Women’s Ordination Not a Dead Issue in the LCMS, by Pr. Rossow

The voices in support of women’s ordination in the LCMS have grown stronger and not weaker in the last few years as evidenced by the sprouting up of a new website at  www.thecreatorstapestry.com.

The good news is that so far the site is getting little if any response. The posted articles have few or no comments on them. (With all you clicking on the above link I am sure their numbers will sky-rocket for a day or two.) It looks like the site is only a couple of weeks old but according to reports on the site, the group that has put it together has been around for the last few years. More good news is that this group was hoping for more support for their cause to come out of the recent CTCR report than surfaced.

The CTCR’s report is titled “The Creator’s Tapestry” and  was sent out to all LCMS rostered workers a couple of weeks ago. It has gotten little attention amidst all of the buzz about the  presidentital nominations. On the surface the document toes the Biblical line but I was dissapointed in the overall motif chosen to convey the Biblical doctrine of God’s creation of  male and female. “The Tapestry” is a motif that comes from the toleration crowd. The gay and lesbian crowd likes to speak of “human-kind” as one big tapestry and one big tent under which all can live in harmony.

The booklet speaks of the order of creation but we are left wishing that the notion of order would have been the very principles of organiazation for it instead of the weaker theme  of  tapestry. The subtitle is also weak: “Scriptural Perspectives on Man-Woman Relations…” Since when have we adopted the post modern  approach of “perspectives” on revelaed truth? Christians do not have “perspectives” on doctrine. Instead, we study the Scriptures to discover the propositional truth therein.  Our grandfather’s spoke of “the order of creation” but now we are speaking of “tapestries” and “perspectives.”

I am not prepared yet to give a thorough review of the booklet but just thought you might want to know about this website that has popped up. This and the situation Mollie spoke of yesterday paint a picture of a church body that has lacked in Biblical oversight for the last several years.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.

Comments

Women’s Ordination Not a Dead Issue in the LCMS, by Pr. Rossow — 101 Comments

  1. Thanks for this timely post, Pastor Rossow.

    As I noted on another thread, Dr. Ken Schurb wrote a very helpful paper entitled, “The Service of Women 1968-2004” chronicling the LCMS’ slide toward women’s ordination. I have been unable to locate it, but the spreadsheet graphically showing his analysis is available–Norm has it, and can post it. I have written to Dr. Schurb, requesting a copy of his paper, but so far have not had a response. His paper was written just after the 2004 Convention, and was available someplace on the Web, but I don’t know where it got to. The “Lutheran Theology” website does not have it, either, altho it has a wealth of resources on the subject. David Scaer has written brilliantly on the subject, and you can access his papers on the CTSFW library Pro Bono Ecclesiae link. Also Matt Harrison and John Pless edited a collection of essays entitled, “Women Pastors?” Recommended reading for anyone who’s interested in the subject. It’s not going away!!

    If anyone can help me find Dr. Schurb’s paper, I’d appreciate your help.

    Johannes

  2. “The CTCR’s report is titled “The Creator’s Tapestry” and was sent out to all LCMS rostered workers a couple of weeks ago.”

    Based on the timing, it makes one kind of wonder if it might come up in Houston.

    j

  3. To the Flack-Jacket Pusher,

    I must admit that the first thing I thought of when it arrived in the mail a few weeks ago was the timing. If I say anything about that here I will be accused of not putting the best construction on things. For the record, you brought it up (said Adam, pointing to Eve). So here is my take on the timing.

    It is a feel good sort of piece. It is not like our traditional CTCR documents but is written in a folksy way quoting Calvin and Hobbes (that’s not the theologian and the philosopher but the cartoon figures) and asking us to imagine a pretty tapestry hanging on the wall. These things in and of themselves are not bad but when taken with other trajectories in the LCMS they add up to a slide away from a straight-forward approach to theology that has preserved the Gospel in our midst all these years.

