Author Topic: The Ordination of Women  (Read 28678 times)

ptmccain

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2010, 10:36:43 AM »
Why do some of us feel this need to run out for the weirdest "worst case" scenarios to try to justify a position? If it is a valid position, it stands on its own merits and needs none of this odd "what if..." kind of thinking.

Lutherans are not Donatists, neither are we Enthusiasts.

We confess AC V, XIV and XXVIII in a church that, with the church catholic, of all times and all places [excluding the last forty/fifty years or so] believes, teaches and confesses that the Office of the Holy Ministry is entrusted only to well qualified men, in accord with the Dominical institution of the Office and Apostolic transmission of the same.

This is not an issue we can just "keep talking about" long enough for those who advocate the practice of the ordination of women win the day. It is a "here we stand" issue about which there can be no compromise, no concession and no toleration of the practice.

Those who are dissatisfied and/or disgruntled about this position, a position that is by no means unique to The LCMS, should do the right thing and seek fellowship in a church body where their views and sentiments are welcome and encouraged.

As I've said several times before, part of the problem in The LCMS is that we have "hangers on" from the days of Seminex who should have done the right thing years ago and left the Synod with those who did, during the formation of the AELC. Unfortunately, they did not.

We've got better things to worry about and discuss than this constant, and frankly, obsessional need to keep grinding axes.

To the ordination of women we "just say no."

Scott6

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2010, 10:40:29 AM »
One last thought on the 1 Tim 2 text:  Adam did not sin first… but Eve did… what is that supposed to mean?

Not sure since Paul didn't say it...  ;)

Can a woman be submissive to her husband (in whatever is the best scriptural sense) and yet be a pastor in a parish where the other men are not under such a relationship of submission with her as a woman, obviously not as a wife?

I'm not sure if I follow you.  1 Tim. 2 speaks of authoritative teaching -- authority being the opposite of submission in general, methinks, let alone this particular context.  How to conceive of a submissive authority or an authoritative submission...?

If a LCMS pastor (sorry to pick on you for this example) is gay and secretly has a relationship with another gay person and he preaches and celebrates HC…  cannot the sermon share Law and Gospel and his hidden life not ruin the communicants reception?  I am saying nothing about whether he is sinning or whether his church body would be sinning if they knew and permitted him to be a pastor.  So what if a Lutheran woman pastor comes and preaches and celebrates HC and an LCMS person listens to the sermon and partakes of the sacrament, can it be a proper sermon, a Holy Communion that shares Christ’s body and blood?  Again I am not saying whether or not that LCMS person should be in that church, listen or partake… but if one did….  We know that an unbelieving preacher and celebrant does not vitiate the means of grace, don’t we?  What of a woman who believes?

Sure, the Donatists were wrong.  But why would we want to see just how much sin and error we can officially sanction before things go off the tracks?  It is strange to me that rather than delighting in what we are given, we would try to see just how much we can get away with before we finally and completely surrender the kernel of the faith.

I was scanning some canons from ecumenical councils this morning, and it is surprising to see how folks who came from backgrounds such as the Eunomians or Montanists (who had female priests, btw) were "received as heathens" and were to be baptized, their own baptisms being considered invalid.  Something to consider...

Is it possible that God is not wild about ordained women, but will use them in the church?  He may not be wild about pastors who are not good at Greek or who do not find evangelism to be their most important work but will he still use them in the church?

Again, why the urge to see what we can get away with?  God can and certainly does use all sorts of bad situations (I've been spiritually fed by a number of female pastors -- not only my mom, but Erma, for example, in her great sermon at the CORE Theological Conference).  Why try to get in the bad situation, though, just to see if it will still work?  I don't get it.

ptmccain

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2010, 10:44:27 AM »
Paul: Slippery slop theology masks a lazy way to avoid a reasoned Biblical discussion of the various ways the LCMS defends a male pastorate.

