Women in Combat: Common Questions and Frequently Raised Objections

Common Questions:


1. Women have already been serving in combat situations, why is this a big deal now?

It is now official. Women will be included in the draft. (see question 2 below) With the removal of the exclusion from combat clause by President Obama, there are now no legal grounds to exclude women from the draft. We need to speak and work against the remaking of our culture by the current administration.

2. We aren’t going to change the mind of the government, so why cause trouble?

We may not change the mind of the government. However, because it is now official government policy to include women in combat, there is now no legal foundation left for excluding women from the selective service (the draft). The matter has been determined. The Supreme Court’s legal reasoning to continue to exclude women from the selective service was established in 1981 in Rostker vs. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57. Women’s exclusion from the selective service was based upon their exclusion from combat. There are now no legal obstacles left between women and the draft! Changing the policy may well be out of reach, but we must now lay the legal foundation for securing the free exercise of our religious beliefs and an exemption for our daughters when the selective service (draft) is expanded to include women. Those who would have us wait until the selective service is forced upon women are in error and derelict in their duty to protect women.

3. Are you saying women aren’t allowed to defend themselves?

No. No one is saying that women aren’t to defend themselves or others if threatened. To oppose women in combat is precisely about strengthening the defense of women by refusing to purposefully send our daughters into combat.

4. What about the women who want to be in combat?

First, our purpose is not to impugn their motives. Motives and desires are not the issue. God has not called women to be warriors. It is not given to them to do. This burden falls upon men as the protectors of women. Any nation that revolts against creation by placing this burden upon women (whether they are willing or not) has thrust the bearers of life into being bearers of the sword.

5. What does opposing women in combat imply about other issues concerning men and women?

This issue may bring to mind other questions concerning men and women’s roles. Thankfully this does not prevent us from speaking unanimously on this issue. There is no need to insist on dealing with all of the complexities concerning male and female roles before speaking on women in combat. This is literally a life and death issue.

6. Where is this in the Bible?

Moses’ fourth book (Numbers) established the principle: only men are to be counted for warfare.  In cases of aggression, Israel’s army was to drive intruders back to their own cities, then extend an offer of peace. If this was not accepted, only men were put to the sword; women and children were to be excepted (Deut. 20:12-15)

Luther believed that Deut. 22:5 specifically prohibited women in combat. Advocates of women warriors often cite Judges 4 for support. In fact, this account is incomprehensible without the underlying presumption that men, not women, have the duty to go forth into combat. The Lord exposes the cowardice of Barak through Deborah and shames him by delivering the enemy leader into the hands of a woman, Jael. God sends neither woman into combat. The Lord declares particular scorn for women as warriors at several points in Holy Scripture (e.g. Isa 19:16; Jer 50:31, 51:30; Nah 3:13).

Every Christian theologian in the last 6,000 years has recognized and understood that God’s Word is absolutely clear that intrinsic to man’s vocation is the duty to protect women …from the creation account alone!

Christ confirms and fulfills the Old Testament, as the New Testament makes clear.  Just as Jesus gave up His Life, died, for His Bride, so also husbands should give up their lives, die, for their wives. (Ephesians 5:25) Having men lay down their lives for women is a reflection of Christ laying down His life for the Church.


Frequently Raised Objections:


1. It is not our business to tell the government what to do concerning women in combat.

Yes it is! We should not get into the business of commenting on everything the government does as some church bodies do. However, the church should be, and has been the prophetic voice to the king when the government perverts God’s order and justice. The church preaches out against the murder of unborn children, the attempts to redefine marriage, and now, with thousands of years of Christian consensus, that women should not be slaughtered on the battlefield. God clearly calls men to protect and if necessary lay down their lives for women!

Surely, if we as a church body have spoken out against the HHS mandate, the changes in the Boy Scouts, Aid to Africa, the repealing of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, we can certainly speak out on this assault on the natural lawthat even the pagan nations of history have rejected.

2. Let’s send it to the CTCR.

This wastes TIME and MONEY on a clear issue we don’t need to discuss further. The women of our synod, and our nation, deserve a timely response NOW!

