Just the Facts, Ma’am: Ordain Women Now Post Public Support for Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker

Just the facts ma amUnless you’ve been on a trip to the moon recently, you are no doubt aware of a movement by some who seek to push the LCMS towards the theology and confession of the ELCA. The movement calls itself Ordain Women Now (OWN). OWN proclaims its purpose as follows:

“Our mission is to promote an open discussion within the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod about the ordination of women and to advocate for the same.” (http://www.ordainwomennow.com/about/)

It appears that part of the “discussion” involves the unqualified support for Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker. Here’s what OWN says:

A Statement of Support for the Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker

“We at Ordain Women Now wish to express our support for the Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker who has recently been placed at the center of heated controversy within the Synod. In his role as LCMS clergy and in his work as a University Professor, Rev. Becker has consistently taken a strong stance in support of women. He has spoken out when many others, whether out of fear or apathy, have neglected to do so. In this endeavor his commitment to scripture has never wavered and we believe that he has sought to encourage both study and discussion of God’s word in a loving, patient and Christ-like manner. We are deeply grateful for his commitment to justice for all people, and we thank God for his ministry among us. Please join us in support and thankfulness for this faithful pastor and teacher.” (http://www.ordainwomennow.com/)

Notice that OWN indicates that Rev. Dr. Becker “has consistently taken a strong stance in support of women.” This statement by OWN begs the question……….How can Rev.Dr. Becker take a strong stance in support of women when he leads them away from pure doctrine?


Comments

Just the Facts, Ma’am: Ordain Women Now Post Public Support for Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker — 36 Comments

  1. a “Strong stance in support of women?”

    I’m sorry, but that statement sounds as if the LCMS is advocating wife-beating or something. It’s a bit caricatured in its presumption.

    And OWN, like Becker, needs to be told that they should go join the ELCA or other likeminded-denomination rather than staying and being divisive.

    Addendum: I wonder whether or not OWN makes a stance on homosexuality contrary to the Scriptures, since their support of Mr. Becker seems to be unqualified and Mr. Becker seems to be questioning the biblical morality set forth regarding sexuality.

  2. “We at Ordain Women Now wish to express our support for the Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker who has recently been placed at the center of heated controversy within the Synod. In his role as LCMS clergy and in his work as a University Professor, Rev. Becker has consistently taken a strong stance in support of women.”

    No one has placed Rev. Becker in the center of heated controversy…he has walked himself into the center by his viewpoints so off the mark of our doctrine and confessions. And if one’s faith depends on a so-called support of women that leads them to lose their faith, it might be time to read the scripture and catechism again, several times, and ask God’s forgiveness for devisivness over what is clearly stated in them. Or, as suggested by J. Dean, find another church.

  3. @J. Dean #1

    I do recall a number of individuals engaging OWN in the past to see if they would openly state what their position was on homosexuality. Unfortunately, those individuals representing OWN would not answer the question and would repeatedly go back to their main talking point: the only thing they wished to discuss was women’s ordination in the Missouri Synod. However, their actions speak loud enough that it is safe to make certain assumptions about their beliefs. Given the large number of individuals from liberal/heterodox church bodies who support OWN – and speak on its behalf via their Facebook page, I think we can comfortably say where they stand on that particular subject. They have the same stance as the ELCA, PCUSA, and the like. They just won’t acknowledge it, as it would only hinder their efforts if that topic were allowed into the conversation at this time. Of course, they are also involved with the Mormon religion, Islam, and other heterodox bodies as they push for women’s ordination in other places. They have had several joint prayer events with a variety of other groups in order to advocate for their cause. OWN is more concerned about the social cause of women being ordained everywhere (not just the Missouri Synod) than they are with Scripture and Doctrine.

  4. While women’s ordination is an important issue (both in regards to OWN and Dr. Becker,) I still don’t think it’s the most significant issue we should be dealing with regarding him. There are morally traditional church bodies out there who ordain women, so the linkage is not absolute.

    Frankly, I think Dr. Becker and his backers want to frame this debate solely on the terms of women’s ordination, because they think they have a generally sympathetic audience, and the damage that’s done through it isn’t particularly great. If they can keep everyone focused on his women’s ordination support, they are less likely to focus his much more disturbing teachings:

    — Acceptance of sexual deviancy, which is teaching people to embrace mortal sin without faith and repentance, separating them from grace
    — Acceptance of evolution, which undermines the doctrine of creation, man, sin, and justification
    — Acceptance of higher criticism, which teaches the people to distrust the veracity of Holy Scripture, substituting the opinions of deconstructionist academics
    — Denial of the Athanasian Creed, particularly related to salvation within the ark of the holy catholic church alone (the catholic faith, which must be held in order to be saved), which teaches people to trust in a fictional salvation apart from God’s promises

    These are cardinal issues which do tremendous damage to the Christian faith. These are the issues we should be framing first and foremost against Dr. Becker and his compatriots. Were it my place to govern the conversation with him, I’d put his women’s ordination issue last on the list, and work through those others before it could even be put on the table. In essence, there is no purpose in debating who should or should not be admitted to Christ’s Pastoral Office, with a heretic who is himself by his teaching outside the ark of the holy catholic church.

