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Messages - mariemeyer

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1
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: Yesterday at 03:01:10 PM »
One possible way to address "the endless controversy" is to begin with God, the nature of God by Whom and for Whom Man, male and female were created.  Both were to subdue the earth, both were to procreate sons and daughters, both were to know and be known to God.  Knowing and being known to God originated in their being holy as God's was holy and letting God be God, the source of all that was good in their life. (see Genesis one)

Thus, human life that originated with God, was created for God's purpose and was by God's design theocentric.  The essence of every human being whether male or female, their purpose (telos) and their relationship (ethics) to one another was to "Let God be God" in each of their lives and in the life of one another.

God promised to be with them according to God's nature as the source of their being.  They were to trust they had been given all that was good and necessary for their life as Man, male and female recreated in the image of God.  God would relate to each of them,  male and female, as their God and Image Maker. 

From the beginning the  common human vocation of male and female, was to give God glory in their daily life.

Beginning in Genesis and continuing through Revelation God related to man and to woman according to God's nature as the I Am WHO I AM for you. They were created to know GOD as the source of all that was necessary for a good and holy life and to be known to God as God's Beloved.   They, man and woman, were created to be the glory of God's creation.

Including "the order of creation" as a Biblical topic, whether defined as a chain of being and or an order of command, originates in the deductive reason of natural human reason.... not the mind of God as revealed in the written and Incarnate Word.

Unless it can be demonstrated that God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit relate to man and woman in any way other than according to their nature as the I AM Who I Am for you, the claim that a static immutable structured "order of creation" is a Biblical Topic or doctrine must be re-examined.  The ultimate issue is God's order for living relationship of the ONE true living God to man and woman and their letting God be God in their life.

No where does the different  manner in which God created man and woman reveal God's intent that God would relate to woman as God in and through the man.  Both were to let God be God in their life.   

Marie Meyer

2
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: Yesterday at 11:01:31 AM »

On the basis of my limited education I understand ontology to deal with the essential being of God as the "I am who I am."  The being (beingness) of God is God.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not ontologically distinct categories with the larger ontologically distinct category of God. 


Yes, ontology does deal with Being.  But unless you are a certain kind of thinker, Being is another way of talking about the concept of "existence"; and since there are many different modes of "existence" (many different kinds of existing things), Being is often treated as a plural concept, not a unitary concept.  That's why I speak of ontology in terms of an inventory, or a catalogue, of existants.

I would have supposed that the Creeds (especially the Athanasian Creed) regard the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as ontologically distinct categories ("Persons"), not to be confused.  But I'm not sure the Church can penetrate any deeper into that ontological mystery than the Church already has.

Tom Pearson   

I understand ontology to deal with basic categories and which of these entities exist on the most fundamental level.
   
At the most fundamental level God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are GOD.   That is the essence of their Being - there nothing other than the Three, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  that are God.  Each is not a category of being other than God.

At the most fundamental level the human female and the human female are human. Being human is the category of being which both are.  is there   Animals are male and female, but that it not their category being.

Adam (ish) existed as a human before the creation of the woman (ishshah).   He recognized her as "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh."   The woman, was, like him, God's creation, a fellow human being. Without the woman God brought to man, he could never have known what it was to be or been the man God created Adam to be.  He recognized that she was a human being like him, but that she was also unlike him. 

According to The Lutheran Study Bible, the man Adam, in his role as God's steward, gives a name "to this category of created beings, just as he has given a name to the rest of God's creation."

The not so subtle note suggests the man did not see her as the only being who was"bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,"  but as a creature that was a "different category of beings."  I suspect he could "see" that she was a sexual being just as animals are sexual being....but she was like him as a human being... a standing, walking creation of God with whom he could communicate and " be one flesh. 

