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Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: Prayers for the Dead

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  • Mike Bennett
    A Lutheran who has thought through the implication of the name Theotokos in light of the doctrine of the incarnation has no reason to blanch at the name and
    Message 1 of 16 , Nov 22, 2009
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      A Lutheran who has thought through the implication of the name Theotokos in light of the doctrine of the incarnation has no reason to blanch at the name and think "Mary Worshipper."
       
      Mike Bennett
      Lutheran

      --- On Sun, 11/22/09, Richard K. Futrell <PastorFutrell@...> wrote:


      From: Richard K. Futrell <PastorFutrell@...>
      Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: Prayers for the Dead
      To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Sunday, November 22, 2009, 7:12 AM


       





      Dr. Becker,

      We must often understand statements as to what is being said and
      what isn't. In our Protestant-infected mindset, we often see things as
      they are not meant to be. Take Theotokos, the "Bearer of God." This
      is more of a statement about Jesus in the womb, that He's God, than
      about Mary. It's all about Jesus. When we see it as all about Mary,
      we misunderstand Theotokos. But even Lutherans blanch when they hear
      the term, thinking you are some "Mary Worshiper."




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • DonPedroGordo
      Sacrifices and prayers to Thee, O Lord, we offer with praise. O receive them for the souls of those whom today we commemorate.   There is a similarity here
      Message 2 of 16 , Nov 22, 2009
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        "Sacrifices and prayers to Thee,
        O Lord, we offer with praise.
        O receive them for the souls of those
        whom today we commemorate."
         
        There is a similarity here to the imprecatory psalms.  The speaker has strong emotions in the matter at hand, makes strong requests of the Lord, but ultimately leaves all decisions in the hand of the Lord. It evidences a high level of trust in God. No magic, no good works, just the sacrifices of praise and intercession offered in faith.
         
        Abraham trusted God and it was counted to him for righteousness.
         
        Deacon Fr Finbar






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • randall hay
        I ll put my two cents in on some of these topics, for what it s worth...but first, I can t help feeling anguish along with our correspondents who are
        Message 3 of 16 , Nov 25, 2009
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          I'll put my two cents in on some of these topics, for what it's worth...but first, I can't help feeling anguish along with our correspondents who are remaining in Lutheranism and suffering the depression, pain, despondency and heartache. 

          I was there, too. 

          Back in the mid-'90's I tried changing parishes, validating my points with historical/Scriptural proofs, enlisting support from seminary professors, and even considered starting a society...but it was all useless.  I was completely in the right, I'm sure, from a historical Lutheran perspective; but I didn't have the slightest effect on worship or getting-things-back-to-where-they-should-be.  All I did was mire myself more  and more deeply in a spiritual morass, and get more and more  upset till I was lying in bed at night too angry to sleep. 

          My last pastor---who was one of the most traditional in the area---told me I should go ahead and become a pastor myself so I could do what I wanted.  But that was the whole problem! 

          I wish I'd paid more attention to what the NT says about the church, and  its being the "pillar and bulwork" of truth.  I never grasped that it has to have always been here, prevailing against the gates of hades; and that was impossible for me to judge it.  It took me years of anguish and finally converting to suddenly realize that IT judges what I believe rather than vice versa.  

          Anyhow, regarding prayers for the departed....we pray for all the departed; they're not really dead, and Christ only has one body, so we don't pretend we're separated. We believe in the Resurrection and in one holy catholic and apostolic church; we would feel kind of crazy to treat the departed as members of some other body. 

          We don't really know for sure where  someone is after he leaves this earth; hopefull with Christ, in which case prayers can somehow add to his ineffable joy.  If he's in the  wrong place, the prayers may help ameliorate his pain.  We really can't presume to know  the judgment of God, so we just pray for the person.

