Author Topic: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question  (Read 41172 times)

Rob Morris

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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #225 on: December 19, 2017, 11:47:56 AM »
How might this apply to the marriage of one human and one human woman?    Is it a relationship of giving, receiving and returning like that of Christ and the Church where Christ gives, men and women receive  all that Christ gives and they in love empty themselves of any claim to what both receive from Christ and so live out Christ sacrificial love in their marriage?    Or, is the marriage of a Christian man and woman one where husband and wife differ in how they live out what both receive from Christ their Head?

Marie

Your description of the mystery is quite lovely and I couldn't agree more.

As to your closing questions, my rough take: In the kingdom of the right hand, your first description is apt. In the kingdom of the left, your second.

As receivers of Christ's grace, there is no difference between male and female (thus Galatians 3). As those vocationally called to live and serve in a world still marred and distorted by sin, there is a difference (thus Ephesians 5). The two live in tension with one another and will continue to do so until the parousia.

So, is it A or B? As long as we occupy both kingdoms, both sinners and saints... yes, yes it is.

And I hope I get the joy of seeing you and your lovely family around the Christmas services!

Dave Benke

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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #226 on: December 19, 2017, 12:53:54 PM »
 
As the late, great anthropologist Margaret Mead told us, there has never been a matriarchal culture
in the history of the world.  For better or worse we will continue to see patriarchal societies among su.


She was wrong. There were and are matriarchal cultures: the Hopi and Navajo are two within our country. The ancient world of Cush or Nubia (mentioned in the Bible) was another one.

Yup.  And the Mosuo near Tibet.

And my mom's side of the family.

 ;D

Dave Benke

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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #227 on: December 19, 2017, 02:55:55 PM »
From David Garner's post...

"Deaconess Meyer, I hope this is helpful, and I also hope it is not repetitive as I can't remember if I've mentioned this here before.

When my wife and I were crowned in the Orthodox Church, the Church gave us an icon of the 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste.  In our understanding (and, perhaps I'm recalling incorrectly, but I believe in yours as well), marriage is a type of martyrdom.  We are to die to our spouse.  In the husband's case, that may mean literally give our lives, but even absent that, we still give all that we are and all that we have for the benefit of the other.  In so doing, we learn what it is to empty our selves and live for the other, as Christ lived for the Church, and ultimately died for her.

You are correct -- we can never do this as Christ did.  It would be wrong and a complete undoing of the Scriptural admonition to husbands and wives for either the husband or wife to consider themselves the Christ figure.  Rather, my wife is Christ, and I serve her as Christ served the Church.  And to her, I am Christ, and she serves me as Christ served the Church.  Not by lording over each other or keeping each other under a boot heel, but in love and submission and giving and charity.  And we do this very imperfectly.  But that is our calling.  We are to love the other unconditionally, forgive all their sins, give ourselves for their benefit, etc.  It is very much a mutual thing.  That the husband is given the responsibility of headship in this relationship does not in any way undo that model.  It strengthens it, in that the husband is to be the pastor of his household, and in that role, he is called to set an example of love and charity and forgiveness and self-emptying.  He is the first servant, not the boss or ruler...

Heavy is the head that wears the crown.  Headship carries with it great responsibility.  I don't take it lightly, and in fact it is with fear and trembling that I nonetheless take up the calling Christ has given me.  I would suggest that is not so very different from how wives ought approach their vocations."


Marie offers a few thoughts...

 Rather than saying of husband and wife, "We are to die to our spouse,"  I submit the directive is that each, as the baptized husband and wife die to self. That is the say each puts the welfare of the other above self.  Both have been recreated to serve as they are served by Christ. In baptism both die to self

David writes... "That the husband is given the responsibility of headship in this relationship does not in any way undo that model.  It strengthens it, in that the husband is to be the pastor of his household, and in that role, he is called to set an example of love and charity and forgiveness and self-emptying.  He is the first servant, not the boss or ruler..."

Reading the above I experience a bit of Lutheran cognitive dissonance. If the husband is to be the head of his wife as Christ is the Head of the Church... remembering that husband and wife both ARE the church and the Bride of Christ, then they are both severed as Christ serves the Church.  Here the husband must literally "see" or "know" that he and the his wife are served by Christ in the same way.

