Author Topic: Another contribution to the endless controversy  (Read 38710 times)

GalRevRedux

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A pastor of the North American Lutheran Church.

Charles Austin

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2021, 08:59:56 AM »
Yes.
Retired ELCA Pastor: We are not a very inter-Lutheran forum. Posters with more than 1,500 posts: ELCA-6, with 3 of those inactive/rare and 1 moderator; LCMS-25, with 4 inactive/rare and 1 moderator. Non-Lutherans, 3; maybe 4 from other Lutheran bodies. 3 formerly frequent posters have gone quiet.

peterm

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2021, 10:02:45 AM »
Very thoughtful and spot on
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

Dan Fienen

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2021, 10:22:17 AM »
I agree, it is a very well stated and interesting article. I also did not enter the pastoral ministry in order to argue about, or defend against women's ordination. As theological topics go, I'm really not very interested in it. The church body under whose authority I was ordained and as a called pastor joined has after prayerful and careful study and deliberation decided that the ancient traditions concerning women's ordination were correct and affirms that women's ordination is contrary to God's revealed will.


As I said, it is a topic that I do not obsess over nor am I particularly inclined to debate. If someone is interested in the reasons for which we have rejected women's ordination, there are a number of books and article to which I could direct them. Personally, I am satisfied with our reasoning.


That also means that I do not obsess over correcting any women who have been ordained in other church bodies that do ordain women in the error of their ways. I assume that they were properly ordained under their church discipline and ultimately they and their church body will answer to God for their stewardship of God's Word and Will, as will I and my church body. I am determined to treat such ordained women with the same courtesy, professionalism, and respect as I expect to be treated. I have on very rare occasions needed to remind them of the courtesy that we as fellow clergy owe to each other. I do deplore those from either side who feel the need to threat those with whom we disagree with contempt.


Quite frankly, it seems to me that if I were to engage in theological discussion, women's ordination would be rather far down on the list of items for discussion or debate. There are theological differences between denominations, even between the LCMS and ELCA, that are of a much more interest and significance than ordination. Nor do I feel the need to bolster my confidence in the conclusions that I and we have reached by loudly proclaiming that those who have not reached the same conclusions have turned a deaf ear to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.


I find it interesting that usually those who most loudly proclaim the need for all Christians to be unified insist that in all areas of disagreement or dispute among us, we should unify under their understanding, or at the least, where their understanding is dominant and controls practice. Thus, for example, as was recently pointed out on this Forum, in the ELCA there have been identified four differing understandings of God's will on the matter of same sex relationships, and those who hold three of them will not be thereby expelled, however, only one of those understandings has been officially adopted and governs the practice of the ELCA. And all must recognize and abide under that practice, their understandings need not be considered.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2021, 10:30:17 AM by Dan Fienen »
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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2021, 11:33:46 AM »
Pastor Fienen:
Quite frankly, it seems to me that if I were to engage in theological discussion, women's ordination would be rather far down on the list of items for discussion or debate.

Me:
And yet, it is that issue, and that issue alone which caused your church body to break fellowship with the ALC.
Retired ELCA Pastor: We are not a very inter-Lutheran forum. Posters with more than 1,500 posts: ELCA-6, with 3 of those inactive/rare and 1 moderator; LCMS-25, with 4 inactive/rare and 1 moderator. Non-Lutherans, 3; maybe 4 from other Lutheran bodies. 3 formerly frequent posters have gone quiet.

Terry W Culler

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2021, 11:34:32 AM »
Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.
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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2021, 11:40:43 AM »
Pastor Fienen:
Quite frankly, it seems to me that if I were to engage in theological discussion, women's ordination would be rather far down on the list of items for discussion or debate.

Me:
And yet, it is that issue, and that issue alone which caused your church body to break fellowship with the ALC.

That's not actually true, Charles. It was not that issue alone. For example "inerrency" and Biblical hermeneutics was paramont and more important to most delegates. (You know six-day, Jonah, and all that.)

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2021, 11:48:57 AM »
You are mostly right, John. But the issues of "inerrancy," Jonah, and creation days didn't seem to gain break-it-up traction concerning hermeneutical matters. Ordaining women made a certain hermeneutic clearly visible.
Retired ELCA Pastor: We are not a very inter-Lutheran forum. Posters with more than 1,500 posts: ELCA-6, with 3 of those inactive/rare and 1 moderator; LCMS-25, with 4 inactive/rare and 1 moderator. Non-Lutherans, 3; maybe 4 from other Lutheran bodies. 3 formerly frequent posters have gone quiet.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2021, 11:51:03 AM »
Makes perfect sense if you take for granted that WO is Scriptural, and unsurprising if you think it isn't. The debate is pretty much over, as is the era when it was somehow provocative. It still might come up here and there as a side-note, but Christianity has divided over it and both sides have moved on. Liberal Protestant denominations have moved on to other far, more provocative campaigns. Pretty much everyone else has answered the question of WO differently than liberal Protestantism but equally sees it as a question asked and answered, not a current theological debate. Something like the Saddleback change makes (small) news as a residual reminder that the divide is not yet perfectly clean and total, but it is getting there. The author of the article doesn't want to revisit an old argument because it is tedious and distracting from what she sees as her real work. It is equally tedious and distracting to conservative/traditional/orthodox when people bring up our lack of women pastors as some sort of problem or open question. WO is simply the clearest line demarcating the deeper division between RC/Orthodox/conservative Protestant Christendom and revisionist/progressive/liberal Protestant Christendom. 

Dan Fienen

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2021, 12:09:15 PM »
Pastor Fienen:
Quite frankly, it seems to me that if I were to engage in theological discussion, women's ordination would be rather far down on the list of items for discussion or debate.

