Author Topic: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience  (Read 9978 times)

peter_speckhard

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2010, 09:41:17 PM »
I will ask the women who assist me about that, Peter.  Knowing them, they do not desire the pastoral office.  They desire to keep doing what they're doing, which is serving under the pastoral office in lay capacity in ministries of mercy and visitation, teaching and catechesis, youth and evangelism, and on the altar in various assisting roles in the Divine Service alongside other pastors, and their male colleagues who are elders or deacons. 

Mostly, they'll know from the get-go that this is something not for us in any way, since again zero people have concerns in this area.  And it's not so much for the wider church in the Atlantic District either, since half of our district commissioned deacons are women and women serve under pastoral auspices at the parishes in our circuit. 

So they'll know it's for the wider Missouri Synod.  I'll let you know what they think and say, and whether they believe in any way your conclusion that if they were to write a letter saying "we're women who serve in every available lay capacity in the Missouri Synod and we're not in favor of women's ordination" then the issue would be solved in the Missouri Synod.

Dave Benke
Dave, my question is not whether they desire the pastoral office. At issue is whether they're known for opposing women's ordination in general and whether they could believably make the claim you suggest. It isn't so much "we're not promoting women's ordination", but "we're actively opposing it" that conservatives would find convincing. I should note that I grew up in a church that had women assisting with communion and I agree with both synodical propositions-- that it is adiaphora but generally a bad idea. So I can't speak first hand for those who claim it is forbidden, but as I said, I'm going by my hunch on the matter. It would take time, but I still say if the women communion assistants persisted in actively opposing women's ordination, their assisting with communion would cease to be an issue. I've said in these precincts before that my mother was one of the first women to be tapped to be a lay-reader in our church. She was fine with it but gave it up when it became clear to her that people (supporters, not detractors) thought she was making a statement by doing it. She would do it, but she wouldn't make a statement about women in the church by doing it.   

Dave Benke

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2010, 09:59:34 PM »
"Adiaphora but generally a bad idea.."  Adiaphora I get.  Bad idea I don't so much.  Why generally a bad idea? 

Dave Benke

Charles_Austin

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2010, 11:19:32 PM »
This is probably worth sorting out carefully. And I have a question.
A properly ordained male pastor writes a sermon.
A woman reads that sermon to a congregation. (Never mind the reason.)
So does that sermon lose its power and inspiration or is the faith and orthodoxy of those who might hear that sermon in jeopardy because - instead of the voice of the male who wrote the sermon - it comes through the voice of a woman?

peter_speckhard

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2010, 11:21:42 PM »
"Adiaphora but generally a bad idea.."  Adiaphora I get.  Bad idea I don't so much.  Why generally a bad idea? 

Dave Benke
Because we aren't the Roman Catholic Church in which a global and historic perspective overwhelms the 21st Century American perspective. We're a small church in a context in which the majority of Lutherans accept women's ordination. If I thought for the minute that the Atlantic District would lead the charge against women's ordination (not just not promote it, but lead the charge against if someone else proposed it) then I would have no problem with your outlook on this. But I doubt that would happen. No doubt you'll gently chide that this issue isn't even on the radar screen in the LCMS so my fears are unfounded. I only answer that I like the issue where it is-- off the radar screen. So I think it is a bad idea because a) it serves no genuine need. All protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, reading in church or handing out wafers are not spiritual gifts. The church is not left bereft nor are women denied any dignity by not serving as assistants in my view. And b) I think there is a thrust within Lutheranism toward women's ordination and I think it is wrong-headed and I am not so proud as to think that the LCMS is somehow immune from negative cultural influence. So the less we go in that direction, the better. If St. Peter were known far and wide as a great advocate for Gentile inclusion, St. Paul would have had no reason to object to Peter's sitting with his friends-- surely the seating arrangement is adiaphora. Unless, that is, the seating arrangement signifies something deeper. Since St. Peter was not so known, his seat preference was rightly taken by St. Paul as a statement, and a wrong (or merely cowardly) statement at that. So St. Paul objected. In other words, for St. Paul, the seating arrangement was adiaphora but St. Peter sitting with only Jews was a bad idea because it sent the wrong message. The only way it could be otherwise would be if St. Peter's reputation as accepting of Gentiles was so well known that his sitting apart from them could not possibly be seen as a deeper statement. And when the women who assist with communion are so well known for opposing women's ordination that their assisting can't possibly be taken as movement in the direction of women's ordination, then, I predict, their assisting will cease to be an issue at all.