    When will President Kieschnick and his staff wake up and understand that there is a giant LCMS tea party going on and he was invited but decided instead to go create a bigger LCMS government with his BRTFSG rather than taking us back to the straight shooting days or our grandfathers?

    TR

  4. I showed this to my wife and she commented, “Why dont these people who dont believe what the Scriptures say just leave the synod?” Good question!

  5. Johannes & Pastor Rossow,
    If you go to the Women section, on this Creator’s Tapestry website, click on the “letters to the CTCR. Read them, carefully, not just browse. Shock, shudder, horror. And I am a woman, and this is horrid to me. It will never cease to amaze me, why the words, headship, obedience, submission, and modesty are so ill thought of by so many, no matter what Lutheran denom you may reside in.
    (men & women, not just women)

    This will always & forever be an issue, until Sola Scriptura & our Doctrines are stated w/o question, interpretation, or the dreaded adiphoria . If you read these letters, the reasoning behind this issue are quite clear. We have all, forgotten our place, humility, and our command to obey the Scriptures. Such a great shame & should be to our deepest regret.

    Unless, we as Lutherans, are content with words like “obey”, “submission” and “headship”, this is just one drop in the bucket of disunity & peace, not simply within our Synod, but as every drop in water dictates, it ripples across the whole. And that travels much further, than just women’s ordination.

  6. Here is a list of books they recommend reading. I believe this list says it all.

    Authority Vested: A Story of Identity and Change in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod by Mary Todd, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2000

    The Heart of Jesus: Women in the Gospel of Luke by Marlys Taege Moberg, Concordia Publishing House, 2009

    A Daystar Reader edited by Matthew L. Becker, http://www.daystarnet.org/ ,2010

    In a Different Voice by Carol Gilligan, Harvard University Press, 1982, 1993

    Preaching the Theology of the Cross by Peter L. Steinke, Augsburg Publishing House, 1983

    Negotiating at an Uneven Table: Developing Moral Courage in Resolving Our Conflicts by Phyllis Beck Kritek, Jossey-Bass, 2002

    Martin Luther’s Theology: Its Historical and Systematic Development by Bernhard Lohse, Fortress Press, 1999

    Different Voices/Shared Vision: Male and Female in the Trinitarian Community by Marie Meyer, Marva J. Dawn, Dot Nuechterlein, Elizabeth A. Yates, Richard T. Hinz, ALPB Books, 1992

    Listening to the Spirit in the Text by Gordon D. Fee, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2000

    Truly the Community: Romans 12 and How to Be the Church by Marva J. Dawn, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1992

    The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing & Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church by David Johnson and Jeff Van Vonderen, Bethany House Publishers, 1991

    On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation, 1518 by Gerhard O. Forde, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1997

    Saved from Silence: Finding Women’s Voice in Preaching by Mary Donovan Turner and Mary Lin Hudson, Chalice Press, 1999

    Beyond the Curse: Women Called to Ministry by Aida Besancon Spencer, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985

    Why don’t they just join them (ELCA, LCMC, Word Alone and Core) and leave us alone. I ask, who is causing the divisions in the LCMS? I believe the answer is obivious.

  7. @Pastor Tim Rossow #3

    Nice reply. You hit the nail on the head, references to Adam and Eve notwithstanding.

    This promises to be a lively discussion. You’ll have 100 posts before tomorrow morning.

    j

  8. @Norm Fisher #8
    If you go to the main blog, you will see a link on the right to a paper written by Dr. Barbara Brunworth. I had her as a professor at Concordia-Seward. She had us read a book called “Open Marriage.” We did not read it critically, but as something positive. That’s who she is! Our Concordias have been in trouble for a very long time.