How then does Christ serve all, men and women, who ARE the Church?  Does He not lift His Bride up, Give Her all that She needs to be His Counterpart on earth and give Her the power and authority that comes from Christ alone to forgive sins.  What Christ gives to His One Body, the Church, is given to the many members of His Body whether they are male or female, husbands or wives.   

I return to the model of relationships where there is the giving, receiving AND returning. In the  faithful heterosexual procreative model of marriage there is a giving by the husband and a receiving by the wife.  Is there also not a returning by the wife, not only of mutual love and pleasure, but the giving in return of the new life of a child? 

The mystery of Christ's relationship to the Church is that He, knowing that God the Holy Spirit is powerfully at work in the Church, His Bride, so that She will be the Mother of all God the Father's children.

So we return the doctrine of the Trinity and the Unity of the One Godhead in the creation, redemption and recreation of the many who are the One Church. 

Marie

   

David Garner

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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #228 on: December 19, 2017, 03:14:37 PM »
Rather than saying of husband and wife, "We are to die to our spouse,"  I submit the directive is that each, as the baptized husband and wife die to self. That is the say each puts the welfare of the other above self.  Both have been recreated to serve as they are served by Christ. In baptism both die to self

We mean the same thing.  Perhaps I worded things inadequately, but when I speak of the husband dying to the wife, what I mean is the husband is to put her needs above his own and deny his own self-love in order to love her.

Quote
Reading the above I experience a bit of Lutheran cognitive dissonance. If the husband is to be the head of his wife as Christ is the Head of the Church... remembering that husband and wife both ARE the church and the Bride of Christ, then they are both severed as Christ serves the Church.  Here the husband must literally "see" or "know" that he and the his wife are served by Christ in the same way.

How then does Christ serve all, men and women, who ARE the Church?  Does He not lift His Bride up, Give Her all that She needs to be His Counterpart on earth and give Her the power and authority that comes from Christ alone to forgive sins.  What Christ gives to His One Body, the Church, is given to the many members of His Body whether they are male or female, husbands or wives.   

I return to the model of relationships where there is the giving, receiving AND returning. In the  faithful heterosexual procreative model of marriage there is a giving by the husband and a receiving by the wife.  Is there also not a returning by the wife, not only of mutual love and pleasure, but the giving in return of the new life of a child? 

The mystery of Christ's relationship to the Church is that He, knowing that God the Holy Spirit is powerfully at work in the Church, His Bride, so that She will be the Mother of all God the Father's children.

So we return the doctrine of the Trinity and the Unity of the One Godhead in the creation, redemption and recreation of the many who are the One Church. 

Marie

I suppose I don't see the quandary you may see.  Of course the husband and wife are served by Christ in the same way.  And yet, it is entirely possible for the husband to be appointed by God as the one who will make the ultimate sacrifice for his family, who is charged with the responsibility of shepherding his family, who is the one who sets the example, often poorly, at all times inadequately -- but still have that responsibility and burden laid at the husband's feet.

And of course, there is a returning of that love by the wife.  Indeed, the husband is to primarily see Christ in his wife, not in himself.  So while the husband is called to serve the wife as Christ serves the husband, so also the husband is called to see Christ in his wife, because she is one for whom Christ has died and risen. 

Going further, this is merely the chief way in which husbands and wives learn to live as Christians.  Ideally, we would see everyone in that way.  We would give to the poor, sacrifice to help the helpless, put the interests of others above our own, etc.  Christ has given us marriage not as the only way in which we live the Christian life in relation to another, but rather so we can structure our lives around such selflessness, giving, etc., in this narrow relationship, and in such a way learn also to love our neighbor as ourselves and work toward living the Christian life in relation to all others. 
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #229 on: December 19, 2017, 04:57:49 PM »
How might this apply to the marriage of one human and one human woman?    Is it a relationship of giving, receiving and returning like that of Christ and the Church where Christ gives, men and women receive  all that Christ gives and they in love empty themselves of any claim to what both receive from Christ and so live out Christ sacrificial love in their marriage?    Or, is the marriage of a Christian man and woman one where husband and wife differ in how they live out what both receive from Christ their Head?

