Table Talk: Ordain Women Now
Recently there has arisen a group in the LCMS who believes that there should be a peaceful discussion concerning the ordination of women. Should the LCMS have further discussion concerning this topic, or is the debate itself a rejection of Holy Scripture?
This argument draws out the worst in people. Men and women act like swine in their own filth rather than pure baptized children of their Heavenly Father. I have one word for both sides in this debate. REPENT. Repent, and hear the word of the Lord.
Men, repent, for you have abandoned your God given vocations as chief catechists of your household. Rather than being Christ in the marriage, you are the tyrant who uses Scripture to your own advantage and your own choosing. St. Paul declares, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body (Ephesians 5:25-30). Men are not called to be critics or tyrants, but sacrificial lambs for their wives. They are sanctified for the good work of teaching the faith to their spouse and children, if that is the will of God. Men, you are not called to wickedness and anger, but to a life of constant and sacrificial living for your wife and any woman God places in your life.
Women, repent, for you have abandoned your God given vocations as the givers of life and the helper to man. Rather than being the Holy Bride of Christ, you have forsaken Christ’s Word for the philosophies of this fallen and wicked world. The changing of the times occupies your ears and hearts rather than the eternal word of your Savior. As Martha, you are busy in keeping the house clean and working out your salvation, when instead you should sit at the feet of your Savior with Mary for she, “has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:42). Woman is not called to teach, but to receive the teaching that comes from the mouth of Christ’s installed servant, be it the Pastor himself or the husband.
The argument flows from these statements, “What if I am a single woman? What should I do then?” Well, if you have children and there is no husband, then you are the head of the household. If your husband is an unbeliever, then you are the chief teacher of your children, in line with Lois and Eunice. However, both single men and single women, married men and married women, are all under the authority of Christ and His called servant, the Pastor. All are subordinate to the Word of God alone.
These arguments about women’s ordination flow from unbelief in both God’s Word and discontent in one’s vocation. Luther spoke against Pilgrimages in the Smalcald Articles and said the main issue is the rejection of one’s vocation for “Why would one neglect one’s own parish, God’s Word, spouse and child, etc.-which are necessary and commanded-and run after unnecessary, uncertain, shameful, devilish will-o’-the-wisps? (Smalcald Articles II.2.18)
The problem whenever these debates arise is that they overflow with legal language. Alot of “No” statements. So, let us not ask, “What can and can’t women do in the church?” But rather, ‘What is given for both men and women to receive?” What is given to woman? To be a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, aunt. To be a Deaconess, school teacher, nurse, organist, Sunday School Teacher. It is given her to be watched over by her Pastor and if it be the will of God, her father and husband. Let’s stop the Pharisaic question, ‘Is it lawful.” the answer is always “No”, it is not lawful, in fact you are breaking the law by asking that question. Let us ask the question, “What does God say in His Word and what does He give us to be in Him?”
What of those lazy men that won’t step up to the plate and be the head of the household? Women, call them to repentance. Call them to repent and take up the Sword of the Spirit and protect the house from the assaults of the wicked deceiver. Let not your lips tire from calling the Christian man to be accountable to his God-given vocation.
Every time these arguments about women’s ordination come up it is the same argument. There is never a good answer for those who desire women to be pastors. Well, that’s sin for you. Get used to it. We are going to have this debate until Christ comes down and judges both the living and the dead. The only thing we can do is be faithful to Scripture, avoid useless babble and opinion, and pray that God keep us steadfast and content in His Word, Amen.