Draft ELCA Social Statement on Women & Justice Released

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

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Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: gan ainm on November 23, 2017, 08:43:20 PM
Quote from: Charles Austin on November 23, 2017, 12:28:33 PM
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.

I was a member of the ELCA for quite a while.  I think I'm more qualified to say what I understand about the ELCA than you are (assuming you are not a mind reader who is into sorcery) AFWIW, I did read the abomination of the social statement, unlike you who said he has not; your arrogant, condescending, rude, errant guarantee is laughable - but I forgive you.  And, I am not at all mad, just very sad to see what happened to a lot of friends who continue to be led astray.  I do pray for them and you frequently.

Galatians 5:19-21 (ESV)  19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.  I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
 
Happy Thanksgiving.  Lord have mercy.


Galatians 5:22-23 (CEB):


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this.


The Lord certainly has mercy.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: George Rahn on November 24, 2017, 12:30:44 AM
ELCA social statements are descriptive and serve the purpose for opinion only.  I don't believe that they help or hurt.  Like opinions of the court they may or may not influence the final verdict.  God is not happy with opinio legis.  God wants perfect, thorough and constant justice NOW.  God does not stand our opinions and is waiting angrily for us to do right.  Preaching of Gods law says that we need to all repent now!  See Romans 1 and 3.  ELCA social statements continue to put off the job of calling each person individually and collectively to repentance.  These statements as descriptive purport to set readers at a distance so that they can be the judges rather than be placed under judgment which is a sinner's proper place to be.   A church needs to do that instead of churning out more fodder for human-to-human activity which is the Kantian project and not Gods project.

Apologies requested for bad punctuation...my editor went to bed! Lol


The Law as a call that we can't perfectly keep the law which leads us to repentance is one use of the Law. The Law as a call to improve our civil righteousness, which we can do to some extent is another use of the Law.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

readselerttoo

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 01:47:55 AM
Quote from: George Rahn on November 24, 2017, 12:30:44 AM
ELCA social statements are descriptive and serve the purpose for opinion only.  I don't believe that they help or hurt.  Like opinions of the court they may or may not influence the final verdict.  God is not happy with opinio legis.  God wants perfect, thorough and constant justice NOW.  God does not stand our opinions and is waiting angrily for us to do right.  Preaching of Gods law says that we need to all repent now!  See Romans 1 and 3.  ELCA social statements continue to put off the job of calling each person individually and collectively to repentance.  These statements as descriptive purport to set readers at a distance so that they can be the judges rather than be placed under judgment which is a sinner's proper place to be.   A church needs to do that instead of churning out more fodder for human-to-human activity which is the Kantian project and not Gods project.

Apologies requested for bad punctuation...my editor went to bed! Lol


The Law as a call that we can't perfectly keep the law which leads us to repentance is one use of the Law. The Law as a call to improve our civil righteousness, which we can do to some extent is another use of the Law.

Nope.  The accusatory nature of the law remains valid under both uses.  From Romans 3:   "...with the law comes the knowledge of sin."

The law is not simply informative.

gan ainm

Quote from: Charles Austin on November 23, 2017, 09:07:52 PM
Whatever, O anonymous one, whatever.

My Pastor says those who use the term "whatever" are frequently reflective of the postmodern secular group - those who stand firm on nothing, blow with the winds of the culture, the icebergs of the world and not the mountains.   Secondly, the anonymous are in mostly good company according to Scripture (however, I'm not sure you endorse holding to all Scripture based upon your forum comments and behavior).  Why don't you join with Christians who do not denigrate others?  Hmmmmm, that would require humility and love of neighbor, or at least letting others be themselves instead of you choosing to define what they should be based on your variable standard of the day (hour, minute, second?) - oh the desire to be in control is pervasive and insidious.
https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-men-bible/Great-Host-Unnamed-Bible-Men


Charles Austin

The Anonymous One writes (and I am reluctant to respond, but...):
My Pastor says those who use the term "whatever" are frequently reflective of the postmodern secular group - those who stand firm on nothing, blow with the winds of the culture, the icebergs of the world and not the mountains. 
I comment:
Then your pastor is - on that point, at least - a fool. My use of the "whatever" dismissive means (and I shall be quite clear): "OK, that's what you think; that's your bias; that is your uninformed opinion and I understand that no type of argument, no dialogue, no references to other sources will change your implacable mind, so I will not even try."

The Anonymous One
Secondly, the anonymous are in mostly good company according to Scripture (however, I'm not sure you endorse holding to all Scripture based upon your forum comments and behavior). 
Me:
You got chapter and verses on that? You have examples of where God or God's messengers or God's people hide behind false identities, especially in dealings with one another?

