Author Topic: Another contribution to the endless controversy  (Read 38714 times)

peter_speckhard

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #240 on: June 09, 2021, 10:29:14 PM »
Peter writes:
The reality is that you discount much of Christian history on that issue out of hubris; you simply think you know better.
I comment:
You know, Peter, I’m really tired of this unfortunate and incorrect characterization of how we make our decisions. You think it’s just “oh! I have a better idea let’s do it my way.“ That’s not it. And we have told you numerous times that we make these decisions, such as our decision to ordain women, with considerable prayer and study.
You may not like how we do that prayer and study, but darn it, I am tired of you saying that our decisions are made frivolously, with no appeal at all to tradition, scripture and theology.
I never said you did anything without prayer and study. I’m sure you studied the tradition you refuted quite closely. But you still refuted it. And it was still an act of hubris. You did what you did because you thought you knew better than St. Paul and nineteen centuries of Christian history. That was the conclusion of your prayer and study— that you knew better than they did.

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #241 on: June 10, 2021, 12:28:39 AM »
This is the experience I had in the ELCA.

Peter (Shopping water wings for the Tiber swim. What kind did RJN use?) Garrison
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #242 on: June 10, 2021, 02:27:48 AM »
Another way to look at this. Do our progressive siblings wish to contend that God could not have limited the pastoral ministry to men if He wanted to? Is it their intention to limit what God could decide?


God did not limit it. Men did. There are enough indications in the early scriptures and Jesus' ministry, and some in the early church that indicate women were in leadership roles. Something happened to push them out. Conclusion: men did it, contrary to God's wishes.
How do you know it wasn’t the Spirit doing a new thing in accord with God’s wishes?


Because we have seen how God has blessed our church and our members through the ministry of our women clergy. Had God been against it, we wouldn't have such marvelous ministries by these women.
"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: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #243 on: June 10, 2021, 02:31:52 AM »
Pastor Engebretson:
G.K. Chesterton said, “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.” Is there a reason, when it comes to the role of women in ministry, that we discount much of the history of Christianity on that issue?
Me:
Because Chesterson is often wrong And on some things his opinion is no better than ours. We prefer ours
Rarely. Not often. Everyone prefers their own opinions, but not everyone’s opinions agree with the wisest among us. The reality is that you discount much of Christian history on that issue out of hubris; you simply think you know better.


"Scripture alone" doesn't mean "scripture & tradition alone." Tradition, as good as it might be, takes a back seat to scripture, grace, and faith. Those three alone are our authority.
"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: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #244 on: June 10, 2021, 02:34:40 AM »
Peter writes:
The reality is that you discount much of Christian history on that issue out of hubris; you simply think you know better.
I comment:
You know, Peter, I’m really tired of this unfortunate and incorrect characterization of how we make our decisions. You think it’s just “oh! I have a better idea let’s do it my way.“ That’s not it. And we have told you numerous times that we make these decisions, such as our decision to ordain women, with considerable prayer and study.
You may not like how we do that prayer and study, but darn it, I am tired of you saying that our decisions are made frivolously, with no appeal at all to tradition, scripture and theology.
I never said you did anything without prayer and study. I’m sure you studied the tradition you refuted quite closely. But you still refuted it. And it was still an act of hubris. You did what you did because you thought you knew better than St. Paul and nineteen centuries of Christian history. That was the conclusion of your prayer and study— that you knew better than they did.


Again, you confuse scriptures with your interpretation of scripture. We don't refute St. Paul, we have studied his words and come to a different interpretation of them than you have. Your insistence that your interpretation must be the right is also an act of hubris. Or, possibly the biblical hard-heartedness.
"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]

Charles Austin

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #245 on: June 10, 2021, 03:43:59 AM »
And you, Peter, have locked down your interpretation of tradition and scripture, turning the revelation of God into a historic artifact, a mere rule book telling us that we must view creation, the faith and our acts of devotion one way whether it is the day after the resurrection, 325, 1517 or 2021.
Forget God-given human intelligence.
Forget science.
Forget two thousand years of human experience in the faith.
You’ve got it all. Every question answered. No ambiguity. No uncertainty on anything. Even wondering “what if…“ or thinking “maybe it ought to be” is considered an assault on your locked down, comfortable, know-it-all Faith. Not only do you “know” everything, you’re absolutely certain that what you know is the indisputable word and will of God, which you pump up with opinions from your favorite writers provided they aren’t tainted by “liberalism” or live in modern times.
To me that’s pride, and that profanes everything that God has given us as intelligent human beings.
I may be wrong about some things that I think theologically, but I would rather be wrong in a faithful attempt to use human intelligence than right as a programmed robot.
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.

