Would Lutherans (ELCA ones) Ordain Bruce Jenner?

Notice which Lutherans the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are talking to ecumenically — the ones in fellowship with the Lesbyterians — namely the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. But the hangup to full communion is not the doctrine of justification by faith alone but — what Allen Iverson was not talking about — practice. That is, the practice of male ordination:

Asked at the news conference what was the most difficult issue that continued to divide Lutherans and Catholics, Bishop Madden cited women’s ordination as “one of those issues that we are still discussing.”

The Lutherans have been ordaining women since 1970; the Catholic Church teaches it has no authority “to confer priestly ordination on women.”

Bishop Eaton said Lutherans still had difficulty with the Catholic understanding of “the role of the bishop of Rome” and the issue of papal infallibility.

“We are really sorry for some of the things (Martin) Luther said about (the pope) back in the day,” she said, adding that there have been “terrible misunderstandings and, on our part, unfortunate caricatures” surrounding the issue.

“But we really like this one (Pope Francis) a lot,” Bishop Eaton said.

Kathryn Johnson, ELCA director for ecumenical and interreligious relations, said the declaration marked the beginning of “a totally different world of relationship and hopefulness” between Catholics and Lutherans.

The Rev. John Crossin, executive director of the USCCB Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, said he had been approached by an Anglican colleague about doing a similar document that looks at remaining issues dividing the two communions.

The declaration “is already starting to have a little ripple effect,” he said.

But if you could find pastors who had switched genders, would that satisfy both liberal Lutherans and American Roman Catholics?

Hard to say, but the affinities between Roman Catholics and Protestant modernists keep being hard to miss.

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99 thoughts on “Would Lutherans (ELCA ones) Ordain Bruce Jenner?

  1. It is fascinating, isn’t it, that the churches that are most likely to pursue ecumenical relations with Rome and come out of historically Protestant communions are invariably mainline, liberal denominations. If Rome is all about having a principled means to discern dogma, one would really wonder why this is the case. I mean, some of these denominations have ordained unabashed atheists. This isn’t a problem, but a female pastor who might otherwise be orthodox is?

    Not that I’m endorsing female ordination, but it just seems, well, odd that theism is negotiable but the all-male priesthood isn’t.

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  2. Robert, which is what makes breathless accusations of the CRC as “apostate” for being egalitarian wonky. If strict male ordination goes to the vitals of religion, then doesn’t that set Rome one big step toward orthodoxy? Misguided, sure. Apostate? Get over yaself.

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  3. zrim – Calling the CRC apostate solely based on ordination of women is probably overblown. But I would hasten to add that the history of denominations that have decided to ordain women is unhappy at best. That one decision speaks volumes about their standards, commitments, and trajectory.

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  4. @Robert
    “Not that I’m endorsing female ordination, but it just seems, well, odd that theism is negotiable but the all-male priesthood isn’t.”

    But on paper they are still formally theist, and it seems that’s all that matters. Lack of discipline is just an unfortunate oversight…it doesn’t bear on doctrine.

    I was reading about Christian atheism, and was shocked to learn that only about half of the PKN members and a quarter of RCs consider themselves theists. I wonder if the numbers among the clergy are as striking…

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  5. Pubs, hence the “misguided.” I wouldn’t have left after many grateful years had I not thought so. But the hinge is actually worldview, which means that those denoms that resist egalitarianism but embrace worldview aren’t as nearly out of the woods as they might imagine.

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  6. While the ELCA’s potential actions here are speculative, your infallible OPC has ordained Rev. Kevin Swanson, the prominent Colorado pastor who has demanded the execution of LGBTQ people. Apparently, the OPC endorses these views? After all, I’m not aware that Swanson has faced discipline for making these comments.

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  7. Here’s a choice quote to quibble over from his church.

    “We lament that the church and the family have been marginalized, slowly replaced by the state over the last 150 years.”

    As much as I agree with him, I wonder if it’s binding the conscience on the believer at implying that libertarianism is the best thing for Christians.

    I (unfortunately 😉 ) know many good Christians that like Bernie Sanders. I think they’re wrong, but hey, what can you do eh?

