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What's the Difference?

Discussion in 'LCMS / WELS / ELS / LCC' started by BelindaP, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. DaRev

    DaRev Well-Known Member

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    But here, what you are saying that repentance is a work of ours. How do you know that God the Holy Spirit hasn't worked repentance in that 6-month-old? Simply because they cannot express it verbally? None of us is capable of repenting. That's why God works it in us, regardless of our ability to express it. I would think that an infant is less likely to reject the work of the Spirit due to ignorance.

    Knowledge or ability has nothing to do with repentance for the Christian. Repentance is a work of God in us, not a work from us.
     
  2. BelindaP

    BelindaP Senior Contributor

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    Oy, this sounds familiar. Takes me back to the infant baptism discussions I had before my conversion to Lutheranism ye odd years ago. I guess I still haven't beaten every last trace of the old sotierology out of my understanding yet. [Which is what probably makes me so susceptible to calvinist teachings.]

    What you say makes sense. But, I need to ponder and pray a bit. [Saves God having to pound so much on my very hard head. :D]
     
  3. DaRev

    DaRev Well-Known Member

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    As St. Paul says, "Pray without ceasing." :)
     
  4. BelindaP

    BelindaP Senior Contributor

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    I wish I were better at that.
     
  5. QuiltAngel

    QuiltAngel Veteran

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    Belinda, might I suggest that while you are studying the Lutheran Confessions that you stick to posting here and stay out of GT and CC and other theological areas of CF for a while. If there is a post in those areas that you think a Lutheran needs to reply to, PM one of our members and ask them for help. Many of us stay away from those discussions as many of the people there are good at twisting what others say or it looks like they are saying the same things when they have different meanings for similar terms.

    Read, listen and ask questions. Be slow on the posting replies for a while. Some of us do much more reading than posting and we learn a lot from our members here. I am one of those. I don't normally jump into the theological discussions unless I really have a question or feel that I can help others listen to each other, maybe trying to clarify what is being said.

    The fact that you are here asking gives me hope that you are here to learn. The fact that you continue discussing after your discussion with Zec gives me hope that you do want to understand Lutheran theology. It IS hard to leave behind beliefs that we grew up with. It can be done.
     
  6. BelindaP

    BelindaP Senior Contributor

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    I am trying to work things out. But, I feel bad that Zec feels he has to exclude himself from this forum. I originally posted here because I had a question about the difference between the two synods, and the subforum seemed the best place. Perhaps I should ask a mod to move the thread to the main forum so Zec continues to have a home forum.
     
  7. QuiltAngel

    QuiltAngel Veteran

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    If you think that is best for this thread, though it will invite non WELS and LCMS to reply which I am not sure you want that if you truly want to understand the theology the LCMS ascribes to.

    I might suggest too that both you and Zec not reply to other's posts/threads for a while. I think Zec is willing to do that on this thread and let others of us in the WELS and/or the LCMS answer your questions.
     
  8. BelindaP

    BelindaP Senior Contributor

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    I'm ok with that.
     
  9. JeCrois

    JeCrois Je Crois (zshuh kwah) = 'I believe'

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    Mod Hat on

    You'll notice some posts are gone from this thread. There's been a clean up.

    Let's try to stay on topic to the OP, OK folks?


    Mod Hat off
     
  10. JimfromOhio

    JimfromOhio Life of Trials :)

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    I attend LCMS church and I find this thread very educational
     
  11. TheCosmicGospel

    TheCosmicGospel Regular Member

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    There is probably a good reason why hunters don't camoflogue themselves as deer. When one uses terms like "election", "predestination", one may be using Calvinist misunderstandings that other Lutherans are not going to accept.

    The Calvinist approach to predestination is much different than a Lutheran's. Perhaps when you can distinguish them, the confusion might end. What looks like a deer may get you shot.

    Peace,

    Cos
     
  12. BelindaP

    BelindaP Senior Contributor

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    Can you explain the difference to me? It's always been a bit hazy to me.
     
  13. DaRev

    DaRev Well-Known Member

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    Pardon me for hijacking the thread, but this reminds me of a true story.

