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Re: "Prayer to the Mother of God is the result of a sanctifying-growth-matrix"

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  • oruaseht
    At the Parish where I serve, I talked with a family who has since left the Lutheran church. When I inquired as to why they left, they said that they weren t
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 4, 2009
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      At the Parish where I serve, I talked with a family who has since left the Lutheran church. When I inquired as to why they left, they said that they weren't getting the whole picture of Christianity. I inquired further and what they picked up on was the Lutheran focus on Justification to the exclusion of Sanctification. In their experience, Lutheranism left them floating in a nebulous limbo of not knowing what to do/how they were involved in the sanctified life. Unfortunately, they joined an anti-sacramental brethren sect that gave them all the self-aggrandized law they wanted. But the core of the matter (in my view anyways) was that they felt the un-natural separation of justification and sanctification that exists in Lutheranism. Salvation as "receive and believe in a sit and soak atmosphere" turned them away.

      --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, Rosemarie Lieffring <rose.lieffring@...> wrote:
      >
      > Christopher, I am glad you posted this there. Ben Harju articulated
      > something in a way I never could. He wrote:
      >
      > "As a puny Orthodox catechumen, though, I would like to point out what I
      > think is the crux. Lutherans have erred concerning justification, which
      > disrupts their grasp on Christ's saving work and makes justification seem
      > disproportionately important. It's like a dislocated shoulder wrenched and
      > beaten, making the rest of the body think that life is about guarding that
      > injured member."
      >
      > In reflection I have seen this "justification" emphasis as creating a
      > distorted, incomplete view of the faith in my own history. It makes me
      > wince just to read the clarity Ben has brought to the subject.-----R
      > On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 10:01 AM, Christopher Orr <xcjorr@...> wrote:
      >
      > >
      > >
      > > *A Comment by Ben Harju on a Lutheran pastor's blog:*
      > >
      > > I see the trouble [of praying certain prayers TO the Theotokos] coming from
      > > the combination of a number of things. For Lutherans:
      > >
      > > 1. The point of Christ's death is to satisfy legal demands.
      > >
      > > 2. His righteousness is imputed to sinners, giving them a new status.
      > >
      > > 3. The sacraments exist primarily (though not solely) to serve faith.
      > >
      > > 4. Sanctification is an off-shoot of imputed righteousness, not a central
      > > theme.
      > >
      > > 5. Salvation is neatly seen as Christ placing man in a new category, which
      > > gives him confidence against his sins and the surety of rest from his
      > > labors
      > > in heaven.
      > >
      > > Given what Lutherans believe, why turn to the Theotokos? Isn't she just
      > > imputed with Christ's righteousness like us, now resting from her labors in
      > > heaven?
      > >
      > > As a puny Orthodox catechumen, though, I would like to point out what I
      > > think is the crux. Lutherans have erred concerning justification, which
      > > disrupts their grasp on Christ's saving work and makes justification seem
      > > disproportionately important. It's like a dislocated shoulder wrenched and
      > > beaten, making the rest of the body think that life is about guarding that
      > > injured member.
      > >
      > > Justification is not about mere imputation or obtaining a new status. It is
      > > about being drawn into communion with the righteousness of Jesus Christ
      > > Himself. This is not an infused grace (RC), but Christ Himself uniting
      > > Himself to the sinner, cleansing sin away by His blood in Baptism and
      > > Eucharist, and uniting to the person new life in the Spirit - a righteous
      > > life (justification) and a holy life (sanctification in the narrow sense).
      > > So the sinner becomes truly righteous - not merely in name, nor by some
      > > added infusion, but by communion with Christ in the Holy Spirit. This is
      > > justification. The righteousness of Christ alive in the sinner making him
      > > or
      > > her a saint. Imputation as used by Lutheran theology falls short and drives
      > > a wedge into the saving work of Christ, separating the sinner from what
      > > Christ does to save the individual.
      > >
      > > The point I'm making is that the goal of Christ's and the Spirit's work is
      > > what you might know as sanctification (in the wide sense), not imputation.
      > > Sinners are forgiven, cleansed, and make communicants of the life of the
      > > Trinity. The outgrowth and manifestation of this sanctification (in the
      > > wide
      > > sense) is the spiritual life, which you can see in multitudinal ways in the
      > > life and various vocations of the saints. Prayer is a chief characterizing
      > > fruit of this sanctification, as is love and unity.
      > >
      > > Praying to the Blessed Mother of God like above is received in view of this
      > > matrix of sanctification via communion. This prayer describes what the
      > > saving sanctification of Christ effects; it shows us how life in the
      > > kingdom
      > > is. And this is only a fraction of the inexhaustible gift of salvation.
      > >
      > > Embedded in this, of course, is the issue of how to use the Scriptures and
      > > ecclesiology, but at this point I think praying like this to the Theotokos
      > > seems off because Lutherans are off on justification.
      > >
      > > I'm not trying to attack Lutherans here. I'm trying to speak clearly and to
      > > the point, as best as I can (which isn't so good anymore). Pastor Weedon,
      > > if
      > > praying like this to the Mother of God is problematic, it is
      > > understandable,
      > > given the theology you have chosen to defend. Prayer to the Mother of God
      > > is
      > > the result of a sanctifying-growth-matrix instead of an
      > > imputational-static-matrix.
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • Benjamin Harju
      That s a good insight from Oruaset. I can remember being a seminarian and being warned against those other Lutheran parishes that preach how to live your
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 4, 2009
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        That's a good insight from Oruaset. I can remember being a seminarian
        and being warned against those other Lutheran parishes that preach
        "how to live your life" sermons. Older Lutheranism knew a little
        better how to connect justification and sanctification, but the
        problem still adhered: an unnatural division between the two, like a
        wedge. I think people are generally comfortable with the idea of
        having some personal responsibility for morality. Yet many seem
        hesitant about the sacramental-liturgical aspect, associating it
        negatively with RC. Oruaset's comments explain a lot of what I've
        seen in the past. Thanks!