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  8. Bobby, it’s only five days from Swanson’s event. How many years is it from Kaseman’s refusal to affirm the deity of Christ? 35?

    But of course the OPC is just a version of Gospel Coalition.

    Or next, it will be the OPC as Joel Osteenism.

    Really Bobby, your envy of the OPC is curious.

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  9. “But the hinge is actually worldview, which means that those denoms that resist egalitarianism but embrace worldview aren’t as nearly out of the woods as they might imagine.”

    Good point, Z. If anyone (anyone) can’t see that the trajectories of the SBC, TGC, and PCA track nearly perfectly with early 20th-century liberalism I can’t help them — “New Calvinism” notwithstanding. Most of those who separated from the mainlines and the SBC (which was on its way to becoming mainline) have not completely killed the liberal-cultural impulse. And the children of fundamentalism and the neo-evangelicals have actually bought into most of liberalism’s key emphases in the last 20 years. I blame U2.

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  10. And why are even the crickets of the Tiberian swamps silent on this thread? Aren’t they going to tout this blessed ecumenism of snuggling with the libs as a good thing?

    THUNK! THUNK!

    Is this thing on?

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  11. Z & CW – Yes. Agreed. Both TGC and the SBC are good examples – they strongly resist ordaining women (good for them) but chase after so many other cultural imperatives that they are headed to the same destination. Is there any news item on which the SBERLC (Russell Moore) does not opine?

    And yes, U2 is mostly to blame. But we can’t overlook the snare that is skinny jeans.

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  12. I thought Obama was the default scapegoat? Be gone, all haters of U2.

    But one more remark on female ordination. That it rises to the fomenting surface one way or another only indicates the fixation on sex that comes with culturalism and worldview. The larger problem is actually egalitarianism, from which every member ministry is spawned, but who’s suggesting “apostasy” for those that employ it? EMM should bother more if doctrinalism is the hinge, but the charges of “apostasy” over one facet of egalitarianism only shows how captive the chargers are still to worldview, specifically rightist worldview.

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  13. Isn’t that Russell Moore’s job, to opine about ethical events in the culture? He is the president of the the moral and public policy agency of the SBC.

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  14. cw l’unificateur, can you name three events in the last few years which are definite signs that the SBC is on the way to becoming a Mainline denomination and no longer be considered Evangelical?

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  15. But, Bobby, Swanson also denounced vampires and cannibals, so he was well-balanced on the whole. And, if I heard him correctly, he is in favor of pus and cow manure so he wasn’t all negative.

    He was right here in Des Moines last weekend. Unfortunately that was the day I sort through my old cigar butts.

    Excerpt:

    “Here is what I would do: sackcloth and ashes at the entrance to the church and I’d sit in cow manure and I’d spread it all over my body,” he continued. “That’s what I would do and I’m not kidding, I’m not laughing.”

    “I’m grieving! I’m mourning! I’m pointing out the problem”…”It’s not a gay time. These are the people with the sores. The gaping sores. The sores that are pussy [form of “pus”] and gross and people are coming in and carving happy faces on the sores. That’s not a nice thing to do. Don’t you dare carve happy faces on open, pussy sores!”

    In the same conference Swanson interviewed Huckabee, Cruz, and Jindal.

    I keep waiting for the good guys to show up.

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  16. Zrim – So you’ve had enough of the U2 bashing, but does that mean you agree on the skinny jeans?

    What is the egalitarianism you are indicting? I’m not following you on that.

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  17. Jets, well I could say their last three conventions, couldn’t I? And I do not say they are mainline or even liberal. I say, like TGC and the PCA, that they are aping the mainline emphases on social justice, diversity, and cultural engagement. They are most certainly evangelical. I think they hold the copyright on the term, in fact.

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  18. Pubs, are skinny jeans eeeevangelical versions of bow ties? Look at Meeeeee!

    The kind of egalitarianism that wants to deconstruct distinctions and limits and office and edges (see what I did there?). Bring back elitism, the kind that says being a man isn’t enough (I’m looking at you, Complementarianism and Patriarchy).

