Thursday, May 29, 2008

Biblical gender distinctives

Once again the issue involving the role of men and women in church and society is coming to the surface in synod circles.

Here is a recent question:

"I am more than willing to grant that it is not wrong for a woman to read a lesson either from behind the lectern or from the pew. Yet in the midst of a society working hard to erase biblical gender distinctives, I'm still not convinced this is the wisest practice in our regular public worship."

It seems that the answerman is willing to move on the role of women in the church yet no movement is made for the role of women in society.?

As we approach a national election the next question that will be asked is that does a woman need to follow the male-headship role in society.

The WELS asserts that men must be leaders and women subordinate to them in all areas of life. A recent comment addressed this very issue...


Dear Anonymous,

I just breezed through the statements and these two at the end jumped out at me.

"We reject the opinion that male headship and female submission apply only to marriage or only to marriage and the church (1 Co 11:3; 1 Ti 2:12).

We reject the opinion that every woman is always subject to every man. Other scriptural role relationship principles and the injunction, “We must obey God rather than men” (Ac 5:29), also govern our actions."

The first one and the ones that follow it all make it very clear that this headship and submission "principle" applies everywhere not just in a marriage or church. The second one above qualifies the first one by saying sometimes the principle doesn't apply, such as when, I assume, a man would command a woman to sin, then, of course, she is not subject to him.

But what these are saying though is that every woman is indeed subject to every man (with that exception). So no woman can ever be in a headship position over a man which includes as I see above voting.

So a WELS synod woman can never be in authority over a man?! Wow! And if a woman is, she is sinning. Since this principle applies in the world WELS synod women don't vote in national, state or local elections? They aren't mangers, leaders, teachers or can hold a higher rank than a man in the military? Wow. Is it your experience in the WELS synod that woman do not take positions of authority over men at work and that they don't vote? Sorry, but that seems kind of cultish to me.

Curious in Vegas

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Confessional integrity of the WELS

Some of us in the ELS are concerned about the confessional integrity of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. I believe that this will be discussed in the upcoming ELS convention. At least, I hope that it is.

Norman Teigen
ELS layman


I accept the challenge. I will go to Mankato and ask for the floor and raise the question myself.

Norman Teigen
ELS layman

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Confessional Lutheran Church body .?

A confessional church body retains the Gospel of Christ as the central and most important doctrine of the Bible. This is the doctrine we live and practice and study (not the doctrine and methods of Rick Warren).

Our Christ-centered doctrine is built on the articles of faith (baptism, the Lord’s supper, and justification). This is what makes a Confessional synod. Luther compares this "confessional" doctrine to a golden ring that must never be broken. We are Confessional than when we are faithful to the Gospel and sacraments not to a workshop titled "10 steps to an effective and growing church." It is the old adage that I tell my kids if your friends are smoking cigarettes you are just as guilty even if you’re just sniffing around (guilt by association). Confessional pastors don't hangout out at the latest church growth seminar soaking in the newest fads.

The Augsburg Confession explains doctrine this way, “through the word and the sacraments as through instruments the Holy Spirit is given, who effects faith where and when it pleases God in those who hear the Gospel."

So than our confessionalism is measured as a church body that purely teaches the word and rightly administers the sacraments. The practices a church body has in her worship life show a clear link and trust in the doctrine of Christ-crucified. Do we hold to the practices of the Lutheran church or do we act, talk, and worship like Methodists?

A confessional synod encourages uniformity in worship. Luther said,” As far as possible we should observe the same rites and ceremonies, ..” Drop in on the latest contemporary service and you'll need a scorecard to keep track of what is going on.

The liturgy reflects our unity. Worship is our doctrine. When we discard Christ-centered worship practices we toss aside our Lutheran doctrine. So when we toss aside the creeds and the liturgy for a seemingly more user friendly service we throw out our Confessional Lutheran doctrine.

Perhaps President Schroeder’s article is a way to begin to address the problems that have arisen in the WELS. A Confessional synod understands there is a clear link to uniform Christ-centered worship that teaches the word and rightly administers the sacraments. So let's pray that the ad-hoc's recommendations for a Confessional "education" of pastors and the laity is the start of a new reformation.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ad-hoc Commission -Synod wide theological study

There are several interesting sections to this report. I would like you to look at section five. The first year study is to focus on "trusting the means of grace." One side argues that this is just a smokescreen used to stop change while the other side a spirit of contentment is needed.

It will be interesting to see how these recommendations are carried out. It seems in the recent past the COP has been on more of a "confessional witch hunt" than trying to reign in the liberal methodist practices being adopted by some. Oh, the term "confessional witch hunt" is a phrase a WELS theology professor told me about.

We are a confessional Lutheran synod ! ???


President Schroeder - We are a confessional Lutheran synod

If this confession is true:

Why are prominent WELS pastors attending Church Growth seminars?

Why are confessional pastors being driven out of the synod?

Why are praise bands all the rage and the liturgy tossed aside?

Why are churches choosing to shed their Lutheran identity for the sake of attracting numbers?

President Schroeder makes a bold statement "Others claim to be confessional, but their teachings and practices do not reflect it. "

I contend that the WELS practices across the synod do not reflect a confessional stance!