The Anonymous One:
Why don't you join with Christians who do not denigrate others?  Hmmmmm, that would require humility and love of neighbor, or at least letting others be themselves instead of you choosing to define what they should be based on your variable standard of the day (hour, minute, second?) - oh the desire to be in control is pervasive and insidious.
I comment:
Actually Christians do disparage and criticize others. They do it all the time. You do it in almost every message you post. We Christians criticize those who misuse the faith, misuse the scriptures, and undercut the mission of the church.
Your view seems to be that you have ALL the truth, ALL the understanding of scripture, and ALL the commands of the Lord clearly codified for every situation. I don't see much humility in that.
As for my alleged desire to "be in control," hogwash and codswallop! I can even consider you a brother (or sister or whatever) in Christ, but I will not be bound to every detail of what you believe, nor do I insist that you be bound to every detail of how I interpret God's Word.
(And that is a longer response than I wish to give or is deserved by someone hiding behind an anonymous cloak where they can denounce others without being honest about their own identity.)
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.

DCharlton

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 01:47:55 AM
The Law as a call that we can't perfectly keep the law which leads us to repentance is one use of the Law. The Law as a call to improve our civil righteousness, which we can do to some extent is another use of the Law.

Which should predominate in the Church, preaching that seeks to improve civil righteousness of preaching that points to the righteousness of faith? 
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

readselerttoo

Quote from: DCharlton on November 24, 2017, 10:51:18 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 01:47:55 AM
The Law as a call that we can't perfectly keep the law which leads us to repentance is one use of the Law. The Law as a call to improve our civil righteousness, which we can do to some extent is another use of the Law.

Which should predominate in the Church, preaching that seeks to improve civil righteousness of preaching that points to the righteousness of faith?

Yes, spot on!

gan ainm

Quote from: Charles Austin on November 24, 2017, 09:34:18 AM
The Anonymous One writes (and I am reluctant to respond, but...):
My Pastor says those who use the term "whatever" are frequently reflective of the postmodern secular group - those who stand firm on nothing, blow with the winds of the culture, the icebergs of the world and not the mountains. 
I comment:
Then your pastor is - on that point, at least - a fool. My use of the "whatever" dismissive means (and I shall be quite clear): "OK, that's what you think; that's your bias; that is your uninformed opinion and I understand that no type of argument, no dialogue, no references to other sources will change your implacable mind, so I will not even try."

The Anonymous One
Secondly, the anonymous are in mostly good company according to Scripture (however, I'm not sure you endorse holding to all Scripture based upon your forum comments and behavior).
Me:
You got chapter and verses on that? You have examples of where God or God's messengers or God's people hide behind false identities, especially in dealings with one another?

The Anonymous One:
Why don't you join with Christians who do not denigrate others?  Hmmmmm, that would require humility and love of neighbor, or at least letting others be themselves instead of you choosing to define what they should be based on your variable standard of the day (hour, minute, second?) - oh the desire to be in control is pervasive and insidious.
I comment:
Actually Christians do disparage and criticize others. They do it all the time. You do it in almost every message you post. We Christians criticize those who misuse the faith, misuse the scriptures, and undercut the mission of the church.
Your view seems to be that you have ALL the truth, ALL the understanding of scripture, and ALL the commands of the Lord clearly codified for every situation. I don't see much humility in that.
As for my alleged desire to "be in control," hogwash and codswallop! I can even consider you a brother (or sister or whatever) in Christ, but I will not be bound to every detail of what you believe, nor do I insist that you be bound to every detail of how I interpret God's Word.
(And that is a longer response than I wish to give or is deserved by someone hiding behind an anonymous cloak where they can denounce others without being honest about their own identity.)

Thank you for proving my point (but I doubt you will even see that you did).  I certainly do not know all, but God does, as described in his Word.  I think I shall ponder Proverbs 12:16 now.

Numbers (ESV) 22:28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey (unnamed), and she said to Balaam (named), "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?" 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you." 30 And the donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?" And he said, "No."

Psalm 39 (ESV)
7 "And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
    My hope is in you.
8 Deliver me from all my transgressions.
    Do not make me the scorn of the fool!
9 I am mute; I do not open my mouth,
    for it is you who have done it.

Proverbs 1 (ESV)
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 "How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,[a]
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
    I will make my words known to you.