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  19. Publius – That’s a good question. My guess is that it happens organically when you need an official spokesman for your denomination about ethical issues, particularly if your denomination is large and gets questioned by the media. Eventually somebody is, “that guy” and it becomes a position when the budget is large enough.

    I suppose an alternative to a paid position is “read our brochure on the subject”, but I don’t remember brochures being part of the Word or sacrament either.

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  20. Zrim, U2 made the evangelical world safe for all sorts of stuff — contempo worship, trendy social causes, edgy(!) language, etc. And it started with October, picked up steam with War, and assumed full-blown messiah complex with Joshua Tree.

    In your heart you know I’m right.

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  21. Ah Zrim is fan of U2’s lame period. I’ve been sitting down, but not in your confessional outhouse (well somewhat).

    Aren’t you too old for U2 anyway?

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  22. Love the U2, hate the U2charist. (I was invited to one by my former CRC female pastor. “Thanks, but I like my sacraments made of bread and wine, not vinyl,” said I.)

    I dare anyone here to name a band that has lasted 40 years with the same original members.

    Rubin, your mom’s too old for me.

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  23. Zrim: You had a female pastor?

    Rush has had the same members for over 40 years (and they haven’t cheesed out like U2)

    Indeed my mom is too old for you and happily married for 60 years so nobody’s got a chance.

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  24. Zrim –I dare anyone here to name a band that has lasted 40 years with the same original members.

    Good rock bands’ members don’t live that long.

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  25. Jets – Is it the proper role of the Church – the institution not its members – to have a political platform or act like a political party?

    As regards the SBC, there is almost no cause so trivial that they would not at least weigh in if not seek to bind the conscience.

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  26. Z – Based on my observations skinny jeans must be sold in a set with a bow tie and thick-rimmed (look at Meeee!) glasses. Suspenders are optional, bad haircuts are not.

    What Would Jesus Wear?

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  27. CW: assumed full-blown messiah complex with Joshua Tree.

    Still and all, there’s nothing like walking out to the quad with Streets Have No Name just kicking in on 80W speakers.

    Well, the first few times. Then it got trite. That is the problem with CCM, isn’t it?

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  28. Jeff, no, CCM’s problem is that it conceives of sacred music being a form of entertainment.

    PS, SHFWILF isn’t meant to be played loud. “Bad” is.

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  29. Publius,

    No. The church isn’t supposed to be a political platform. I think it is fair to debate what the position entails but it has to exist. What do you do without it when difficult ethical questions are asked by members and non-members?

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  30. Jets – The SBC does have pastors and elders who are available to members and non-members. But I think you are assuming that “The Church” should stake out a position on every ethical question, that is should “engage the culture.” I’m not so sure that’s the case. In fact, it might undermine the central mission of the Church.

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  31. Thank you, Publius.

    “Based on my observations skinny jeans must be sold in a set with a bow tie and thick-rimmed (look at Meeee!) glasses. Suspenders are optional, bad haircuts are not.”

    Y’all can come out to City Church here in Seattle for the latest in trend-sucking hipster beardos singing Foo Fighter songs for Jesus.

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  32. I did not assume that a denomination should stake out a position on every ethical question, but the problem is people will ask you for your position on many ethical questions. I suppose a denomination could have one official answer for every ethical question: “We don’t write any statements (besides this one), or take any official stance on ethical questions as we believe these should be answered by the local church leadership.”

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  33. @ Publius:

    Wow! Badly tuned guitars and vintage G Lee screaming.

    Can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t love em.

    Now…by the Power Windows tour, they were pretty awesome.

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  34. cdubs:

    “There’s a dissertation for someone on the effects of U2 spirituality on young evangelicals between 1980 and the mid 90s.”

    Weirdly enough, its been done:

    Steven R. Harmon, “Ecumenism Means You, Too. Ordinary Christians and the Quest for Christian Unity.”

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  35. Rubin:Y’all can come out to City Church here in Seattle for the latest in trend-sucking hipster beardos singing Foo Fighter songs for Jesus.

    sounds like they’re preaching the truth and ‘influencing the culture’.