Marie

Your description of the mystery is quite lovely and I couldn't agree more.

As to your closing questions, my rough take: In the kingdom of the right hand, your first description is apt. In the kingdom of the left, your second.

As receivers of Christ's grace, there is no difference between male and female (thus Galatians 3). As those vocationally called to live and serve in a world still marred and distorted by sin, there is a difference (thus Ephesians 5). The two live in tension with one another and will continue to do so until the parousia.

So, is it A or B? As long as we occupy both kingdoms, both sinners and saints... yes, yes it is.

And I hope I get the joy of seeing you and your lovely family around the Christmas services!

This year it will be just be the two of us on Christmas Eve. Looking forward to worshipping with you then   Our children and grandchildren will be with their other grandparents. Bill is assisting with communion on Christmas Day.

Marie

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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #230 on: December 19, 2017, 05:20:42 PM »
Rather than saying of husband and wife, "We are to die to our spouse,"  I submit the directive is that each, as the baptized husband and wife die to self. That is the say each puts the welfare of the other above self.  Both have been recreated to serve as they are served by Christ. In baptism both die to self

We mean the same thing.  Perhaps I worded things inadequately, but when I speak of the husband dying to the wife, what I mean is the husband is to put her needs above his own and deny his own self-love in order to love her.

Quote
Reading the above I experience a bit of Lutheran cognitive dissonance. If the husband is to be the head of his wife as Christ is the Head of the Church... remembering that husband and wife both ARE the church and the Bride of Christ, then they are both severed as Christ serves the Church.  Here the husband must literally "see" or "know" that he and the his wife are served by Christ in the same way.

How then does Christ serve all, men and women, who ARE the Church?  Does He not lift His Bride up, Give Her all that She needs to be His Counterpart on earth and give Her the power and authority that comes from Christ alone to forgive sins.  What Christ gives to His One Body, the Church, is given to the many members of His Body whether they are male or female, husbands or wives.   

I return to the model of relationships where there is the giving, receiving AND returning. In the  faithful heterosexual procreative model of marriage there is a giving by the husband and a receiving by the wife.  Is there also not a returning by the wife, not only of mutual love and pleasure, but the giving in return of the new life of a child? 

The mystery of Christ's relationship to the Church is that He, knowing that God the Holy Spirit is powerfully at work in the Church, His Bride, so that She will be the Mother of all God the Father's children.

So we return the doctrine of the Trinity and the Unity of the One Godhead in the creation, redemption and recreation of the many who are the One Church. 

Marie

I suppose I don't see the quandary you may see.  Of course the husband and wife are served by Christ in the same way.  And yet, it is entirely possible for the husband to be appointed by God as the one who will make the ultimate sacrifice for his family, who is charged with the responsibility of shepherding his family, who is the one who sets the example, often poorly, at all times inadequately -- but still have that responsibility and burden laid at the husband's feet.

And of course, there is a returning of that love by the wife.  Indeed, the husband is to primarily see Christ in his wife, not in himself.  So while the husband is called to serve the wife as Christ serves the husband, so also the husband is called to see Christ in his wife, because she is one for whom Christ has died and risen. 

Going further, this is merely the chief way in which husbands and wives learn to live as Christians.  Ideally, we would see everyone in that way.  We would give to the poor, sacrifice to help the helpless, put the interests of others above our own, etc.  Christ has given us marriage not as the only way in which we live the Christian life in relation to another, but rather so we can structure our lives around such selflessness, giving, etc., in this narrow relationship, and in such a way learn also to love our neighbor as ourselves and work toward living the Christian life in relation to all others.

Of course" it is entirely possible for the husband to be appointed by God as the one who will make the ultimate sacrifice for his family, who is charged with the responsibility of shepherding his family, who is the one who sets the example, often poorly, at all times inadequately -- but still have that responsibility and burden laid at the husband's feet."

But if, as we confess,  Christ is as truly present within the heart and mind of a baptized wife who faithfully receive Christ in the sacrament of the altar, why does she need the example of her husband to know what it means to live the Christian life in relation to her husband and to others? Is the power and authority of Christ joined to women in the Sacraments any different than that of Christ joined to men in the Sacraments.