Dave Benke

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #246 on: June 10, 2021, 08:38:30 AM »
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.

Peter, I'm also tired of Brian quoting the "women's head covering/long hair" from 1 Cor. 11 because it's on the level of the "shrimp argument" from Leviticus.  Simply put, the context of 1 Cor. 11 is clear that the universal unchanging principle is that there is a distinction between male and female, and one way that universal unchanging principle was expressed in Corinth in Paul's day is that women had head coverings/long hair whereas men did not.  We have the same custom in our own culture where most men and most women still wear different types of clothing.  Most men don't show up church in a dress and most women don't show up with a man's suit and tie because most Christians still accept Paul's teaching that God wants there to be a distinction between male and female.  HOW this distinction is expressed varies from time to time and culture to culture, but we still are obedient to the unchanging principle.  As for ordaining women into the pastoral office, in 1st Cor. 14 and elsewhere is it clear that this prohibition is not a temporary local expression of a universal principle but is itself a universal principle that applies to all times and places.  Just as the Son cannot be the head of God the Father and just as the wife cannot be the head of her husband, a woman cannot represent Christ as the Bridegroom who is head over His bride, the church.

Yes, Tom. Well said. The congregation sent Paul a list of practical questions, whether to use head coverings being one of them. Paul first praises them for observing the traditions he passed on then goes into instructions about THE BASIS of the practice he described (v. 3).

A comparable issue today would be wearing a wedding ring. Scripture does not command the wearing of such rings. Scripture does command the modesty and fidelity that such rings signify in our culture. So Paul is teaching a biblical principle about male/female relations by connecting with a cultural practice and device. The device may not be the same everywhere at every time but the principle involved is: The Lord made men and women different, therefore, respect and maintain the difference.

What is the difference between man and woman that Scripture teaches us we are to respect and maintain in the home, the Church and society?  Is it a spiritual difference applicable only in the home?  the Church?

What is the difference between man and woman that determines when or why God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  are not free to act as God in and through the life of a woman in the home, the Church or society? 

Is it the nature of God that prevents God the Father, God the Son and/or God the Holy Spirit from working authoritatively as God in and through a woman in the home, the Church or society?

Or, is it that nature of woman that limits or restrains God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit from working in and through a woman in the same way that God is free to work through a man.

Or, is it simply God's Law that God not be God in the life of woman as God is God in the  life of a man?

Bottom line, what is it about the nature of God  that God cannot be God in and through the life of woman in the same way God is God in and through the life of man.

Marie  Meyer

Marie, as Peter said, Scripture doesn't treat this issue as a spiritual difference but a VOCATIONAL difference.  God the Father and and God the Son are equal in essence and yet the Father is the head of the Son.  In the same way, a husband and a wife are equal and yet the husband is the head of the wife.  These roles are not interchangeable. 

If you're still wonderfing WHY the Father is the head of the Son and WHY the husband is the head of the wife, you'll have to see God about that.  But His Word is clear, in any case.

I bolded the phrase above because it brought to mind a controversy from awhile back.  The subordination of the Son to the Father, in your term "vocationally", was taught for a time, and maybe still is by some, as eternal.  Although it isn't.  It's for the time within the scope of time, that is, until the eschaton, for the sake of the reconciliation of the world, so not eternal.  Eternal subordination of the Son to the Father was an import to the Missouri Synod from the Reformed camp, and eventually was removed from at least one published source.

Does that change the concept of subordination with regard to the divine/human comparison vocationally in the here and now?  Maybe. Maybe not.  We do have glimpses of eternity - "foretaste of the feast to come" is a phrase we use, the in-breaking of God's Realm of Grace with an eye/taste of the Realm of Glory.  In that sense, the sense of the mysteries and earthly stewardship of vocation, could vocation be extended beyond creaturely boundaries? 