    As Bieber gears up to release his upcoming album Purpose on November 13, he has adamantly been bringing mainstream media on his faith journey with him during his promotional tours…In his recent interview with Billboard magazine, Bieber capped off the night at a church service in which his pastor, Judah Smith, preached, “Jesus is God.”…The popular entertainment publication went as far as sharing pieces of the sermon, quoting Smith as he said, “He’s the relationship and the friendship you’ve been craving your whole life.
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/justin-bieber-church-billboard-magazine-judah-smith-megachurch-149356/

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  36. Publius,

    You wrote: “Calling the CRC apostate solely based on ordination of women is probably overblown. But I would hasten to add that the history of denominations that have decided to ordain women is unhappy at best. That one decision speaks volumes about their standards, commitments, and trajectory.”

    Perhaps I’m a little slow, but I think I am figuring out the difficulty. Many people have ideals of tolerance, diversity, equality, social justice, etc. (perhaps the opposite as you define them) that are absolutely more important to them than, say, their confession. On its own, a different position on women’s ordination doesn’t indicate apostasy. However, those ideals could, in fact, be acts of apostasy. Perhaps many promoters of tolerance that helped to oust Machen may have not just been sinful, but apostate. You clearly have people acting in bad faith toward all reason and their confessions then. There is likely both sinful (on that issue) and apostate groups in women’s ordination churches. If one, instead of turning against the wolves in our midst, turns against confessionalists, that will help move the whole denomination towards apostasy.

    Patriarchal parachurch organizations are a plague, but I don’t get the sense that they have acted in completely deceptive ways that almost defines how feminist/social justice groups have adopted. I think that type of deception does indicate apostasy, where those parachurches may be merely sinful.

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  37. cw l’unificateur: Ali, are you commending City Church, Judah Smith, or the Bieber?

    no commendation of any of those necessarily, cw – don’t know enough – all I can commend is those truths spoken – “Jesus is God.”… “Jesus is the relationship and the friendship you’ve been craving your whole life.”

    It was mostly a de-commending of any unwarranted denouncing.

    “latest in trend-sucking hipster beardos singing Foo Fighter songs for Jesus” I don’t see it necessarily as slander or reviling or anything, but then I’m just human, so it’s possible Jesus might say differently

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  38. oops, I think I ought add though, I do think I ought commend both of those men as brothers – don’t know much- but given their compulsion toward God, that is what I ought say.
    And I do hope it is soon Bieber is more freed from more chains harming him and others, so that he will become the witness the Lord desires for him.

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  39. Ali, what was it Bieber said about church? Going there doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to Taco Bell makes you a taco? Something like that. Deep.

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  40. mrbfree Ali, what was it Bieber said about church? Going there doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to Taco Bell makes you a taco? Something like that. Deep.

    wisdom out the mouth of babies mrdfree, right? goes along somewhat with Joel’s discourse above.
    And, I ought clarify that Smith the preacher/teacher commending might ought be more guarded as the standard for him is higher, according to the Lord

    And I love this short 400 word discourse I was reading this am encapsulating so much of God’s warning and warning principles to us and for us:

    3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
    5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.8 Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. 9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah…” 16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. Jude

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  41. Oops again, I really ought to have included the rest

    20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now andforever. Amen. Jude

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  42. Ali, do you like that passage because it helps you get over your temptation to cause division amongst people who hold as their highest ideal their confession to the Reformed faith?

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  43. Ali, I’m already sorry I even posted a comment mentioning Bieber. My thought was more along the lines of gaining a little more wisdom, talking a little less. Couldn’t tell you if he is or isn’t a believer. But I do know his comment diminishes the importance of saints worshipping together, not to mention that whole Sabbath concept.

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  44. Joel Ali, do you like that passage because it helps you get over your temptation to cause division amongst people who hold as their highest ideal their confession to the Reformed faith?

    Joel, I like all Scripture and yes all Scripture helps me understand better what it means to have faith.

    gotta go for now. Have a great day.