        Christopher, what I've expressed on that pastor's blog is something
        I've been struggling with and only recently have come to an 'Aha!'
        moment.

        On a personal note, one I don't mind sharing, I find that having that
        artificial wedge removed (i.e imputational righteousness) leaves me
        feeling afraid and overwhelmed, much like I felt after being ordained
        in Lutheran orders. It's because I perceive a greater closeness to
        Christ, and the personal responsibility frightens me. The thought of
        my impending Chrismation is frightening, and it is this proximity to
        Christ through sanctification that is doing it. This is not a bad
        fear, though.

        Love in Christ,
        Benjamin Harju

        On 8/4/09, oruaseht <oruaseht@...> wrote:
        > At the Parish where I serve, I talked with a family who has since left the
        > Lutheran church. When I inquired as to why they left, they said that they
        > weren't getting the whole picture of Christianity. I inquired further and
        > what they picked up on was the Lutheran focus on Justification to the
        > exclusion of Sanctification. In their experience, Lutheranism left them
        > floating in a nebulous limbo of not knowing what to do/how they were
        > involved in the sanctified life. Unfortunately, they joined an
        > anti-sacramental brethren sect that gave them all the self-aggrandized law
        > they wanted. But the core of the matter (in my view anyways) was that they
        > felt the un-natural separation of justification and sanctification that
        > exists in Lutheranism. Salvation as "receive and believe in a sit and soak
        > atmosphere" turned them away.
        >
        > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, Rosemarie Lieffring
        > <rose.lieffring@...> wrote:
        >>
        >> Christopher, I am glad you posted this there. Ben Harju articulated
        >> something in a way I never could. He wrote:
        >>
        >> "As a puny Orthodox catechumen, though, I would like to point out what I
        >> think is the crux. Lutherans have erred concerning justification, which
        >> disrupts their grasp on Christ's saving work and makes justification seem
        >> disproportionately important. It's like a dislocated shoulder wrenched and
        >> beaten, making the rest of the body think that life is about guarding that
        >> injured member."
        >>
        >> In reflection I have seen this "justification" emphasis as creating a
        >> distorted, incomplete view of the faith in my own history. It makes me
        >> wince just to read the clarity Ben has brought to the subject.-----R
        >> On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 10:01 AM, Christopher Orr <xcjorr@...> wrote:
        >>
        >> >
        >> >
        >> > *A Comment by Ben Harju on a Lutheran pastor's blog:*
        >> >
        >> > I see the trouble [of praying certain prayers TO the Theotokos] coming
        >> > from
        >> > the combination of a number of things. For Lutherans:
        >> >
        >> > 1. The point of Christ's death is to satisfy legal demands.
        >> >
        >> > 2. His righteousness is imputed to sinners, giving them a new status.
        >> >
        >> > 3. The sacraments exist primarily (though not solely) to serve faith.
        >> >
        >> > 4. Sanctification is an off-shoot of imputed righteousness, not a
        >> > central
        >> > theme.
        >> >
        >> > 5. Salvation is neatly seen as Christ placing man in a new category,
        >> > which
        >> > gives him confidence against his sins and the surety of rest from his
        >> > labors
        >> > in heaven.
        >> >
        >> > Given what Lutherans believe, why turn to the Theotokos? Isn't she just
        >> > imputed with Christ's righteousness like us, now resting from her labors
        >> > in
        >> > heaven?
        >> >
        >> > As a puny Orthodox catechumen, though, I would like to point out what I
        >> > think is the crux. Lutherans have erred concerning justification, which
