Draft ELCA Social Statement on Women & Justice Released

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

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readselerttoo

Quote from: DCharlton on November 25, 2017, 11:54:28 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 10:33:37 PM
Quote from: DCharlton on November 24, 2017, 06:05:21 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 04:42:37 PM
Since the righteousness of faith was given to us in baptism and affirmed every week by God in Holy Communion, we might not have to say a lot about that in sermons. That gift of righteousness is already ours. A simple reminder each week along with receiving Christ's body and blood is probably sufficient. It's our relationship with other people that continues to be problematic.

Sometimes you outdo yourself. ???  If the righteousness of faith is such a given, then the office of Word and Sacrament is obsolete.  In fact the Church is obsolete.  The Church has to find something helpful to do to justify its existence. 

In fact, this is exactly what I believe is happening to the ELCA and Mainline Christianity in general.  We have either lost confidence in the Gospel or have decided the that preaching the Gospel is unnecessary.  We then frantically seek out a role that will justify the time and money dedicated to the organization and the salaries that depend on it.  Social services and political advocacy is now our raison d'etre.  I'm not even sure if this rises to the level of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.

Are you saying that the righteousness by faith is not a given - that God didn't do it all at our baptisms?

What do you suggest that we do to get more righteousness by faith?

Article V seems to say that the righteousness of faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit, given where and when it pleases God, through the Word and the Sacraments.  The righteousness of faith is not a given.  In fact, apart from the Holy Spirit working through Word and Sacrament, the righteousness of faith would not be given at all. 

Only when Article V is forgotten or ignored is it possible for a church claiming the title Lutheran to think that preaching political righteousness is its primary mission.

Pr. Charlton is correct by citing the reference in the Augsburg Confession.

DCharlton

#91
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 11:16:18 PM
If the only righteousness that counts is the one God gives us, why should we bother to try and live moral lives before others? Why strive for civil righteousness if it just doesn't matter to God? Has God abandoned the civil use of the law?

You have to make the distinction between the two kinds of righteousness.  The only kind of righteousness that counts coram deo is that given to us by God.  Political righteousness definitely counts coram mundo.  Article VI makes it clear that political righteousness is important, to the point of making the (somewhat puzzling) claim that good works are necessary.

The question that our social statements raise is the norm for determining what is actually a good work and of what political righteousness consists.    Is Scripture to be the norm, or do we look elsewhere?  Is there a distinction between the works commanded by God and "man made" works? 
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

readselerttoo

Quote from: DCharlton on November 24, 2017, 06:05:21 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 04:42:37 PM
Since the righteousness of faith was given to us in baptism and affirmed every week by God in Holy Communion, we might not have to say a lot about that in sermons. That gift of righteousness is already ours. A simple reminder each week along with receiving Christ's body and blood is probably sufficient. It's our relationship with other people that continues to be problematic.

Sometimes you outdo yourself. ???  If the righteousness of faith is such a given, then the office of Word and Sacrament is obsolete.  In fact the Church is obsolete.  The Church has to find something helpful to do to justify its existence. 

In fact, this is exactly what I believe is happening to the ELCA and Mainline Christianity in general.  We have either lost confidence in the Gospel or have decided the that preaching the Gospel is unnecessary.  We then frantically seek out a role that will justify the time and money dedicated to the organization and the salaries that depend on it.  Social services and political advocacy is now our raison d'etre.  I'm not even sure if this rises to the level of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.

I foresaw this in the 1980s.  And here we are.  Lord, have mercy on us.

readselerttoo

#93
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 11:34:34 PM
Quote from: George Rahn on November 24, 2017, 08:45:41 PM
Regarding Romans 3:31...

The law is still effective for sinners who will not hear or believe this new righteousness from God in the Gospel.  The law is upheld because we also remain sinners in this life.  The tension between the two can never be smoothed out by trying to level out the discrepancy through language tricks (see Karl Barth) nor through jettisoning one from the other in terms of validity.

In our Christian preaching the Gospel always has the last word, though.


I agree. The Gospel always has the last word. It is only the Gospel that brings salvation. Without it there is no new life for our hearers. However, this doesn't mean that the Word of God doesn't also come to us as Law. There is a place for preaching the Law (and the proper uses of it). It isn't the last word. It isn't the saving word. It may be the Word of God.

Careful.  Your Barthianism is showing:  "It may be the Word of God."