  5. OWN needs to find true happiness by leaving for ELCA immediately rather than corrupting the LCMS, but I think this group would rather destroy the LCMS or re-brand it as another progressive liberal church instead. The LCMS must resist such a way as OWN would take it, as it could not survive a deep split which would result in an exodus from the LCMS.

  6. All of these impassioned pleas for Dr. Becker to “find another church body” fail to address the underlying disease that promulgates the symptoms.

    Fascism will have none of it; by it’s very nature, whether in the political or spiritual arena, it is and remains the genuine heart of the Pharisee.

  7. The OWN website reveals that they partner with at least one group pushing for the “ordination” of women in Mormonism: http://www.ordainwomennow.com/equal-in-faith-fast/

    http://www.ordainwomennow.com/links/

    If OWN were truly concerned with Christianity and the Gospel, they would be telling women to leave the Mormon “church” instead of seeking ordination in it, as Mormonism presents a false god, a false christ, and a false gospel which sends people to Hell.

    In actuality, OWN are universalistic theological liberals who do not care about the Gospel, the exclusivity of Christ, and the differences between Christianity and Mormonism. This should not be surprising given the background of Daystar and OWN, but do not ever be fooled when someone comes along and claims to be a faithful, Bible-believing, or “conservative” Christian but who wants to simply “dialogue” on the issue of women’s ordination, and claims that it is the only issue dividing them from you. It never is.

    OWN are also in agreement with the ELCA’s position on homosexuality, they just aren’t open about it because they want to get WO in the door first.

    More interfaith activity from OWN: http://www.ordainwomennow.com/equal-in-faith-2015/

  8. @John Flanagan #5

    The Biblical response to false teachers is to defrock and excommunicate them, not wait and hope that they will leave of their own accord. Those liberals like Becker and OWN who remain in the LCMS do so with the expressed purpose of changing the LCMS’s teachings and positions. And as one of Becker’s liberal friends put it: “some of us would rather fight than switch.” http://thedaystarjournal.com/for-the-record/#comment-129

  9. OWN most likely are pro-abortion, given that that has been the position of all LCMS liberals who have addressed the issue, and it is also the position of the Feminist movement with which OWN aligns.

    Two of OWN’s Daystar friends, Matthew Becker himself and Don Soeken, are pro-abortion.

    Don Soeken revealed his position here: http://blogs.lcms.org/2014/thrivents-abortion-funding#comment-22954

    On his blog, Matthew Becker endorsed an article and book written by pro-abortion feminist Carol J. Adams, who is also a former abortion clinic worker: http://matthewlbecker.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-human-animal-and-other-animals-in.html

    http://www.caroljadams.com/aboutme.html

  10. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, here is where Becker explicitly revealed his support for homosexuality: http://gottesdienstonline.blogspot.com/2010/12/useful-discussion.html?showComment=1292367361318#c2315054259731336023

    He also reveals it in this blog post: http://matthewlbecker.blogspot.com/2010/11/further-sign-of-lcms-times.html

    And this is from his friend Karl Wyneken (also on the LCMS clergy roster) in the journal that Becker is the managing editor of: http://thedaystarjournal.com/the-article-on-which-the-church-stands-or-falls/

  11. @Nicholas #7

    OWN are also in agreement with the ELCA’s position on homosexuality, they just aren’t open about it because they want to get WO in the door first.

    On what basis do you make this accusation? I’m willing to concede that I’ve seen posts that suggest that Dr. Becker is in agreement with ELCA’s position on homosexuality. I have not seen anything that suggests that the OWN group is advocating anything but Women’s Ordination.

    If you have some evidence that they are promoting anything other than the ordination of women, please present it.

  12. @Nicholas #9

    OWN most likely are pro-abortion, given that that has been the position of all LCMS liberals who have addressed the issue, and it is also the position of the Feminist movement with which OWN aligns.

    So…ALL “LCMS liberals who have addressed the issue” take the pro-abortion position?

    At the risk of repeating my previous post, on what basis do you make this accusation? I’m certain that you have some kind of proof, or reference, to show that they are taking that position? Are you putting the best construction on things?

