In reply to Peter Schumacher’s comments of June 19. All Scripture is breathed by the Holy Spirit and God does not change His mind, what is written is relevant to all times and places and cultures. The fact that the Lord Jesus did not chose a few women amongst the twelve is in itself indicative that men only are meant for the Pastoral Ministry. Other commentators in the LCA have pointed to scriptures of women prophesying in the early church to support the case for women pastors. The Prophetic Ministry and the Pastoral Ministry are two totally separate ministries. Where exactly are the places that women can go to that men cannot?

Comments 7

  • Jesus loved and respected women, but there were no women present when the nitty gritty of the faith’s foundation was laid – at the institution of the Lord’s Supper, not even as witnesses. He kept His mother at arm’s length, yet remembered her from the cross. He knew how useful women were in prophesying, teaching etc. but never encouraged them to actually preach. Many don’t like St.Paul’s comments, but we must remember that he was inspired by the Holy Spirit, as was all of the bible.

  • God’s Word is paramount and to us his children it’s what we look to. Regarding ordination, much focus has been on 1 Cor 14: 34, 35 and 1Tim 2: 11,12. In a similar way to the question of whether infants are to be baptised we are not given in the above passages an explicit statement that women may or may not be ordained as pastors. It seems to me that to some of us , ‘women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says.’ (1 Cor 14: 34 NRSV) tells us that no woman is to do any kind of speaking in church. It is God’s law that no woman is to preach therefore no woman may be a pastor.
    To some others of us the verse above is telling us that the women are to behave in ‘a fitting and orderly way.’ (1 Cor 14; 40b,NIV)
    (May I in one sense compare the early church setting to a classroom or a court room where a call for silence may be made if speaking and/or noisy behavior is preventing people from taking part in the purpose for which they are there. This call of ‘Silence! ‘ is not demanding that the perpetrators are to be excluded from the true purpose but are to focus on it and enable it.)
    There seems to be an impasse but aren’t there many passages to guide us? Isn’t the whole of 1Cor 14 important? nb v 26- 33 and 1 Cor 12? Isn’t there an underlying question to that of ordination, namely how are we God’s children to love and serve him for the good of all? Because of all that Jesus has done for us are we not all part of the response to Jesus words of commission( Matt 28;18, Mark 16;15) and to Words such as 1 Peter 3;15 and 4; 8-11?
    Have we looked thoroughly at the question of gender and other forms of dilineation in the context of serving our Lord and Saviour? There is an echo of Gal 3: 26-28 in Col 3 : 9- 11 and 1 Cor 12:13.
    While we look to God’s Word culture is part of all that is God’s. Just because certain change happens in the world it is not automatically counter to God’s will.
    While not to be equated with The Word there is a note in the Lutheran Study Bible about 1 Tim 2: 11, 12 which reads ‘Before this time women were not allowed to worship with men at the temple or in the synagogues, so worshiping together was a major change.’ p 1954 No wonder it was not plain sailing.
    And yet St Paul writes of the arguing Euodia and Syntyche as ‘ these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel’…Phil 4: see all of v3 NIV. There’s a vision of service to God !

  • I wonder whether those in favour of WO are being influenced by culture. Of course women are just as capable and intelligent as men. This applies to every sphere – medicine, law, commerce, politics etc. but not in the one sphere where God has clearly indicated that there are things connected to His spiritual kingdom with definite and different rules. There are dozens of ways women can use their gifts to allow them to realize their importance to God and the LCA. Since the LCA’s Thesis of Agreement, what has changed? Not God, not His word, not the history of Lutheranism, not the gist of hymns, liturgy etc., not even some pastors’ beliefs. Culture, however, has changed our lives hugely. Now even the USA has accepted same-sex ‘marriage’ as being acceptable -with hoards waving rainbow flags. And now, millions accept, as normal, living together without marriage, practicing homosexual clergy, abortion, sexual behaviour strange to the way God made us, etc. etc. Is this the slippery slide the LCA is going down because ‘everyone’s doing it’? We are all sinful, and Satan loves it when we give in to his sweet lies. I pray that the LCA has the courage to stand firm, and do what God says, not what we think. Let’s honour and obey our heavenly Father who gave us a dear Saviour to make us acceptable to our Father, with His precious blood.

    1. Beautifully written Gloria, I too pray that the LCA has the courage to stand firm on Gods word.

  • Yes Greg if Scripture was written by man alone then it would be influenced by the culture of the time. However in 2nd Timothy 3:16 we read that all scripture is GOD BREATHED. In Heb 4:12 we read ‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.’ …No word of man whether culture influenced or not could claim to do this. Scripture is Gods word and Gods work anyone who claims it is influenced by worldly culture is undermining God Himself!

  • Thank you for your interest in responding.
    To answer your question specifically, there is no way known, in this day and age that I as pastor would feel comfortable being alone with an attractive woman and perhaps as an additional point, given what has transpired particularly in the Catholic faith, I would not want to be alone unsupervised with young children either. These are areas in which female clergy would seem to be much less under scrutiny although I am aware that there have been instances of females molesting kids as well.

    As to the more general observation, I don’t find for example much relevance in instructions as how to live given in, say, the book of Leviticus, and why? because it was written for a different age and circumstance which gets back to my point as to how we should interpret Scripture in general.

    1. . . . . and there is no way in the world that an attractive female pastor would feel comfortable being alone with a man. So the argument falls.
      We need to put side all emotive arguments and pursue that matter on the basis of God’s Word. And, if there is finally doubt, then we step back and exercise restraint and allow the Holy Spirit to work in his way, not according to our way.

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