        >> > disrupts their grasp on Christ's saving work and makes justification
        >> > seem
        >> > disproportionately important. It's like a dislocated shoulder wrenched
        >> > and
        >> > beaten, making the rest of the body think that life is about guarding
        >> > that
        >> > injured member.
        >> >
        >> > Justification is not about mere imputation or obtaining a new status. It
        >> > is
        >> > about being drawn into communion with the righteousness of Jesus Christ
        >> > Himself. This is not an infused grace (RC), but Christ Himself uniting
        >> > Himself to the sinner, cleansing sin away by His blood in Baptism and
        >> > Eucharist, and uniting to the person new life in the Spirit - a
        >> > righteous
        >> > life (justification) and a holy life (sanctification in the narrow
        >> > sense).
        >> > So the sinner becomes truly righteous - not merely in name, nor by some
        >> > added infusion, but by communion with Christ in the Holy Spirit. This is
        >> > justification. The righteousness of Christ alive in the sinner making
        >> > him
        >> > or
        >> > her a saint. Imputation as used by Lutheran theology falls short and
        >> > drives
        >> > a wedge into the saving work of Christ, separating the sinner from what
        >> > Christ does to save the individual.
        >> >
        >> > The point I'm making is that the goal of Christ's and the Spirit's work
        >> > is
        >> > what you might know as sanctification (in the wide sense), not
        >> > imputation.
        >> > Sinners are forgiven, cleansed, and make communicants of the life of the
        >> > Trinity. The outgrowth and manifestation of this sanctification (in the
        >> > wide
        >> > sense) is the spiritual life, which you can see in multitudinal ways in
        >> > the
        >> > life and various vocations of the saints. Prayer is a chief
        >> > characterizing
        >> > fruit of this sanctification, as is love and unity.
        >> >
        >> > Praying to the Blessed Mother of God like above is received in view of
        >> > this
        >> > matrix of sanctification via communion. This prayer describes what the
        >> > saving sanctification of Christ effects; it shows us how life in the
        >> > kingdom
        >> > is. And this is only a fraction of the inexhaustible gift of salvation.
        >> >
        >> > Embedded in this, of course, is the issue of how to use the Scriptures
        >> > and
        >> > ecclesiology, but at this point I think praying like this to the
        >> > Theotokos
        >> > seems off because Lutherans are off on justification.
        >> >
        >> > I'm not trying to attack Lutherans here. I'm trying to speak clearly and
        >> > to
        >> > the point, as best as I can (which isn't so good anymore). Pastor
        >> > Weedon,
        >> > if
        >> > praying like this to the Mother of God is problematic, it is
        >> > understandable,
        >> > given the theology you have chosen to defend. Prayer to the Mother of
        >> > God
        >> > is
        >> > the result of a sanctifying-growth-matrix instead of an
        >> > imputational-static-matrix.
        >> >
        >> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >> >
        >> >
        >> >
        >>
        >>
        >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >>
        >
        >
        >
      • Christopher Orr
        It is not a bad fear, in fact, it is the fear of God spoken of so often in scripture. I don t remeber hearing as much about the security of God. Christopher
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 4, 2009
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          It is not a bad fear, in fact, it is the fear of God spoken of so often in
          scripture. I don't remeber hearing as much about the security of God.

          Christopher



          On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 6:00 PM, Benjamin Harju <benjamin.harju@...>wrote:

