Author Topic: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination  (Read 22193 times)

Dan Fienen

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #345 on: March 07, 2019, 03:40:02 PM »

My apologies, somehow in correcting this post it ended up being listed before Pr. Austin's post to which it responds.


Pastor Fienen writes:
Does the fact that you all continue to ordain women mean that you haven’t considered that you could be wrong?
I comment:
What is wrong with you? I just said we could be wrong about her decision to ordain women. I just said that.

If you just read the next three words, you would have recognized that I knew you considered you could be wrong.  Yet, that same question that I reflected back at you, you posed to us.  Just giving you a taste of what you dish out.

Pastor Fienen:
I thought not, so why should we be embarrassed by such a question posed to us?  After careful and prayerful study and deliberation, we don’t think that we’re wrong and so continue as we are.
Me:
Ok. So?



So, we end up in much the same position as you do, we have considered that we might be wrong but have concluded that we are not so we continue doing what we think and believe is right.  As you profess to do.


Pastor Fienen:
Perhaps part of your problem with us is that you simply cannot conceive of the possibility that anyone could seriously consider the issue and not agree with you.
Me:

How could I not consider the possibility? It’s staring me in the face almost every single day!

You have our disagreement staring you in the face almost every single day, but are you willing to acknowledge that we, like you, have carefully, prayerfully and intelligently considered the matter?



Pastor Fienen:
You are so intelligent, kind hearted, and Spirit filled that anyone with half a brain and a love for God and people will just have to agree with you.
Me:
Thank you very much. That was most kind. But it is not this humble correspondent with whom you will eventually agree, it is God. 

I try to inject a bit of whimsy and satire (well perhaps also a bit of sarcasm) into our discussion and am misunderstood, again. 


It is our aim at all times to agree with God, and ultimately it is to Him that we will have to answer.  Have you ever considered the possibility that it is we now who are in agreement with God, not you?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 05:00:13 PM by Dan Fienen »
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Charles Austin

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #346 on: March 07, 2019, 04:10:59 PM »
Pastor Fienen writes:
Does the fact that you all continue to ordain women mean that you haven’t considered that you could be wrong?
I comment:
What is wrong with you? I just said we could be wrong about her decision to ordain women. I just said that.

Pastor Fienen:
I thought not, so why should we be embarrassed by such a question posed to us?  After careful and prayerful study and deliberation, we don’t think that we’re wrong and so continue as we are.
Me:
Ok. So?

Pastor Fienen:
Perhaps part of your problem with us is that you simply cannot conceive of the possibility that anyone could seriously consider the issue and not agree with you.
Me:
How could I not consider the possibility? It’s staring me in the face almost every single day!

Pastor Fienen:
You are so intelligent, kind hearted, and Spirit filled that anyone with half a brain and a love for God and people will just have to agree with you.
Me:
Thank you very much. That was most kind. But it is not this humble correspondent with whom you will eventually agree, it is God.  ;)
Retired ELCA Pastor. You can say liberal Christians are wrong. You can say that you disagree with our interpretation of faith. But when you say we are driven by “culture” or “trendiness,” you prove that you do not listen to us. Luther fared better with Rome.

David Garner

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #347 on: March 07, 2019, 04:18:51 PM »
A variation on the old, “Have you considered the possibility that you could be wrong?” 


As a matter of fact, I have considered that possibility, on that and many other matters.  The fact that I have not in fact decided that I’m wrong doesn’t mean that I haven’t considered it.

I assume everyone considers they could be wrong.  So I look at one side, which says "we prayed and studied and the Bible says what we want it to say after all," and the other side (with which I align) says "well, because we are infallible and separated from the people in the Bible by vast quantities of time and space and generation and proximity, perhaps we should look to what others who went before us have said and determine how the Church has always viewed this.  If I am wrong, perhaps the best light to shed on that would be how those closer in time and proximity to Christ and the Apostles have decided."

I have changed my mind many times on many issues in my 49 years as a Christian on this planet.  I have probably done so in opposition to what those Christians who preceded us have believed, but I have never striven to do so.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #348 on: March 07, 2019, 04:26:22 PM »
....we are all sinners who are justified by God's grace alone through faith alone; and recognized how we failed to apply that to homosexuals. We had a different standard for their salvation than for other people.

I think you should clarify this.  If you believed in justification by God's grace through faith, that "standard" did not change for homosexuals.  What changed is your definition of sin.


How did we change our definition of sin? We are all sinners. We all commit sins.


We cannot make a chart with "sins" in one column and "not sins" in another column; then list which behaviors fall under each category. Perhaps you think we can. Where would you put the following acts:


Feeding the hungry?
Having Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, reign over all the nations?
Trusting God to save us from harm?


Are these good things thus "not sins" or temptations from the Devil, and "sinful"?

"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]

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #349 on: March 07, 2019, 04:32:26 PM »
And one thing I hear my Orthodox friends say, similar to what I've heard our Lutheran friend say, is "we don't need you to change the faith for us.  We need the Gospel.  Please treat us as fellow sinners and show forth Christ to us."