Dave Benke


D. Engebretson

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #247 on: June 10, 2021, 08:53:11 AM »
So if those of us who do not accept women's ordination are guilty of biblical hardheartedness, hubris, pride and acting like "programed robots," why are we still even attempting to 'discuss' this issue or giving the appearance of a discussion? Those who believe that the issue is settled have been called to repentance.  If we do not 'repent,' then I guess you should just 'shake the dust from your feet' and move on.  The call was clear in my ears.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Charles Austin

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #248 on: June 10, 2021, 09:22:18 AM »
We are willing to discuss it, Pastor Engebretsen. You are not willing to discuss it.
What are you afraid of? We would be happy to prevent all our arguments, all our reasons to you. Actually Pastor Stoffregen has tried to do that in this modest forum.
You call us to repentance and break fellowship with us.
I have this sort of gut feeling that you fear that too much discussion just might convince a number of your people that we are right.
Personally, as I have said before in this modest forum, I’m not sure I see the point in serious discussions at this time. I believe that someday the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod will ordain women. I have no interest in trying to make that happen, or standing to do so, but I believe that it will happen.
So for now, carry-on.
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.

Tom Eckstein

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #249 on: June 10, 2021, 09:40:04 AM »
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.

Peter, I'm also tired of Brian quoting the "women's head covering/long hair" from 1 Cor. 11 because it's on the level of the "shrimp argument" from Leviticus.  Simply put, the context of 1 Cor. 11 is clear that the universal unchanging principle is that there is a distinction between male and female, and one way that universal unchanging principle was expressed in Corinth in Paul's day is that women had head coverings/long hair whereas men did not.  We have the same custom in our own culture where most men and most women still wear different types of clothing.  Most men don't show up church in a dress and most women don't show up with a man's suit and tie because most Christians still accept Paul's teaching that God wants there to be a distinction between male and female.  HOW this distinction is expressed varies from time to time and culture to culture, but we still are obedient to the unchanging principle.  As for ordaining women into the pastoral office, in 1st Cor. 14 and elsewhere is it clear that this prohibition is not a temporary local expression of a universal principle but is itself a universal principle that applies to all times and places.  Just as the Son cannot be the head of God the Father and just as the wife cannot be the head of her husband, a woman cannot represent Christ as the Bridegroom who is head over His bride, the church.

Yes, Tom. Well said. The congregation sent Paul a list of practical questions, whether to use head coverings being one of them. Paul first praises them for observing the traditions he passed on then goes into instructions about THE BASIS of the practice he described (v. 3).

A comparable issue today would be wearing a wedding ring. Scripture does not command the wearing of such rings. Scripture does command the modesty and fidelity that such rings signify in our culture. So Paul is teaching a biblical principle about male/female relations by connecting with a cultural practice and device. The device may not be the same everywhere at every time but the principle involved is: The Lord made men and women different, therefore, respect and maintain the difference.

What is the difference between man and woman that Scripture teaches us we are to respect and maintain in the home, the Church and society?  Is it a spiritual difference applicable only in the home?  the Church?

What is the difference between man and woman that determines when or why God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  are not free to act as God in and through the life of a woman in the home, the Church or society? 

Is it the nature of God that prevents God the Father, God the Son and/or God the Holy Spirit from working authoritatively as God in and through a woman in the home, the Church or society?

Or, is it that nature of woman that limits or restrains God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit from working in and through a woman in the same way that God is free to work through a man.

Or, is it simply God's Law that God not be God in the life of woman as God is God in the  life of a man?

Bottom line, what is it about the nature of God  that God cannot be God in and through the life of woman in the same way God is God in and through the life of man.

Marie  Meyer

Marie, as Peter said, Scripture doesn't treat this issue as a spiritual difference but a VOCATIONAL difference.  God the Father and and God the Son are equal in essence and yet the Father is the head of the Son.  In the same way, a husband and a wife are equal and yet the husband is the head of the wife.  These roles are not interchangeable. 

If you're still wonderfing WHY the Father is the head of the Son and WHY the husband is the head of the wife, you'll have to see God about that.  But His Word is clear, in any case.

I bolded the phrase above because it brought to mind a controversy from awhile back.  The subordination of the Son to the Father, in your term "vocationally", was taught for a time, and maybe still is by some, as eternal.  Although it isn't.  It's for the time within the scope of time, that is, until the eschaton, for the sake of the reconciliation of the world, so not eternal.  Eternal subordination of the Son to the Father was an import to the Missouri Synod from the Reformed camp, and eventually was removed from at least one published source.