          >
          >
          > That's a good insight from Oruaset. I can remember being a seminarian
          > and being warned against those other Lutheran parishes that preach
          > "how to live your life" sermons. Older Lutheranism knew a little
          > better how to connect justification and sanctification, but the
          > problem still adhered: an unnatural division between the two, like a
          > wedge. I think people are generally comfortable with the idea of
          > having some personal responsibility for morality. Yet many seem
          > hesitant about the sacramental-liturgical aspect, associating it
          > negatively with RC. Oruaset's comments explain a lot of what I've
          > seen in the past. Thanks!
          >
          > Christopher, what I've expressed on that pastor's blog is something
          > I've been struggling with and only recently have come to an 'Aha!'
          > moment.
          >
          > On a personal note, one I don't mind sharing, I find that having that
          > artificial wedge removed (i.e imputational righteousness) leaves me
          > feeling afraid and overwhelmed, much like I felt after being ordained
          > in Lutheran orders. It's because I perceive a greater closeness to
          > Christ, and the personal responsibility frightens me. The thought of
          > my impending Chrismation is frightening, and it is this proximity to
          > Christ through sanctification that is doing it. This is not a bad
          > fear, though.
          >
          > Love in Christ,
          > Benjamin Harju
          >
          >
          > On 8/4/09, oruaseht <oruaseht@... <oruaseht%40yahoo.com>> wrote:
          > > At the Parish where I serve, I talked with a family who has since left
          > the
          > > Lutheran church. When I inquired as to why they left, they said that they
          > > weren't getting the whole picture of Christianity. I inquired further and
          > > what they picked up on was the Lutheran focus on Justification to the
          > > exclusion of Sanctification. In their experience, Lutheranism left them
          > > floating in a nebulous limbo of not knowing what to do/how they were
          > > involved in the sanctified life. Unfortunately, they joined an
          > > anti-sacramental brethren sect that gave them all the self-aggrandized
          > law
          > > they wanted. But the core of the matter (in my view anyways) was that
          > they
          > > felt the un-natural separation of justification and sanctification that
          > > exists in Lutheranism. Salvation as "receive and believe in a sit and
          > soak
          > > atmosphere" turned them away.
          > >
          > > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
          > Rosemarie Lieffring
          > > <rose.lieffring@...> wrote:
          > >>
          > >> Christopher, I am glad you posted this there. Ben Harju articulated
          > >> something in a way I never could. He wrote:
          > >>
          > >> "As a puny Orthodox catechumen, though, I would like to point out what I
          > >> think is the crux. Lutherans have erred concerning justification, which
          > >> disrupts their grasp on Christ's saving work and makes justification
          > seem
          > >> disproportionately important. It's like a dislocated shoulder wrenched
          > and
          > >> beaten, making the rest of the body think that life is about guarding
          > that
          > >> injured member."
          > >>
          > >> In reflection I have seen this "justification" emphasis as creating a
          > >> distorted, incomplete view of the faith in my own history. It makes me
          > >> wince just to read the clarity Ben has brought to the subject.-----R
          > >> On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 10:01 AM, Christopher Orr <xcjorr@...> wrote:
          > >>
          > >> >
          > >> >
          > >> > *A Comment by Ben Harju on a Lutheran pastor's blog:*
          > >> >
          > >> > I see the trouble [of praying certain prayers TO the Theotokos] coming
          > >> > from
          > >> > the combination of a number of things. For Lutherans:
          > >> >
          > >> > 1. The point of Christ's death is to satisfy legal demands.
          > >> >
          > >> > 2. His righteousness is imputed to sinners, giving them a new status.
          > >> >
          > >> > 3. The sacraments exist primarily (though not solely) to serve faith.
          > >> >
          > >> > 4. Sanctification is an off-shoot of imputed righteousness, not a
          > >> > central
          > >> > theme.
          > >> >
          > >> > 5. Salvation is neatly seen as Christ placing man in a new category,
          > >> > which
          > >> > gives him confidence against his sins and the surety of rest from his
          > >> > labors
          > >> > in heaven.
          > >> >
          > >> > Given what Lutherans believe, why turn to the Theotokos? Isn't she
          > just