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  45. Joel – Patriarchal parachurch organizations are a plague, but I don’t get the sense that they have acted in completely deceptive ways that almost defines how feminist/social justice groups have adopted. I think that type of deception does indicate apostasy, where those parachurches may be merely sinful.

    I’m not sure that the feminist/social justice groups are all that deceptive. They make it pretty clear where their priorities and commitments lie.

    “Patriarchal” parachurch orgs? Do you mean groups like The Gospel Allies ™ ?

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  46. Ali said, “It was mostly a de-commending of any unwarranted denouncing.”

    You haven’t a clue. You haven’t listened to Judah Smith’s preaching. It’s an extremely warranted denunciation. And you think Bieber is orthodox? Gimme a break! “Jesus is God”. Correct, but even the demons say that.
    Apparently you believe singing a Foo Fighters song is how God desires to be worshiped.

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  47. Rubin: You haven’t a clue. You haven’t listened to Judah Smith’s preaching. It’s an extremely warranted denunciation.

    Oh wow Rubin, didn’t know you were so zealous about any error in his teaching, because only what you have said up ’til now is just a mocking about hipster and jeans and not sure what.

    If you were so concerned, it would seem you would be vocal and clear about that for the sake of others.

    ‘Course, what fun would that seriousness be; mocking is much more satisfying to the flesh.

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  48. “I’m not sure that the feminist/social justice groups are all that deceptive. They make it pretty clear where their priorities and commitments lie.

    “Patriarchal” parachurch orgs? Do you mean groups like The Gospel Allies ™ ?”

    Publius,

    Perhaps the groups themselves are honest, but to be precise, I should have said that individual feminist/ social justice advocates are dishonest as a rule. For instance, the Russ Douthat story that was posted here recently. The implication was dishonesty by the cosigners against Douthat (among other problems). This is par for the course, and if you need, I’ll give you plenty of other examples. In fact, I have become convinced recently that this is their modus operandi, and they prey on those that are more honest by principle.

    By patriarchal groups, the first that came to mind was Vision Forum Ministries and another is the Advanced Training Insitute (the latter is clearly heretical). There are others of those as well. The Gospel Allies strike me as moderates that tend to side with feminists, but I don’t read them regularly enough to responsibly say.

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  49. Joel – When I say that the Social Justice Warriors (“SJWs”) are clear about their goals and priorities it is not a compliment. On the other hand, their tactics rely on deceit. But that’s about par for the course for social gospelers.

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  50. Mrbfree :But I do know his comment -(Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to Taco Bell makes you a taco)? -diminishes the importance of saints worshipping together, not to mention that whole Sabbath concept.

    Don’t think so, mrbfree. I think his point just = Rubin point: “Jesus is God”, but even the demons say that.= Jesus’s point: eg tares among the wheat

    unless you think going to church is what makes you a Christian

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  51. Rubin: Ali, way to miss the point. Here, hear for yourself.

    Don’t think I missed the point and not interested in listening to your link. If you’re so concerned with whatever was there, did you contact Smith and his elders? If not, when you get a chance, you might look up how the Lord says to handle it.

    Rubin And you think Bieber is orthodox?

    orthodox what, Rubin. If you want to call him an unbeliever, have at it. And when you get a chance, look up what the Lord says about that.

    Ali: all I can commend is those truths spoken – “Jesus is God.”… “Jesus is the relationship and the friendship you’ve been craving your whole life.”

    You can’t commend those truths Rubin?

    And let’s review my commending those men:

    Ali:no commendation – don’t know enough
    Ali: Smith the preacher/teacher commending ought be more guarded as the standard for him is higher

    Please stop truth-bending, though it might be hard around here.

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  52. mrbfree: not to mention that whole Sabbath concept.

    and not sure what you’re saying here, but if it has to do with any manmade prescriptions, then…

    mr. b. free

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  53. Ali: “unless you think going to church is what makes you a Christian”

    No, works don’t save me. Are you suggesting a Christian has no need to assemble with other believers on Sunday to worship the Lord?