Does that change the concept of subordination with regard to the divine/human comparison vocationally in the here and now?  Maybe. Maybe not.  We do have glimpses of eternity - "foretaste of the feast to come" is a phrase we use, the in-breaking of God's Realm of Grace with an eye/taste of the Realm of Glory.  In that sense, the sense of the mysteries and earthly stewardship of vocation, could vocation be extended beyond creaturely boundaries? 

Dave Benke

Dave, thanks for your input.  My response:

First, we must distinguish between the Son's functional subordination to the Father (which is biblical!) versus subordinationism which falsely teaches that the Son is less than the Father ontologically.

Second, even if the Son's subordination to the Father is limited to his incarnation, this doesn't change the fact that the husband is the head of his wife and this is connected to the fact that Christ is the head of His Bride, the church - and how this relates to only men serving as pastors is in effect this side of the parousia.

Third, I disagree with you that the ETERNAL subordination of the Son to the Father among certain Lutherans comes from the Reformed, as though this is a historical novelty.  The fact is is that not only does Scripture suggest an ETERNAL functional subordination of the Son to the Father, but we see this being the majority view among the Fathers of the 1st and 2nd centuries.  See this paper for evidence of this:
http://www.retrochristianity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Power-in-Unity-Diversity-in-Rank-Paper-ETS-National-Version-2.pdf

Finally, in view of my third point above, I believe Kleinig was spot on in his essay in the FIRST edition of "Women Pastors?"  Those who challenged him do not really understand his arguments.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 09:43:13 AM by Tom Eckstein »
I'm an LCMS Pastor in Jamestown, ND.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #250 on: June 10, 2021, 09:44:12 AM »
We are willing to discuss it, Pastor Engebretsen. You are not willing to discuss it.
What are you afraid of? We would be happy to prevent all our arguments, all our reasons to you. Actually Pastor Stoffregen has tried to do that in this modest forum.
You call us to repentance and break fellowship with us.
I have this sort of gut feeling that you fear that too much discussion just might convince a number of your people that we are right.
Personally, as I have said before in this modest forum, I’m not sure I see the point in serious discussions at this time. I believe that someday the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod will ordain women. I have no interest in trying to make that happen, or standing to do so, but I believe that it will happen.
So for now, carry-on.

You have mentioned fear many times before when some of us hold on to certain convictions.  Yet that doesn't seem to be applied to faith itself.  There we see trust and conviction.  I am not fearful, simply convinced, as you are.  I really don't see you or your church body reversing their commitment to the ordination of women anymore than we will in adopting it.  You could be right that one day the LCMS will ordain women.  That's not my prediction, at least not in my lifetime. And you may be right that there is no "point in serious discussions at this time" between our two church bodies, especially on this issue.  Do you really think that we could, through such a discussion, move your church body back to where we are? Or even close to it? Not realistically.  It works both ways.  I suppose the fear question can be posed in both directions. Are you afraid that with enough discussion we might convince you otherwise?  You'd probably say no.  It is no different for us.  We are not afraid.  Just convinced as you are.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

peter_speckhard

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #251 on: June 10, 2021, 09:46:20 AM »
We are willing to discuss it, Pastor Engebretsen. You are not willing to discuss it.
What are you afraid of? We would be happy to prevent all our arguments, all our reasons to you. Actually Pastor Stoffregen has tried to do that in this modest forum.
You call us to repentance and break fellowship with us.
I have this sort of gut feeling that you fear that too much discussion just might convince a number of your people that we are right.
Personally, as I have said before in this modest forum, I’m not sure I see the point in serious discussions at this time. I believe that someday the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod will ordain women. I have no interest in trying to make that happen, or standing to do so, but I believe that it will happen.
So for now, carry-on.
No, by your own terms you are not willing to discuss it. Earlier you said willingness to have genuine dialogue required openness to changing your position. You are not open to changing your position.

You are correct, however, that we (speaking for myself, I at least) do not consider ecumenical dialogue between the LCMS and the ELCA or other mainliners to be worth pursuing. I'm much more interested in talks with continuing Anglicans, Orthodox, Catholics, Evangelicals, and global south institutional Protestants. Liberal Protestantism is essentially one thing no matter the denominational stripe, and it is a sectarian thing.   