Do Christian wives not confess with St. Paul, "The life I now live is the life of Christ."  The way Christian wives and husbands learn to live in relation to one another and to others is by being open to their recreation in the image of Christ.   I believe Christ is as present within my heart and mind as He is in my husband. I am no more or less inclined to resist His work of conforming me to the living Christ as is my husband.

So also, I am called to grow up into the fullness of Christ who is the Head of the Church. In this there is no difference between the many men and women who are the Church, the One Body of Christ. 

The question I would ask is what is our Christian witness to the world of Christ's relationship to the many men and women who are His Bride, His ONE Holy Body.   Is His Body, His Bride,  divided according to distinct sexual bodies of the many who ARE the Church. Is there a difference in the reality for what it means for me as a wife to be the Church then it is for my husband to be the Church?  If so, what is that difference?

Marie     

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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #231 on: December 19, 2017, 08:22:10 PM »
How we understand words determines our conclusion.  In this instance the term "head" is key. (BTW - Scripture does not refer to husbands as head of the household.  Depending on the translation texts read man is the head of woman or the husband is head of his wife.)

The traditional LCMS meaning given to the husband as head of the wife is that the husband is in authority over his wife.  In short "head of" and headship" are said to refer to the position of authority God assigns the husband in relation to his wife. The current terminology is that the  submission of a wife complements her husband's position of authority.  You will note that in the LSB the position of the wife in relation to her husband is like that of children to their parents and slaves to their masters. This does not suggest that husband and wife are full partners within the house and in the care and nurture of their children.   

Do I understand you to say that the husband, after consulting with his wife, is the partner responsible to make decisions for the family?

Marie,

Although there is correlation between children/parents and slaves/masters in that there is a paired relationship with a leader and a follower, I would not take that to mean that the relationship between husbands and wives is just like those others as well. Christ taught us that authority is not to boss people around, snap your fingers and expect that people start obediently skittering around or else. He did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life. Authority for Christians is service (or should be), not simply to be the one in charge like we think about it in this fallen world.

So yes, you would understand me to be saying that the husband, who will consult with his wife and seek out her insights and opinions if because he loves her and respects her wisdom, will make informed decisions for the family unit that will be for the best of everyone involved. That doesn't mean he can't delegate some decisions or he's dictating what brand of laundry detergent should be used.  In real life, this would ebb and flow organically depending on the decision to be made and other mitigating factors, etc. rather than be a pronouncement from on high.

Sandra...
 
I understand that Christ does not associate the authority of parents to “boss people around, snap your fingers and expect that people start obediently skittering around or else.” I can assure you that if either my husband had tried that the year we had five teenagers in the house life would have been miserable for them and us.
 
The servant authority of Christ the Bridegroom in relation to His Bride is not expressed in terms of laws that limit where and when She may live out the realty of what it means to be His ONE Holy Body.  Christ is the Head of His Body, the Church, that lifts Her up to be His Living Counterpart on earth.   In what appears to the world as the weakness of the Church, the hidden God is at work with a power and authority that belongs to God alone.   
 
As you correctly state authority in the Church is not as authority is understood in the world. If I have said anything that suggests I think in terms of who is in charge in the home, the husband or the wife, or  who is in charge in the Church, the men or the women then  I have really messed up what I believe to be the truth of how God works in and through those to whom he joins Himself in and through Word and Sacrament, both men and women. 

The Incarnation of our Lord as a child born of woman in a lowly stable reveals how the power and authority of our Lord God is far removed from how the world understand power and authority.

marie

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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #232 on: December 20, 2017, 02:44:31 PM »
It all goes back to Genesis. That's where Jesus takes the question when the Pharisees ask him about divorce and remarriage. When we run issues of male/female, marriage, dominion, in the way of power grabs then we are running it all through a hermeneutic of exploitation, thus the very "shame" that made the primordial couple hide their nakedness.  When it is all run though the Creator, in whose image we are remade in Christ, then it is a hermeneutic of gift that defines questions of authority and dominion. In Christ, authority is not exploitative but is a sacrificial gift, reciprocated likewise by the other.

To return to the original question, abuse in many forms follows the way of Genesis 3, the her,enduring of exploitation which defines the relationship in terms of what each can seize for oneself from the other.  Abuse is inimical to marriage, which was instituted to reflect the communion between God and his creatures, between male and female.