          As far as the Treasury of Merits, it's absolutely ludicrous in our eyes.  In fact, one of the members of my parish converted  from RC over that very issue.  What precisely are the limits of holiness for those who  have Christ in them?   St Paul tells us we can be filled with all the fulness of God; St Peter that we can partake of His divine nature....where are the hints that we only need a certain amount of sanctity?  The Treasury of Merits only makes sense if you ignore deification....it's never a good idea to do that, since St Paul makes it a measuring-stick of our spiritual life:

          "Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith.  Test yourselves.  Do you not know that  Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed you fail to meet the test."  (II  Cor 13:5)

          R.



          ________________________________
          From: Mary Becker <beckerpm657@...>
          To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
          Cc: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sun, November 22, 2009 2:59:01 AM
          Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: Prayers for the Dead

           
          It came to me last night in prayer for the Solemnity of Christ the King that in the western rite Requiem Mass the church asks:

          O Dominie Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae, libera animas defunctorum de poenis inferni, de ore leonis et de profundo lacu.

          (My loose tranalation: ) O Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, free the souls of the departed from punishment of fire, from the lion's mouth and the deep lake (of fire). Requiem aeternam, dona eis, Domine. Rest eternal grant them, O Lord. Is there any parallel for these prayers in the Orthodox Church? Can subscribers to the Augsburg Confession pray in this way without being spiritually schizophrenic? Do western rite Orthodox pray this way? Pr. Paul Becker
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Oruaseht" <oruaseht@yahoo. com>
          To: LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com
          Sent: Sunday, November 22, 2009 12:19:50 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
          Subject: [LutheransLookingEa st] Re: Prayers for the Dead

           

          I am also depressed. :( I'm still in the process of searching out if Orthodoxy is what it says it is: the fullness of the Church. No identity crisis there! I don't like being protestant anymore but I am not ready to make the leap East yet either.

          --- In LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com , "Richard K. Futrell" <PastorFutrell@ ...> wrote:
          >
          > Our unsureness of who we are as Lutherans, but knowing ever firmly that
          > we aren't Roman Catholic has stripped away much of our identity and has
          > moved us into the Protestant camp (prayers for the dead, even prayers
          > (but not worshipping them) to departed saints, our canon, forms of
          > worship, etc . . .). Sadly, most Lutherans don't even know it! We
          > have become a two-dimensional caricature of who we are supposed to be.
          > All Lutherans who take their Confessions seriously are, thus, in an
          > identity crisis and suffer (at least I do) periodic bouts of depression.
          >
          > --
          > RF, Pastor
          >
          > Where we are to receive and confess the faith of the Church (in and
          > with the Augsburg Confession)- -the faith once delivered to the saints,
          > the faith of Christ Jesus, His Word of the Gospel, His free and full
          > forgiveness of sins, His flesh and blood given and poured out for us,
          > and His gracious gift of life for both body and soul.
          >
          > Quoting Oruaseht :
          >
          > The Lutheran reluctance to pray for the dead is still based on fear
          > of the Roman merit system. "Romophobia" strikes again! The underlying
          > issue for me is a highly-undeveloped ecclesiology and an even further
          > undeveloped understanding and practice of the Communion of the Saints.
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • DonPedroGordo
          Hei!  Tschüß!  ¡Hola!  Oi!  Ciao!  Hi!      The advice that one should become a pastor so as to do as one wishes was part of the problem for me.
          Message 4 of 16 , Nov 25, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            Hei!  Tschüß!  ¡Hola!  Oi!  Ciao!  Hi! 
                The advice that one should become a pastor so as to do as one wishes was part of the problem for me. How could I in good conscience [other issues not considered here] teach more traditional understandings in my congregations, knowing full well that a) neither would I be supported by the clergy and organization around me, b) nor could I have any confidence that, should I leave the congregation, the pastor following me would continue what I had begun.  Flip-flop from one perspective to another would lead to confusion, depression, and destruction of faith in those for whom I had a responsibility.  And, as I said to those who were saddened at my departure, I must take care to save my own soul, too!
                 Deacon Peter Brandt-Sorheim
             

            --- On Wed, 11/25/09, randall hay <stortford@...> wrote:


            From: randall hay <stortford@...>
            Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: Prayers for the Dead
            To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 4:13 AM


             



            I'll put my two cents in on some of these topics, for what it's worth...but first, I can't help feeling anguish along with our correspondents who are remaining in Lutheranism and suffering the depression, pain, despondency and heartache. 