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  54. But if you could find pastors who had switched genders, would that satisfy both liberal Lutherans and American Roman Catholics?

    Hard to say, but the affinities between Roman Catholics and Protestant modernists keep being hard to miss.

    You’re not this big an idiot, are you?

    Any Thomist knows cutting off your junk cannot make you a woman.

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  55. Tom,

    Any Thomist knows cutting off your junk cannot make you a woman.

    But of course, the current pope ain’t a Thomist. Who are you to judge, man?

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  56. Mrbfree: Ali Are you suggesting a Christian has no need to assemble with other believers on Sunday to worship the Lord?

    I think I’ve already commented on Heb 10:23-25 at least several times, mrbfree, and Sunday only, mrbfree?; doesn’t this sound more compelling: Acts 2:42,46

    anyway, it’s a new day, mrbfree, so a peace offering/prayer after all the kerfluffle yesterday:

    John 4:23-24

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  57. Of course, if it’s all about the feels and aping adult contemporary love songs I guess it’s fine. That semi-Pelagian “You are welcome here” is a bit troubling, though. Who’s inviting who? But maybe it’s just me.

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  58. Ali, I can’t find any references to Hebrews in this thread that you’ve made. But here is WCF on Heb 10:24 and Acts 2:42:

    Saints by profession are bound to maintain an holy fellowship and communion in the worship of God, and in performing such other spiritual services as tend to their mutual edification; as also in relieving each other in outward things, according to their several abilities and necessities. Which communion, as God offers opportunity, is to be extended unto all those who, in every place, call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

    So saints are bound to worship God formally. That’s the Lord’s Day, if the 4th is still in effect. It’s not “only” but whatever else might or might not take place on other days, that specific holy fellowship mayn’t be forsaken. Unless you think there are only 9 Commandments now?

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  59. cw l’unificateur:Thanks, Ali. Something about Presence flooding places and filling atmospheres. All very biblical. Well done.

    You’re welcome cw. Glad to encourage you. I had a feeling you would really like that one!
    And as ‘we’ continually say, by His word and Spirit cw, only by His word and Spirit

    Eph 3: 19 know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. ->

    Acts 13: 52 And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. ->

    (the disciples): Eph 1: 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

    Rom 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you (yes, even you, cw) with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ->

    Abound in hope, cw, abound in hope!: ->
    Rev21 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”… 22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

    Rev 22 3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; 4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

    Have a great day!

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  60. Ali, the standard is not “sorta similar to some biblical passages and concepts”. That lyric is subjective and (in my mansplaining opinion) is an unhelpful portrayal of the person and work of the HS. You and whoever wrote that can do better.

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  61. Ali, But here is WCF :

    Thanks zrim. Helpful. And I see the same thing in Scripture, so all’s copacetic!

    love the ten commandments and especially the greatest commandment, ‘cause Jesus does! Officially, I think maybe the 4th is not repeated specifically as such, in the NT, but not positive so could you inform me on that, if you get a chance

    (and just as another note so as not to confuse – Catholics combine the 1st and 2nd (and leave out some its wording) and to get the number of commandments back to10, spit the 10th)

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  62. cw l’unificateur :Ali, the standard

    once again, cw, it’s encouraging to hear about ‘standards’, cause that’s not always clear here.

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  63. Ali, the reformed have about 1,000 handshakes and code words and theological take-for-granteds that it would be impossible to discuss them in a meaningful way, so you are kind of out of the picture in that regard.

    But I think you are on a good track and pray for your perseverance through the vicissitudes of life and would welcome your “conversion” to our side if you are so led some day.

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  64. Kent: would welcome your “conversion” to our side

    Not sure what you mean. I am already converted (2 Cor 5:17) and I think you are also.
    Anyway, and I hope it’s not mean to say, and that you might agree, the witness here isn’t always exactly attractive or compelling about any other sort of ‘conversion’.

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  65. cw: Who’s inviting who?