Abuse can, even as Moses allowed a certificate of divorce, violate marriage and become a viable reason for divorce.  But In the way of Creation, this is always a tragedy compounded by human sin, and the temptation to turn what God intended to reflect mutual gift of one to the other into  exploitation. Word studies on "porneia" miss the point. The issue is that a sexually unfaithful spouse, just as an abusive one, has effectively abandoned the marriage already. 

But this hermeneutic of exploitation can be reversed in the image of God in Christ... Through death and resurrection.  Still, those who refuse to die in Christ die alone in their way of an and exploitation. Abuse does not necessitate divorce. Forgiveness is possible. But to divorce an abusive spouse when such abuse persists without repentance is, often, an unfortunate necessity. It should still be lamented. Anytime sin fractures what God has unified, it is lamentable.
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David Garner

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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #233 on: December 20, 2017, 03:39:30 PM »
Of course" it is entirely possible for the husband to be appointed by God as the one who will make the ultimate sacrifice for his family, who is charged with the responsibility of shepherding his family, who is the one who sets the example, often poorly, at all times inadequately -- but still have that responsibility and burden laid at the husband's feet."

But if, as we confess,  Christ is as truly present within the heart and mind of a baptized wife who faithfully receive Christ in the sacrament of the altar, why does she need the example of her husband to know what it means to live the Christian life in relation to her husband and to others? Is the power and authority of Christ joined to women in the Sacraments any different than that of Christ joined to men in the Sacraments.

Do Christian wives not confess with St. Paul, "The life I now live is the life of Christ."  The way Christian wives and husbands learn to live in relation to one another and to others is by being open to their recreation in the image of Christ.   I believe Christ is as present within my heart and mind as He is in my husband. I am no more or less inclined to resist His work of conforming me to the living Christ as is my husband.

So also, I am called to grow up into the fullness of Christ who is the Head of the Church. In this there is no difference between the many men and women who are the Church, the One Body of Christ. 

The question I would ask is what is our Christian witness to the world of Christ's relationship to the many men and women who are His Bride, His ONE Holy Body.   Is His Body, His Bride,  divided according to distinct sexual bodies of the many who ARE the Church. Is there a difference in the reality for what it means for me as a wife to be the Church then it is for my husband to be the Church?  If so, what is that difference?

Marie     

I'm not sure how to answer your questions, Deaconess Meyer, because in large part I'm not sure how broad or narrow they are.  For example, you ask whether there is a difference in the reality for what it means for you as a wife to be in the Church than for your husband to be in the Church.  Of course there is, as I think is self-evident.  If only because he is a husband and you are a wife.  St. Paul speaks to husbands:

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.'”

And St. Paul speaks to wives:

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."

Now, clearly St. Paul uses different words here.  Emphasizes different things.  That doesn't mean we aren't the same before God as fellow redeemed.  It doesn't mean our baptisms are somehow different.  But it does mean we have different roles within the Church and within our marriages.

The best advice I ever got from a pastor, a Lutheran pastor I should note, was that I shouldn't read Ephesians with a view toward telling my wife what St. Paul has to say to her.  I should read it with a view toward what St. Paul is saying to me.  So I love, I give myself, I present my wife holy and without blemish.  I am to love her as I love my own body.  I am to leave my mother and father and join her as one flesh.  I am to die for her if need be.  That is my role.

Taking my former pastor's good advice, I'll suggest that you have to sort out yours.  It isn't my place.
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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #234 on: December 20, 2017, 04:43:08 PM »
Excellent post, David.

The Ephesians passage is, of course, the appointed Epistle for every Wedding in the Orthodox Church (one of Orthodoxy's many beauties is that there are no "designer" Weddings with supermarket picking and choosing of texts:   Here they are, take them or leave them) and from the vantage point of the kliros (choir) I have seen something like this play out at nearly every Wedding:

A millennial-age couple stands, listening to the passage.  The woman appears increasingly distressed, arms tightly folded, eyes rolling.  The guy may occasionally glance at her with a sniggering grin.   Then we reach the instructions for husbands.  The barnyard biscuit is wiped from the guy's face.   The gal relaxes and goes from eyes rolling to eyes wide open.