What is lazy is ignoring the point and refusing to engage it, Marie. You can't simply ignore the reality that the ordination of women in all Lutheran Churches has led, inevitably and predictably, to the ordination of actively homosexual persons. Well, I guess *you* can, and will, continue to ignore the point, but it does not make it any less true.

And, Marie, I'm sorry, but I think you still are playing games when you say what matters are not "your personal feelings" about this issue, and then you proceed to say, "You don't know" if Scripture forbids the practice.

I would, respectfully, encourage you to be completely forthcoming, honest and candid, as Matthew Becker has recently, and come right out and put your views, personal feelings, convictions out there for public scrutiny and debate. Matt's even had the honesty to state that he supports the ELCA position on homosexual clergy. I am sure you are not willing to go that far, at this point, but my point in mentioning it is that, as much as I disagree with Becker, I admire the fact that he finally is "coming clean" on precisely where he stands and what he thinks.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 10:48:45 AM by ptmccain »

Cnehring

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2010, 10:44:44 AM »
As for the North American Lutheran Church and its "study" of the issue. It was clear to me watching the proceedings that the NALC has no intention of studying the issue with a view toward abandoning this unapostolic and anti-catholic practice, but rather to bolster the practice by studies that are more theologically oriented. I think that is a key point to make.

Perhaps this is why it would be helpful for those in LCMS, WELS or TAALC to come to the table and ACTUALLY talk about this.

As for the connection to "the issue," I actually believe that the reason behind this request at the NALC convention, was b/c those advocating for the change today, used women's ordination as an example of the past. What was asked for, was to actually make a case for women's ordination according to Scripture. This is why it would be helpful for those who advocate a Biblical proscription to be at the table and talk with those who believe there is no proscription-both sides would have their say. This is not what has been done in the elca-it has never been an actual conversation, discussion and exegesis.

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2010, 10:44:58 AM »
And again we have St. Paul’s advice of marriage only for those who might otherwise burn…  women should learn in silence with submission…. And what is silence, oh please not the hymns and the Soprano and Alto sections of the choir… and the woman Sunday School Super who reads part of Luke 2 aloud because a child’s voice falters and memory fails at the key, programmatic moment….  And let them discuss and vote except as to whether communion should be twice or four times a month and whether to call Pastor John or Pastor Bill.  And let’s not argue about head coverings but about gold and pearl jewelry and braids and expensive clothes.  And these together with “I permit no woman to teach or have authority over a man, she is to keep silent… for Adam was not deceived but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”  Note the missing Eve to counterpoint the Adam who has a name.   Harvey Mozolak   
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kls

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2010, 10:45:31 AM »
Dcs. Schave,

That is all good, but do please realize that the WELS see authority as going far beyond the pastoral Office.

I'm simply laying out what other denominations say about the ordination of women.  I have no intent to confirm, deny, poke holes in or take any other action but to put the information on the table for anyone who might be interested in reading it.  The LCMS does not stand alone in their decision to not ordain women.  Thanks.

Here is what the Southern Baptists have to say at http://www.sbc.net/aboutus/faqs.asp#9:

9. Can women be pastors or deacons in the SBC?

Southern Baptists have long valued the priceless contribution of women as they have ministered to advance God's Kingdom. The Baptist Faith and Message (BF&M) affirms the vital role of women serving in the church.  Yet it recognizes the biblical restriction concerning the office of pastor, saying: "While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture."  The passages that restrict the office of pastor to men do not negate the essential equality of men and women before God, but rather focus on the assignment of roles.  

The Southern Baptist Convention also passed a resolution in the early 1980s recognizing that offices requiring ordination are restricted to men.  However the BF&M and resolutions are not binding upon local churches.  Each church is responsible to prayerfully search the Scriptures and establish its own policy.

We've included links below to the BF&M ("Article VI: The Church" applies), as well as a link to an article that we ran in SBC LIFE several years back addressing this issue. These should prove helpful in studying the topic.