3. Speaking out about women in combat will make it harder for our chaplains.

Yes, this is true. But I am confident that the courageous chaplains who are called as pastors by God to speak His Word, and as men to defend women, will meet this challenge with bravery through the grace of God .  They are well-practiced in speaking the bold truth in increasingly difficult situations. On the other hand, NOT speaking out about this WILL make it harder for our daughters. Even though the government is making it incredibly difficult for our chaplains, there is no excuse not to speak out on this issue. As a man, especially a man of God, it is unthinkable that our chaplains would want to put his struggles ahead of the women of our congregations and nation.

4. There is no clear Word of God on this issue. (see question 6 above for specific Scripture citations)

Some try to claim that this issue is in the realm of adiaphora, something neither commanded nor forbidden. Who in all honesty is going to deny that it is man’s duty to protect women, that a husband is to lay down his life for the sake of his bride, and that Adam’s vocation was not to protect Eve? If you are not willing to say that God has a clear word about women in combat, then there is no reason that the state shouldn’t draft women (which will happen since the exclusion of women from combat has been the only legal protection remaining). If this is adiaphora, or unclear, what you are saying is that if the state were to draft women, we would be wrong to resist such a godless order. If we do not oppose women in combat on biblical, theological grounds, we are saying that it would be a sin against the fourth commandment for fathers to keep their daughters from being drafted into war if the country so chose!

What would you tell your son if his sister offered to go die in his place? You would tell him that he was wrong. You would tell him to lay down his life for her. You would not just say it because most men are physically stronger. You would tell him not to be a coward, that God would have him lay down his life for her sake.


1. Read the Overture here: https://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=26814.

2. Read an excellent paper on Women in Combat: http://www.scribd.com/doc/124576882/Natural-Law-and-Women-in-Combat-By-HR-Curtis



About Pastor David Ramirez

Pastor Ramirez is the pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Union Grove, WI. He is a 2008 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary-Fort Wayne. In 2009, after staying another year at CTS as the Historical Theology Department’s graduate assistant, he was called to Zion Lutheran Church in Lincoln, IL and ordained into the office of the holy ministry. Some of his particular interests are the teaching of Bible History and youth work.


Women in Combat: Common Questions and Frequently Raised Objections — 35 Comments

  1. It’s obvious that women have no place in the military (or any other profession for that matter). Here’s a quote from Luther that might help us in our discussion:

    The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes. – Works 12.94

  2. @#4 Kitty #1

    Kitty, as a combat veteran I can say with absolute certainty that women should not be in combat. Their bodies and minds just aren’t mad for the stresses of prolonged combat. That in addition to the drama they add to a military unit provides all the evidence for me that they should not be allowed in front line units.

    I’ll leave the question of whether they should be allowed in the military at all to others.

  3. #4 kitty is a theological and cultural/political liberal who has openly advocated for abortion (the murder of unborn children) and homosexuality here and elsewhere in the blogosphere. She has also openly blasphemed the Holy Scriptures by calling them “outright forgeries”: https://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=27294&cpage=1#comment-808297

    She claims to be a member of the LCMS out of “entertainment”: https://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=31797#comment-834386

    Most of the comments she posts on BJS contain outright mockery and sarcasm, like the comment she left here. She leaves these comments in order to be “entertained” by any responses we might give. This is called “internet trolling”. She has never engaged in legitimate discussion on any topic here at BJS.

    I request that Pr. Rossow and the other moderators stop allowing here to abuse the comment feature here at BJS. Randoms trolls greatly lower the quality of any online thread they invade. The only solution is to delete their comments and ban them from commenting.

    I also request that the moderators do an IP trace and try to find out who #4 kitty really is, what LCMS church she (or he) attends (if any), and who the pastor of that church is. If she is really a member of an LCMS church, then this is a matter of church discipline, since the person in question supports abortion and homosexuality, and denies the full inspiration, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture.