  9. I do not understand why this isn’t a “dead” issue. It seems to me that the Scriptures speak very clearly on this, and that the LCMS has had a clear position on this issue. So what is there to talk about? This reminds me of liberal Christians who, while claiming to take Scripture seriously, seek out loopholes on any of its teachings they find uncomfortable. I also find it strange that many of the resources listed above under the “suggested readings” come from Evangelical publishing houses and Evangelical authors. This shows a clear disconnect from the Biblical and Lutheran position, as Lutherans, complementarianism aside, simply do not have the same theology of the office of public ministry as your run-of-the-mill Evangelical. Perhaps the issue really is a failure to understand and fully appreciate the role, purposes, and vocation of pastor?

    Here’s an analogy that I often use in discussing this issue with friends who disagree with me (who understand the limitations on a woman’s role in public ministry as an implicit claim that women are incapable of completing the duties of pastor): I am a single mother, and as such I often have to do a lot of “dad” type activities with my son. But doing these things does not make me his father, because it is not my calling, and however much of a “dad” I try to be, God never made me to be his father, but only to be his mother. Women have an important role in the church, and these men and women who are pushing for women’s ordination are simply denigrating the work women currently do within the church. I resent the implication that I have to be a pastor for my work to really matter.

  10. @Pr. John A. Frahm #11

    As I recall, the day he (PK) was first elected at the 2001 Convention, in his acceptance speech, he claimed that he believed in the “office of prophetess” and I remember thinking, “Huh? What in the heck is that?” And I was relieved that at least I hadn’t voted for him.

    I don’t recall anything about “prophetess” in the BRTFSSG proposals, even in the fine print.
    But, you never know….

    J

  11. crayburn : “Why dont these people who dont believe what the Scriptures say just leave the synod?” Good question!

    Crayburn,
    I can’t tell you how many times my wife and I have said this to each other. The tragic reality is they don’t have to. Why should the leave when false doctrine is permitted? Why should they leave when there are so many of the same ilk?
    In my state of constant frustration I find strength in God’s Word. I’ll side with that EVERY time.

    2 Timothy 1:13-14
    What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

    2 Thessalonians 2:15
    So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

    1 Timothy 4:6-7
    If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly

  12. Reference the blog post about changing our position out of fear the gifted women may leave and serve in an ELCA congregation: Since when were we supposed to change what Scripture teaches merely to satisfy the “needs” of our fellow sinners? What’s next, changing the gospel message so it’s more palatable? Wait, I think that’s been done already…

  13. The part of the curse recorded in Genesis 3:16, properly interpreted and understood, certainly has been operational throughout redemptive history and continues to be in effect to this very day!

  14. “Now, they [the liberals] said, man was in command of the Bible, free to interpret it the way he, she or the spirit of the times wanted, and as a consequence of this, there would be a new understanding of the priesthood to begin with. They predicted that insolubility of marriage would wane with a new understanding of marriage and what it meant to be a man and a women, there would be a new way of looking at the Creation and the order given in it, a new way of understanding human sexuality, that same-sex relationships in the end would be accepted, and there would even be blessings of same-sex relationships, marriages, and as the crowning event: the understanding of God the Father would be replaced by God the Mother. It sounded like some dystopic theological science fiction. The priests, the names of whom I do not even remember, expressing these opinions were, of course, criticized by their more moderate colleagues: “You are surely painting the Devil on the wall!” In a retrospect of forty years, I cannot but admire the clearsightedness of these “pike-jawed faithpolicemen” – a common derogatory characterisation of these High Church or Traditionalist priests…”

    Folke T. Oloffson, “A Grief Observed”. (2004)

  15. Along with Ellie (post 13), I cannot understand why this is not a dead issue. Scripture speaks very clearly as to what God requires of someone occupying the office of priest (OT)/pastor/shepherd/bishop (NT). One of those requirements is to be a male. No ifs, ands or buts about it. God did not create men and women to be identical and interchangeable. Why a woman would want to take on responsibilities that God is in His wisdom (and mercy!) placed upon men is beyond me. Ellie’s example of being a single parent is great.

