Things people want to say a about mobbing in the LCMS

Started by Rev. Edward Engelbrecht, May 07, 2020, 08:33:45 PM

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peter_speckhard

Quote from: John_Hannah on May 08, 2020, 04:11:36 PM
Quote from: jebutler on May 08, 2020, 02:46:32 PM
Quote from: John_Hannah on May 08, 2020, 01:31:01 PM
Our anxiety about Ed's claim is not really about the details, like, "Who was it?" or, "Why won't he name names?" The reality is that we know the Synod lacks unanimity on many non confessional issues and practices. We know that the "harmony" as it appears to many, especially in the dissenting ELCA, is only superficial at best. In order to make Missouri the way it used to be (1940s) would actually take a great deal of intimidation, bullying, and oh, "mobbing" on the part of someone or, more likely, some party. That is why the Koinonia Project failed.

Nonetheless, Alleluia! Christ is risen!  JOHN   :)

Who is "our" and who is this mysterious "we" of whom you speak? Obviously, you speak for yourself. Who else is included in "our" and "we"?

I do not know what "our" issue is. I can only speak to my own. My issue is not that the "Synod lack unanimity" on many issues and practices. (You may consider them to be "non confessional" others may hold a different view.) I have no idea what the Synod was like in the 1940s (although reading issues of _The American Lutheran_ and _The Confessional Lutheran_ when I was in seminary gave me the impression that it might not have been all that harmonious.)

For all of the fussing and fighting I've seen in papers, blogs, and internet discussions, I've always been able to discuss things amicably in person. (As for the "Koinonia Project" I think the failure was easy: no one had any idea that it was going on. The only thing I ever heard was that the Atlantic and Wyoming District pastors met. One guy from Wyoming told me he found the process very helpful and he gained a new appreciation for the challenges of the pastors in the AD.)

My issue is that Ed has made specific claims about a secret organization in the Synod. He states that this organization has a leader. But he allows the group to continue to work in secret. Indeed, he has stated that he made an agreement with them on this! An agreement, he tells us, that the organization has not kept.

But please, give us the names of those for whom you speak. Or simply admit that "our" and "we" really means this is just your opinion.

Then we in Missouri are in full harmony and unanimous agreement. There is then no need for mobbing and bullying. So no one was doing it. All good to know.   

Peace, JOHN
That comes close to responding to the opposite of what was said.

Donald_Kirchner

Quote from: peter_speckhard on May 08, 2020, 04:47:47 PM
Quote from: John_Hannah on May 08, 2020, 04:11:36 PM
Quote from: jebutler on May 08, 2020, 02:46:32 PM
Quote from: John_Hannah on May 08, 2020, 01:31:01 PM
Our anxiety about Ed's claim is not really about the details, like, "Who was it?" or, "Why won't he name names?" The reality is that we know the Synod lacks unanimity on many non confessional issues and practices. We know that the "harmony" as it appears to many, especially in the dissenting ELCA, is only superficial at best. In order to make Missouri the way it used to be (1940s) would actually take a great deal of intimidation, bullying, and oh, "mobbing" on the part of someone or, more likely, some party. That is why the Koinonia Project failed.

Nonetheless, Alleluia! Christ is risen!  JOHN   :)

Who is "our" and who is this mysterious "we" of whom you speak? Obviously, you speak for yourself. Who else is included in "our" and "we"?

I do not know what "our" issue is. I can only speak to my own. My issue is not that the "Synod lack unanimity" on many issues and practices. (You may consider them to be "non confessional" others may hold a different view.) I have no idea what the Synod was like in the 1940s (although reading issues of _The American Lutheran_ and _The Confessional Lutheran_ when I was in seminary gave me the impression that it might not have been all that harmonious.)

For all of the fussing and fighting I've seen in papers, blogs, and internet discussions, I've always been able to discuss things amicably in person. (As for the "Koinonia Project" I think the failure was easy: no one had any idea that it was going on. The only thing I ever heard was that the Atlantic and Wyoming District pastors met. One guy from Wyoming told me he found the process very helpful and he gained a new appreciation for the challenges of the pastors in the AD.)

My issue is that Ed has made specific claims about a secret organization in the Synod. He states that this organization has a leader. But he allows the group to continue to work in secret. Indeed, he has stated that he made an agreement with them on this! An agreement, he tells us, that the organization has not kept.

But please, give us the names of those for whom you speak. Or simply admit that "our" and "we" really means this is just your opinion.

Then we in Missouri are in full harmony and unanimous agreement. There is then no need for mobbing and bullying. So no one was doing it. All good to know.   

Peace, JOHN
That comes close to responding to the opposite of what was said.

