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The following is an overture that was submitted to us for review by delegates or members of churches. We provide them with no recommendations, just in an attempt to give you ideas on what kinds of overtures you might submit through your church or circuit forum.


Information about overtures from the 2010 LCMS Handbook can be found here.


To Rescind Synodical Resolution 3-08A (2004 Convention)

December 13th, 2011 Post by

WHEREAS, The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in her 62nd Regular Convention in July of 2004 passed Res. 3-08A that “Affirms the Conclusions of the 1994 CTCR Report: The service of Women in Congregational and Synodical Offices;” and

WHEREAS, The Bible clearly teaches God pleasing roles and functions for both men and women in family, culture, society, and in the Church (Genesis 2:4-24, 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, 14:33-36, Ephesians 5:22-33, Luther’s Small Catechism – Table of Duties); and

WHEREAS, The 1994 report of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) on “The Service of Women in Congregational Offices” did not adequately address the place of “The Order of Creation” in its report, but instead, focused heavily on distinctive functions of the pastoral office by replacing the basic biblical principle that women should not have authority over men with one application of that principle, that women should not become pastors*, and

WHEREAS, 1 Timothy 2:12-13 states, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man…For Adam was formed first, then Eve” and this divine teaching is contradicted by the “Conclusions” of the 1994 CTCR report; and

WHEREAS, The 1994 report of the CTCR departed dramatically from the historic understanding of the Lutheran Church on the matter of the role of women in congregational offices, by restricting the authority women are forbidden to have over men to the Pastoral Office; and

WHEREAS, The 1994 report of the CTCR and 2004 Resolution 3-08A promote confusion, instability, and disunity and led the Synodical President to object to the report, saying that “it ‘suggests a modification in the present position of the Synod’.” and led five theological professors of the CTCR to also object that the majority report did not adequately address the “order of creation,” including the basic principle that women should not exercise authority over men;** and

WHEREAS, The teaching of Scripture does not change; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That for the sake of remaining faithful to the Word of God in all its parts, for the
unity of the Church, and for the edifying of our people and congregations, the Wyoming District encourage and support its congregations in remaining faithful to the historic, orthodox, and Biblical Lutheran teaching and practice of the role of women in the Church; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the congregations of the Wyoming District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod reject the teaching/doctrine/practice of women exercising authority over man in violation of the order of creation as expressed in Res. 3-08A; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Wyoming District bring Resolution 3-02A to the attention of the CTCR and urge the 2007 Convention of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod to rescind Resolution 3-08A of the 2004 Convention of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That a new document, based upon Scripture and our Lutheran Confessions, And
fulfilling the LCMS Convention Resolution (1995: 3-10) requesting a comprehensive study of the Scriptural Relationship of Man and Woman, including the doctrine of creation in the image of God, its implications for dominion and subordination, and its application to the service of women in the church, including suffrage and ordination,*** be presented for approval by Synod at its next convention.

 

*Jastram, Man as Male and Female: Created in the Image of God, Concordia Theological Quarterly, Vol. 68 No. 1
January 2004, pg 91
** Ibid, pg 91-92
*** Ibid, pg 92

Passed by the Wyoming District at their 2006 convention


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  1. Another John
    December 13th, 2011 at 17:36 | #1

    As a WELS Lutheran Christian, it warms my heart to see the efforts going on to bring your synod back into adherance and compliance with the Scripture and the confessions which sum them up accurately. Like many WELS members, I have family and friends in the LCMS, and I pray for and look forward to the day of reconciliation between our synods as the Lord wills it. I look forward to the day when I can again commune with you. Again, not because men agree on what doctrine says, but rather because both the synods understand that doctrine must comply with His Word and they both do.

    May God bless you in your efforts!

  2. December 13th, 2011 at 17:52 | #2
  3. Matthew Mills
    December 13th, 2011 at 18:39 | #3

    I posted this on the “OWN” string as well, but although this ia a well crafted resolution, from a big-picture perspective I fear this sort of thing sets the precedent that doctrine is decided by majority vote by synod in convention. Once we reach that point, our orthodoxy is rented, because if we can vote “yes”, we can vote “no” as well. What we need is a leadership who will hold the line by saying, “our doctrine (and praxis) is set by the Scriptures and Confessions, and it is not going to be the subject of debate or votes.” To an extent we lose even if we win. In writing doctrinal resolutions we make the whip that will be used on our own backs when our numbers fall from 55% to 48%.
    Pax Christi+,
    Matt Mills

  4. December 13th, 2011 at 18:44 | #4

    Please resubmit this.

  5. Mrs. Hume
    December 13th, 2011 at 19:13 | #5

    @Matthew Mills #3

    Yes, exactly. That was my exact feeling when I was in the ELCA and heard what they were doing in their conventions. You can’t all just get in a room and out vote God. It was one of the first questions I had when coming to the LCMS.