    Yes, very important

    John 6: 65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

    Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

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  66. Ali, conversion to Reformed. Unless you were born into it, you are usually a disaffected Evangelical, and the whole process takes about 1,000 closely read pages of theology and the entire Bible (maybe a few times) along with getting sifted for about 50 hours by officers before getting accepted. Listening a dozen times to the podcasts of instruction by a dozen or so Reformed theologians and pastors should be a part of the training.

    You can see how clueless the people are on here attacking us who haven’t read 1 page of serious Protestant theology (about 98% of it is from the Reformed camp.)

    😀

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  67. And Ali, that’s not even including the years spent in an Evangelical church under hopefully decent teaching and a desire to increase in the knowledge of God as a foundation before converting to a truly Reformed denomination.

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  68. kent – I believe I am ‘reformed’ and yes it all takes a lifetime of Bible study and instruction from church teachers,fathers, epískopos,

    I can tell you are devoted to the Lord, His truths, knowing Him. There’s no better thing. Take care and keep on, keeping on

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  69. Ali, Francesca Battistelli is a bit saccharine for me. Having purchased probably every Christian heavy metal CD in the 80’s, I’m not really in a position to point and criticize music choices. But one thing I do think about CCM these days is that it’s like Chinese food. It leaves me hungry afterward and sometimes has questionable ingredients.

    Keeping the Sabbath or not is something I struggled with for many years. It’s only been in the past few that I’ve become convinced we are to keep the Sabbath. Even then there are differing opinions about how we are to do so. But being in church on Sunday to worship the Lord with other believers is pretty much a common thread for the Reformed. Have a great weekend, I’m checked out until next week.

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  70. You too have a great weekend mrbfree.

    I’m glad you want to honor God with observing the Sabbath. I’m sure He is pleased.

    Don’t forget too: Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. Mark 2:27

    Worship the Lord, and receive with thanksgiving from Him.
    He has it all and is gracious and very generous.

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  71. Pope Francis won’t bar Lutherans from communion:

    Pope Francis has strikingly suggested that Lutherans married to Catholics can personally discern whether to take Communion in the Catholic church, saying it is not his role to give permission to such persons but to encourage them to listen to what God is telling them about their situations.
    In a moving ecumenical visit to Rome’s Evangelical Lutheran church Sunday afternoon, the pontiff also called for “reconciled diversity” between the Christian denominations and said both must ask forgiveness of each other for historic persecutions.

    The pope’s words about the issue of communion for Lutherans will likely attract wide attention, as Catholic teaching currently prohibits members of other Christian denominations from taking communion in the church in normal circumstances.

    Francis spoke about the issue during Sunday’s visit in response to a question from a Lutheran woman who said she is married to a Catholic man and that the current prohibition on Lutherans receiving communion in the Catholic church causes them sadness.

    “We have lived together for many years, sharing joys and pains,” the woman said. “And therefore it hurts us very much being divided in the faith and not being able to participate together at the Lord’s Supper. What can we do to reach, finally, communion on this point?”

    The pontiff responded with a wide-ranging reflection on the nature of Christian faith and on Jesus’ words as recorded at the last Supper, when he is said to have told his disciples: “Do this in memory of me.”

    “I ask myself: Is sharing the Lord’s Supper the end of a path or is it the viaticum for walking together?” said the pontiff, using a Latin term for food or provisions along the journey.

    “It is true that in a certain sense sharing is to say that there are not differences among us, that we have the same doctrine — I underline the word, a word difficult to understand — but I ask myself: Don’t we have the same Baptism?” he continued.

    Who is he to give pastoral leadership? Just follow the Holy Spirit like the Tennents did.

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  72. There goes TVD’s argument that Protestants don’t have a valid Eucharist.

    But don’t worry, nothing that this pope does can shatter the careful paper paradigm that keeps CTC in business reconciling dogmatic statements and pastoral practice. Remember, if it looks like postmodern waffling, it’s because we aren’t being charitable or we are begging the question.

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  73. @dgh I found this line particularly interesting,

    It’s a problem that each must answer [for themselves], but a pastor-friend once told me that “We believe that the Lord is present there, he is present” – you believe that the Lord is present. And what’s the difference? There are explanations, interpretations, but life is bigger than explanations and interpretations. Always refer back to your baptism – one faith, one baptism, one Lord: this Paul tells us; and then consequences come later.