    As for fear of losing gifted women…why not educate them about the ways women can help and serve in the church? Why not show them the many wonderful ways women academicians, teachers, musicians, administrators and deaconesses serve in the LCMS? And if after educating them about God-given ways they can and are encouraged to serve their argument boils down to “I want to be the one ‘in charge’, not under a man’s authority”, then we should gently and lovingly point them again to God’s design for His family–even all creation.

  16. If women’s ordination were a dead issue, those Missouri Synod members or teachers advocating it would be subject to immediate suspension and to the process of being stripped of their synodical membership if they did not recant and repent.

    But this is just another issue, along with a list of others on which the Missouri Synod has held a doctrinal position (and historically, not just during the Kieschnick regime), which synod officials have allowed its members to publicly flout in church practices, in publications and internet blogs, with little or no admonishment.

    Until synodical leaders are elected who will apply some serous theological and administrative floggings on these heretics and advocates of heterodoxy, nothing will change.

  17. @Pastor Tim Rossow #3

    “It is a feel good sort of piece. It is not like our traditional CTCR documents but is written in a folksy way quoting Calvin and Hobbes…”

    Beware the mushy (“folksy”) language and smokescreen vocabulary! Of course, we need Calvin and Hobbes, because our laity can’t understand theology. What? No “Peanuts” or “Dilbert?”

    j

  18. Many of the men who were the leaders of this movement later left the Missouri Synod to join the ELCA. However, the great majority of the students whom they trained over several decades and who became pastors and teachers remained. They continue to form a rather large and influential group within this church body at this time” [David Kuske. Biblical Interpretation: The Only Right Way. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1995; pp.195, 196].

    This is good old fashioned gospel reductionism at work in the LCMS. The 1972 document of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, Gospel and Scripture: The Interrelationship of the Material and Formal Principles in Lutheran Theology states:

    Whatever is truly Biblical does not negate the Gospel. The true and genuine Gospel does not negate whatever is truly Biblical. [] When one’s “gospel” is such that it makes void the Lord’s directives for his children’s individual and community life, it would seem that his “gospel” is different from the one taught by Paul and the Lutheran Symbols. It is easy to see why such directives are incompatible with a “gospel” that speaks of redemption in terms of what God is doing now in the socio-political structures, instead of inviting us to trust in what He did once for all on Calvary. When such a “gospel” supplants the Scriptures as norm of doctrine and life, then it is awkward to call anything wrong, since whatever is going on is somehow what God is doing now. But it is not a denial of the Scriptural Gospel to teach that men ought to obey God and to hold that expressions of His will in the Sacred Scriptures are still normative for the behavior of His children and church [Commission on Theology and Church Relations of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Gospel and Scripture. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1972; pp7,8].

    The unfinished business of the 1960s and 1970s has come to fruition today in the Missouri Synod. This is why some sad cases those who were known to be “conservative” in times past are no longer regarded as such – mostly not because their positions on the older issues have changed, but because new issues have illuminated the consequences of their compromised theology. Part of the slippery nature of this controversy was that on the surface it sounded Lutheran — “Law and Gospel.”

    In his book, “Law, Life and the Living God” (CPH), Scott Murray explains:

    The simplicity of the principle of Gospel reductionism leads to abuse. Because of its simplicity, theologians can easily use it to criticize central Christian teachings, such as the validity of the Law in the life of the Christian. There is a serious threat of a severe reduction of Christian doctrine to a bare Gospel, which is no Gospel at all. A further difficulty implied by the simplicity of the principle is that it can be radically interpreted so as to rule out significant and central Christian doctrines. One person’s Law might be another person’s Gospel. The lack of anchoring certainty troubled the critics of these Gospel reductionistic techniques [Murray, pp.106, 107].

  19. @crayburn #4

    > “Why dont these people who dont believe what the Scriptures say just leave the synod?

    I think one reason is similar to the reason America-haters don’t usually leave America.

    They are sellouts, serving as a conduit to bleed virtue from a virtuous entity to weaker or dead one. They skim some of the virtue and monetize it as they go.