The Southern Baptist Convention has not addressed the issue of all the available avenues through which a woman may serve, only the biblical restrictions concerning pastoral ministry and ministry requiring ordination.  The potential opportunities for women to serve in vocational ministry within the SBC are indeed vast.  

http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp

http://www.sbclife.net/articles/1998/05/sla5.asp
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 10:47:27 AM by Kim Schave »

Scott6

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2010, 10:47:31 AM »
Paul: Slippery slop theology masks a lazy way to avoid a reasoned Biblical discussion of the various ways the LCMS defends a male pastorate.

Scott: Forgive me if I am off base, but I note a bit if testiness in the following comments…

“Oh.  Ok.  Didn't know that responding to that point was a requirement for participation in the discussion.  But alright...

 “And to be honest, I can't ever remember singing about an all-male pastorate."

My original post resulted in a rehash of past discussions on this Forum. Rather than continue endlessly in what has proven less than fruitful, I will attempt to clarify the approach I am suggesting in a discussion the ordination of women to the pastoral office. I do so in the context of how the LCMS has and continues to defend a male only pastorate.  

 I submit that the texts chosen as normative, their translation, interpretation and application, are all based on presuppositions about unity, order and authority. The first presupposition I selected for consideration has to do with unity and order in the home and the church. The LCMS begins with the presupposition that unity and order in the home and church are dependent upon a divinely mandated immutable structure. The presupposition is defended with the claim that unity and order in relationships require that someone or some category of persons has to be in authority and someone or some category of persons has to be under authority. IOW, someone has to have the last word. Without the structure there is disorder and a break down of relationship.

I submit that this presupposition must be examined within the context of what  the entire Scripture reveals about unity and order within the Trinity. John 17 is one of several texts that I considerable relative to this discussion. I also think that the work of the Holy Spirit in uniting the One Body of Christ through Word and Sacrament is relevant.

My study of Scripture and the Confession, my participation in the historic liturgy of the Church and my singing of our Lutheran hymnody has led me to ask whether the concept of order and unity being dependent upon an external structure is consistent with natural human reason rather than what Scripture reveals about the nature and character of the God in whose image Man, male and female was created.    

Marie

Marie,

Not testiness.  Surprise.  I was surprised that I made a point and then was told that I'd only get a response if I responded to a different point.

But now that I've responded, I look forward to your own promised response to the question: "Could you please give an interpretation of Eph. 5, then, that gives an account of the language Paul uses in places like this, where "submission" and "head" are used as complementary ideas?"

To be sure that this question isn't misunderstood with respect to body language, I clarified it when I wrote: "That's how the body imagery is deployed in many places in Paul.  Yet Paul also deploys headship language to make a different point (emphasis just so that this doesn't get missed -- Paul doesn't just toot away on one-note here).  I.e., two different things are being discussed -- "organic unity" (to use your term) and male-female relations that revolve around terms like "head," "submission" and "love.""
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 10:55:23 AM by Scott Yakimow »

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2010, 10:47:57 AM »
Well, partly because it was a fact of life for the ELCA at its inception.
This kind of work was done, perhaps some do not like its quantity or quality and perhaps it should be done anew, in the ALC, LCA and my AELC well before the formation of the ELCA.   Harvey Mozolak


[/quote]
This is not what has been done in the elca-it has never been an actual conversation, discussion and exegesis.
[/quote]
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Scott6

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2010, 10:49:27 AM »
And again we have St. Paul’s advice of marriage only for those who might otherwise burn…  women should learn in silence with submission…. And what is silence, oh please not the hymns and the Soprano and Alto sections of the choir… and the woman Sunday School Super who reads part of Luke 2 aloud because a child’s voice falters and memory fails at the key, programmatic moment….  And let them discuss and vote except as to whether communion should be twice or four times a month and whether to call Pastor John or Pastor Bill.  And let’s not argue about head coverings but about gold and pearl jewelry and braids and expensive clothes.  And these together with “I permit no woman to teach or have authority over a man, she is to keep silent… for Adam was not deceived but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”  Note the missing Eve to counterpoint the Adam who has a name.   Harvey Mozolak   

Harvey, you're starting to wander.

ptmccain

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #39 on: December 14, 2010, 10:52:05 AM »
I should mention that folks here would be surprised by just how many serious-minded ELCA pastors, looking over the landscape of theological devastation across the ELCA, have come to realize that the ordination of women was both symptomatic of, and cause for more, deep theological error that has now brought such horrible consequences to the ELCA and all other Lutheran bodies across the world that has embraced it.

