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God Made Trump

Started by John Mundinger, January 07, 2024, 05:13:59 PM

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John Mundinger

Quote from: Dave Benke on January 11, 2024, 01:42:01 PMCertainly Bill Lazareth (+), ELCA theologian of record, wrote extensively on the Civil Righteousness and its implications.  And (don't know if you caught this a few years ago on this site), James Madison stated that Luther's Two Kingdoms approach was of great importance in designing US Constitutional documents. This was contained in a letter written to the good folks at St. Matthew Lutheran in Manhattan NY.

Very interesting.  It also adds a dimension to the disconnect between the values that the founders proclaimed and the values they actually lived - Madison was a slave owner.  And, I'd suggest that disconnect, including the tendency to confuse freedom with selfishness, continues to taint our society today.

Quote from: Dave Benke on January 11, 2024, 01:42:01 PMThat being said, the lens through which some Lutherans address any social issue and the Two Realms is abortion, as a violation enabled or encouraged by the government in violation of the fifth commandment.  That comes under the umbrella of "love", because the "least of these" are never allowed breath.

I'd add LGBTQ issues to that list.  I can understand the link between the fifth commandment and abortion.  However, I cannot understand the connection between the law of love and intentionally denying the civil rights of any class of citizens.


Quote from: Dave Benke on January 11, 2024, 01:42:01 PMThat being said, the unfortunate lack of concern for other social issues as undertaken by the government/realm of the Left is in my opinion both shameful and harmful. 

I agree.  And I do not understand how folks - especially Lutheran Christians - are able to simply dismiss concern for other social issues as undertaken by the government as "Marxism".

Quote from: Dave Benke on January 11, 2024, 01:42:01 PMWe went through Luther's meaning of the fourth petition of the Lord's prayer last night in Brooklyn devotion:  Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.

The "us" is Christians corporately.  Under the concern for "good government" come the necessities of food and drink, clothing and housing "and the like."  The program called "Social Security" was (maybe on this board my opinion and not that of others) and remains an outgrowth of the petition for daily bread (think the bread lines in the Depression or Bread for the World).

Thank you for sharing this perspective.  I'd add the Luther's explanation of the fourth commandment as another standard that Lutheran's can agree informs civic engagement.

Quote from: Dave Benke on January 11, 2024, 01:42:01 PMAnyway, a more expansive role for citizens in helping to determine appropriate Realm of the Left programs and expenditures for "us" is also a good thing.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

John Mundinger

Quote from: RDPreus on January 11, 2024, 02:30:29 PMBiden supports same sex "marriage."  Roman Catholic teaching opposes it.

Biden supports granting same-sex couples the same rights that are enjoyed by heterosexual couples who have lawfully entered into a civil union.  As I have previously suggested, gay "marriage" would not be an issue if we honored church-state separation in the matter, i.e. the state should get out of the marriage business and the church should get out of the civil union business.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

John Mundinger

Quote from: MaddogLutheran on January 11, 2024, 02:31:28 PMI have told you repeatedly, your "law of love" is illegitimate and you conflate the Two Kingdoms.  So have others, yet you insist that yours is the proper Lutheran understanding.

I'd refer you to Dr. Benke's post, above.  He has a better understanding of Lutheran theology than either you or I.

Quote from: MaddogLutheran on January 11, 2024, 02:31:28 PMI will say it again:  the reality of the Left Hand Kingdom does not allow for a single correct Lutheran response or action.

I have suggested that we should be able to agree that the Lutheran understanding of God's Two Kingdoms ought to inform how Lutheran Christians engage civil society.  I have not said nor have I implied that the Lutheran understanding of God's Two Kingdoms dictates a specific outcome. 

Quote from: MaddogLutheran on January 11, 2024, 02:31:28 PMYou keep insisting that your "law of love" requires what you think is right politically in the civic arena, and you judge anyone deficient according to the Right Hand who believes otherwise.

I have not so insisted and I have not so judged.  You are arguing with your own misunderstanding of what I have actually said.

Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

John Mundinger

Quote from: DCharlton on January 11, 2024, 02:51:32 PMTo quote a certain university president, "It depends on the context." 