    They self-aggrandize one way or another, by looking good to those on the other side, or by profiting in some psychological or monetary way.

    Jim Pierce described them as parasites.

  20. Is it just me, or are these seven women, like. . . old? I think it’s likely younger women DO leave if they can’t get their heads around certain Bible passages, as described in that one blog post, which is actually a much more honorable thing to do.

  21. @Pr. John A. Frahm #24

    In 2002 I stumbled upon the Daystar site. Prior to that I paid little attention to church politics. When I saw the links, references and sources that Daystar was using (like The Creator’s Tapestry site does), I freaked, because at least I knew a bit about Seminex.

    I brought it up to a pastor saying, “These folks in the LCMS are all quoting Seminex people!”

    His response: “The Missouri Synod IS Seminex.”

    My heart sank. I now know what he meant: not that all of the Missouri Synod was Seminex, but that the students of Seminex, as you said, “continue to form a rather large and influential group within this church body at this time.”

  22. @Zant #26

    Many younger people have no idea that the things their parents and grandparents attacked or destroyed in our church and society ever existed. Forty years ago, they knew they were overturning the ancient order of things and were exhilarated by that.

  23. @ShirleyG #10

    I had heard, but not confirmed, that COncordia Seward, NE was becoming a bastion of liberalism and that confessional Lutheran students were shredded for their firm doctrinal stances. I once visited and considered Concordia in St. Paul, MN in the late 1970s. Could not envision moving from Iowa to MN.

  24. I can’t say that I know why the lay persons who don’t believe in the clear word of Scripture don’t leave (maybe it’s family loyalty more than anything else) but the retirement and health system is a big reason why the ministers of relation, commissioned and ordained don’t leave.

  25. Ellie :
    Reference the blog post about changing our position out of fear the gifted women may leave and serve in an ELCA congregation: Since when were we supposed to change what Scripture teaches merely to satisfy the “needs” of our fellow sinners?

    An perhaps more importantly or not: “Does the gifts of these women or any person for that matter, edify and build up the church (local, district and synod)?” Paul says we all have gifts, but no one person’s gift is more valuable than another. When we start worrying about losing gifts and instead condone doctrine and Scriptural errors, we are not edifying the church.

  26. Again, (without time to read their stuff this afternoon) do they actually come out and explicitly support the ordination of women?

    My experience is that most advocates of women pastors speak in code and circumlocutions, but seldom, if ever openly admit what they really believe.

    TW

  27. Amen to Dutch at #5.
    True Lutheranism has a unique opportunity to display the scriptural image of the relationship of man and woman. I believe one of the biggest strengths of metastasizing Islam is going to be just this: the built-in hierachy/balance of male and female has a deep, natural attractiveness which has almost been demolished in the west by licentiousness and feminism. There’s going to be a backlash. Many women are deceived by Islam to think that its female subservience, “modesty”, and separation are the true and satisfying order. For us, though, faithfulness to our Savior’s beautiful demonstration of the Godly man’s relationship to women and to Saint Paul’s definitions of it in family and church life should be a shining contrast to Islam’s vicious corruption. (This applies also to those of Mormonism, paganism, American Indian, Wiccan and Eastern religions.) Now more than ever, let Missouri be firm and loud in its Biblical teaching about male and female.

  28. @Todd Wilken #34

    It appears that the website that was created as a response to the CTCR report that is supposedly to be submitted to the 2010 convention is to try to stop it from being presented. A pertinent quote from one of the four women:

    I believe that the last 30+ pages of the document are an attempt to pile on many critical issues in a most haphazard way without sufficient support, and it appears to me that this second part of the document was written by a different “voice” charged with the task of wrapping up all the loose ends. On one point in particular, in my opinion, the principle of the order of creation has no scriptural foundation to determine male authority over women and speaks nothing about ordination of men or women.

    http://www.thecreatorstapestry.com/women/letters-to-the-ctcr/letter-from-susan-mannina-september-2009/

    A search of the site produces three documents that include the term ordination .. the above as well as these two PDF’s:

    This one is an analysis from a Karl Wyneken of Fresno, CA that basically sounds like it endorses the ordination of women.