  4. @Mike #5

    The liberals who stay behind in the LCMS (or any other Confessional or conservative denomination) do so because they consider themselves on a personal mission to remake the denomination in their own image, no matter how long it takes. That is what Matthew Becker, Karl Wyneken, David Domsch, David Benke, Paul Linnemann, and others on our clergy roster are doing as well. Jim Pierce wrote more on this here: https://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=9017

    All institutions are targets for infiltration and subversion by radicals, and the Church is among the first of these targets. These are basic Saul Alinsky tactics: http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/communism/alinsky.htm

    You’ll notice that Saul Alinsky wrote: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”

    That is exactly what #4 kitty is doing, and why I argue that she (or he) should not be allowed to abuse the commenting feature any longer.

  5. Back to the actual topic of the post, here is an absolute goldmine of articles on this subject in case anyone missed it: http://bible-researcher.com/women/women-in-combat.html

    “O ye subverters of all decency, who use men, as if they were women, and lead out women to war, as if they were men! This is the work of the devil, to subvert and confound all things, to overleap the boundaries that have been appointed from the beginning, and remove those which God has set to nature. For God assigned to woman the care of the house only, to man the conduct of public affairs. But you reduce the head to the feet, and raise the feet to the head. You suffer women to bear arms, and are not ashamed.” —John Chrysostom (AD 344-407), Homily on Titus.

  6. @J. Dean #4
    You wound me, sir!

    I agree with the good Pastor’s post and even attach a quote from jolly ol’ Luther himself and yet I am the target of scorn. sigh

    I call myself a Lutheran because I was baptized a Lutheran. (As an aside, I was baptized in the Catholic church as well ~my father was Catholic). I endured eleven years in the Lutheran education system. I was confirmed and I am a member of and regularly attend an LCMS congregation. Why shouldn’t I call myself Lutheran?

  7. #4 Kitty :@J. Dean #4
    I call myself a Lutheran because I was baptized a Lutheran. (As an aside, I was baptized in the Catholic church as well ~my father was Catholic). I endured eleven years in the Lutheran education system. I am a member of and regularly attend an LCMS church. Why shouldn’t I call myself Lutheran?

    Because you are an apostate, you deny the Faith, you blaspheme God’s Word, and you support the torture and murder of society’s most innocent victims (abortion). That is why you are not a Lutheran and you are not a Christian. You are antichrist. If you do not repent, you will go to Hell.

    btw, a Lutheran church would not re-baptize someone who had already received Trinitarian Baptism in a Roman Catholic church.

  8. @Nicholas #11

    “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).

    Take care in your approach, brother. Who ever “Kitty” is, he or she is Christ’s baptized child. We want to restore our brothers and sisters who have fallen. Yes, give the law, don’t forget the gospel.

  9. #4 Kitty :@J. Dean #4 You wound me, sir!
    I agree with the good Pastor’s post and even attach a quote from jolly ol’ Luther himself and yet I am the target of scorn.

    A quote taken out of context is not a quote, as Carl pointed out. And continued sarcasm only further proves your insincerity in commenting.

    All, another example of this individual’s blatant trolling is when she compared BJS to the Westboro Baptist Church: https://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=27772&cpage=2#comment-812256

    She apologized only after I reported her comment, and apologized only so that the administrators would allow her to continue commenting.

  10. Though not a combat vet, I did serve in the US Army (combat arms) just b4 the 1st Gulf War. I recall several unbelievable, yet overlooked incidents the 3 weeks I did spend doing light infantry training with women integrated into the platoon ( ROTC Camp at Ft. Bragg). The two most egregious, and dispiriting incidents were:

    1) One cannot hear a woman give commands with gunfire going off in a simulated attack (by the 82nd Airborne as the Opfor) with mere rifles and heavy MG’s. I can only imagine how impossible it is to hear a woman with live rounds coming in! As Jeff surely concurs, seconds count in combat and hesitancy, or misunderstandings of orders will quickly fill body bags.

    2) On long, and even not so long marches, the men often had to tote the ladies’ weapons and ammo. If a guy were that weak, he would be toast with his comrades. Double standards in a combat unit can kill morale. No, I take that back, “Double standards in a combat unit WILL kill morale.”