          > >> > imputed with Christ's righteousness like us, now resting from her
          > labors
          > >> > in
          > >> > heaven?
          > >> >
          > >> > As a puny Orthodox catechumen, though, I would like to point out what
          > I
          > >> > think is the crux. Lutherans have erred concerning justification,
          > which
          > >> > disrupts their grasp on Christ's saving work and makes justification
          > >> > seem
          > >> > disproportionately important. It's like a dislocated shoulder wrenched
          > >> > and
          > >> > beaten, making the rest of the body think that life is about guarding
          > >> > that
          > >> > injured member.
          > >> >
          > >> > Justification is not about mere imputation or obtaining a new status.
          > It
          > >> > is
          > >> > about being drawn into communion with the righteousness of Jesus
          > Christ
          > >> > Himself. This is not an infused grace (RC), but Christ Himself uniting
          > >> > Himself to the sinner, cleansing sin away by His blood in Baptism and
          > >> > Eucharist, and uniting to the person new life in the Spirit - a
          > >> > righteous
          > >> > life (justification) and a holy life (sanctification in the narrow
          > >> > sense).
          > >> > So the sinner becomes truly righteous - not merely in name, nor by
          > some
          > >> > added infusion, but by communion with Christ in the Holy Spirit. This
          > is
          > >> > justification. The righteousness of Christ alive in the sinner making
          > >> > him
          > >> > or
          > >> > her a saint. Imputation as used by Lutheran theology falls short and
          > >> > drives
          > >> > a wedge into the saving work of Christ, separating the sinner from
          > what
          > >> > Christ does to save the individual.
          > >> >
          > >> > The point I'm making is that the goal of Christ's and the Spirit's
          > work
          > >> > is
          > >> > what you might know as sanctification (in the wide sense), not
          > >> > imputation.
          > >> > Sinners are forgiven, cleansed, and make communicants of the life of
          > the
          > >> > Trinity. The outgrowth and manifestation of this sanctification (in
          > the
          > >> > wide
          > >> > sense) is the spiritual life, which you can see in multitudinal ways
          > in
          > >> > the
          > >> > life and various vocations of the saints. Prayer is a chief
          > >> > characterizing
          > >> > fruit of this sanctification, as is love and unity.
          > >> >
          > >> > Praying to the Blessed Mother of God like above is received in view of
          > >> > this
          > >> > matrix of sanctification via communion. This prayer describes what the
          > >> > saving sanctification of Christ effects; it shows us how life in the
          > >> > kingdom
          > >> > is. And this is only a fraction of the inexhaustible gift of
          > salvation.
          > >> >
          > >> > Embedded in this, of course, is the issue of how to use the Scriptures
          > >> > and
          > >> > ecclesiology, but at this point I think praying like this to the
          > >> > Theotokos
          > >> > seems off because Lutherans are off on justification.
          > >> >
          > >> > I'm not trying to attack Lutherans here. I'm trying to speak clearly
          > and
          > >> > to
          > >> > the point, as best as I can (which isn't so good anymore). Pastor
          > >> > Weedon,
          > >> > if
          > >> > praying like this to the Mother of God is problematic, it is
          > >> > understandable,
          > >> > given the theology you have chosen to defend. Prayer to the Mother of
          > >> > God
          > >> > is
          > >> > the result of a sanctifying-growth-matrix instead of an
          > >> > imputational-static-matrix.
          > >> >
          > >> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >> >
          > >> >
          > >> >
          > >>
          > >>
          > >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >>
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • randall hay
          I ve got to chime up here too. When I used the phrase Old Man partying it up in own little self-created hell I was speaking from personal experience....I
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 4, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            I've got to chime up here too. When I used the phrase "Old Man partying it up in own little self-created hell" I was speaking from personal experience....I was perfectly happy in this spiritual torpor. As long as I didn't steal, become alcoholic, commit adultery or whatever I felt fine about my spiritual life. My world was becoming grayer and bleaker and more tedious and myself more spiky and selfish as my passions deepened, but I didn't know what the problem was, much less that there a cure for it.

