Overture to Condemn the Conscription of Women

2016_SynodConvention-side2As you undoubtedly have heard in the news, the Department of Defense announced on Dec. 3rd that they will indeed be opening up all combat positions in our nation’s armed forces to women.

As exclusion from combat was the legal rationale for also excluding women from the selective service system, the possibility of women being required to participate in the selective service system, and thus potential drafts, is now coming down the tracks at full speed.


This issue is an important one that faces all of the congregations and families of our Synod and nation. The Missouri Synod ought to speak clearly against the conscription of women at the 2016 Convention.

Below is a suggested overture for congregations, circuit forum, District Board of Directors, and other bodies that may submit overtures to the Synod.

Included underneath this overture are the names of pastors of our Synod who have given this overture their support.

Additionally, several of the contributors to BJS have added their names in support.

[Note: As other pastors and laymen of the Missouri Synod have expressed their desire to record their support for this overture, please feel free to indicate so in the comments below.]

Please bring this before your own congregations and circuits to send to the synod. The deadline for overtures to be submitted is February 20th

Directions to submit overtures are here: http://www.lcms.org/convention/overtures

Even after the deadline, passing this overture offers an opportunity for congregations to publicly and officially record their objection to the conscription of women as they seek to support and safeguard their own daughters.


To Condemn the Conscription of Women (PDF)


To Condemn the Conscription of Women

Whereas, on January 24th, 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense announced its intent to lift the nation’s exclusion of women from all remaining combat positions from which they have been previously barred, an exclusion upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court; and

Whereas, The women of the LCMS may be subject to registering for selective service and a possible draft, as the rationale provided by the U.S. Supreme Court in prohibiting this practice was the Department of Defense’s ban on women in combat; and

Whereas, the conscription of women, especially in view of their imminent inclusion into all combat positions in the U.S. Armed Forces, is not in accordance with God’s order of creation (Gen. 1-2; 1 Cor. 11), in which men are to be the self-sacrificial heads and protectors of women, laying down their lives for them as Christ laid down His life for His Church (Ephesians 5:25), and showing honor to them (1 Peter 3:7), which is further confirmed and testified to by the exclusion of women from combat duty and conscription throughout the Scriptures (Num. 1, Joshua 1:14, Deut. 20, Deut. 22, etc.); and

Whereas, at the 2013 synodical convention, the Mercy floor committee intended to speak to the issue of the conscription of women in their original resolution, as was printed in Today’s Business for 7/23/2013, “Resolved, that the LCMS support those who have a religious and moral objection to women serving in ground combat positions and/or participating in the selective service system and being subject to a possible draft,” yet the committee did not present the above phrase, “and/or participating in the selective service system and being subject to a possible draft,” because “Mercy committee members saw no need to address that issue at this time”(Reporter Online); and

Whereas, since then, on December 3rd, 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that all U.S. military combat positions are being opened up to women, and detailed legal analysis has already been undertaken by the Department of Defense, in consultation with the Department of Justice, concerning the legal implications of this change of policy in regards to the constitutionality of the application of the selective service system; and

Whereas, we would be negligent if we did not defend the women of the LCMS and prepare for the serious and imminent possibility of women being subjected to being required to participate in the selective service system and a possible draft; therefore be it

Resolved, That the LCMS condemn the conscription of women, in particular, by means of participation in the selective service system and a possible draft, as it is a confusion of God’s order of creation; and be it finally

Resolved, That the LCMS support those who have a religious and moral objection to women participating in the selective service system and being subject to a possible draft.


Rev. Scott Adle, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Collinsville, IL

Rev. David R. Appold, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Paducah, KY

Rev. Eric Andersen, Zion Lutheran Church, Summit IL & Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hodgkins IL

Rev. Steven J. Anderson, Gloria Dei Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL

Rev. Marcus Baikie, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Cheyenne, WY

Rev. Larry Beane, Salem Lutheran Church, Gretna, LA

Rev. Benjamin Ball, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hamel, IL

Rev. Travis Berg, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Latimer, IA

Rev. Daniel Bishop, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Pekin, IL

Rev. Kenneth J. Bomberger, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Walker, MI


Rev. Jason Braaten, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Tuscola, IL

Rev. Neil L. Carlson, Trinity, Sidney and Zion Lutheran Churches, Chappell, NE

Rev. Joshua P. H. Conradt, St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church, Waterford WI

Rev. Matthew T. Dent, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Standish, MI

Rev. Dr. Burnell F. Eckardt Jr., St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Kewanee, IL

Rev. Hans Fiene, River of Life Lutheran Church, Channahon, IL

Rev. A. Brian Flamme, Veteran, USMC, Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora, CO

Rev. Brandon Froiland, Christ Lutheran Church, Platte Woods, MO

Rev. Micah Gaunt, Bethlehem Lutheran Church and Zion Lutheran Church, Ravenna and North Shelton, NE

Rev. Andrew Gerike, Mt. Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church, Omaha, NE


Rev. Jacob Gilbert, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Racine, WI

Rev. Andrew Gray, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Marengo, IA

