Can an LCMS Pastor Rightly Share the Altar to which He is Called with a Female “Pastor?” by Pr. Tim Rossow

Last Sunday, August 28, Charlene M. Cox was installed as the University Pastor of Valparaiso University, a university affiliated with the LCMS but not one of the official LCMS schools. (Here is a link to the press release from the university.)

Pastor James Wetzstein is listed in the LCMS church worker roster as an Associate Pastor at the university. He is now serving alongside and sharing the pulpit from which he preaches the pure Gospel and the altar from which he administers the Lord’s Supper according to Christ’s command, with a woman, which is of course against Christ’s command.

Can a rightly teaching and preaching pastor serve in such a capacity? I suppose there might be some instances where a rightly teaching pastor might find himself interacting and even working with a female “pastor” – on a board of directors of a pan Lutheran institution or something like that – although such service must be carefully scrutinized. To share an altar and pulpit with a woman “pastor” is clearly against Christ’s command.

Christ in his word says:

As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. I Corinthians 15

And He says

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. I Timothy 2:12

The LCMS has an odd relationship withValparaisothrough the years. It is affiliated with the LCMS but does not submit to the policies of the LCMS and openly rejects the inerrant teaching of Scripture on several counts.

So now the remaining question is what shall be done about this? It is wrong for the LCMS to simply look the other way. It is time for the LCMS to officially denounce the false teaching at Valparaiso, ask for repentance, and if none is exhibited, abolish all ties to the university and pull our LCMS clergy out of service at their altar and pulpit.

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