Proverbs 12 (ESV)
14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
    and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
    but a wise man listens to advice.
16 The vexation of a fool is known at once,
    but the prudent ignores an insult.


readselerttoo

Preaching of God's law is more than setting forth descriptive or normative behaviors (civil righteousness as evident in ELCA social statements).  Preaching of the Law should be such that it kills the sinner and allows no wriggle room for self-justification.  To be set before God's righteousness is to acknowledge that one who is baptized into Christ is baptized into Christ's death, first.  It is to face one's lack of foresight into one's own tragic nature as a sinner who does not have a standing before God's face.  Descriptive or normative statements like pure science only set the sinner away from facing the truth of oneself under God's righteousness.  Descriptive statements like ELCA social justice documents presuppose the knowledge of God and proceed to tell the rest of us how to live (normative statements).  By describing and policing behavior, they only push folks into a dream-state in which one believes one is safely away from facing one's personal accountability before God in all things.  If folks realized their need for personal repentance constantly there wouldn't be time for making ELCA social statements.  As 1 Thess. 5 says: 

"Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters,[a] you do not need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 When they say, 'There is peace and security', then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!"


ELCA needs to quit placing us in a fantasy where we live in a neutral situation before God, quit following the rest of culture by self-medicating us, and do the real work of the church by doing the thankless job of exposing our situation as sinners so the real comfort of the Gospel can be heard!

Dave Benke

The Missouri Synod does issue social statements from time to time from its Commission on Theology and Church Relations.  "Render Unto Caesar", "Guidelines for Participation in Civic Events," "Racism and the Church, "Immigration," and "Together with all Creatures:  Caring for God's living earth" are a few of them that come to mind.  It's hard to find them any more at LCMS.org - the key is to go to the button for "Leadership" and then the CTCR, where eventually they appear. 

Anyway, the value of these statements is that they are for the use and guidance of congregations and church workers.  Once they are remanded for "use and guidance" at a national Missouri Synod convention, the advice is - guess what - to use them for guidance.  Or, I suppose, not to use them.  But they're valuable additions to the congregation's basket of opportunities to explore the congregation's interaction with the world. 

They are critique-able, and some have been severely critiqued along the way.  So what's being done (somewhat by non-ELCA members on this board) to the ELCA Social Statement would be fair game in the Missouri Synod as well.   As an example, here's a sentence from a CTCR document on "Serial Prayer" (possibly an unfortunate title given what follows "Serial" these days) that highlights the critique-able nature of these documents:  It should be noted in this connection that all members of the Commission agree that, understood from a Christian perspective, prayer is always in some sense "an expression of worship." The question is whether it is possible under any circumstances for an LCMS pastor to offer a prayer in a public setting involving a variety of religious leaders without engaging in "joint prayer and worship." Some believe that this is not possible. The majority believes that it may be possible depending on such factors as how the event is arranged and understood and how the situation is handled by the pastor in question, in order to make it clear that "joint prayer and worship" is not being conducted or condoned 

So - guess what - I'm with the majority that wrote that letter/opinion.  The majority at that time on the CTCR.  I used to empathize with then-exec. Sam Nafzger at the electoral nature of many of the positions on the CTCR, which would shift with the tides triennially.  So now Exec. Joel Lehenbauer has his own elected commission to deal with, whoever they might be. 
However the social statements are crafted in the ELCA, there is without question a committee/commission approach as well in the Missouri Synod.  And to be enacted "for use and guidance," the reports are submitted to the national convention for ratification or send-back.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Matt Hummel

24) Seek, support, and advocate for medical research, health care delivery, and access to health care services, including reproductive health care,
that recognize how bodies differ and that eliminate discrimination due to gender or sexuality. (See ELCA social statement Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor.)
has this in its explication:

The ELCA social statement Abortion has addressed at length in a nuanced way one critical, complex, and controversial aspect of reproductive health care.47 It teaches that the life and decisions of a woman and the developing life in a womb both must be respected and protected through a complex assessment of moral and social factors.

On that basis, this church teaches that abortion ought to be an option of last resort48 while opposing laws that deny access to safe and affordable services for abortions.49 It urges this society to reduce the need to turn to abortion as the answer to unintended pregnancy and commits our community of faith to support both laws and practices that foster abundant life in all its dimensions.


Sadly, no surprises here. Though I do love the self-congratulatory use of "nuanced." It is newspeak for vague and meaningless.

For a document allegedly written to fight the dark forces of Patriarchy and sexism, it really does not speak to one of the major evils of this twin headed monter- the coercive use of abortion in controlling women. Look at sex trafficking and prostitution and how they use abortion. Indeed, we have videos and testimonies of former employeesshowing PP's complicity in these activities.

Look at sex selection abortions which are going on in this country as well as all those "benighted" places around the world. And again, who gets the money?