The point is:  The passage must be read in its entirety, and heard in its entirety by persons of both genders.

And for those not familiar with the Orthodox Wedding service:  The Epistle's call to sacrificial love is further underscored by the crowning of the couple and their being led in procession as "Ye holy Martyrs..." is sung.
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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #235 on: December 20, 2017, 08:35:18 PM »
Of course" it is entirely possible for the husband to be appointed by God as the one who will make the ultimate sacrifice for his family, who is charged with the responsibility of shepherding his family, who is the one who sets the example, often poorly, at all times inadequately -- but still have that responsibility and burden laid at the husband's feet."

But if, as we confess,  Christ is as truly present within the heart and mind of a baptized wife who faithfully receive Christ in the sacrament of the altar, why does she need the example of her husband to know what it means to live the Christian life in relation to her husband and to others? Is the power and authority of Christ joined to women in the Sacraments any different than that of Christ joined to men in the Sacraments.

Do Christian wives not confess with St. Paul, "The life I now live is the life of Christ."  The way Christian wives and husbands learn to live in relation to one another and to others is by being open to their recreation in the image of Christ.   I believe Christ is as present within my heart and mind as He is in my husband. I am no more or less inclined to resist His work of conforming me to the living Christ as is my husband.

So also, I am called to grow up into the fullness of Christ who is the Head of the Church. In this there is no difference between the many men and women who are the Church, the One Body of Christ. 

The question I would ask is what is our Christian witness to the world of Christ's relationship to the many men and women who are His Bride, His ONE Holy Body.   Is His Body, His Bride,  divided according to distinct sexual bodies of the many who ARE the Church. Is there a difference in the reality for what it means for me as a wife to be the Church then it is for my husband to be the Church?  If so, what is that difference?

Marie     

I'm not sure how to answer your questions, Deaconess Meyer, because in large part I'm not sure how broad or narrow they are.  For example, you ask whether there is a difference in the reality for what it means for you as a wife to be in the Church than for your husband to be in the Church.  Of course there is, as I think is self-evident.  If only because he is a husband and you are a wife.  St. Paul speaks to husbands:

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.'”

And St. Paul speaks to wives:

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."

Now, clearly St. Paul uses different words here.  Emphasizes different things.  That doesn't mean we aren't the same before God as fellow redeemed.  It doesn't mean our baptisms are somehow different.  But it does mean we have different roles within the Church and within our marriages.

The best advice I ever got from a pastor, a Lutheran pastor I should note, was that I shouldn't read Ephesians with a view toward telling my wife what St. Paul has to say to her.  I should read it with a view toward what St. Paul is saying to me.  So I love, I give myself, I present my wife holy and without blemish.  I am to love her as I love my own body.  I am to leave my mother and father and join her as one flesh.  I am to die for her if need be.  That is my role.

Taking my former pastor's good advice, I'll suggest that you have to sort out yours.  It isn't my place.

The day of our wedding my husband's father directed both of us to keep Christ at the center of our marriage relationship.  As much as we loved each other, it was our individual love of Christ and his centrality in each of our that would sustain our marriage.

Grandpa's pastoral message made no mention of different roles.  There is really nothing more to sort out as long as each of us hold to what Grandpa Meyer told us 55 years ago.

When Christ wanted to wash Peter's feet, Peter's pride initially resisted having his feet washed by Christ. Christ reminds us that washing feet belongs to the servant hood to which disciples all called.  Above my computer is a  bronze figure of the woman Christ allowed to wash his feel with her tears.  Christ the Head of the Church allowed a woman to serve him by washing his feet.  I submit the marriage relationship is one of mutual foot washing - of husband and wife serving one another.  Both serve one another as each is served by Christ.

marie

MaddogLutheran

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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #236 on: December 20, 2017, 09:13:53 PM »
I submit the marriage relationship is one of mutual foot washing - of husband and wife serving one another.  Both serve one another as each is served by Christ.

marie
I entirely agree.  But none of anything you said changes the fact the text of Ephesians says what it says.  I agree that it doesn't say or mean that all women must submit to all men, but you can't talk away what it does actually say.  Many people over the years here have pointed out that you create a straw man of what this submission means--the husband behaviors you properly object to are not the responsible behaviors Paul is talking about.  I don't think it means my wife always has to do what I say.

