, that is pray for a turn around from sinful behavior to hearing and trusting the complete Word of God.  As Jesus says in Mt 28:19, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Do you think Jesus is with us if we do not teach others to observe all that he commanded?




Charles Austin

Even though I have not yet read it, anonymous one, I can guarantee that the paper is not what you claim it to be, namely an effort to "create heaven on earth with man in charge."
That is your unfair Assessment, because you do not take the time to understand who we are and how we do things. If you did, you would find plenty to make you mad, but at least you would criticize us for the proper things.
But there's nothing new with that.
ELCA PASTOR. Iowa born and raised. Former journalist. Former news director and spokesman for the LCA. Former LWF staff in Geneva, Switzerland.  Parishes in Iowa. New Jersey and New York.  Retired in Minneapolis.

Robert Johnson

Quote from: DCharlton on November 23, 2017, 11:42:22 AM
Commenting on ELCA Social Statements is always a perilous business.  The VP of my synod recently suggested that those who think the ELCA spends too much time on politics are complicit in the murders committed by Dylan Roof. 

That may tell us about all we need to know about your VP.

SomeoneWrites

While I'm here

1283-1286
"In all cases, their status as undocumented must not be an obstacle to
the safety and well-being all humans need. On the contrary, their status as
sojourners in this society invokes the biblical injunctions for special care and
concern (Leviticus 19:34)"

I'm neither arguing for or against their position on immigration.
What I don't understand is when/how Leviticus may be used as a proof-text/example. 
LCMS raised
LCMS theology major
LCMS sem grad
Atheist

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