    Pastor, I’ve been thinking about what I want to be when I grow up. Guess what! I’d like to be a pastor, like you!” That was good news. But it was only partly good news. The bad news? Her name was Lisa, and this was the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

    http://www.thecreatorstapestry.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Karl-Wyneken-Lets-Include-rev-12-091.pdf

    I don’t have a way of verifying this, but this one appears to be from the 1995 convention proceedings, resolution 3-10 which this is based on. Included are:

    WHEREAS, It is apparent that confusion exists in the Synod, as well as in our culture regarding the relationship of male and female. This is evident from the overtures received by the convention. These overtures deal with a diversity of subjects: ordination of women, …

    Ordination of Women is put primary in this document.

    http://www.thecreatorstapestry.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Resolution-3-10.pdf

    Now, I doubt that the CTCR report endorses ordination of women, especially since these women are against the CTCR report being presented to the convention. I also don’t have time to slog through 70 pages of document.

    From the “In the beginning” post,

    In the spring of 2005, Marie Meyer gathered together six women who were interested in learning how the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) was progressing on the comprehensive Bible study of the relationship between God and women and men, as called for in the 1995 convention, Resolution 3-10. (Resolution 3-10, posted March 10, 2010.)

    .. I have to ask, why did it take 10 years before these 7 women met with President Kieschnick to attempt to bring up resolution 3-10?

  29. Pastor Wilken,

    I don’t see where women’s ordination is specifically addressed, but it s easy to draw that conclusion. There is a link to a letter Susan Mannina wrote to the CTCR about the paper. She lists her experience.

    ” I am a lay leader in my congregation. I served for six years on our Church Council in the roles of Chair of the Board of Social Ministry, Vice President and President of the congregation. I then served on the congregation’s staff for more than 25 years first as Director of Administration and later, Relocation Project Manager. I have chaired and staffed several of our congregation’s Capital Campaigns and my husband and I have been lead givers to them. I have served the LCMS as a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Lutheran Hour Ministries, a member of the National Cabinet of For the Sake of the Church, and currently serve on the loan review committee of the Southeastern District LCEF. Most importantly, I am a Christian woman committed to the work of the church in sharing the Gospel and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ with those who do not know Him. ”

    She then says,

    ” . . . . . . (the paper is) but rather a recap of past discussions and dialog that continues to leave men and women in the LCMS confused about the relationship of men and women in the church and the service of its women.”

    It seems to me the only role in which she hasn’t served is that of pastor. I can’t imagine that someone with the list of accomplishments such as she has, feels that the role of women is truly limitted in the LCMS, unless she’s looking for ordination.

    The Creator’s Tapestry is a good paper, that backs up what it says with clear Biblical support.

  30. @Becky #35
    The Wyneken piece has been around for some time, I think it’s entitled “Let’s Include Women in the Pastoral Office.” Karl Wyneken is a leader in Daystar. David Berger (CSL) wrote a brilliant response to “Let’s Include…”

    The names Norm has listed above is almost a Who’s Who of pro-women’s ordination, but by no means exhaustive.

    36 and counting…..

    Johannes

  31. The whole idea of this is to restudy this subject until everyone throws up their arms and allows female ordinations. This is a matter of restudying until they get what they want. This hints back to “Different Voices, Shared Visions” of several years past. The whole idea is to force Missouri to ordain females which will be followed by the ordination of active homosexuals of both male and female types. It is the slippery slope of changing to the current society. I have read about this stuff for at least 15 years on Lutheran web sites.

  32. Bill Kope :
    The whole idea of this is to restudy this subject until everyone throws up their arms and allows female ordinations. This is a matter of restudying until they get what they want.