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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #237 on: December 20, 2017, 10:38:49 PM »
On the topic of Eph. 5, two important notes. First, if we put an "if" in front of "the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church," then we've already abadoned divine revelation in favor of human reasoning. For Christians, there is no "if" to it; it is so. The question is how to live out that reality.

Second, per David's point about whom the verses are addressed to, one thing I like to do with couples is ask them whether they have ever washed in the Pool of Siloam. When they say no, I ask them why not, given that in John 9:7a Jesus clearly says, "Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam." How can they disregard Bible verses that way? After a moment, of course, they point out that, yes, Jesus said that in the Bible, but He wasn't talking to them.

So it is with Eph. 5. Not all of it is talking to you. When is says, "Husbands..." the wife can know these words don't apply to her. When is says, "Wives..." the husband can know it isn't addressed to him. Each one only ever need focus on the words addressed to them. The sinful nature, and only the sinful nature, focuses on the commands given to other people for one's own benefit. So the husband to demands submission and the wife who demands sacrifice from her husband are equally operating according to the Old Adam. It doesn't say to either of them, "Do your half as long as the other one does his/her half." It tells both husband and wife how to live out those vocations, and that is all either of them need to know.

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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #238 on: December 21, 2017, 02:19:06 AM »
I submit the marriage relationship is one of mutual foot washing - of husband and wife serving one another.  Both serve one another as each is served by Christ.

marie
I entirely agree.  But none of anything you said changes the fact the text of Ephesians says what it says.  I agree that it doesn't say or mean that all women must submit to all men, but you can't talk away what it does actually say.  Many people over the years here have pointed out that you create a straw man of what this submission means--the husband behaviors you properly object to are not the responsible behaviors Paul is talking about.  I don't think it means my wife always has to do what I say.


Translators have a decision to make about Ephesians 5:21: ὑποτασσόμενοι ἀλλήλοις ἐν φόβῳ Χριστοῦ - "being subject to one another out of fear/respect of Christ."


Some, like the ESV, include it at the end of a paragraph. V. 22 begins a new paragraph. The NIV and NRSV make v. 21 a separate paragraph. The editors of Novum Testamentum Graece 28th Revised Edition, start a new paragraph with v. 21 that goes through v. 24. Then there's the CEB that has vv. 15-33 as one paragraph.


Because v. 21 starts with a participle, it is not a complete sentences. It is part of a series of participles that go before it are are dependent on the imperatives in v. 18: "Don't get drunk on wine, …, but be filled with the Spirit." Then comes participles:
"speaking to one another …"
"singing …"
"psalming …"
"giving thanks …"
"being subject …"


"Being subject to one another" flows from "Be filled with the Spirit," so it is must be connected with what goes before it. However, the next verse has no verb: αἱ γυναῖκες τοῖς ίδίοις ἀνδράσιν ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ - "the wives/women to their own husbands/men as to the Lord." The verb taken from v. 21: "wives be subject …," so v. 21 must be connected with what follows it.


Perhaps the CEB has the best solution. Vv. 15-33 are one paragraph with the heading: "Be filled with the Spirit." In addition, this is how they translate the transition between vv. 21-22: "and submit to each other out of respect for Christ. For example, wives should submit to their husbands as if to the Lord." Vv. 22ff. are examples of what it means to submit to one another.
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David Garner

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Re: New LCMS Catechism -- A Question
« Reply #239 on: December 21, 2017, 07:52:15 AM »
Of course" it is entirely possible for the husband to be appointed by God as the one who will make the ultimate sacrifice for his family, who is charged with the responsibility of shepherding his family, who is the one who sets the example, often poorly, at all times inadequately -- but still have that responsibility and burden laid at the husband's feet."

But if, as we confess,  Christ is as truly present within the heart and mind of a baptized wife who faithfully receive Christ in the sacrament of the altar, why does she need the example of her husband to know what it means to live the Christian life in relation to her husband and to others? Is the power and authority of Christ joined to women in the Sacraments any different than that of Christ joined to men in the Sacraments.