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #252 on: June 10, 2021, 10:03:36 AM »
We are willing to discuss it, Pastor Engebretsen. You are not willing to discuss it.
What are you afraid of? We would be happy to prevent all our arguments, all our reasons to you. Actually Pastor Stoffregen has tried to do that in this modest forum.
You call us to repentance and break fellowship with us.
I have this sort of gut feeling that you fear that too much discussion just might convince a number of your people that we are right.
Personally, as I have said before in this modest forum, I’m not sure I see the point in serious discussions at this time. I believe that someday the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod will ordain women. I have no interest in trying to make that happen, or standing to do so, but I believe that it will happen.
So for now, carry-on.

Charles- Folks are done discussing for the same reason that when I encounter a flat earther who wants to dialogue, I don’t. You have your thick file of proofs and information. You are quite serious in your intentions. But you start from a fundamentally flawed proposition. And, tbh, some folks pointed me towards the comments on the ELCA FB account. The official one. All the comments were about purging the Bound Conscience folks from the Party. So PLEASE don’t talk to us about dialogue and listening.
Matt Hummel


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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #253 on: June 10, 2021, 10:23:31 AM »
The LCMS does not write off St. Paul as being captive to the worldly views of his day. We recognize meaning and context. If x is disgraceful, x ought not be done. That is not a declaration that x is always and everywhere disgraceful. In the same way, recognizing meaning and context allows us to know that St. Paul does not contradict himself on the matter of circumcision.

If we are wrong about head coverings and hair length, it isn’t because we think St. Paul was captive to his culture and not speaking the Word of God (although in a few places he distinguishes between his own opinion and revelation from God, which we acknowledge). It would be because we misinterpreted his authoritative writing. In terms of authority, there is a big difference between, “I misunderstood you and thus didn’t do what you said,” and, “I understood you but also understood your shortcomings and compensated for them and thus didn’t do what you said.” If the LCMS is wrong about head coverings, it will be with the former explanation, not the latter. If the ELCA is wrong about women’s ordination (and I believe it is) it will be with the latter explanation.

Peter, I'm also tired of Brian quoting the "women's head covering/long hair" from 1 Cor. 11 because it's on the level of the "shrimp argument" from Leviticus.  Simply put, the context of 1 Cor. 11 is clear that the universal unchanging principle is that there is a distinction between male and female, and one way that universal unchanging principle was expressed in Corinth in Paul's day is that women had head coverings/long hair whereas men did not.  We have the same custom in our own culture where most men and most women still wear different types of clothing.  Most men don't show up church in a dress and most women don't show up with a man's suit and tie because most Christians still accept Paul's teaching that God wants there to be a distinction between male and female.  HOW this distinction is expressed varies from time to time and culture to culture, but we still are obedient to the unchanging principle.  As for ordaining women into the pastoral office, in 1st Cor. 14 and elsewhere is it clear that this prohibition is not a temporary local expression of a universal principle but is itself a universal principle that applies to all times and places.  Just as the Son cannot be the head of God the Father and just as the wife cannot be the head of her husband, a woman cannot represent Christ as the Bridegroom who is head over His bride, the church.

Yes, Tom. Well said. The congregation sent Paul a list of practical questions, whether to use head coverings being one of them. Paul first praises them for observing the traditions he passed on then goes into instructions about THE BASIS of the practice he described (v. 3).

A comparable issue today would be wearing a wedding ring. Scripture does not command the wearing of such rings. Scripture does command the modesty and fidelity that such rings signify in our culture. So Paul is teaching a biblical principle about male/female relations by connecting with a cultural practice and device. The device may not be the same everywhere at every time but the principle involved is: The Lord made men and women different, therefore, respect and maintain the difference.

What is the difference between man and woman that Scripture teaches us we are to respect and maintain in the home, the Church and society?  Is it a spiritual difference applicable only in the home?  the Church?

What is the difference between man and woman that determines when or why God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  are not free to act as God in and through the life of a woman in the home, the Church or society? 

Is it the nature of God that prevents God the Father, God the Son and/or God the Holy Spirit from working authoritatively as God in and through a woman in the home, the Church or society?

Or, is it that nature of woman that limits or restrains God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit from working in and through a woman in the same way that God is free to work through a man.

Or, is it simply God's Law that God not be God in the life of woman as God is God in the  life of a man?

Bottom line, what is it about the nature of God  that God cannot be God in and through the life of woman in the same way God is God in and through the life of man.

