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General LCMS view of the Orthodox Church

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  • Dave W.
    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
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 21, 2009
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      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
    • BPeter Brandt-Sorheim
      Dave,   When informed of my resignation and departure to Orthodoxy, the local LC-MS district president said:  They need to hear the gospel, too!   This can
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 21, 2009
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        Dave,
         
        When informed of my resignation and departure to Orthodoxy, the local LC-MS district president said:  "They need to hear the gospel, too!"  This can be interpreted in several ways but I chose to take the positive and understand it as suggesting I would have a positive role in my new spiritual community. 
         
        Most LC-MS folk simply have no realistic idea of what Orthodoxy is, usually suspecting it to be merely an anachronistic, ethnic version of Roman Catholicism. I did quite directly ask Professor Arthur C Piepkorn [at Concordia Seminary, St Louis], "What would you do if you could not be Lutheran?"  Without any hesitation that I could observe, he promptly responded, "I would be Orthodox, preferably Russian."
         
        Frankly, I did not deal with my family and neighborhood.  I moved away and followed my own path.  Happily my dear dad and mom said, "You are an educated adult and we respect your choices, even if those are not our choices."   Guess I had it easy.   Reader Peter
         
         --- On Sat, 2/21/09, Dave W. <dkwiech@...> wrote:

        From: Dave W. <dkwiech@...>
        Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] General LCMS view of the Orthodox Church
        To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Saturday, February 21, 2009, 2:59 PM






        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]
      • Christopher Orr
        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
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 21, 2009
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          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@...> 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]
        • Rosemarie Lieffring
          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
          Message 4 of 5 , 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]
          • Christopher Orr
            My WELS grandmother calmed my WELS mother down about my conversion: He s a Christian, isn t he? This surprised me, but it makes sense given what most people
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 22, 2009
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              My WELS grandmother calmed my WELS mother down about my conversion: 'He's a
              Christian, isn't he?' This surprised me, but it makes sense given what most
              people get into when they leave church - nothing or something realy kooky
              (New Age) or foreign (Buddhism). Plus, the 'old days' in America weren't so
              monolitically Christian even if they weren;t something non-Christian and my
              grandmother understood this.

              I think there is also a tendency for confessional Lutherans to forget that
              they don't teach that their denominations are 'The Church', but that the
              Church exists beyond these denominational borders. To me this belies the
              official teaching on the visible/invisible church and points to an
              understanding that the Church is real, tangible and physical - regardless of
              whether salvation *may* be had outside of her in some way unknown to us.

              Christopher



              On Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 2:59 PM, Dave W. <dkwiech@...> 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]
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