            I was there, too. 

            Back in the mid-'90's I tried changing parishes, validating my points with historical/Scriptur al proofs, enlisting support from seminary professors, and even considered starting a society...but it was all useless.  I was completely in the right, I'm sure, from a historical Lutheran perspective; but I didn't have the slightest effect on worship or getting-things- back-to-where- they-should- be.  All I did was mire myself more  and more deeply in a spiritual morass, and get more and more  upset till I was lying in bed at night too angry  to sleep. 

            My last pastor---who was one of the most traditional in the area---told me I should go ahead and become a pastor myself so I could do what I wanted.  But that was the whole problem! 

            I wish I'd paid more attention to what the NT says about the church, and  its being the "pillar and bulwork" of truth.  I never grasped that it has to have always been here, prevailing against the gates of hades; and that was impossible for me to judge it.  It took me years of anguish and finally converting to suddenly realize that IT judges what I believe rather than vice versa.  

            Anyhow, regarding prayers for the departed.... we pray for all the departed; they're not really dead, and Christ only has one body, so we don't pretend we're separated. We believe in the Resurrection and in one holy catholic and apostolic church; we would feel kind of crazy to treat the departed as members of some other body. 

            We don't really know for sure where  someone is after he leaves this earth; hopefull with Christ, in which case prayers can somehow add to his ineffable joy.  If he's in the  wrong place, the prayers may help ameliorate his pain.  We really can't presume to know  the judgment of God, so we just pray for the person.

            As far as the Treasury of Merits, it's absolutely ludicrous in our eyes.  In fact, one of the members of my parish converted  from RC over that very issue.  What precisely are the limits of holiness for those who  have Christ in them?   St Paul tells us we can be filled with all the fulness of God; St Peter that we can partake of His divine nature....where are the hints that we only need a certain amount of sanctity?  The Treasury of Merits only makes sense if you ignore deification. ...it's never a good idea to do that, since St Paul makes it a measuring-stick of our spiritual life:

            "Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith.  Test yourselves.  Do you not know that  Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed you fail to meet the test."  (II  Cor 13:5)

            R.

            ____________ _________ _________ __
            From: Mary Becker <beckerpm657@ pol.net>
            To: LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com
            Cc: LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com
            Sent: Sun, November 22, 2009 2:59:01 AM
            Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEa st] Re: Prayers for the Dead

             
            It came to me last night in prayer for the Solemnity of Christ the King that in the western rite Requiem Mass the church asks:

            O Dominie Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae, libera animas defunctorum de poenis inferni, de ore leonis et de profundo lacu.

            (My loose tranalation: ) O Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, free the souls of the departed from punishment of fire, from the lion's mouth and the deep lake (of fire). Requiem aeternam, dona eis, Domine. Rest eternal grant them, O Lord. Is there any parallel for these prayers in the Orthodox Church? Can subscribers to the Augsburg Confession pray in this way without being spiritually schizophrenic? Do western rite Orthodox pray this way? Pr. Paul Becker
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Oruaseht" <oruaseht@yahoo. com>
            To: LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com
            Sent: Sunday, November 22, 2009 12:19:50 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
            Subject: [LutheransLookingEa st] Re: Prayers for the Dead

             

            I am also depressed. :( I'm still in the process of searching out if Orthodoxy is what it says it is: the fullness of the Church. No identity crisis there! I don't like being protestant anymore but I am not ready to make the leap East yet either.