I get the that ELCA, until there is a massive metanoia, will never adopt a full Pro-Life position. And I have made peace with that. One of my first jobs after becoming CAtholic was working for an organization whose pro-life goal was to work with all people of good will to reduce the numbers of abortions. That meant working with people who were "Pro-Choice." And so we did.

But the ELCA's hand-wringing regarding abortion are like the folks who eye the dessert cart, make the obligatory comments about how they are watching their weight and really shouldn't and then take the chocolate mousse cake. Glad it makes you feel better and palliates your guilt. But what does it do in the way of actual good?

When I see a picture of BP. Eaton (on whom be peace!) and Bp. Schmedlap of the Fillendablank Synod at the opening of a Crisis Pregnancy Center funded primarily as a mission of the ELCA monies (Synod, Congregational and personal, perhaps with some sort of grant from WELCA), I'll believe you. Until then, to paraphrase a great physician speaking in defense  of an unborn child, "What this Statement said is unimportant, and I do not hear its words."
Matt Hummel


"The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks."

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Charles Austin

And, Mr. Hummel, the words of an ELCA social statement are not meant for you.
But it is good to hear that you do work with us when you feel you can, even though we know you feel it is beneath your moral dignity to do so.
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.

Charles Austin

Still no answer to my questions, Anonymous One, or a direct response to my concerns. I'm not surprised.
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.

John Koke

Quote from: Matt Hummel on November 24, 2017, 12:19:23 PM
24) Seek, support, and advocate for medical research, health care delivery, and access to health care services, including reproductive health care,
that recognize how bodies differ and that eliminate discrimination due to gender or sexuality. (See ELCA social statement Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor.)
has this in its explication:

The ELCA social statement Abortion has addressed at length in a nuanced way one critical, complex, and controversial aspect of reproductive health care.47 It teaches that the life and decisions of a woman and the developing life in a womb both must be respected and protected through a complex assessment of moral and social factors.

On that basis, this church teaches that abortion ought to be an option of last resort48 while opposing laws that deny access to safe and affordable services for abortions.49 It urges this society to reduce the need to turn to abortion as the answer to unintended pregnancy and commits our community of faith to support both laws and practices that foster abundant life in all its dimensions.


Sadly, no surprises here. Though I do love the self-congratulatory use of "nuanced." It is newspeak for vague and meaningless.

For a document allegedly written to fight the dark forces of Patriarchy and sexism, it really does not speak to one of the major evils of this twin headed monter- the coercive use of abortion in controlling women. Look at sex trafficking and prostitution and how they use abortion. Indeed, we have videos and testimonies of former employeesshowing PP's complicity in these activities.

Look at sex selection abortions which are going on in this country as well as all those "benighted" places around the world. And again, who gets the money?

I get the that ELCA, until there is a massive metanoia, will never adopt a full Pro-Life position. And I have made peace with that. One of my first jobs after becoming CAtholic was working for an organization whose pro-life goal was to work with all people of good will to reduce the numbers of abortions. That meant working with people who were "Pro-Choice." And so we did.

But the ELCA's hand-wringing regarding abortion are like the folks who eye the dessert cart, make the obligatory comments about how they are watching their weight and really shouldn't and then take the chocolate mousse cake. Glad it makes you feel better and palliates your guilt. But what does it do in the way of actual good?

When I see a picture of BP. Eaton (on whom be peace!) and Bp. Schmedlap of the Fillendablank Synod at the opening of a Crisis Pregnancy Center funded primarily as a mission of the ELCA monies (Synod, Congregational and personal, perhaps with some sort of grant from WELCA), I'll believe you. Until then, to paraphrase a great physician speaking in defense  of an unborn child, "What this Statement said is unimportant, and I do not hear its words."

Leonard McCoy, "Friday's Child"  Well played, sir! ;)

MaddogLutheran

#59
Quote from: Charles Austin on November 24, 2017, 12:59:04 PM
Still no answer to my questions, Anonymous One, or a direct response to my concerns. I'm not surprised.
As you also have in the past avoided answering questions or responding to direct concerns, you have no standing to complain publicly that another is doing the same, to you.  I also won't be surprised at any response you may have to me pointing this out, though none is expected or required.  The tribalism with respect to anything ELCA related makes engaging in a meaningful critique of anything to do with it impossible.

You didn't even remember, a few weeks back, that Pr. Speckhard authored an entire Forum Letter article about the pitiful prose of the last ELCA social statement, when you accused him of not reading it.  You'd think as an English major you'd at least grudgingly acknowledge the poor writing skills of the authors.

Sterling Spatz
Someone for whom this social statement may be meant
Sterling Spatz
ELCA pew-sitter

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