His one flesh union with her would be that of two human beings (ish and ishshah).  Unlike, God they were male and female.  Together they were human beings, created in the image of God for fellowship with God as stewards of God's creation. Like the animals they were male  and female, unlike the animals they were human beings created in the image of God to know and be known to God.  To know God as their Creator by Whom and for Whom they were created.  Together they were to be the glory of God within God's creation.   

Thus the ontological classifications of being after God's creation of woman, ishshah, were God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), human (male and female), and the many animals who, like the  human man and woman were sexual beings. 

Being male or female belongs to being human and animal. Being male or female does not define what it means to be human not God. 
     

3
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 12, 2021, 08:25:39 PM »


Is Luther's understanding of vocation associated with the "ontological status" of human beings created as male and female?  IOW, is Luther's understanding of vocation associated with our common human nature or is vocation  defined according to  the distinct male and female sexuality that belongs to our human nature?
     

Aside from ancient formulations like "religious vocation" or "spiritual vocation," the concept of "vocation" is a fairly modern one (William Placher has a fine anthology on "vocation," Callings, which has passages from the early church Fathers, through Luther, to  twentieth century Christian writers; but the term "vocation" does not show up until the latter historical period).  So a Lutheran doctrine, or even a coherent concept, of "vocation" has to be extrapolated from scattered remarks on relationships, labor, occupational training and employment, social roles, moral obligations, and the like.

So there's no definitive answer I know of, Deaconess Meyer, to your question.  As far as I understand (and I haven't read everything in Luther on this topic, so this is subject to correction), a plausible argument can be (and has been) made that when Luther is speaking about marriage and family, male and female are ontologically distinct categories within the larger ontologically distinct category of the (sinful) human person.  That may well carry the implication that males and females in designated relationships (such as marriage) may have different vocational roles.  But I would argue that such vocational roles are temporal and mundane, and do not influence the relationship that males and females alike have with the Triune God.  This seems pretty obvious to me: I don't know why it would be controversial.

What I am still curious about, and trying to figure out an answer for, is the question of whether the very existence of "vocations" (and of "vocational roles") can be legitimately described as being built in to the original act of Creation.  I've always been puzzled why those who speak of "order(s) of creation" are so singularly focused on the sole issue of ordering male-female relationships.  I'm more interested (because I think it is more important, and more central to human experience) in the "order of vocation" that we are all called to live out daily.

I hope that is helpful, Deaconess Meyer.

Tom Pearson

Thanks for your response...  I do not understand the following...

"As far as I understand (and I haven't read everything in Luther on this topic, so this is subject to correction), a plausible argument can be (and has been) made that when Luther is speaking about marriage and family, male and female are ontologically distinct categories within the larger ontologically distinct category of the (sinful) human person. "


The concept of "male and female are ontologically distinct categories within the larger ontologically distinct category of the (sinful) human person. "  eludes me.

On the basis of my limited education I understand ontology to deal with the essential being of God as the "I am who I am."  The being (beingness) of God is God.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not ontologically distinct categories with the larger ontologically distinct category of God. 

So also, being human is who man and woman are ...that is the category of being to which male and female belong.  The essence of our being is that we are human.  Being male or female belongs to our human nature.  Neither man or woman can be human alone.   Being male or female is not a distinct category within the larger ontologically distinct category of being human.   

Marie Meyer

4
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 12, 2021, 03:31:12 PM »

“A bad day is when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been.”

In the sermon I preached for my stillborn daughter’s funeral I spoke about the temptation to live in a world of what might have been. But such a world has no Creator. I called it the deceiver’s empty realm of empty promises. If potentialities are realities, do they always exist? If there was potential for Hitler to die young and never rise to power, must there be a world where that happened? Or does every moment of time forever destroy what irrevocable potentialities do not materialize. If every “what might be” is in some sense real, what distinguishes it from what might have been? It time itself the engine of grinding possibilities into realities, which therefore permanently destroys the unused possibilities?