Marie  Meyer

Marie, as Peter said, Scripture doesn't treat this issue as a spiritual difference but a VOCATIONAL difference.  God the Father and and God the Son are equal in essence and yet the Father is the head of the Son.  In the same way, a husband and a wife are equal and yet the husband is the head of the wife.  These roles are not interchangeable. 

If you're still wonderfing WHY the Father is the head of the Son and WHY the husband is the head of the wife, you'll have to see God about that.  But His Word is clear, in any case.

I bolded the phrase above because it brought to mind a controversy from awhile back.  The subordination of the Son to the Father, in your term "vocationally", was taught for a time, and maybe still is by some, as eternal.  Although it isn't.  It's for the time within the scope of time, that is, until the eschaton, for the sake of the reconciliation of the world, so not eternal.  Eternal subordination of the Son to the Father was an import to the Missouri Synod from the Reformed camp, and eventually was removed from at least one published source.

Does that change the concept of subordination with regard to the divine/human comparison vocationally in the here and now?  Maybe. Maybe not.  We do have glimpses of eternity - "foretaste of the feast to come" is a phrase we use, the in-breaking of God's Realm of Grace with an eye/taste of the Realm of Glory.  In that sense, the sense of the mysteries and earthly stewardship of vocation, could vocation be extended beyond creaturely boundaries? 

Dave Benke

Dave, thanks for your input.  My response:

First, we must distinguish between the Son's functional subordination to the Father (which is biblical!) versus subordinationism which falsely teaches that the Son is less than the Father ontologically.

Second, even if the Son's subordination to the Father is limited to his incarnation, this doesn't change the fact that the husband is the head of his wife and this is connected to the fact that Christ is the head of His Bride, the church - and how this relates to only men serving as pastors is in effect this side of the parousia.

Third, I disagree with you that the ETERNAL subordination of the Son to the Father among certain Lutherans comes from the Reformed, as though this is a historical novelty.  The fact is is that not only does Scripture suggest an ETERNAL functional subordination of the Son to the Father, but we see this being the majority view among the Fathers of the 1st and 2nd centuries.  See this paper for evidence of this:
http://www.retrochristianity.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Power-in-Unity-Diversity-in-Rank-Paper-ETS-National-Version-2.pdf

Finally, in view of my third point above, I believe Kleinig was spot on in his essay in the FIRST edition of "Women Pastors?"  Those who challenged him do not really understand his arguments.
It seems to me the Trinitarian question as applied to the issue of male/female is really an exploration into why revelation says what it says about men and women. That it says what it says about male/female should be a point of agreement. The two natures of Christ may or may not help anyone understand the matter and may or may not be wholly, partially, or not analogous at all. The question is how men and women can be ontologically the same, which is necessary for the Incarnation/Redemption to apply to all people, yet be meaningfully distinguished in terms of their roles in God's design of humanity. The two natures of Christ seems like an apt comparison. Same essence, complete equality, and yet distinguished from the Father.

We confess that Jesus has two natures, divine and human, yet is one Lord, one altogether, not by confusion of substance but by unity of person. One, however, not by conversion of the divinity into flesh but by the assumption of the humanity into God. Yet we also confess that he equal to the Father with respect to His divinity and less than the Father with respect to His humanity. This is a pretty big mystery. When we say that the Son is less than the Father with respect to His humanity we have to acknowledge that His humanity is not separable from His person, nor is it merely temporal. To all eternity Christ is fully human and less than the Father with respect to His humanity, yet also fully God and equal to the Father with respect to His divinity. Correct?

To assert the eternal subordination of the Son, one denies on the face of it the unity of God and equality of persons. But to deny the eternal subordination of the Son is, seemingly, to deny the eternal twofold nature of Christ as God and Man or to deny the distinction between God and Man altogether, as though humanity were not less than or subordinate to God.

Humanity as male/female is also a mysterious topic. There are ways to state things that seemingly result in a denial of some aspect of revelation whether you affirm or deny the statement. I find it helpful to assert that the (unfallen) human individual is/has the image of God, but so also does the relationship of father/mother/child, within which individuals relate differently to each other despite relating to God in identical ways as individuals bearing His image.   

Coach-Rev

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Re: Another contribution to the endless controversy
« Reply #254 on: June 10, 2021, 11:08:18 AM »
Jeff simply notes:

now 17+ pages of regurgitating the same arguments that have been used by both sides time and again.  Might it be time to shut this one down?  Moderators, what say you?
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