            --- In LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com , "Richard K. Futrell" <PastorFutrell@ ...> wrote:
            >
            > Our unsureness of who we are as Lutherans, but knowing ever firmly that
            > we aren't Roman Catholic has stripped away much of our identity and has
            > moved us into the Protestant camp (prayers for the dead, even prayers
            > (but not worshipping them) to departed saints, our canon, forms of
            > worship, etc . . .). Sadly, most Lutherans don't even know it! We
            > have become a two-dimensional caricature of who we are supposed to be.
            > All Lutherans who take their Confessions seriously are, thus, in an
            > identity crisis and suffer (at least I do) periodic bouts of depression.
            >
            > --
            > RF, Pastor
            >
            > Where we are to receive and confess the faith of the Church (in and
            > with the Augsburg Confession)- -the faith once delivered to the saints,
            > the faith of Christ Jesus, His Word of the Gospel, His free and full
            > forgiveness of sins, His flesh and blood given and poured out for us,
            > and His gracious gift of life for both body and soul.
            >
            > Quoting Oruaseht :
            >
            > The Lutheran reluctance to pray for the dead is still based on fear
            > of the Roman merit system. "Romophobia" strikes again! The underlying
            > issue for me is a highly-undeveloped ecclesiology and an even further
            > undeveloped understanding and practice of the Communion of the Saints.
            >
            >
            >
            > [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
            That s a very good point, Fr Deacon Peter, about watching out for our own souls too!  It s so easy to overextend oneself, either by trying to help others
            Message 5 of 16 , Nov 25, 2009
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              That's a very good point, Fr Deacon Peter, about watching out for our own souls too!  It's so easy to overextend oneself, either by trying to help others past our capacity, or by remaining in an untenable situation hoping it will miraculously change, as I had done. 

              But, what can we do for others  if we're in a state of perpetual misery, depression or bitterness?  Instead of being able to help them, we're too likely to infect them with our spiritual disease.  It's a recipe for family fights, divorce, misunderstandings, broken relationships, strife, impaired physical immunity and an early grave.

              The  fathers speak of the "Royal Road" (Num 22:22 LXX?), in which we never let ourselves fall into sloth, but don't try anything too difficult, either.  Each of us has his own unique capacity. 


              R.


              ________________________________
              From: DonPedroGordo <donpedrogordo@...>
              To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Wed, November 25, 2009 1:48:02 AM
              Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: Prayers for the Dead

               


              Hei!  Tschüß!  ¡Hola!  Oi!  Ciao!  Hi! 
                  The advice that one should become a pastor so as to do as one wishes was part of the problem for me. How could I in good conscience [other issues not considered here] teach more traditional understandings in my congregations, knowing full well that a) neither would I be supported by the clergy and organization around me, b) nor could I have any confidence that, should I leave the congregation, the pastor following me would continue what I had begun.  Flip-flop from one perspective to another would lead to confusion, depression, and destruction of faith in those for whom I had a responsibility.  And, as I said to those who were saddened at my departure, I must take care to save my own soul, too!
                   Deacon Peter Brandt-Sorheim
               

              --- On Wed, 11/25/09, randall hay <stortford@sbcglobal .net> wrote:

              From: randall hay <stortford@sbcglobal .net>
              Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEa st] Re: Prayers for the Dead
              To: LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com
              Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 4:13 AM

               

              I'll put my two cents in on some of these topics, for what it's worth...but first, I can't help feeling anguish along with our correspondents who are remaining in Lutheranism and suffering the depression, pain, despondency and heartache. 

              I was there, too. 

              Back in the mid-'90's I tried changing parishes, validating my points with historical/Scriptur al proofs, enlisting support from seminary professors, and even considered starting a society...but it was all useless.  I was completely in the right, I'm sure, from a historical Lutheran perspective; but I didn't have the slightest effect on worship or getting-things- back-to-where- they-should- be.  All I did was mire myself more  and more deeply in a spiritual morass, and get more and more  upset till I was lying in bed at night too angry  to sleep. 

              My last pastor---who was one of the most traditional in the area---told me I should go ahead and become a pastor myself so I could do what I wanted.  But that was the whole problem! 

              I wish I'd paid more attention to what the NT says about the church, and  its being the "pillar and bulwork" of truth.  I never grasped that it has to have always been here, prevailing against the gates of hades; and that was impossible for me to judge it.  It took me years of anguish and finally converting to suddenly realize that IT judges what I believe rather than vice versa.  