    If you watched how pretty much every radical change in the ELCA has taken place, it was done exactly as you describe. Incrementally, of course, and through studies ad nauseam. Eventually members either got sick of hearing about it or desensitized to the issue. It’s not much different in intent than the old question “Did God really say…?”

  33. @Todd Wilken #34

    Answer: mostly circumlocutions
    Barbara Brunworth’s Keynote Address featured on the site finally gets to the topic on page 20:

    “There is still an elephant in the room that I have not acknowledged. Is all this about ordination of women? No. And yes. LCMS cannot be afraid of seeking a fuller understanding of God’s intent for male(s) and female(s) in His kingdom at this point of history because humans (some males and some females) are afraid it will lead to ordination of women. As an individual, this has not been my main interest; it is not a calling I have felt. My concern is about helping women and men to be all God created them to be. But as I continued to study Scripture and focus on the issues and rationale that has been used to resist female teachers, females teaching older boys or men, women’s suffrage, and women teaching theology, I feel compelled to seek greater understanding of this issue.”

    The whole address is written in passive/aggressive questions, non-definitives, mights, possiblies, yes and no’s, felt/feelings & understanding, thoughtful, discussion, process, heavily weighted with the jargon and worldview of sociology and pscycology. It is a synthesis of secular “science” and feminism with Lutheran theology, not unlike the synthesis of Church Growth and Lutheranism. Having lived in an area that is one of the birth places of radical feminism, the passive/aggressive writing style makes the hair stand up on the back of my head, even though it is tempered by Lutheranism. Unfortunately, this style is also a mark of that generation.

    I don’t think that generation realizes how much the younger folks want nothing to do with their fading dreams and disastrous experiments of the 60’s. We really, really don’t. Give us our Bibles, our Confessions, and our grandfather’s church.

  34. @Der Bettler #40
    Bill Kope is right on the money, and I submit that you also see things very clearly–except that it is exactly “Did God really say,” and the intent is exactly the same.

    If you want to see how the process works, read William Tighe’s “Adrift in Sweden,” and the Folke Oloffson piece I referenced above (#18). If you Google for the Oloffson article be sure and read the unabridged version. The Touchstone abridgement is good, but the whole thing is better. I believe that Louis Smith had a few words on it in “How My Mind Has Changed.”

    C. S. Lewis saw it clearly–he said that when the church ordains women it will have invented a whole new religion, or words to that effect.

    j

  35. Summary of Brunworth’s paper:

    Pages 2-3 Credentials: Concordia Teachers College, Human & Family Development UNL, Family Counseling from UNL. I am Lutheran.

    Pages 3-13
    Book report on sociological/historical changes in women’s roles from 40’s to present. Slanted toward standard psychological/feminist viewpoints. (Little discussion of changes’ effect on males.)

    Page 13: Lutheran division during Seminex, described as name-calling and labeling. “Scriptural inerrency, Secular Humanism, Feminism, and the Historical Critical Method were anathema. There was much hurt experienced in the professional community of LCMS and confusion among laity about what the professionals were really fighting about.” (Me: Scriptural inerrancy was “anathema”?)

    Page 14 Order of creation theology was brought into LCMS in 1954 from Calvanist sources. Author offended by “immutability” of order of creation arguments.

    Page 13-14: Lots of references to author’s feelings, and cognitive dissonance.

    Page 15: Claims she did not just disregard 1Tim. 2: 8-15, I Cor. 14: 34-36, Eph. 5:21-33.

    Page 15: We must keep asking ourselves how Scripture speaks to us about what God intens for us currently.

    Page 15: Argues from Genesis that God made humans in our image…there is no male without female.

    Page 16: Teaching or having authority has meant different things over the years in LCMS

    Page 16: Society was changing in the 60’s and 70’s and LCMS resolutions reflected this.

    Page 16: Author cannot discard Timothy, but points out women now braid hair and wear pearls vs. what Paul says.