    Matthew Mills :
    What we need is a leadership who will hold the line by saying, “our doctrine (and praxis) is set by the Scriptures and Confessions, and it is not going to be the subject of debate or votes.”

    Great summation. Perfectly stated.

  6. Noreen
    December 13th, 2011 at 20:26 | #6

    @Matthew Mills #3

    As usual, Matt, well-stated.

  7. December 13th, 2011 at 21:21 | #7

    Another John (#1): “As a WELS Lutheran Christian, it warms my heart to see the efforts going on to bring your synod back into adherance and compliance with the Scripture and the confessions which sum them up accurately.”

    May God bless the WELS with faithful men to do the same in your synod. I also look forward to the day when we can once again commune together.

  8. Larry Kleinschmidt
    December 14th, 2011 at 03:29 | #8

    Matthew Mills :
    I fear this sort of thing sets the precedent that doctrine is decided by majority vote by synod in convention. Once we reach that point, our orthodoxy is rented, because if we can vote “yes”, we can vote “no” as well. What we need is a leadership who will hold the line by saying, “our doctrine (and praxis) is set by the Scriptures and Confessions, and it is not going to be the subject of debate or votes.”
    Pax Christi+,
    Matt Mills

    Our doctrine is determined by Scripture alone, which is properly explained in the Confessions. The Synod in convention does not determine doctrine, but it does determine what we as LCMS Lutherans understand Scripture and the Confessions to say. The problem too often is with those who want THEIR idea of what Scripture and the Confessions say to be determinative for the Synod. That said, resolutions of this sort are the proper way (or one proper way) of approaching differences of agreement over what he Scriptures teach.

  9. Rev. Michael G. Piper
    December 14th, 2011 at 08:30 | #9

    Only if we are truly walking together. But when the process is hijacked by a corrupt and manipulitive system which postures that anything is up for grabs as long as they have the majority votes, it doesn’t work. Synods can err. Does a vote make it right? Fortunately they were voted out. When they tell you that all that is neccesary is that they have 3/4s the vote and if you don’t like it you can leave, that is troublesome. Walther believed it paramount that congregations voice their opinions to synod in resolutions. We have seen the erosion of the voice. If your congregation’s resolution is so blest to make it to a floor committee, good luck. Floor committees are themslves the product of power. Filtering resolutions through circuits and district conventions limits dissent. In the end it comes down to which way the wind blows. So we count ourselves blest that at this time the wind is blowing our way. Why shouldn’t the littlest of voices be heard? Can we really say the Synod believes something that is rail-roaded through by a political majority? I don’t think anybody ever voted on the Confessions. The faithful subscribed to them.

    The Lutheran church has stood apart from Rome in that it never had cannon law. Incredible thought! 500 years? One wonders if being “incorperated” will not push us to the inevitable. Will we get to the point we cannot say the church teaches anything… until it has first been passed as a resolution?

    One last thing. Synodical resolutions were always as such. Now they are binding? I guess Concordia Historical Institute is sitting on 164 years of resolutions. What a treasure!
    @Larry Kleinschmidt #8

  10. Larry Kleinschmidt
    December 14th, 2011 at 09:01 | #10

    @Rev. Michael G. Piper #9 A vote makes it the Synod’s position. You can submit a resolution (as above) or follow the process for dissent. Or, yes, you can leave the Synod, which is a voluntary organization. When you joined (by signing the constitution), you agreed with the position of the Synod and not to teach contrary to it.

  11. Rev. Michael Piper
    December 14th, 2011 at 12:00 | #11

    I joined the Synod a long, long time ago, pledging my faithfulnes to the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions.

    What is the position of the Synod? I suggest you re-read Article II to which every member of Synod, accepts without reservation. 1. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testmanet as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and practive. 2. All the Symbolical books of the Evangelsical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated staement and exposition of the Word of God, to wit: the Three Ecumenical Creeds (Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed), The Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, the Large Catechism of Luther, the Small Catechism of Luther, and the formula of Concord. Read also Article IV.1 Acceptance of the confessional basis of Article II.

    Read also Article VIII C Resolutions at Synodical Meetings: All matters of doctrine and conscience shall be decided only by the Word of God. All others matters shall be decided by a majority vote. In case of a tie vote the President may cast the deciding vote.

    The only thing that will ever bind my conscience is the Word of God and the Confessions.

    Who would want to stay in an organization that didn’t hold to them?