Well, from the things I've been reading recently, this is an exercise in biblical metaphysics, and it's an occasional hot topic among those who go in for this sort of arcana.  So here's how the game is played (as best I can tell):  You're right to say that "such a world has no Creator."  That because the realm of "possibilities" is not a world as we know it.  Those limitless "possibilities" exist prior to the instantiation of any particular world (such as ours).  Therefore, "possible worlds" all have the status of pre-Creation options for instantiating an actual world.  But those "possible worlds" all have a type of metaphysical existence, simply as "possibilities."  So one option for God was to create a world slightly different from the one we actually occupy; perhaps a world in which particle physics, say, is not quite so weird.

Thus, the phrase "In the beginning" (Genesis 1:1), as George Rahn points out, is strictly as temporal phrase, identifying the first moment of instantiation of one particular "possible world" -- ours.  But it's not the only world God could have made.

Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716, and a Lutheran), for instance, goes to great lengths in his Discourse on Metaphysics, to explain how God created "the best of all possible worlds," since God selected (from a range of pre-existing, and still existing, "possible worlds") our own world as the "best possible."  More recently, Alvin Plantinga (not a Lutheran) has made the same argument in an effort to defeat the intractable "problem of evil."

It turns out, then, that this stuff isn't all that new or unusual.  But it is metaphysics, which, I suppose, is an acquired taste.  And it is an effort to make some comprehensive, systematic sense of the biblical text.  Luther did it on occasion, Melanchthon did it in spades, and the later Lutheran scholastics (including Leibniz) -- oh, my.

So what else might be the objection to treating vocation as having ontological status?

Tom Pearson

Is Luther's understanding of vocation associated with the "ontological status" of human beings created as male and female?  IOW, is Luther's understanding of vocation associated with our common human nature or is vocation  defined according to  the distinct male and female sexuality that belongs to our human nature?

Marie Meyer       

5
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 10, 2021, 08:03:22 PM »
Jeff simply notes:

now 17+ pages of regurgitating the same arguments that have been used by both sides time and again.  Might it be time to shut this one down?  Moderators, what say you?

Please.

Amen.

If only the thread would recognize how, within the LCMS, natural human reason misuses the written and Incarnate Word to justify a pre-Fall order of creation that mirrors a chain of being world view.  I understand your frustration.  To understand mine I would encourage you to obtain a copy of THE Lutheran Study Bible published by CPH.  The study notes, beginning with Genesis, weave a thread supporting an ideology where the human man displaces God's rightful place in the life of woman. 

My thinking is informed by Luther's Commentary on Galatians, his Magnificat Commentary, Let God Be God by Philip Watson and Grace and Reason by Bryan Gerrish.   

I never aspired to be ordained. Consecrated as a Deaconess in 1960, I served a parish for two years prior to marrying my husband after his vicarage year.  After that my calling was  "home maker" (aka wife and mom) and volunteer when opportunities presented themselves.  This included several years on the ALPB Board, the Board of Lutheran Bible Translators, LIRS and Board for Lutheran Social Services of New York City.

Along the way a completed a year of CPE at the Nassau County Medical Center. Within the LCMS this was perceived by some as a first step toward ordination.  In truth, it was my desire to better understand the LCMS as a family system as well as my place in my Otten family of origin. My life experience taught me that there are times one has to love a brother in Christ enough to question how they arrive at a chain of being world view on the basis of Genesis 1-5  where God is said to have assigned woman a subordinate identity, function and place in relation to man. 

Marie Meyer

6
Your Turn / Re: New Podcast Episode on Herman John Otten
« on: June 10, 2021, 04:25:50 PM »
At this this time I respectively request a "point of personal privilege."

Now secret here, I am the younger sister of Herman John Otten.  Also no secret is that my picture appeared in CN with some regularity as a "feminist" promoting the ordination of women. To say this was painful is an understatement.

