We’re already home — a great article from Blogia (Logia’s blog)

April 17th, 2014 Post by

Take a look today at this wonderful article by Pastor Christopher Neuendorf on recent events of a pastor converting from confessing the Lutheran faith to the Eastern Orthodox one.  Here is a start of the article:

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“It’s happened again: a Missouri Synod pastor has jumped ship, defecting to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Joshua Genig, formerly a pastor in Atlanta, Georgia, left his Lutheran parish and in December of last year received the sacrament (in Orthodox belief) of chrismation, together with his household. Of course, as is standard practice in these sorts of situations, Genig has gone public with an article explaining his decision. This one was published in First Things and is movingly entitled “My Journey into the Orthodox Church: We Travel Together Still.” What’s different this time is Genig’s characterization of the Lutheran Church. He argues that to be Lutheran is to be putative Orthodox, that his reception into the Orthodox Church is the culmination of the natural process of life as a Lutheran.

I beg to differ. What I see is a radical discontinuity. Genig’s transition to Eastern Orthodoxy is not the culmination of a process but the renunciation of a confession. ”

READ THE REST OF THIS EXCELLENT ARTICLE AT BLOGIA.

 

 


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  1. April 17th, 2014 at 13:02 | #1

    This reminds me of my last years in the ALC. After the retirement of my confirmation pastor who had served the congregation for 20 some years, we got pastors from the new crop of seminarians. They preached that the god of the Old Testament was a wrathful god, but the New Testament god, Jesus, was all compassion, that god has no wrath. This was founded on much higher criticism and contextualization, which were the academic glosses over a sheer projection of their own imagined better selves onto god. No wrath? Then why Gethsemane? Why the cross? Why was Jesus the particular revealer of hell? They rob Christ of his triumph over sin, wrath, death, the devil, the world, and the law’s condemnation of us sinners.

  2. April 17th, 2014 at 16:21 | #2

    Excellent observation, T.R.

    Could it be that ALC theology, specifically neo-Lutheranism, has crept into the LCMS?

  3. April 18th, 2014 at 12:08 | #3

    What I find curious is that many of the perceived deficiencies which ostensibly caused these men to leave the LCMS are found in their new church body to an even greater degree. For example:

    “The Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission has held its second meeting 3-7 October 2013 . . . We greatly appreciate the hospitality offered by the Anglican Communion, the Church of England . . . On Saturday 5 October we worshipped in the Coptic Orthodox Church of St Augustine . . . Through this act of worship the members of the Commission . . . expressed solidarity . . . On Sunday 6 October members of the Commission were welcomed to the Eucharist at The Chapel Royal, Hampton Court . . . and were joined by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby. . . At the conclusion of the dialogue the Commission thanked God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for the unity that they experienced and shared.” [http://www.anglicannews.org/news/2013/10/anglican,-oriental-orthodox-leaders-lament-christian-persecution.aspx]

    “A January consultation on ‘Orthodox and Wesleyan Spirituality’ . . . The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary sponsored the consultation, held at the seminary . . . Participants from the Orthodox and Methodist faith traditions discovered ‘considerable common ground’ . . . Morning and evening prayer services reflected both the Orthodox and Wesleyan traditions.” [http://archive.wfn.org/1999/02/msg00075.html]

    LCMS leaders engaging in joint worship and Communion with representatives of bodies such as the Church of England and the United Methodist Church, which among other aberrations have female clergy and openly homosexual bishops, is the kind of thing that would have disturbed those departing from the LCMS. But they are willing to overlook these and other aberrations in Eastern Orthodoxy. Indeed, in my conversations they simply deny any such aberrations exist, despite the evidence to the contrary. While ostensibly troubled by deficiencies in the LCMS, they are willing to grant to their new affiliation extreme leeway in matters of doctrine and practice, in my opinion much worse than anything encountered in the LCMS.

  4. Jais H. Tinglund
    April 18th, 2014 at 12:17 | #4

    It leaves you wondering, again, does it not, if the “worship experience” offered in the Eastern liturgy is not the really the main motivator for at least some Eastward conversions, if not the decisive motivator – and as such, of course, also for the denunciations of the Gospel that such conversions represent …

  5. Jason Loh
    April 19th, 2014 at 02:32 | #5

    @T. R. Halvorson #1

    The new crop of ALC seminarians probably missed out on Luther’s distinction between the un-preached and preached God — which is never an epochal or historical distinction but relational. The Son is indeed wrathful outside the proclamation of the Gospel in its oral and sacramental forms. Likewise, from another age (eschatological) or from before the foundations of the world, the Father elects and justifies sinners through, in and with the Son.

  6. April 19th, 2014 at 10:44 | #6

    >> if the “worship experience” offered in the Eastern liturgy is not the really the main motivator for at least some Eastward conversions

    Which is why I selected the two news articles that I quoted, where they are worshiping jointly with Anglicans and Methodists, and declaring that they found “considerable common ground” with “Wesleyan spirituality.” That at least calls into question the supposed unanimity in worship of Eastern Orthodoxy. They are apparently quite willing to compromise not only in doctrine but also in their worship practices.

  7. Jais H. Tinglund
    April 19th, 2014 at 12:39 | #7

    I have absolutely nothing with which to back this up – but it is my general impression that the Eastern churches tend to approach the whole Ecumenical thing with the attitude that they are definitely not going to change anything on their own part, since they are the authentic church.

    As such, what they seek in the Ecumenical encounter is to observe to what degree the “imperfect” church bodies are alike to, and different, from the East – as resemblance to the East is the criteria according to which degree “imperfect” church bodies are to be considered real and actual church bodies.

    And it is my impression that this attitude sets the Eastern churches free to merely observe, and thus to rejoice in, pretty much any and all similarities to their own spirituality that may appear to them in their encounter with other churches – for since they themselves are not going to change anyway, nothing that they would ever come upon in the Ecumenical encounter could ever present an actual threat to them, nor do they need to even consider their implementation in their own churches, or serious consider what the consequences would be if their were actually adopted and implemented.

    Again, I have absolutely nothing with which to back it up – but it is my impression that this generally self-assured attitude is what makes it possible for the supposedly “orthodox” Eastern churches to be so generous – and to be involved in the Ecumenical encounter to begin with.

  8. April 20th, 2014 at 00:08 | #8

    Fort Wayne isn’t turning seminarians to Eastern Orthodoxy. Those pastors who left had all but decided when they were still at their original congregations before becoming pastors.

    Essentially, this is idolatry. They care more for rituals than the Gospel.

    No one seems to be thinking about their poor wives and children swept along with those unfaithful pastors into a heterodox Church body.

    I think Blogia could have waited until after Holy Week to put his one up.

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