    There was a guy who went hunting wearing a camoflage jacket with a picture of a deer head on the back. Another hunter saw the deer head through the brush and shot the guy. (I believe he survived and is fine.) It was an accident, but the shooter needed to be charged with something, so the state police charged him with shooting game out of season because the picture on the guy's coat was of a doe and the shooter didn't have a doe permit.

    True story.

    ^_^
     
  14. synger

    synger Confessional Liturgical Lutheran Supporter

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    I can try. I'm not a pastor, but I grew up in the Reformed tradition, and studied and believed their confessions and catechisms for many years.

    From my understanding, when Lutherans speak of "predestination", we speak of God foreknowing those who will follow Him. His grace is given for all, but while we can't DO anything to believe IN him apart from faith, we can certainly turn away from him and resist the Holy Spirit's call and work. The Solid Declaration of Concord has a whole (long, wordy, dense) section on Election. It deals a lot with the predestination to election, but then gets into the idea around paragraph 78 and beyond that WE choose to reject God. So it comes down to "God chooses us for election, we choose to reject God and live without him"

    The Reformed, on the other hand, teach that God not only foreknows who will come to him and causes them to come, but he ALSO actively chooses those who will be "reprobate". This is sometimes called "double predestination"... God both elects his people, and declares the others reprobate and condemns them. Most Calvinists I talk to are actually closer to Lutheran thought on this -- they do not agree with their own confessions about God's condemnation of unbelievers.

    From the Westminster Confession of Faith (there isn't one article specifically on election, but it's throughout):


    So from reading this, and the Lutheran confessions, I usually try to explain it as follows:

    In general, Lutherans teach that God elects his believers, but that humans can reject him.

    Reformed confessions teach that God both elects believers and condemns non-believers, while simultaneously denying that God is the author of evil and non-belief.
     
  15. BelindaP

    BelindaP Senior Contributor

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    This may be where I got the two confused. The calvinist I've been talking to has very close to the Lutheran view. That's why he calls himself a Christmas calvinist, because he doesn't believe in limited atonement. Jesus died for us all, and God didn't select certain people for damnation. I thought he was talking about the orthodox calvinist view, but evidently he is more Lutheran than calvinist on that.
     
  16. Tangible

    Tangible Decision Theology = Ex Opere Operato

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    Maybe it's better to let the Lutherans be Lutherans and the Calvinists be Calvinists; that is, don't try to define one in terms of the other. That way you won't confuse people by saying "I'm a Lutheran" and "I'm a (whatever) Calvinist" be it Christmas, Easter, or Groundhog Day.
     
  17. BelindaP

    BelindaP Senior Contributor

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    OK, OK, I get it. Lutheran =/= Calvinist. Mutually exclusive, dropped from my vocabulary. Alright?

    I would like to start a thread to discuss the Confessions. I'm pretty nervous about doing this because people tend to jump all over people and label them 'not Lutheran' for the least deviation in belief. Yet, I'm having problems with a few of the articles and would like to discuss them. It is entirely possible that I'm misunderstanding something or getting wires crossed. I would appreciate it if folks took a teaching tact with me rather than a labeling tact. I got confirmed on the contents of the Small Catechism from a pretty screwed-up sotierology. Some remnants likely remain.
     
  18. PreachersWife2004

    PreachersWife2004 by his wounds we are healed Supporter

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    Generally, you should note that labels of "not lutheran" often are directed at those who consistently and regularly deny parts of the confessions, not those actively seeking counsel on the confessions. There's a HUGE difference in saying "I don't understand this part" and "This part makes no sense so this is what I believe".
     
  19. Tangible

    Tangible Decision Theology = Ex Opere Operato

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    Alright! :thumbsup:

    I'd be interested in a discussion of the confessions too. I've read bits and pieces of the BoC (mostly in the Treasury of Daily Prayer) but I haven't done a thorough study of any of the major parts except the Sm Cat.
     
  20. BelindaP

    BelindaP Senior Contributor

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    Sometimes people get jumped on for arguing points, though. And my learning style is a bit argumentative. Perhaps it's silly, but I'm vulnerable on this point.
     
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