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One Thing

Started by PrTim15, May 28, 2021, 01:27:26 PM

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PrTim15

If the LCMS were to look into the big wide world and say, "We are going to do one thing well and be the best in North American Christianity." What would that be? Orthodox have us on liturgy. Elementary Education and Early Childhood come to mind. What do you think? Could clarify and unite as well as use our resources in collaboration.

aletheist

Rightly preach and teach the Word, both Law and Gospel, and rightly administer the Sacraments. Everything else is secondary.
Jon Alan Schmidt, LCMS Layman

"We believe, teach and confess that by conserving the distinction between Law and Gospel as an especially glorious light
with great diligence in the Church, the Word of God is rightly divided according to the admonition of St. Paul." (FC Ep V.2)

peter_speckhard

I think elementary Christian education would once have been the main thing, but these are tough times on that front. I don't know that we could lay claim to doing one thing (or even anything) really well. Rather, whatever we do, however well or poorly, we do Christocentrically.

Dave Likeness

Lutheran Elementary Schools and High Schools are still important despite the high cost.
When LCMS congregations can offer high quality Christ-centered education it makes
a statement that we want to impact the lives of our children.  When 4 or 5 parishes
can financially support an elementary school and 15 to 20 parishes can support a high
school it can be a blessing to those communities.

Mark Brown

I wish it was the case, I honestly think we can be closer than most places, but this review I think gets at what Lutherans should be the best at.  Preaching the word and administering the sacraments. (Which unfortunately isn't always rewarded the way we would hope.)

https://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/no-faith-in-faith-protestant-theology/

Of course I found that article through the Episcopal Psuedo-Lutheran Mockingbird, and the author himself talking about Luther jumps to Rome and Byzantium to offer faith back to Protestants.  Such an American thing, we just don't exist. And of course we participate in not existing.

John_Hannah

It seems to me that if we are to identify the one thing it would be creeds, confessions, or symbols. That is the constant through our Lutheran history, although at times allegiance was dimmed. These connect us to the Church before Luther and the Church after Luther although split into differing confessions. All else, education, liturgy of word and sacrament, citizenship, etc. stems from our core beliefs as expressed in our creeds, The Small Catechism and Augsburg Confession are primary, the catechism being primary to everyday life and faith for Lutheran people.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Brian Stoffregen

There is likely a difference between what we (the insiders) consider the one important thing about our denomination (or congregation) and what outsides see about us.


I recall a congregation raving about how good their choir was. I had worked as a paid accompanist for a high school. Their choir director had a Ph.D. in voice. Should their choir be rated by the criteria used in high school competitions, they would not be scored well. When a church choir is invited to sing at public events, or on a late night TV show, or as a back up choir to a well-known professional singer; then they can claim to be great.


While we might think that creeds, confessions, and symbols are important (and they are to us); and that preaching the Gospel and rightly administering the sacraments are at the core of who we are (and they are); when we ask people in our communities, "What do you know about __________ Lutheran Church, I doubt that those would be the answers - if they even had an answer or knew anything about the congregation.


Perhaps if we acted like people who were drunk at 9:00 am, we might be able to start converting thousands like the disciples did on Pentecost. (That had nothing to do with creeds, confessions, or symbols.)
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

I think Brian was making a good point right up to the last paragraph, which I don't understand.

Emmanuel is known in our neighborhood for caring about and offering blessings to neighborhood children. Whether we are best at that, I cannot say. The other thing would be a beautiful campus with architecture that convinces many we are Roman Catholic, except the Roman Catholics, who know better.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on May 28, 2021, 08:09:27 PM
I think Brian was making a good point right up to the last paragraph, which I don't understand.


1. There was an excitement among the Spirit-filled believers that was obvious to outsiders - even if they misunderstood the source of it.


2. As it says later in 4:31
καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν  ἅπαντες  τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος,
καὶ ἐλάλουν τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ μετὰ παρρησίας.


and they were filled, everyone with the Holy Spirit,
and they were speaking the word of God with boldness/confidence/courage/fearlessness (in public)


If our people were proclaiming in the public so fearlessly as those first believers did, it's likely outsiders would have opinions about our congregations. (I also recognize that many of those first believers were also persecuted for their faith.)
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Dave Benke

In the great(est?) early Christian mission outreach centuries, the late first, second and third centuries, what people invariably were drawn to was this simple sentence:
"See how they love another."  The world turned upside down as folks understood the dynamic Source and Center of that love. 

That was the so-called "pre-Christian" era.  How about trying that in the so-called "post-Christian" era?

We're having a go at it in Brooklyn.

Dave Benke

It's OK to Pray

PrTim15

Widows and orphans? What would be rallying point for LCMS and that it would make difference in our communities like early church?

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: PrTim15 on May 28, 2021, 10:39:50 PM
Widows and orphans? What would be rallying point for LCMS and that it would make difference in our communities like early church?


The Hebrew scriptures usually adds "immigrants" to "widows and orphans" as people for whom there should be special concern.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

PrTim15

Now that would fly against some of our politics.

Steven W Bohler

Quote from: PrTim15 on May 29, 2021, 09:09:20 AM
Now that would fly against some of our politics.

Not if the immigrants were here legally.

PrTim15

That's true...appreciate clarification, our congregation is working in county foster care...works for us and those we serve...we do have two synods.

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