Just posted the following on the Confessional Lutheran Fellowship group on Facebook:
The ELCA seminary in Pennsylvania is running out their President for once having told Christians to resist same-sex attraction (story here). Evidently, all “bound consciences” are not created equal. Timothy Wengert, who teaches at that seminary, is the contributing editor of Lutheran Quarterly (which many LC-MS authors write for), co-translated the Book of Concord with Robert Kolb, and helped make all of this possible with his 2009 paper talking about Martin Luther and the issue of “bound consciences.”
Wengert either is a very irresponsible scholar or a very dishonest one. In the blog post I shared yesterday “Sex and America’s Political Conscience: Seared, Hardened, and “Woke” All at the Same Time (part I of II)”, I provided Martin Luther’s true view of conscience from Pastor Paul Strawn’s paper on the topic, which you can read here:
In the paper, you will learn about:
*Wengert’s “simply tragic” (I’d use a different word) failure to acknowledge existing scholarship that had been done on Martin Luther and the conscience by highly noted scholars (I add, this is a good way to kill your conscience about conscience).
*How for Luther, “the burdening of the conscience with man-made laws or traditions, and the burdening of the conscience by the Law of God in view of sin, are two vastly different things.”
*How an evil conscience can become hardened: “man can and does fight against his conscience and eventually, may even be able to subdue it so that it goes into a type of dormancy.”
*How Luther found these things not only in the Bible, but in the character of Orestes in Virgil’s Aeneid: the Erinyes, or Furies, of Alecto (“unceasing”), Megaera (“grudging”), and Tisiphone (“avenging murder,” hounding the guilty for their sin). If hell is not feared, future pain and suffering certainly is. (Luther: “I am speaking about true knowledge, in which the wrath of God against sin is perceived and a true taste of death is sensed….” (AE 26:148))
*How Luther broke with the scholastic concept of the human conscience which said that it, in part, was a “native capacity to choose to do good,” and instead spoke about the matter in accordance with the Apostle Paul.
*Luther: “[the conscience’s] purpose is not to do, but to pass judgment on what has been done and what should be done, and this judgment makes us stand accused or saved in God’s sight.”
*How a natural conscience, which has a knowledge of God and His Law, can become a seared conscience, i.e. one that functions improperly, where it cannot “accurately judge the actions of the individual.”
*In other words, it becomes “artificial, false, unreasonable, not natural, not true, causing a fear of God, that is worship, where God is not to be feared or worshiped.”
*For a good conscience, “an unfortunate event (which would terrify the evil conscience, bringing to mind former sins, and bringing to light future judgment) is considered not to have happened by chance, ‘but in accord with the good will of God.’”
*In sum “[h]ow Timothy Wengert applied the concept of ‘bound conscience’ to those who claim to be Christian but who would live in homosexual relationships is not to be found in the writings of Martin Luther” (to say the least!)
Please comment below, or if you are in CLF, go there and comment.