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891Re: [LutheransLookingEast] General LCMS view of the Orthodox Church

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  • Rosemarie Lieffring
    Feb 22, 2009
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      Dave,

      Obviously I was never a Lutheran pastor, nor do I even come from a family of
      Lutherans (I married Lutheran), but I can share with you what I faced.

      The first thing I did as I was investigating Orthodoxy was to share the
      "What Options do the Confessions Give Us" paper by Father Fenton with my
      Lutheran pastor. I asked him to read it and if he would please discuss it
      with me. (We never had that discussion, but I tried several times.) Then I
      asked my pastor for some "scholarly" Lutheran rebuttal of Orthodoxy. He put
      together a nice sized binder full of articles from the internet, some blog
      postings and other articles...but no scholarly references. I suspect
      because there just wasn't much there. Lutheran history was first formed in
      opposition to Rome and later with the Schwarmerei. The Orthodox was pretty
      much off the radar screen, although you will find some Lutherans who make
      the comment that the confessions speak favorably of the Eastern Church.

      As a side note: For me the best material I found on my own was in the
      correspondence of the Tubingen Lutherans and Patriarch Jeremias II.
      Translations of these documents are assembled in the book "Augsburg and
      Constantinople." I have heard some Lutheran pastors comment that the
      exchange was unfortunate and that both parties were inaccurate but for me
      seeing the issues side by side offered much clarity. (The second time I
      read the book I didn't read the pages in order, I followed one issue across
      all the correspondence. For example, I followed the issue on justification
      or the priesthood like a debate flowchart.) By the way, the first time I
      read the book I was very Lutheran and was more agreeable with the Lutheran
      points of view presented.

      I didn't go to a "confessional" Lutheran church so when I told my close
      Lutheran friends I was going to become Orthodox they were sorry to see me go
      but happy to know that I found something that worked for me! :o

      My husband and our sons were not as impressed. I distinctly remember when I
      was a catechumen and had stopped taking communion at the Lutheran church.
      Our youngest son said to me, "What's the problem? Isn't our Jesus good
      enough for you?" You can read a little more about that here:

      http://byzantinedixie.blogspot.com/2006/02/isnt-our-jesus-good-enough.html

      Obviously, your situation would be more difficult coming from a long line of
      Lutheran pastors. But I know of at least one pastor convert, whose father
      was also a Lutheran pastor, and this pastor went on to be an Orthodox
      priest. So there is life after the family shock. (My family are Roman
      Catholic and my mom and dad told me they were happy I was coming back to the
      church!)

      May the Holy Spirit guide your journey to the Truth and give you
      courage.-----R



      On Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 9:22 PM, Christopher Orr <xcjorr@...> wrote:

      > When I wanted to ask a question of my WELS pastor about Orthodoxy
      > (wanting
      > to share with him an article by Pastor Ross, now Fr. Basil, Aden) he said
      > he
      > didn't need to look at it to know what the problem was. The problem is the
      > same with every non-Lutheran (non-WELS, non-Confessional) body whether
      > Christian or not: confusion of Law and Gospel. It betrays, to me, a
      > complete lack of understanding of any other paradigm of understanding
      > Christianity. I accepted the comment at the time, but came to realize that
      > this was a manufactured, unnatural overlay put onto the Bible as a whole -
      > and onto Christianity, in general. The doctrine upon which the church
      > stands or falls just didn't exist in Luther's form, until Luther - it is
      > not
      > apostolic.
      >
      > Christopher
      >
      >
      > On Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 2:59 PM, Dave W. <dkwiech@...<dkwiech%40yahoo.com>>
      > wrote:
      >
      > > I've been scanning emails to get a high-level, general take on how the
      > > LCMS views the Orthodox Church, but since I can ask former LCMS
      > > pastors on here, I hope to get a more concise answer in one place. The
      > > reason I ask, is because I find very little official documentation
      > > anywhere, where the LCMS discusses the Orthodox Church. Part of the
      > > reason for my asking, is the fact that I come from a family of LCMS
      > > pastors (over 100 years' worth), and I haven't discussed my own
      > > journey with them. Before I do, I want to be certain of my convictions
      > > and be prepared for the likely barrage that will meet me. Thus, my
      > > long, drawn-out search (going on 20 years). Additionally, perhaps
      > > other former LCMS members can give me an idea of what they faced when
      > > they decided to join the Orthodox Church, if my newbie status will
      > > allow me to inquire such personal things.
      > >
      > > Thanks again for the wonderful replies I get on here, and the
      > > promptness and sincerity that my inquiries receive. I'm very impressed
      > > with this group, and am glad to be here!
      > >
      > > Dave
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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