            ---Once salvation becomes moment-to-moment life in Christ that changes forever. It's so true when the Fathers say: we're always either getting closer to Christ or father away from Him. We don't stay the same; we're changeable creatures. The demons don't eat or sleep and their only pleasure is bringing us misery...there is no way to avoid spiritual combat.

            R.






            ________________________________
            From: Rosemarie Lieffring <rose.lieffring@...>
            To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 10:32:32 AM
            Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] "Prayer to the Mother of God is the result of a sanctifying-growth-matrix"


            Christopher, I am glad you posted this there. Ben Harju articulated
            something in a way I never could. He wrote:

            "As a puny Orthodox catechumen, though, I would like to point out what I
            think is the crux. Lutherans have erred concerning justification, which
            disrupts their grasp on Christ's saving work and makes justification seem
            disproportionately important. It's like a dislocated shoulder wrenched and
            beaten, making the rest of the body think that life is about guarding that
            injured member."

            In reflection I have seen this "justification" emphasis as creating a
            distorted, incomplete view of the faith in my own history. It makes me
            wince just to read the clarity Ben has brought to the subject.---- -R
            On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 10:01 AM, Christopher Orr <xcjorr@gmail. com> wrote:

            >
            >
            > *A Comment by Ben Harju on a Lutheran pastor's blog:*
            >
            > I see the trouble [of praying certain prayers TO the Theotokos] coming from
            > the combination of a number of things. For Lutherans:
            >
            > 1. The point of Christ's death is to satisfy legal demands.
            >
            > 2. His righteousness is imputed to sinners, giving them a new status.
            >
            > 3. The sacraments exist primarily (though not solely) to serve faith.
            >
            > 4. Sanctification is an off-shoot of imputed righteousness, not a central
            > theme.
            >
            > 5. Salvation is neatly seen as Christ placing man in a new category, which
            > gives him confidence against his sins and the surety of rest from his
            > labors
            > in heaven.
            >
            > Given what Lutherans believe, why turn to the Theotokos? Isn't she just
            > imputed with Christ's righteousness like us, now resting from her labors in
            > heaven?
            >
            > As a puny Orthodox catechumen, though, I would like to point out what I
            > think is the crux. Lutherans have erred concerning justification, which
            > disrupts their grasp on Christ's saving work and makes justification seem
            > disproportionately important. It's like a dislocated shoulder wrenched and
            > beaten, making the rest of the body think that life is about guarding that
            > injured member.
            >
            > Justification is not about mere imputation or obtaining a new status. It is
            > about being drawn into communion with the righteousness of Jesus Christ
            > Himself. This is not an infused grace (RC), but Christ Himself uniting
            > Himself to the sinner, cleansing sin away by His blood in Baptism and
            > Eucharist, and uniting to the person new life in the Spirit - a righteous
            > life (justification) and a holy life (sanctification in the narrow sense).
            > So the sinner becomes truly righteous - not merely in name, nor by some
            > added infusion, but by communion with Christ in the Holy Spirit. This is
            > justification. The righteousness of Christ alive in the sinner making him
            > or
            > her a saint. Imputation as used by Lutheran theology falls short and drives
            > a wedge into the saving work of Christ, separating the sinner from what
            > Christ does to save the individual.
            >
            > The point I'm making is that the goal of Christ's and the Spirit's work is
            > what you might know as sanctification (in the wide sense), not imputation.
            > Sinners are forgiven, cleansed, and make communicants of the life of the
            > Trinity. The outgrowth and manifestation of this sanctification (in the
            > wide
            > sense) is the spiritual life, which you can see in multitudinal ways in the
            > life and various vocations of the saints. Prayer is a chief characterizing
            > fruit of this sanctification, as is love and unity.
            >
            > Praying to the Blessed Mother of God like above is received in view of this
            > matrix of sanctification via communion. This prayer describes what the
            > saving sanctification of Christ effects; it shows us how life in the
            > kingdom
            > is. And this is only a fraction of the inexhaustible gift of salvation.
            >
            > Embedded in this, of course, is the issue of how to use the Scriptures and
            > ecclesiology, but at this point I think praying like this to the Theotokos
            > seems off because Lutherans are off on justification.
            >
            > I'm not trying to attack Lutherans here. I'm trying to speak clearly and to
            > the point, as best as I can (which isn't so good anymore). Pastor Weedon,
            > if
            > praying like this to the Mother of God is problematic, it is
            > understandable,
            > given the theology you have chosen to defend. Prayer to the Mother of God
            > is
            > the result of a sanctifying- growth-matrix instead of an
            > imputational- static-matrix.
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >

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




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • orthogrammy
            My mother was at a church once where a very kind and prayerful batiush- ka serves. One day, on the Nativity of the Mother of God, after liturgy he came out of
            Message 5 of 9 , Aug 14, 2009
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              My mother was at a church once where a very kind and prayerful batiush-
              ka serves. One day, on the Nativity of the Mother of God, after liturgy he
              came out of the royal doors to give the sermon. It was obvious that he felt
              the feast deeply. He crossed himself and began... "The Most Holy
              Theotokos..." (his voice trembled) "...our Lady, the Mother of God." Tears
              stood in his eyes and began to run down his cheek. People in the church
              began sniffling. "...her holy parents, Joachim and Anna..." he continued,
              crying openly now. The people were weeping quietly. Batiushka tried to con-
              tinue, but was unable. Tears were choking him. He made a hopeless gesture
              with his hands and retreated into the altar. The people sobbed aloud, and
              leaving the church, my mother heard two of his parishioners say that it was
              the best sermon they had ever heard.