    There were other issues and incidents, but I will stop here.

  11. While everyone speaks of the ills of women in combat, and how it is wrong…. No one speaks of everything else that women do, that is wrong. These days females are males, and males are nothing. Our government daily enforces it to be this way. Yet no one says or does anything. No one dares speak a word of ill when it comes to what women are doing to the world. When a governement enforces indentured serivtude on part of its citizens and everyone thinks that’s ok, you have to wonder about those citizens. When a man has 0% reproductive rights, and a women has 100%…and everyone thinks that ok. You have to wonder. If you have the time google “five monkeys experiment”. You’ll learn why men do what they do. As for going to war while women stay home. Once upon time yes, there are few women anymore. Lots of females, and they don’t deserve to be protected.

  12. I guess, I’m still wondering: why the urgency? Why the rush?

    I see the legal picture that is painted in the original post. But no one I know / have heard of wants the draft any time soon (or ever again).

    So is this a moment for “confessing” that perhaps isn’t? In other words, for the forseeable future, we’re dealing with individual women who want to serve in combat, not with masses of “daughters” who will be drafted by Pres. Obama (or Gen. Dempsey) knocking on our doors.

    This is not to say this is not an important issue or that “volunteering” for something makes it always good. But we should have the time to study carefully the whole counsel of God on this issue. As the original post suggested, this issue (and also Luther’s complete comment on Deut. 22:5: “weapon bearing” is neither the same as “being in combat roles” nor is it synonymous to “wearing the things of a man” — the first is wider than the second but narrower than the third: the second is an application of the first which is an application of the third) raises a whole host of other issues that need to be carefully considered and then taught.

    I’m concerned that we, as a Synod, are falling into a breathless cycle of needing to crank out responses to whatever momentous change we encounter in society (HHS, Boy Scouts, you name it). This entirely reactive mode of existence is not helpful because it short-circuits thorough theological reflection and doctrinal instruction in the congregations of our Synod.

    Surely, for people who’ve done the work on this or any other pressing (social) issue, the matter might be “clear” and involving the CTCR might look like a waste of time and money (as if the draft were right around the corner, in this case — but it ain’t). But we also have to consider that consciences are involved here, as always, that need to be instructed by God’s Word over time and not simply be told what to believe now.

    Even if any related resolution passes at the convention, I doubt it will have much of an impact on the daily lives of our congregations and congregants — precisely because the matter was presented with such urgency: “ACT NOW or your daughters will soon be strewn over some far-away battlefield, drafted into service by Pres. Obama or one of his successors!”

    I think Luther’s example, as opposed to Karlstadt’s, should guide us in our decision making.

  13. One must remember that many countries in the world today already have women in combat roles. USA may not be the last, but Women have asked for these roles and now will serve in them like it or not.

    The church has no influence over our changing culture, as you have seen over the past Decades.

    Women have proven themselves as combat veterans, and given their lives in many roles in the Military, and service of our country, as well as others in the world.

    You can jump up and down all you want, Congress approved it and the President signed it into law. In that case its the law of the land, just like gay issue.

    You may not like it, but now you have to get over it and live with it. I think women have fought in wars, for as long as we have have had them.

    I just hope the next time we have a war that the draft will be imposed, so those troops won’t be serving time and time again, and time again. If anything it proved that the volunteer Armed Forces was misused, in many ways.

    May God Bless them all! They deserve our support, and the Church needs to support them 100%.

    My 2 cents.

  14. Marc from Cincy :
    2) On long, and even not so long marches, the men often had to tote the ladies’ weapons and ammo. If a guy were that weak, he would be toast with his comrades. Double standards in a combat unit can kill morale. No, I take that back, “Double standards in a combat unit WILL kill morale.”

    This is the other example of how the radical feminists do not want equal rights — they want more. This is not just anecdotal, but policy: the official physical fitness standards for ladies in the military are less than the standards for men. If that standard is sufficient to win the battle, then make it the standard for men, too.