Matt Hummel

So to recap:

A news item is announced (in this instance the ELCA draft social statement). Charles insults those who refuse to make  obeisance to the obvious wisdom of ELCA. He then stomps off when someone speaks to him as he speaks to others. And Brian gets folks to follow down the rabbit hole of exegesis and confessional theology not related to the topic at hand. Yup, just another thread on ALPB. Is this an actual tactic to lead discussions away from the topic?
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

#95
The detours on this muddy road, Mr. Hummel, are by folks obsessed with attempting to challenge Pastor Stoffregen's exegesis, others who can't stand anything the ELCA does, people who have left and like to throw grenades back over the wall, and those sniping at the language gently used by this humble correspondent.
No one has to say, with appropriate passion: "Well, Brian is wrong again."
Those who have left can go and leave us alone.
And if you don't like my language, just don't read it. And don't waste time telling me you don't like it. Has that ever helped?
Now go ahead. Stick to the topic. But don't blame me if you take time to tell me - again - you don't like me.
I'll probably not even comment on the draft of the statement, at least not here.
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: Matt Hummel on November 25, 2017, 09:06:47 PM
And Brian gets folks to follow down the rabbit hole of exegesis and confessional theology not related to the topic at hand.

Actually, I think the discussion of political righteousness versus the righteousness of faith in very relevant to all of our Social Statements.  So is the question of what informs the exhortation to good works within the arena of political righteousness.  What concerns me most about the way the ELCA approaches social statement is the evident confusion regarding these traditional point of Lutheran doctrine. 
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

DCharlton

#97
Quote from: Charles Austin on November 25, 2017, 09:50:39 PM
The detours on this muddy road, Mr. Hummel, are by folks obsessed with attempting to challenge Pastor Stoffregen's exegesis...

What is wrong with challenging Pastor Stoffregen's exegesis or his theology?  He appears to be serious when he offers his views on theses matters.  I rather think he enjoys it when people take him seriously enough to disagree with him.  Furthermore, his views frequently express the prevailing opinion within the ELCA, for good or ill.  Why would debating the prevailing opinion within the ELCA be a detour?
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

readselerttoo

#98
Quote from: DCharlton on November 25, 2017, 10:12:11 PM
Quote from: Matt Hummel on November 25, 2017, 09:06:47 PM
And Brian gets folks to follow down the rabbit hole of exegesis and confessional theology not related to the topic at hand.

Actually, I think the discussion of political righteousness versus the righteousness of faith in very relevant to all of our Social Statements.  So is the question of what informs the exhortation to good works within the arena of political righteousness.  What concerns me most about the way the ELCA approaches social statement is the evident confusion regarding these traditional point of Lutheran doctrine.

Exactly, Pr. Charlton.  The ELCA confuses righteousness under God's Law (ie. political righteousness, as one form of expression of the law) and the righteousness of faith (ie. righteousness under the Gospel).  The institution (this church) seems to choose the former because it is relevant to the culture.  And yes, if the righteousness of faith were to become dominant again in the preaching, many clergy would lose reason for being...well, clergy, that is, defined by their peers under the heading of relevancy.  The confusion between the two is very necessary for to be addressed by this church (ELCA) and very soon.  There are many of us who recognize this danger and commit to overturning politically preoccupied theology of our current moment.  Many of us cannot find calls because our preaching sets teeth on edge as we try to untangle the mingling of law with gospel (and vice-versa).  It is time to wake from sleep, my friends.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: Pr. Don Kirchner on November 25, 2017, 10:14:25 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 10:36:09 PM
Quote from: Richard Johnson on November 24, 2017, 07:59:27 PM
Quote from: DCharlton on November 24, 2017, 06:05:21 PM


In fact, this is exactly what I believe is happening to the ELCA and Mainline Christianity in general.  We have either lost confidence in the Gospel or have decided the that preaching the Gospel is unnecessary. 

Agree. A couple of years after I graduated from Yale Divinity School and begun parish ministry, I bumped into Prof. Paul Holmer at an event. "Well, how are you?" he asked, with the customary twinkle in his eye. "Are you preaching the gospel, or have you found something better?"

Exactly. There's absolutely nothing we can do to improve the righteousness God has given us by grace through faith. There's nothing better than to remind people of what God did at their baptisms and what God is doing for us in Holy Communion. There's a whole lot we can do to improve the ways we show love to our neighbors and self.

How interesting, putting the best construction on things, to see Brian promoting the 3rd use of the law.


I consider it the first use of the law.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: DCharlton on November 25, 2017, 11:54:28 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 10:33:37 PM
Quote from: DCharlton on November 24, 2017, 06:05:21 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 04:42:37 PM
Since the righteousness of faith was given to us in baptism and affirmed every week by God in Holy Communion, we might not have to say a lot about that in sermons. That gift of righteousness is already ours. A simple reminder each week along with receiving Christ's body and blood is probably sufficient. It's our relationship with other people that continues to be problematic.

Sometimes you outdo yourself. ???  If the righteousness of faith is such a given, then the office of Word and Sacrament is obsolete.  In fact the Church is obsolete.  The Church has to find something helpful to do to justify its existence. 

In fact, this is exactly what I believe is happening to the ELCA and Mainline Christianity in general.  We have either lost confidence in the Gospel or have decided the that preaching the Gospel is unnecessary.  We then frantically seek out a role that will justify the time and money dedicated to the organization and the salaries that depend on it.  Social services and political advocacy is now our raison d'etre.  I'm not even sure if this rises to the level of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.