              Sergei Laposhin

              http://www.roadtoemmaus.net/articleextracts.htm

              --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, Christopher Orr <xcjorr@...> wrote:
              >
              > *A Comment by Ben Harju on a Lutheran pastor's blog:*
              >
              > I see the trouble [of praying certain prayers TO the Theotokos] coming from
              > the combination of a number of things. For Lutherans:
              >
              > 1. The point of Christ's death is to satisfy legal demands.
              >
              > 2. His righteousness is imputed to sinners, giving them a new status.
              >
              > 3. The sacraments exist primarily (though not solely) to serve faith.
              >
              > 4. Sanctification is an off-shoot of imputed righteousness, not a central
              > theme.
              >
              > 5. Salvation is neatly seen as Christ placing man in a new category, which
              > gives him confidence against his sins and the surety of rest from his labors
              > in heaven.
              >
              > Given what Lutherans believe, why turn to the Theotokos? Isn't she just
              > imputed with Christ's righteousness like us, now resting from her labors in
              > heaven?
              >
              > As a puny Orthodox catechumen, though, I would like to point out what I
              > think is the crux. Lutherans have erred concerning justification, which
              > disrupts their grasp on Christ's saving work and makes justification seem
              > disproportionately important. It's like a dislocated shoulder wrenched and
              > beaten, making the rest of the body think that life is about guarding that
              > injured member.
              >
              > Justification is not about mere imputation or obtaining a new status. It is
              > about being drawn into communion with the righteousness of Jesus Christ
              > Himself. This is not an infused grace (RC), but Christ Himself uniting
              > Himself to the sinner, cleansing sin away by His blood in Baptism and
              > Eucharist, and uniting to the person new life in the Spirit - a righteous
              > life (justification) and a holy life (sanctification in the narrow sense).
              > So the sinner becomes truly righteous - not merely in name, nor by some
              > added infusion, but by communion with Christ in the Holy Spirit. This is
              > justification. The righteousness of Christ alive in the sinner making him or
              > her a saint. Imputation as used by Lutheran theology falls short and drives
              > a wedge into the saving work of Christ, separating the sinner from what
              > Christ does to save the individual.
              >
              > The point I'm making is that the goal of Christ's and the Spirit's work is
              > what you might know as sanctification (in the wide sense), not imputation.
              > Sinners are forgiven, cleansed, and make communicants of the life of the
              > Trinity. The outgrowth and manifestation of this sanctification (in the wide
              > sense) is the spiritual life, which you can see in multitudinal ways in the
              > life and various vocations of the saints. Prayer is a chief characterizing
              > fruit of this sanctification, as is love and unity.
              >
              > Praying to the Blessed Mother of God like above is received in view of this
              > matrix of sanctification via communion. This prayer describes what the
              > saving sanctification of Christ effects; it shows us how life in the kingdom
              > is. And this is only a fraction of the inexhaustible gift of salvation.
              >
              > Embedded in this, of course, is the issue of how to use the Scriptures and
              > ecclesiology, but at this point I think praying like this to the Theotokos
              > seems off because Lutherans are off on justification.
              >
              > I'm not trying to attack Lutherans here. I'm trying to speak clearly and to
              > the point, as best as I can (which isn't so good anymore). Pastor Weedon, if
              > praying like this to the Mother of God is problematic, it is understandable,
              > given the theology you have chosen to defend. Prayer to the Mother of God is
              > the result of a sanctifying-growth-matrix instead of an
              > imputational-static-matrix.
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • AdonaiUplifts@gmail.com
              In their experience, Lutheranism left them floating in a nebulous limbo of not knowing what to do/how they were involved in the sanctified life... Salvation
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 27, 2009
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                "In their experience, Lutheranism left them floating in a nebulous limbo of not knowing what to do/how they were involved in the sanctified life...
                "Salvation as "receive and believe in a sit and soak atmosphere" turned them away."


                I must say, that was precisely what initially turned me away from Lutheranism and sent me looking elsewhere. I struggled deeply with some habitual sins to the point they were on the cusp of becoming addictions. For years I fervently sought help to turn away from them and repent to no avail. Acknowledging that I was a sinner and trusting that Christ is the one who changes us was as far as Lutheran spirituality took me. Prayer, fasting, and obedience (especially fasting and obedience) as ways to overcome sin or draw near to Christ were at best "dangerous", because I might get the notion that I am healing myself, or I could be tempted in some way to claim victory for myself apart from Christ

                ------Original Message------
                From: oruaseht
                Sender: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                ReplyTo: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: "Prayer to the Mother of God is the result of a sanctifying-growth-matrix"
                Sent: Aug 4, 2009 15:48