    Looks like the Roman communion may finally be catholic! So what, if any, do you think the response be by a typical NAPARC session to a member who took communion at an RCC (say attending church with the extended fan while visiting over the holidays)?

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  74. Pope “It’s All Good” Bergoglio sounding like a rank baptist as he emphasizes the “remembrance” aspect. Wow. And what is the encouragement for TVD (or Mermaid, for that matter) to even go to mass with Francis’ endorsement of rank works salvation:

    “Which will be the questions that the Lord will ask us that day: ‘Did you go to Mass? Did you make a good catechesis?’” asked the pope. “No, the questions are on the poor, because poverty is at the center of the Gospel.”

    “‘You, your life, have you used it for yourself or to serve?’” Francis gave an example of one of the questions. “‘To defend yourself from others with walls or to welcome them with love?’”

    So, Tom — get thee to a soup kitchen.

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  75. Jimmy Akin on the internet explains the Vicar of Christ:

    It’s good that Pope Francis considers the subject important enough not to go further and to leave technical matters like what may be possible in the future to be explored by those who are competent in these areas.

    It’s also good that he recognizes the limitations of his own expertise, despite the fact he is pope.

    Indeed, watching the video shows him being somber and seeming to struggle at points, particularly when he is speaking most directly to the woman’s question.

    However, it is not easy to piece together his line of reasoning, and at some points it isn’t clear what he was trying to say.

    As someone who answers questions live on a regular basis, I know what it’s like to struggle with an answer. You can have an idea what you want to say and yet have difficulty putting it into words.

    That happens to everyone. “Even Homer nods,” as they say.

    Because of the cautions Pope Francis makes during the course of his answer, I don’t view it as the earthquake that some took it for.

    Is the pope giving permission to Lutheran spouses to take Communion at Mass? No. He expressly says he’s not.

    Is this a portent of an imminent shift in Catholic doctrine or sacramental practice? No.

    Is it possible that the current rules regarding when Communion can be given to other Christians could one day be tweaked? Yes. It’s imaginable that a pope might one day decide that any baptized Christians who share the Church’s faith respect to Communion, confession, and anointing could receive those sacraments on the same basis that Orthodox Christians can.

    Are the pope’s remarks a sign that this—or anything like it—is going to happen any time in the foreseeable future? No.

    Could the pope have answered more clearly? Yes. One might argue that, if the pope were going to struggle with the question as much as he did, he would have been better advised not to take it. But these things happen, and there is no reason to see this as a sign of an impending doctrinal or sacramental earthquake.

    Shrug.

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  76. Francis just following in his predecessors’ aggiornamento footsteps:

    As far as Francis’ implication that a Protestant believer could consult his or her conscience and decide to approach for Communion, Madden said that’s not completely out of bounds.

    He recalled the episode at the 2005 funeral of Saint John Paul II, when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — a theological straight shooter who would be elected Pope Benedict XVI a short time later — gave Communion to Brother Roger, a Swiss Protestant and founder of the Taize ecumenical monastic community in southeast France.

    “Ratzinger was criticized for that, but he felt that Brother Roger believed in the real presence, that he was prayerful, that it was an appropriate setting for that particular time,” Madden said. “And he did not feel it was inappropriate.”

    (It later came out that John Paul himself had repeatedly given Brother Roger Communion at Mass, though the monastic never converted.)

    “If you have those times when there is shared communion that does not mean that everything is agreed upon,” Madden said. “There will always be time for debate and for parsing and so on. But then there comes a time when you have to look at what is the greater good.”

    Edward Condon, a canon lawyer who writes for the Catholic Herald of Britain, made a similar point.

    “While some have gone bonkers at the suggestion that the pope wants to give Communion to Protestants, the church already holds that this is not a simple question of can they or can’t they, but one of time, place, disposition, and belief,” Condon wrote in a column.

    “These are not procedural hoops to jump through but necessary expressions of the seriousness of the Eucharist.”

    Like

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