Do Christian wives not confess with St. Paul, "The life I now live is the life of Christ."  The way Christian wives and husbands learn to live in relation to one another and to others is by being open to their recreation in the image of Christ.   I believe Christ is as present within my heart and mind as He is in my husband. I am no more or less inclined to resist His work of conforming me to the living Christ as is my husband.

So also, I am called to grow up into the fullness of Christ who is the Head of the Church. In this there is no difference between the many men and women who are the Church, the One Body of Christ. 

The question I would ask is what is our Christian witness to the world of Christ's relationship to the many men and women who are His Bride, His ONE Holy Body.   Is His Body, His Bride,  divided according to distinct sexual bodies of the many who ARE the Church. Is there a difference in the reality for what it means for me as a wife to be the Church then it is for my husband to be the Church?  If so, what is that difference?

Marie     

I'm not sure how to answer your questions, Deaconess Meyer, because in large part I'm not sure how broad or narrow they are.  For example, you ask whether there is a difference in the reality for what it means for you as a wife to be in the Church than for your husband to be in the Church.  Of course there is, as I think is self-evident.  If only because he is a husband and you are a wife.  St. Paul speaks to husbands:

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.'”

And St. Paul speaks to wives:

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."

Now, clearly St. Paul uses different words here.  Emphasizes different things.  That doesn't mean we aren't the same before God as fellow redeemed.  It doesn't mean our baptisms are somehow different.  But it does mean we have different roles within the Church and within our marriages.

The best advice I ever got from a pastor, a Lutheran pastor I should note, was that I shouldn't read Ephesians with a view toward telling my wife what St. Paul has to say to her.  I should read it with a view toward what St. Paul is saying to me.  So I love, I give myself, I present my wife holy and without blemish.  I am to love her as I love my own body.  I am to leave my mother and father and join her as one flesh.  I am to die for her if need be.  That is my role.

Taking my former pastor's good advice, I'll suggest that you have to sort out yours.  It isn't my place.

The day of our wedding my husband's father directed both of us to keep Christ at the center of our marriage relationship.  As much as we loved each other, it was our individual love of Christ and his centrality in each of our that would sustain our marriage.

Grandpa's pastoral message made no mention of different roles.  There is really nothing more to sort out as long as each of us hold to what Grandpa Meyer told us 55 years ago.

When Christ wanted to wash Peter's feet, Peter's pride initially resisted having his feet washed by Christ. Christ reminds us that washing feet belongs to the servant hood to which disciples all called.  Above my computer is a  bronze figure of the woman Christ allowed to wash his feel with her tears.  Christ the Head of the Church allowed a woman to serve him by washing his feet.  I submit the marriage relationship is one of mutual foot washing - of husband and wife serving one another.  Both serve one another as each is served by Christ.

marie

Forgive me Deaconess Meyer.  I held back from responding earlier, as I noted, because I thought my words might come across as too pointed and I did not mean for them to be.  Such is also the case here, so please take it in the spirit it is offered -- I mean no offense.

What I read in your words -- and what I would ask for clarification on -- is that you have such a dedication to equality within the marriage that you are literally willing to overlook St. Paul's very words in favor of Grandpa's pastoral message, for you say "[t]here is really nothing more to sort out as long as each of us hold to what Grandpa Meyer told us 55 years ago."  And it may well be that you see what Pastor Meyer said as encompassing Ephesians, which is why I ask clarification.  I do not mean to presume.

The reason this troubles me is simple -- I referenced equality in the eyes of God, equality in our vocations as baptized, etc.  That seems to be not enough for you.  For when I suggested you read St. Paul's words to you and sort it out, you said "there is really nothing more to sort out."  That is, you seem to suggest that St. Paul, who makes a very clear distinction between the roles of husband and wife within a Christian marriage, overstates his case, and you seem to pine for this same-same role of husband and wife within a marriage.  I cannot surmise why that may be, and I won't try to, but I would ask you to comment further to help me understand both whether that is the case, and if so, why.

For me, I do stand by what I said earlier -- I am to love my wife, give myself, present her holy and without blemish.  I am to love her as I love my own body.  I am to leave my mother and father and join her as one flesh.  I am to die for her if need be.  That is my role.  I cannot tell you yours, but I can hope to show you where God has told you and leave you to sort out how that applies in your own marriage and life.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).