Therefore Jerome and Erasmus do Paul an injustice when they take the words “to his face” to mean “only according to the outward appearance”; they maintain that Paul did not oppose Peter sincerely, but that he did so with complaisant pretense, since others would have been offended if he had remained completely silent. But “to his face” means “in his presence”; for he opposed Peter openly, not in a corner but in the very presence of Peter and with the entire church standing by. When he says, “to his face,” this is aimed especially against those poisonous spirits who slander those who are absent but do not dare open their mouths in the presence of these people. That is what the false apostles did; he touches them obliquely here, because they did not dare slander him in his presence; they did so only in his absence. “I did not,” he says, “speak evil of Peter in the way; but I opposed him candidly and openly, not because of any pretense, ambition, or other human affection or mental disease, but because he himself was deserving of attack.”
We three priests of stealth-mode EO,
Lacking gifts we borrow them so
Chalice, patten, Greek, not Latin,
Bishops will save our soul.
O-o Orthodoxy, floats our boat
Orthodoxy gets your goat
Eastward leaning, incense steaming
Using Luther to misquote.
I was advised by someone that Pastor Berg would never join Eastern Orthodoxy, because Berg said so. Nevertheless, Berg is obsessed with infant communion, so much that he just released his thoughts on the topic, that the Lutheran Reformation had no problems with it. The same argument from silence could prove anything.
I just want to list some of the tidbits I have been noticing on the Internet:
Here is the Crypto-Eldona Conference agenda from August, 2007 -
The Second Annual Theological Conference and Plenary Session of The Augustana Ministerium will be held August 30-31, 2007 hosted by Charity Lutheran Church, Burleson, TX and her pastor, the Rev. Dr. Kent Heimbigner.
A stimulating and timely theological agenda, open to all—pastors and laity—is being planned that will address two important areas that need discussion and clarification in our midst. The first is to put Eastern Orthodoxy into focus vis-à-vis Confessional Lutheranism. These will include: EO vs. confessional Lutheranism on Original Sin, Pr. John Rutowicz, facilitator; on Justification, Pr. David Juhl, facilitator; on Sanctification/Theosis, and how they relate to God’s plan of salvation, Pr. Gary Gehlbach, facilitator. The second major area is Sanctification, and topics will include: “Sanctification: What is it? What causes it? What are its consequences?” Dr. Steven Hein, facilitator, and “Modes of Communication in the Ministry of the Gospel,” Pr. Robert Schaibley, facilitator.
Gary Gehlbach was a source for Berg's infant communion essay. Do they realize people know how to blog?
Here is an interesting exchange on Cyberstones:
Mar 30, 2007 14:32:44 Re: Infant Communion - Gary Gehlbach
Fr. Weedon, thank you for your well-reasoned comments. You said it much better than I could.
Mar 30, 2007 18:53:42 Re: Infant Communion - weedon
What I presented was nothing but a condensation of the arguments you have assembled and helpfully presented for all to read. For that the Church owes you a debt of gratitude indeed.
Gehlbach's blog is Lutheran Enigma.
- Eastern Orthodoxy is heavily promoted by Concordia Seminary, Ft. Wayne. The seminary trains LCMS pastors who turn EO when they graduate.
- Heiser's first breakaway group had problems when a pastor favoring infant communion was invited to join.
- Gary Gehlbach is an officer in the so-called Augustana Ministerium, which is clearly designed to lead people into ELDONA.
- Gehlbach is clearly teaching Berg and others to advocate infant communion. Notice the smart-alecky discussion about this on Cyberstones.
- The crypto-ELDONA conference description lacks any suggestion that Eastern Orhtodoxy might contain heresy. The ambiguous wording allows someone to conclude it is a critical look at EO or it is a fawning promotion of EO. Krauth wrote: "Error loves amibiguity."
Brian P Westgate has left a new comment on your post "Eastern Orthodoxy Connections:Infant Communion":
I think ELDONA has come out against infant communion. I do think you meant to say that, it just didn't come out quite as clear as it could have.
As for Fr. Berg, he's not obsessed with infant communion. That article was probably written due to Fr. Frey's article on it.
Your parody is funny, but way off, as Fr. Rutowicz and others have been trying to tell you. There is nothing wrong with incense, and nothing wrong with bishops, as you know.
I hear you Brian, but I have to judge the words, not the intentions. Until recently, Eastern Orthodoxy was not even on the Lutheran map. Now there is a conference on EO for Crypto-ELDONA, plus the many other things going on. I think it is a mistake to call it sacerdotalism, as some have. That term is too vague and sounds like high church or high church-in-overdrive. This new trend, a tidal wave coming from Ft. Wayne and ELCA, is an embrace of Eastern Orthodoxy.
Some things are harmless by themselves but the new fanatics make me wonder about the necessity of using them: the title father, the title bishop, the incense, the fancy threads. There is no clear Eastern Orthodoxy confession of faith. It is amorphous. Nevertheless, Eastern Orthodoxy is the closest thing to Roman Catholicism. They have the same relationship to Rome that the Little Sect on the Prairie has with WELS, resentful and obedient at the same time.
Most alarming is the way this is paralleling the Church Growth infection. First there were some little suggestions, panel discussions, open wondering if CG would help Lutherans. Gradually they came out of the Fuller/Willow Creek closet. Now they operate out of the Love Shack, the Purple Palace, and the Seminary Built on a Bluff.
My parody is funny because it is right on target. Anyone who links an ecumenical/Marian monastery as "Confessional Lutheran" is Neuhausian in strategy. I recall Neuhaus calling himself a Confessional Lutheran until he became a priest. His buddies who joined Rome were also labeled Confessional Lutheran until they poped.
I have a better term for the Fuller/Willow Creek boys and the future papists/EO monks: Recessional Lutherans. They are backing away from Luther's doctrine as slyly as they can. One wit called it sinuflecting toward Rome.