Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dr. Mark Braun's comment in a larger context

I have followed up on Dr. Mark Braun's sermon statement. Dr. Braun had written a longer article about change in CHARIS which is no longer being published. The article written does cite Rev. Bartling as the source for the quote, but in the CHARIS article Dr. Braun does not offer a comment or opinion on Pastor Bartling's statement nor did he in the sermon.

[1] Mark Bartling, “WELS Pastor Says His Church Being Misled by False Theology,” Christian News 43 (November 7, 2005): 1, 10; cited by Mark Braun, “Changes in the Wisconsin Synod,” CHARIS 5 (Lent 2006): 24; http://www.charis.wlc.edu/publications/charis5-1/Braun.pdf


Pastor Bartling and Dr. Braun have communicated regularly. However, they have not spoken directly about the CHARIS statement or the sermon statement.

Dr. Braun did not attend the C&C conference and was only there to give the closing sermon and did not intend the statement to be a joke (and was surprised when they did laugh). We don't always know how the audience or reader will react.

14 comments:

LM said...

Thanks for the update John. I know Dr. Braun and I can't imagine him intentionally putting someone else down just for a laugh.

Any word yet if any of the workshop leaders recorded their sessions and if so, whether the audio files will be posted on the website? I think you mentioned once before that you were on the C&C mailing list--has there been any discussion there?

LM

John said...

LM -

I kind of doubt that the C&C leaders will be quick to post any recordings of the conference workshops. (That is just my opinion)

The C&C email list has very quite the past few weeks.

Anonymous said...

John,

Have you heard anything about the WELS clergy who participated in a communion service at Ft. Wayne with LC-MS, and ELCA minsters?

There is talk of this over on lutherquest.

Anonymous said...

"Dr. Braun did not attend the C&C conference and was only there to give the closing sermon and did not intend the statement to be a joke (and was surprised when they did laugh). We don't always know how the audience or reader will react."

So will we see an apology from all those who took Dr. Braun's words in the WORST possible manner?

For example-

"The sermon was filled with little jabs at those silly, unenlightened WELS pastors and people"

"I hate when things get nasty--snarky and "tit for tat"...it's all very high schoolish. It is really saddening to hear it being utilized in a sermon...revolting."

"That was a really cheap shot by Dr. Braun against Rev. Bartling."

"Never in my life have I ever heard one WELS pastor use another as the object of ridicule in a sermon to get some cheap laughs. That's what those of us in the WELS who are still confessional are to the C&Cers--a joke. How disgusting."

"What bothers me more than the cheap shot..."

John said...

Anonymous...

The statement wasn't intended as a joke but Pr. Bartling's statement was still taken to be a joke by the congregation of Church and Changers. So there most certainly still is a problem. Pr. Bartling was still an object of ridicule even if that was not the intent of Dr. Braun.

Now I imagine someone will say since I have been offended by the obnoxious reaction by the Church and Change congregation I should contact them. Dr. Braun intended the statement to be serious. But the audience thought it was a joke. They laughed at Rev. Bartling’s perception of their group.

Anonymous said...

Look at the quotes I gave... each one of them listed convicts Dr. Braun (not the laughing audience). Dragging his good name through the mud. Which he didn't deserve. I just found it very disappointing.

Ok... so you want to debate the laughter promulgated by maybe one or two - a decision to laugh made spontaneously in a split-second? Maybe if they had more time to think that their laughter would be recorded and then analyzed and criticized by a group that looks for people to jump on (like Dr. Braun) they would have restrained themselves.

Anonymous said...

John wrote:

"Dr. Braun intended the statement to be serious. But the audience thought it was a joke."

No matter what he may have told you, it still sounded like a joke to me. If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck and looks like a duck it is a duck...

Anonymous said...

"so you want to debate the laughter promulgated by maybe one or two"

Listen again. It's far more than one or two.

"a decision to laugh made spontaneously in a split-second?"

The fact that the laughter was spontaneous is even more disturbing. What one does in unguarded, spontaneous "gut reactions" usually reveals far more about one's true feelings than one's well thought-out responses.

In other words, the default position of C&C, the gut reaction they have to "other" WELS pastors, is ridicule and condescension.

That's disturbing.

Look, I can buy that Dr. Braun didn't intend for the laughter. That was out of his control. But preaching law and gospel was in his control. He intentionally failed to preach law and gospel.

Perhaps if the audience had been convicted of their sin rather than confirmed in it they wouldn't have been in such a mood to laugh at others.

Anonymous said...

"Listen again. It's far more than one or two."

I did. And what I said was correct. I hear clearly one or two laughing loudly, leading the rest in a low chuckle. Must we mince words?

And still... no apologies here for Dr. Braun. Its no wonder that so many people are afraid to print their name here. I've seen maybe 4 or 5 identify themselves.

Anonymous said...

"Its no wonder that so many people are afraid to print their name here. I've seen maybe 4 or 5 identify themselves."

Anon, if that is how you feel, why don't you lead by example?

Anonymous said...

"Anon, if that is how you feel, why don't you lead by example?"

I am, staying as anonymous :) That was my point.

If people drag others' name through the mud (see quotes regarding Dr. Braun above), with no regard for the truth, and no apologies when shown to be wrong, it is no wonder that people remain anonymous. I don't want that treatment done to me.

Anonymous said...

"No matter what he may have told you, it still sounded like a joke to me. If it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck and looks like a duck it is a duck..."

Dr. Braun read a quote verbatim without commentary. If anything was to be misconstrued as a joke, then, it would be Rev. Bartling's words, not Dr. Braun's.

And perhaps if that is the case, maybe there was something wrong with those words. Does anyone have a link to the Rev. Bartling's source material? I'd be interested in reading the context.

And reread John's words: "[Dr. Braun]... did not intend the statement to be a joke (and was surprised when they did laugh). We don't always know how the audience or reader will react."

John said...

My update was on the larger context was a paraphrase and summary of how Dr. Braun presented the details to me. He did say he was a bit surprised by how they reacted. I added that "we don't know always know how the audience will react."

Dr. Braun reinforced to me that he doesn't want to be associated with any synodical "camp" but maintaining "synodical neutrality" is not possible. He wasn't aware that the sermon was on a public website. I think that he might understand how his statement may need clarification.

He also said to me,

I applaud him (Bartling) for being willing to say out loud what many inside and outside the WELS may be thinking but may feel comfortable saying only within circles limited to people who already agree with them.

I wonder how the C&C congregation would have reacted to that as a follow-up?

I do have a written copy of the entire Braun sermon but I don't have the text for the Bartling article which is 2 years old.

I have heard that a more recent article by Bartling was just published in th Protes'tant "Faith-Life" periodical and has caused as stir among some WELS clergy.

Do people on this blog need to apologize for comments about a public sermon? I don't know. Do the people that laughed at the non-joke about Bartling need to apologize? I don't know. Are there divisions in the synod. I believe so.

Anonymous said...

John wrote about Mark Braun:

"Dr. Braun reinforced to me that he doesn't want to be associated with any synodical 'camp' but maintaining 'synodical neutrality' is not possible."

Dr. Braun, by accepting the invitation to preach for the close of the C and C conference, was making it very clear he is associating with one of the synodical camps. Synodical neutrality is possible--just say no to both C and C and Issues in WELS!