Capitalism & Heresy – 500 Bucks gets you a Seat at the Women’s Ordination Conference, by Pr. Rossow

How would you like to join others in the LCMS for a conference geared toward developing an overture for  the 2013 LCMS convention to ordain women? It will only cost you $500 to attend! But wait, there’s more. The conference is out on the central great plains, in Norman, Oklahoma in the dead of winter. Could it get any better than that?

Yes, it can. The conference is being held at the US Postal Service’s National Center for Employee Development. I bet they have a really nice pool! But we’re not done yet. I’m sorry, there’s no ginsu knife added in (although at this point I am glad I don’t have one in my hand – I fear what I might do with it to rescue me from this pain) but there is a special add-on package for your spouse OR YOUR COMPANION for a mere $249. (Yes, I did say “your companion.”) I thought the people who ran these kind of things were socialists but it turns out they make the people at Bain Capital and Haliburton Inc. look like amateur capitalists.

I am not making this up. Click here for verification of this tantalizing deal by which you can join in all the fun of truly transforming the LCMS.

Here is the actual description of the event:

Conversations 2013 is the place where people who care about the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod will gather to begin conversations about the ordination of women in the LCMS.

Our purpose is to foster open conversation about the Holy Scriptures, and our understanding of God’s Word as it pertains to women and the Office of Holy Ministry.  We seek a truly open conversation where professional church workers can participate without the threat of church discipline or job loss looming over their heads.

Since when was the Scriptural requirement of doctrinal purity turned into a matter of jobs and employment. This is not a matter of job security. This is a matter of upholding the Word of truth.

Attendees at this conference, need to be asked if they uphold the Scriptural and synodical position on ordination. If they do not they need to be patiently shown Christ’s position on this. If they do not accept the Word of Christ then they have excluded themselves from fellowship with the orthodox church.

I’ve got a better idea. For $65 and the cost of hotel room for the night you can come to Naperville in February for the BJS conference and get a lot better food, some great parties and instead of holding discussion groups designed by Satan to undo the Word of Christ, we will give you speakers who will build you up in His Word!

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord…

 

 

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

Capitalism & Heresy – 500 Bucks gets you a Seat at the Women’s Ordination Conference, by Pr. Rossow — 128 Comments

  1. Rev. McCall, you appear to have a bit of a reading problem.

    Note I said:

    “**If it was not such a serious matter,** it would be funny to think that any actually ingenuous person thinks that the KOINONIA project is such that The LCMS have said everything is “open season” when it comes to LCMS doctrine. That was never the intention.”

    Willis, if you are going to criticize what I post, at least do us both the favor of actually reading my comments before weighing in.

    Just a thought.

  2. Rev. Paul T. McCain :

    I think the publicity given to this event here will probably generate more interest in this little storm in a tea cup than anything the actual event would hope to provide.

    In the world of the internet, we call that the “Streisand Effect”. 🙂

  3. @Rev. Paul T. McCain #1
    it would be funny to think that any actually ingenuous person thinks that the KOINONIA project is such that The LCMS have said everything is “open season” when it comes to LCMS doctrine. That was never the intention.”

    That may not have been Harrison’s “intention” but there are some Texans on the original committee who do not encourage optimism as to the eventual outcome.
    And that an [unordained puppy](?) should hold a “conference on women’s ordination” in Oklahoma is perhaps no surprise. The Ambassador (for I forget what; Rick will know) at CTX will find it convenient to drop in and meet old friends and supporters, I should guess.
    [PTM, I am not so “childlike and naive” as I used to be about church leadership… at any level.] I live in Texas now. “Test against Scripture.”

    If open season on LCMS doctrine is “not the intention”
    why isn’t this anti Scriptural travesty nipped in the bud?

  4. @Rev. Paul T. McCain #1
    *Sigh*
    Your words:

    “I don’t mean to sound dismissive, but honestly, this is really not as big a deal as might be assumed it is from the furor here on BJS.
    This is a very tiny little group, of no significance, influence or otherwise.”

    I believe I start off my post: “This is a big deal…”
    I agree with you that it is not funny. Perhaps you should heed your advice and read the posts more carefully as well. I know you like to argue for the sake of arguing, but seriously.