              Anyhow, regarding prayers for the departed.... we pray for all the departed; they're not really dead, and Christ only has one body, so we don't pretend we're separated. We believe in the Resurrection and in one holy catholic and apostolic church; we would feel kind of crazy to treat the departed as members of some other body. 

              We don't really know for sure where  someone is after he leaves this earth; hopefull with Christ, in which case prayers can somehow add to his ineffable joy.  If he's in the  wrong place, the prayers may help ameliorate his pain.  We really can't presume to know  the judgment of God, so we just pray for the person.

              As far as the Treasury of Merits, it's absolutely ludicrous in our eyes.  In fact, one of the members of my parish converted  from RC over that very issue.  What precisely are the limits of holiness for those who  have Christ in them?   St Paul tells us we can be filled with all the fulness of God; St Peter that we can partake of His divine nature....where are the hints that we only need a certain amount of sanctity?  The Treasury of Merits only makes sense if you ignore deification. ...it's never a good idea to do that, since St Paul makes it a measuring-stick of our spiritual life:

              "Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith.  Test yourselves.  Do you not know that  Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed you fail to meet the test."  (II  Cor 13:5)

              R.

              ____________ _________ _________ __
              From: Mary Becker <beckerpm657@ pol.net>
              To: LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com
              Cc: LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com
              Sent: Sun, November 22, 2009 2:59:01 AM
              Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEa st] Re: Prayers for the Dead

               
              It came to me last night in prayer for the Solemnity of Christ the King that in the western rite Requiem Mass the church asks:

              O Dominie Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae, libera animas defunctorum de poenis inferni, de ore leonis et de profundo lacu.

              (My loose tranalation: ) O Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, free the souls of the departed from punishment of fire, from the lion's mouth and the deep lake (of fire). Requiem aeternam, dona eis, Domine. Rest eternal grant them, O Lord. Is there any parallel for these prayers in the Orthodox Church? Can subscribers to the Augsburg Confession pray in this way without being spiritually schizophrenic? Do western rite Orthodox pray this way? Pr. Paul Becker
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Oruaseht" <oruaseht@yahoo. com>
              To: LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com
              Sent: Sunday, November 22, 2009 12:19:50 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
              Subject: [LutheransLookingEa st] Re: Prayers for the Dead

               

              I am also depressed. :( I'm still in the process of searching out if Orthodoxy is what it says it is: the fullness of the Church. No identity crisis there! I don't like being protestant anymore but I am not ready to make the leap East yet either.

              --- In LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com , "Richard K. Futrell" <PastorFutrell@ ...> wrote:
              >
              > Our unsureness of who we are as Lutherans, but knowing ever firmly that
              > we aren't Roman Catholic has stripped away much of our identity and has
              > moved us into the Protestant camp (prayers for the dead, even prayers
              > (but not worshipping them) to departed saints, our canon, forms of
              > worship, etc . . .). Sadly, most Lutherans don't even know it! We
              > have become a two-dimensional caricature of who we are supposed to be.
              > All Lutherans who take their Confessions seriously are, thus, in an
              > identity crisis and suffer (at least I do) periodic bouts of depression.
              >
              > --
              > RF, Pastor
              >
              > Where we are to receive and confess the faith of the Church (in and
              > with the Augsburg Confession)- -the faith once delivered to the saints,
              > the faith of Christ Jesus, His Word of the Gospel, His free and full
              > forgiveness of sins, His flesh and blood given and poured out for us,
              > and His gracious gift of life for both body and soul.
              >
              > Quoting Oruaseht :
              >
              > The Lutheran reluctance to pray for the dead is still based on fear
              > of the Roman merit system. "Romophobia" strikes again! The underlying
              > issue for me is a highly-undeveloped ecclesiology and an even further
              > undeveloped understanding and practice of the Communion of the Saints.
              >
              >
              >
              > [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]