    @Larry Kleinschmidt #10

  12. Matthew Mills
    December 14th, 2011 at 12:33 | #12

    @Larry Kleinschmidt #8
    If a “no” vote on a resolution represents a heterodox position, then by bringing it to the floor in convention asking for a “yes” vote, we set the precident that the LC-MS votes on doctrine. That appears to be the case w/ this one.
    Pax Christi+,
    Matt Mills

  13. Martin R. Noland
    December 14th, 2011 at 15:02 | #13

    @Larry Kleinschmidt #10

    Mr. Kleinschmidt,

    You say: “A vote makes it the Synod’s position. . . . When you joined (by signing the constitution), you agreed with the position of the Synod and not to teach contrary to it.”

    This is a very common error in the LCMS. I don’t know where it came from, or who continues to propagate it. I assume you are just repeating what you have heard.

    I do know that some people who were at the national offices in Saint Louis for many years, and who had a great deal of influence on doctrinal statements and doctrinal resolutions, propagated this error. But they only did this, because they were trying to expand their own power and influence. They resembled medieval papists in that respect.

    Pastor Piper is correct at comment #11. Our pastors subscribe ONLY to the Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions. And the faithful ones stick to that subscription through thick and thin. They also pledge to comply with the Conditions of Membership in Article VI of the Constitution.

    Our pastors and congregations DO NOT PLEDGE TO AGREE WITH EVERYTHING THAT THE SYNOD PASSES IN CONVENTION. And this lack of a pledge includes doctrinal resolutions and doctrinal statements. Look at Article VII of the Constitution. Read Carl Mundinger’s “Government in the Missouri Synod” to understand its origins.

    The people that DO HAVE TO TEACH, PREACH, and ACT according to synodical resolutions are the OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES of the LCMS. So if the synod in convention passes a resolution saying that all of our universities and seminaries must teach a six day creation, then that is what they have to do.

    The synod first debated the status of doctrinal resolutions back in 1950s when some people wanted to make the Brief Statement binding on all pastors and congregations. The result of that was they realized that, if it was to be made binding, it was equivalent to a change in the constitution, and would have to go through the same process as a constitutional amendment, which is 2/3rds of delegates and 2/3rds of congregational votes cast (see Article XV). Since no doctrinal resolution or statement has ever made it that far, pastors and congregations are still only bound to the standards of Article II, i.e., Scriptures and Confessions.

    The making of doctrinal resolutions is not a vain exercise, however, since it is one way to ensure that the officers and employees of the synod uphold orthodox doctrine and practice (the other way is to vote them in/out; or appoint them in/out). It also has some authority as a “council of the church,” i.e., you may always say that on such-and-such-a-date, the national convention of LCMS delegates, representing about 10% of the synod, approved such-and-such-a-position. And such-a-position may carry more weight than individual theologians or individual church leaders; unless it is simply wrong or contrary to the Scriptures or Confesions.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  14. Concerned Seminarian
    December 14th, 2011 at 16:46 | #14

    @Martin R. Noland #13

    Dr. Noland, I think you are mistaken in saying that “Our pastors and congregations DO NOT PLEDGE TO AGREE WITH EVERYTHING THAT THE SYNOD PASSES IN CONVENTION. And this lack of a pledge includes doctrinal resolutions and doctrinal statements. Look at Article VII of the Constitution. Read Carl Mundinger’s “Government in the Missouri Synod” to understand its origins.” While it is true that congregations and pastors do not have to agree with everything the Synod says, it is not true that this extends to doctrinal resolutions. As a matter of fact, Synodical doctrinal statements are binding upon members of Synod (congregations and pastors).

    When I took the LCMS Controversy course at CSL last year, we discussed this very issue with regard to the 1973 LCMS Convention in New Orleans. Resolution 2-12 at that convention made such statements binding (though the resolution may have been changed since then). Here are 2 of the resolveds from that Resolution (quoted from Paul A. Zimmerman, A Seminary in Crisis, p. 105):

    Resolved, That the Synod understand Article II of its Constitution as permitting, and at times even requiring, the formulation and adoption of doctrinal statements as definitive of the Synod’s position relative to controversial issues.”
    Resolved, That the Synod reaffirm its position (Milwaukee Proceedings, Res. 2-21 and 5-24) that such statements, insofar as they are in accord with the Scriptures and the pattern of doctrine set forth in the Lutheran Symbols, are, pursuant to Article II of the Synod’s Constitution, binding upon all its members.” (emphasis added)

    (Note: The book further notes that this resolution passed by a 653-381 majority)

    The reason the Synod did this at that time was because they had to deal with a number of Seminary professors (and others; let’s not just blame the faculty majority) who subscribed to the Lutheran Confessions but did not see that subscription as binding them to a particular way of reading Scripture in light of modern critical methods. By understanding Article II of the Constitution as making Synodical doctrinal resolutions binding on all its members, the Synod could hold those agreed with its doctrine in theory but not in practice accountable to teach and practice what the Synod said.