  5. Helen #4, it’s the Presidential Ambassador for [CTX] Mission Advancement. The job description is to “nurture and expand existing relationships with congregations, organizations, foundations and individuals to support Concordia in its mission of developing Christian leaders while conducting necessary outreach to foster new relationships for the advancement of the University.”

    “If open season on LCMS doctrine is “not the intention” why isn’t this anti Scriptural travesty nipped in the bud?”

    No bud-nipping; such anti-Scriptural travesty needs a solid steel-toe boot kick in the keister.

  6. PHW :
    I don’t understand why they just don’t go E?CA or NALC. WHy do they insist on infecting the LCMS with this heterodoxy?

    One reason why, I think, is because theological liberals believe they have to help us poor dumb theological conservatives to come around to their enlightened/rationalistic view of the Scriptures. This is “their” synod just as much as anyone else’s. Never-mind our clear theological statements which speak against women’s ordination. They believe they belong here and they are going to help us all. Indeed, we either must accept their views and tolerate them, and then finally accept them, or they will “welcome” us outside the synod once they take over. In other words, we will get the left foot of fellowship out the door, if they manage to win their victories.

  7. Jim Pierce :In other words, we will get the left foot of fellowship out the door, if they manage to win their victories.

    Yes, and for a foretaste of the evil feast to come, witness LHM kicking Pastor Schulz out, President Kieshcnick kicking Issues, Etc. out, and that DP kicking ULC’s congregation out.

  8. @Scott Dart #25
    We once used these same texts to prohibit woman suffrage in the church. We once used these same texts to prohibit women from serving in congregational office. We once used these same texts to prohibit women from teaching, both in Christian Day School and in Sunday School. We’ve examined our position multiple times in the past, and found that we were wrong.

    Have you considered that perhaps, in some of those former discussions, we were wrong about having been wrong in the past?

  9. Jim Pierce :

    One reason why, I think, is because theological liberals believe they have to help us poor dumb theological conservatives to come around to their enlightened/rationalistic view of the Scriptures. P>

    However we have agreed to a set of rules that we are bound to follow. We vowed that we believe and confess the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God and the only infallible rule of faith and practice; that we believe and confess the three Ecumenical Creeds, namely the Apostles’, the Nicene, and the Athanasian Creeds, as faithful testimonies to the truth of the Holy Scriptures, and reject all the errors which they condemn; and we confess the Unaltered Augsburg Confession to be a true exposition of Holy Scripture and a correct exhibition of the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church; that we confess that the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Small and Large Catechisms of Martin Luther, the Smalcald Articles, the Treatise on the Authority and Primacy of the Pope, and the Formula of Concord—as these are contained in the 1580 Book of Concord—are also in agreement with this one scriptural faith.

    The issues which these documents cover in great detail have already been decided and we agreed to abide by them. The only way to bring these into discussion is to “suspend the rules.” To suspend the rules is to declare that we are no longer Lutheran.

  10. @Rev. Paul T. McCain #9
    Dear Paul (I say that because it seems we are now on a first name basis), I am curious, why the sudden switch to calling me by my first name? Have you recently learned it and are eager to show me you figured it out? I would have gladly told you had you asked! 🙂
    -Rev. Willis McCall
    Resurrection Lutheran Church
    Fredericksburg, TX

  11. @Jim Pierce #11
    This is “their” synod just as much as anyone else’s. Never-mind our clear theological statements which speak against women’s ordination.

    Oh, it’s more theirs than ours, in their mind. After all, we haven’t been here 100 years with 3 generations of pastors in our family.

    [Never mind that we may know something about the arsenic in the grass on the other side of the fence, from having been there first, (before the poison was sprayed around, too!)]
    And never mind that we came here to be Lutheran, and we don’t appreciate the nest being fouled with liberal ‘stuff’ now that we’ve arrived. Never mind that their “3 generations” put the BOC on the top shelf to gather dust as soon as they got out of seminary. 🙁
    (They must have, or their women would know they were spouting nonsense!)

  12. @Pastor Tim Rossow #32

    > church polity and the voters assembly are adiaphora

    Dear Pastor,

    Many generations of the best teachers thought otherwise, until pressure from within and without won in a confusing and contradictory resolution in 1969, just coincidentally corresponding to a decades-long wave of feminism.

    What about in the case of a pastoral call, or an excommunication?