Rev. Peter F. Gregory, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Westminster, MA

Rev. Mike S. Grieve, Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church, Golden, IL

Rev. Dr. Gifford A. Grobien, (Lieutenant, USN) Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN

Rev. Daniel A. Hinton, Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Cheyenne, WY

Rev. Josemon Hoem, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Murphysboro, IL

Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt. Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Golconda, IL

Rev. Dr. Joel G. Koepp, Saint Luke’s Lutheran Church, Wood Lake MN

Rev. Adam C. Koontz, Mount Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lititz, PA


Rev. Michael Larson, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Wittenberg, WI

Rev. Ryan L. Loeslie, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Merna, NE

Rev. Travis Loeslie, St. Peter Lutheran Church, Lester Prairie, MN

Rev. Mark Lovett, Concordia Lutheran Church, Hoisington, KS

Rev. Tyson Mastin, St John’s Lutheran Church, Plato, MN

Rev. Jordan McKinley, Trinity Lutheran Church, Vallonia, IN

Rev. Michael Scott Monterastelli, member of Pilgrim, Kilgore, Texas

Rev. Matthew V. Moss, St. Paul & Immanuel Lutheran Churches, Readlyn, IA

Rev. Christopher J. Neuendorf, Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church, Davenport, IA

Rev. Weslie Odom, Grace Lutheran Church, Burkburnett, TX


Rev. Jon C. Olson, Trinity Lutheran Church, Jasper, MN & Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Pipestone, MN

Rev. William J. Orr, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Willow Springs, IL & Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lyons, IL

Rev. Andrew Packer, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Pagosa Springs, CO

Rev. Robert W. Paul, Immanuel Lutheran Church and School, Roswell, NM

Rev. David H. Petersen, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, IN

Rev. Clint K. Poppe, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Lincoln, NE

Rev. Andrew Preus, Trinity and St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Parish, Guttenberg and McGregor, IA

Rev. David Rolf Preus, Missionary, Dominican Republic, Mexico, South America

Rev. John Preus, Trinity Lutheran Church, Clinton, IA

Rev. Mark Preus, St. Andrews Lutheran Church and Campus Center Laramie, WY


Rev. Paul Preus, Zion Lutheran Church, Ellendale, ND

Rev. Rolf Preus, Trinity Lutheran Church, Sidney, MT & St. John Lutheran Church, Fairview, MT

Rev. David P. Ramirez, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Union Grove, WI

Rev. Jeffrey E. Ries, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Tacoma, WA

Rev. James A. Roemke, Messiah Lutheran Church, Kenosha WI

Rev. Roberto E. Rojas, Jr. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Winter Garden, FL

Rev. Dr. Timothy A. Rossow, Bethany Lutheran Church and School, Naperville, IL

Rev. Joshua Scheer, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Cheyenne, WY

Rev. Michael Schuermann, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Sherman, IL

Rev. Wade Seaver, Hope Lutheran Church, Bellaire, MI

Rev. Clint Stark, Zion Lutheran Church, Chippewa Falls, WI

Rev. Ronald A. Stephens, Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Garfield, NJ

Rev. Jacob R. Sutton, Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Terre Haute, IN

Rev. Christopher I. Thoma, Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, Hartland, MI

Rev. Bruce Timm, Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church, Saint Cloud, MN

Rev. Aaron Uphoff, Sergeant, Veteran, ARNG, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Randolph, NJ

Rev. Matthew Uttenreither, St. John Lutheran Church Tigerton, WI

Rev. Sean A. Willman, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Pleasant Prairie, WI

Rev. Timothy Winterstein, Faith Lutheran Church, East Wenatchee, WA

Rev. C. Bryan Wolfmueller, Hope’s Lutheran Church, Aurora, CO

Rev. B. Andrew Wright, St. John Lutheran Church, Keystone, IA


Contributors to BJS who have also given their support to this resolution:

Dr. Scott Diekmann, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Milton, WA

Mr. Norm Fisher, St. John Lutheran, Champaign IL

Mr. Joseph D. Klotz, Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Brookfield, IL.

Mr. Nathan Redman, Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church, Saint Cloud, MN

Mr. Tim Wood, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Mr. Brian Yamabe, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, San Jose, CA




Overture to Condemn the Conscription of Women — 56 Comments

  1. The 2013 Synodical Convention passed (947-63) Resolution 2-12A, “To Speak re Employment of Women in Military Combat,” after voting down (247-748) a substitute resolution, “To Speak Boldly re Employment of Women in Military Combat.”

    Res. 2-12A sort-of-boldly

    Resolved, That the CTCR study this issue and produce a statement that can be considered and acted upon by the Synod in its next convention.”

    So far the CTCR has not released any such statement on this “issue”.

    In the meantime, here’s one statement responding to those who have advocated putting women in military combat:

    “My reaction was, ‘Are you guys nuts?’ Listen, we have had enough with political correctness, especially in the military. Political correctness is dangerous and the idea that we would draft our daughters to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close combat, I think is wrong. It is immoral….

    “It is yet one more sign of this politically correct world, where we forget common sense. We got to get back to common sense, we’ve got to get back to a president that says, ‘No, that doesn’t make any sense’.”