  13. @Phil Melanchthon #11

    I think it is safe to say that they have done a fine job of promoting a false Gospel, which on its own is terrible enough. Tell me, does the Mormon religion preach the true Word of God? I’ve seen images of OWN members at Women’s Ordination prayer events with women of the Jewish and Islamic faith – do they preach the true Word of God in those religions? If not, then why is OWN throwing their hat into that ring? After-all, isn’t OWN seeking to show Missouri the error of its way? Isn’t OWN seeking to show the Missouri-Synod that they have a faulty understanding of God’s Word? Reconcile this for me? How can an organization claim to have a proper understanding of Scripture and at the same time work to have women become spiritual leaders in the Mormon church – or in any other religion for that matter? They have surrounded themselves with those individuals who do take a different position on the subject of abortion and homosexuality than the the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. They have served as advocates on behalf of those who preach a false gospel which leads people to condemnation. The company you keep is a solid reflection of your own values in many cases. It would be different if they were seeking to drive those individuals from those false religions, but they aren’t. If OWN wanted to truly represent the Word of God – they would distance themselves from those who teach and advocate for that which is contrary to God’s Word.

  14. And yes, I confess to posting as Phil Melanchthon. I wanted to get a response not based on my previous position on the board of OWN. I stated that I was questioning the LCMS’ position and you guys immediately crucified me. I repeatedly said I wanted a discussion, and that is all I wanted…a discussion. Instead, you guys all told me how sinful I was.

    I will retire that name now, that I have let the cat out of the bag. As I stated in another thread, I am reading the Book of Concord for the first time in my life. There are some things in it that, if we are reading it correctly, will give me pause to consider some of the positions I have taken in the past.

    I do not feel it was inappropriate to ask the questions that I asked, either two years ago or recently, about what Scripture and the Confessions say about the ordination of women. I still believe that rather than having a witch hunt, it would have been far more beneficial for everyone if we could have had a discussion. Yes, you say that no one really wants a discussion…that “discussion” is code for something else. But, my brothers in Christ, a discussion was all that I wanted. You say that you’ve had that discussion already, but I hadn’t. I wanted to know what the positions of both sides were.

    I took OWN at its word as it said its purpose was to foster discussion. Personally knowing some of the folks on the board, I still believe their intent is to foster discussion.

    It seems so unlike the people of God to behave the way you have. I am truly trying to understand the positions advocated here on this board. I have previously confessed that I have never read the BoC before, and I’m trying to rectify that so that I can discuss things more intelligently.

    I understand that you have concerns that are very important to you. I do not mean to trivialize them, but when you spend all your time pointing your fingers at those who are “in sin” within the church, it would seem to me that you’d get weary of that.

    It seems to me that Dr. Becker, whom I have never met and don’t know personally, is being thrown under the bus as an example. I know that you believe he is engaging in false teaching. I don’t know that I can be comfortable with all of his stated opinions, but I also believe that his job as an academician and theologian is to question…I remember that Galileo was excommunicated because of his false teachings about the heavens. Martin Luther was all but murdered on the way back from Worms because of his failure to recant his false teachings.

    Gentlemen, all I am suggesting is that there actually be allowed a dialogue. I would be fascinated to hear such a dialogue. I want to know WHY you take the positions you do. I’d truly like to have a discussion and learn WHY you believe what you believe. I would like to be convinced.

    It does no good to sit there and say things like “You are practically lost” or “Why don’t you go join the ELCA?” None of those things explain your steadfastness. I am dying to know what it is that makes you so resolute.

    I am still happy to listen and learn, if you guys will stop condemning me long enough to actually have a discussion. I respect you all for having way more knowledge of the BoC than I do, not having read it all the way through yet, but I hope you’ll respect me as well, as one that Jesus loved so much that he died for. Don’t damn me or refer me to ELCA just because I have questions.

    Thanks for listening, and if there are those who will answer with things other than punitive judgment, thank you in advance for your thoughtful reply.

  15. I took OWN at its word as it said its purpose was to foster discussion. Personally knowing some of the folks on the board, I still believe their intent is to foster discussion.

    Look, it is now 2015. Women’s ordination has already been discussed. There are no new arguments. There are just arguments that you accept and those you reject. There are at least a dozen nominally Lutheran churches, so people who identify as Lutheran have already pick the one they want to be in. Lay people in the LCMS who don’t agree with the LCMS position should be instructed as to why it is correct. If they still disagree then they could find another church. However, clergy are not laypeople.

    The Biblical response to false teachers is to defrock and excommunicate them, not wait and hope that they will leave of their own accord.

    Take your little social justice campaign away from our children. You and we know that the children are your real targets. That is why you are advertising a conference on how to target the children of the LCMS with your ideas.

  16. One of the OWN leaders posts occasionally on the ALPB discussion forum. She recently compared Becker to Martin Luther.

  17. It’s very important that your Circuit only selects a pastor and a lay delegate to the 2016 Synodical Convention that oppose the ordination of women. Please make sure you know how your delegates will vote.