    Thank you and blessings.

  13. @mbw #18
    What about in the case of a pastoral call, …?

    In the last congregation I was in where that came up, the women had a more Lutheran view than the men, but the women didn’t vote there.

  14. @mbw #18

    @Pastor Tim Rossow #32

    And before somebody makes the point that voter assemblies are an Americanism, et c, et c, I am talking about church governance in general being the province of GROWN LAY MEN.

    And, respectfully, a pragmatic question for you Pastor TR. I think things are going well at your congregation, but in general, attendance and participation on the part of men in churches is in trouble. What better way to discourage them than to concentrate power in a small council and render the voters impotent (and I use that word quite intentionally).

    Who can argue that Walther’s all-male voter assemblies were a bad thing, all things considered now? He’s accused of being infatuated with the American political system, but he did cite Scripture to support his polity.

    The current trends concentrating power in the hands of small circles in our churches (where a few in the inner circle control everything, nobody knows anything, nobody asks any hard questions) emulate political and corporate trends NO LESS than Walther’s system, and are easily seen as conducive to iniquity and corruption.

    I will assert that even without a New-Testament-specified polity (and see above — Walther sees congregational voting in the NT), giving MORE people a voice that matters (the ability to demand information, and to vote) in a GENDER-APPROPRIATE way, is moral and Scriptural.

  15. MBW,

    You are arguing with the wrong guy. I am a proponent of the voters assembly.

    Concerning the call and excommunication however, neither make your point. Walther teaches that the pastor excommunicates and that no parish should disallow non-voters from “voting” to call a pastor.

    Walther and I agree with you that lay participation in decision making is exemplified in the New Testament (Acts 1 and Acts 6 specifically) but that does not necessitate the voters assembly.

    The voters assembly is the best thing that I have seen for upholding the Scriptural notion of lay involvment in decision making but I would never say that the voters assembly is Scriptural.

  16. The thing that actually concerns me more about this group is not what they are proposing, but what they deny that they are proposing. One example is part of their exegetical documents that include references to evolution being the basis for their “Order of Redemption” that supersedes the “Order of Creation.” Calling them on it results in spin that states that all they want is a conversation, however, with that conversation there has to be reassurances of no discipline, no loss of jobs, in other words, no consequences. If the conversation is that needed for catechesis, I might understand. However, I am concerned about how they are going about this. Furthering the concern is the issue of the constant accusation that if we don’t agree to the conversation (and underneath that, to all of their terms) is that we are afraid. This is a out of the same tactic book that forced our society to accept gay/lesbian rights, birth control/abortion rights, even acceptance of all other religions aside from Christianity. It’s a strong arm tactic, which might explain why there is so much push back against it. If they want to have the “conversation”, they must show the same good faith they expect.

  17. Pastor Tim Rossow :Rev. Steven B,
    Good point! As Bishop Pittelko says: every pastor is a bishop!

    I don’t know about Pittelko but I’ve always heard that all LCMS senior and sole pastors were bishops.

  18. @Pastor Tim Rossow #21

    Hi Pastor – I am not really intending to argue with you!

    But, while not really qualified to prove it (though in some sense striving to be an involved lay man [see above]) I am not comfortable with y’all (and you are in extremely good company) saying the voters are an adiaphoron. It just rolls off the tongue, or fingers, too easily for me, when the way I was “brought up” (at an age of 30+), and what the synod did, justifying it on Scripture and pious tradition, was to bar women from the vote. I REALLY don’t want to offend you, nor others much higher up who have said exactly the same thing to me, but you-all are newcomers to that question, and I trust the old ones (who are dead) on this issue.

    Nobody has ever overturned the Scriptural arguments the old ugly dead guys used to uphold male-only suffrage.

    Yes I know the pastor pronounces excommunication, but the only one I’ve been involved in was voted on too.

  19. @Pastor Tim Rossow #21

    > Walther and I agree with you that lay participation in decision making is exemplified in the New Testament (Acts 1 and Acts 6 specifically) but that does not necessitate the voters assembly.

    A fine technical point, but allow me to simplify and focus and hold out only two options
    – the prior practice of the (properly qualified) “authoritative” or “supreme” voters
    – the current corporate power-concentration practice of a small council or board holding the power.

