The Glory Has Departed


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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

More Hilarity from SpenerQuest - The Gang Who Can't Think Straight.
Pondering How Lutherans Could Fall So Far into Justification by Faith

Luther - how could you? Changing from Roman monk
to Biblical Christian!




Simon Reynolds (Simon)
Member
Username: Simon

Post Number: 175
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, November 02, 2015 - 6:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

How odd that these individuals who make up the anti-objective justification clique once sat in the same seminary classrooms, heard the same lectures, and read and studied the same Scriptures and confessional writings as their former colleagues, and yet never raised any objection to the teaching of objective justification at that point in time. Surely they had an obligation to voice any concerns they might have had before accepting a call to be a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus. [GJ - Some people continue to study and grow, unlike the LQ denizens, who keep repeating their seminary dogmatic notes.] So what happened? I suspect that an unhealthy, loveless suspicion of the orthodoxy of their brethren, like a creeping rot, set in. This may have been fueled by some unwise, overreaching expressions of objective and by individuals who have unwisely uncoupled objective justification from subjective justification. In the wake of suspicion I suspect that gradually the spirit of arrogance gain a foothold. Is there anything more poisonous than arrogance? Is there any apple on which a person is more likely to choke than the notion that I know more than you do? [GJ - We should all study "love" from the UOJists! I read LQ for laughs, as poorly educated Universalists glory in their superiority. The typical layman in any denomination knows Christian doctrine better than these blokes.]

All of this is mere speculation. Perhaps speculating on the “why” of this issue isn’t a particularly helpful undertaking. It could be that the exact cause(s) of this abandonment of the teaching of objective justification lie hidden with God.
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Rick Strickert (Carlvehse)
Senior Member
Username: Carlvehse

Post Number: 5965
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, November 02, 2015 - 7:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

Simon Reyonlds: Surely they had an obligation to voice any concerns they might have had before accepting a call to be a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus. So what happened?

This question also gets asked whenever an ordained member of the Missouri Synod swims the Tiber or Bosporus.

Another question is: How does the seminary interview and evaluate students to determine if a student has Lufauxran doctrinal views that he is trying to conceal?

For example, some levels of government security clearances include undergoing a polygraph test. Have seminaries ever done polygraphs on 4th year seminarians?
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Pastor Rolf David Preus (Rolf)
Senior Member
Username: Rolf

Post Number: 8530
Registered: 5-2001
Posted on Tuesday, November 03, 2015 - 9:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

It is possible that men graduate from the seminary without seriously considering everything they are taught and then, after graduation, are confronted with theological issues they treated lightly while at the seminary. They fall under the good or bad influence of other pastors. The fellow who heads up ELDoNA is a strong personality, quite bright, and persuasive. ELDoNA has a sectarian type of atmosphere about it wherein one finds it difficult to dissent from the tribal consensus. [GJ - LQ is a conclave of mini-popes, stomping their crosiers and yelling Anathema sit! Anathema sit! Anathema sit! The Spenerites agree with the divines of the Council of Trent, because they also condemn justification by faith. Therefore, LCMS seminarians are trained to become Roman Catholic priests.]

How to explain the defection from the truth on the part of the pastors of ELDoNA? It is extremely difficult to take a stand against the only truly trustworthy and orthodox men in the world. The tribal character of these more orthodox than thou groups ensures that when an error captures the leadership it will soon infect the whole membership.
[GJ - Irony abounds. Missouri began as a sex cult led by a syphilitic bishop who demanded total obedience from CFW Walther and Company - and got it - until the clap broke out among the young women and Walther got his chance to lead a riot, steal the bishop's land and gold, and take over. Missouri's current UOJ is Stephan's UOJ.]

Pastor Rolf David Preus
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Erich Heidenreich, DDS (Erich)
Senior Member
Username: Erich

Post Number: 1280
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 03, 2015 - 11:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

This is true. However, in some cases, these tribal errors do cause further division of the group into even smaller tribes, or cause a lone dissenting congregation to simply become independent.

I also see some of the same tribal effect you are talking about happening in the larger synods. This tribal mentality is not limited to micro-synods, though it is perhaps stronger and also easier to recognize in these small groups.

Still, this tribalism even happens among the smaller cliques and groups within the LCMS. In the LCMS, open dissent from the "official" teaching of synod is tolerated. This is well and good for those who hold proper orthodox positions not reflected in official synod teaching. However, it forms small groups that police their own pet doctrinal positions in much the same way these micro-synods do, even if the groups are more loosely defined than actual micro-synods are, because they still have fellowship with those they believe are in error.
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Erich Heidenreich, DDS (Erich)
Senior Member
Username: Erich

Post Number: 1281
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 03, 2015 - 11:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

I would be interested in hearing what you believe the differences are between the ministry issue that happened in the ELS and the OJ issue that happened in ELDNoA. Is it necessarily true that dissent in ELDNoA was more difficult because of its size, or simply less likely? Even so, was not the leadership in the ELS just as big of a bully, and perhaps even harder to resist for some because of the larger numbers who fell into ranks behind the leadership? [GJ - Holy Father Rolf, please explain some things for us.]
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Pastor Rolf David Preus (Rolf)
Senior Member
Username: Rolf

Post Number: 8531
Registered: 5-2001
Posted on Tuesday, November 03, 2015 - 1:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

You raise some interesting questions, Erich. There is a tribal aspect to the various cliques one finds in the Missouri Synod, but it is also possible to be partly in and partly out of a particular tribe, and to move from one tribe to another. In the smaller synods, the synod is the tribe. There will be dissent and quarrelling to a degree, but when the group speaks as a group you line up behind them or you leave. Not so in the LCMS. In the LCMS you fight on.

I don’t know the men of the ELDoNA well enough to know if any of them have reservations about ELDoNA’s attack on objective justification. I recall vividly how a significant portion of the ELS that had rejected the WELSian position for years, quickly fell in line behind it after it became clear that the ELS would adopt it. When I publicly took issue with it after it became official I broke a cardinal rule: I publicly displayed disloyalty to the tribe. From ELS President John Moldstad, Jr.'s perspective, he had no choice but to exclude me, due process be damned. The integrity of the “orthodox synod” will be compromised if an articulate opponent of the official stance can remain within the tribe. I’m pretty sure it's the same with the ELDoNA.

In the Missouri Synod we have no tribal consensus. We are stuck with an unresponsive bureaucracy in which due process becomes a barrier to doctrinal discipline. But consider the Becker case. Terry Forke prevailed and Becker is gone. Stick-to-itiveness sometimes works in the long run. In the tribal system, due process is given at most lip-service. Defenders of the integrity of the tribe generally view it with suspicion and distrust.
Pastor Rolf David Preus