Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Lordy! Lutheran Pastor Paul T. McCain Spits Chips at Orthodox Priest Fr John Fenton

I said I was going to bed to read Sacramentum Caritatis, didn't I? But I was sidetracked by the fact that my site-meter recorded more than 85 people visiting my blog today. Where are they all coming from, I wondered? Well, some are coming from the Siena Blog (Hi ya, Sherry, and thanks, Clara!), and others are googling Sacramentum Caritatis, but one at least has come from Fr John Boyle's blog, where back in November he put up a link to my discussion of Fr Fenton's defection from Wittenberg to Athens. And boy, oh boy, was there some vitriol in the comments section from Pastor Paul T. McCain! Paul is under no illusions about the Truth. Those of us convinced of the infallibility of the Pope have no more certainty of faith than Pastor Paul finds in Lutheran Confessions, Martin Luther and C.F.W. Walther. But even given that, his attack on Fr Fenton is as scathing as anything Luther ever poured out on the Pope. Here's a taste:
ptmccain said...
The resignation of John Fenton in the Detroit area from his call and his announcement that he is joining an Eastern Orthodox church has elicited interesting responses across the Lutheran blogosphere. Some have expressed their "admiration" for his "honesty" and lauded his great leadership on liturgical issues in The LCMS. I have a far different perspective.

...Fenton's reununciation of his ordination vows, and confirmation vows, is nothing less than an act of treason against our Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel. Let that much be clear. It is a shameful and sinful way to treat a congregation that has suffered for years through his theological waffling and what finally amounts to a profoundly fundamental dishonesty. So while on a human level we can surely feel sympathy for his personal struggles, on an objective level the truth simply must be recognized. There is nothing "heroic" or "admirable" about what he did. It is tragic and shameful. At this point the word to be spoken to Fenton and others who share his opinions is simply: "Repent and believe the Gospel."
I hope they didn't say that about me when I left the Lutheran fold for Rome...

7 Comments:

At Tuesday, March 13, 2007 11:24:00 pm , Blogger Marco Vervoorst said...

Pastor McCain posted the exact same comment on my blog in relation to Mr/Fr Fenton.

What gets me is this talk about breaking vows. Lutheranism (and the whole of protestantism) is based, in essence, on the breaking of one persons vows (Luther's religious vow). So the breaking of Luther's vow is okay but Fr Fenton's is not. Maybe someone should say to Pastor McCain: be reconciled with the Church. Oh, I forgot, he is the Church.

 
At Wednesday, March 14, 2007 7:53:00 am , Anonymous Tony Bartel said...

"I hope they didn't say that about me when I left the Lutheran fold for Rome..."

They said much much worse! :-)

 
At Wednesday, March 14, 2007 8:06:00 am , Blogger Schütz said...

Yes, I bet they did, Tony. Now, you should have heard what they said about YOU! ...

Good point about the vow thing, Marco. As the time came for me to leave the Lutheran community, I became more and more aware fo the contradiction between the modern Lutheran insistance on the authority of the church (by which they meant the LCA Synod) and the "original sin" of Luther: his complete rejection of any such authority.

In fact, if you pushed McCain, he would have to say that Luther was justified in breaking his vows because he had made a vow which (in McCain's understanding) was against the Word of God. In fact, we too would say that obedience to the Word of God trumps any vow we might have made to the contrary.

Fenton simply did the same thing. Recognising that the vows he had made bound him to a life that was contrary to the Word of God, his vows had to bite the dust.

You would think PTMcC would understand that much. Now, if you want to bring in the little matter of "conscience" and "Here I stand..." you perhaps see how "unLutheran" Pastor McCain is and how "Lutheran" Fr Fenton is.

 
At Wednesday, March 14, 2007 8:35:00 am , Blogger 318@NICE said...

I had to finally block Paul McCain's comments on my blog. He was leaving terrible and sarcastic remarks, pretty much telling me I was going to hell because I did not 100% agree with the book of Concord according to his translation. I tried showing him Scripture and all he would respond is "That's ridiculous!" Okay.
He's out of his mind. He's a Donatist in the truest sense.
However, I must say that he is one of the influences that helped me see the Truth about Lutheranism and that I need to leave and join the Catholic Church.
Thanks Paul!

Dave

 
At Wednesday, March 14, 2007 8:37:00 am , Blogger 318@NICE said...

Oh yes, one more thing about McCain's comments: Paul, there is no ordination vow to break in the LCMS, since there is no Apostolic Succession there is not valid ordination in the LCMS.

Oh, and thanks again for opening my eyes that I was in Schism.

Dave

 
At Wednesday, March 14, 2007 10:38:00 am , Blogger Schütz said...

Oddly enough, Dave, I had much the same experience years ago with Pastor McCain. You have to hand it to this guy, he was blogging long before any of us caught the bug. I found his Cyberbrethren blog about seven years ago, recommended to me by my brother pastors. But I found his opinions to be so closed to the evangelical catholicism that sustained me at the time in my Lutheran ministry, that, if anything, his blog alerted me to the schismatic rather than catholic nature of that movement which calls itself "Confessional Lutheranism".

 
At Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:40:00 am , Anonymous Tony Bartel said...

"Yes, I bet they did, Tony. Now, you should have heard what they said about YOU! ..."

It is all rather sad isn't it. Nobody who has been ordained in a particular tradition changes to another tradition lightly or without believing that they are responding to a call from God and acting in obedience.

That is not to say that others are not free to disagree with their decision. However, surely there is a place for courtesy and respect in any conversation.

 

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