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Christopher Orr
              Some other resources regarding prayers for the dead and the state of the soul after death:
              Message 6 of 16 , Nov 26, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                Some other resources regarding prayers for the dead and the state of the
                soul after death:

                http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/pannihida_e.htm#n4<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_service_%28Orthodox%29>
                http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/pannihida_e.htm<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_service_%28Orthodox%29>
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_service_%28Orthodox%29
                http://www.oca.org/QAindex-deathfunerals.asp?SID=3
                http://logismoitouaaron.blogspot.com/2009/11/passage-of-soul-in-few-patristic.html
                http://logismoitouaaron.blogspot.com/2009/11/passage-of-soul-in-modern-theologians.html

                Christopher



                On Thu, Nov 26, 2009 at 2:59 AM, randall hay <stortford@...>wrote:

                >
                >
                > That's a very good point, Fr Deacon Peter, about watching out for our own
                > souls too! It's so easy to overextend oneself, either by trying to help
                > others past our capacity, or by remaining in an untenable situation hoping
                > it will miraculously change, as I had done.
                >
                > But, what can we do for others if we're in a state of perpetual misery,
                > depression or bitterness? Instead of being able to help them, we're too
                > likely to infect them with our spiritual disease. It's a recipe for family
                > fights, divorce, misunderstandings, broken relationships, strife, impaired
                > physical immunity and an early grave.
                >
                > The fathers speak of the "Royal Road" (Num 22:22 LXX?), in which we never
                > let ourselves fall into sloth, but don't try anything too difficult,
                > either. Each of us has his own unique capacity.
                >
                > R.
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: DonPedroGordo <donpedrogordo@... <donpedrogordo%40yahoo.com>>
                > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>
                > Sent: Wed, November 25, 2009 1:48:02 AM
                >
                > Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: Prayers for the Dead
                >
                >
                >
                > Hei! Tsch��! �Hola! Oi! Ciao! Hi!
                > The advice that one should become a pastor so as to do as one wishes
                > was part of the problem for me. How could I in good conscience [other issues
                > not considered here] teach more traditional understandings in my
                > congregations, knowing full well that a) neither would I be supported by the
                > clergy and organization around me, b) nor could I have any confidence that,
                > should I leave the congregation, the pastor following me would continue what
                > I had begun. Flip-flop from one perspective to another would lead to
                > confusion, depression, and destruction of faith in those for whom I had a
                > responsibility. And, as I said to those who were saddened at my departure,
                > I must take care to save my own soul, too!
                > Deacon Peter Brandt-Sorheim
                >
                >
                > --- On Wed, 11/25/09, randall hay <stortford@sbcglobal .net> wrote:
                >
                > From: randall hay <stortford@sbcglobal .net>
                > Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEa st] Re: Prayers for the Dead
                > To: LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com
                > Date: Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 4:13 AM
                >
                >
                >
                > I'll put my two cents in on some of these topics, for what it's worth...but
                > first, I can't help feeling anguish along with our correspondents who are
                > remaining in Lutheranism and suffering the depression, pain, despondency and
                > heartache.
                >
                > I was there, too.
                >
                > Back in the mid-'90's I tried changing parishes, validating my points with
                > historical/Scriptur al proofs, enlisting support from seminary professors,
                > and even considered starting a society...but it was all useless. I was
                > completely in the right, I'm sure, from a historical Lutheran perspective;
                > but I didn't have the slightest effect on worship or getting-things-
                > back-to-where- they-should- be. All I did was mire myself more and more
                > deeply in a spiritual morass, and get more and more upset till I was
                > lying in bed at night too angry to sleep.
                >
                > My last pastor---who was one of the most traditional in the area---told me
                > I should go ahead and become a pastor myself so I could do what I wanted.
                > But that was the whole problem!
                >
                > I wish I'd paid more attention to what the NT says about the church, and
                > its being the "pillar and bulwork" of truth. I never grasped that it has to
                > have always been here, prevailing against the gates of hades; and that was
                > impossible for me to judge it. It took me years of anguish and finally
                > converting to suddenly realize that IT judges what I believe rather than
                > vice versa.
                >