  15. @Pastor Ted Crandall #20
    The military also has different standards for age groups, not just “for ladies:” As a 40+ year old, I don’t have to run as fast as the 20 year olds anymore. That’s policy too. You can also call it a double standard. Good? Bad? Indifferent?

    But really, physical fitness is only one component of a good soldier. In a good unit, everybody brings something different to the table. I think that’s understood by soldiers and leaders in the military.

    In other words, female soldiers falling out on ruck marches isn’t really a theological argument against women in the military / combat. Turns out, some females do better than some couch-potato male recruit. Also, combat missions are constantly evolving, not always requiring that 150lbs ruck for everybody.

    The pragmatic argument (they can’t do it, therefore they shouldn’t do it) doesn’t lead to a principled response in the matter. It’s like arguing against women pastors based on the natural volume of their voices. Maybe not bad, but also not really decisive. An auxiliary argument at best.

  16. This is the other example of how the radical feminists do not want equal rights — they want more. This is not just anecdotal, but policy: the official physical fitness standards for ladies in the military are less than the standards for men. If that standard is sufficient to win the battle, then make it the standard for men, too.

    Here here.

    The actual number of women who can meet the minimum physical standards for men is tiny. Those women who can meet them can or do make their living as professional athletes. Men who can’t meet those standards are not only not fit but likely have health problems which may be as simple as obesity but may also just not be particularly healthy. Such conditions definitely affect performance.

    I just want to make one other point about what women want. Psychologically women are more of followers in general. If society tells them that they want x, then they believe it and say it themselves. Yes, men do this, too, but not at the same rate. Women do it more. When women were told they wanted marriage and families, that is what they said themselves. Now they are told they don’t want that until later in life and they repeat the line they are given. I have played this game.

    As far as military combat goes, including women is really just a jobs program. You can send two men to do a job or two men and one woman or two men and three women, or two men and ten women, but you still have to have two men. Obviously, there are plenty of support roles women can do efficiently, and there are exceptions, but exceptions cannot be scaled. Just as not all men are Einstein, not all women are Lyudmila Pavlichenko.

    The few radical rabble rousers are basically spoiled bored rich women. Sorry, but it is true, just check the history. Anyway, they are just after power. They want into combat roles so they can be generals, not soldiers. Without combat open to them, they can’t climb the ladders of power. Now that we have women’s lib, we do not see women going into all those extremely necessary occupations traditionally held by men because the radical women’s libbers never wanted those jobs, and regular women never wanted any of this. So, no, you don’t see women clamoring to work in coal mines or construction or sanitation on in the oil fields, etc. Those jobs are necessary and pay well, so why don’t the radical women go apply so they can have equal pay for equal work? Well, because they never wanted that. It just sounded good.

    They want power and prestige. They want to be generals. Just think of them as a bunch of Jefferts-Schori types, because that is who they are. And they are not interested in defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. They are pure will to power sorts and their loyalty is not to the citizens of this country.

  17. @#4 Kitty #15
    My apologies if I misunderstood you on this point, but on several posts you seem to take positions that don’t line up with historic Christianity. If you have been being satirical, then I truly apologize, as I don’t read sarcasm, sir (ma’am?)

  18. A note on Judges 4: There’s a big difference between a woman leading an army as a ruler, e.g. Deborah or Boudicca, and her actually fighting in combat.

  19. @Don #19
    But that doesn’t mean that we can’t discuss it and oppose it. (Just because everybody else is jumping over a cliff doesn’t mean that we should).

    I’ll also point out that with the possible exception of the Israeli military who, the last that I heard, withdrew their women from combat positions because of the very ground that we’ve been citing, very few other armies in the world actually do much fighting. The U.S. has been handling the bulk of the ground work around the world. When it comes down to boots-on-the-ground, we’ll see how well these other countries actually do.

  20. I pay close attention to everything Dr. Sonntag says because he is usually right. I think it’s right that as we attempt to address the orders of creation that we are careful not to destroy consciences. Feminism has shaped the moral vision of our society for several generations and so it will be difficult to avoid injuring weak consciences in rooting it out of the church.