But there is hope.

For instance, most recently, in Latvia, Bishop Vanags who has taken a principled stand against the ordination of women, was reaffirmed strongly in his role as bishop, no doubt much to the chagrin of LWF leadership that has been working hard to see him unseated and removed from office.

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #40 on: December 14, 2010, 10:56:05 AM »
Scott, you asked, "Again, why the urge to see what we can get away with?  God can and certainly does use all sorts of bad situations (I've been spiritually fed by a number of female pastors -- not only my mom, but Erma, for example, in her great sermon at the CORE Theological Conference).  Why try to get in the bad situation, though, just to see if it will still work?  I don't get it."

I don't think that is what most advocates of WO are attempting to do... see how much we can get away with....  You can find other faults but I really don't think that is a serious reason for the practice.  At least it was not mine.  You would not permit the argument that we should see how close to being uninspired some of St. Paul's phrases might be... like "get the cloak I forgot in Troas" type things.  There is a time-bound and cultural conditioning to some of the women/men talk in Paul, like headcoverings and pearls, expensive clothes and all that.... while they ought to dig at our modern way of life (like expensive clothes on both men and women who are Chrsitians and should be caring for the poor) they might not be as precise a code of Church practice as we could make them.  I do think that a church body that does not allow women to do much of anything that remotely touches in chargeness is being literally correct to the texts.  Those of us who step away from that position have trouble finding the line in the sand to defend.   Harvey Mozolak
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kls

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #41 on: December 14, 2010, 11:04:02 AM »
The Roman Catholic Church (excerpt from http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19761015_inter-insigniores_en.html)

For this reason one cannot see how it is possible to propose the admission of women to the priesthood in virtue of the equality of rights of the human person, an equality which holds good also for Christians. To this end, use is sometimes made of the text quoted above, from the Letter to the Galatians (3:28), which says that in Christ there is no longer any distinction between men and women. But this passage does not concern ministries: it only affirms the universal calling to divine filiation, which is the same for all. Moreover, and above all, to consider the ministerial priesthood as a human right would be to misjudge it's nature completely: baptism does not confer any personal title to public ministry within the Church. The priesthood is not conferred for the honour or advantage of the recipient, but for the service of God and the Church; it is the object of a specific and totally gratuitous vocation: “You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you...” (Jn.15:16; Heb.5:4).

It is sometimes said and written in books and periodicals that some women feel that they have a vocation to the priesthood. Such an attraction however noble and understandable, still does not suffice for a genuine vocation. In fact a vocation cannot be reduced to a mere personal attraction, which can remain purely subjective. Since the priesthood is a particular ministry of which the Church has received the charge and the control, authentication by the Church is indispensable here and is a constitutive part of the vocation: Christ chose “those he wanted” (Mk.3:13). On the other hand, there is a universal vocation of all the baptized to the exercise of the royal priesthood by offering their lives to God and by giving witness for his praise.

Women who express a desire for the ministerial priesthood are doubtless motivated by the desire to serve Christ and the Church. And it is not surprising that, at a time when they are becoming more aware of the discriminations to which they have been subjected, they should desire the ministerial priesthood itself. But it must not be forgotten that the priesthood does not form part of the rights of the individual, but stems from the economy of the mystery of Christ and the Church. The priestly office cannot become the goal of social advancement: no merely human progress of society or of the individual can of itself give access to it: it is of another order.

It therefore remains for us to meditate more deeply on the nature of the real equality of the baptized which is one of the great affirmations of Christianity; equality is in no way identity, for the Church is a differentiated body, in which each individual has his or her role. The roles are distinct, and must not be confused; they do not favour the superiority of some vis-a-vis the others, nor do they provide an excuse for jealousy; the only better gift, which can and must be desired, is love (1 Cor 12-13). The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven are not the ministers but the saints.