Indeed. In our situation, given above, there has been no vindictiveness, no bullying, no "mobbing." They leave us alone, and we leave them alone. Oh, we've gotten calls, e.g., about the requirement for paying pastoral conference fees even if I don't attend. I simply message back that he should talk to the DP.  That ends it.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

D. Engebretson

I must live in a good district.  Serving as an elected officer on the presidium I suspect I would know if the leaders of my district were engaging in pressure activities of any sort, or being abusive in subtle or not-so-subtle ways.  I don't see any of that.  At least not from leadership in my area.  So maybe I should just stay put.  Sounds like a safer place to be.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Donald_Kirchner

#18
Oh, wait!!

A few years back, on another board, Paul McCain of CPH gave me a hard time about calling a Colt 1911 handgun a Colt 45, which is what my Dad always called it. (He carried one as an MP in occupied Japan post-surrender in WWII.)

Does that count as bullying or "mobbing"? I'm sure that if we'd been face-to-face and I called it a Colt 45 rather than a 1911, he would have rolled his eyes!
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

RDPreus

Montana is safe.  I've been here for 5 1/2 years and have seen no evidence of mobbing, politicking, backbiting, etc.  Maybe I'm just naïve.  Say, I wonder if so and so is talking about me behind my back.  What's he saying?  Hmmm. Grumble, grumble.  What a jerk!  Why does he say that about me?  I don't deserve it!  He's buddies with you know who and you know who has got some real problems, let me tell you! >:(

Donald_Kirchner

Quote from: RDPreus on May 08, 2020, 05:23:12 PM
Montana is safe.  I've been here for 5 1/2 years and have seen no evidence of mobbing, politicking, backbiting, etc.  Maybe I'm just naïve. Say, I wonder if so and so is talking about me behind my back.

We've heard otherwise, Rolf ...  ;D  ;D
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Nathan Rinne

All,

I think mobbing is bad. It might be what happens more and more though as heresy-hunting is outlawed.

Best take I heard on mobbing in the LC-MS, with all due respect to Dr. Engelbrecht (shared with permission from a friend):

"...I had heard that Engelbrecht had left CPH. The congregation he now serves "is an independent Lutheran congregation in fellowship with congregations of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the International Lutheran Council." This article would seem to explain what happened.

It would be better received, however, if he had not used the idea of the "The Machine," as if there were some sort of overarching plot or plan put in place to depose him. It seems to be simply a matter of cultural dynamics, discernable throughout history and across cultures: Through his research and publications, he became antithetical to the prevailing culture of which he was a part (i.e. the LCMS administration (i.e. the synod, seminary and publishing house), and so he was expelled.

Unfortunately, this article, written as it is, will only seem to justify that action."

+Nathan 

Jim Butler

#22
Quote from: John_Hannah on May 08, 2020, 04:11:36 PM
Quote from: jebutler on May 08, 2020, 02:46:32 PM
Quote from: John_Hannah on May 08, 2020, 01:31:01 PM
Our anxiety about Ed's claim is not really about the details, like, "Who was it?" or, "Why won't he name names?" The reality is that we know the Synod lacks unanimity on many non confessional issues and practices. We know that the "harmony" as it appears to many, especially in the dissenting ELCA, is only superficial at best. In order to make Missouri the way it used to be (1940s) would actually take a great deal of intimidation, bullying, and oh, "mobbing" on the part of someone or, more likely, some party. That is why the Koinonia Project failed.

Nonetheless, Alleluia! Christ is risen!  JOHN   :)

Who is "our" and who is this mysterious "we" of whom you speak? Obviously, you speak for yourself. Who else is included in "our" and "we"?

I do not know what "our" issue is. I can only speak to my own. My issue is not that the "Synod lack unanimity" on many issues and practices. (You may consider them to be "non confessional" others may hold a different view.) I have no idea what the Synod was like in the 1940s (although reading issues of _The American Lutheran_ and _The Confessional Lutheran_ when I was in seminary gave me the impression that it might not have been all that harmonious.)

For all of the fussing and fighting I've seen in papers, blogs, and internet discussions, I've always been able to discuss things amicably in person. (As for the "Koinonia Project" I think the failure was easy: no one had any idea that it was going on. The only thing I ever heard was that the Atlantic and Wyoming District pastors met. One guy from Wyoming told me he found the process very helpful and he gained a new appreciation for the challenges of the pastors in the AD.)

My issue is that Ed has made specific claims about a secret organization in the Synod. He states that this organization has a leader. But he allows the group to continue to work in secret. Indeed, he has stated that he made an agreement with them on this! An agreement, he tells us, that the organization has not kept.