                  At the Parish where I serve, I talked with a family who has since left the Lutheran church. When I inquired as to why they left, they said that they weren't getting the whole picture of Christianity. I inquired further and what they picked up on was the Lutheran focus on Justification to the exclusion of Sanctification. In their experience, Lutheranism left them floating in a nebulous limbo of not knowing what to do/how they were involved in the sanctified life. Unfortunately, they joined an anti-sacramental brethren sect that gave them all the self-aggrandized law they wanted. But the core of the matter (in my view anyways) was that they felt the un-natural separation of justification and sanctification that exists in Lutheranism. Salvation as "receive and believe in a sit and soak atmosphere" turned them away. --- In LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com, Rosemarie Lieffring <rose.lieffring@ ...> wrote: > > Christopher, I am glad you posted this there. Ben Harju articulated > something in a way I never could. He wrote: > > "As a puny Orthodox catechumen, though, I would like to point out what I > think is the crux. Lutherans have erred concerning justification, which > disrupts their grasp on Christ's saving work and makes justification seem > disproportionately important. It's like a dislocated shoulder wrenched and > beaten, making the rest of the body think that life is about guarding that > injured member." > > In reflection I have seen this "justification" emphasis as creating a > distorted, incomplete view of the faith in my own history. It makes me > wince just to read the clarity Ben has brought to the subject.---- -R > On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 10:01 AM, Christopher Orr <xcjorr@...> wrote: > > > > > > > *A Comment by Ben Harju on a Lutheran pastor's blog:* > > > > I see the trouble [of praying certain prayers TO the Theotokos] coming from > > the combination of a number of things. For Lutherans: > > > > 1. The point of Christ's death is to satisfy legal demands. > > > > 2. His righteousness is imputed
                Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
              • AdonaiUplifts@gmail.com
                Oops. Didn t mean to send that. Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile ... From: adonaiuplifts@gmail.com Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 22:56:33 To:
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 27, 2009
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                  Oops.

                  Didn't mean to send that.

                  Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: adonaiuplifts@...

                  Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 22:56:33
                  To: <LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com>; Jeremy Finck<Jeremy.Finck@...>
                  Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: "Prayer to the Mother of God is the result of a sanctifying-growth-matrix"


                  "In their experience, Lutheranism left them floating in a nebulous limbo of not knowing what to do/how they were involved in the sanctified life...
                  "Salvation as "receive and believe in a sit and soak atmosphere" turned them away."


                  I must say, that was precisely what initially turned me away from Lutheranism and sent me looking elsewhere. I struggled deeply with some habitual sins to the point they were on the cusp of becoming addictions. For years I fervently sought help to turn away from them and repent to no avail. Acknowledging that I was a sinner and trusting that Christ is the one who changes us was as far as Lutheran spirituality took me. Prayer, fasting, and obedience (especially fasting and obedience) as ways to overcome sin or draw near to Christ were at best "dangerous", because I might get the notion that I am healing myself, or I could be tempted in some way to claim victory for myself apart from Christ

                  ------Original Message------
                  From: oruaseht
                  Sender: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                  To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                  ReplyTo: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: "Prayer to the Mother of God is the result of a sanctifying-growth-matrix"
                  Sent: Aug 4, 2009 15:48

                    At the Parish where I serve, I talked with a family who has since left the Lutheran church. When I inquired as to why they left, they said that they weren't getting the whole picture of Christianity. I inquired further and what they picked up on was the Lutheran focus on Justification to the exclusion of Sanctification. In their experience, Lutheranism left them floating in a nebulous limbo of not knowing what to do/how they were involved in the sanctified life. Unfortunately, they joined an anti-sacramental brethren sect that gave them all the self-aggrandized law they wanted. But the core of the matter (in my view anyways) was that they felt the un-natural separation of justification and sanctification that exists in Lutheranism. Salvation as "receive and believe in a sit and soak atmosphere" turned them away. --- In LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com, Rosemarie Lieffring <rose.lieffring@ ...> wrote: > > Christopher, I am glad you posted this there. Ben Harju articulated > something in a way I never could. He wrote: > > "As a puny Orthodox catechumen, though, I would like to point out what I > think is the crux. Lutherans have erred concerning justification, which > disrupts their grasp on Christ's saving work and makes justification seem > disproportionately important. It's like a dislocated shoulder wrenched and > beaten, making the rest of the body think that life is about guarding that > injured member." > > In reflection I have seen this "justification" emphasis as creating a > distorted, incomplete view of the faith in my own history. It makes me > wince just to read the clarity Ben has brought to the subject.---- -R > On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 10:01 AM, Christopher Orr <xcjorr@...> wrote: > > > > > > > *A Comment by Ben Harju on a Lutheran pastor's blog:* > > > > I see the trouble [of praying certain prayers TO the Theotokos] coming from > > the combination of a number of things. For Lutherans: > > > > 1. The point of Christ's death is to satisfy legal demands. > > > > 2. His righteousness is imputed
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