Who has changed the faith? What the ELCA (and others have done) is to take even more seriously the proclamation of our faith: we are all sinners who are justified by God's grace alone through faith alone; and recognized how we failed to apply that to homosexuals. We had a different standard for their salvation than for other people.
Applying God’s Grace to people is not saying to them, “Be of good cheer, what you thought was sin wasn’t sin, you don’t need forgiveness.”


That is not to say that the church, even traditional churches, haven’t treated homosexuals badly.  We do need to examine not just our formal doctrines but also our practices and attitudes and repent where necessary.


It's much more likely that we need to tell people, "What you thought wasn't sinful, is indeed sinful. You need forgiveness." The self-righteous were the ones Jesus had the most troubles with.


The gospel declares that one's sins do not keep us separated from God. Jesus has bridged the gap and comes to us sinners.
"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]

Tatanka44

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #350 on: March 07, 2019, 04:36:50 PM »
I am not sure how pertinent it is here, but the Lutheran Church in Australia did not approve a motion to allow the ordaining of women at their last convention last October.  The motion to approve did receive a majority, however a 2/3 majority is required to change from the men only ordination requirement.  It appears that they have voted on this a number of times during the last 20 years.  Their Commission on Theology and Interchurch Relations has produced several papers pro and con on this issue.  The four most recent are linked from their convention website.

http://www.convention2018.lca.org.au/ordination-women-men/

To this layman, these papers lay out the issues and arguments in a more organized and thoughtful way than any documents I have seen from the ELCA or LCMS. (I don't want to imply that they don't exist, I just have not seen them).


Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #351 on: March 07, 2019, 04:37:39 PM »
I will say it again. We could be wrong about ordaining women. I do not think so, but we could be wrong.
Do you others think you could be wrong about not ordaining women?
A variation on the old, “Have you considered the possibility that you could be wrong?” 


As a matter of fact, I have considered that possibility, on that and many other matters.  The fact that I have not in fact decided that I’m wrong doesn’t mean that I haven’t considered it.  The fact that we have studied this matter as much as we have and published so many writings on the topic is an indication of our concern.  Does the fact that you all continue to ordain women mean that you haven’t considered that you could be wrong?  I thought not, so why should we be embarrassed by such a question posed to us?  After careful and prayerful study and deliberation, we don’t think that we’re wrong and so continue as we are.  Perhaps part of your problem with us is that you simply cannot conceive of the possibility that anyone could seriously consider the issue and not agree with you.  You are so intelligent, kind hearted, and Spirit filled that anyone with half a brain and a love for God and people will just have to agree with you.  Therefore we must not have seriously considered these things.


We are pretty sure that we are not wrong because of the ways God has blessed the ministries of our ordained women (and those of many other denominations).
"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]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #352 on: March 07, 2019, 04:41:58 PM »
I've stated this before (actually quoting some long-forgotten speaker at a workshop) that people live by their perceptions. A perception is what they believe to be true (whether it is factual or not), e.g., churches are places of judgment, or, that was an unfriendly congregation.

This is fine as far as it goes.  The problem, of course, is you place the burden of one person's irrational perceptions onto the people who literally tell you in plain English "that's not what we are saying."


And how many times I have I stated "That's not what I'm saying to you," when you have misunderstood or misinterpreted what I've written?

"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]

Dan Fienen

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #353 on: March 07, 2019, 04:49:03 PM »
I will say it again. We could be wrong about ordaining women. I do not think so, but we could be wrong.
Do you others think you could be wrong about not ordaining women?
A variation on the old, “Have you considered the possibility that you could be wrong?” 


As a matter of fact, I have considered that possibility, on that and many other matters.  The fact that I have not in fact decided that I’m wrong doesn’t mean that I haven’t considered it.  The fact that we have studied this matter as much as we have and published so many writings on the topic is an indication of our concern.  Does the fact that you all continue to ordain women mean that you haven’t considered that you could be wrong?  I thought not, so why should we be embarrassed by such a question posed to us?  After careful and prayerful study and deliberation, we don’t think that we’re wrong and so continue as we are.  Perhaps part of your problem with us is that you simply cannot conceive of the possibility that anyone could seriously consider the issue and not agree with you.  You are so intelligent, kind hearted, and Spirit filled that anyone with half a brain and a love for God and people will just have to agree with you.  Therefore we must not have seriously considered these things.


We are pretty sure that we are not wrong because of the ways God has blessed the ministries of our ordained women (and those of many other denominations).

That may well be, but the point of my post was not to argue for or against, or to list reasons for or against WO, many, many electrons, ink and trees have been spent on that discussion.  The point that I was making was that our refusal to implement WO was not simply a kneejerk reaction that we have never done it so we never will.  Charles asked whether we had considered that we might be wrong.  We have and don't think we are.
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Pilgrim

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #354 on: March 07, 2019, 04:55:50 PM »
I once shared with someone who posed the question regarding women's ordination that it could well be that either side of the argument could be wrong. Too much emphasis on Paul in some particular passages that may have been intended to a much more limited situation of which we are unaware. Too little attention to other passages and obvious Biblical evidence of  women in leadership roles. You put your money down and you make your choices and for both sides I pray we say, "God forgive us if we erred." The one thing that has always brought a smile to my face over the years is the simple observation that states, "If it were not for the women, we men would not know about the resurrection!"
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #355 on: March 07, 2019, 05:03:41 PM »
A variation on the old, “Have you considered the possibility that you could be wrong?” 