    Before anyone says that the LCMS cannot or should not vote on doctrinal issues, remember that those who walked out of Concordia Seminary held the same position.

    Note: My professors for that class mentioned that this fact is surprisingly unknown, even among the pastors upon whom such doctrinal resolutions are considered binding.

  15. Joey
    December 14th, 2011 at 17:01 | #15

    >>…such statements, insofar as they are in accord with the Scriptures and the pattern of doctrine set forth in the Lutheran Symbols are … binding upon all its members

    ‘at’s quatenus, and brother we all know, quatenus cain’t contain us

  16. Mrs. Hume
    December 14th, 2011 at 21:42 | #16

    subscribed to the Lutheran Confessions but did not see that subscription as binding them to a particular way of reading Scripture in light of modern critical methods.

    Okay, I don’t understand this.

    How you can subscribe (agree) to something and also be free to disagree with it in light of new methods?

  17. December 15th, 2011 at 02:02 | #17

    @Another John #1

    Amen, Another John! Let us hope and pray that the leaders of our dear Wisconsin Synod take the lead of our Missouri brothers and reform some of our questionable doctrinal formations and practices.

  18. Concerned Seminarian
    December 15th, 2011 at 08:57 | #18

    @Mrs. Hume #16

    Simply put, they didn’t think they were disagreeing with the Confessions so much as a particular way of reading the Confessions.

    This has been hashed and rehashed on other threads, but here’s a quick summary based on what I’ve learned about it.

    They believed that they were still being faithful to the Confessions if they were reading Scripture as “Law vs. Gospel,” even if they were not accepting the historicity of Scripture. They had been taught that Scripture is “infallible” (which means that it does what it’s supposed to do, i.e., the Law kills and the Gospel makes alive), not “inerrant” (containing no errors of any sort: grammatical, historical, theological…). By substituting “infallible” for “inerrant” they could say that whether or not the event in Scripture actually happened did not matter; what mattered was how the Word of God affected the reader. I don’t have the Confessions in front of me, but I don’t think that they address the historicity of Scripture anywhere, and I’m pretty sure “inerrant” does not occur anywhere in the Book of Concord (both things which the faculty majority harped on ad nauseum). Why? Simply because everyone accepted that the Scripture was “inerrant” and that everything stated in the Bible was true! Why take the time to write down that “we believe, teach and confess” something that everyone agrees with and which has never been called into question?

    And that is why Preus’ “A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles” addresses the inerrancy of Scripture and the proper use of “Law/Gospel.”

  19. sue wilson
    December 15th, 2011 at 09:29 | #19

    I understand your position on women in the church, and I do not think that women should be pastors in the church–and certainly not senior pastors. My question is this: How do you answer questions about the women that God placed in leadership and teaching positions in the Scriptures?

  20. Kimberly
    December 15th, 2011 at 10:56 | #20

    @ #18 Sue Wilson

    If you notice, women in the Bible are never in a leadership position when it comes to the priesthood and public worship life of God’s people. Huldah might have been a prophetess, but never does it say she was at the Temple officiating over sacrifices or anything else God had given to men as responsibility. Nor does a woman ever instruct others by herself but alongside her male head (Priscilla and Aquila with Apollos). The lone example of a women teaching might be Lois and Eunice instructing Timothy, but they were only doing what good grandmothers and mothers are given by God to do in their homes.

    I hope that helps answer your question.

  21. sue wilson
    December 15th, 2011 at 11:21 | #21

    @Kimberly
    However, you will note that the priests went to Huldah to find God’s will, and God provided the answer through this prophetess.

    We are not told in Scripture exactly what a woman did in a typical, non-troubled, congregation. We, for instance, know nothing about the home church that met at the house of Lydia.

    As you note, Priscilla’s name is placed ahead of Aquila’s. Generally the strongest leader of a duo is listed first. I think we assume that Aquila was the advisor of Priscilla, when they may have been equal partners in their teaching ministry. It is a question that is not clearly answered.

    When Jesus told the woman at the well to go and get her husband, he could have been simply placing her in a position in which she would confess that she had no husband, giving Jesus the opportunity to further teach her about his person and message.

    My main concern within the LCMS today is that some pastors seem to be returning to the idea that women have less spiritual understanding than their male counterparts.

    Also, a woman, or any layperson, for that matter, reading the lessons from the Bible should hardly be compared to teaching the congregation–she or he is reading the word of God, not interpreting it. However there are many who think that women should be barred from this service; some think it should be barred from any layperson. This is a gross extrapolation of the instructions of Scripture. And so it goes on…
    Thanks for your reply, Kimberly. I appreciate it.

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