But please, give us the names of those for whom you speak. Or simply admit that "our" and "we" really means this is just your opinion.

Then we in Missouri are in full harmony and unanimous agreement. There is then no need for mobbing and bullying. So no one was doing it. All good to know.   

Peace, JOHN

Again, who is this "we" of whom you speak? In the words of Indigo Montoya, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
"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

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your thoughts. Blessings as you prepare for worship this weekend.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

A brief comment after reading what others posted. I have recently received word from four different contacts: three within the synod, one here locally. The message is the same: I am serving a small congregation and the Machine wants me to move into a large congregation in the LCMS with more pay, etc. The complaint is that I'm not helping them by serving here in this independent congregation. They apparently think that, after eight years of mobbing, more mobbing will convince me to conform to their wishes.

I have made it clear that I do not wish to take a call. I'm content where I am serving. I was recommended to this call by two LCMS district presidents. I came here with the intent of doing inner city mission work until I retired, a fact I made clear when I arrived. I am, as always, a member in good standing of the synod who believes firmly in the doctrine and practice of the synod but does not wish to serve among angry people who are committed to mobbing as a way of controlling people in the church. As I wrote in the article, I believe mobbing is contrary to the doctrine and practice of the synod and represents a shift in the theology of leaders in the synod. There has been no official challenge to my service or standing in the synod since I wrote the article---a telling fact I think. If I was actually doing something contrary to the synod doctrine, practice, constitution, or bylaws, they would have cause to act against me but they have no such cause.

I have been praying for peace and reconciliation for eight years regarding these matters. I won't stop just because some people think it odd or objectionable. So I pray for God's peace in the synod today.

Steven W Bohler

Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 11, 2020, 11:49:18 AM
A brief comment after reading what others posted. I have recently received word from four different contacts: three within the synod, one here locally. The message is the same: I am serving a small congregation and the Machine wants me to move into a large congregation in the LCMS with more pay, etc. The complaint is that I'm not helping them by serving here in this independent congregation. They apparently think that, after eight years of mobbing, more mobbing will convince me to conform to their wishes.

I have made it clear that I do not wish to take a call. I'm content where I am serving. I was recommended to this call by two LCMS district presidents. I came here with the intent of doing inner city mission work until I retired, a fact I made clear when I arrived. I am, as always, a member in good standing of the synod who believes firmly in the doctrine and practice of the synod but does not wish to serve among angry people who are committed to mobbing as a way of controlling people in the church. As I wrote in the article, I believe mobbing is contrary to the doctrine and practice of the synod and represents a shift in the theology of leaders in the synod. There has been no official challenge to my service or standing in the synod since I wrote the article---a telling fact I think. If I was actually doing something contrary to the synod doctrine, practice, constitution, or bylaws, they would have cause to act against me but they have no such cause.

I have been praying for peace and reconciliation for eight years regarding these matters. I won't stop just because some people think it odd or objectionable. So I pray for God's peace in the synod today.

1.  So, the Machine hates and fears you so much that it wants you to move from a small independent congregation (which has no impact on the synod) to a large congregation within the synod, where you voice will be more widely heard?  Something there doesn't add up.

2. Perhaps nothing was "done" to you because a) you are not really all that important, in the big scheme of synod; b) there isn't a "Machine" to do it to you.

3. If you want peace and reconciliation, then perhaps you ought to apologize to those whom you have wrongly accused -- like gan ainm, or your former pastor, or some of the others that Rev. Morris referenced.

Donald_Kirchner

Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 11, 2020, 11:49:18 AM
A brief comment after reading what others posted. I have recently received word from four different contacts: three within the synod, one here locally. The message is the same: I am serving a small congregation and the Machine wants me to move into a large congregation in the LCMS with more pay, etc. The complaint is that I'm not helping them by serving here in this independent congregation. They apparently think that, after eight years of mobbing, more mobbing will convince me to conform to their wishes.

Wow! The Synodical Machine hated you so much that they mobbed you and drove you out, and continued to harass you. But that same Machine wants you back and in a greater capacity than you now have. Why? Because you are so darn good and important!

Just wow!
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

The point is that I don't think I merit the attention the Machine shows me. They have somehow concluded that I am either a threat or essential or both.

I think the Machine should take a closer look at Steven's and Don's service. They have twice the parish experience that I have. They are daily expressing their synod loyalty on this forum. (I'm happy serving outside the synod.) Don's even got a doctorate. Sincerely, the Machine should consider putting their names on a call list to a large congregation. God has given me plenty to do here in Columbus. I'm out of the way, and pretty quiet until the mobbing starts. I've done my time in St. Louis and don't need to go there again. They could give others a chance to show what they can do.

Sincerely, Pastor Ed

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