    In the current practice, which follows corporate and political trends no less than Walther’s (and I use “Walther’s” as a code word for the accepted practice before feminism won) the lay men are not properly charged with their responsibilities, and are not even allowed them. But it’s backfiring and getting worse.

    It would take a lot of humility to admit that the 1969 decision was wrong. What has surprised me more recently is that your generation, and later, does not consider it even an issue. But your position has to be, as a kind-of liberal DP told me once, “Walther was wrong.” And I say: burden of proof is on you.

  20. The most interesting thing, to me, is supporters of women’s ordination’s comparison to women’s suffrage within the LCMS. This shows a complete lack of understanding of the two kingdoms. Suffrage is certainly a Kingdom of the left issue and Ordination is definately a kingdom of the right issue. This seems to be a very common mistake among the evangelical-leaning people…Joel Olsteen, Beth Moore, Reggie McNeal and all of the supporters of the Ordination of Women. It seems that when the two kingdoms are mixed or their existence is not known or acknowledged, one cannot help to be theologically unsound. When this is coming from within the LCMS, I have to wonder at how well catechized these people are. Perhaps their pastor should taze them until they repent, or be tazed for not teaching the pure Word? 🙂

  21. Pastor Tim Rossow #32: “Concerning the issue of women’s suffrage it is important to realize that church polity and the voters assembly are adiaphora.”

    For the specified concern indicated, that is correct.

    However others should not mistakenly use the statement as an overgeneralization that all types or all aspects of church polity are adiaphora and are not part of orthopraxis. A 160-year-old document, which explains the Missouri Synod’s understanding of the doctrine of church and ministry under the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, includes some aspects of church polity that are connected to that doctrine.

  22. mbw :@Pastor Tim Rossow #21
    Hi Pastor – I am not really intending to argue with you!
    But, while not really qualified to prove it (though in some sense striving to be an involved lay man [see above]) I am not comfortable with y’all (and you are in extremely good company) saying the voters are an adiaphoron.
    Yes I know the pastor pronounces excommunication, but the only one I’ve been involved in was voted on too.

    I don’t think Voters Assemblies are adiaphora. I compare it to those people in the Bible who narrowed the choices of Judas’ successor to Justus and Matthias. It’s the congregation…

    LCMS requires that the congregations vote on excommunication. This is accepted by pastors as a condition of their membership in Synod.

  23. Robert Hoffman :The most interesting thing, to me, is supporters of women’s ordination’s comparison to women’s suffrage within the LCMS. This shows a complete lack of understanding of the two kingdoms.

    Some of the resources on the OWN page are also comparing it to racism.

  24. @Tim Schenks #29

    > LCMS requires that the congregations vote on excommunication. This is accepted by pastors as a condition of their membership in Synod.

    If this is not authority exercised by lay people, nothing is. Also, and I don’t think Pastor TR mentioned, though I did, the call of a pastor.

    Those two above are not “the color of the carpet” (the phrase used for a couple of generations to dismiss the whole question). Of course, the color of the carpet could be a spiritual decision too, but never mind that.

    “Authority” has to be properly qualified here and we all know that. So I hope nobody undermines the discussion by undermining the entire concept that sinful non-pastor humans are in fact making “authoritative” decisions.

    I am the only one, unfortunately, but I can’t miss two correlations
    – the feminist tide that was drowning us in 1969 and leading up to that time (and following it too)
    – the decline in lay male involvement over the same period

    These are “secular” trends (in two related senses of the word) but that does not make them right.

  25. @Tim Schenks #29

    > LCMS requires that the congregations vote on excommunication. This is accepted by pastors as a condition of their membership in Synod.

    If a new conservative “synod” arose, would it be hierarchical?

  26. Even on issues of church polity that are recognized as adiaphora, Missouri Synod Lutherans should also recall the words from the Solid Declaration, Article X, on Adiaphora:

    “10] We believe, teach, and confess also that at the time of confession, as when the enemies of the Word of God desire to suppress the pure doctrine of the holy Gospel,… [i]n such a case, we should not yield to adversaries, even in matter of indifference, nor should we tolerate the imposition of such ceremonies on us by adversaries in order to undermine the genuine worship of God and to introduce and confirm their idolatry by force or chicanery.