  18. @John Marquardt #18
    The way you worded this that there are pastors and dp’s that are in favor of woman ordination. Those need to be called out and suspended now. If they believe it then they are saying their views out loud and teaching it. But nothing will happen to them because there are dp’s out there in favor of woman ordination, open communion practices, firing of pastors. Etc.

  19. The way you worded this that there are pastors and dp’s that are in favor of woman ordination. Those need to be called out and suspended now. If they believe it then they are saying their views out loud and teaching it. But nothing will happen to them because there are dp’s out there in favor of woman ordination, open communion practices, firing of pastors. Etc.

    @Walter Troeger #19

    It’s that the system is broken to such an extent that they can hide behind red tape and never be thrown out. You’re not allowed to call anyone out for false doctrine, yet you can unscripturally remove your pastor if you want. The ACELC listed this among some of the Synod’s errors when they issued their fraternal admonishment of the Synod’s pastors and congregations.

  20. @Scott Dart #14

    When God in His Word has established what is to be, there is no dialogue or discussion.

    The Bible is very clear about homosexuality. It is very clear also about abortion, Scriptural authority, and yes, even the role of women in the church. Those who say it is not are doing so not because they believe the Bible has been misunderstood, but because they want to set themselves up over and against the Word of God.

    It is not by accident that the same people who advocate contradicting the Bible on the above points also reject the authority and inerrancy of Scripture.

    You do not say to God “Just a minute, I think we need to talk about what You have commanded us to do and re-look at the issues.” Doing that is a step in the direction of rebellion, plain and simple.

  21. @John Rixe #21

    Just because they signed it doesn’t mean they all believe it. David Benke is in favor of WO. So is Paul Linnemann, who protects not only Becker but also the homosexual “Unity Club” at CU-Portland. Your comment is dishonest.

  22. @Nicholas #23

    “In the case under discussion by the COP, the district president with ecclesiastical supervision over the accused member referred the determination to a Referral Panel, and the Referral Panel issued a final decision that no formal proceedings for expulsion would be initiated. The reasoning behind the Panel’s determination is treated as confidential and, therefore, is not a matter of public record.”

    Is that the same as being in favor of women’s ordination?

  23. No panel decisions should be confidential, and the identity of the three judges who acquitted Becker (at Linnemann’s behest) needs to be revealed. Also, the moment that an LCMS clergyman utters that he is in favor of WO, then that is immediate grounds for defrocking and excommunication (unless he immediately repents).

  24. @John Rixe #21

    Strikes me as similar to the obfuscating that went on by President Tietjen et al. at the St. Louis seminary leading up to Seminex. One benefit of the internet age is the ability to easily compare supposedly ‘official positions’ to activities and other public statements found online.

  25. @John Rixe #28

    Allowing women preaching in pulpits of churches or rso’s, allowing women to be elders and knowing what is going on by the dp is equal to saying that they are in favor of it. Sounds to me that doctrine and practice go together.

  26. All the DP’s signed a document regarding women’s ordination.

    It is pure slander to suggest that any or some of them lied. Let the witch hunt begin.

  27. @Brad #4

    Add to that Becker’s promotion of heretical views of the Trinity: http://thedaystarjournal.com/for-the-record/

    Becker wrote: “Why not begin with an examination of the nature of God within a social-egalitarian-perichoretic model of the Holy Trinity and the implications that such a model could have for our understanding of men and women in creation and in the church?” [End of Quote]

  28. I seem to remember DP Benke speaking in opposition to the ordination of women when the Atlantic District female deacon program was exposed as being confusing and poorly worded in their manuals.

    I would encourage everyone to offer proof if you are going to contend that a certain person holds certain views.

  29. @Nicholas #32

    Good point, Nicholas. If he is dithering around with the Divnine Name for the purpose of figuring out new ways to distort the order of creation, it only proves that he is, himself, no longer a Christian.

    I do think it is possible for Christians to discuss the issue of women’s ordination. We simply exegete the Scriptures on the topic, and call people to believe the Word of God. A Christian will be interested in both understandng those texts (replacing confusion with knowledge) and submitting to them as the Word of our Lord and Savior. Non-Christians will seek obfuscation and rebellion from the Word, and there is no point in having such a conversation with such a person.

    I really do think the whole women’s ordination issue is a diversionary tactic, meant to stir up social sympathies. At root with Becker and his ilk is their open rebellion and consequent obfuscation of the Word of God, brought about by their rejection of the One who is the Eternal Word. We should be dealing with Becker the way we do with all non-Christians– helping him to know his condemned condition as a false teacher (excommunication) and calling him back to faith and repentance through the Word he has hither to despised. If or when he comes back, we will receive him in love and joy. Until then, he is no more our fellow worker and teacher than the local imam or Hindu guru.

  30. The Word of God is the only rule and norm by which all issues are to be judged.

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