Also true is that I loved my brother.  The last time I saw Herman we were in his office. Much to my surprise, hanging on the wall was a piece of art work I created for him years ago.  The conversation was in many ways like that of an older brother and a younger sister.   I always looked up to my good looking brother.   The fact that he married my Valpo roommate, fellow deaconess Grace Anderson, was another tie that bound us together. 

In any event at the close of our final visit, Herman, not one to express feelings said, "I love you, Marie."

Due to the fact that Herman's funeral service was held so quickly following his death and getting from Bethel, CT to New Haven, MO was no easy task I was not able to attend the funeral.  I arrived a day late, but was able to spend a week with Grace.

I would ask that this thread by closed.

Marie Otten Meyer

7
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 10, 2021, 03:47:55 PM »

Peter wrote  "The question is how men and women can be ontologically the same, which is necessary for the Incarnation/Redemption to apply to all people, yet be meaningfully distinguished in terms of their roles in God's design of humanity. The two natures of Christ seems like an apt comparison. Same essence, complete equality, and yet distinguished from the Father."

Peter surfaces what I regard the foundational issue in claiming true knowledge of God's will for man and woman.  Does God relate to human men and women according to their common human nature/being  or according to the distinct male and female sexuality that belongs to who they are as humans, not God.

According to the LCMS, the "theological matrix" for true knowledge of woman's identity (ontology/nature/being), purpose (telos)and relationship (ethics) to man is "the order of creation immutable structure" defined as a descending chain of being....
God, Jesus the Christ,man, woman also stated as  God, man, woman, animals.


Genesis 2: 23 reads,  "The the man said, "This at last  is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man."

The Lutheran Bible Study note reads: "First name Adam gives to his wife. Like the name of man ('adam), the name of his wife ('ishshah)  is a classification.  In his role as God's steward (see note 1:26), Adam gives a name to this category of being.[/i]
, just as he had given names to the rest of God's creation."

Two thoughts: I am no Hebrew scholar, but I understand the Hebrew for the man in the Genesis 2:23 is ish.  There is a play on words of ish and ishshah for  man and woman.

The study notes use the text to claim that Adam here gave the woman a name that identifies her as belonging to a different "category of being." IOW, Genesis reveals that there is a ontological distinction between man and woman.

The only possible conclusion is that Jesus, the Christ, born of the virgin woman Mary, did not receive his human identity as true man from his mother.  She would have belonged to a different "category of being."   As a man, he would have belong to a different category of being than his mother.

I submit that the only possible way to address this "endless controversy" is to critically examine how the LCMS arrives at and defines the order of creation chain of being structure, even if it requires a study of The Lutheran Study Bible.

marie meyer

 

8
Your Turn / Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« on: June 09, 2021, 02:31:37 PM »
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.

Peter, I'm also tired of Brian quoting the "women's head covering/long hair" from 1 Cor. 11 because it's on the level of the "shrimp argument" from Leviticus.  Simply put, the context of 1 Cor. 11 is clear that the universal unchanging principle is that there is a distinction between male and female, and one way that universal unchanging principle was expressed in Corinth in Paul's day is that women had head coverings/long hair whereas men did not.  We have the same custom in our own culture where most men and most women still wear different types of clothing.  Most men don't show up church in a dress and most women don't show up with a man's suit and tie because most Christians still accept Paul's teaching that God wants there to be a distinction between male and female.  HOW this distinction is expressed varies from time to time and culture to culture, but we still are obedient to the unchanging principle.  As for ordaining women into the pastoral office, in 1st Cor. 14 and elsewhere is it clear that this prohibition is not a temporary local expression of a universal principle but is itself a universal principle that applies to all times and places.  Just as the Son cannot be the head of God the Father and just as the wife cannot be the head of her husband, a woman cannot represent Christ as the Bridegroom who is head over His bride, the church.

Yes, Tom. Well said. The congregation sent Paul a list of practical questions, whether to use head coverings being one of them. Paul first praises them for observing the traditions he passed on then goes into instructions about THE BASIS of the practice he described (v. 3).