Me:
And yet, it is that issue, and that issue alone which caused your church body to break fellowship with the ALC.

You are mostly right, John. But the issues of "inerrancy," Jonah, and creation days didn't seem to gain break-it-up traction concerning hermeneutical matters. Ordaining women made a certain hermeneutic clearly visible.


A couple of observations.


I said that I am uninterested in rehashing the old debates or obsessing over women's ordination. There may well be some in the LCMS who are and do.


I am also not responsible for all the actions of the LCMS, especially those that took place during my days in college, seminary, graduate school, and when I was busy trying to plant a church as my first call. I had little interest in our relationship with the ALC, there were no ALC churches in my immediate area to have relationships with and zero influence over LCMS inter-church relations.


Thanks to John Hannah for pointing out that women's ordination was not the sole reason for the break up of fellowship with the ALC.


I will note that women's ordination is one of the more visible and obvious effects of differing Biblical hermeneutics. One would need to ask, or hear a sermon or Bible class on the topic to notice a differing hermeneutic over inerrancy, Jonah, and the like. A woman in the pulpit is quite visible and obvious. Again, thanks to Peter for his observations.


I also note the practical difficulties of maintaining altar and pulpit fellowship where one church ordains women and the other does not. What happens to women pastors in such a situation. Would they be excluded from joint worship settings thus offending those who do ordain them, or those who do not ordain women be offended by being forced to accept women pastors in joint settings? Generally there is an expectation that in such arrangements, pastors may serve in the churches of either church bodies. Would women pastors of the one body be excluded in such an exchange?



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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2021, 12:15:17 PM »
Peter:
WO is simply the clearest line demarcating the deeper division between RC/Orthodox/conservative Protestant Christendom and revisionist/progressive/liberal Protestant Christendom.
Me:
You do understand, Peter, that there are RC/Orthodox/other Protestant (even conservative) christians who do not have a problem with women’s ordination, even if it came into their own church body? They are just not on that stump now.
Back in the days of the LCMS battle for the Bible, there were several checklists for purity of doctrine put out by the Christian Newa and related factions.
Retired ELCA Pastor: We are not a very inter-Lutheran forum. Posters with more than 1,500 posts: ELCA-6, with 3 of those inactive/rare and 1 moderator; LCMS-25, with 4 inactive/rare and 1 moderator. Non-Lutherans, 3; maybe 4 from other Lutheran bodies. 3 formerly frequent posters have gone quiet.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2021, 12:38:04 PM »
Peter:
WO is simply the clearest line demarcating the deeper division between RC/Orthodox/conservative Protestant Christendom and revisionist/progressive/liberal Protestant Christendom.
Me:
You do understand, Peter, that there are RC/Orthodox/other Protestant (even conservative) christians who do not have a problem with women’s ordination, even if it came into their own church body? They are just not on that stump now.
Back in the days of the LCMS battle for the Bible, there were several checklists for purity of doctrine put out by the Christian Newa and related factions.
Of course there are people who aren't on that stump now but who periodically get on it. As I said, such discussion amounts to tedious distraction to people intent on doing real ministry in our conservative church bodies just as much as they do in your progressive church bodies. On both sides of the divide the question has been asked and answered. 

Coach-Rev

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2021, 01:09:28 PM »
Dr. Francis Monseth, the late Dean of the Free Lutheran Seminary, noted that every Lutheran group that teaches the inerrancy of Scripture ordains only men.  That is what leads to different opinions on women's ordination.

and this would simply not be true.  The NALC holds to it, and ordains women.  From the NALC "Commission on Theology and Doctrine:"  "the Bible is a truthful, reliable book that will not lead us into error or falsehood, nor does it contain error or falsehood."  (The Bible As The Word of God - Statement paper, p. 14).

And with that, I really don't want to get into a debate over the differing views either.  Simply pointing out that his statement is untrue.
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Michael Slusser

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2021, 01:14:10 PM »
The article linked by GalRevRedux at the start of this thread is still a very good sign. Accepting ordination for the right reason is always key, and it gives me great satisfaction to read what the Rev. Warren has to say. She is a priest of the Anglican Church of North America, not The Episcopal Church. I hadn't realized that women could be ordained in ACNA.

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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2021, 01:33:48 PM »
Makes perfect sense if you take for granted that WO is Scriptural, and unsurprising if you think it isn't. The debate is pretty much over, as is the era when it was somehow provocative. It still might come up here and there as a side-note, but Christianity has divided over it and both sides have moved on. Liberal Protestant denominations have moved on to other far, more provocative campaigns. Pretty much everyone else has answered the question of WO differently than liberal Protestantism but equally sees it as a question asked and answered, not a current theological debate. Something like the Saddleback change makes (small) news as a residual reminder that the divide is not yet perfectly clean and total, but it is getting there. The author of the article doesn't want to revisit an old argument because it is tedious and distracting from what she sees as her real work. It is equally tedious and distracting to conservative/traditional/orthodox when people bring up our lack of women pastors as some sort of problem or open question. WO is simply the clearest line demarcating the deeper division between RC/Orthodox/conservative Protestant Christendom and revisionist/progressive/liberal Protestant Christendom.


There are some of us who see ordination as adiaphora. It is not commanded nor forbidden in scriptures.


In the Old Testament, Levites were born into their priestly calling.


1 Timothy 4:14 talks about Timothy receiving a gift when hands were laid on him; but it's not stated if that was an ordination; part of the baptism ceremony; or a type of confirmation.


Hands were laid on the seven deacons (Acts 6:6). Was that an ordination or was it a way of conveying the Holy Spirit upon folks (see Acts 8:17; 19:6)? Or healing (Acts 9:12)? Or something else, like with the sending of Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13:3)?


I might be worth talking about what is ordination. What does it signify?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2021, 01:41:04 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
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