Are you saying that the righteousness by faith is not a given - that God didn't do it all at our baptisms?

What do you suggest that we do to get more righteousness by faith?

Article V seems to say that the righteousness of faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit, given where and when it pleases God, through the Word and the Sacraments.  The righteousness of faith is not a given.  In fact, apart from the Holy Spirit working through Word and Sacrament, the righteousness of faith would not be given at all. 

Only when Article V is forgotten or ignored is it possible for a church claiming the title Lutheran to think that preaching political righteousness is its primary mission.


Who said it's the primary mission? Isn't it worth asking: "Now that God has saved you by grace, what are you going to do?"
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: George Rahn on November 25, 2017, 11:59:41 AM
Yes, we should be moral people but our futile attempts at morality (see Kant vs. his critic Nietzsche) lead toward self-justification rather than living-for-others.


I disagree. I believe that Christians can be moral people for the sake of other people, and not for reasons of self-justification. We know that we are justified by God's grace. We know that our moral lives don't justify us so our attempts at morality can't be for reasons of self-justification. As I recall in a book on Lutheran ethics, we seek to live moral lives for the sake of other people.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: DCharlton on November 25, 2017, 12:23:15 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 11:16:18 PM
If the only righteousness that counts is the one God gives us, why should we bother to try and live moral lives before others? Why strive for civil righteousness if it just doesn't matter to God? Has God abandoned the civil use of the law?

You have to make the distinction between the two kinds of righteousness.  The only kind of righteousness that counts coram deo is that given to us by God. 


It matters a whole lot to me that my doctor makes right decisions about my health and medicines. It matters a whole lot to me that my bank does the right thing with my money. I believe that righteousness before others is very important to us living our lives in the midst of other people. We need them to do what is right.


What good is it for a youth worker who confesses and believes that God has made him righteous by faith when he sexually assaults a young girl? What good is it for a pastor who confesses and believes that God has made him righteous by faith when he embezzles money from the church? No matter how much they believe that God forgives all their sins through Jesus Christ, it won't keep them from destroying lives and spending time in prison. Righteousness before others certainly counts for something.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: George Rahn on November 25, 2017, 10:59:33 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 10:33:37 PM
Quote from: DCharlton on November 24, 2017, 06:05:21 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 04:42:37 PM
Since the righteousness of faith was given to us in baptism and affirmed every week by God in Holy Communion, we might not have to say a lot about that in sermons. That gift of righteousness is already ours. A simple reminder each week along with receiving Christ's body and blood is probably sufficient. It's our relationship with other people that continues to be problematic.

Sometimes you outdo yourself. ???  If the righteousness of faith is such a given, then the office of Word and Sacrament is obsolete.  In fact the Church is obsolete.  The Church has to find something helpful to do to justify its existence. 

In fact, this is exactly what I believe is happening to the ELCA and Mainline Christianity in general.  We have either lost confidence in the Gospel or have decided the that preaching the Gospel is unnecessary.  We then frantically seek out a role that will justify the time and money dedicated to the organization and the salaries that depend on it.  Social services and political advocacy is now our raison d'etre.  I'm not even sure if this rises to the level of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.


Are you saying that the righteousness by faith is not a given - that God didn't do it all at our baptisms?


What do you suggest that we do to get more righteousness by faith?


The preaching is also a public matter calling people of all types into faith.  There are others who are not so confident in their righteousness as you.  We need to hear what God has done in Christ to help us gain the confidence in Jesus.


Huh? My confidence is not in my righteousness. My confidence is in God. I'm confident that my righteousness won't measure up to what God demands, but I've also seen that being kind to other people: like feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, etc., makes a whole lot of difference in their lives. I also know that obeying the laws, e.g., driving the speed limit, creates a much less stressful life than speeding and watching out for law enforcement.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: George Rahn on November 25, 2017, 04:19:40 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 11:34:34 PM
Quote from: George Rahn on November 24, 2017, 08:45:41 PM
Regarding Romans 3:31...

The law is still effective for sinners who will not hear or believe this new righteousness from God in the Gospel.  The law is upheld because we also remain sinners in this life.  The tension between the two can never be smoothed out by trying to level out the discrepancy through language tricks (see Karl Barth) nor through jettisoning one from the other in terms of validity.

In our Christian preaching the Gospel always has the last word, though.


I agree. The Gospel always has the last word. It is only the Gospel that brings salvation. Without it there is no new life for our hearers. However, this doesn't mean that the Word of God doesn't also come to us as Law. There is a place for preaching the Law (and the proper uses of it). It isn't the last word. It isn't the saving word. It may be the Word of God.

Careful.  Your Barthianism is showing:  "It may be the Word of God."


As I stated before, preaching that obeying the law is a means of salvation is not the Word of God. If Barth agrees with me, then he's in good company.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

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