Yes, but she was not the president of a Lutheran seminary. ;)


Quote from: DCharlton on January 11, 2024, 02:51:32 PMThat's easy.  I was taught Marxism when in attended Trinity Lutheran Seminary from 1988 to 1992.  Marxism was incorporated into Liberation, Feminist, and Black Theology in many of the textbooks.  Many of my classmates not only thought Marxism and Christianity compatible, they thought they should be combined.  Several believed in violent Marxist revolution.  In spite of fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Marxism has seen a resurgence in theology, and provides the framework for many current theologies.   I don't conflate liberal, progressive, socialist and Marxist.  I am specifically speaking about theologies that utilize Marxist principles and premises.

Thanks for the example. 
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

Richard Johnson

Quote from: John Mundinger on January 11, 2024, 10:24:15 AMI also note that, except for abortion, there are no obvious inconsistencies between Biden's policies and Catholic Social Teaching.


Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did  you enjoy the play?
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

JEdwards

#155
Quote from: John Mundinger on January 11, 2024, 02:15:44 PMI have just suggested that the Lutheran understanding of Two Kingdoms and the commandment to love the neighbor ought to inform how Lutheran Christians engage civil society.
I suspect there is universal agreement on that point.  The challenge is that it can be very difficult to ascertain the extent to which, for example, the commandment to love the neighbor "informs" the civic engagement of someone you don't know.  In the first place, we are not commanded to love "the" neighbor; we are commanded to love all our neighbors, who may have conflicting needs.  Many of our political disputes involve balancing needs that are in tension.  To take some random examples, money spent on treating opiate addiction is money not spent on refugee resettlement.  Money spent on refugee resettlement is money not spent on improving community policing.  Money spent on all of these things might mean a higher debt load for the next generation.  Higher interest rates are good news for retirees dependent on income from certificates of deposit, but bad news for young families hoping to buy a house.  There are few, if any, political issues where the commandment to love the neighbor produces a self-evident answer, so it is nearly impossible to determine, and usually offensive to suggest, that a specific individual's engagement with civil society is not "informed" by love of neighbor.

Peace,
Jon

John Mundinger

Quote from: JEdwards on January 11, 2024, 03:45:55 PMI suspect there is universal agreement on that point. 

I'd like to think so. But, thus far, I don't think you can arrive at that conclusion from the conversation thus far.

Quote from: JEdwards on January 11, 2024, 03:45:55 PMIn the first place, we are not commanded to love "the" neighbor; we are commanded to love all our neighbors, who may have conflicting needs.  Many of our political disputes involve balancing needs that are in tension.

I'd suggest that, when considering ALL of our neighbors, they have many more conflicting selfish desires than conflicting legitimate needs.  We live in a society that describes itself as believing that ALL persons are equal; that ALL persons have the right to live, liberty and happiness.  Yet, most of our political disputes are about who has the "right" to compromise the rights of everybody else.

Quote from: JEdwards on January 11, 2024, 03:45:55 PMTo take some random examples, money spent on treating opiate addiction is money not spent on refugee resettlement.  Money spent on refugee resettlement is money not spent on improving community policing.

To be honest, I can think of few difficult political issues that have been framed in such terms.  More often, the conversation is framed by demonizing those with opiate addictions, refugees, etc.; blaming those folks for their situation; and, insisting that we have no obligation to help misfits, welfare queens, etc.

Quote from: JEdwards on January 11, 2024, 03:45:55 PMMoney spent on all of these things might mean a higher debt load for the next generation.

Yet, we don't think twice about increasing the debt load for the next generation with tax cuts for the current generation.

Quote from: JEdwards on January 11, 2024, 03:45:55 PMThere are few, if any, political issues where the commandment to love the neighbor produces a self-evident answer, so it is nearly impossible to determine, and usually offensive to suggest, that a specific individual's engagement with civil society is not "informed" by love of neighbor.

I'd agree that the commandment to love the neighbor does not often produce self-evident answers.  That, however, is no excuse for refusing to aspire to that outcome.  On the otherhand, I think it is pretty easy to see answers that obviously are inconsistent with the commandment to love the neighbor.  And, please note my prior comments.  I did not accuse anyone on failing to engage civil society based on the commandment to love the neighbor.  Rather, I referenced policies that were not consistent with the commandment to love the neighbor.


Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

aletheist

Quote from: John Mundinger on January 11, 2024, 04:48:04 PMWe live in a society that describes itself as believing that ALL persons are equal; that ALL persons have the right to live, liberty and happiness.
No, what the Declaration of Independence affirms as a self-evident truth is that all humans are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights that include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which in that context is not a positive emotional state but genuine human flourishing (eudaimonia).

Quote from: John Mundinger on January 11, 2024, 04:48:04 PMRather, I referenced policies that were not consistent with the commandment to love the neighbor.
You referenced policies that you deem to be inconsistent with the commandment to love the neighbor. Others have a different opinion about those policies. As JEdwards already pointed out, tradeoffs are unavoidable in politics.
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)

JEdwards

Quote from: John Mundinger on January 11, 2024, 04:48:04 PMYet, we don't think twice about increasing the debt load for the next generation with tax cuts for the current generation.
Sorry to hear that you don't think twice about increasing the debt load for the next generation by cutting taxes for the current generation. That's a policy that causes me concern.

Peace,
Jon

John Mundinger

Quote from: aletheist on January 11, 2024, 05:32:27 PMNo, what the Declaration of Independence affirms as a self-evident truth is that all humans are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights that include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which in that context is not a positive emotional state but genuine human flourishing (eudaimonia).

Correct.  I misquoted.  But, note that the folks who crafted that language pursued their own happiness by denying others the opportunity to pursue happiness.  And, in our society, that characteristic of our founding continues.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

John Mundinger

Quote from: JEdwards on January 11, 2024, 06:53:44 PMSorry to hear that you don't think twice about increasing the debt load for the next generation by cutting taxes for the current generation. That's a policy that causes me concern.

It's a policy that causes me concern, too.

It also causes me concern that you focused on that sentence and ignored the rest of my reply to you.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

JEdwards

Quote from: John Mundinger on January 11, 2024, 06:57:55 PM
Quote from: JEdwards on January 11, 2024, 06:53:44 PMSorry to hear that you don't think twice about increasing the debt load for the next generation by cutting taxes for the current generation. That's a policy that causes me concern.

It's a policy that causes me concern, too.

It also causes me concern that you focused on that sentence and ignored the rest of my reply to you.
Perhaps you should use a pronoun other than "we" if you exempt yourself from the criticism that follows.
Peace,
Jon

DCharlton

#162
Quote from: John Mundinger on January 11, 2024, 02:54:56 PMI agree.  And I do not understand how folks - especially Lutheran Christians - are able to simply dismiss concern for other social issues as undertaken by the government as "Marxism".

I hope the answer that I gave you just after you wrote this disabused you of the notion that I "dismiss other social issues as undertaken by the government as 'Marxism'"  Speaking for myself, I do not consider Liberalism1, Liberalism2, Liberalism3, socialism, or progressivism to be Marxism.  Marxism is a very specific thing, and I have studied it enough to know what it is. 

I usually reserve the term Marxist for ideas that have a genetic connection with Marxism.  One characteristic of Marxism is the belief that all relationships are reducible to that of oppressor/oppressed.  Another is that all existing traditions and culture are nothing but ideologies that perpetuate power.  A third is that progress can only happen through revolutionary change to culture, social structures, government, family structure, etc...  One of the most pernicious aspects of 21st Century Marxist thought is the notion that a person is reducible to the class to which they belong.  A person is reducible to race, sex, gender, culture, and other characteristics.  Another is the belief that only those who subscribe to various theories of race, sex, gender, and culture should be allowed to hold power.  A third is that neo-Marxist theories are not falsifiable.  Whenever an expected outcome fails to appear, it is taken as proof that an invisible conspiracy has caused the failure.

Liberalism in all its forms is the antithesis of Marxism. 
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Robert Johnson

Quote from: John Mundinger on January 09, 2024, 11:45:19 AMIgnoring Donald Trump and the implications of a second Trump presidency would be irresponsible citizenship.

That said, discussing politics in this forum provides insight to how it was that the Reichstagkirche was populated by Lutherans.

It is posts like this that put you on my ignore list. I randomly tuned in on this one, and it's clear you are no better.

John Mundinger

Quote from: JEdwards on January 11, 2024, 07:20:28 PMPerhaps you should use a pronoun other than "we" if you exempt yourself from the criticism that follows.

Except that I intentionally used we because greed is an American value and WE are all Americans.  That includes me.

I'm still interested in your thoughts on the rest of what I had to say in response to your earlier post.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

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