FatherWilliam57

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2010, 12:53:16 AM »
I am embarrassed that I do not know the answer to this, but are girls and young women allowed to serve as acolytes in the LCMS?
The Rev. William B. Henry, Jr.
Interim Pastor, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Evans City, PA
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FatherWilliam57

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2010, 01:11:34 AM »
I am confused about something else.  If a woman is a lector or eucharistic assistant, why does that immediately mean they believe in women's ordination?  Do all male lectors and eucharistic assistants harbor a secret wish to be pastors?  Up to this point, I am not seeing the logic of this line of reasoning...am I missing something?
The Rev. William B. Henry, Jr.
Interim Pastor, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Evans City, PA
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SCPO

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2010, 01:19:03 AM »
I am embarrassed that I do not know the answer to this, but are girls and young women allowed to serve as acolytes in the LCMS?

Pastor Henry,

     Yes, girls and young women are indeed allowed to serve as acolytes in LCMS congregations.  They are also allowed to be called as DCE's.  I know of one congregation that recently elected a women to serve as the President of the congregation.  Lastly, I have heard, but I have not witnessed it myself, that some congregations even allow women to serve as elders.

Kyrie eleison,

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2010, 09:21:43 AM »
I am embarrassed that I do not know the answer to this, but are girls and young women allowed to serve as acolytes in the LCMS?

Pastor Henry,

     Yes, girls and young women are indeed allowed to serve as acolytes in LCMS congregations.  They are also allowed to be called as DCE's.  I know of one congregation that recently elected a women to serve as the President of the congregation.  Lastly, I have heard, but I have not witnessed it myself, that some congregations even allow women to serve as elders.

Doesn't the LCMS also allow congregations to deny females to right to be acolytes, council members, elders? What I don't know is if the LCMS allows a congregation's constitution and bylaws to prohibit females from serving in such roles. I remember back in my ALC days, it was mandated that a congregation's constitution and bylaws had to allow for females to serve on council. The ALC didn't say that a congregation had to elect females; but that the governing documents couldn't prohibit them from serving.

If the LCMS allows such diversity in congregational documents, it seems to be that they are practicing the same kind of "respecting the bound consciences" that the ELCA is seeking with regards to PALMS serving as a congregation's pastor.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

peter_speckhard

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2010, 09:48:39 AM »
I am confused about something else.  If a woman is a lector or eucharistic assistant, why does that immediately mean they believe in women's ordination?  Do all male lectors and eucharistic assistants harbor a secret wish to be pastors?  Up to this point, I am not seeing the logic of this line of reasoning...am I missing something?
Again, it isn't a question of whether the assistants and readers want to be pastors themselves. It is whether they believe in women's ordination in general. I'm not saying it is a cause-effect fact, but only that there seems to be some natural correlation between the two.

And yes, girls are acolytes in many if not most LCMS churches, including my own.

Scott6

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2010, 09:56:39 AM »
If the LCMS allows such diversity in congregational documents, it seems to be that they are practicing the same kind of "respecting the bound consciences" that the ELCA is seeking with regards to PALMS serving as a congregation's pastor.

If "same" means something that is different in content and function, then sure it's the "same."

However, if the emphasis is on "seeking," then let me offer the Lutheran and Pauline practice of saying what's true and then making policy recommendations based upon that.  It's worked for the church for a long time and is currently working in the LCMS (there is no comparison between the furor caused by the "bound conscience" policy in the ELCA and the issues mentioned above in the LCMS).
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 09:59:43 AM by Scott Yakimow »

Charles_Austin

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2010, 10:07:41 AM »
I'll ask the question directly:
Could a woman read a sermon written by a man?

Charles_Austin

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2010, 10:19:44 AM »
Yep. That's my question. And the answer is?

Dan Fienen

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2010, 10:21:21 AM »
I'll ask the question directly:
Could a woman read a sermon written by a man?

If she is literate and if you mean read aloud she would also have to possess a speaking voice, ie not be mute, she could.  Also, every woman who is literate is welcome to read sermons written by men for her own study and meditation.  We do not lock religious books away from women lest they happen to pick one up and read it.  The question remains, should she?  We often can do things that we should not.  And also under what circumstances.  Sometimes things are permisible under extraordinary circumstances and aught not be permitted in the normal course of events.

In the normal course of events, under the understandings of the LC-MS, a woman should not read a sermon to a congregation in the course of a worship service.

Dan
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Charles_Austin

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #43 on: April 07, 2010, 10:26:21 AM »
Explain to me what goes "wrong" if the sermon comes through the voice of a woman.

Dan Fienen

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Re: 4-10 LCMS Bound Conscience
« Reply #44 on: April 07, 2010, 10:40:59 AM »
Explain to me what goes "wrong" if the sermon comes through the voice of a woman.

Why should we explain?  With your stated lack of interest in the LC-MS and unwillingness to engage in conversation with LC-MS types (at least when it serves your purpose to not respond to questions from our type of people) why are you interested?

Dan
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