    However I think Pastor Ramirez is prescient to choose this particular manifestation of feminism as a time to speak. It is unlikely that we will have a clearer example with which to teach people in our churches to recognize the falsehood that is behind so many of the battles in the culture war right now. The falsehood is a denial that God created man male and female in the image of God and said “it is very good.”

    It is a perversion of God’s order when two men form a household and call it “marriage.” We still sort of recognize it as a perversion to have a woman ordained and exercise authority in the church. But we don’t recognize it on the same grounds that the synod’s fathers did. In Walther and Pieper’s reading of Scriptures women were not to preach not simply because God had restricted the pastoral office to men but because God had given leadership in the home, state, and church to men. In Adam’s case all three were joined in one office.

    Adam was derelict in his duty toward Eve because he did not defend her spiritually, by opposing the serpent’s words with the word of the Lord. But he was also called to defend Eve physically, stepping between her and the serpent and protecting her bodily.

    Everyone in a bible class instantly recognizes it as sin and cowardice when Abraham has Sarah lie for him and pretend to be his sister and allows her to be taken into the house of Pharaoh and Abimelech and potentially raped.

    The reality is that we have been derelict in our society as regards the obligation of men toward women in a multitude of ways (and vice versa, it’s true). The wages of this has been the dissolution of the family as the fundamental unit in our society. The emptying out of our congregations is not unrelated to our failure to teach and insist on the holy vocations of husband and father and wife and mother.

    Putting women into combat is only the most egregious example of this rejection of the orders of creation. But I think it is one that people are still likely to recognize. So I think Pastor Ramirez is right to choose to speak loudly now, about this issue. Otherwise at what time are we likely, really, to ever begin to deal with these issues? And even if we did, and the CTCR put out a study that didn’t mince words, who would really pay attention?

    We cannot afford to wait another generation before beginning to address this issue. Generations to come will eventually reject the follies we have been tolerating from feminism because they will cause such pain and havoc for them that it will no longer be tolerable.

    When that day comes, those generations will return to religion, and one of their main concerns will be to find one that speaks God’s law truthfully and not simply what people want to hear. And I am pretty certain that when this happens future generations will hate protestants for being complicit in the destruction of society, and for knowing what God said in the Scripture and not warning them.

  21. Amen, Pastor Hess! You have said with a rapier, what I have been saying with a baseball bat.

    This is one of those things you just can’t not know. You can only fool yourself or ignore the obvious. It is hard to amaze me when it comes to the decadent modern world, but I can hardly believe how deeply even conservative Christians have drunk from the wells of feminism.

    But even that being true, I question the manhood of any man willing to purposely send a woman into battle. It boggles the mind! Those of you who aren’t sure that your daughter should not be allowed to be sent into battle, how can you consider yourself gentlemen?

    We don’t need careful study, we need to confess that which has been obvious to all Christians [and even pagan countries!] in the history of the world (and unthinkable even in the modern West up until a few decades ago!) — you don’t send women into war as combatants. The distinction between combatants and noncombatants is a fundamental aspect of just war.

    Maybe, I mean, I know this is a crazily zany idea, but maybe the push for women going into combat arising at the same time as the long march of feminism through the institutions of the West has…wait for it…something to do with one another.

    Sorry to all of you super smart arguers who have tricked (fooled) yourselves into believing that we need the equivalent of a G8 meeting to resolve this dilemma. Studying this is akin to reports such as “Cellphone Use Linked to Selfish Behavior” or “Internet Use May Result in Shorter Attention Span” or go here if you haven’t quite yet caught on:


    (My personal fave is “Sleep Deprivation Makes You Tired”)

    Let’s act and confess like men and follow the Lord, and our forefathers, on this one. Men are called by God to protect women. It is NOT given for women to be purposefully sent into combat. Period.