    Page 16: Timothy 14 says man is head of woman, like God is head of Christ, but is not the Holy Trinity co-equal?

    Page 17: There is hostile sexism and benevolent sexism in the LCMS regarding the women of the Bible.

    Page 18: Studies show that from age 30 on, women exhibit greater faith maturity than men.

    Page 18: Can males be the only spiritual leaders when so many do not continue to grow in their faith? (Typical question format)

    Page 18: Church cannot and must not ignore changes of last four generations; we must continue to study and discuss.

    Page 18: We might (typical qualifier) find that were incorrect or incapable of undestanding what God has been saying to us.

    Page 18: We may (typical qualifier) be resisting God’ direction for the church.

    Page 18: List of author’s concerns: single mothers, poverty, absent fathers, violence in home, addictions, respect of sexuality, pornography

    Page 19: Male/female issues are being addressed by Law (posed as a question). Barna study says Law does not work.

    Page 20: “There is still an elephant in the room that I have not acknowledged. Is all this about ordination of women? No. And yes…As an individual, this has not been my main interest: it is not a calling I have felt.” Author’s concern is about helping women and men to be all God created them to be. Author is studying Scripture focusing on rationale used to resist women in authority.

    Page 21: Bold Type: I am absolutely convinced that WITHOUT THE VOICE OF WOMEN, THE CHURCH IS NOT HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD.

    Page 20: Gratitude to Different Voices, Shared Vision. Sadly, Mary Todd et al are seen as rebels.

    Page 22-23: Bibliography of mostly secular, sociological and psychological articles (except for maybe Mary Todd).

  36. @wrl #41

    > I don’t think that generation realizes how much the younger folks want nothing to do with their fading dreams and disastrous experiments of the 60’s. We really, really don’t. Give us our Bibles, our Confessions, and our grandfather’s church

    You are so right. Everything that the CG hucksters roll out with the idea that they are up to date with the latest fad – isn’t. They lose on both counts: being faithful to the Word (the one that counts) and looking cool (what they are trying to do).

  37. I might add that feminist theory is not the only bad ingredient here. For too long the Church has willingly absorbed the pseudo-sciences of psychology and sociology without examining their underlying tenants, sources, or validity. While there are some useful observations that these disciplines make, by and large they are more related to the arts and literature than to the sciences. Brunworth’s paper is 80% sociology and psychology, and 20% Bible (viewed through the lens of sociology). Look what psychology has wrought on the Church in terms of the the Church Growth, PLI, Dispute Resolution Process, youth ministries, etc. Everything is now about a discussion, like a therapy session.

  38. I find it extremely difficult to take comfort in a place that is constantly changing, shifting or under doubt-filled self-examination. I want something rock solid to which I can anchor.

    These folks, and someone here said it very well, who are really asking “Did God REALLY say…?” are robbing me and others of the security God offers in His Word. They are stealing from others for their own self-gratification.

    We need to stand up with one very loud voice and answer their question with, “YES, HE DID!!!” Then we should quietly add, “So if you can’t read, go back to the second grade and try it again.”

  39. Who is supporting ordination of women and the denial of the order of creation?

    http://www.daystarnet.org/

    http://www.day-star.net

    There used to be also the “Different Voices, Shared Vision” group.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20080418034217/http://www.voicesvision.org/

    http://web.archive.org/web/20080317205224/www.voicesvision.org/learn.html
    http://web.archive.org/web/20070529130601/www.voicesvision.org/readmore2.html

    Also there is support in the more conservative, but charismatic quarters of the LCMS. So it is a coalition primarily of Gospel Reductionists and charismatics in the LCMS. Which shouldn’t be surprising. Gospel reductionism has some affinity with gnosticism, while charismatics have affinity with ancient Montanism.

    But the tactic is to give the duties of the office out without the titles or ordination – communion assistants, lectors, elders, congregational presidents, women doing children’s sermons, etc. The JesusFirst organization has seemed to be more incremental than DayStar.

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