As a matter of fact, I have considered that possibility, on that and many other matters.  The fact that I have not in fact decided that I’m wrong doesn’t mean that I haven’t considered it.

I assume everyone considers they could be wrong.  So I look at one side, which says "we prayed and studied and the Bible says what we want it to say after all," and the other side (with which I align) says "well, because we are infallible and separated from the people in the Bible by vast quantities of time and space and generation and proximity, perhaps we should look to what others who went before us have said and determine how the Church has always viewed this.  If I am wrong, perhaps the best light to shed on that would be how those closer in time and proximity to Christ and the Apostles have decided."


We can also look at centuries of Christian history that were very dark. Were the Crusaders, who went before us, right in killing the Eastern Christians because they weren't "one of us"? Were the believers of 200 years ago right in refusing to let women vote in our country? Were they right to execute suspected witches?


There is almost no "always viewed this." The church has changed in many ways. The Roman Catholic church of today is quite different from the one that Luther/Melanchthon criticized in the Augsburg Confession. (Most of the disputed issues, Articles XXII-XXVIII, are no longer practiced.)


Supposedly Ghandi said: "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind." If the whole world is not going to go blind, someone has to stop poking out eyes (even if deserved and done according to the Bible).


It strikes me that if there is ever to be peace among Christians, someone has to stop throwing verbal grenades at the other (even if deserved and according to the Bible). Only by refusing to get even (even according to biblical principles) can we start to bring an end to the animosity that has existed for centuries between believers.


I see our ELCA as one of the forerunners of ceasing to throw grenades, coming together for dialogues, showing mutual respect, and coming to agreements - even without agreeing about every detail of our differences. Granted, some of us individuals are not always so gracious towards those who are different than us.
"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]

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #356 on: March 07, 2019, 05:40:48 PM »
....we are all sinners who are justified by God's grace alone through faith alone; and recognized how we failed to apply that to homosexuals. We had a different standard for their salvation than for other people.

I think you should clarify this.  If you believed in justification by God's grace through faith, that "standard" did not change for homosexuals.  What changed is your definition of sin.


How did we change our definition of sin? We are all sinners. We all commit sins.


We cannot make a chart with "sins" in one column and "not sins" in another column; then list which behaviors fall under each category. Perhaps you think we can. Where would you put the following acts:


Feeding the hungry?
Having Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, reign over all the nations?
Trusting God to save us from harm?


Are these good things thus "not sins" or temptations from the Devil, and "sinful"?

The Ten Commandments are fairly specific.  The 6th commandment used to be clear to most.  But not any more.  I doubt that on that one commandment alone we would be able to come to an agreement. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
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Charles Austin

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #357 on: March 07, 2019, 06:37:32 PM »
Pastor Fienen:
Charles asked whether we had considered that we might be wrong.  We have and don't think we are.
Me:
Of course you don’t think you are wrong. My question is: do you believe that you could be wrong.
I’m willing to think we could be wrong about women pastors.
And if when, our sins forgiven, we reach The Eternal Realm, I can imagine God saying “Women pastors? What were you thinking? Now get in here and get to the buffet table. You like barbecue, right?”
Retired ELCA Pastor. You can say liberal Christians are wrong. You can say that you disagree with our interpretation of faith. But when you say we are driven by “culture” or “trendiness,” you prove that you do not listen to us. Luther fared better with Rome.

Dan Fienen

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #358 on: March 07, 2019, 08:30:44 PM »
Pastor Fienen:
Charles asked whether we had considered that we might be wrong.  We have and don't think we are.
Me:
Of course you don’t think you are wrong. My question is: do you believe that you could be wrong.
I answered that and you quoted my answer: have we considered that we might be wrong?  "We have."  What more are you looking for?


I will say, if it helps, that while I consider the Bible infallible I don’t consider myself infallible.

Quote
I’m willing to think we could be wrong about women pastors.
And if when, our sins forgiven, we reach The Eternal Realm, I can imagine God saying “Women pastors? What were you thinking? Now get in here and get to the buffet table. You like barbecue, right?”
Has anyone here suggested they considered that getting the wrong answer to the question "Should women be ordained?" disqualify you from heaven?  So, your point?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 08:43:47 PM by Dan Fienen »
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Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Exegetical arguments in favor of Women's Ordination
« Reply #359 on: March 07, 2019, 09:23:48 PM »
You wrote, "Has anyone here suggested they considered that getting the wrong answer to the question "Should women be ordained?" disqualify you from heaven?"

But Dan, I suspect many who believe it is a wrong answer also believe that having a woman pastor as celebrate keeps Christ from being present as the bread and wine are shared from the altar at which she has presided and makes her sermon (since she is not allowed to preach or teach men), at least the fact that it is delivered-- a sin.   Not so?  So can she cut folks off from heaven?
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