  22. As a former active duty (and now reserve) submarine officer, it pains me to think that as a society we have gotten to the point that we should send our women to fight for us. As a husband and father, I would be derelict in my duties if I sent my wife or daughters to fight off an intruder. It certainly goes against the order of creation as well as the example that Christ gave to the church–He fought the battle against the devil for His bride the church. He didn’t stand back and send us in and say, “Good luck!”

  23. @Rev. Karl Hess #27
    The second resolved of the original resolution circulated by Pr. Ramirez here on BJS spoke of our “conscientious objection.” For an objection to be conscientious it has to be based on a conscience that has been brought to agree with God’s Word. This agreement is often not reached instantaneously. As Lutherans, we believe in resistible grace. That’s why Luther preached long and hard before instituting any changes in his congregation.

    I agree with you, this is probably as good a “teachable” moment as any on the roles of the sexes. Let’s put it to good use by actually teaching the church and not just ramming something down the throat of Christ’s bride by way of a convention resolution that had a limited amount of pre-convention discussion in the Synod at large and that, despite Pr. Ramirez’s concerns regarding the draft, has currently limited applicability to the vast majority of our members.

    You wrote: “Otherwise at what time are we likely, really, to ever begin to deal with these issues? And even if we did, and the CTCR put out a study that didn’t mince words, who would really pay attention?” Again, now is a great time to begin this conversation in earnest. And if people don’t pay attention to a good, clear study of God’s Word on the matter, what else can we do as Christ’s church other than remaining steadfast in our teaching?

    Luther often faced that problem. This is why he simply said: I’ve done my duty to teach you. If you want to be a Christian, you know what I’m saying is right. If you want to do your own thing, go right ahead. I won’t, and really can’t, prevent you from doing that if you choose to ignore God’s clear word.

    Again, people’s rejection of God’s Word is nothing new, but “situational urgency” will not add more Spirit to the Word.

    Here’s one reason why I think more study is definitely needed: I’m still not sure as to what the original resolution opposes or what its reach is: If we take Deut. 22:5 seriously, we would oppose to any women wearing a “(strong) man’s things.” Let’s say these are just weapons or other combat equipment, even though Luther draws much farther-reaching conclusions from this verse (but let’s not worry about those right now since we’re busy “conventioneering”).

    Now, the original resolution posted here on BJS on Feb. 8, was graced by a picture of a female soldier in a nice retro Battle Dress Uniform (we are a conservative site after all), not exactly “combat” gear, which these days includes a helmet, some sort of weapon, and some sort of body armor.

    The second resolved, the one with our “conscientious objection,” defines the objects of our objecting as: “the purposeful exposure of women to any hostile environment” and “any policy or practice which considers women eligible for assignment into combat situations or conscription.”

    So, does this mean that women can’t serve in combat arms specialties (e.g., infantry) or that they (regardless of what their job in the military is) can’t be deployed to a combat zone where you draw hostile fire pay, while serving as cook, supply clerk, band member, attack helicopter pilot, or fighter jet pilot? (FYI, just last month, we had a couple guys from a combat *support* battalion killed on one of the biggest bases here in Afghanistan — talking about “hostile environment” in a combat zone.)

    If it’s the latter, then we should be clear that this basically eliminates female service members altogether (see again the picture attached to the February post).

    Pr. Ramirez’s latest post seems to go into this direction: “sending women into war as combatants.” If you wear your country’s uniform, you are by legal definition a combatant, regardless of the size of your ruck sack, your age, or your sex, or your actual job in the military.

    So, we are against women in the military, right?

    I doubt any “conscientious” objection can form where we’re not transparent about what we’re actually objecting to.

    This is why it definitely seems to me that we need more study on this, both on what God’s Word says we should be for and against, and on what the realities of modern warfare are actually like.

    I sympathize with those who’ve already reached a biblical opinion on the matter and want to act now, but I also urge you to bear with those still entangled in whatever the world thinks is right, good, and beneficial for all, while patiently and intentionally listening to God’s Word on this important matter together.

  24. Let me add this for clarity’s sake because somebody will point this out regarding combatants and uniforms: Chaplains of course wear the uniform but are non-combatants — they are by law required to be unarmed at all times (and have therefore an armed assistant as body guard).