    “14] For here we are no longer dealing with external adiaphora, which in their nature and essence are and remain of themselves free and which accordingly are not subject either to a command or a prohibition, requiring us to use them or to discontinue them… Any coercion or commandment darkens and perverts this article because the adversaries will forthwith publicly demand such matters of indifference to confirm false doctrines, superstition, and idolatry and to suppress the pure doctrine and Christian liberty, or they will misuse them and misinterpret them in this direction.”

  27. @Robert Hoffman #27

    > two kingdoms.

    Do you really think Walther’s [NB code word!] understanding of that doctrine was inferior to your own?

    Also, I suspect the “two kingdoms” doctrine is being pushed WAY too far when it’s applied identically to church and civil decisions.

    Even true doctrine can be abused!

  28. MBW,

    I did mention the pastoral call. It is an adiaphoron for Walther that the voters assembly call the pastor. Walther teaches that if a member of the church is not a member of the voters assembly and wants to vote for a pastoral call, he is to be allowed to vote.

    Also, please note that no one on this string has said anything about a hierarchical polity and no one has advocated for a small group to be the caller of the pastor.

  29. @helen #19

    > In the last congregation I was in where that came up, the women had a more Lutheran view than the men, but the women didn’t vote there.

    I was in one church that had female suffrage but the pastor taught that it was wrong. It got really confusing when some ladies who believed him and supported him showed up to vote in his favor on something … Mrs. mbw still did not go.

    The situation you describe certainly happens and could be a mindbender. But, we are talking about what the normal practice and expectations should be.

  30. Tim S,

    As far as I know it is not an LCMS rule that the voters vote on excommunication. I am not sure where you got that from.

    I do know that the synod has given Walther’s Church and Ministry confessional status and in it Walther teaches that the pastor does the excommunicating but that he ought not to do it without notifying the congregation.

  31. @Pastor Tim Rossow #36

    Hi Pastor – thanks for that. Even the 1969 upheaval of the prior order stipulated, bafflingly, that women would be allowed to vote when it would not be an exercise of authority. I am only pointing out the clearest (and time-worn) cases when (as if they were ever not) the voters are exercising a kind of spiritual “authority.”

    Also, I did not say anyone had said that a new synod would be hierarchical. But are you here saying that it would not?

    Blessings. Not intending to _argue_ with you!

  32. @Rev. Paul T. McCain #39

    > Lutheran Confessions assume an episcopal system of church governance

    > Walther’s system of church governance is no better and certainly no worse than any other system.

    So, it’s both controversial, and obviously (see above) not controversial, to just ask if a new “synod” would be hierarchical!

    I love ya man, but I don’t know many leaders who I would want to burden (nor, honestly, trust) with even MORE concentration of power.

  33. Psst….the Small Catechism assumes pastors exercise the office of BOTH keys.

    Too bad some ignore that “minor” point.

  34. From Church and Ministry, C.F.W. Walther, tr. J. T. Mueller, CPH, 1987, p. 322):

    “Therefore, although the public enforcement of excommunication belongs to and must remain with the incumbents of the ministry of the Word, according to the Lord’s command and sacred institution, nevertheless, it must be carried out according to the Lord’s express command and order only after the whole congregation [die ganze Gemeinde] (that is the minister and hearer) has consider and made the final judicial decision [die letzte richterliche Entscheidung] on the matter.”

  35. @Carl Vehse #43

    This is how it happened in the one sad case I personally know of. In that case, the affected person did give an apology and was accepted back, only to transfer out immediately.

    This is all just theoretical claptrap from us theological hobbyists, of course (though you are of a higher order in this hobby than myself, no doubt). Theoretical because we know that the way people are ejected nowadays is that the power circle, not unthinkably including some hardass lawyer, makes it known informally to the subject that there will be a lot of trouble if he doesn’t quietly slip away.

  36. @Rev. Paul T. McCain #41
    When you’re right, you’re right Pastor McCain!
    If we don’t want to put our absolution to a vote of the supreme voter’s council, we should probably leave the binding key in our pastor’s hands as well.
    Pax Christi+,
    -Matt Mills

    (Any one for “I by virtue of a two thirds majority vote of the church council of St. Carl’s Lutheran Church, anywhere, MO, announce the grace of God unto all of you, and in the stead and by the command of my lord, the supreme voters assembly, I forgive you all your sins …”?)

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