Great Stuff — Quid Est Veritas?

Another great post over on GottesdienstOnline by Pastor Larry Beane:

 

Pilate asks: "What is truth?"

Pilate asks: “What is truth?”

I just read a statement by a professor on the LCMS clergy roster who favors the ‘ordination’ of women. He made a curious reference to passages of Scripture perhaps being “outdated.”

Part of his argument includes the fact that the Book of Concord (to which Lutherans have agreed to be bound as a correct explication of Scripture) makes no explicit reference to women’s ‘ordination’.

Of course, the sixteenth century Book of Concord likewise makes no explicit references to partial birth abortion, apartheid, euthanasia, eugenics, or cruelty to animals. And yet it does not follow that such practices are theologically acceptable or bear the seal of approval of Lutherans based on this argument from silence.

Those who advocate for the ‘ordination’ of women are at odds with not only Scripture, but with the ecumenical creeds that confess the divinity of Jesus.

Advocates of women’s ‘ordination’ believe they are correcting an injustice. But if excluding women from the pastoral office is unjust today, it was also unjust ten years ago, twenty years ago, fifty years ago, and a hundred years ago. It would have been unjust in 1847 AD when the synod was established, in 1530 AD when the Augsburg Confession was written, in 325 AD when the Council of Nicea met, in 50 AD when the apostles met at the Council of Jerusalem, and in 30 AD when Jesus ordained and commissioned 11 men, thus establishing the catholic practice of male-only ordination.

Jesus was never afraid to break with Jewish tradition, including regarding matters pertaining to the role of women in society. Jesus had many shining examples of female disciples that he could have ordained had it been His will to establish such a practice. The odds of this exclusion of 50% of the population (including the population of disciples) just being by chance is (if my math is correct) 1 in 2 to the 11th power (1 in 2048) – or 5 hundredths of one percent. Today’s advocates of affirmative action would never conclude that Jesus, as an employer, just happened to have 11 qualified men and no qualified women among his pool of candidates. He would probably be sued and charged with discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act had He been born in twentieth century America instead of first century Judea.

Moreover, the early church rapidly shifted from Jewish to Gentile in its majority culture, and in the Greco-Roman world, priestesses and female oracles were not unusual in the least.

So if women’s ‘ordination’ is a matter of justice, then the apostles were sinning in only ordaining men, as was our Lord Himself who established the apostolic and catholic practice. If so, Jesus was either a duplicitous coward, a cunning hypocrite, or a hateful misogynist.

In whatever case, such a man is not God.

To put the best construction on it, it is in a sense commendable that some people are so committed to justice as to seek to correct even the errors of Jesus Himself. They do have a sense of righteousness to which even the Son of God must give account.

However, in order to advocate for women’s ‘ordination’, one must necessarily throw the doctrines of the two natures of Christ and the Trinity under the bus. And those two doctrines – protestations of Unitarians and various cults notwithstanding – are established Christian doctrines and ought not be matters for synodical debate, unless we are willing to consider amending the ecumenical creeds through bureaucratic machinations.

Here we are once again at the trial of Jesus, this time with His holy bride standing with Him in the dock, and the question is being posed to her: “What is truth?”

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord, LCMSsermons.com, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

Great Stuff — Quid Est Veritas? — 7 Comments

  1. Of course the Book of Concord makes a specific reference to male-only pastors, and rejects women pastors. Why is this so often overlooked? Read the Table of Duties in the Small Catechism, contained in our Confessions. Since we have bound ourselves to the doctrine in the Book of Concord, it goes without saying that we reject women pastors on the basis of God’s unchanging and abiding Word.

    Table of Duties

    Pastors and Preachers
    A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence … not a novice…. holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convict those who con­tradict. 1 Timothy 3:2-4 and 6; Titus 1:9.

  2. Somebody needs to tell that professor (and others like him) that there is another denomination that is better suited to this theological deviance: the ELCA.

  3. I’ve tried out, for 2 Praise bands. The 1st, was “a closed group”. Huge ego issues & fraught with strife, from within. Bullet #1: avoided. Praise band #2, 2 years later, again, fraught with ego issues, the biggest? A 12 yr. old, the band’s manager’s daughter, “I can’t do this, she’s too loud”. All this, prior to me, understanding, this was not meant for Divine Services. The dynamics, are: band 1st, and all that, being part of a band, entails. Praise, distant 2nd, & even then, people still jockey for face time. I never went to Church to hear a band. I never attended Church for the music. I attend Church, to hear the Old Testament, Gospel, receive the Sacrament of the Altar, and to remember, I am part of the Body Of Christ. Any questions?

  4. Once again, according to “synodical rules”, Jesus is already under the threat of suspension from the clergy roster because He didn’t meet with the scribes and Pharisees privately, first, before He called them hypocrites, etc. When that objection was raised by myself to another pastor delegate on the floor of the 2004 convention, the reply was that, “Well, He was *Jesus*, God the Son!” But then, this is contrary to Galatians where Jesus is specifically said to be “born under the Law, in order to redeem those who are under the Law.” Thus, Pastor Beane gets it right–*very* right. If Christ is not under precisely the same Law as us, as our true human Brother, then we have no true Redeemer. The articles on the 2 Natures, the Trinity, and Justification are at stake. It really is that serious.

    Is it possible for someone belonging to a confession that ordains women, (etc.) even a woman reveren’d herself, to be saved? Most certainly. The Lord is able to overcome our sin–that’s kinda what these next dozen days are all about. Nevertheless, is it good to build your theological house on half sand and half rock? The image of that tour bus in Brazil comes to mind. It started on solid ground, but that solid ground kept getting washed away, adn the bus was lost.

  5. Rev. Beane hits a home run with this post. Jesus is true man and true God. We are mere mortals. Who are we to question the truth revealed by God in His word?

    Sometimes we think Jesus needs help with the way He grows HIs Church and other times we think He needs help with the way He carries out “social justice.” Thanks be to God He doesn’t need our help or advice. Thanks be to God He gives us everything we need and does everything for our good. He especially forgives our sins and gives us everlasting life with Him.

  6. Why are some of you appealing to the Confessions when it was already in the Bible?

  7. I apologize, for post #3. New laptop, wonky keyboard & I’ve tried several times to delete, that post.

    My question, at this point, is not: Quid Est Veritas. My question, is Quo Vadis.
    If those who are to lead, by vocation or election, do not know, what else can ask, other than, Quo Vadis? I have to find another LCMS, for Maundy Thursday. My Congregation, has a Seder, with the local ELCA. This may be the 1st Maundy Thursday, I can’t take the Sacrament of the Altar, on the day, we celebrate, It’s institution & practice.
    Quid Est Veritas, Quo Vadis,….why would or should, any Lutheran even have to ask?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.