A comparable issue today would be wearing a wedding ring. Scripture does not command the wearing of such rings. Scripture does command the modesty and fidelity that such rings signify in our culture. So Paul is teaching a biblical principle about male/female relations by connecting with a cultural practice and device. The device may not be the same everywhere at every time but the principle involved is: The Lord made men and women different, therefore, respect and maintain the difference.

What is the difference between man and woman that Scripture teaches us we are to respect and maintain in the home, the Church and society?  Is it a spiritual difference applicable only in the home?  the Church?

What is the difference between man and woman that determines when or why God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  are not free to act as God in and through the life of a woman in the home, the Church or society? 

Is it the nature of God that prevents God the Father, God the Son and/or God the Holy Spirit from working authoritatively as God in and through a woman in the home, the Church or society?

Or, is it that nature of woman that limits or restrains God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit from working in and through a woman in the same way that God is free to work through a man.

Or, is it simply God's Law that God not be God in the life of woman as God is God in the  life of a man?

Bottom line, what is it about the nature of God  that God cannot be God in and through the life of woman in the same way God is God in and through the life of man.

Marie  Meyer

9
Your Turn / Re: Comments on Luther biography
« on: June 09, 2021, 01:43:35 PM »
A few years ago, there was a kind of wave of new books on Luther around the 500th anniversary of the 95 Theses. I read Martin Luther: Visionary Reformer, by Scott H. Hendrix, which I found informative and well-written. Friends of mine were reading Lyndal Roper's Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet, which they really liked. I wasn't going to read two Luther biographies in a row, so I contented myself with Hendrix.

Now Lyndal Roper has produced a book of lectures, Living I Was Your Plague: Luther's World and Legacy, and I took the opportunity to read most of it. I must say that, while it was full of curious information, neither Martin Luther the man nor Luther the Christian came through very clearly. Does anyone here have comments on Roper's portrayal of Martin Luther, or any other treatments they found noteworthy?

Peace,
Michael

Of the 500th anniversary books on Luther, I think Scott Hendrix's is the one that best presents Luther the Reformer.

Marie Meyer

10
Your Turn / Re: Tulsa Racial Massacre
« on: June 02, 2021, 09:16:03 AM »
https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/247862/reflections-on-the-role-of-the-cathedral-during-the-tulsa-race-massacre-and-today

As the president reminded yesterday, the KKK began as an anti-Catholic organization.

Peace, JOHN

One of the sad realities Bill and I encountered it the south was animosity toward "Catholics.'  For some reason "Catholics," like blacks, were outsiders.   When we enrolled our daughter in a Catholic black kindergarten, good Lutherans said, "We can understand why you are sending her to a black school, but that you are sending her to a "Catholic" school ????" 

Marie
 

11
Your Turn / Tulsa Racial Massacre
« on: June 01, 2021, 04:22:45 PM »
Hannibal Johnson, a black lawyer in Tulsa, offered thoughts on the 100th 1921 Race Massacre in today's NYT.


"Like a wound left untreated, years of silence and neglect left the damage of the massacre to fester. Its effects linger.  Healing that history - owning an addressing it - is out present imperative...

"Learning this history is necessary if we are to advance toward racial reconciliation, but it is not sufficient. We must also build trust across racial groups...Like trust building, the larger project of racial reconciliation requires acknowledgement, apology and atonement.  Here, it's a work in progress."

"The city's efforts at reconciliation, while unquestionable incomplete, strike the right tone, one of inclusion and openness to new possibilities. Racial reconciliation requires trust among individuals and community constituents that define us. Tulsa is ot alone. Most communities have work to do - which mean that most of us have work to do, too."

Food for thought.  I did not know anything about the Tulsa massacre until I became acquainted with the Lutheran Human Relations Association.

