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: http://www.wels.net/Q&A

"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

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for raising the topic. It seems to me according to the WELS position that women should not be voting in the upcoming national election or should not be the manager of the local Kinkos! Such actions would be considered sin; sin that to my knowledge goes unchecked! That just doesn't make sense to me.

Just shout'in

Anonymous said...

More WELS double-think. Keep in mind that the "answerman" is a seminary professor. What part of St. Paul's inspired words to the Corinthian women does he not understand: Remain Silent. I weep for the faithful in the WELS that see the freight train of pastorettes coming at them but can't seem to get out of the way. I weep for my own synod for its failure to step away from the WELS flawed theology of the public ministry when it had the chance.

ELSer

Anonymous said...

Actually, it's not just "a" seminary professor--it's several from what I'm told--which gets confusing as different men will respond differently.

I hardly think the WELS is anywhere near close to allowing "pastorettes."

Besides, I'm so darn sick of the men getting all upset over women, but they never ever stop to think about what their own role is.

The more unloving men are towards the women in the church--the more unrest we will have.

I never ever struggled with this issue as a woman until I had a male pastor in a District role spiritually abuse me. I won't go into details, but sin begets sin. Now I struggle with the role of man and women. While I have to accept my own blame in this, he must accept his blame as well.

Anonymous said...

Whether one or many, the point remains that the "answerman" is teaching WELS doctrine to future WELS pastors. Women leading IN ANY WAY is more than just "not beneficial", it is wrong. St. Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 14 are clear:

33For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, 34women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

Yes, sin begets sin. But adding a third sin does not cure the first or second.

As for the WELS being no where near having pastorettes, I wager such soothing words were uttered in many ALC congregations in the early 1960's. After all, the old serpent still whispers, "Did God really say.."

ELSer

Anonymous said...

Dear ELSer,

What do they say, go to bed with a dog and you wake up with fleas?

Cletus

Anonymous said...

"Yes, sin begets sin. But adding a third sin does not cure the first or second."

I never said it did, thanks for putting words in my mouth. I hate when people do that! It's rude and shows no grace at all. Question me if you want clarity, but please don't put words in my mouth.

As for the Scripture, yes, I know, I know. I've read that passage a million times. I am sure you have read passages that point to your own personal sins or struggles as well? Be careful of your high horse, you are a sinner to.

Maybe you should read this passage from Galatians 6:1-10 before you address anyone directly again:

"1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him GENTLY. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 CARRY ONE ANOTHER'S BURDENS, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5 for each one should carry his own load.
6 Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.

7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature[a]will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10THEREFORE, AS WE HAVE OPPORTUNITY, LET US DO GOOD TO ALL PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO BELONG TO THE FAMILY OF BELIEVERS."

Oh and to clarify for those who don't know, the ALC merged with other Lutheran "synods" to form ELCA in 1988.

Anonymous said...

If you are looking to 1 Corinthians 14 for your answer to the role of men and women, you're looking in the wrong place. That passage is descriptive, not prescriptive. The head/helper role is defined in other passages. This passage is an application to a specific situation that was occurring in Corinth. Women were adding to the disorder of worship, attempting to stand up and say their peace, while interrupting the men. But the men were at fault too. Paul's encouragement: the women of this congregation must remain silent in order to fulfill the headship/helper role.

In the original language, the verse that speaks of "women remaining silent" is best served to be separated from the paragraph the NIV lumps it with. It doesn't fit in it but begins its own section.

Women are certainly allowed to speak and voice their opinions, but it must not be done in a way that usurps the authority of a man, to whom God has given the role of leader/head of his church.

Anonymous said...

Some anonymous writes,

"That passage [1 Cor., 14] is descriptive, not prescriptive."

This is an utterly worthless statement and in this context just plain wrong. What is "descriptive" about "let", (v. 27, 28, 29,30,34,35, 40 etc) That is not "prescriptive"? Yikes. You are simply applying your predetermined views to this text and some silly distinction you heard somewhere.

Al

Anonymous said...

Al,

That is WELSpeak. Here is what it means: If a passage shows a fallacy in WELS doctrine or practice it is deemed a "descriptive" passage (i.e. not applicable).

Da Moose

(P.S. This distinction can be used correctly, for example, simply because a Biblical personage did something that means we may, but that is not how it is used above or generally in the WELS).

Anonymous said...

Da Moose,
And that is tired old anti-WELS generalization, that does nothing but make you feel cool, and look like the hind end of what you say you are.

Da Truth

Anonymous said...

Da Truth,

I don't feel cool, I am cool. And "anti-WELS generalizations" are generally true. As for my looks, well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Da Moose

Anonymous said...

Moose,

True Anti-WELS generalization #74: When the WELS view cannot be defended Scripturally resort to kicking your opponent in the groin or question their looks.

Al

Anonymous said...

Yoo-hoo,

Can anyone answer my questions?

Curious in Vegas

Anonymous said...

Curious in Vegas,

I think the silence speaks volumes.

Al

Anonymous said...

"Curious in Vegas,

I think the silence speaks volumes.

Al"

No, it's more like the snarky remarks stifled intelligent discussion.

John said...

No, it's more like the snarky remarks stifled intelligent discussion.

It does seem to me that WELS pastors do not follow the male headship principle in society (and sometimes not even in the church).

I do recall that a recent female dean at WLC was asked to step down from that position because of the headship principle.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous writes,

"No, it's more like the snarky remarks stifled intelligent discussion." Oh, boo-hoo. Grow up, you baby.

And, what intelligent discussion? The Wisconsin Synod view of the role of women was shown to be foolish. Now where is the "intelligent" defense of the WELS position?

Da Moose

Anonymous said...

waaaa....waaaaa

miket said...

Brothers,

When a comment stream degenerates to where this one has gone, it is not edifying anyone. I'm sure our Lord would not be pleased with this.

Anonymous said...

Miket:

Welcome to what is known as "Bailing Water."