    And medics are non-combatants as well, but are permitted a self-defense weapon.

    So, since female chaplains are impossible, could we have female medics in uniform? Regardless of the smallness of their weapon, though, they, as *combat* medics, still often get sent to an especially hostile environment.

    So, I guess we could not, according to the resolution.

    Again, if that’s what we want, let’s be clear, regardless of political fallout or regardless of what we can think we can get to pass at the convention.

  25. Pr. Sonntag,

    The problem with saying things like “ramming it down their throat,” and “not being patient,” is that you fail to recognize that this is the established position of the universal church. There are certain issues that one can be patient with. But others are to be opposed immediately because they represent a shift away from where folks are at, to a worse spot. Women in combat is a change, even if it only an official one. The status quo is that they are not to be doing it (except among feminists).

    Your argument is similar to those who supported women’s ordination mid-century who think there has to be study before a condemnation of a gross innovation.

    And furthermore, it is evident by natural law and history that this violates our most basic moral sense. We should be utterly revolted by it. I cannot fathom why you do not seem to be. And in our just anger, we should act accordingly to condemn wickedness.

    This is like an issue such as abortion. We should be clear and swift in our denouncement of it. Just because the Missouri Synod was slow to move in the 90’s and 2000’s on this when it really got rolling in the U.S., doesn’t give her an excuse to miss another [perhaps the most important] opportunity to confess what the church has always understood about men’s duty to protect women.

    The onus is really upon those who have doubts to establish those doubts as worthwhile. Let’s just say, I’m not convinced. Especially since no one lives their lives as if men and women were the same. People say they are confused about whose duty it is to protect whom…but they betray that they DO know the answer by how they act, their expectations, and what they do.

    And by the way, if I was about just getting a 50 plus 1 majority, I certainly would not have supported the resolution my congregation and circuit submitted. Trust me, or ask anyone who knows me, this is not about politics or trickery, it is about confessing the truth.

  26. @Pastor David Ramirez #33
    Brother Ramirez,

    Even if it is the position of the church universal, not everybody in our church body might be aware of it. So it’s not really the spot where these fellow Christians are at.

    Just like our doctrine of the Lord’s Supper is the position of the church universal. But not every Christian is aware of it. Not that he would oppose it, when it is presented to him. But he has to be told and taught and be led out of the maze of opposing views in a patient manner.

    But, to repeat my earlier question, what exactly is that position of the church universal in this matter anyway? Is it “just” against women in combat (as you say now)? Or is it against women in the military in general? Or is it wider yet?

    I think it’s safe to say that John Chrysostom, quoted above as a representative of the church universal in this matter, would have held the latter, as he stated: “For God assigned to woman the care of the house only, to man the conduct of public affairs.”

    I think “military,” not just “combat,” would be part of “conducting public affairs,” therefore, the domain of the man only. Probably, in his time, there were no female soldiers in the Roman legions. And a military that was not going to war was probably not really conceivable for him. But I don’t know for sure (so let’s study the matter 😉 ).

    Is that what we’re driving at? If so, and if it’s about confessing the truth, then let’s say it openly — even though that might be real news for those who oppose “women in combat” (narrowly defined) but would have no problems with something like the good old WAAC, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps pre-1978.

    However, even to that modest form of women in uniform there was opposition at the time, according to Wikipedia (ok, poor source, but they do cite actual books there):

    “Many men ferociously opposed allowing women in uniform, warning their sisters and friends they would be seen as lesbians or prostitutes. They feared that if women became soldiers they would no longer serve in a masculine preserve and their masculinity would be devalued. Others feared being sent into combat units if women took over the safe jobs.”

    So is this then the position of the church universal?

    Questions abound. And I’m very sympathetic to your position, as far as I can determine it. Others might have more.

    Yours in XP.

  27. @Mike #5

    “She” is a “he.” He goes back a long ways contending against the LCMS — even regarding the Sacraments. Not sure he would even like the ELCA since they are still Sacramental. He used to be a youth director — can you imagine?

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