The Church desires that Christian women should become more fully aware of the greatness of their mission; today their role is of capital importance, both for the renewal and humanization of society and for the rediscovery of believers of the true face of the Church.

ptmccain

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #42 on: December 14, 2010, 11:04:23 AM »
And, as we have seen, St. Paul was also articulating a cultural and time-bound position and bias against homosexuality....and so it goes, and goes, and goes.

Scott6

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #43 on: December 14, 2010, 11:08:34 AM »
Scott, you asked, "Again, why the urge to see what we can get away with?  God can and certainly does use all sorts of bad situations (I've been spiritually fed by a number of female pastors -- not only my mom, but Erma, for example, in her great sermon at the CORE Theological Conference).  Why try to get in the bad situation, though, just to see if it will still work?  I don't get it."

I don't think that is what most advocates of WO are attempting to do... see how much we can get away with....  You can find other faults but I really don't think that is a serious reason for the practice.  At least it was not mine.

Perhaps I misunderstood you, but it certainly seems that you were making this type of argument when you wrote:

If a LCMS pastor (sorry to pick on you for this example) is gay and secretly has a relationship with another gay person and he preaches and celebrates HC…  cannot the sermon share Law and Gospel and his hidden life not ruin the communicants reception?  I am saying nothing about whether he is sinning or whether his church body would be sinning if they knew and permitted him to be a pastor.  So what if a Lutheran woman pastor comes and preaches and celebrates HC and an LCMS person listens to the sermon and partakes of the sacrament, can it be a proper sermon, a Holy Communion that shares Christ’s body and blood?  Again I am not saying whether or not that LCMS person should be in that church, listen or partake… but if one did….  We know that an unbelieving preacher and celebrant does not vitiate the means of grace, don’t we?  What of a woman who believes?

Is it possible that God is not wild about ordained women, but will use them in the church?  He may not be wild about pastors who are not good at Greek or who do not find evangelism to be their most important work but will he still use them in the church?


Again, sorry if I misunderstood.  What was the force of your above comments, then?

You would not permit the argument that we should see how close to being uninspired some of St. Paul's phrases might be... like "get the cloak I forgot in Troas" type things.  There is a time-bound and cultural conditioning to some of the women/men talk in Paul, like headcoverings and pearls, expensive clothes and all that.... while they ought to dig at our modern way of life (like expensive clothes on both men and women who are Chrsitians and should be caring for the poor) they might not be as precise a code of Church practice as we could make them.  I do think that a church body that does not allow women to do much of anything that remotely touches in chargeness is being literally correct to the texts.  Those of us who step away from that position have trouble finding the line in the sand to defend.

The phrase we were talking about wasn't regarding cloaks, pearls, headcoverings or other types of clothes (leaving aside the inspiration or lack thereof of these statements).

It was about a doctrinal point: "For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."

It was to the idea that Adam was not deceived that you responded: "Oh?"

And it's not a matter of allowing or disallowing a point, as you haven't yet been clear as to what you're saying (though I do admit that you are quite strongly implying that Paul's theological argumentation in 1 Tim. 2:13-14 is uninspired).  So let me ask again, are you saying that Paul got Gen. 3 wrong?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 11:10:28 AM by Scott Yakimow »

kls

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #44 on: December 14, 2010, 11:10:01 AM »
Orthodox Church in America
(excerpt from http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=167&SID=3)

While it is only my opinion that the question should never be silenced, I would also propose that its discussion must be conducted within the parameters of the Church's ongoing Tradition and not in post-modern secular or humanist categories which bear little relationship to the Gospel. While Orthodoxy has not accepted the ordination of women, it does laud a woman, the Theotokos, as the one who is "more honorable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim" and holds her up as a model for all of God's People, male and female alike. In this light, salvation, not ordination, is the goal of Christian life.