Sunday, May 25, 2008

About What She Said

I have thought about what she said a lot in recent weeks and especially over the past couple of days and after much deliberation have decided to offer only the following few thoughts on it:

I'm not sure it's fair for me - someone outside the confessional LCMS tradition - to offer alot of comments about what is going on there. Dixie is a former LCMS-er - which buys her some commenting rights. I am not (though I am a former Lutheran).

I think the struggle they are facing is an important one - truly a matter of life and death, really. The problems, which are sad and tragic, are much the same in my own predecessor body - only by and large, fewer are struggling with them there - which, of course, is its own problem.

I feel a sort of kinship with these confessional LCMS bloggers - I think I understand their struggle at least to some degree, and and I am hugely sympathetic with their concerns. They are struggling with the same issues (no pun intended) that I struggled with for some time when I was a Lutheran.

I have much respect for these confessional LCMS-ers. Unlike me, the 3 confessional LCMS bloggers I read the most are pastors. This puts the struggle on a whole different level from my own of a couple of years ago. There is much more at stake for them in their struggle than there was for me in mine.

Lastly, I think it is wrong for any of us who are Orthodox (even ordained ones!) to stand and cast stones at these confessional Lutherans as if genuine and even similar problems do not exist in our own church, if we Orthodox have some corner on the market of God's grace and mercy. (I will offer the thoughts of someone much wiser than myself on this topic in my next post...)

Lord, have mercy - on all of us.


Dixie said...

-C, I understand your point of view regarding the casting of stones and surely Orthodoxy would not fare very well in a "my group's better than your group's" competition. But I would offer one other consideration...and that is we cannot pretend that anyone else, any other group other than the Orthodox Church, has the full Truth. Surely they have the Truth in part but in part they live in delusion.

Now, I have learned through personal experience that I can't argue anyone into Orthodoxy. My husband will corroborate this fact! But I also don't think it is unreasonable to point out inconsistencies in the faith of other groups to expose the delusion either. I think Father Stephen Freeman does this extremely well.

For me, as much as I love the Lutherans in my real life as well as in my online life...I would like nothing better for them than to come to Holy Orthodoxy...because the Orthodox ways will maximize their life in Christ...will aid in their salvation.

So it's a fine line between loving someone and knowing when to leave them alone in their faith and when and how to put your beliefs on the table at the expense of theirs. And one must travel this line with discernment. It helps with one has a relationship with the person strong enough to survive the discussion.

-C said...

Well, there you go, Dixie - I think I agree with most everything you have said here, but I don't think you go quite far enough with some of it. And in it you have provided the perfect segue for my next post.

But I must finish the yardwork and some other household duties first ...

DebD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DebD said...

Lastly, I think it is wrong for any of us who are Orthodox (even ordained ones!) to stand and cast stones at these confessional Lutherans.

Amen, amen, amen! I find that rather ugly and uncharitable myself. It is a rare person who can do it with love & grace. I do think that Fr. Stephen is one of those. It's helps that he is a good 10 years removed from his former confession, which I think makes a positive difference.

-C said...

Dixie -
It occurs to me on a re-read of my post and your comments that you might have thought that I am accusing you of casting stones. I am not at all - but I might be suggesting that one of your commenters to that post was.

It was the last few comments on the post which I found troubling.

Dixie said...

Thank you for your concern -C but don't worry...I didn't take your post to be critical of my position at all. However I did figure out what some of the problem might be in this string of comments.

I think I am less crtical of that discussion because I am aware of some real life history there. If you read the appendices to the "What Options" paper linked from my blog you will see that these commenters are former collaborators. And while it may not look like it on the surface, I understand the challenges to be offered out of love.

And I think my husband can doesn't seem like love on the surface either when we let the conversation wind its way to our religious differences. YIKES!

DebD said...

Dixie - I wish I could be that optimistic.