                > Anyhow, regarding prayers for the departed.... we pray for all the
                > departed; they're not really dead, and Christ only has one body, so we don't
                > pretend we're separated. We believe in the Resurrection and in one holy
                > catholic and apostolic church; we would feel kind of crazy to treat the
                > departed as members of some other body.
                >
                > We don't really know for sure where someone is after he leaves this earth;
                > hopefull with Christ, in which case prayers can somehow add to his ineffable
                > joy. If he's in the wrong place, the prayers may help ameliorate his
                > pain. We really can't presume to know the judgment of God, so we just pray
                > for the person.
                >
                > As far as the Treasury of Merits, it's absolutely ludicrous in our eyes.
                > In fact, one of the members of my parish converted from RC over that very
                > issue. What precisely are the limits of holiness for those who have Christ
                > in them? St Paul tells us we can be filled with all the fulness of God; St
                > Peter that we can partake of His divine nature....where are the hints that
                > we only need a certain amount of sanctity? The Treasury of Merits only
                > makes sense if you ignore deification. ...it's never a good idea to do that,
                > since St Paul makes it a measuring-stick of our spiritual life:
                >
                > "Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do
                > you not know that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed you fail to meet
                > the test." (II Cor 13:5)
                >
                > R.
                >
                > ____________ _________ _________ __
                > From: Mary Becker <beckerpm657@ pol.net>
                > To: LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com
                > Cc: LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com
                > Sent: Sun, November 22, 2009 2:59:01 AM
                > Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEa st] Re: Prayers for the Dead
                >
                >
                > It came to me last night in prayer for the Solemnity of Christ the King
                > that in the western rite Requiem Mass the church asks:
                >
                > O Dominie Jesu Christe, Rex gloriae, libera animas defunctorum de poenis
                > inferni, de ore leonis et de profundo lacu.
                >
                > (My loose tranalation: ) O Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, free the souls
                > of the departed from punishment of fire, from the lion's mouth and the deep
                > lake (of fire). Requiem aeternam, dona eis, Domine. Rest eternal grant them,
                > O Lord. Is there any parallel for these prayers in the Orthodox Church? Can
                > subscribers to the Augsburg Confession pray in this way without being
                > spiritually schizophrenic? Do western rite Orthodox pray this way? Pr. Paul
                > Becker
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: "Oruaseht" <oruaseht@yahoo. com>
                > To: LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com
                > Sent: Sunday, November 22, 2009 12:19:50 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
                > Subject: [LutheransLookingEa st] Re: Prayers for the Dead
                >
                >
                >
                > I am also depressed. :( I'm still in the process of searching out if
                > Orthodoxy is what it says it is: the fullness of the Church. No identity
                > crisis there! I don't like being protestant anymore but I am not ready to
                > make the leap East yet either.
                >
                > --- In LutheransLookingEas t@yahoogroups. com , "Richard K. Futrell"
                > <PastorFutrell@ ...> wrote:
                > >
                > > Our unsureness of who we are as Lutherans, but knowing ever firmly that
                > > we aren't Roman Catholic has stripped away much of our identity and has
                > > moved us into the Protestant camp (prayers for the dead, even prayers
                > > (but not worshipping them) to departed saints, our canon, forms of
                > > worship, etc . . .). Sadly, most Lutherans don't even know it! We
                > > have become a two-dimensional caricature of who we are supposed to be.
                > > All Lutherans who take their Confessions seriously are, thus, in an
                > > identity crisis and suffer (at least I do) periodic bouts of depression.
                > >
                > > --
                > > RF, Pastor
                > >
                > > Where we are to receive and confess the faith of the Church (in and
                > > with the Augsburg Confession)- -the faith once delivered to the saints,
                > > the faith of Christ Jesus, His Word of the Gospel, His free and full
                > > forgiveness of sins, His flesh and blood given and poured out for us,
                > > and His gracious gift of life for both body and soul.
                > >
                > > Quoting Oruaseht :
                > >
                > > The Lutheran reluctance to pray for the dead is still based on fear
                > > of the Roman merit system. "Romophobia" strikes again! The underlying
                > > issue for me is a highly-undeveloped ecclesiology and an even further
                > > undeveloped understanding and practice of the Communion of the Saints.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > [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]
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >


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