    No, the statement does not (and is not likely to) come from anyone in the Purple Palace.

  2. The 2013 Synodical Convention Resolution 2-12A wasn’t the first time the CTCR was given the assignment of dealing with the theological issue of women in combat.

    At the 2010 Synodical Convention, Overture 3-29, “Offer Biblical Rationale for Opposing Combat Roles for Women” (2010 Convention Workbook, p. 177), was placed in Omnibus Resolution A, for referral to the CTCR. Ov. 3-29 including the following:

    Resolved, that the Synod in convention direct the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) to address these concerns, offering a clearly reasoned biblical and theological rationale for opposing women in combat roles in our nation’s military service; and be it further
    Resolved, Due to the immediacy of the “war on terror”, that this report from the CTCR be offered at the next LCMS convention.

    The 2010 Synodical Convention passed (1077-93) Omnibus Resolution A.

    In its report in the 2013 Synodical Convention Workbook (p. 78), the CTCR stated:

    At its December 2010 meeting, the commission approved various ways of responding to the issues raised in these overtures:… “Offer Biblical Rationale for Opposing Combat Roles for Women” (Ov. 3-29)…”

    And that was all the CTCR wrote! No reports or further public statements were made by the CTCR.

    But in the past the CTCR has done something about the issue of women in combat.

    In 2007 Overture 3-92, “Declare Opposition to Women Serving in Combat,” was submitted to the Synodical Convention. However Floor Committee 3 placed the overture in Resolution 3-13, which “respectfully declined” Overture 3-92 for the reason: “Covered in May 2003 Lutheran Witness “Point/Counterpoint” article requested by CTCR and prefaced by Executive Director of CTCR.” The 2007 Synodical Convention approved (919-167) Resolution 3-13.

    Here’s the May, 2003, Lutheran Witness article, “Women in Combat: Two Views,” with the text in a preface box, “What does the Bible teach about women serving in the military?,” written by Dr. Samuel H. Nafzger, which stated, in part:

    “In response to such questions directed to his office, Missouri Synod President Gerald Kieschnick has asked the Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations to study the issue on the basis of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessional writings….

    “The members of the commission… believe that the contemporary discussion of the topic of women serving in the military and in combat will be enriched by the perspectives presented in the articles by Rev. Leroy Vogel and Dr. David Wollenburg.”

    One side was presented in “Does God’s Word Give Guidance?” by Concordia Seminary Professor David Wollenburg. The other side was presented in “Is God Indifferent?” by Concordia Seminary Professor Emeritus Leroy Vogel.

    Thus spake the CTCR.

  3. The Overture’s opposition to women serving in combat might want to add a special Resolved opposing a female being nominated to serve in one of the top combatant positions in the U.S. military.

    Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson has been nominated by the Obamaregime to be the (first female) Combatant Commander (CCDR) of U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), one of the six U.S. regional combatant commands. The nomination for that position is subject to the Senate approval.

    As CCDR directly under U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Lori Robinson would oversee U.S. military activities in North America.

    Here is the March 10, 2016, Statement by the current CCDR for NORTHCOM, Adm. William Gortney, before the Senate Armed Services Committee, regarding the responsibilities and needs of NORTHCOM to current threats against the United States.

  4. @Carl Vehse #51: [2013] Res. 2-12A sort-of-boldly “Resolved, That the CTCR study this issue and produce a statement that can be considered and acted upon by the Synod in its next convention.”
    So far the CTCR has not released any such statement on this “issue”.

    Because the CTCR does not post its theology and church relations meeting minutes on the LCMS website, we are now informed, via a Whereas on p. 356 of the 2016 Convention Workbook:

    “The CTCR (partly due to the unforeseen need to identify a new drafter in early 2015) will not be able to bring its work on this assignment to completion before the 2016 convention.”

    The remainder of the reasons for not bringing its work to completion is not provided, nor is it discussed in the CTCR’s Item 6. Women in Combat (2013 Res. 2-12A) (p.69).

  5. In the Missouri Synod’s 2016 Convention Workbook (pp. 354-356) there are four overtures dealing with using women in military combat:

    5-29, To Condemn Conscription of Women
    5-30, To Consider Ramifications of Conscription of Women into Military Service
    5-31, To Condemn and Renounce Employment of Women in Military Combat
    5-32, To Protect Consciences of Women re Military Service

    Presumably the use of “condemn” in these overtures includes the biblical implication of anathema for the practice and those who promote it. (BTW, this year there are no overtures against LGBTPQs in the military or in combat roles.)

    Floor Committee 5: Theology & Church Relations has the responsibility, as they receive guidance from the President’s Report, to form out of these overtures a resolution to be submitted to the synodical convention this July.

    I suspect the word “condemn” is unlikely to be present in the final resolution text, which will object in politically correct terms to the women being drafted and serving in military combat roles. It will probably be passed by the convention delegates, both men and women, and then be relegated to some dusty synodical archives along with century-old resolutions objecting to women suffrage and the 19th amendment.

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