Marie Meyer

12
Your Turn / Re: Israel and Hamas
« on: May 20, 2021, 05:16:20 PM »
The Palestinians are fighting for their homeland, and have been deceived and  betrayed for decades. At every “peace,” Israel expands its “sovereignty “ over land and people.

That's the way I see it.

Marie Meyer

13
Your Turn / Re: Marva Dawn +
« on: May 14, 2021, 12:56:04 PM »
As a Seminarian at Concordia, St.Louis from 1964 to 1968, I would like to share a fact.
Our professors who taught Dogmatics and the Book of Concord included Piepkorn, Robert
Preus, Ralph Bohlmann, Klann, and Wunderlich.  In all of my classes with them the topic
of women's ordination was never discussed. It was assumed that pastoral ministry was
for men according to Holy Scriptures.

It was also "assumed" then that women were not allowed to vote in their congregation.

Prior to 1968 the LCMS had not adopted Zerbst's understanding of "the order of creation and the  order of redemption.  My husband graduated in 1963 and was never taught anything about "the order of creation" as an immutable structure were God assigned man and woman two non-interchangeable of supra and subordinate positions in relation to one another.

Luther spoke of the orders of creation defined as orders of preservation where God acted as God in and through men and women for the preservation of a fallen creation.

Marie Meyer

14
I don't think every category necessarily becomes an ontological category. "In the image of God He created him, male and female He created them" would seem to categorize people by sex without making an ontological distinction. Both categories are human/mankind. It also speaks of a binary, not a spectrum.

Come on Peter... a difference in being is an ontological distinction.   The Bible text does make being male or female an ontological distinction... the study notes do.

Marie

15
I have fond memories of presentations by Dr. Dawn at several synod assemblies and also, I believe, at an ELCA Churchwide ( or it could have been an ELCW Convention, I am old), and I have found value in her writings. I really enjoyed “Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down,” as well as “The Sabbath.”

This thread is a great reminder of why I don’t read or post much here anymore.

Mother’s Day blessings to those who celebrate.

Donna

Thanks for the Mother's Day blessing. I eagerly look forward to two new great-grandchild this summer. From my perspective as an LCMS woman I understand why the "sniping at each other over gender issues" turns you and others off.

Sadly, it is not possible for an LCMS woman to ask that we  not discuss the ordination of woman.  I, and other woman who were educated in the LCMS before Genesis two was interpreted to reveal God's will for a pre-fall order of creation legal structure where woman is subordinate to man, are asking to redefine the issue of woman in the church in terms of God's rightful place in the life of woman and man.  

Beginning in 1955 the LCMS adopted the concept of two orders in the Church, the order of creation and the order of redemption.  Since then layer upon layer of studies and reports were added to the claim that Genesis two reveals that God, for the sake of order in creation, designated the man as "the more responsible party" (see The Lutheran Study Bible, p.17).   Since the man had no means of procreation God created woman as man's helper. According to TLSB (p.17) the designation of woman as "helper" implies no inferiority, "but it does reinforce the order of creation."

TLSB note on Gen. 2:20 states, "the man gave names. Sign that Adam exercised authority over animals as God's steward of creation."

TLSB note on Gen. 2:23 she shall be called Woman. "First name Adam gave to his wife. Like the name of Adam ('adam), the name of his wife ishshah is a classification. In his role as God's steward, Adam gives a name to this category of beings, just as he has given names to the rest of God's creation."   

Here, Genesis  2 is used to claim that woman and man belong to two different categories of being. Previously, LCMS  writings limited the order of creation to man and woman having different God given purposes, man being the primary steward of creation and woman being the one to help man accomplish his God given purpose. Today, the Bible is used to claim the difference  between man and woman is ontological.

Thus, the questions, "Does God relate to man and woman according to their common human nature or is does God relate to man and woman as two distinct categories of being? Is there  a difference in how God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are a living presence in the life of baptized men and women. What does it mean to "Let God be God" in the life of man and woman. according their male and female sexuality?'

Marie Meyer

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